Apple support – it’s best to call

I have a problem with my iTunes store account and trying to fix it has been slightly more painful than it needs to be.

Problem is twofold. Firstly that the iTunes store decided my iPad that I’ve used many times before was a “strange device” and therefore initiated a security alert –

Code Amber: New Device - Dive, Dive, Dive - Initiate Omega Protocol - Retina Scan failed....

To overcome this it insisted in bright red colour that I enter the CVV security code from the back of the credit card used for purchases. That would be fine except that the card in question had recently expired and been replaced by a new one from the bank. The old one had been destroyed and is now landfill. Apparently unable to go any further I followed the instructions to send a message to Apple support.

First response was vanilla instructions on how to edit payment information. I’d already tried that and wasn’t allowed to get that far without the missing CVV code. I replied using even simpler language.

Second response from Punitha the support robot was to tell me that Apple don’t fix problems with credit cards and I should talk to my bank and ask them why my security code is being rejected?$!

Interestingly, in the first mail Punitha was calling me Lan and now she’s calling me Scattergood.

Probably Unhelpful Non-human Interface That Helps Apple  ?

I’m then faced with the odious but common task of finding English speaking help on a Polish based problem. After some hunting I find a phone number for Apple support and the very cheerful Andre helps me out. Or at least he may have done, I need to log out, log in and do the hokey-pokey when I get home.

Andre’s confirmation mail tells me I cannot contact him again because his job is phones. Also that I may need to make an appointment with a genius at a genius bar. Do they have those in Poland yet?

Obviously this is just me turning into a grumpy old man but isn’t life way more complicated than it needs to be these days? I thought the general idea of technology was to make our lives easier but far too often the opposite seems true – we need to help technology rather than it helping us. And where are the damned home-help robots we were promised?


9 thoughts on “Apple support – it’s best to call

  1. Normally the request to verify the CVV code pops up when the funding source doesn’t accept a charge Apple wants to put on it. I have this happen occasionally because I use an “Internet VISA” card that I often load/unload as needed and occasionally forget to put enough cash on it for a purchase. When it pops up, I usually pop a bit of cash on the card, enter the CVV code, and click the ok/done button and normally it’s ok at that point.

    I would think that you could simply enter an all-new credit card. If that doesn’t work you could always switch your funding source to NONE (the last option after VISA, MC, and AMEX)… however if there really is a charge that’s pending it may complain about this; I don’t know.

    BTW, isn’t Zosia old enough to deal with all this stuff for you? :)

  2. Brad – there is paypal in Poland but I shy away from it because of the language issues. Could use a UK based paypal account I would guess. Could also try a service called ‘skrill’ (was moneybookers – have used them for many things)

    Brad – what are you using as the internet visa?

  3. Ian – you sounded remarkably calm in the face of one of these modern Catch-22 situations designed to drive us all towards nervous breakdowns. I think the computer companies, utilities suppliers, and all the other b@st@ards, have hefty shareholdings in Big Pharma.

  4. Yes we do have and you can get it to speak English too but all that does is act as a step between Apple and my credit card. The support guy said he doesn’t use a card because of all the security hassle he just keeps topping up with Apple “gift vouchers” or whatever they call those things. I use those to send Zosia’s account some credit.

    Anyway, I have managed to completely change the card details and it seems to be working as I just bought some credits for my Strikefleet Omega war chest! ;)

  5. Just to be clear, Paypal is definitely not available for the iTunes store in Poland. You can, of course, create a US account, have a Paypal account in the US …AND… have a credit card or bank account tied to that Paypal account in the US. Then you’d be able to use that US iTunes account with the US Paypal account and the US credit card or bank account Paypal funding source …but that is way too much trouble to buy candy crush saga or whatever ridiculous game is popular this afternoon.

    rjblockBob: mBank in Poland offers an “Internet VISA” card. It’s loaded/unloaded via their website with two-factor authentication being done via SMSs to your (my) verified mobile phone number. It’s instantaneous.

    Ian: I don’t think we have iTunes gift cards here or, if we do, I’ve never seen them. If we do, someone is welcome to pipe up and tell me about it cause I’d be more than happy to pick up a few. When I visit the US or UK (rarely, unfortunately) I get a few cards so that I can get the rare US or UK-only pay-for apps.

  6. Brad, not sure exactly what they are called but I’ll check. I have more than once sent money as a gift to my daughters itunes account. This has been done from within my account and you choose from a set series of values – 10, 20, 50 Euro or whatever.

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