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Old 12-11-2010, 11:57 AM   #1
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iTunes geographical issue---warning!

My Canadian parents got an iPad for my stepfather's birthday. He didn't open it until they were already in Florida for the winter, and now he can't get it registered due to geographical restrictions. They kept getting error messages when they put in their Canadian address and credit card info.

Apparently they even took it to an Apple store, spent over an hour at the genius bar with the store manager and finally heard from someone at Apple Corporate with the final verdict: they cannot register an iTunes account to their Canadian credit card unless they (and the iPad) and physically located in Canada while they do it.

They have asked me to bring the iPad back with me after my visit, and they are giving me their credit card info so I can do it here for them and then send the iPad back with the next person to visit. It doesn't seem like their is any other way around it! I think this is ridiculous. I just cannot believe they are the first people to ever find themselves receiving an iPad while they are not at home. I can't believe there is no way around this. But the word from Apple HQ is clear---you must be physically located in the country of your credit card information during your iTunes registration, or it won't work!
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:30 PM   #2
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I don’t get it—why won’t your stepfather get his own, American iTunes account?

Apart from that, I’m not sure what the problem is. Actually the iTunes Store does not have any IP filter that would block international customers. Maybe the activation process is different from the registration, but that’s kinda hard for me to believe.

Last edited by Yoshi 1080; 12-11-2010 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
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He is not American and does not have an American credit card, so how/why could he get an American iTunes account? He is a Canadian vacationing there who received the iPad as a gift from his Canadian family members and did not open it until he was technically physically located in the USA as he had started his vacation by then.

The problem is that now that he is no longer physically in Canada, iTunes will not let him set up an account with his Canadian info. So he basically cannot use the iPad at all until he can get it back into Canada to be registered. That's a pretty big problem to me!
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:47 PM   #4
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Okay, I understand. What exactly does iTunes say during the registration process? Are you sure he tried to register at the Canadian iTunes Store and not accidentally at the US iTunes Store? Did he do that on his own notebook?
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:43 PM   #5
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Well, I wasn't there so it's hard to say for sure. He says it would not let him register an iTunes account so he took the iPad to the Apple store and that's where he got his answer. I'll be going there in about two weeks so I'll have a look myself. Worst case scenario is, I bring it back with me and do it here for him, but then he won't get the iPad back until February. And I do think this has soured him a little on the whole thing. He is not a techie so I just hope we have not lost him for good!
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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If itunes is doing an ip check to verify country location, perhaps you could use a VPN service? Get a canadian VPN account and log on your pc that has the iTunes and activate. The price is around $15 for a month maybe cheaper.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
My Canadian parents got an iPad for my stepfather's birthday. He didn't open it until they were already in Florida for the winter, and now he can't get it registered due to geographical restrictions. They kept getting error messages when they put in their Canadian address and credit card info.

Apparently they even took it to an Apple store, spent over an hour at the genius bar with the store manager and finally heard from someone at Apple Corporate with the final verdict: they cannot register an iTunes account to their Canadian credit card unless they (and the iPad) and physically located in Canada while they do it.

They have asked me to bring the iPad back with me after my visit, and they are giving me their credit card info so I can do it here for them and then send the iPad back with the next person to visit. It doesn't seem like their is any other way around it! I think this is ridiculous. I just cannot believe they are the first people to ever find themselves receiving an iPad while they are not at home. I can't believe there is no way around this. But the word from Apple HQ is clear---you must be physically located in the country of your credit card information during your iTunes registration, or it won't work!
Easiest workaround:
You can register an US account with any valid US address.
Without entering any credit card infos.
If you want to purchase within this US account, you can use gift cards.
You get those gift cards with only minor uplift via eBay and various webstores.
I'm doing this for years to purchase US content here in Germany. Given the exchange rate, even with the uplift for the gift cards, it's about the same amount, it's usually an earlier release and I've got the English original.
Apple easily could block this. For example, I don't use VPN on my AppleTV. But this seriously would harm their business. Imagine US residents on vacation in Europe...
I've read somewhere, 75% of the US gift cards are sold/used outside of the US.

Later on, he easily can add a 2nd account for his actual Canadian address.
You permanently can switch between numerous accounts.
I'm constantly using a German account and a US one.

Last edited by mgmueller; 12-12-2010 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:41 PM   #8
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If itunes is doing an ip check to verify country location, perhaps you could use a VPN service? Get a canadian VPN account and log on your pc that has the iTunes and activate. The price is around $15 for a month maybe cheaper.
iTunes isn't checking IPs. They check validity of the address (does the zip code even exist?) and the credit card (you don't have to give any, you can use gift cards instead).
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:30 AM   #9
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Last year I bought an ipod touch in the US and was able to register it to my UK account with no problem (while in the US).

I would suggest you open an itunes account for him in Canada. You can use your own credit card, then delete your card after the account is set up and add an itunes card. Give the account log in details to your Dad and he needs to make sure he is logging into the Canadian store.

I think it should work as long as he is in the Canadian store.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:13 AM   #10
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iTunes isn't checking IPs. They check validity of the address (does the zip code even exist?) and the credit card (you don't have to give any, you can use gift cards instead).
Not so sure. Cannot open a German itunes account from Spain, although I have a German adress and a German credit card. So it may be checking the IP Adress.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:14 AM   #11
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Not so sure. Cannot open a German itunes account from Spain, although I have a German adress and a German credit card. So it may be checking the IP Adress.
Hmmm.....that's a new one.....
If so, it should be solvable via VPN.
Still, quite surprising.
A friend of mine in the US is doing significant business with US gift cards for European and Asian customers. He didn't run into such troubles so far...

I'm still intensively buying from iTunes US. So at least for purchases, iTunes definitely isn't checking IPs. Maybe it's different for opening an account, although I've never heard of it before.

Are you trying to open a new account? Or are you trying to change an existing one?

If you PM your email address (the one you want to have for your account) to me, I'll try to open a German account for you.

Last edited by mgmueller; 12-12-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:56 AM   #12
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I just sent you a PM. It does not work via VPN, I tried that too. Thanks for your help, hopefully that will work !
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:57 AM   #13
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US iTunes accounts from overseas

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
Hmmm.....that's a new one.....
If so, it should be solvable via VPN.
Still, quite surprising.
A friend of mine in the US is doing significant business with US gift cards for European and Asian customers. He didn't run into such troubles so far...

I'm still intensively buying from iTunes US. So at least for purchases, iTunes definitely isn't checking IPs. Maybe it's different for opening an account, although I've never heard of it before.

Are you trying to open a new account? Or are you trying to change an existing one?

If you PM your email address (the one you want to have for your account) to me, I'll try to open a German account for you.
I've been trying to do this all afternoon. I'm using AlwaysVPN, I'm trying to register by "buying" a free app - so no credit card etc - I'm giving valid US address and phone number and I'm using a fresh GMail account - but it tells me to contact iTunes customer service to complete the transaction - gah! so annoying
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:19 AM   #14
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I don't want to register him an account on my computer because my computer is already set up on my own iTunes account and I don't want to ruin it. I would hate for it to delete all my stuff or something if I try and log in with a different account!

I could set him up a US account while I am there and he can use gift cards on it, I guess, Is it easy for him to change it to a Canadian account once he is back here?
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:36 AM   #15
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I don't want to register him an account on my computer because my computer is already set up on my own iTunes account and I don't want to ruin it. I would hate for it to delete all my stuff or something if I try and log in with a different account!

I could set him up a US account while I am there and he can use gift cards on it, I guess, Is it easy for him to change it to a Canadian account once he is back here?
I've got 5 (don't ask...) different accounts in iTunes. Don't worry. Nothing will happen. Your PC/Mac simply gets registered...

Last edited by mgmueller; 12-12-2010 at 11:49 AM.
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