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The Ordeal of Obtaining an Apple Developer Professional Account

I recently had a pretty bad user experience when I upgraded my personal Apple developer account into a professional one.

To sum things up, we officially created Algolia in early October and I decided to convert my personal Apple Developer Account in order to have our applications published under the “Algolia” name. This process is not available online, but after a quick call, people at Apple sent me the link for the process. It is actually pretty simple: They just need you to fill some information about your company and to accept their EULA.

Well, actually some of this information was pretty obscure. They needed our D-U-N-S® number… Some time ago, Apple was doing the job of checking that your company is a real one, but they decided to delegate this job to an external company (D&B). It looks like a good idea, doesn’t it? After all this is not their core competency and D&B may be doing a really good job for this task…

The short answer is no, it wasn’t a good idea at all! I started to check how to get this famous D-U-N-S® and after some time to understand the antiquated website of D&B, I finally found the contact address. One week later I finally received our D-U-N-S®. But that’s not all, Apple then asked us to wait for the synchronization between D&B and Apple… which can take up to 14days!

Hey guys, I don’t know if you realize how this is ridiculous to wait 14 days for a simple database synchronization! You have just no idea what 14 days means for a young startup 🙂

As you can imagine, I was already quite frustrated… but this was just the beginning. After the 14 days, Apple recognized the DUNS number… but a field was missing. They didn’t have the legal type of our company. They then asked me to contact D&B and a new nightmare started at this level: D&B was saying that the entry was correct while Apple was asking me to contact D&B to correct the entry! There’s nothing worst than to stand be between two big companies who pass the buck to each other.

Hopefully Apple was far smarter than D&B and they finally accepted to bypass the missing field if I sent them directly our legal documents.

It is crucial to pay attention to all your users’ problems and solve them as soon as possible. They may sometimes look like details to you, but that’s what your customers will remember about your company. Of course, we try to apply this lesson to ourselves. Feel free to tell us if something’s going wrong!

About the author
Julien Lemoine

Co-founder & CTO at Algolia


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