Illusion of Choice, Illusion of Consent: The Bite of Apple

Which choice is the default choice can make a big difference for a software companies profits. When Apple notified me it was going to charge me $11.99 a year for iCloud services I didn’t need and never asked for, it was quite annoying that I had to research how to undo things to avoid being charged. I thought they were giving me a lesser of two evils choice of pay $11.99 a year or pay in trouble and bother and time. But it turned out to be worse. I unchecked backup for my iPhone photos–something I had never asked for and didn’t realize was happening. Then I went through the procedure to downgrade (not a well-displayed option at all) and got to the window you can see at the top of this post. I have the “free option” checked, but the “Done” button is grayed out and does not function. So there is no way to save my choice, and as far as I know I am still slated to be charged $11.99 on December 21. 

Note how it says that I am using less than 1 gigabyte, so it wasn’t a problem of lagged recognition of unchecking the photo backup on my iphone. 

I suspect there is a way to fix this by going to my local Apple Store or calling up customer service. But that isn’t fair at all! That is definitely charging me more than $11.99 in time and bother to avoid a $11.99 charge. And maybe if I were more of an expert, I would know what to do, but I am fairly confident that many, many people would have the same problem I had and give up–which means paying up. This is bad enough I think it could easily constitute an anti-trust violation.

  This is how well displayed the free option is. The free option is hidden behind the “downgrade options” button. As far as I know, this screen is the only path to the free option.

This is how well displayed the free option is. The free option is hidden behind the “downgrade options” button. As far as I know, this screen is the only path to the free option.