One of the last bits of 麻煩, or “troublesome tasks”, that must be accomplished now that I am becoming a resident of Canada again, is changing the country for my iTunes account. I have yet to apply for health cards but I suspect the application for health cards (and not the actual getting to see a doctor) will be actually much easier than changing my iTunes account.
Apple very clearly states what you must do prior to changing your account:
What to do before changing your country or region
- Spend any store credit remaining on your Apple ID. You must also wait for any pending store credit refunds to process before you can change your country or region. Learn what to do if your remaining store credit is less than the cost of a single item.
- Cancel any subscriptions, including Apple Music, and wait until the end of the subscription period to change your country or region. You’ll also have to wait for any memberships, pre-orders, iTunes movie rentals, or Season Passes to complete.
- Have a payment method for your new country or region on hand. For example, only German credit cards can be used to buy content from the German iTunes Store, iBooks Store, and App Store.
- Back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iTunes. You might need to temporarily downgrade your iCloud storage until you switch to the new country or region.
The tricky part here is waiting for memberships to complete. I subscribe to iTunes match, which only recently renewed, and as such won’t complete until the Spring of next year. Though I’m not an avid consumer of Apple services, considering I no longer have a Taiwan credit card, that seems like a long time to not be able to use iCloud, Apple music, and the other services I subscribe through Apples platform. So it’s a mess.
I won’t go into how you can’t actually change your country via the web.
I’m on hold with Apple support and will document this journey as it unfolds.
After 1 hour on the phone with Apple support I was finally able to change my Apple iTunes account from Taiwan to Canada and am now basking in all the media that Apple delivers in this country. I talked to 3 different support personal including a “Senior Advisor” in order to make this happen.
Apple was polite and professional throughout the whole process, but it really should not have been this hard. Changing my developer account seemed much easier.
It also raises the question, what other company in the world would I bother going through so much effort to remain their customer? I can’t think of one. Though it’s somewhat of a stretch, you would think that the importance of my Apple ID is somewhat reaching parity with my national ID number.
A few points about the change:
- I was a subscriber to iTunes match. That database was deleted and I must upload all my music files anew. I’m not sure I’ll bother.
- I was told my Apple music playlists would be gone, but I haven’t seen any changes. Perhaps some music has been affected, but I haven’t noticed any problems yet.
- Local apps. cannot be downloaded again, but I think I can live without local Taiwan bus and taxi apps.
- My Apple music preferences were reset. This could be huge for my daughter but I always found Apple’s music curation to be subpar.
- iCloud was unaffected.
- International media regulations suck, particularly in Taiwan, which is largely the source of all these problems.
- My other subscriptions, particularly Evernote, so far remain unaffected. I think it’s a good time to revisit these subscriptions as my usage of Evernote in particular doesn’t warrant the money spent.