Wifibooth Pro purchase recovery (successful!)

Having a problem that isn't related to cameras or printers?
FeRDNYC
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:01 am

Wifibooth Pro purchase recovery (successful!)

Postby FeRDNYC » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:54 pm

I'm not even sure whether this section or Suggestions & Ideas makes more sense for this post, but I'm sure it'll end up in the right place.

I wanted to share our experiences getting our Pro subscription of Wifibooth (originally purchased and used several months ago on an iPad Air) activated to the iPad Pro we decided to use as our upgraded Wifibooth terminal.

Before I go any further, let me preface this with two things:
  1. We were ultimately successful, which is of course the important thing. But the process consumed the better part of an entire workday, and required us to pull together information from several resources to work out the full picture. That's the main reason I'm writing this: I feel that, for anyone else who finds themselves in this same situation, there are certain things they should know going in that could potentially save them hours of frustration.
  2. We absolutely brought this on ourselves. We did just about everything wrong at every step of the process, and almost certainly made it much more difficult than it should've been. So, again, I feel that being told "whatever you do, don't follow our example" could help others avoid making quite as big a mess of things.
So, right, anyway...

Going into this process, the iPad Air had Wifibooth installed & all Pro features unlocked. The app wasn't installed on the iPad Pro at all.

When Wifibooth was initially installed to the iPad Pro, I have absolutely no idea what Apple ID was signed in to iTunes. I hadn't yet been pulled into the process. There are somehow around 4 different possibilities, and nobody thought to even check. At that point, nobody had any idea what Apple ID was signed in to the iPad Air, either. Nor did they know which Apple ID the subscription had been purchased under. So they started guessing.

Never do this. If W̶o̶o̶d̶y̶ ̶h̶a̶d̶ ̶g̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶P̶o̶l̶i̶c̶e̶ someone had just taken the time to figure out the Apple ID situation before leaping into the install process, I'm sure none of this would ever have happened. But, impulsivity being what it is, that wasn't the case. Instead, they tried to use Wifibooth's Recover Purchase, it would fail, so they'd switch to a different Apple ID. Which involved more guessing of passwords, and then when that inevitably failed, the password-recovery process would be initiated.

To make a long story... still long, by the time I stepped in the logins and access were a mess. I pulled up the email receipt for the Wifibooth purchase (a 90-second action that would've saved hours of time), determined the correct Apple ID, and signed it in to iTunes on iPad Pro. At which point... Recover Purchase still failed with the same error suggesting I might be using the wrong Apple ID. But I knew for certain I wasn't.

What I eventually discovered was that, even when signed in to the 100%-certain correct account, even being able to see the Wifibooth subscription purchase in that account's Purchase History, Wifibooth wasn't showing up in the Subscriptions list on the iPad Pro. (Which you can reach by choosing View Account for the signed-in iTunes account, then selecting Manage Subscriptions from the dialog that comes up.)

The subscription ("Active") for Wifibooth Pro was visible if I did the same things on the iPad Air — with that same Apple ID signed in — but on the iPad Pro I wasn't seeing the Wifibooth subscription, or any of the account's other subscriptions. This turned out to be the first bit of critical information.

Signing out and back in, signing out and restarting the iPad Pro, none of these worked to cause that account's Subscriptions to show up, and predictably Recover Purchases kept failing. At this point I opened a chat with Apple support. Their rep (Trevor) noticed that the iPad Pro wasn't running the very latest iOS 12.2, so he had me upgrade, and even though it felt like busy work I complied.

I don't know that it was actually the iOS 12.2 update that made the difference. My suspicion is that it may have simply been the deep reboot that occurred during the process of updating. But, regardless what did it, when the iPad Pro came back up running 12.2, suddenly that Apple ID was showing the correct Subscription list just like the iPad Air, including the "Active" subscription for Wifibooth Pro. Huzzah!

...Except, Recover Purchase still failed. And it failed again after I signed out, restarted, and signed back in again. (The Subscription list was still populated, though.)

So at that point, I decided that Wifibooth deserved a fresh start as well. So I deleted the app and all of its data (nothing user-generated) from the iPad Pro, restarted one last time, and then actually went into the Subscriptions list to pull up the app, so I could re-download and install it. (I don't think the Subscription-list path actually had anything to do with it at all, it was just an abundance of paranoia.)

Once Wifibooth launched after reinstalling, this time under the correct Apple ID right from the outset, I went into the purchase page, tapped Recover Purchase, and instantly all of the Pro features unlocked.

So, I guess the TL;DR version of this, especially in the context of the information provided in the Wifibooth In-App Purchase Packages article, would be:
  1. To successfully Recover Purchase from Wifibooth, your Pro Subscription must be visible and "Active" in the iTunes & App Store "Manage Subscriptions" list for the signed-in Apple ID, ideally before even installing Wifibooth on the device. Ignore all that stuff about "You may be prompted to sign-in with your Apple ID. Make sure you use the same Apple ID that you used to purchase the package!" If you wait until then to sign in, you may have trouble. Sort out the Subscription status first.
  2. If you didn't follow the previous advice, or only sorted it out after Wifibooth was already installed, completely uninstalling and reinstalling the Wifibooth app CAN get things working again.
Many thanks to Tim for an excellent product, looking forward to exploring the new features for our next event!

User avatar
tim
Site Admin
Posts: 2368
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:14 pm

Re: Wifibooth Pro purchase recovery (successful!)

Postby tim » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:44 pm

Wow. Just, wow. I really hope that Apple will make this easier for their & my customers one day, because this is just too much!

Thank you for the detailed post, great to know your experience. Im sure it will help others too.
Please write a review for Wifibooth on the Apple App store! Indie developers like me really need people like you to review their apps. Instructions on how to write a review: http://goo.gl/w8NsDI.

FeRDNYC
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:01 am

Re: Wifibooth Pro purchase recovery (successful!)

Postby FeRDNYC » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:44 pm

Yeah, it really is sort of beyond the pale.

Apple's stated philosophy for both the iPhone and iPad is that they are strictly single-user devices, and that part I can understand. I'm sure it's killing them that the iCloud and iTunes sign-ons have to be managed separately, and the only reason for that is all those Windows iTunes users whose accounts predate both the iCloud service and the unification of all Apple product accounts into the "Apple ID" single-signon system. Those users wanted their media library to follow them to their iOS devices, even if the device's iCloud account was associated with a different Apple ID, and since Apple took their money they have to facilitate that.

But Apple also has a lot to gain from aggregating as much information as possible about each of their users — as do Google and Facebook and every other Big Data company out there, of course. They also offer a lot of services that interconnect multiple devices, which requires they all be associated with a single iCloud account.* So the sort of people who have four different active accounts, and aren't even sure which one of them to use in a given scenario, probably confound them, and their services are not designed to handle that sort of thing very well at all.

* – (And those interconnected, multi-device services can be really great for personal use, especially now that Handoff makes it easy to migrate an activity from device to device. But the iPad Pro being on the owner's iCloud account meant that one of the annoyances I had to contend with during this whole process was the barrage of notifications that kept popping up for HIS text messages! Turning all of that off to prepare the iPad for use in an event setting also takes a lot more work than it should.)

User avatar
tim
Site Admin
Posts: 2368
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:14 pm

Re: Wifibooth Pro purchase recovery (successful!)

Postby tim » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:19 pm

Yup. It gets even worse if you're a developer: you have a lot of restrictions (ie. your account MUST have 2nd factor device auth, not even a phone number is good enough) and you have wonky sandbox accounts you have to deal with... heaven help you if you accidentally type in a sandbox account somewhere you shouldn't even just once... It's a real mess that Apple has to take on soon.

And even just in-app purchases have serious problems. I regularly have would-be customers contacting me, telling me they are unable to give me their money. Super frustrating for me. No idea how much it has cost me, but I'm guessing it is a lot. Each time I have to tell them, to their dismay, to get in touch with Apple support. If they do, they usually get the issue solved but how many people just give up? It has to just work...
Please write a review for Wifibooth on the Apple App store! Indie developers like me really need people like you to review their apps. Instructions on how to write a review: http://goo.gl/w8NsDI.

FeRDNYC
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:01 am

Re: Wifibooth Pro purchase recovery (successful!)

Postby FeRDNYC » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:07 am

You'd think. Eventually they'll probably realize that this nonsense is costing them money, too, and find some way to either automate the decision process instead of relying on humans to never make mistakes, or respond to mistakes with less of a scorched-earth freakout.

I remember back in the Windows XP days, the new Genuine Advantage nonsense would rescind Windows activation any time you changed a core system component (boot hard drive, motherboard, etc.), and very often even a perfectly legal copy of Windows XP would end up in a locked-out state where it couldn't automatically reactivate. So you'd have to re-type your product key, or if you were really unlucky that wouldn't work so you'd dial the reactivation phone number (!!), and once you gave them your credentials all over again, you'd be reactivated.

Now with Windows 10 licenses can be associated with a Microsoft account, and you can reactivate by authenticating as the account holder. Because it's 2019, and even Microsoft gets that activating a software license by phone is nonsense. (Though I gather it's still a thing, for their enterprise customers.)

(P.S: Apropos of nothing, I happened to notice that your next post here will be your 2000th. Mazel tov! That's a lot of hopefully-satisfied Wifibooth users.)

User avatar
tim
Site Admin
Posts: 2368
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:14 pm

Re: Wifibooth Pro purchase recovery (successful!)

Postby tim » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:30 pm

Ha wow, I did not notice that myself! Thanks! It has been a helluva ride :)
I remember those XP days too. I was working at Microsoft @ HQ when Vista came out, and it uh, was not great... :)
Please write a review for Wifibooth on the Apple App store! Indie developers like me really need people like you to review their apps. Instructions on how to write a review: http://goo.gl/w8NsDI.


Return to “Help: Other issues”