Update that will shock no one: Tech still hates me

For the love of god.

I got in touch with Apple support via chat late this morning to ask what I thought was a simple issue that I was getting run around about with online searches: How to link my iPhone calendar and my wife’s so we could each see appointments the other had made.

That chat session was a leeeeeengthy process, about an hour, that in theory was finally cleared up with a link I got toward the end of the communication. But before that ended, I discovered that all but two of my contacts had disappeared. My entire chat history I’ve ever had on the iPhone only had my wife’s name, my daughter’s name (both of whom I was texting this morning), Apple Canada’s number and, rather unhelpfully, my own name and number.

Ok, so forget the calendar thing. My contacts have all disappeared. Hundreds of them.

Hello, Apple support again!

I called them this time, because yeah, I was kinda done typing in chat windows.

So began a call that lasted the better part of two hours:

See if the contacts are still on my aging Mac? Negative.

See if they’re accessible this other way on the Mac? Also negative.

Doing a restoration of just my contacts from last night (importantly, from an automated backup that was prior to my contacts disappearing) not only failed to restore my full contacts list, but it in fact removed even more of them. Now my wife and daughter had been removed as well, leaving Apple Canada and me as the only contacts in my entire contacts list. I texted an aunt, with her name attached to that number, at 10:35 last night. Yet restoring the full contacts backup from 7:59 last night took even more contacts away. I mean… what?

So, then… are the contacts saved on iCloud? Big fat negative.

She hadn’t previously ever seen one thing we ran into, followed by another, then another.

Ultimately she concluded she’d have to escalate the issue to a higher tier of tech support. But before that, she strongly recommended in no uncertain terms that I do a backup of the phone. So that whatever may happen to it during the more intense dive into what’s happening, if I lose anything on the phone, I can get it back via the backup.

Solid plan.


The Mac is so old, and planned obsolescence is so ingrained in our society (ugh, urgh, guh), that my Mac likely can’t get a new enough version of iTunes to talk to my way newer iPhone in order to do a proper backup. Heaven forbid we let either our computers or our phones get too old!

So it’s over to my Windows laptop we go, in order to download iTunes on it, in order to back-up my phone, before safely being able to escalate the problem of my disappearing contacts.

Well, I went to the Apple website to get iTunes, and it directs me to download the program through the Microsoft Store (with a link supplied to get me there). I clicked on that, and it took me to the iTunes download page on the Microsoft Store, but then it wouldn’t let me download it. I got an error message saying that the Microsoft Store (which I was on seconds earlier) was unavailable and to try again later.

The rep on the phone had never heard of the Microsoft Store as a whole not being accessible. I suggested it may perhaps be connected to the clusterfuck issues of Rogers being down yesterday (and reportedly largely fixed but still dragging out in some respects today). The problem could be, in short, that I was trying to access it because I’m on a Bell system that lets me get online, but perhaps the Microsoft Store was using Rogers networking somewhere and thus it couldn’t shake proverbial hands with my computer to make the connection happen properly.

Whatever the case, no getting iTunes onto my laptop to do the backup of the phone to do the escalated service to solve the contacts missing.

Then I remembered that my wife’s Windows laptop was available as well and, with her having had an iPhone forever, it may already have iTunes that would surely be more recent than whatever I could get on my old Mac.

Well, that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? Not only did she not have iTunes (so how she’s been doing any phone backups is already confusing), but attempts to get iTunes onto her computer–fun fact: Different computers using different browsers will give you different search results for things you do precisely the same search on precisely the same things for, like airplane seat sales, etc., so since she uses a different browser, I thought maybe her computer would have better luck at getting iTunes–but that failed as well. She could at least get onto the Microsoft Store (so, already better luck than me there), but doing a search for iTunes in the store turned up nothing. It was as if that program didn’t exist. So, bottom line, dead end there as well.

So the Apple support rep suggested giving the Mac a try after all, since, hey, it was the only option left and at least it already had iTunes on it. But after a number of attempts from a number of different angles to get that to work, she concluded that it’s an old enough version of iTunes (the most recent version possible on the most recent version of the MacOS that it’s been designed to allow) that it won’t properly connect to my phone and thus, it can’t do the needed backup.

All of which is to say, I’m currently without a contacts list and with no discernible way at the moment to do a backup of the phone in order to safely proceed with trying to figure out where every one of my contacts has disappeared to.

All of this, complete with a brief wait to get the call from Apple support, took close to four hours right out of the middle of my day. And zero has been resolved.

Good. Lord.