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June 26, 2010 / A Surviving Father

AT&T, Apple, and iPhone 4

I admit it- I am an Appleholic, a Macaddict. I love Apple products. They are fun to use, nice to look at, and exude quality and style. These factors tend to outweigh the product’s faults, almost to the point of blind acceptance. So last year when I read that Apple would be releasing the iPhone 4, I knew, sight unseen, that I would buy one.

Fast forward 9 months to Thursday, June 24th, and I find myself waiting in line with a ton of other die hard enthusiasts. It is really interesting to see how diverse Apple’s consumer base is. Their products imbue a loyalty of rock star proportions which appears to transcend age, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. I have to admit that I can’t think of any other brand for which I would wait hours in line to purchase one of their products; but I’ve done it before and, no doubt, will do it again.

So after nearly 6 hours in line, I was actually the last person guaranteed an iPhone- the last person they even let into the store… that’s when the enthusiasm faded and frustration set in.

You see, I have an AT&T business account through my employer, at least that is the way AT&T classifies my account. So for some reason, Apple was not able to confirm my eligibility to purchase the iPhone 4 at the subsidized price of $299 (32 GB model). The Apple specialist even called AT&T (on an iPhone) but the call was repeatedly dropped (nice AT&T), so after an hour of frustration the store manager recommended that they just set up a new account and then I could take the phone to an AT&T retailer and have them sort it out. So that’s what they did. I left the Apple store at 11:10 p.m. last night with a new but untouched iPhone 4.

After a long day at work today, I raced over to the closest AT&T store. Well, guess what. They were able to confirm my eligibility for an upgrade, but could not delete the account that Apple had created or transfer the iPhone 4 to my old account. This has something to do with the fact that they would have to return the phone in the process, but since AT&T won’t carry the iPhone 4 until June 29th, they couldn’t do it. So what did they have me do? Back to the Apple store.

Apple actually gave me a hard time about returning the phone, even though I wasn’t technically returning it. And again, Apple’s system, which supposedly talks to AT&T’s system, still had my phone as being ineligible for an upgrade. Back to square one. After another call to AT&T, they decided to have Apple activate the phone on a different phone in our family plan- this worked! But in order to get the iPhone associated with my phone number- you guessed it, back to the AT&T store.

This time they were able to get everything straightened out. The only catch was that I had to replace the SIM card in the phone that they had used to originally activate the iPhone 4.

Yes it was all a colossal headache and my frustration yo-yo’d between AT&T and Apple, but I now have a working iPhone 4. Let the assimilation resume!

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