Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Apple Won't Merge Your Multiple Apple IDs

Just had a few hour long conversation with Apple through 3 levels of their tech support discussing something very simple: moving the purchase history from one Apple ID to another.

Both Apple IDs belong to me, and both IDs are similar, except that one was created prior to Apple using email addresses as IDs and the other was created as an email address, because the device at the time would not allow me to login with the non-email address Apple ID. Each account has purchase history that I'd rather not lose.

The only two solutions the Apple representatives stated that you can use if you find yourself in this situation are:

  1. Login as each account and download your purchases, and/or
  2. In order to avoid what seems sometimes to be a mandate to convert your old non-email address to an email address Apple ID, just get another email address and rename the non-email address account to that other email address.

The primary reason that Apple provided for why this is the case is that merging Apple ID accounts would be a "security issue". They did not describe what that issue was.

I specifically stated that I only require them to move the purchase history from the original account to the new account. I also successfully authenticated both online and over the phone with the representative to both accounts. For me, it is not a security issue. It is a customer service issue.

A greater concern is that two of the representatives said that this was a frequent cause of customer complaints. It was like I was hearing Bill Clinton say, "I feel your pain-", but over and over (and over) again. If it is such a pain, why haven't they done anything about it?

What reason is there to disallow the move of purchase history from one Apple ID to another? How simple would it have been and how much money would Apple be saving in customer service calls if they were to only develop a tool that customers could use to transfer ownership of an app from one account to another? It could even restrict the move to require that both accounts share the same primary email address.

In the meantime, maybe one of the workarounds Apple provided above might help you. They didn't really help me.

Note: this was written August 19, 2014. Hopefully at some point Apple will come to their senses and resolve this, so please contact them if you need support.

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