Why Is Apple Asking for These Documents to Change the Address on a Developer Account?

I have an Apple developer account so I can access beta software for macOS and iOS. I’ve had this account for more than ten years, while living in two countries. In the UK, where I live now, I’m at my third address in six years.

It was time to renew my account, so I went to the Apple developer website to pay for the coming year, and I noticed that I hadn’t changed my address the last time I moved. I proceeded to do so, and was then told that I’d need to upload a document with proof of my address to Apple, something that was never asked before. Here’s the email I received:

Apple dev

I am certainly not uploading a scan of any official government-issued document to any website; I don’t trust anyone to hold on to data that sensitive. (In addition, living in the EU, there are GDPR issues that don’t seem to be addressed.) I’d be happy to upload a utility statement, but certainly not a bank statement. Apple is asking for very sensitive information here, and I find this disturbing.

But why do they even ask for this? This is the first time that they have done so. And what if the account is in the name of a company?

Another point: they only accept documents in nine languages (Brazilian Portuguese, and not Portuguese Portuguese?). What do people in other countries do? Or is it possible that they don’t ask for this document in other countries?

Finally, the upload link doesn’t even work.

Not found

I’m a bit disturbed by this. Apple is requesting very sensitive documents, giving no information about how they are being handled, whether they are compliant with GDPR rules for these documents, and not even saying why they need these documents.

AppleCare Support is Broken

As a fairly knowledgeable Mac and iOS user, I’m generally the go-to guy for people I know who are looking for solutions to their problems. I’ve been writing about Macs and iOS devices for more than fifteen years, and a lot of my work has been around troubleshooting, and explaining to users how to accomplish tasks, or work around problems. As such, I don’t often need to contact AppleCare.

I buy AppleCare contracts for my Macs, and for my iPhones (for my current iPhone, this is included in the package I purchased through the Apple iPhone Upgrade program).

When I have issues with my Macs or iOS devices, I can generally figure them out. I search online, post in forums, and, in most cases, I find solutions. But there are times when I can’t find solutions, and I turn to AppleCare.

In the past couple of years, I’ve had several issues that involved contacting AppleCare. The front-link staff is generally amiable, and try to be helpful, but given that I can generally resolve simple issues, I almost always get bumped up to the next level, to senior advisors. And these senior advisors always start by reading a script, saying that they will “take ownership of my case” and ensure me that they will help resolve my issue.

Until they don’t.

Several times in the past couple of years, I’ve had cases where senior advisors give me hope, have me send data to them, then nothing happens. They just drop the cases. There is no further communication, no information, nothing. They just forget me. On their end, they probably close the cases so they can juke the stats. And I don’t get that common request for feedback regarding my case, so they don’t get negative feedback.

In one case, I was having battery issues on a MacBook, which dragged on and on, as it was hard to figure out exactly what was happening. I eventually traded that MacBook in to buy a new MacBook Pro, because it wasn’t worth my hassling with Apple’s support any more.

For another case, the senior advisor sent me an app to collect data – which totaled about 650 MB – that I was to send to Apple via a webpage. I tried many times and was never able to send the data; the connection would drop each time before the transmission completed. (I have 1 Mbps upload speed, making large uploads extremely difficult.)

My most recent case is more than two weeks old. I found I could no longer log into my Mac mini with my MacBook Pro to run Time Machine backups to an external disk connected to that Mac. The first-line technician started a screen-sharing session, which allowed me to show him the issue, and bumped me up to the next level, saying he couldn’t explain what was happening, and had never seen this before. The second line technician started a screen-sharing session, but wouldn’t let me go through the entire process to show what was happening, and I was quite annoyed at having to deal with someone who clearly didn’t care about my issue. She said she would call me back in a day or two, after consuming with engineering.

And that’s the general result of my contacts with AppleCare. They “consult with engineering,” promise to call back, and never do.

I have had a couple of senior advisors who have followed up on my cases, helping me resolve issues, but for most of the problems I have had in the past couple of years, I have been ignored, and had to figure out my own workarounds.

Apple touts their high rate of customer satisfaction, but this is probably because so many issues can either be resolved by front-line support technicians, or in-store; my nearest Apple Store is an hour away, and, for my latest issue, going to a store wouldn’t help, because the issue involves connecting to another Mac on my local network.

AppleCare is expensive, and I feel that I’m getting cheater, at least for issues that aren’t hardware related. AppleCare is broken and needs to be fixed.

(If you’ve had this problem, please post a comment below. I’d like to be able to forward some information about this to Apple.)

It’s Time to Cancel your Apple News+ Trial Subscription

Like many people, I signed up for a 30-day free trial of Apple News+ the day it was announced. While I like the idea, I don’t feel it’s worth $10 a month for what it offers. (Read my first look at Apple News+.) So I’ve cancelled my subscription.

It’s not always easy to find how to manage and cancel subscriptions you’ve signed up for with Apple (but read this article to find out more), but with Apple News+, it’s actually quite simple.

Open the Apple News app. On the Mac, look at the bottom of the sidebar; on iOS, tap Following, and look at the bottom of the list of channels. You’ll see something like this:

Sidebar

Tap Manage Subscriptions, and you’ll see this:

Cancel

Tap Cancel Free Trial, and confirm your cancellation. Note that Apple tells me that I’ll miss out on “more than 200 magazines,” whereas when they presented the service, they said there were around 300.

Confirm

Apple has been a bit aggressive, showing me this on all my devices whenever I open the News app.

Sure

I’ve tapped No Thanks. I don’t know what it would take to get me to pay $10 a month for Apple News+. More magazines, perhaps, but also the ability to view content from the different magazines on their websites, which is not currently possible.

How to Manage iTunes Store and App Store Subscriptions

There are lots of subscriptions you can purchase from Apple. They may be for services such as Apple Music and Apple News+. You may have subscriptions for specific apps that function on a monthly or annual payment. Or you may have subscriptions to third-party services—such as HBO NOW, Hulu, Pandora, or Spotify—that you’ve purchased through the iTunes Store.

It’s easy to manage these subscriptions once you find where to go. In this article, I’ll show you how to access information about your iTunes Store and App Store subscriptions, and how to cancel them.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Reset the Advertising Identifier on your Mac, iOS Device, or Apple TV

In this week’s episode of the Intego Mac Podcast, we discussed the “advertising identifier,” a unique identifier assigned to each Mac, iOS device, and Apple TV. The subject came up because the Mozilla foundation is calling on Apple to reset this identifier once a month.

The advertising identifier on an Apple device does not identify you personally, but it can be used by advertisers to create a profile about you. If it’s never reset, that profile increases in detail, allowing advertisers to target ads to you based on your Internet activity.

Mozilla’s point is that resetting this identifier prevents advertisers from developing rather detailed profiles on users, and is simple to do. It’s not a hardware identifier (such as the EMEI of your iPhone), but rather a number generated by your operating system.

However, you can manually reset this advertising identifier, and it’s a good idea to do so regularly. Here’s how.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 79: Solving a problem that isn’t there

Breaking news: folding phones are out, and they’re breaking. Is this a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist? We also discuss the possibility of Apple creating a Find My Everything app, and we look at advertising identifiers on iOS device, and Mozilla’s campaign to get Apple to change them every month.

Check out <a href=”http://podcast.intego.com/79”>the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.