Dear Apple,

It’s nice that I can walk into one of your retail stores, purchase a .Mac kit, and use the included authorization code to renew someone’s .Mac account.

Well, it would be nice if I hadn’t just tried it for my father’s account, and had the code rejected. The best part was that, from the standard account renewal screen, you didn’t show the reason why it was rejected, and I had to use the special URL to find out that you think that activation code has already been used.

Even that wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have 48-hour response time for the email-only .Mac support, going so far as to prevent even the Apple employees at your retail store from reaching you directly.

In other words, you’ve given me three choices:

  1. wait another 24 hours to see if you respond, either to me or to the Apple Store employee who also tried to contact you.
  2. buy another retail box and hope for the best.
  3. add a credit card to his account, renew, and then make sure I remove the credit card.

Meanwhile, of course, I blog.

Update: I just got a form letter:

Apple accepts cancellations of .Mac memberships only during the first 30 days of membership.

At your request, Apple can cancel your .Mac account and issue a replacement activation key. You may then reactivate account with the replacement key.

This makes slightly less than no sense.

Update: Another day, another form letter, near-identical contents. No matter how clearly and simply I stated the problem, they didn’t get it. So I printed out the email exchanges, walked back down to the Apple Store, watched the manager wonder what the hell they’ve been smoking, and got a new, working activation key. Problem solved, no thanks to the completely inept .Mac support team.

I’ve gotten better customer service from stray dogs. At least they understood a few simple phrases in English.

Update: Glee! They sent me a survey on “how satisfied were you with your .Mac email support?”