back to article MobileMe wreaks wipey revenge on freetards

Those who've been enjoying Apple's much-extended MobileMe trial should take care when cancelling accounts, to prevent the cloudy ghost coming back to haunt them and swiping all their contacts and appointments. MobileMe maintains a copy of all users' data in the cloud, which is then synchronised with the various devices the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    apples fault?

    "It's not really Apple's fault that users are losing data"

    Er, yes it is - when you cancel your account the login should get revoked at once, your phone shouldn't be ABLE to connect and download a blank dataset. Thats how it works everywhere else in the world. You cancel an account, you immediately lose access to the system.

    Still, what can one expect from the "don't press that button" technology platform....


  2. Edwin

    Not Apple's fault?

    "It's not really Apple's fault that users are losing data;"

    Come on now - that's just silly. Simple, decent design would suggest that if I cancel my account, my devices are not able to synchronise anymore, rather than sync with /dev/nul

    It's not often Apple gets things horribly wrong in the design department, but MobileMe sounds like a lemon from start to finish.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Hardly surprising...

    This is hardly a surprise to anyone with half a brain...

    If you sync with the "cloud" then cancel the service then of course your data isn't going to be there anymore!

    All you have to do is turn off MobileMe syncing *before* cancelling your account. Your data is till on the phone and on the computer you sync with

    This is akin to cancelling a web-hosting account then complaining you lost all the files stored there... or closing an email account then not being able to read emails stored in it.

    Guess what? If you cancel Sky TV you can't watch those TV channels either.

  4. David Webb
    Jobs Horns

    Erm... no

    "This is akin to cancelling a web-hosting account then complaining you lost all the files stored there... or closing an email account then not being able to read emails stored in it."

    Not quite no, its akin to cancelling an email account, the email account you have cancelled the opening your email client and deleting all your email, contacts and calendar. If you cancel yes you lose the ability to access the information on the server, but the server should not then have the ability to delete your emails/contacts/calendar. its poor, sloppy programming from Apple.

    Its also no where near as bad as Active Synch, ok so you can't resynch with the same name, thats not a problem because it isn't destroying the data on your mobile phone, you just resynch with a different name, so how you can possibly say that its not as bad as active synch is beyond me, active synch didn't clear out your contacts etc. (thats at the pro-mac anti-ms author of this piece)

  5. jubtastic1

    This Apple fanboy says

    Clearly Apple's fault, It sounds like instead of shutting down the network account they just emptied it. I hope they make this right for the users they've screwed over.

  6. jai

    re: apples fault? re: Not Apple's fault?

    you are right

    people shouldn't have to think for themselves and be proactive about anything

    good grief!

    no wonder we live in a nanny state

    in this day and age, when we are constantly being told to protect our data and beware identity theft, who is stupid enough to just cancel a service without firsts making sure their data was removed and all syncing was stopped?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other similar services

    'a number of free services offering similar functionality'

    Are there? What are they?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    bad client side software then?

    Surely this is just bad client side sync software on the iPhone side of things or is it false cancelling of an account? If you cancel your account then your phone shouldn't be synchronising with an empty calendar and contact list... it should fail to sync as there is/should be no account available with the details you provide (and therefore the local copy should be left in tact).

    Why can't software companies just keep things simple... they'll find they have less buggy features that way.

  10. SkippyBing
    Jobs Horns

    @ jai

    'who is stupid enough to just cancel a service without firsts making sure their data was removed and all syncing was stopped?'

    Apple Users?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    I see the problem

    "... with the iPhone, so it's common sense ..."

    How do you get "iPhone" and "common sense" into the same sentence and keep a straight face?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    .Mac family Pack

    is on-sale for 10 eurocents at PC City in Cerro Maggiore near Milan (Italy).

    I bought it (discounted from 179 euros) and it works OK, yes some synch fun, but for the 10pence it's worth it. (and there were at least 2 family packs left on the shelves, .Mac single packs weren't discounted.) PC City is the Italian offshoot of DSG/Dixons/Currys and is winding down a lot!

  13. Matt Taylor

    ....and why not?

    There is nothing unfair about it. It's a free trail, i took it out but forwarded on all my e-mails from other accounts before telling everyone I have a new e-mail address.

    The idea of a trial is to to test the service to see if you like it.

    The service it's self when working is awesome, when it's not working its the worlds worst peiece of crap.

    And by the way Google Chrome hasn't worked with the MobileMe website ( since novemeber!....And it WebKit based!!!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    what alternates to this service do you use?

    what services to replace .mac/mobileme does everyone here use?

    Do they have autosync functions for bookmarks/keychains/calendar/contacts and 'push' email in one service ? NB .mac for one person is a bit pricy but but cost comes down if a 'family' account is made were I think 5 people can get the service for around £90/year I think.

    and what does Paris use i want to know...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    not the first time for apple

    Early iTunes wiped your ipod when you plugged it into another computer.

    Perhaps a sloppy mistake, but unlikely as any developer would have to ask 'what should happen when they cancel their account?'.

    This is the kind of behaviour Apple increasingly uses to keep you buying everything mac.

    Oh and i own a mac, but i don't buy into this church of jobs nonsense.

  16. Martin Silver badge

    NHS IT system?

    You unregister with a GP and they come around and kill you since you shouldn't exist.

  17. Craig

    This happened to me

    For all those saying that people should no better:

    When you get an iphone and sign up for the free trial, at no point are you made aware that EVERY TIME YOU ADD A CONTACT TO YOUR PHONE it is added to 'MobileMe' contacts, not the contacts on the handset.

    When I cancelled my mobileme account, I was under the impression that mobileme was syncing a COPY of my contacts back to the server, not that I was looking at my mobileme account every time I went to make a call.

    I can guarentee you that if you close an O2 Bluebook account that your contacts don't dissapear off your phone.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Lucky escape then

    I was wondering what this "MobileMe" stuff was that appeared with iTunes and on my iPod Touch. Kinda glad that I didn't follow it up further.

    Hmm, what's wrong with Apple sending you a trial-account-cancel-confirmation email that says (at the bottom) something like "As you no longer have a MobileMe account remember to switch off synchronisation with any relevant devices". Although, as a software developer myself, I would have thought it easier for the 'cloud' to just refuse connection from an 'unauthorised' device than sync nothing to it.

    Makes me smile because I didn't follow the rest of the sheep and stayed with a Nokia N95 (which promptly lost my contacts etc at first firmware update, and the backups were pants - to quote James May - "Oh Cock!")

  19. Daniel B.


    This is stupid. Online services shouldn't have the power to delete local info when you cancel them ... and in fact, you should be unable to log in after cancelling.

    In fact, I think affected users *might* sue Apple for that; any TOS protection Apple might have is void as the service has already been cancelled. The subsequent data deletion could be classified as "unauthorized".

  20. Sam Liddicott
    Thumb Down

    lets hope...

    lets hope apple don't have an online file backup service... good grief it would wipe your disk when you cancelled.

    I wonder who the new godfather will be after Steve Jobs.

  21. Mr B


    Don't let anybody manage your data. And if you do, don't trust them and keep a copy ... ooops, silly me, I am being told that the data backups/syncs were done thru MobileMe.

  22. raving angry loony

    not Apple's fault?

    Yes it bloody IS Apple's fault. Order should be: Cancel account, invalidate login, clear data. What they're doing is: cancel account, clear data, wait, wait, wait, there we go, punter punished.

  23. Christopher Woods
    Paris Hilton

    To all iPhone users suffering from this

    Caveat emptor, idiots. Learn to use your handset properly.

    Paris, because even she'd read the small print.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    It doesn't have the power to delete local information.

    Unsubscribing deletes the online content but doesn't stop syncing - thus, when the next sync takes place the local does what it always does which is to go to online and say "overwrite me with whatever you've got", which is nothing, so it overwrites with nothing and "deletes" the local content.

    It's not rocket science - just a bit of poor admin by Apple.

    It doesn't mean anything other than that. It's not a portent. It's not indicative of something darker and more suspicious. Just snafu.

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