Potential Hiccup in iPhone 4 Free Case Program?

It's cool that Apple is willing to give us  free bumpers and cases, but their system may be a little "flawed" to say the least.  After the announcement went up, I immediately downloaded the bumper app and typed in my iTunes password, it brought me to the selection screen. (By the way, is anyone else only seeing black bumpers? Where's all the colors?!?)  Seeing only black was available, I went ahead and got a black.  My order processed no problem. Unless you count the ridiculous 3-5 week shipping window.

Here's where the problems begin.  We have 2 iPhone 4s in our house, both linked to the same iTunes account, which I'd assume isn't that uncommon for couples and spouses who obviously share joint bank accounts.  Well,using the other iPhone 4, we downloaded the app, launched, typed iTunes password, and it told me I already had an order placed.  D'oh!

I called Apple to ask them what was going on and their solution was for me to just make another iTunes account for the other iPhone.  To me, that's not a solution, that just creates more of a hassle for me.  It's something I shouldn't have to do to begin with.  What would have been wrong with a process where you just enter your iPhone 4 serial number in order to redeem? Then users could do this online or from their phones.  That would have been pretty fool proof in my opinion.  Doing it by iTunes account is just a bad idea in general.

Anyone else having this issue? Or is their system just wigging out?  Apple didn't seem to have any idea what was going on.  I'm still expecting an e-mail back from a rep at Apple as to whether or not they can just process my second order for me.  I'll update if I hear anything further.

Update: Apparently you don't have to log in with an iTunes ID, it can be an Apple ID too. It does appear they are checking the serials as well. (Obviously to prevent people from logging into multiple iTunes accounts or Apple IDs on the same device to get more than one free case).  I'm still curious as to why or if they're checking iTunes accounts as well, as there really is no need if they're going off serial.

Update 2: It looks as if a lot of users are saying their orders went through just fine with the same iTunes/AppleID - perhaps it was a glitch that got worked out or a bug? Who knows, but be sure to let us know if you have issues as well.  Mine eventually went through ok but we did have to use a different AppleID for the second phone.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Potential Hiccup in iPhone 4 Free Case Program?


AppleID can be registered on the Apple site just to check order statuses, etc... iTunesID is unique to iTunes. Your appleID and iTunesID can be the same, most people's probably are, but you can have both. An AppleID also doesn't ask for a form of payment.

Just hold it with your right hand. This is an imaginary issue. Check apple.com for all the other companies that have problems offering free cases due to similar problems. -Steve

@Rick - Really? Hmmm... I'd been emailing apple all day. I wonder why only some people are having the issue. Do you use the exact same iTunes login on both devices??

Who is running this operation? I can only think of the Career Builder commercial with a bunch of monkeys jumping all over the office. Apple's glass house (or glass Apple Store's) is crumbling.

I had the same painless experience as Rick. One single iTunes ID, two iPhones. I ordered a bumper with my phone and my wife ordered some other third party case via her phone a couple minutes later. No issues. I've received confirmation emails from both orders.

The reason they use you apple/iTunes ID is so they automatically fill the form with your shipping details. The process is simple and works, but in special situations they shield be able to sort it over the phone with the serial

Tipb....where some people are never happy. They are giving u a free case just create and account who cares.
Let's see if my comment gets deleted.

@Websyndicate why would we delete your comment? Free speech is ok around these parts (as long as it doesn't attack other users of course)
that's what i ended up doing and it went through ok.
@Chris Vitek I'd try your ID first on both and see if it goes through, it may have been a bug they corrected as others are saying theirs went through ok.

Should Omar wait until they make a white bumper available? Can I go to the apple store and get a white bumper free, or buy and get a refund? Omar is all about the white bumper. "how do you expect to run with the wolves at night when you spend your days sparring with the puppies?"

Man I lucked out and have a peerfect working iPhone 4.
I tried the death grip and no bars drop at all! I think it's because I have the 32gb and they probably made way more 16gb and thats where there may be a problem.? I love getting a free bumper though I got a clear one.
Maybe you guys should get a 32gb and test my theory ?

I am curious how apple is allowing 2 different iPhones to have the same iTunes account... From a licensing stand point for software u are taking money out of developers hands... Allyson you and your husband should both have to pay for angry birds or doodle jump...

@Jason masters: I've had two 32GB iPhone 4's and both did exhibit the signal attenuation issue when lower left corner was held. I'm left-handed, that's my normal grip. Case solves the issue, and I intended to always have in case anyway, so my annoyance is mainly with Steve Jobs' arrogance.

@Trav - with your theory, if you got your phone swapped out, you would be willing to pay for all those apps again? apple allows you to use your iTunes account with any iDevices you have. With your theory, that means I should have to pay for the same app I already purchased on my iPhone to run it on my iPad. When you get a new computer, do you use your current software discs? I bet you do. Same concept. I paid for the app for my own personal use, not commercial use. Apple openly says you can sync the same iTunes account for more than one device given many people own more than one apple device. btw, i do not have "a husband", ;)

Umm..that's the norm. I got 3 iphone 4's plus one unactivated iphone 3GS on the same itunes account. It's called app sharing and a key benefit for choosing to be in the itunes ecosystem.

We've got two in our household and share the same iTunes account. It took the orders for each just perfectly. We each downloaded the app and made our own separate choice - and that was all there was to it.

@Cardfan well said. anytime we've gotten our iPhones they've offered to help us set things up and Apple has said we can share iTunes accounts. that's always been the case. and as far as computers go, you can authorize up to 5 computers to download purchased content, same concept i suppose.

@Trav. Apple allows a purchased app to be installed on all iPhones, iPads, iPod Touchs that a family has that are synced to one Apple account - only pay for the app once. AFAIK it has always been this way.

I still cannot get into the app past the "Get Started" button. I enter my iTunes password and I get "unable to process request". This happens on 3 different iPhone 4s, and 2 different iTunes accounts

I was able to order a case for 2 iPhones I have. I have them linked to the same itunes account and already recieved the email confirming that the order was received.

I ordered two but on the phones that I wanted them for. In other words, I didn't order both from the same phone.

After I enter my password, I get a screen indicating that my iPhone does not qualify -- no indication as to why. Was on the phone with Apple for an hour (on hold most of that time), and just as they were requesting that I email some info, my face hung up and called someone else. Ouch! I've sent an email with most of the requested info, but I didn't know to what address to send it -- I hope it gets routed to the right group at Apple.

Did any of you get a confirmation email or something of the sort after placing your order? Just want to make sure that my order actually went through.

this article is a fail. jumped the gun at writing it and created a new comment thread of ignorance and flinging.

@ Lawrence
You should get a confirmation email after you order. It might take a little bit to receive the email since i'm sure there's a butt load of people ordering their cases right now.

Allyson, how does Omar go about getting a free white bumper yo? Naturally, Omar was vexed when he discovered the website only offered black. Does Omar hurry up and wait for white to be offered? Your advice is appreciated. "I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase, but it's all in the game though right?"

I had trouble signing in with my iTunes account. I had to log off and sign in and sync my phone to my apple I'd in order to use the case program app. Then I recd an email stating that my order will ship august 27th. That's too long for a case.

@ Allyson... I have two iphones under the same itunes account and this morning I place two different orders without any issues...
On the second order ( wife's iphone) I just change my name in the confirmation page, I put my wife's name and her email address... About an hour later we both got confirmation emails from apple.

2 iphones both using the same iTunes login and I was able to order a free case with each phone and had no problems. I was concerned that there would be an issue, but I was pleasantly surprised. I have received both order confirmations as well :)
I didn't even change the name on the shipping address. Both phones are under my name on AT&T and when we go into the Apple Store both phones are under my name for repair issues. I got both order confirmations though it did take about 2 hours.

I totally understand that if YOU personally have more than 1 device iPad or iPod touch... Or even updated your phone from 3GS to 4... But what you said is you and another person( not husband sorry  ) using the same account... And yes I am not saying I am perfect with software licensing but your writing for a major blog and publicly saying your "borrow" software

Stop complaining and create another account.. If you have such a huge problem with everything.. how bout u start ur own company, build your own phone with an antenna issue and send yourself a free case using your serial number..

You're a 100%, Grade A tool. Do us all a favor and DIAF.
Your iPhone experience =/= everyone else's.

@Trav and I am telling you apple sees no issue with this. They were obviously aware we both have separate phones. It is common practice. Sorry you never realized this but I'm not going against apple policy so please do not question my ethics. I am a registered apple developer and we release themes in cydia and rock as well. I do not need to hear about ethics or morals. I'm aware. And I'm not violating any software policy.

My order went through without a hitch. I ordered a case (last in the list) that indicated 4-6 weeks. I'll just use the case for grip during ski season. I've ordered one of the edge decals to manage the death grip in a more elegant manner than my piece of scotch tape....which works quite effectively!

I think it's just a glitch in the system, I have 3 different iPhone 4 al linked in the same iTunes account. I downloaded the "iPhone 4 case program" on each phone and ordered 1 case on each using the same iTunes account and it all went thru.

Me and my wife share the same iTunes account and all I had to do was make sure that I used the phone number for the device I was ordering from and not the one that defaulted on the screen, and it worked fine.

Ally a 2-3 week wait is NOT ridiculous when Apple and Steve have publicly announced that they can not make enough cases. This is why they have included other manufactures to help them out. However these other manufactures may likely begin to suffer from the same problem with the new rush for cases/bumpers. There is also a reason why black is the only option for the Apple bumper... More colors mean more manufacturing lines and batches which would result in a much much longer wait than the 2-4 weeks.

Did anyone order two different cases on two different iPhones with the same confirmation email address? I did and have only received one confirmation email. Everything seemed to work perfectly but I don't know why I have not received another confirmation. We ordered two different cases. Any help would b great. Perhaps I just need to wait longer?

I think I have the exact opposite problem (well, good for me, definate hiccup for apple. My fiance purchased a bumper for me in our local apple store, using her credit card, and had her receipt emailed to her. (she still has iphone 3). She logged in and a refund has been processed for the bumper. On the other side...I am able to log in and get a free case using the app on my iphone 4. So, looks like I'll get both a free bumper via the refund and a free case via the app.

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