Apple Developer Support is Unreachable

Apple has locked us out of our Apple Developer account, absolutely no clue why. They have not sent us a single message of any kind, and we cannot get in touch with a human being from Apple Developer Support.

Previously we’ve had no issues with Apple or Catalina support. We have one single piece of software released, a free MIDI plugin called Ripchord, that has been notarized for Catalina for the last few versions. Now that we are locked out of our account, we can no longer notarize updates for Catalina.

When you’re not locked out of your Apple dev account, you can enter your phone number into a callback form and a human will call you back. Once you’ve been locked out you can no longer do that. When you attempt to login, you get bounced to this page https://developer.apple.com/contact/apple-id/ and that becomes literally your only means of contacting them. When you fill out that form it creates a ticket for Apple Developer support, which they do not reply to.

We created a few of those tickets last week because we were trying to release an update and could not access our dev account through Xcode. As of this posting they still have not replied.

Whats particularly crazy about the whole process, is you can very easily get a normal consumer support person on the phone at 800–692–7753 and you can plead with them to transfer you to someone at developer support, but they will swear up and down that it is physically impossible for them to contact anyone from developer support to help you. We tried this method about 5 times, with hours of hold time, they do not crack and they do not help. It is a complete stonewall.

Normally, when you pay for a business to business service, as we all pay Apple for a “Developer Program Membership”, they would not even consider canceling your service without reaching out to you first to attempt to reconcile whatever issue there may be, or at least to communicate that some issue exists. Apple does not do that.

Furthermore, with a normal business to business service, if there were some unknown issue with your account and you couldn’t access the service, YOU WOULD HAVE A PHONE NUMBER TO CALL, and I imagine they would treat that as a fairly important matter. Apple does not do that.

None of this should be ok with anyone.

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That is sad. I will be watching this for any updates on your experiences.

I would be very surprised if Apple is picking a fight with an independent developer over a plugin that is similar to theirs. Looking at the numbers, their revenue is clearly not coming from their plugins.

I would look into the account and your bank data, you wouldn’t be the first where a lapsed payment triggered such kind of chain reaction.

Good luck finding a solution either way.

As if by some amazing twist of fate, I just got an email from Apple :joy:. Apparently when you are locked out of your account, the developer support phone number is 1-800-light-us-up-on-the-internet

(I posted on KVR a while before this one as well)

This process is very broken.

I still have not actually spoken to a human, will post an update once that has happened and they tell me what this was all about.

@daniel I 100% agree. Honestly I am expecting to hear from them that this was some kind of clerical error, definitely not a lapsed payment though, the $99 fee was payed less than 6 months ago. Nonetheless, their stonewalling of developers that have been locked out for whatever reason is a real problem.

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I hear you. Some companies take it a bit easy in saving money on support helpline. But I cannot guess how many operators a company like Apple would need to avoid such frustration… :wink:

I would say if they have taken some action that can essentially prevent a company from operating, tickets related to that type of issue should be the absolute highest priority tickets they have.

And again, they seem to have enough phone operators to handle incoming phone calls from every Apple product consumer in the world, which i would think is a larger number of people than exist in their Developer Membership Program :wink:

Looks like the timing of this email WAS just a strange coincidence. It offers no explanation, and the links it contains to contact them force you to login, and then I get redirected back to the same form I filled out last week. I also replied to the email from “Kevin” directly, no response of course. This is some insane endless loop.

Thank you for contacting Apple Developer Program Support. My name is Kevin and I am glad to assist you today.

We are unable to verify that you’re associated with an Apple Developer Program membership or enrollment.

Please have a program Account Holder contact us directly.

Please see the link below for our contact information:

https://developer.apple.com/contact/

Best regards,

Kevin

Apple Inc.

Ugh, what a nightmare. Apple is not endearing themselves to developers lately, are they? Hoping you manage to resolve this quickly.

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I believe a developer from the Apple MusicApps team has written to this forum fairly recently, Unfortunately I don’t remember the username nor which topic it was in.
If you find him, perhaps you can get in touch with him at least to understand if there’s something else you can try to get past the stonewall and fix the issue

EDIT: I stumbled upon his post right after posting my previous reply, here it is:

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Thanks yfede this is amazing! Will give it a shot right now.

How many days would you be comfortable being locked out of your developer account for and just chalk it up to Apple saving money? On what day would you take issue with it?

I emailed Markus Fritze from the Music Apps team at Apple referencing his post about the Pro Audio seed program and added very briefly that we’ve been having issues accessing our developer account. He replied that he could easily get us on the Pro Audio seed list, but there’s nothing at all he could do to help us get in touch with Developer Support. So I guess, the mystery continues.

Just to recap, we are now at the end of WEEK TWO.

Not a single word of explanation from Apple.

Not a single phone call with Apple.

Still locked out of our dev account.

Still can’t release Catalina plugins.

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Have you tried devprograms@apple.com they were quite responsive to me on that address.

Yup, devprograms@apple.com is how I got that response I shared above from “Kevin”. Then when I replied directly to “Kevin” and gave him the original ticket number that was created last week, he went silent. No further response.

I know a lot of people that may have come across this thread are probably laughing it off as some kind of large corporation snafu, but there is nothing remotely funny about any of this.

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Of course it’s not funny, getting mad at people won’t make it better anyway. Generally speaking, Apple (and Avid) has got to this place through heavy, extensive and undeserved fanboying from the whole audio trade. I find it funny when people get very vocal about Steinberg like “Arne says so and so and he’s a moron about it” while they can actually name Arne and his opinions, and read the whole open sourced code of the VST SDK without paying. Then the same people tiptoe around Apple’s (and Avid’s) horrible practices, and seem perfectly tolerant of their we-don’t-make-mistakes attitude. If people stopped treating Protools-on-Mac as an inescapable default, the whole business would be much saner. You can’t do much about it as a plugin vendor though. I’ve dealt with people willing to leave a project if anything but Mac was merely considered -more than once.

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I think you misunderstood the intention behind what I was saying. I’m definitely not mad at anyone on here.

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I hope they solve this quickly but this is hardly surprising. Developers should be aware that, with the new Catalina policy that forces you to sign your programs with Apple, the Mac ecosystem becomes a monopoly. In every book of basic economy they explain what are the consequences of monopolies. You can really only ask them politely to be nice to you.

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At what point would a calm, rational person consider the possibility that this is not an accident?