Greece’s financial meltdown has led to a ban on overseas payments or transfers, leading to iCloud, iTunes and App Store customers bring unable to renew subscriptions or make purchases.
For those outside Europe who may not have seen too much news coverage, a combination of a long history of low levels of tax collection and the global financial crash has left Greece unable to pay its international debts. To prevent a collapse of the Greek banking system, the government has put strict controls in place, including maximum cash withdrawals of €60 ($66) a day – and a complete ban on overseas payments or transfers.
While the inability to buy a song, video, or iOS app is WAY down on the list of problems the Greeks are facing due to their financial crisis, it does pose a problem for customers in the country who have a large amount of data stored in Apple’s iCloud. If a customer cannot renew their iCloud subscription, they run the risk of losing their data.
A Bloomberg faces this issue after receiving n email from Apple telling them their iCloud renewal attempt had failed:
“On June 30, we tried to charge your account for your iCloud space of 20GB, but there is a problem with your payment details,” said one e-mail received by Bloomberg News staff based in Athens. “If we don’t manage to renew your subscription, your account will be downgraded to the free 5GB space program.”
At this point in time, it is unknown how long the emergency banking controls in Greece will stay in place. Greek citizens on Sunday voted by a large margin against Europe’s latest financial bailout offer, raising the possibility that Greece could abandon the euro and print its own currency, which could lead to huge damage to the Greek economy.