Apple Acknowledges Outrageous Charges For Supposedly Free MobileMe Trial

Chicago (IL) - After four days of silence, Apple today acknowledged problems with the MobileMe backbone system that leads to authorization charges of $100 or more during the trial account signup. However, there is no information how Apple will handle the refund process.

Apple’s new and heavily hyped online service MobileMe has been in for a bumpy ride since its introduction last week. Server and availability issues due to a traffic heavy load appear to have been mostly sorted out during the weekend, although some services are not yet fully operational at this time. In the meantime, a new issue surfaced with the company’s backbone system that handles trial accounts and credit card authorizations - which are an obligatory part of the trial account creation. The company has finally responded to our inquiry, but did not provide any meaningful explanation besides acknowledging the situation.

Our own MobileMe pains

TGDaily first started to receive word from users around the world who were claiming to have been charged excessive amounts during the creation of the supposedly free account. Most of the users claimed said they were authorized with a charge that was well above the usual $1 authorization amount. This glitch is especially painful for those who used debit cards, since the charge immediately affected their account balance.

We looked into this issue by creating our own trial account, using a VISA debit card issued in Europe. We ended up with a whopping 99 Euro authorization charge, which is above the 79 Euro price point for MobileMe in Europe.

Few words from Apple

After four days of silence, Apple has finally acknowledged that the issue exists in a general email response to our emails.

"Apple worked quickly to identify and resolve an issue that caused an incorrect temporary hold when certain new accounts - including yours - were created," the message stated.

At this point, however, Apple doesn’t offer a viable solution for affected users. Instead, the company appears to be buying more time to decide how it will handle the refunds. "Within the next few days, the MobileMe engineering team will contact you by email to provide more information about how this matter will be resolved," Apple said.

Yes, the problem may be complicated. But we don’t agree how leisurely Apple treats the money of its customers. Here is an idea : Why don’t you guys start with an apology ?

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  • Aus
    I don't know about unauthorised payment but on its inception MobileMe kept asking for payment when I logged on to MobileMe despite being a dotMac customer for over 5 years, the problem seems to have been sorted but obviously needs some working on to be as stable as dotMac