I have two Apple ID’s: one for the UK and one for the US. It’s not a problem for an iOS device to switch between store regions, even though it’s an annoying user experience. It should happen automatically.
However, I had a problem several times now whereby my UK account shows my US billing address – and even asks me to verify my payment details. Trouble is, it’s impossible to verify my credit card due to the region mismatch.
Most Apple Support staff are clueless when you bring this problem up, because “it’s impossible for our system to do that”. I know it’s a strange one, so here’s some proof from iTunes:
Before I forget how to fix this again, let me tell you HOW this problem came to be:
Unbeknownst to me I had added the email address of my US account as an alternative email address to my UK account. The App Store really doesn’t like this, and hence mixes up the addresses – particularly because my UK account no longer has a credit card on file.
How to fix the Region Mismatch Nightmare
A very nice gentleman from Apple named Melvin had the solution – he suggested the following:
- login to https://appleid.apple.com using the account that needs fixing
- select your language at the bottom right if needed
- click “Addresses” and remove outdated ones
- edit the single remaining Address and change it to the desired region and country
- edit your Phone Number (doesn’t have to match the region – I added a US phone number to my UK account, just make sure you add the correct country code)
- hit save and log out
This will fix the problem. It’s probably best to remove alternate email addresses that are associated with other accounts, otherwise this problem will come back to haunt you (under Name, ID and Email Addresses).
When you first log in here, you may be prompted to change your password to a more up-to-date one. Mine for example did not begin with a capital letter, and Apple no longer allow such passwords.
Back on your iOS device
If you now try to buy something from the App Store on your iOS device you may still be greeted with the verification dialogue, showing your (outdated) address and credit card information.
Fix this by selecting “NONE” under credit card, tweak your phone number, and the verification will be successful.
Another mystery solved!