January 29, 2012

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K Race Report and a rant on Apple

Last night I ran The Boring Runner's Second Annual Freeze Your Thorns Off virtual 5K race. Being an overachiever, I actually ran 4 miles instead of the 3.1 specified.

I spent the day at Superman's, and didn't get a chance to run until after 5pm. The good news? All the snow from earlier had melted (or maybe just hadn't fallen in my neighborhood). The sidewalks were a little icy, but clear of snow. The bad news? I was running out of time before sunset. I really wanted to run outside because I'm still having calf soreness issues running any real distance on my treadmill.
a picture speaks a thousand words
I've never run so fast in my life. It was windy, which at one point helped me by pushing me along, but mostly was in my face or pushing me to the side. Mile 3 was a steady incline. I focused on my form, on picking up my legs, kicking my feet, and using my arms. I actually felt like I RAN the entire way. At the same time, I do not believe my GPS results. The first thing I did when I got home was plug my iPhone into iTunes to see if there were any updates. There was an update for the GPS app, so I'm still not certain I ran a 10:30 mile. I'll know if the app was correct by how it reads over the new few days runs.

If you're here for my race report, that's pretty much it and you should probably stop reading now. The following is a somewhat lengthy rant. Proceed at your own risk.

So I plugged my iPhone into iTunes and saw there were actually several apps to update. To update apps, however, one has to log into the Apple Store. I entered my password, and got this:
Now I've had an iTunes account for quite a while, and I KNOW the login name. I also know the password, because I recently went through the very painful process of having to change it when Apple decided I'd had the other one for too long. That password change process was painful because the Apple system used my birth date as a security question, but the birthdate they had was incorrect. The other option for reset involved them sending me an email, which for some reason I never received. I was finally able to change my password through contacting someone at their help desk. The email exchange went something like this:

Me: I need to update my apps, but cannot log into my account until I change my password. I am unable to change my password because your system has my birth date wrong, and for some reason I am not getting the email when I choose that option.

AppleGuy: In order to log into your account, you will have to change your password. Please go to our website and follow the reset password instructions, then try to log in again.

Painful. I was finally able to convince AppleGuy to manually reset my password and send me a dummy one which I could then change. I went about my merry way, believing he also fixed my birth date and the email issue. Turns out I'm rather naive.

Fast forward to last night. After the fiasco above, I know my Apple ID, and I know my password. What I didn't know, because I was still not receiving Apple ID emails, is Apple changed their login name protocol. My Apple ID is now my email address. I spent at least half an hour trying to log in before Superman remembered his had changed, and suggested I try that. Bingo! So I'm logged in, but in the process realize 1) I'm still not receiving Apple ID emails, and b) they still have my birth date wrong.

Oh and by the way, iTunes insisted I update my credit card info, but wouldn't let me update it with a card that expires next month. I do not have the replacement card yet, and could not update my apps without the new security code. I had to enter a different credit card into their system to proceed. Happy me.

I attempted to contact the person who helped me before, thinking he was already familiar with my ID issues. Apparently AppleGuy was not in last night, and had not one but two people monitoring his email. I ended up communicating with one of them, who ultimately told me I was the only one who could change my birth date in their system. To do that, I just had to log onto the Apple ID website. I followed the link, entered my new Apple ID email address and password, and received a message that Apple had to verify my new Apple ID before I could proceed. A verification email had been sent.

No email arrived. Now my iTunes account is old enough I'd set it up with my Yahoo email address, which I haven't used now in several years. I still have my Yahoo mail forwarded to my current address, but Yahoo is funny about forwarding mail. There is no option to keep a copy of the forwarded mail on their server. Also, it apparently forwards everything, including spam. Either that or it automatically empties the spam folder instantaneously. When I log into Yahoo, there is literally nothing there. This made me suspect the Apple ID email was getting deleted as spam on the Yahoo server, since it wasn't forwarded and it wasn't in my current email spam folder.

I changed my Apple ID email address in iTunes, which caused them to send another verification email. This time I used gmail, which is also forwarded to my newest email account. Gmail, however, allows me to save my forwarded mail on their server. I am also able to view the spam folder on gmail.

There was no Apple ID email. I gave Apple considerable time, and even requested another verification email be sent. I never received any email.

Because gmail is also forwarded to my current email account, I decided to give Apple the most direct path to my inbox. I changed my Apple ID to my current email address. A verification email was sent.

I never received the email. At this point, communication with the Apple help desk had also broken down. My last message indicated I wasn't receiving the verification emails, that I had double checked the email address for typos, and the emails were not landing in my spam folder. The person I was communicating with never responded.

You may be able to understand my frustration at this point. Superman and I had plans to go out to karaoke, so I opted to walk away from the issue. I thought maybe I would wake up to an inbox full of Apple ID emails.

As an aside, let me say that the new karaoke place is small and I can't sing off Youtube like my regular show, but I sang A LOT and got completely obliterated off of only four drinks. They pour heavy, and the drinks cost literally half what I pay at my regular show. I'm also now convinced my regular show waters down their drinks, as I normally would have had more and not been nearly as trashed. It's probably a really good thing I only drink like once a month or so. 

I checked my email when I woke up, and found nothing from Apple or the person I was working with last night, so looked up their support number and called. When you call Apple, they want to know what device you're calling about. The website said the number I called was for software issues, but there was no arguing with the automated phone tree. When I finally did get a person on the line, she told me my iPhone was past the 90 day window where you can get free support.

I'm a bit hung over this morning. My frustration tolerance threshold is probably lower than normal, and this situation had me ranting even before I went drinking last night. When she told me I didn't qualify for free support, I was instantly enraged. I am sorry to say I yelled at her. I swore at her. I told her it was f*cking ridiculous I would have to pay for support when all I want to do is log onto their site and correct my birth date in their system.

She told me she would make a one time exception for me. She then proceeded to spend at least 5 minutes (I'm not exaggerating - it felt a lot longer) rearranging her bookmarks in order to find the one she needed. Because the phone tree had directed me to iPhone support, she pulled up a chat window with the person she thought would have the answers. That person promptly reset my password without telling me first. Apple has a strict password policy. Your password has to have a capital letter, a number, and you cannot use one you have already used within the past year. I'm running out of passwords that fit that criteria, that I will be able to remember. It was all for naught anyway, since I still wasn't receiving Apple emails.

Ultimately I ended up talking to the girl's supervisor, who (hopefully) fixed my issue. I didn't realize this at first, because his emails went straight to my spam folder and got buried beneath a host of spam dated 2017, 2018, and several months later in 2012. I wish I knew how spammers did that. After finding the supervisor's emails, I went back and checked to make sure the earlier emails were not in my spam folder too. I would have felt horrible if they were, but they were not. He said he was able to bypass the system somehow, to send them. I'm hoping the system now works, because it would have been nice to get that notification email telling me my login ID was now my email address.

I was on the phone with Apple for an hour and a half. It turns out my birth date was wrong in the system because my account is so old. The first iteration of Apple accounts did not ask for a birth year, so there was nothing in that field in their system. Of course, had I tried to enter it that way the system would have told me it needed a year to proceed.

I set up a different security question, which has nothing to do with my birth date. I want to change my email address Apple ID to see if the email situation is fixed, but I'm afraid to do so because I'll have to start all over if it's not.

The End.

1 comment:

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Even if the time is off, it sounds like you still had a great run, and that's the important part.