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March 19, 2009

My love affair with Apple is back on!

Last Thursday, I wrote that MobileMe deleted all of my data when my account expired because I hadn't updated the credit-card information in my account. When I had contacted MobileMe support I was told that my data was gone forever and there was no way to restore it. I was quite distraught.

Well, I have good news to report! On Tuesday, Mike from MobileMe Support called me to say that they had been made aware that I was less than pleased to find all my data gone when I tried to renew my MobileMe subscription. He said that MobileMe engineers would be able to recover my data and that they would set me up with a temporary three day account so I could download and backup the data myself. Much relieved, I told Mike to go ahead and bill me for the full subscription. That's right, I'm a paying MobileMe customer once again.

After going through some account verification protocols for Mike to confirm that I was really the owner of the account, he had the MobileMe engineers begin restoring my data from "the vault." After the initial phone conversation, Mike and I coordinated the rest of my account restore over email. In the final email Mike made sure to remind me that "... this recovery was an exception to the MobileMe Terms of Service, which advise that MobileMe members are responsible for backing up their own data. Apple will not be able to offer future exceptions of this nature... To prevent data loss in the future, we strongly suggest that you back up your iDisk files regularly to your Mac, a flash drive, or other storage device. The more backups you have, the more protected you are. I urge you to back up this data right away." Needless to say I'm backing up my iDisk to my MacbookPro right now with rsync.

I'm very lucky this all has a happy ending. This situation isn't really unique to MobileMe and I can't blame them. They were, after all, simply following the ToS that I agreed to (but of course didn't read) when I signed-up seven years ago. Let this be a lesson to everyone to never keep only one copy of your data no matter how much you might trust that one copy--nobody's perfect. Hopefully my initial overblown reaction to this doesn't damage MobileMe or Apple's reputation in anyway. Of course without my overblown reaction I probably wouldn't have gotten my data back. ;-)

March 12, 2009

Apple, you've broken my heart. :`(

So I had been using Apple's iDisk service since back when it was the free iTools incarnation. When they switched it to .Mac back in 2002 and started charging for the service, I was happy to give them my credit card number to continue using the service. I have been a paying customer for nearly 7 years now. Well the credit card number I had given them expired, as they are apt to do after 7 years. I didn't realize this happened since I had long since switched to gmail as my primary email account. I have all my various email accounts funneling into my gmail account so I never noticed that I stopped getting my @mac.com email. Well today I realized my (now MobileMe) subscription had lapsed when I tried to access my iDisk and it wouldn't mount. Apparently this is the first time I've tried to access it in a couple months. When I logged into me.com it gave me an account "reactivation" page. So I dutifully filled my new credit card number and info. With my account reactivated--woohoo--I mounted my iDisk and then to my absolute horror found it completely empty. SEVEN YEARS OF DATA GONE!!!! That data on my iDisk pretty much only existed on my iDisk. Foolish me, I trusted Apple with the data I didn't trust my own harddrives to keep safe. After spending 20 minutes trying to figure out how to contact MobileMe support I finally found the "webchat with a support representative." Adrian (my support rep) chatted me that since my account was inactive for 30 days everything was deleted from their servers with no means whatsoever to restore it. No backups--nothing they can do. I'm SOL. Yes, thats SEVEN YEARS OF DATA GONE after only 30 days!! I paid them $99 a year for seven years, and because I didn't pay attention for just 30 days, they murdered all of my data. I wish Apple would have paid me a fraction of the loyalty I have paid them all these years. Apparently 3 iPods, 1 iPhone, 7 powerbooks/macbook pros (plus one more for my girlfriend's mother), 4 paid OS X upgrades, a handful of iPhone apps, and dozens of songs on the iTunes Music Store weren't good enough.

Upon searching my gmail inbox of 539 unread emails, I discovered that Apple did send me two emails letting me know that my credit card info was invalid. They contained the phrases "Please update your credit card information in your MobileMe Account to avoid interruption of service." and "If your account cannot be renewed, your access will be restricted to email only and will be turned off completely 15 days after expiration." I never would have equated "interruption of service" or "access will be restricted" to ZOMG ALL YER DATAS WILL BE GONE FOREVARZ!!!!!!!! I seriously can't believe it's gone. Even Blizzard doesn't delete your World of Warcraft characters when you cancel your subscription. Why? Because they know you'd never come back if they did. Needless to say I have canceled my newly reactivated account and will watch carefully to make sure they refund my money, or I guarantee you I will be calling Visa to block the charge.