Avoidable chain of events with cloud payments & unreturned trade-in led to disabled Apple ...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 3
An avoidable chain of events associated with device payments, missed emails, and unreturned trade-ins led to one Twitter user's Apple ID being disabled because Apple couldn't collect funds due -- and it didn't matter that it was associated with an Apple Card. Here's what you can do to stop this from happening to you, and what Apple says about the matter.

If you don't pay for your new Apple product, Apple will make it functionally useless
If you don't pay for your new Apple product, Apple will make it functionally useless


A man named Dustin Curtis reportedly had his Apple account "taken hostage" after he failed to pay an Apple Card payment. If this were the case, then it would be a terrible abuse of power from Apple by placing users in debt then holding their Apple ID as collateral.

AppleInsider staff pursued the case and learned that the story isn't quite as dystopian as this Twitter account made it seem.

I forgot to update my Apple Card autopay info and discovered this crazy fact: if you manage to miss an Apple Card payment, Apple will disable your Apple ID, iCloud, and App Store accounts as hostage.

Re-enabling them takes 3-5+ business days. I'm surprised this is legal.

-- dustin curtis (@dcurtis)


With very little detail initially, we could not ascertain exactly what had occurred. According to Apple's legal documents on Apple Card, a user's Apple ID is used for logging in to card management and that is it. There is no other legal relationship between the two accounts.

Curtis claimed a missed payment led to the disabling of his Apple ID account -- but that wasn't the full story.

A few hours later, Curtis released a blog post detailing his dilemma. As it turns out he had used the Apple Card to make a purchase from Apple, the new MacBook Pro with M1 processor.

Not only did he purchase the MacBook Pro with the Apple Card, he offered his old computer as a trade-in. He never received a trade-in kit and claimed to have forgotten to send in the old computer entirely. That lead to Apple applying the missed trade-in value to his Apple Card balance.

This is a simple mistake, but it was compounded by another piece of inaction on Curtis' part -- his bank account number was updated in January. The bank account he was using for automatic payments had a new account number, and Curtis never updated it in the Apple Card settings.

This led to a missed payment on February 1. A disabled Apple Card followed on or around February 15.

After February 15 the App Store attempted to use the disabled card as a payment method, but obviously failed. This triggered an account lock that requires a new payment method to be added -- in accordance with Apple's terms and service.

Curtis apparently tried to update his Apple ID using the unpaid-for MacBook, and it told him he couldn't update his payment there.

Apple had disabled the App Store, iTunes, and restricted the Apple ID associated with the account that purchased the MacBook Pro. This will occur no matter the payment method used, Apple Card or not. If you do not pay for your device, or pay for your subscriptions, Apple will disable the account associated with the purchase -- and this is also spelled out in the iCloud terms of service.

In a statement to AppleInsider, Apple itself has clarified the sequence of events, and what happened with Curtis.

"We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience we may have caused for this customer. The issue in question involved a restriction on the customer's Apple ID that disabled App Store and iTunes purchases and subscription services, excluding iCloud," Apple said. "Apple provided an instant credit for the purchase of a new MacBook Pro, and as part of that agreement, the customer was to return their current unit to us,"

"No matter what payment method was used, the ability to transact on the associated Apple ID was disabled because Apple could not collect funds," Apple added. "This is entirely unrelated to Apple Card."

The dilemma has since been solved as Curtis updated his Apple Card payment method and paid his overdue bills. His account has been restored and everything is back to normal.

However, Curtis continues to place the blame solely on Apple and the Apple Card, both of which have clear terms of service and consequences for missed trade-ins and payment timing. Remember, when purchasing any Apple product on a payment plan that Apple has the legal right and ability to stop its cloud functionality if you appear to be in default.

Update 4:01 PM Eastern time Refined sequence of events, and added statement from Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    riverkoriverko Posts: 117member
    Working in a bank the scenario is usually similar - clients blame us for their missteps, no matter how hard we explain… Not saying that we don’t make any mistakes…
    twokatmewomar moraleslkruppviclauyycentropysdjkfisherronndewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    “Clear TOS is in the mind of the lawyers who write them. Does anybody read them? With hundreds of things that have TOS statements, can anybody read them? 

    I blame Apple and the rest of the business community. But more, I blame the government for failing to regulate properly. Before an essential service is discontinued a provider SHOULD be required not only to notify, but to confirm that the notification has been received and understood. Otherwise you have situations like this one: where a person has no intent to default but was nonetheless penalized for an oversight of which he was not even aware. 
  • Reply 3 of 27
    neilmneilm Posts: 852member
    Fail to pay your bills — twice: once by "forgetting" to send back the trade-in and the other by not updating bank payment info — and you get shut down. Should that surprise anyone?

    I imagine this was solvable by a phone call to Apple Support. Or did he "forget" to pay his cell phone bill too?
    omar moralesJFC_PARayz2016StrangeDaysiyfcalvinviclauyycmwhitekingofsomewherehotbuttesilverdjkfisher
  • Reply 4 of 27
    nikon1nikon1 Posts: 17member
    Typical of people today who NEVER want to accept the responsibility for their own mistakes.  It seems to me, after reading this article, that Mr. Curtis failed on numerous occasions, starting with his failure to read the Apple Terms Of Service agreements that he had to accept in order to move forward.  This started with his basic Apple account, followed by the AppleCard agreement — and it ended with his “forgetting” to notify Apple of his bank account t number changing.  This leaves out the whole “I forgot to send my trade-in Mac” back per the agreement between Apple & him.

    My question remains:  Is it that slow of a news day that this moron got this much coverage for HIS avalanche of stupidity?
    omar moralesiyfcalvinviclauyyckingofsomewherehotbuttesilverdjkfisherronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 27
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 790member
    I do not have an Apple Card but have been dealing with Apple since Apple II days and online services going back to .Mac, Mobile Me, iTunes (launch day), iCloud and only god knows how many purchases of Macs, iPods, iPhones, Airport Bases, SW, media and accessories. I have also used the trade in and the upgrade program.
    I have never had anything but exceptional service from Apple excepting a Mac mini that got caught up in the lockdown last year- it was in for service and was at the store when they were shuttered. 
    omar moralesviclauyycjas99mwhitebuttesilverdjkfisherronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 27
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 2,883member
     Bad Apple! How dare you lock down my account when I don't pay my bills!

    JFC_PAviclauyycjas99entropysronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,089administrator
    nikon1 said:
    Typical of people today who NEVER want to accept the responsibility for their own mistakes.  It seems to me, after reading this article, that Mr. Curtis failed on numerous occasions, starting with his failure to read the Apple Terms Of Service agreements that he had to accept in order to move forward.  This started with his basic Apple account, followed by the AppleCard agreement — and it ended with his “forgetting” to notify Apple of his bank account t number changing.  This leaves out the whole “I forgot to send my trade-in Mac” back per the agreement between Apple & him.

    My question remains:  Is it that slow of a news day that this moron got this much coverage for HIS avalanche of stupidity?
    We weren't planning on giving this any air, but we know less well-versed media venues are sniffing around the story.

    Those headlines are going to be breathtaking in their stupidity.
    jas99GeorgeBMacdjkfisherronndewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    However, if another big Apple site is to be believed you have left out a crucial bit of information that exonerates the user slightly.

    In that he contacted Apple on their supplied email address, but they had spelt the address wrong.  They also sent him multiple emails about an iPhone, when it was a Mac.

    not saying he wasn’t to blame but if you read the article on the other Apple site it does make Apple look partly to blame too.
    gatorguyronn
  • Reply 9 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,881member
    First rule: Don't be a dumbass, pay your bills.
    kingofsomewherehotwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,052member
    lol. His iCloud services were disabled because he failed to pay for them, and as noted that would happen regardless of which card was used.
    jas99kingofsomewherehotronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 27
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,052member
    brassens said:
    “Clear TOS is in the mind of the lawyers who write them. Does anybody read them? With hundreds of things that have TOS statements, can anybody read them? 

    I blame Apple and the rest of the business community. But more, I blame the government for failing to regulate properly. Before an essential service is discontinued a provider SHOULD be required not only to notify, but to confirm that the notification has been received and understood. Otherwise you have situations like this one: where a person has no intent to default but was nonetheless penalized for an oversight of which he was not even aware. 
    Uh my guy, iCloud services are not "essential". They're a computing luxury. An affordable one, but one nonetheless. You can live a full life without ever subscribing to iCloud storage, or Apple Music, etc. 

    Anyway, blaming the service provider for turning off your service after you stopped paying for it is silly.
    edited March 2 viclauyycjas99muthuk_vanalingamkingofsomewherehotMplsPronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,426member
    Guy sounds like a dickhead, but not a fan of the idea that iCloud can be shut down on grounds of a hardware purchase.  They're completely different things.  And it sounds like Apple made a rod for their own backs by locking him out of the method he'd have used to remedy the situation.

    This could be read as a disincentive to using only Apple services, don't put all your eggs in one Apple-shaped basket.
    edited March 2
  • Reply 13 of 27
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,382member
    brassens said:
    “Clear TOS is in the mind of the lawyers who write them. Does anybody read them? With hundreds of things that have TOS statements, can anybody read them? 

    I blame Apple and the rest of the business community. But more, I blame the government for failing to regulate properly. Before an essential service is discontinued a provider SHOULD be required not only to notify, but to confirm that the notification has been received and understood. Otherwise you have situations like this one: where a person has no intent to default but was nonetheless penalized for an oversight of which he was not even aware. 

    You blame the government?  This attitude is exactly why we have the kind of nanny-state, bloated and tyrannical government we do.  The government has nothing to do with this, nor should it.  An essential service?  It's his iCloud and Apple ID, not his power or water bill.  They were disabled on his MacBook because he didn't pay for said MacBook.  He also missed an Apple card payment, changed his bank account without telling them and didn't send his old MacBook back as required.  He violated the agreement 6 ways from Sunday.  Apple did exactly what it should have done.  How would they confirm a notification is received and understood?  My mortgage company doesn't even have to do that.  

    "No intent to default."  Wow, it just keeps getting better.  Do you understand how anything works?  I honestly don't mean to be offensive, but defaulting has nothing to do with intent.  You either pay, or you don't.  In this case, he failed to pay.  OK, that can happen....an oversight.  But he also changed his bank account.  And didn't return his trade-in.  That's a lot of "oversight."   To top it off, he has the cojones to go on Twitter and claim that if you "miss" a payment, they "hold your iCloud hostage."   That is not at all what happened.  
    viclauyycmuthuk_vanalingamronndewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 8,964member
    sdw2001 said:
    brassens said:
    “Clear TOS is in the mind of the lawyers who write them. Does anybody read them? With hundreds of things that have TOS statements, can anybody read them? 

    I blame Apple and the rest of the business community. But more, I blame the government for failing to regulate properly. Before an essential service is discontinued a provider SHOULD be required not only to notify, but to confirm that the notification has been received and understood. Otherwise you have situations like this one: where a person has no intent to default but was nonetheless penalized for an oversight of which he was not even aware. 

    You blame the government?  This attitude is exactly why we have the kind of nanny-state, bloated and tyrannical government we do.  The government has nothing to do with this, nor should it.  An essential service?  It's his iCloud and Apple ID, not his power or water bill.  They were disabled on his MacBook because he didn't pay for said MacBook.  He also missed an Apple card payment, changed his bank account without telling them and didn't send his old MacBook back as required.  He violated the agreement 6 ways from Sunday.  Apple did exactly what it should have done.  How would they confirm a notification is received and understood?  My mortgage company doesn't even have to do that.  

    "No intent to default."  Wow, it just keeps getting better.  Do you understand how anything works?  I honestly don't mean to be offensive, but defaulting has nothing to do with intent.  You either pay, or you don't.  In this case, he failed to pay.  OK, that can happen....an oversight.  But he also changed his bank account.  And didn't return his trade-in.  That's a lot of "oversight."   To top it off, he has the cojones to go on Twitter and claim that if you "miss" a payment, they "hold your iCloud hostage."   That is not at all what happened.  

    Sorry, but the job of government is to protect and support its people.  Period.  You can call that anything you want -- including perjoratives like "nanny state".   But, that does not change the essential and necessary role of government.

    In this case, it probably is not a good fit for government intervention.  But to deride all government rules and regulations as a "Nanny state" or "tyrannical" is equally misguided.
    exceptionhandler
  • Reply 15 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 8,964member
    riverko said:
    Working in a bank the scenario is usually similar - clients blame us for their missteps, no matter how hard we explain… Not saying that we don’t make any mistakes…

    Conversely, I've found that far too often customer services reps (not just bank reps), when faced with a complaint, only hear what they want to hear or expect to hear.

    Currently, I've contacted Apple Card support 3 times asking them to correct an error that they made on my card (a message and 2 phone calls).  There has been no response to the message and the phone calls resulted in me being fed a confusing litany of excuses that did not resolve the problem.   Weirdly, the error is in my favor by $90 so I'm not sure why I keep pursuing it.  I guess I need a clean conscious more than I need the $90.  I'm planning on trying one more time today to get them to take their money back.
    exceptionhandler
  • Reply 16 of 27
    entropysentropys Posts: 2,823member
    brassens said:
    “Clear TOS is in the mind of the lawyers who write them. Does anybody read them? With hundreds of things that have TOS statements, can anybody read them? 

    I blame Apple and the rest of the business community. But more, I blame the government for failing to regulate properly. Before an essential service is discontinued a provider SHOULD be required not only to notify, but to confirm that the notification has been received and understood. Otherwise you have situations like this one: where a person has no intent to default but was nonetheless penalized for an oversight of which he was not even aware. 
    Uh my guy, iCloud services are not "essential". They're a computing luxury. An affordable one, but one nonetheless. You can live a full life without ever subscribing to iCloud storage, or Apple Music, etc. 

    Anyway, blaming the service provider for turning off your service after you stopped paying for it is silly.
    But, entitled!
  • Reply 17 of 27
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,285member
    sdw2001 said:
    brassens said:
    “Clear TOS is in the mind of the lawyers who write them. Does anybody read them? With hundreds of things that have TOS statements, can anybody read them? 

    I blame Apple and the rest of the business community. But more, I blame the government for failing to regulate properly. Before an essential service is discontinued a provider SHOULD be required not only to notify, but to confirm that the notification has been received and understood. Otherwise you have situations like this one: where a person has no intent to default but was nonetheless penalized for an oversight of which he was not even aware. 

    You blame the government?  This attitude is exactly why we have the kind of nanny-state, bloated and tyrannical government we do.  The government has nothing to do with this, nor should it.  An essential service?  It's his iCloud and Apple ID, not his power or water bill.  They were disabled on his MacBook because he didn't pay for said MacBook.  He also missed an Apple card payment, changed his bank account without telling them and didn't send his old MacBook back as required.  He violated the agreement 6 ways from Sunday.  Apple did exactly what it should have done.  How would they confirm a notification is received and understood?  My mortgage company doesn't even have to do that.  

    "No intent to default."  Wow, it just keeps getting better.  Do you understand how anything works?  I honestly don't mean to be offensive, but defaulting has nothing to do with intent.  You either pay, or you don't.  In this case, he failed to pay.  OK, that can happen....an oversight.  But he also changed his bank account.  And didn't return his trade-in.  That's a lot of "oversight."   To top it off, he has the cojones to go on Twitter and claim that if you "miss" a payment, they "hold your iCloud hostage."   That is not at all what happened.  

    Sorry, but the job of government is to protect and support its people.  Period.  You can call that anything you want -- including perjoratives like "nanny state".   But, that does not change the essential and necessary role of government.

    In this case, it probably is not a good fit for government intervention.  But to deride all government rules and regulations as a "Nanny state" or "tyrannical" is equally misguided.
    Uhm. No.  The job of government is to safeguard a system whereby people can live and transact business with one another and have a method for resolving disputes.  It is not for regulating and protecting  people from their own failings or failing to live up to the agreements they have signed. 

    Additionally the job is to provide physical protection from external enemies/harm and to combat and prosecute criminal behavior (interestingly the Supreme Court has ruled that the government has no duty to protect or prevent criminal action to or against any individual, but just society in general).  
  • Reply 18 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,426member
    chadbag said:

    Sorry, but the job of government is to protect and support its people.  
    Uhm. No.  The job of government is to safeguard a system whereby people can live and transact business with one another and have a method for resolving disputes. 
    Cool argument guys.  Something as variable and abstract as government does not have a singly defined "job".  If a democratically elected government determines it has a role to fill, if it is not constitutionally or otherwise legally prohibited from doing so, and the people tolerate the imposition by not removing their representatives, then it's doing its job.
    MplsPmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 8,964member
    chadbag said:
    sdw2001 said:
    brassens said:
    “Clear TOS is in the mind of the lawyers who write them. Does anybody read them? With hundreds of things that have TOS statements, can anybody read them? 

    I blame Apple and the rest of the business community. But more, I blame the government for failing to regulate properly. Before an essential service is discontinued a provider SHOULD be required not only to notify, but to confirm that the notification has been received and understood. Otherwise you have situations like this one: where a person has no intent to default but was nonetheless penalized for an oversight of which he was not even aware. 

    You blame the government?  This attitude is exactly why we have the kind of nanny-state, bloated and tyrannical government we do.  The government has nothing to do with this, nor should it.  An essential service?  It's his iCloud and Apple ID, not his power or water bill.  They were disabled on his MacBook because he didn't pay for said MacBook.  He also missed an Apple card payment, changed his bank account without telling them and didn't send his old MacBook back as required.  He violated the agreement 6 ways from Sunday.  Apple did exactly what it should have done.  How would they confirm a notification is received and understood?  My mortgage company doesn't even have to do that.  

    "No intent to default."  Wow, it just keeps getting better.  Do you understand how anything works?  I honestly don't mean to be offensive, but defaulting has nothing to do with intent.  You either pay, or you don't.  In this case, he failed to pay.  OK, that can happen....an oversight.  But he also changed his bank account.  And didn't return his trade-in.  That's a lot of "oversight."   To top it off, he has the cojones to go on Twitter and claim that if you "miss" a payment, they "hold your iCloud hostage."   That is not at all what happened.  

    Sorry, but the job of government is to protect and support its people.  Period.  You can call that anything you want -- including perjoratives like "nanny state".   But, that does not change the essential and necessary role of government.

    In this case, it probably is not a good fit for government intervention.  But to deride all government rules and regulations as a "Nanny state" or "tyrannical" is equally misguided.
    Uhm. No.  The job of government is to safeguard a system whereby people can live and transact business with one another and have a method for resolving disputes.  It is not for regulating and protecting  people from their own failings or failing to live up to the agreements they have signed. 

    Additionally the job is to provide physical protection from external enemies/harm and to combat and prosecute criminal behavior (interestingly the Supreme Court has ruled that the government has no duty to protect or prevent criminal action to or against any individual, but just society in general).  

    Yeh, and part of it is to protect the nation and its people from the banksters who crashed our economy in 2008 -- and that's done with rules and regulations.  The stock market is the same:  it is only trusted because of the rules and regulations that protect investors from fraud and chicanery.

    So, yes, the job of government is to protect and support its people.  Otherwise it serves no purpose.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 8,964member
    crowley said:
    chadbag said:

    Sorry, but the job of government is to protect and support its people.  
    Uhm. No.  The job of government is to safeguard a system whereby people can live and transact business with one another and have a method for resolving disputes. 
    Cool argument guys.  Something as variable and abstract as government does not have a singly defined "job".  If a democratically elected government determines it has a role to fill, if it is not constitutionally or otherwise legally prohibited from doing so, and the people tolerate the imposition by not removing their representatives, then it's doing its job.

    Well said.
    He was coming from the Libertarian philosophy of limited government.  I understand it.   In fact I was taught economics from a department run by one who was, at that time, one of the formost experts on Libertarian economics.   And, to me as a 20 year old it made sense.   These days though I take a broader perspective and I see its limitations along with its benefits.
    neilm
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