[Please Note] I have republished this blog post and updated it on Medium.
Apple is a company I became a huge fan of in 2010 after receiving an iPad as a gift. In fact, I started this original blog, which I later turned into a personal website, around this time (called mlata26.wordpress.com at the time). I still adore the iPad and my iMac. I love Apple hardware, at least certain Apple hardware, but the software and service side of the equation is a different story.
Lately, I have been having a major issue with my iTunes and App Store account. I use a family member’s account from the US so that I can have access to all US-based and English-language apps as well as the cheaper price point they go for than here in Poland. Even though this does not circumvent geoblocking entirely, since services such as Netflix and even Apple Music check your IP address and will only allow you to access the content they want you to access from it.
However, I still prefer to use a US account and spent most of my life in the US. There was never a problem with this until recently. All of a sudden, a couple of days ago I cannot make any new purchases or rentals on iTunes (such as movie rentals) or the App Store. This even may prevent me from being able to withdraw money from Binance, at least when using an iOS device, which I always do since I am hardly ever at home. This is because Binance requires some sort of Google verification app to withdraw to your bank account.
So all of a sudden, when I try to make a purchase, I get these two screens below (note I am blacking out the personal details of my family contact):
It asks me to sign in again even though I already have a Paypal account from the US associated with my Apple account and I’ve never previously had problems with purchases.
However, Apple has no option from me to sign in from this screen. When I sign in separately on a browser, nothing changes. When I press done, nothing happens. Keep in mind that this is a separate screen form me going to settings. This screen appears when I try to make a purchase. However, even when separately going into my settings screen and trying to enter this information, remove my paypal account or switch regions, the same issue arises. I can only update apps, but not make any new purchases or new downloads of even free apps.
So I came upon the idea of trying to cancel this Paypal account and either open it again or change regions and add my own Paypal account from Poland to my Apple ID. However, due to me having an Apple Music subscription and no option existing of canceling it on the spot (you have to wait until the subscription time period elapses, which would put me in July), I am stuck.
I guess my only options are either to wait for this Apple Music subscription to elapse and never sign up again to one of Apple’s services (remember they will soon be all about services as that is Apple’s current mantra). Or, have my family in the states try inputting a separate method via a credit card, but I do not feel comfortable sharing this over email or facebook Messenger and it is extra work, which may not even work.
I really think the source of this weird security change and me being prompted to sign into the Paypal account I am relying on for purchases is due to me recently changing my Apple ID password. I did this after sending an iPhone in for repairs (the battery was not accepting charging cables and would drain increidbly fast) and giving them access to my iPhone account. However, it is very strange that it asks me to sign in again and not offering a way to do this directly. It even says this Apple ID is already added when I try to separately add the same account:
“This payment method has already been added to your account.”
So if that is the case why can’t I use it. Why does it ask me to sign in, but not give me an option to?
Thanks a lot Apple for treating one of your loyal customers for years this way and having such backwards of a service and subscription odel in place, particularly among different regions of the world. The bottom line is that Apple should fix their services and payment options before going full in with their services packages they are proposing for their userbase.
Keep in mind Apple is heavily moving into TV subscription services and soon will be offering gaming subscription service called Apple Arcade that will launch in the fall. However, it really needs to iron out the kinks before someone like me delves into these services or considers them. Apple Music is already making me have second thoughts. AppStore/iTunes aspects like changing a country region, cancelling a subscription or putting it on hold right away without waiting for some timer to go off and offering flexible payment methods as well as methods of changing regions, are a must.
By the way, it appears that I am not the only one having such issues with Apple:
 It seems the problem has been solved, at least for me and for the time being. I am not sure if Apple heard my call and read this post, but I was able to change the payment method all of a sudden recently. So if you run into this issue, keep trying.
With that said let me move onto another huge issue I am having related to Apple support for legacy hardware and operating systems this time:
An issue that can be quite annoying to someone like me who is a vintage and retro hardware enthusiast is Apple’s support of older hardware and operating systems. This is a bit of a shame as Microsoft supports Windows, despite all of its trials and tribulations (particularly malware and viruses) for many years. If I recall, it was only recently that Microsoft declared Windows XP not to be supported any longer (and it still may be up to a point or date they specified) as many enterprises, particularly in poorer countries, rely on it.
I have a 2009 iMac hooked up to my HDTV that I mostly use in Windows 7 Bootcamp mode to play games on and emulators. However, its hardware is still quite impressive and it beats out my two (one malfunctioning completely due to SSD failure) Macbook Airs I own from 2012 and 2014. It even came with a dedicated GPU, although now very outdated being the Radeon HD 4670.
The thing is I cannot update the Snow Leopard OS. When I click on the Apple icon on the upper left corner of my desktop and look for an update, it says my system is up to date. However, when I try installing it from the App Store, I cannot due to not being able to even log in with my account I have been using for the last 10 years or so.
This is really strange because it will ask me to log into iTunes or my Apple account, but never actually log in when I enter my current App Store/iTunes passwords. It just gives me errors like my password needs to be reset and even when I reset it, it will not let me log in as it requires a two-factor authorization and these authorizations do not show up on any of my devices for me to have an input code.
Apparently, this is somewhat of a common issue. I cannot even access the App Store or log in in any way to it on Snow Leopard. So this is really a big issue for me as I still want to make use of my iMac beyond it being a Windows 7 (via Bootcamp) gaming machine. Apparently, there may be a solution I have not tried yet and hopefully it works when I do and this solution is entering a password then some sort o verification code if I actually get it.
Here are a couple of short videos I made of these issues showing how it will not update or let me access my account. As you see it gives me an error in red letters and inside the username and password selection window (underneath these fields) even when I select the correct username and password. But due to two-factor authentication, it won’t let me log in.
It is clear Apple does not care very much about supporting legacy hardware and making it easier or even compatible with new software or even be able to update it’s OS to a newer version hassle-free. I am not necessarily asking to update my 2009 iMac to the latest MacOS, but at least something newer than Snow Leopard, which Starcraft 2 is no longer even compatible with, but once was so i know it is very playable on the hardware.
This goes to show that the largest and most profitable companies still have not worked out all the kings when it comes to customer service and retrntion of legacy customers. They made be lagging in the online and subscription or digital distribution network support for these customers and legacy system users and often care more about the bottom line then their overall image or customer retention.
Supporting legacy hardware, software, operating systems and games should not hurt a company’s bottom line, only help it and help earn it more staying power and a good reputation amongst its fans.