iCloud storage upgrades iPhone screenshot 001

Due to the ongoing financial turmoil in Greece which has spawned uncertainty over the country’s seemingly looming bankruptcy, Apple has decided not to charge its Greek customers for their iCloud storage for a month, local blog iPhoneHellas reported this weekend.

After Greece’s creditors prompted the government to implement capital controls in the country, customers grew worried that they would lose access to their iCloud data such as photos, contacts and more as iTunes would not be able to charge their credit cards for paid cloud storage.

“Our sympathies are with our customers in Greece who have experienced an interruption in their iCloud accounts as a results of the fiscal crisis,” an Apple representative told CNBC.

Realizing as much, Apple has decided to appease Greek customers by providing a free 30-day extension for their paid iCloud storage. The iCloud team wrote in an email blast to customers in Greece that Apple won’t attempt to charge them for their plan “until 30 days after your original renewal date.”

“To prevent interruption in your iCloud service during the current fiscal crisis, and to make sure you have access to your content, we’ve extended your iCloud storage plan for an extra 30 days at no additional cost,” reads Apple’s email.

Capital controls in the country limit cash withdrawals to €60 per day, or about $66. International payments via credit cards and services like PayPal have been put on hold as a result of the financial crisis.

However, Greek customers can still pay for their iCloud storage with an iTunes gift card.

“If we are unable to renew your plan” following the expiration of the 30-day extension, “you may need to reduce the amount of iCloud storage you use,” cautions the Cupertino firm, suggesting those paid iCloud storage accounts would get downgraded to the free 5GB tier.

“On June 30, we tried to charge your account for your iCloud space of 20GB, but there is a problem with your payment details,” as per an email message one customers received from Apple, quoted by Bloomberg News last week.

“If we don’t manage to renew your subscription, your account will be downgraded to the free 5GB space program,” cautioned the message.

According to Tech.eu, Google, Amazon, GoDaddy and a number of other Western companies have provided an extension period for Greek users until August 1.

Though stricter economic controls imposed on the 11 million people marked bar Apple from legally accepting payments from Greek iTunes account holders, residents of Greece with a US iTunes Store account and a valid non-Greek payment method (such as a prepaid/gift card, iTunes credit or a US-issued credit card) are unaffected by this issue.

On the other hand, as Greek iTunes accounts currently cannot remove local credit card information, those customers may be prevented from updating software on their devices until they have a chargeable credit card on file with iTunes.

Source: iPhoneHellas (Google Translate)

  • Newgunnerr

    DISCRIMINATION!

    • SkyFall

      Towards??

    • Giacomo Castellucci

      Frankly I’d rather pay iCloud storage than be in such a deep crisis as Greek people. IMHO there’s nothing to be mad about if someone tries to help Greece to keep going

    • Marcus

      I’d rather pay $2 every month for iCloud storage than lose all my money to the government.

  • Dan

    Yeah that will help them with the debt crisis lol

  • Am I the only one whose thinking this situation could be completely avoided if Apple stopped being so stingy and offered us more free iCloud space. Pretty much every competitor to iCloud and iCloud Drive offers a better service with more free storage.

    • Dan

      Well, it wouldn’t change anything for Greece, but I agree.

      Even when I had an iPhone I still used Google Drive. Does everything better, and cheaper. I paid for it for a while, but now I am using 125GB free for 2 years (promotion for getting an HTC M9).

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      Nothing’s free. While you may not pay with your wallet in $ amount for those services that offer “free” cloud storage, but you pay in a different currency, your information. They say they offer free cloud storage, then how do they make ends meet? How do they make money? Files that you have saved in the cloud, it’s not off-limits, they can comb through it if they like, and they do, sell that data/information to companies that will pay $$$. At least that’s the most simplistic way of looking at it. Yes, Apple is very stingy when it comes to anything, and they do make you pay a premium for virtually anything, but at least your data is your data and no one else’s. Or at least that’s what they say and we just have to take their word for it.

      • They say they offer free cloud storage, then how do they make ends meet?

        By offering a competitively priced premium service. Apple charging £15 a month (around $23.27) for 1tb of storage is a complete and utter rip-off in comparison to say Microsofts Office 365 offering that gives users 10tbs of storage or Googles $9.99 (which is currently £6.44 in the currency I’m interested in) or Dropboxs £7.99 a month for 1tb. Apple charges the most money for the least benefit and none of these other services are stealing my information either and even if they were then using encryption (which you should do for all sensitive information) would prevent such snooping.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        I’m not siding with Apple here, I’m just giving a comparison on how both services do their business. Dropbox, Google, Flickr, et-al have free tiers of their cloud storage services but they use information that you give them and you agree to that prior to using their services. Apple on the other hand charges a premium, but plays the “we don’t read your data, we respect your privacy”-card. Apparently having absolute privacy is a luxury these days and requires you to pay a premium, at least Apple thinks so. I do agree with you in the sense that they offer the least for the most in this case and they do not seem to be highly responsive in the “race to the bottom” price models when it comes to their cloud service at least. But in their eyes, users have a choice, use free services but will require you to give up some privacy in exchange for not paying any unit of money, or have that privacy (with them) and pay a premium. Apple also can play the “our services work best with the devices we make and everything is so integrated”-spiel. I for one do not use any cloud storage services because I do not need to, nor do I want to. I also don’t have that much data and any data I have are all on 2 external HDDs and my devices. Also, no amount of encryption a cloud service may offer you prevents you from being snooped on, it’s more to do with their encryption design, which is influenced by their corporate culture toward their consumers (i.e. Apple’s mentality of respecting users privacy being of paramount importance, or at least that’s what they are conveying).

      • Also, no amount of encryption a cloud service may offer you prevents
        you from being snooped on, it’s more to do with their encryption design,
        which is influenced by their corporate culture toward their consumers
        (i.e. Apple’s mentality of respecting users privacy being of paramount
        importance, or at least that’s what they are conveying).

        Since we’re talking cloud storage services if you encrypt your data offline before uploading it, it is impossible for Google/Dropbox/Microsoft/Insert_Company_Here to spy on the data you are uploading. Even if the service isn’t designed with privacy in mind (and many are, for example Mega) without the key to unlock your data it wouldn’t matter.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        Oh sorry I missed that part about offline encryption prior to uploading on to the cloud service. Then in that case you’re right. Also, I though Mega’s cloud service (Kim Dotcom’s service) was designed specifically with user privacy in mind.

      • Also, I though Mega’s cloud service (Kim Dotcom’s service) was designed specifically with user privacy in mind.

        Correct. This was the point I was trying to make. Apple didn’t invent privacy they’re just using it to promote their business (and I don’t blame them one bit). Mega is completely free (unless you opt to pay for their premium service) and gives you ten times the amount of storage Apple gives you with their free tier and is built with privacy in mind. My personal opinion is that Apple seriously needs to up their game if they want to beat their competitors at cloud services. Just charging a premium with the only perceived benefit over some competitors being privacy isn’t enough.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        Definitely in agreement with you that Apple needs to be more competitive in the cloud service market. From my standpoint it doesn’t really affect me as I do not use any cloud service as I mentioned earlier. But I agree that only 5GB of cloud storage as a free tier is rather stingy cheap of Apple, and their paid tiers are outrageous vis-a-vis the competition. Either reduce your price a fair amount (a 30% price reduction seems only fair) and keep the same storage plans, or keep prices the same but increase storage by two fold. The former seems better. As “integrated” as iCloud’s service might seem to be, it sure does experience a fair amount of problems based on user complaints, and the outages seem semi-frequent. From a price/service standpoint they are fighting an uphill battle for sure. Well, it was good to exchange words with you.