This is a user to user support forum. Apple is not here. Apple does not answer questions here.
To have an account in the iTunes/Mac App Stores;
1. You must use the store for the country where you reside.
2. You must use a bank card from a bank in that country.
3. You must have a verifiable billing address in that country.
Those are the rules. AFAIK, they have always been the rules. The system is automated and is not programmed to use something different. If necessary, use your expat bank card to purchase iTunes/Mac App Store gift cards for the country in which you reside to fund your purchases in the store for the country were you reside.
They have NOT always been the rules. I updated to Lion with a Nicaraguan address and an American credit card, bought things once this was set up, and only very recently, when a Lion upgrade broke Preview and Finder for my Panasonic camera's raw files (I found the fix yesterday, it's a matter of issuing a command-line change), did I find out that I couldn't use the App Store for new purchases. Trust me, this has not always been the case.
Given that I can't use my current credit card to buy anything from Apple and the country where I live doesn't have an Apple Store as far as I know (there may be a fake one in Managua, but nothing is registered with Apple as an authorized store, this is not a viable suggestion.
So Apple used to do the right thing (within the last year) and now choses not to.
This one is particularly nutty because my billing address on the credit card is my Nicaraguan address. The card itself is issued by a US bank, but they know that I am in Nicaragua and I'm giving Apple my Nicaraguan address that matched the address connected with the credit card. I could fax them a copy of my Nicaraguan foreign resident ID card if that would make them happy.
My only recourse is to get people in the US to buy things for me and send them down here.
Message was edited by: MizBrown
The itunes /App store rules a nd restrictions are and always have been attached to BILLING ADDRESS combined with the regional identifier (First four of the sixteen long digits)
To purchase via the US store both criteria need to be met.
If you have moved out of the US and had your cards transfered by the lender the first four of your new card will change leaving you out of the US store.
You will nned to sign out of the US store and open a new account within your new abode using the requiste card and billing address.
Caveate if you actual have multiple abodes like myself FLorida/London/Portugal each with local paymant methods your can have mulitle accounts as Apple does not use IP address blocking.
They have NOT always been the rules.
Yes, those have certainly been the rules for over 10 years at least. Somehow the setup that you had fooled the system until it recently caught up with you. I guess one could say that for that time you were outside the USA you were lucky. As with the other poster, I have two accounts, in two countries, the US and Mexico.
I have never had a US iTunes account. My first iTunes account was set up in Nicaragua, with a US credit card that had my foreign address as the address of record. This card company was sold to another US credit card company which sent me my new card to my address in the country where I have residence. My address is here; my Apple account is here. The first time I ever bought anything was from here with a US credit card, so this is a new thing Apple has done. I'm not pretending to be in the US with a US card. My card issuer knows that I'm in Nicaragua (has my address and my Nicaraguan phone). In fact, if I try to log into the US store and use a US address for the credit card, it doesn't match the address on record. The credit card company's connections are telling Apple that yes, I am in Nicaragua with that card. Every other on line seller I've dealt with accepts the card as my card with my local address, issued by a US bank.
It was not the rule when I bought Lion (and I was in Nicaragua then), or when I bought iMovie, or another program that I just updated.
I have found out that there are some resellers of Macs in Managua.
I'm not asking for advice.
I'm telling people that Apple has recently put in a policy that keeps me from making legitimate transactions with a credit card from a US bank that they accepted before. The first card I used was issued in the US and worked just fine. This is new, with a bank that knows where I live since they shipped the credit card to me here.
I've already complained to Apple directly about this. It's not the way they have always been doing things, so anyone who repeats that is simply ignorant.
Apple knew where I was when I set up the account to buy Lion because we had to work out a way to enter my address in a way that didn't block up when I didn't enter a postal code (Nicaragua has them, but nobody knew what they were at that time). I was in email contact with an Apple representative for that.
My credit card issuer is in the US.
If I try to use my US credit card in the US store, I'm bounced out because any US address will not match the address for the credit card. The address on my credit card is where I'm living now, so I can only set up an account with the Nicaraguan store, which will not accept my credit card number because it was issued by a US bank that knew I was living in Nicaragua.
I don't know if the person who helped me set up the account the first time did anything special, but at NO time was I misrepresenting to Apple about where I was, and I was using a credit card issued by a US credit card company when I set up the account.
I don't have a bank account in Nicaragua (complicates taxes) and I don't have a Nicaraguan-issued credit card (interest rates are something like 18% here and without a Nicaraguan bank account, I'm not sure I could get one, though my phone company offers them).
I am not disputing anything that you say, but I am pointing out that the rules haven't changed and everything you report points to someone helping you skirt the system that has been in place for a long time and what made that house of cards crumble is likely when the bank card company changed hands and you got a new card.
You say that you aren't seeking advice. That is what this forum is for, not grousing about Apple's business decisions or company policies. You agreed not to do either when you opened your account to use these forums.
I'm not buying from the American store from a Nicaraguan address. They should also have a mechanism for fixing things and reporting back promptly that they're fixed, and this needs to be fixed. If they want to blow me away for violating their terms of service, then they should do that. I'm also posting about this in social media. I don't like having things that I had taken away from me. I did find a fix for the Lion upgrade breaking reading Panasonic raw files (I have experience with the command line). Apple needs to fix things promptly (the Lion upgrade broke being able to see .rw2 files as images). i had assumed this was to force people to upgrade iPhoto so they could use the raw update.
So where is a place to complain about Apple's screwups?
I have the same problem with you, just noticed the problem recently myself. The support staff asked me to write a feedback on the iTunes Store, which I did. I'm pretty sure there are many travelers and expats finding this restriction very limiting, so I suggest to send your feedback too, hope more voices will cause Apple to find a more stable solution ( like Amazon).