Apple Clarifies That Missed Apple Card Payments Don't Affect Apple ID
Designer Dustin Curtis yesterday shared a story about an unusual series of events that led to him missing an Apple Card payment and Apple then opting to freeze his Apple ID, leading to fears that missing an Apple Card payment could cause Apple to lock an Apple ID.
In a statement provided today to 9to5Mac, Apple said that's not the case and clarified what had happened in Curtis' specific situation.
We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience we may have caused for this customer. The issue in question involved a restriction on the customer's Apple ID that disabled App Store and iTunes purchases and subscription services, excluding iCloud. Apple provided an instant credit for the purchase of a new MacBook Pro, and as part of that agreement, the customer was to return their current unit to us. No matter what payment method was used, the ability to transact on the associated Apple ID was disabled because Apple could not collect funds. This is entirely unrelated to Apple Card.
Apple Card and the Apple ID are not linked in a way that would allow the Apple ID to be disabled in the event of a missed payment, and there was a trade-in issue that led to Curtis' problem. He purchased an M1 Mac and at that time, opted to trade-in an older Mac, getting an instant discount.
Curtis says that Apple did not send him the trade-in box for his older Mac and he forgot about it, so he essentially got the trade-in discount without providing the Mac back to Apple. He overlooked several emails from Apple and investigated only when his Apple ID became locked.
The Apple Card was involved because Curtis made the purchase with an Apple Card, but when Apple went to charge Curtis for the full amount of the M1 Mac, it could not get payment, leading to the Apple ID freeze.
Apple will freeze an Apple ID for a trade-in that goes south. In this case, Curtis received a discount on his M1 Mac without sending in his older Mac, and because Apple was unable to collect the full payment for the M1 Mac, the Apple ID was restricted until Curtis paid in full.
Customers who have an Apple Card and miss a payment do not need to worry about having their Apple IDs frozen in the same manner.