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Amidst the rocky .Mac to MobileMe transition last week, Apple made one other mistake that it is now apologizing for. Apple had been preauthorizing charges up to 121 GBP to European customers who signed up for a free MobileMe trial. For debit accounts, this preauthorization charge may actually remove that amount of money from the customer's available balance. Apple is working on reversing those preauthorizations and sent out new apology letters to those customers.
Dear MobileMe Member,

Apple has identified and resolved an issue that caused an incorrect, temporary authorization hold of 121 GBP to be placed on your credit or debit card when your MobileMe trial account was created. We have addressed the issue and want to apologize for any inconvenience.

Typically when you create a new trial account, your credit or debit card is verified by authorizing a small charge (equivalent to USD $1). Unfortunately, an error caused the incorrect amount to be preauthorized for your card. Be assured that this is not a charge, but only an authorization hold. The hold is released by the card-issuing bank after a predetermined period, usually between a week and a month. Where possible, Apple is working to have these holds removed earlier.

To show our appreciation for your continued loyalty, we have extended your free trial period by 30 days. This extension is in addition to the 30-day extension of which you were notified on July 16, for a total of 120 days of free MobileMe service.

Look for the extension to be reflected in your account settings in the next few weeks. You may now enjoy MobileMe free of charge until [November 8th, 2008], after which your annual paid subscription will begin.

Thank you for being a MobileMe customer.

Sincerely,
The MobileMe Team
Apple is now offering those affected an additional 30 days to their trial service above and beyond the original 30 day extension for the rocky transition. As a result, affected users will get a total of 120 days of free trial MobileMe service before they are required to start their subscription.


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ppc_michael

Guest
Apr 26, 2005
1,498
2
Los Angeles, CA
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5A347 Safari/525.20)

What is it with their web services being so doomed?
 
Comment

ImNoSuperMan

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2005
1,219
64
I do not like apple apologizing every other day. It`s not going to help them increase their brand value. Once in a while is good but not every week. It was a small error. They rectified it, that should be it. No real need for another 30 day extension. I know those who get it will be happy but no one would have buzzed if no such freebie was awarded. They pleased the one percent of their potential customers but for the rest of the potential buyers mobileme is sounding more and more like a mess with troubles showing up everyday.
 
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BillyBobBongo

macrumors 68030
Jun 21, 2007
2,522
1,101
On The Interweb Thingy!
Wow...top time to be a trial user!

Great customer service from Apple. They could have ignored the trial users but chose to win them over with a huge freebie.

Regrettably my trial period is long over.....but it's the thought that counts! :D
 
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ClaphamChris

macrumors regular
May 7, 2003
103
0
London, UK
30 days extension for launch problems.

30 days extension for card authorisation problems.

Erm, doesn't that make a total of 60 days, not 120?

Applaud the sentiment, but the maths being out the window here suggests some significant panic and haste over at MobileMe.

ETA: Scratch that - see what they mean now. Adding in the original 60-day trial too....
 
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cybaeye

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2008
2
0
I do not like apple apologizing every other day. It`s not going to help them increase their brand value. Once in a while is good but not every week. It was a small error. They rectified it, that should be it. No real need for another 30 day extension. I know those who get it will be happy but no one would have buzzed if no such freebie was awarded. They pleased the one percent of their potential customers but for the rest of the potential buyers mobileme is sounding more and more like a mess with troubles showing up everyday.

It's not a small error for some people. it's £121 and if it's not expected then there's the possibility that it may tip a finely balanced bank account in to the red and therefore triggering bank charges. Authorisation amount or not, the banking system will deduct £121, possibly for a month.

They needed to take this very seriously and they did.
 
Comment

saab

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2008
19
0
sweden
I'm just curious...

Is this the "new" Apple?

How long before I have to update Mac OS X through iTunes?

How long before Apple decides what apps I can run on my Mac?

How long before I have to get a credit card and give away the info to Apple just to download the next version of Firefox to my Mac?

People were raising this concern in the forums at Apple support pages, and the posts were removed. For example, one person asked how he could buy the update for his iPod Touch. He could buy the device in his country, but there was no iTunes Store for him to use so he couldn't update it. Could he buy the software in a normal store selling Apple stuff? No. Could he use gift cards to buy the stuff? No.

I just beginning to have a bad feeling about this whole "you have to have a credit card and register in iTunes" situation...
 
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haunebu

macrumors regular
Jun 2, 2004
154
512
California
They needed to take this very seriously and they did.

Great customer service from Apple. They could have ignored the trial users but chose to win them over with a huge freebie.

Regrettably my trial period is long over.....but it's the thought that counts! :D


You people are kidding, right? Giving away an additional 30 days is an acceptable response? Give me a break.

Yes, the number of people who suddenly find their bank account in the red is going to be significant. We're talking almost $250 here. Plenty of people that keep less than that in their checking account for security reasons alone (much less those who can't afford to keep that extra money in there).

Apple needs to pay for any and all bank fees promptly, and make sure that these people have access to their funds immediately. I don't know many people that feel like loaning an extremely wealthy corporation $250 for up to a month.

And what are they getting instead? An extended free trial. Jesus.
 
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dogtanian

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2007
379
0
Bournemouth, UK
Apple can 'apologize' all they like, but until they find the UK dictionary on their Mac's they may as well forget it.

I'm still struggling to see the benefits of the service for the price but some things never change...
 
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tallyho

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2004
634
8
UK
"Isn't that great? We've been working on that for a while. I think we finally got it right."
Steve Jobs, 9 June 2008
 
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irun5k

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2005
379
0
Apple needs to pay for any and all bank fees promptly, and make sure that these people have access to their funds immediately. I don't know many people that feel like loaning an extremely wealthy corporation $250 for up to a month.

Well, this is pretty bad, but not nearly as bad as you are explaining it. Apple didn't get loaned $250 and customers didn't get charged $250. You are misunderstanding what an authorization hold on a card is.
 
Comment

ClaphamChris

macrumors regular
May 7, 2003
103
0
London, UK
Well, this is pretty bad, but not nearly as bad as you are explaining it. Apple didn't get loaned $250 and customers didn't get charged $250. You are misunderstanding what an authorization hold on a card is.

While Apple haven't taken the money, it's not available to the cardholder, perhaps for as much as a month. And the amount of the authorisation is equivalent to two full years subscription.

So a free trial stops you accessing the full cost of the service for two years from your own bank account for up to a month. OK, the money never actually leaves, but you can't spend it as it's preauthorised. Truly dreadful for people who are on a tight budget.
 
Comment

Veri

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2007
611
0
I do not like apple apologizing every other day. It`s not going to help them increase their brand value. Once in a while is good but not every week.
Everyone makes mistakes. Busy people usually have more opportunities to make mistakes. Now Apple have been unusually busy in the last fortnight, so I'd expect a greater number of messes to clear up. The correct way in my eyes, which preserves brand image, is to acknowledge, apologise and rectify, and make sure that a similar mistake does not recur. (Now apologise for thinking that additional terms after exchange of consideration are moral and I'll be happy with you again ;-).

It was a small error. They rectified it, that should be it. No real need for another 30 day extension. I know those who get it will be happy but no one would have buzzed if no such freebie was awarded.
I'm not sure how blocking access to at least $250 in your current (checking) account, if you're using a debit card, or $250 of credit, if you're using a credit card, is "a small error". Giving someone cc details is, in the short term, similar to handing them a wallet full of cash and saying "I trust you to take the right amount"; a smaller merchant would certainly be spanked by his card service provider for this.

Anyway, a friend tried signing up several times to the MobileMe trial during the period of half-down-time (I guess it was all processed, bar being delivered the "done" page, but this wasn't obvious!) and ended up with several such charges applied to an account in which he kept few funds. I ended up finding a signup page which didn't require any payment details.
 
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spriter

macrumors 65816
May 13, 2004
1,460
585
MobileMe is getting quite the reputation for being a total shambles. I could accept server problems upon rollout. Redefining 'Push' was not good. Holding £121? Damaging at best.

Is it me, or did Apple's QA and Customer Service take a severe downturn these past few years?
 
Comment

ATG

macrumors regular
Aug 7, 2005
187
0
Well, this is pretty bad, but not nearly as bad as you are explaining it. Apple didn't get loaned $250 and customers didn't get charged $250. You are misunderstanding what an authorization hold on a card is.
No I think you are. If I can't use £121 of the funds in my bank account, then that's as equivalent to apple taking £121 and paying it back when they cancel the hold. I can't use the money.
 
Comment

NStocks

macrumors 68000
Apr 3, 2008
1,543
16
England
If I got the trial of Mobileme, today in the very near future ( 2 months ), i take it the payment subscription should be ok, and I will just get a 30 day trial. Does Apple notify you beofre they go on and take money out the bank, to subscribe to it after the trial period has ended. Is it easy to say ' No ' before any money it taken out?

NStocks
 
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irun5k

macrumors 6502
Jan 14, 2005
379
0
Truly dreadful for people who are on a tight budget.

Agree 100%. I was just trying to clear up the mischaracterization of the OP, who thought (or wanted people to think) that the money had actually been removed. I suspect this would have been an even bigger mess, because Apple would have to put the money back, and after they did that, it could take a few days more to clear.

Either way, a buggy launch is one thing, goofing with peoples credit cards is another. This is why I am ALWAYS SKEPTICAL of "free" trials that require a credit card!!!
 
Comment

winterspan

macrumors 65816
Jun 12, 2007
1,008
0
You people are kidding, right? Giving away an additional 30 days is an acceptable response? Give me a break.

Yes, the number of people who suddenly find their bank account in the red is going to be significant. We're talking almost $250 here. Plenty of people that keep less than that in their checking account for security reasons alone (much less those who can't afford to keep that extra money in there). Apple needs to pay for any and all bank fees promptly, and make sure that these people have access to their funds immediately. I don't know many people that feel like loaning an extremely wealthy corporation $250 for up to a month.


No one is "loaning" any money to anyone. Apple ran authorizations on the cards, NOT charges! I don't think you understand how this works. Although depending on the bank/provider, they may lower your *available* balance by the amount of the authorization, it is NOT a charge, and therefore should NOT create overage charges or cause anyone to go "in the red". If the prior account balance was lower than the authorized amount, then the authorization should just not go through. That's at least how I understand it.

I do not like apple apologizing every other day. It`s not going to help them increase their brand value. Once in a while is good but not every week. It was a small error. They rectified it, that should be it. No real need for another 30 day extension. I know those who get it will be happy but no one would have buzzed if no such freebie was awarded. They pleased the one percent of their potential customers but for the rest of the potential buyers mobileme is sounding more and more like a mess with troubles showing up everyday.

I agree to at least some extent, you don't want to emphasize your mistakes, but on the other hand, they are showing off good customer service. Many (most?) companies are extremely arrogant, they will screw you on something and then not even apologize.
 
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