It was innocent enough really. The App Store was telling me that I had an update for Fantastical 2. And what should you do when you have an update from the App Store?
Well, in this case, I probably should have left the update alone.
The story begins with me applying the update. I have many apps that I have purchased from the App Store. And they are frequently updated.
This one, though, decided to give me trouble.
It began with this dialog box. One that I would see several hundred times over the next few days as tech support from Flexibits and Apple attempted, in vain, to resolve the issue.
I followed the direction, entered my password and, voila: the same dialog box reappeared.
I repeated the same steps a few dozen times expecting, perhaps, that my one and only Apple ID and password would eventually be accepted. But all that happened?
And then it dawned on me. A crushing conclusion. I would have to contact technical support.
I am, by nature, a very self reliant person. I prefer to manage my own affairs especially my own tech stuff. It is very rare that I deal with technical support especially with software companies.
But I use Fantastical 2 on all my devices: laptop, smartphone, tablets and desktop. Even though I am retired, I still have important meetings to manage gosh darn it!
Here was my first note out to technical support at Flexibits.
The latest update from the App Store broke my desktop app. I am stuck in an infinite loop with the following dialog:
“Fantastical 2” was purchased using the App Store on another computer. To use “Fantastical 2” on this computer, sign in using the Apple ID and password used to purchase it.
I sign in using the only Apple ID and password I have ever had, and all that happens is the same dialog box comes back up.
The reply was actually pretty fast. And it led to the following set of emails:
Funny how the technical support folks continued to focus on the obvious: you must be using a different Apple ID and password so go back and check!
I sent them a copy of my receipt.
I purchased Fantastical 2 on the very iMac which the App Store rejected.
At this point, Flexibits gave up and told me to contact Apple. The problem, they said, must be with the App Store.
So I reached out to Apple.
Well, of course this had absolutely NOTHING to do with the problem. And I told them that. Their response? Well, you will have to contact a different support group at Apple.
And I did.
I have Apple Care which I guess gives me a bit of an advantage in terms of getting technical support in a timely manner. I called Apple Support, provided them my AppleID and my device and within just a few minutes I was online with first-level support.
We spent about an hour or two making all sorts of changes to my machine. We did a safe start with the iMac — at which point Fantastical 2 from the App Store did launch properly — and then moved on to removing login items, trashing all sorts of files and, well, eventually being assigned to second-level support as we kept getting the same dialog box over and over.
I spent several hours on the phone attempting to resolve this issue with second-level support. We tried killing processes in sequence, multiple safe starts as well reinstalling the OS. I must admit I was a bit nervous about doing that step.
Anyway, after spending about four or five hours chasing down the issue, I launched Fantastical 2 from my now very clean iMac and what did I get?
Apple gave up and told me to go back to Flexibits.
Which I did. At this point, I thought it would be easier just to buy the desktop version off the Flexibits website and abandon the App Store upgrade altogether. But, now that I am retired, I have to think about expenses. Why should I have to pay twice for the same product?
So I started with a request for a discount.
Their first response was to try and make the website version authenticate with a hidden file that the App Store deposits on the computer. Using the terminal app, I punched in a Unix copy command, optimistic that I would finally have my app back and working.
Clicked on the Fantastical 2 app icon and…
We tried a bunch of other technical stuff and it became apparent to Flexibits that this problem was not going to get resolved.
The other way out of this pickle was a link to a coupon for a zero-cost license to Fantastical 2 from the Flexibits website.
I clicked on the Fantastical 2 app icon and…