Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and software development
I'm sorry to say that I participated in the iPhone launch debacle yesterday. I wrote up the frustrating and somewhat embarrassing timeline for a buddy of mine. You might find it interesting, so here it is:
Friday, July 11, 2008
6:45AM I arrive at AT&T store at Triangle Town Center mall (Raleigh, NC)
7:50AM 33 people ahead of me, ~150 people behind me in line
7:55AM AT&T rep tells us that they have 15 iPhones, but they'll take orders
8:00AM I leave for Apple store at Crabtee Valley Mall
8:20AM I arrive at said store, line looks to be greater than 200 people
9:00AM The line moves and is making slow progress
10:00AM line stops moving for over an hour because "activation servers are down"
10:05AM I've got my laptop, so I sit down and start coding (w/free Apple WIFI)
11:30AM The line starts moving again. scoot, code, scoot, code...
12:50PM I stop coding because laptop battery power is dead
1:00PM I attend a half-hour meeting via telecon
1:40PM I finally get into store, Apple rep helps me
1:50PM Apple rep helps me, gets "IRU account not supported error message"
I call AT&T, they tell me that I have a special "flag" on my line and they are not allowed to remove it via phone, and I MUST to upgrade my iPhone at the AT&T store -- i.e. wait 5-7 days for delivery from AT&T.
So, I call AT&T again and get another rep who tells me that they CAN remove the flag over the phone, mumble, mumble and then my cell phone connection drops.
2:20PM Apple puts me in a special AT&T problem line
2:40PM Apple rep calls AT&T, gets them to remove flag
2:50PM Apple rep will hold my iPhone until AT&T calls me to confirm flag removal
2:55PM Cheers erupt as the customer who was 1st in line at 8AM finally gets activated
3:00PM I leave empty handed but with a promise that AT&T will call within 24 hours
I'm not going to try to analyze this; I'll leave that up to you, dear reader.
Update: Saturday, July 12, 2008
10:00AM Call AT&T to ask about status, they blame Apple for problem saying only Apple stores had problems yesterday.
10:25AM AT&T tells me they are now issuing a "billing ticket" to ensure that all flags were dropped from my account. They say I'll have to wait up to 4 hours before it has taken effect.
2:25PM Apple store won't test the activation process over the phone so I make the half-hour drive to store only to get the same "IRU account" error.
2:45PM Call AT&T from parking lot, they tell me sorry things are taking longer than expected, we'll call you ASAP. I drive home empty handed again.
5:00PM Call AT&T to complain to a manager about the broken 24 and 4 hour promises. He tells me problem is on Apple side and if I ordered a phone at the AT&T store everything would be fine (in 5-7 days). He says there is no telling when they'll finally clear the flag on my account, so just keep on waiting.
Update: Sunday, July 13, 2008
11:30AM Still no word from AT&T so I called them and they said the flag problem had been resolved. I asked how I could be compensated for all the wasted time they caused me, misdirection and multiple broken commitments they said "we're not offering any compensation for iPhone problems." The AT&T rep also blamed Apple for all problems and said I should have bought from the AT&T store
12:20PM Arrived at Apple store, got my phones
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