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Dear Aunt TUAW: Help me get a MobileMe refund


Dear Aunt TUAW,

I renewed MobileMe in April for $99. It appears there will be no refund. Where's the loud and insistent outcry?

Your rather ticked-off nephew,


Dear Z,

Auntie totally gets where you are coming from (although as far as she's concerned, MobileMe is something that always happened to other people). Apple has renewed all MobileMe customers until the middle of 2012 but, honestly, what's the point?

Anyway, Apple has clarified its MobileMe refund policy on this Knowledge Base page. Unused activation codes and codes used for 45 days or less will be fully refunded. Codes used for 46 days or more will receive pro-rated refunds. Shipping costs and rebates will be deducted from any refunds. You'll need to provide proof-of-purchase documentation before submitting any claims.

You can contact Apple directly and request a refund by phone. This worldwide list of numbers provides contact information on a country-by-country basis. That's what Uncle Steve did.

He renewed at the start of the year, getting a few months of service but paying for the entire year. He might have gotten a couple of months more value than you but he's totally in the same boat. So Auntie made him call up Apple and demand, I tell you, demand that refund.

Here's what happened. He was quickly transferred to the MobileMe department, and the phone rep there recommended that he wait on canceling. "You can cancel your MobileMe subscription at any time for a pro-rated refund," they told him. "However, if you use MobileMe for email, contacts, calendar, iDisk files, and MobileMe Gallery, that information is going to be deleted and you won't be able to sync devices."

The Apple support rep recommended waiting until iCloud becomes available. "[If you wait until] those services are available to you, you can cancel the MobileMe subscription and receive a refund for the remainder of the year. You cannot reactivate your MobileMe subscription after you cancel it, so be sure that if you are going to cancel that you have alternative sources for email, and for syncing. "

Uncle Steve chose to wait. He's going to cancel after iOS 5 and iCloud are firmly chugging along this Fall and request his pro-rated refund at that point. You might want to wait and do the same. That's because Uncle Steve is very sensitive about his "" email address. He wants to keep it forever and ever, and hug it and love it and call it "George." It appears that he'll be able to do so. Yay!

He's more than a little concerned about the 5 GB free storage limit on iCloud, though. His email will chew that up in no time -- much like how Auntie's little Pekingese puppy Spunky Sue (AKC registered name "Spunky Sue Your Pants Off Champion Johnnie Cochran") chewed up Auntie's favorite slippers last week.

You'll discover a wealth of information about iCloud both in the press release announcing the service and in the web pages that describe it, so be sure to do a little reading for your homework.

Do you have any other concerns about MobileMe and the transition to iCloud? Let Auntie know in the comments.


Auntie T.

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