Upgrade Cockup

In order to get Mountain Lion, you have to register for the Mountain Lion up-to-date program. And that’s where things already go wrong.

When Apple introduced their new retina Macbook Pro and new Macbook Airs, they also told buyers they would get a free upgrade to the new version of OSX, Mountain Lion. That day has come last week wednesday when they released Mountain Lion onto the public.

In order to get Mountain Lion, you have to register for the Mountain Lion up-to-date program (http://www.apple.com/osx/uptodate/). And that’s where things already go wrong. You go to the Apple site, select Mac, then OSX Mountain Lion. You scroll down and you see the “Get a free upgrade with your new Mac” banner. You click on it, and you get a page with a blue button marked “Request your copy of Mountain Lion”. They ask for purchase date, place of purchase (online Apple store, Apple retail store, reseller), and there are a bunch of disabled fields which are enabled when you select “reseller”. One of the fields is “Country”. Additionally, there’s a “Right to copy” checkbox, and a “Number of Qualifying Systems for Right To Copy”. No idea what this actually meant, I thought, “yes, I do have a right to a copy of Mountain Lion, and I need one copy”. Well, that didn’t work, as it didn’t accept “1” as a valid value. This was early in the morning, before I had coffee… I thought a minute about it, and figured out they meant copying Mountain Lion to multiple systems, like at a university or enterprise, I guess (yes, it is being explained on the left side of that screen). Anyway unticked the checkbox, and the first screen went through.

On the second screen you have to enter your name, and something called Email Id. Not just email address, but Email Id. Does this mean not any email? Not work email, not one of your personal emails, but Email Id. I entered my regular email, which happens to be my iTunes account Id. I guess that is what they meant. They ask you to confirm your Email Id. So I copy/paste the field… nah, they disabled copy/paste on that field.

On the same page you need to enter your “contact information”, “We will only use this information to determine your eligibility for the OS X Mountain Lion Up-to-Date Program.”, which starts with Company/Institution and then address data (minus Country), and telephone.

Next screen they ask you for the serial number of your Mac, and selection of type of Mac (which I find weird too, isn’t that embedded in the number?). Then today it seems you need to upload a proof of purchase, which I didn’t have to do, or maybe it’s because I faked the serial number to get through (it complained I already had registered that serial number). And finally I would get an overview of the information provided before submitting it to the program. And what do I notice (obviously), Sydney, USA. Nowhere was there an entry for Country (except when you bought it at a reseller, potentially abroad), or an option to switch countries. Did the up-to-date program only apply to the USA? No it didn’t, I’m pretty sure it applied here in Australia too.

Starting over… Going to http://www.apple.com/au/, then to Mac, Mountain Lion, upgrade, which is at http://www.apple.com/au/osx/uptodate/ Doing it all over again… Jumping through hoops, pretty painful for a $20 value

But, I don’t get this. Why did they not start with the serial number? When I got my MBAir, and you start it up the first time, you register it (though you can skip this), so they already know who this belongs to. Which is obvious as when I sold my old MBAir to a friend (without deregistering it first) it too knew that it was registered to my account. Then it should ask where I bought it, and since it was at the online apple store, it would know a lot of information, if I had given it my order number. Then they could ask for my Apple account id which happens to be an email address. And that should be it, and 5 minutes later (*) I should have gotten a redeem code.

Not 48 hours later…

And not by sending me 5 emails. Two emails (with the same reference number) containing ridiculous long, different passwords, for three PDFs I received in the other three emails. Of course only one password worked on one PDF (which happened to be the last one I tried). There was no correlation between the email with the password and one of the emails with the pdf, had to try all possible combinations.

Anyway, I had given them 24 hours, paid the $20, and am already running Mountain Lion, which was actually a really easy upgrade experience. Shame about the up-to-date experience. Now, if they could refund me the $20 based on me redeeming the code, but I’m not very hopeful.

* Or even, because I registered a new MBAir at the particular date I bought it, they could have just send me a redeem code last Wednesday.