Apple Solves iTunes Account Problem By Locking You Out Of Account

Michael was having a pretty minor problem with playing television programs in iTunes. Sure, it doesn’t even rank as the a serious first world problem, but he contacted Apple to get it resolved, because that’s what Apple is supposed to do. A senior representative tried to resolve the problem by resetting his iTunes password. Nice idea if it had worked. It didn’t. Now this cord-cutter, who uses his Apple TV to catch up with favorite shows, can’t watch those shows at all. Being locked out of his iTunes account and all.

The ever-present cloud can do amazing things, but just a few keystrokes can lock content you’ve paid for away forever.

Last month, I had what I thought was a minor problem with iTunes (some TV shows would play in iTunes but not Quicktime Player). I opened an issue with Customer Support, and after a few simple fix attempts (log out and back in, delete and redownload the content) it was escalated to a “senior” Representative, who asked if she could reset my iTunes password and send me a new one. I said sure.

That was over two weeks ago.

I thought they were going to reset my password and immediately send me a new one. What actually happened was, they reset the account, but never sent me a new password. So I can’t log in, and can’t access any of my iTunes or iCloud content. My iTunes account is now in some limbo state where it won’t let me reset my password; only Customer Service can do that.

So for two weeks, I haven’t been able to update any of the apps on my iPad or download new ones. My Apple TV is a useless plastic brick. And every day I can only sigh in frustration as I get email notifying me of the new tv shows available for download from all my previously purchased Season Passes, that I can no longer access.

Several months ago I “cut the cord” and cancelled my satellite TV service, so I get all my tv through iTunes. And now I have nothing.

My Customer Service representative has been polite but unhelpful (“Thank you for your patience, we are still working on the issue”). DirecTV had their own problems, but at least with them I never had a service outage for more than a couple hours, let alone a couple weeks.

I tried emailing Tim Cook but didn’t get a response. I don’t know if I’ll ever get my iTunes account back. Will I have to repurchase all my apps and Season Passes?

My advice to anyone working with iTunes Customer Support: if they ask to reset your password, Just Say No.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    The more they tighten their grip on people who just want their content without all the hassle, the more people will slip thru their fingers. This is just an example of a corporation’s bungled attempt and trying to retain control over something they no longer have any real claim to.

    Seriously, all of this corporate anti-trust proprietary price-fixing police-state DRM monopoly MPAA RIAA bullshit needs to stop. The old models of content delivery are dead. There’s no longer any need for the middle man. Time to connect content makers directly with content consumers and be done with it.

    • Bob says:

      Corporations don’t ever want you to own something digital. They want you to perpetually rent it from them. That’s why I’ll continue buying physical copies of movies I want then ripping them into whatever format I like for my own personal use. No one’s gonna tell me how, where, when, and how often I can use something I paid money for.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        You don’t own any of it anyways, all of the items are for rent only (you have license to use product but don’t own it).

      • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

        That’s exactly right. I paid for it. I do what I want with it. It’s either that or I don’t participate in any of the bullshit schemes they have out there to control what I do with what I’ve bought.

        If I could download Game of Thrones directly from the people who made it, with no DRM, no account bullshit other than the credit card transaction, I would do it in a second. Until that sort of transaction becomes the accepted means of content delivery then I choose not to participate in Hollywood’s overpriced middle-man shell game.

        • VintageLydia says:

          The first season is available on Blu Ray and DVD now. That’s legal and easily accessible. Not instant like streaming but if you buy it local and not over Amazon, you can still be watching it within the same day.

      • Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

        I’m with you. I guess I’m old school, but I still buy 99% of my music on CD and upload them to iTunes. I want physical copies, not Vaporware

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      You’re entitled to your preferred methods of content delivery and storage, certainly, but you of course recognize that the creator of the content has the right to decide whether he/she wants to deliver the content to you in that manner, right? Right?

      • incident_man says:

        Not if that creator signs a contract with a company that requires them to go through that company for distribution, which is what happens the most. The RIAA and MPAA realise that their system is outmoded, but are unwilling to give up control of distribution, simple as that. New artists don’t have the resources or the belief that they can self-publish, so they get locked into the RIAA and MPAA monopoly….believing that this is the only way for them to get exposure and, consequently, make money. In this model, the RIAA and MPAA are the ones who make the actual money; the content creators (artists and performers) get paid only once for their work. Perhaps a few earn royalties over time, but these royalties pale in comparison to what the RIAA and MPAA pull in each time an album is sold, a song is downloaded or played on the radio, dvd/blu-ray is purchased, or movie is watched at the theater. IMHO, the RIAA and MPAA are nothing but a bunch of parasites. This whole system is the reason why I haven’t bought a CD, DVD, blu-ray, or went to the theater in years. If I can’t hear it on the radio or watch it on tv, then I don’t need it.

        FWIW, I don’t watch shows like American Idol, or The Voice, either, which are just fronts for the RIAA.

  2. MeowMaximus says:

    CrApple is doing you a favor. Sell all of your iToys to some fool, and buy a real computer.

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    “Apple Solves iTunes Account Problem By Locking You Out Of Account”

    Sounds like Apple used a sledgehammer to kill a fly, but at
    least the OP no longer has to worry about his Apple problems.

  4. Mike AKA MonolithTMA says:

    I have a collection of music tracks that I purchased with an old Apple account that one day seemed to have never existed. Fortunately I had burned those tracks to CD or I wouldn’t have them at all.

  5. Splendid says:

    I had the same problem. The solution was to create a new Apple ID. in my case my Apple ID was a very old one that predates dot Mac or mobile me. It was an Apple ID that was not in the form of an email address and as of the recent iCloud transition those old style Apple ID are no longer supported.

    It took hours on the phone to get it straightened out. I had to create a new Apple ID that was an email address, but also was not an email address already associated with my account. THAT meant resurrecting my old yahoo address. Now everything is working again my apple TV and I’ve also transitioned to iCloud. But it was an incredible hassle.

    • GadgetsAlwaysFit says:

      Oops. I might be in trouble. I haven’t logged in recently and I too have one of those very old IDs. Like MeowMaximus and framitz, I opted to leave Apple. Let’s just say their products are just as prone as everyone else’s to defects and problems.

  6. Lyn Torden says:

    Sounds to me like someone else was also using the account. They may have changed the email address already, so they know about the new password.

  7. OldSchool says:

    Given that they have effectively stolen all of your content and rendered your devices valuless I would recommend a lawsuit; something they seem very familiar with of late. Say for the purchase price of all devices and all content you have ever purchased for them. Punative damages would be nice but are probably not available in a contrat case like this.

  8. DeltaTee says:

    Did you check your Spam folder to ensure that the password change email was not re-directed there?

  9. webweazel says:

    If his programs play in iTunes but not Quicktime, what in the world kind of stretch of the imagination would changing a password to the main account accomplish?

    • Splendid says:

      if the files have digital rights management they will only play on an Apple device that is authorized. if the account is locked down because of a password reset, or the device is not authorized (via the Apple ID and the password) then the DRM-laced files purchased from iTunes will not play, period.

      it sounds like the Consumerist reader has an Apple ID that has been locked down because of a password reset. the files are keyed to the Apple ID and absent a correct password they will not play.

  10. skapig says:

    Use the forgotten password feature?

  11. C. Ogle says:

    Reset your password at or That should work even if your password has been reset by iTunes support.

  12. JonBoy470 says:

    It’s called perhaps the OP should attempt to reset his password again himself… It’s not rocket science…