Apple's MobileMe launch in 2008 was not the slick roll-out we're all used to from the company. Poor synchronization and general service instability prompted Apple to offer subscribers a full three months of free service (first a 30-day block, then a further 60-days). Since then, things have been pretty quiet - which is really what you want from something like MobileMe - unless you've reached the end of your free trial and decide not to buy a subscription. Then, many users are finding, not only your cloud but your local data can end up deleted.
The issue revolves around how synchronization is handled. When you decide not to subscribe, Apple deletes the data from their servers; unfortunately, what they seemingly don't do at present is switch off account authentication. That means that if you've neglected to switch off MobileMe sync on your local devices - iPhone, Mac, etc - their content is replaced with blank information from the cloud.
Getting around this simply requires switching off the synchronisation prior to cancelling MobileMe service; however if you forget to do so, the only way to restore data is apparently paying for a full year's subscription. This really seems like something Apple should address, with changing their authentication policy being the obvious option; if they're committed to leaving it as it is now, then there should be a warning in the end-of-trial emails.
Has any SlashGear reader been affected by cancelling their MobileMe subscription? Let us know in the comments.