TL;DR: This blog post is my last desperate plea to anyone with any contacts at Apple to please pass this info on to someone that might be able to help before I give up and abandon my online persona and thousands of dollars of apps and media.
For a while now my Apple ID, iCloud Account, and everything associated with them has been less than perfect.
It started during the beta of iCloud, years ago. Synced things would intermittently duplicate or disappear: notes, to-dos, and bookmarks, etc. Every few weeks I’d open up Safari to find my bookmarks duplicated, sometimes dozens of times. At the time I laughed about it, it was a funny bug. And I wrote it off a beta-weirdness. Things would surely improve as it matured, I thought.
Then, maybe four years ago, my Address Book picked up the weirdness too. It would randomly mix info from various contacts. This lead to some very awkward phone calls and text messages – thankfully nothing too embarrassing.
Last year, things got really crazy when my account started getting disabled. Sometime in 2014 my Apple ID was “disabled for security reasons”. Then it happened again after a month or so. Then it was weekly. Then daily. And it has remained this way for months.
A disabled account means that anything that requires authentication (buying apps, logging into the developer site, iTunes Connect, etc.) is inaccessible unless I first go through the many steps of reactivating the account using my 2-factor recovery key and a trusted device. It’s very slow, very inconvenient, and more than tad frustrating.
Sometime during all this I started calling Apple support for help. The folks at Apple are, without fail, 100% the nicest support folks around. And most calls end in hopeful solutions. Some were things I tried (e.g. logging out and back in on all devices, disabling various things, password changes, 2-factor, etc.), some where things Apple tried (some “corrupted info” was found once and corrected, a filter was added for forged email bounces, etc.). However the end results are always the same, iCloud continues to corrupt my data, and my account is disabled often.
Recently a new issue has cropped up: trusted devices that are used to sign in to tho two-factor-auth have disappeared from the account. When this happens I get an email that says, “when you erase a device it will be removed from your list of trusted devices.” And in case you’re wondering: No, I have not erased this device – or any device – recently. Calls about this issue have not been very productive (Apple claims that there is nothing wrong with the account, the device was never a trusted device, and the email is not from them). So far it’s just an inconvenience of re-adding the devices, although I think if they’re all removed it will be a real problem. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
I’ve had this account since Apple introduced accounts. It’s my first name, an asset for someone doing business online so much. Well over a decade of music, movies, and apps were bought with this account. It’s my developer account with several apps registered to it. But as hard as it would be to abandon my online persona and the vast amount software and media I’ve invested in, I’m considering it.
If I can’t find the a solution before I get the new iPhone in a few weeks, then I’m just going to leave it for dead. I’d like the new phone to be completely free of any traces of this account or problems. On the day I get the new phone I’m also going to reformat all of my Macs and other devices and start fresh.
Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way.
If someone in the know is reading this my name is Isaiah Carew – please feel free to call/message/email or whatever. I can also be reached via Twitter @isaiah. Thanks in advance for your time.