Apple Collecting Customer Information in Effort to Address iPhone Upgrade Program Pre-Order Issues

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Last week, we reported that the iPhone Upgrade Program caused frustration for some customers attempting to pre-order an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.

Specifically, some customers enrolled in the program were unable to select the model, carrier, color, or storage capacity they desired, or any iPhone in some cases, due to limited stock seemingly as soon as pre-orders began.
The underlying reason appears to be that iPhone Upgrade Program members were placed into a separate stream than regular pre-order customers, and forced to reserve a new iPhone from a local Apple retail store -- many of which were sold out. Some customers were not even able to access the reservation system at all.
Since then, it appears that Apple has acknowledged those concerns and is attempting to help make the situation right for those affected.


Over the weekend, Apple updated its upgrade reservation page with fine print that recommends customers call its support team at 1-800-MY-APPLE and mention the iPhone Upgrade Program. By doing so, the company said a Specialist will help customers find the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus model they want.
Due to high demand, the model you'd like may not be available. Please call 1-800-MY-APPLE and mention the iPhone Upgrade Program. A Specialist will help you find the model you want.
A number of MacRumors readers that followed through with calls said Apple was very apologetic and is manually collecting information while it works on a solution. Each customer was told they would receive a phone call back within 24-48 hours, but it isn't entirely clear what action Apple plans to take.

MacRumors reader Fikester shared his experience in our discussion forums:
The guy I talked to apologized profusely for Apple dropping the ball on this, took all my info regarding what model I wanted, and while he didn't promise anything, said they are working on a solution for it. He said they will call me within two business days with more information and sent me his direct contact info should I have questions. The whole call took about 30 minutes.
Some customers were given the impression that Apple will be prioritizing orders for iPhone Upgrade Program customers, possibly with some in-store stock reserved specifically for upgraders on launch day and possibly afterwards.

MacRumors readers Modernboy and Aaroncbell:
They've said that they are looking to prioritize iPhone Upgrade Program upgrades over the next couple of weeks so that we can get our phones. I highly suggest anyone who had the same issues I had to call and ask to speak to someone in the iPhone Upgrade Program department.
They transfer you to a special group who will take down all your info and what iPhone you want. They say they will then be in touch in 48 hours letting you know when your iPhone can be picked up. They told me they were very sorry that iPhone Upgrade Program users had issues and that they weren't prepared and are trying to make it right. They said their goal is to have iPhones ready for pickup on launch day for Upgrade Program users who call in.
Whether those enrolled in the iPhone Upgrade Program receive their new iPhones on launch day remains to be seen, but it is clear that Apple is doing what it can to improve the situation. In the meantime, customers can try their luck at Apple retail stores on September 16 on a first come, first served basis.

Article Link: Apple Collecting Customer Information in Effort to Address iPhone Upgrade Program Pre-Order Issues
 

JFK1979

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2014
208
144
Denver, CO
Saw it yesterday and called. 30-40 min on the phone with a rep to upgrade 2 phones. They ask you what phone and which store you want to pick it up. Im supposed to get a call today or tomorrow from them to see what kind of options I got since no guarantee was made that the phone I wanted will be available.
 

sweatshop

macrumors member
Sep 8, 2014
55
21
Raleigh, NC
Saw it yesterday and called. 30-40 min on the phone with a rep to upgrade 2 phones. They ask you what phone and which store you want to pick it up. Im supposed to get a call today or tomorrow from them to see what kind of options I got since no guarantee was made that the phone I wanted will be available.

Same with me. Called them yesterday and was told I would hear back from someone in 48 hours. They guy I spoke with made it seem they were going to possibly start taking phones from launch day walk in inventory.
 
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twynne

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2006
754
22
London, UK
It's actually even worse if you're trying to ENTER the upgrade programme. You can't order a new phone via any other means, leaving no choice but to wait for stock to arrive in store.

The only way to do this is by continuously checking the reservation page, which in my opinion is very badly designed as you have to check each store individually. For London, for example, there are 5-6 stores within reasonable distance of most residents. There are many more only just outside London.

The way this *should* have worked:

1. Using app or website, select your desired model/colour/size
2. At the payment options stage, select upgrade programme
3. Pay down payment if relevant
4. Choose store pickup or delivery. If store pickup, choose store(s) local to you.

Even if the app purchase process couldn't have been streamlined, the reservation page could at least let you choose the model first, then list the stores having stock (the reverse of the current design).
 

J10ant

macrumors newbie
Apr 26, 2015
18
2
I hope they take the issues on board and come up with a workable solution for next year. Maybe the solution would be prioritizing, they should have the details for how many people are in the program and how many are up for renewal at launch and hold back that many from launch or offer an earlier reservation just for the upgraders.
 
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UhFive

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2013
167
129
Texas
I signed up the Upgrade program this year...hopefully this is cleared up soon. I will be following to see what I need to do next year. Guess I always have the option to buy myself out of the upgrade program and resell next year as I have been doing for the past 9 years.
 

JFK1979

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2014
208
144
Denver, CO
Can someone direct me to the part in the iPhone Upgrade Program where it says you get PRIORITY treatment over other customers? I don't recall it being there. Such a non-issue (unless I'm mistaken and it DID say that)?

No one says we should get priority. But when I tried to preorder 5 seconds after the apple store app was up all phones were sold out and you couldn't make a reservation,while there was no issue to purchase a phone if you are not part of the Apple Upgrade program.
 

J10ant

macrumors newbie
Apr 26, 2015
18
2
Even if the app purchase process couldn't have been streamlined, the reservation page could at least let you choose the model first, then list the stores having stock (the reverse of the current design).
That was my biggest issue. I'm in Manchester so was trying to juggle, 2 Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds to find stock, would be a lot better to take model and then show stores.
 
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spoa94

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
764
318
New Orleans, LA
It's actually even worse if you're trying to ENTER the upgrade programme. You can't order a new phone via any other means, leaving no choice but to wait for stock to arrive in store.

The only way to do this is by continuously checking the reservation page, which in my opinion is very badly designed as you have to check each store individually. For London, for example, there are 5-6 stores within reasonable distance of most residents. There are many more only just outside London.

The way this *should* have worked:

1. Using app or website, select your desired model/colour/size
2. At the payment options stage, select upgrade programme
3. Pay down payment if relevant
4. Choose store pickup or delivery. If store pickup, choose store(s) local to you.

Even if the app purchase process couldn't have been streamlined, the reservation page could at least let you choose the model first, then list the stores having stock (the reverse of the current design).
What do you mean it's worse if trying to enter the program? I enrolled in the program for the first time during pre-order and am getting my phone delivered on 9/16. It was worse for current upgrade customers.
 
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TigerWoodsIV

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2010
576
415
I'm wondering if it's even worth it to call at this point for me, but I'm glad they're doing something and hopefully they'll correct it in advance of the next phone.

I was able to get a black 7, but was looking for either a jet black 7 or 7+. The + is probably too big, so just going from matte to shiny black isn't really a big deal. I hope the people who really got hosed can get a phone quickly.
 
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polbit

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2002
520
640
South Carolina
Can someone direct me to the part in the iPhone Upgrade Program where it says you get PRIORITY treatment over other customers? I don't recall it being there. Such a non-issue (unless I'm mistaken and it DID say that)?
The point is that the Upgrade Program customers got much worse treatment than the normal customer - no option to choose a new phone for shipping, so limited to stock on hand at store at best. I'm pretty most people on the program are just looking to have the SAME priority as others. I got my 7 Plus with the program, and certainly expect to be able to order the 8 Plus just like everyone else next year.
 

sikachu

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2007
29
6
Hmm ... I actually got screwed over by the fact that they didn't let T-Mobile customers signed up online (for people who aren't yet in Upgrade Program) and didn't have reservation link available publicly. I wonder if the rep will be able to help me because I'm not in the program ... yet.

Has anyone tried this yet?
 
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UhFive

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2013
167
129
Texas
Can someone direct me to the part in the iPhone Upgrade Program where it says you get PRIORITY treatment over other customers? I don't recall it being there. Such a non-issue (unless I'm mistaken and it DID say that)?
It isn't about priority. This program is designed so you always have the newest iPhone, therefore apple should know who all is available to upgrade in the month of the new release and there should be devices set-aside for these customers every year.

How about they release pre-orders for upgrade plan users a day early...pretty sure that would be motivation for a lot more customers to sign up for this program.

Edit: Added
 

sweatshop

macrumors member
Sep 8, 2014
55
21
Raleigh, NC
Can someone direct me to the part in the iPhone Upgrade Program where it says you get PRIORITY treatment over other customers? I don't recall it being there. Such a non-issue (unless I'm mistaken and it DID say that)?
We dont think we are a priority. We STILL cant order a phone. We have been put behind every other payment method. It should have been first come first serve. And you better believe most people in IUP were on the store within a few minutes of it opening. We simply cannot order a phone yet, and are behind millions of other orders.

*Ninja edit
 

chiefsilverback

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2011
458
435
I hope they take the issues on board and come up with a workable solution for next year. Maybe the solution would be prioritizing, they should have the details for how many people are in the program and how many are up for renewal at launch and hold back that many from launch or offer an earlier reservation just for the upgraders.
I think the challenge is then knowing who is going to which store and whether they want the phone on launch day, which version/colour/capacity/carrier etc... They can reserve one of each possible combination until you've made your decision!

It isn't about priority. This program is designed so you always have the newest iPhone, therefore apple should know who all is available to upgrade in the month of the new release there should be devices set-aside for these customers every year.

There's probably a way they could ship the phones, but they'd need to put a hold for the phone's value on your credit card until they receive the old handset back...

How about they release pre-orders for upgrade plan users a day early...pretty sure that would be motivation for a lot more customers to sign up for this program.
I don't know how the logistics work, but given upgraders need to go to a store the process is complicated by how Apple has assigned inventory. Have the stores already been allocated stock when pre-orders open? How far out is the stock assigned? And they wait until there's a week to go? Probably not if they're trying to optimise logistics expenses!
 
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CaptOblivious

macrumors member
Sep 29, 2014
74
75
Called number and they were pretty useless, "are you on the webpage now I can show you how to use it." Yes Apple that's why I called because I could not figure out how to use the website.

"We had high demand for phones that's why some are sold out" Sure apple that's why it would let me order a new phone just not under IUP.
 

buck1127

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2011
1,260
623
This was a blessing in disguise for me. If this didn't happen I would have never went to Verizon's site and signed up the $0.00 for iPhone 7 deal
 
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JFK1979

macrumors regular
Sep 13, 2014
208
144
Denver, CO
Called number and they were pretty useless, "are you on the webpage now I can show you how to use it." Yes Apple that's why I called because I could not figure out how to use the website.

"We had high demand for phones that's why some are sold out" Sure apple that's why it would let me order a new phone just not under IUP.

I would say give them another call some of the reps are pretty clueless. On second call I got a rep that was unaware of the message on the webpage and what she had to do
 

PatrickNSF

macrumors 6502
Jan 24, 2011
476
154
The way it was explained to me was that their ordering/verification systems weren't communicating properly and that it was not the intent that IUP participants were locked out of ordering for launch day. Based on my past dealings with Apple, I have confidence that they will make this right and would be surprised if IUP participants aren't allocated phones during week #1.
 
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Branskins

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,230
177
Should I call as a new enrollee that has a November ship date? I.E. two months past the expected launch of the new one next year