What happened.

I had been using Paypal as my primary payment and I have balances in my Apple ID. These balances were for iTunes purchases and App only several months ago. They could be used for Apple store hardware purchases now.

Because of this change, I added an additional credit card and start to load balances to my account.

  • On Aug 2nd, I added my credit card, set as primary payment account, and loaded $14.99.
  • On Aug 3rd, I loaded $99.00.
  • On Aug 4th, I loaded $99.00 several time in a row. I might loaded more than 4 times but Apple only captured 4 times.

I have checked with the credit card issuer and they denied any attempts to block the transaction. If some of my transactions are blocked, they are done by Apple.

Several days later, my apple music subscription shows error. Upon checking with Apple over the phone several times, I was told that my ID is permanently banned and the credit card is also permanently banned, but my Paypal is fine.

I am suggested to apply for a new Apple ID and bear all the losses in my balance. Yes! Apple literally told me that I cannot do anything about my balances in my Apple ID. This means that Apple is able to claim a fortune of more than $500 by banning my ID. Apparently, I violated their Terms of Service and they are entitled to ban my ID.

My Analysis

Because Apple banned my ID and this specific credit card at the same time, My conjecture is that Apple believes that my loading activity is highly abnormal and they want to prevent possible loss. Upon searching online, I realized that Apple giftcards are often related to credit card fraud. Credit card thieves purchase Apple giftcards and resell to third parties. According to news, not only criminals, but also Apple benefit from this fraudulent activities (Apple revenue increases and Apple also ban the third party.)

It is very likely that my activities also flagged as credit card fraud activities.


I loaded thousands of dollars to my Apple ID and purchased many Apps over the course of 10 years. After my ID is banned. I cannot use Apple music, banned from the App and iTunes store. This also means that you cannot update or redownload your App.

What could you do?

I tried to speak to supervisors though phone and send Time Cook an email. These turns out to be not working.

The only successful story I see on the entire web is from Luke Kurtis, a writer for Quartz He is able to have internal connection through his Apple sales rep for Quartz. He for sure benefited from his publicity and I highly doubt any ordinary person could be treated the same by Apple.

The only thing you could do is to spend you remaining balances by purchasing Apple hardware.

Apple also suggests to switch to a new ID. To keep you App’s data but switch an ID, you have to do a trick:

  • In Settings->General->iPhone Storage, choose your App that you want to transfer the data. Offload the App.
  • Download the App use a new Apple ID. This way, you can continue to use your free Apps without relogin.

In principle, App creators should have the ability to gift you a new App through a generated Code through App store. You are always welcomed to send an email to App developer and ask to “transfer” your App to a new ID. I have tried to do this for ProCreate but failed to obtain a code. This the most probably outcome since nobody would want to forfeit the additional earning opportunity.

How to prevent from future loss?

Do not ever trust tech giants such as Apple, Amazon, Google. You are not the permanent owner of the App even if you purchase it. You are only permitted to use the App for a period of time. In fact, upon checking my purchase histories, I found lots of paid apps was either pulled from the App store or becomes unusable.

Instead, think again before invest on digital goods and consider build your own home service. For example, Apple, Amazon, Google all provide Smart home service and you can host your own at home!

Right now, I am using the open source Home Assistant (Hass) as my smart home hub and also hosting my own storage/backup server, etc.

You will never be screwed by the tech Giants if you do it yourself. The Home Assistant smart home experience is also light years ahead of those tech giants. For example, Apple is planning to roll out the feature of automatic light brightness/color temperature depending on the time of the day and I have been enjoying this feature through Hass Circadian Lighting. You could also expose the Hass Hub to Apple, Amazon, Google and enjoy voice control you lights, TV, speaker, etc. from Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Though you should be aware of the potential privacy breach. To minimize you risks, you should at least put all you untrusted smart home devices on a separate subnet and prevent them from access your local network.