Two men look at their smart phones in the National Gardens on July 12, 2015 in Athens, Greece
Two men look at their smart phones in the National Gardens on July 12, 2015 in Athens, Greece

iCloud free in Greece: Apple giving Greeks free services to get through debt crisis

Users will be given 30-day 'grace period' — but face being cut off after that

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 14 July 2015 20:09

Apple is giving Greeks free services, to try and keep them getting cut off as the debt crisis leads to a shutdown of the country’s financial system.

Greek customers are being given free iCloud services because they can’t send money to Apple to pay for them, according to Greek website iPhoneHellas. Capital controls mean that citizens can’t send money out of the country — including to US-based Apple — which could lead to them getting cut off from important internet services.

Greek customers were previously told that if payment wasn’t received, they’d be downgraded to the basic 5GB plan. That would mean losing many of the files that are stored in iCloud — which can include documents, photos and backups of devices.

The company is sending out emails telling users that they will get an extension to their plan for a grace period of 30 days. But if the crisis goes on for longer than that, the company warns customers that they might want to start moving their things out of iCloud.

“To prevent interruption in your iCloud service during the current fiscal crisis, and to make sure you have access to your content, we’ve extended your iCloud storage plan for an extra 30 days at no additional cost,” the letter sent to Greek customers reads.

“We won’t attempt to charge you for your plan until 30 days after your original renewal date. If we are unable to renew your plan, you may need to reduce the amount of iCloud storage you use.

The company is just one of a number of tech companies that have continued to offer services despite money not being able to make it out of the country. Payment company PayPal and domain website GoDaddy have both run similar schemes, letting people keep access until capital controls are lifted and they can pay again.

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