iCloud Is Free, But I Paid $99 For Its Predecessor Last Week

During this week’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple announced its new cloud storage service, the creatively named iCloud. To grossly oversimplify the matter, iCloud is an evolution of Apple’s three-year-old MobileMe service …except that iCloud doesn’t cost $99 per year. It will be free, unless you want to sync music between devices that you didn’t buy from iTunes. (That costs $25 per year.) Apple plans to kill MobileMe on June 30, 2012, and current members won’t have to pay to renew their subscriptions. That’s pretty great, unless you’re a subscriber who handed over a hundred bucks to renew just a few weeks ago.

That’s what happened to Steve.

Don’t know if you will feel my pain or not, but I’m feeling royally screwed by Apple.

I have been a loyal Apple user for over 10 years. I have bought desktops, laptops, ipods, iphones, airports, software and music. When Apple launched their .mac (dot mac) memberships I jumped right on board.

Eleven days ago Apple automatically renewed my two MobileMe accounts for a year at the cost of $99 each. No big deal. I have been using it for years and it’s even become my freelance work email. Yesterday, Apple announces that their new ICloud service will launch in the fall and MobileMe accounts will be absorbed into the iCloud service and will become defunct in a year. Meanwhile all current MobileMe members get the next year of the service for free.

That is, unless you paid $198 less than two weeks ago. I contacted Apple and chatted with a support staffer and then their manager to no avail. Although both said they understood my frustration all I could get was Apple’s company line that they could not refund me for my service unless I cancelled my account. If I cancel my account, of 8 years, I lose my business email address. I used their service, the way they wanted it used and now I’m feeling ripped off.

No, Steve isn’t the only one. He paid for a year of service, and he’s going to get a year of service, but they’re only paying because cruel fate put their renewal dates before the WWDC. (Note to self: never buy an Apple product or service before mid-June.)

Just renewed my .me account… am I out the money? [Apple support forums]
MobileMe is dead. Long live iCloud [CNet]