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MobileMe is dead, so what about that refund? (UPDATED)

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Photo credit: BasBoerman (Flickr)

MobileMe was officially killed off by Apple yesterday when iCloud was launched. Plenty of rumour sites had posted reports detailing how those whom had renewed their subscription within the last few days had recieved a refund of their monies even before the WWDC 2011 event began. To the best of our knowledge, nothing was mentioned at the Apple keynote to suggest what will happen to subscribers who are part way through a subscription period.

Yesterday, I hinted at the possibility of Apple giving pro-rata refunds or credit against iCloud. During the WWDC keynote it was made clear that iCloud is entirely free. Overnight I recieved the following email which makes me doubt the possibility of getting any money back since I’m six months into my current Family subscription:

Important information for MobileMe members.

Dear MobileMe member,

We’d like to share some exciting news with you about iCloud — Apple’s upcoming cloud service, which stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to your devices. iCloud integrates seamlessly with your apps, so everything happens automatically. Available this fall, iCloud is free for iOS 5 and OS X Lion users.

What does this mean for you as a MobileMe member?

When you sign up for iCloud, you’ll be able to keep your MobileMe email address and move your mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks to the new service.

Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available.

When iCloud becomes available this fall, we will provide more details and instructions on how to make the move. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about iCloud.

Sincerely,

The MobileMe Team

It’s the line “Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available.” that give the biggest clue that there’ll be no refunds. I did suggest yesterday that as a worst case scenario this is what we’d see. Essentially, we’re all given a maximum of twelve further months service for whatever monies we’ve already paid and we carry on as we are, or forget what we’ve spent and migrate to iCloud to take advantage of it’s newer and better features once it goes live in Autumn (Sorry! Fall to all American readers!).

Apple is known for it’s ability to spin; essentially they’re launching a free service that does what the paid service currently does (and more) but rather than refund those whom have already paid for the paid service, Apple intends to keep our monies and make it sound like a cool thing to have done since they’re offering another x months free service on top of whenever our current service expires.

How do you feel about the lack of a refund? Are you cool with it or do you feel they should be refunding pro-rata as soon as iCloud goes live?

UPDATE:

It would appear that you can get a refund pro-rata from Apple. It’s not automatic. You have to apply for it and it involves cancelling your subscription. I won’t be doing this since I worry about the data I have stored I want to transfer to iCloud once it goes live.

If you have an active MobileMe subscription and would like to cancel it for a refund, you may do so at any time. If your subscription was activated with a MobileMe activation code purchased from an Apple Retail Store, the Apple Online Store, or an authorized reseller, follow the instructions below to request a cancelation and refund. You will need to provide all required proof-of-purchase documentation.

Please follow the procedures below to request your cancelation and refund:

  1. Visit the online Cancelation Request form.
  2. Fill out the form with your information.
  3. If you also request a refund for any additional unused activation codes, Apple will send you an email requesting a scan or photo of your activation codes. Reply to that email with a scan or photo of your unused activation codes.
  4. Apple will verify your documents, calculate the applicable refund, and cancel your MobileMe account.
  5. You will receive a refund in 4-6 weeks via check, electronic funds transfer, or credit card, depending on how and where you made the purchase (as described later in this article).

Are you going to cancel and get a refund? Or are you going to swallow the bitter pill in order to keep your data safe until iCloud?

  • I’m not impressed at all. I’m also not surprised at all. Surely some kind of refund (even by iTunes vouchers) on a pro rata basis would have made users feel all warm and fuzzy. With any level of intelligence, you know you’re being screwed out of your money for using their services!

  • Rob

    I do wonder if there are any region specific laws that mean some locations will get a forced refund. I also wonder if Apple will allow completion of a refund request form and only process on a per request basis. They might change their tune if they get a lot of people contacting them asking for monies back. Of course we’re all going to go to iCloud – they know that already!

  • Robertsione

    Of course they should offer us a refund. It’s a bit counter intuitive for them not to. They are in fact punishing those who have paid for the service for years, at a time they should be rewarding us.

  • Rob

    I’m waiting to hear back from a developer friend – he expected as soon as iCloud was announced as MobileMe’s successor that he’d, within a week, have details of how to claim refunds. Can’t dispute the doubt that the email spreads though.

    I’d be royally pee’d off if I still had 11 months to roll on my service. As it is I only have a slight bitter taste currently because nothing’s confirmed nor denied as yet.

  • By sheer coincedence, my MobileMe automatically renewed on the 5th.  Then they announce this on the 6th and you’re telling me I’m not entitled to a refund??

  • Rob

    Where are you based? We know that a lot of people who renewed within the last week or so have had their monies refunded straight away. It may be the transaction hasn’t reached your statement yet?

  • UK, I’ll have to investigate! I got the email thanking me for renewing on Sunday so hopefully if I can remember my logon details, I can check my CC transactions

  • Rob

    It may be worth you going to this link to see if you can apply for a refund since yours is so recent:

    http://www.apple.com/support/mobileme/ww/

    UK Specific link is: http://www.apple.com/uk/support/mobileme/

  • great i buy something it no longer available but not given a choice to cancel or refund typical apple i had enough that it 

  • at least they been quick to respond 

  • Hey James,

    I didnt renew my family account last month as I knew something was coming and a long time .mac/mobile me subscriber I was a little surprised that there is/was no consideration given… but to be honest lately I see this as a trend from Apple. In my opinion they are more and more trying to tighten the screw on the consumer by restricting their products to maximise revenue… i.e. removal of mobile me retail boxes which allowed other retailers to discount and now the restriction on itunes for icloud which means you have to pay for them to hold personally uploaded music (99% in my case). It not so much that I am looking for something free, just that in their effort to ensure there are no gaps they make things more complicated than they need to be.

    If icloud was just around the corner it wouldnt be such an issue, but as it not available for “Months” it is a big break from apple cloud services for some.

    Dave

  • Rob

    Have to agree, I’m disappointed in Apple for not being cleared in how the existing user base has been thought of or even considered. I’m of the opinion they’ve looked at the numbers of iOS users they have and weighed it up against the number of subscribers they have to MM services and decided we’re percentage-wise not worth worry about pissing off.

    Perhaps someone genuinely thought we’d be happy with being told, “Here’s 12 months service to MM from today even if you’ve only got a day left on your current subscription”. Am confident we’ll see a follow up press release within a few weeks.

  • Rob

    When did you buy it? If recently then you can most likely apply for a refund.

  • Rob

    Article updated – there’s a refund process but I don’t think you’ll like it!

  • Rob

    Article updated – there’s a refund process but I don’t think you’ll like it!

  • Rob

    Article updated – there’s a refund process!

  • Rob

    There’s a refund process – I’ve updated the article.

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