AT&T Activation Delays for iPhone Buyers

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Reuters reports on the activation errors that have been causing major problems for some iPhone users. According to Reuters sources, approximately 2% of individuals who purchased the iPhone over the weekend have been affected by the activation problems.

    AT&T spokesperson blamed the delays on both technical and "process related" issues, and also pointed to the high volume of customers trying to activate service.

    An Associated Press article claims the problems are now improving, and Apple acknowledged that "a small percentage of iPhone customers who have had a less than perfect activation experience".

    Our own iPhone Help and Troubleshooting forum has a dedicated topic for Activation issues.

  2. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000


    Jul 4, 2004
    I wouldn't say 2% was bad. There must be an enormous amount of people trying to activate new phones, in a very short period of time. 6.15pm on 6/29/07 must have been hell for the activation dept. at AT&T.
  3. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    right, estimate 250,000-500,000 iphones

    2% = 5,000-10,000 people

    The problem is 50% of the early adopters run a blog :) The other 50% post in forums...

  4. zgh1999 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    Many of the 2% are grown men and women who act like little babies.

    It has only been 48 hours since the launch, and such a minor delay has caused these babies to cry and whine all over the place.

    Jeez. Have these folks ever ported a number before?

    Again, this problem is inherent in any cell phone purchase/activation.

    So why the fuzz?

    Put it another way, had Apple or AT&T require all customers to activate their iPhones in store, you would likely have many many more people whining about the long lines and wait.

    "Oh! It has been 7 hours and still not activated! I am pissed and angry!"
    "This thing has no 3G and it is slow! I am disappointed!"

    Give Apple and AT&T a break guys, and stop whining like it is the end of the world. You are lucky to have the chance to use the iPhone. No one is forcing you to buy it -- and Apple and AT&T have never claimed that there would be no activation delays.

    So stop blowing this out of proportion and stop focusing on all the negatives.
  5. AlBDamned macrumors 68030


    Mar 14, 2005
    Yup, 2% is not bad I feel, although I think the figure is probably higher just because if it was 30%, for example, there's no way AT&T would admit it!
  6. zgh1999 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    Several hours of delay or 1-2 day delays in activation and porting -- for ANY cellphone -- is NORMAL.

    Most people got their iPhones activated online within minutes -- including the installation of updated iTunes and system updates.

    The small number of iPhone buyers who whined about the delay are starting to play into the hands of Apple's detractors and are giving Apple users a bad name.

    It is now all over the news. Happy now?

    Again, folks at Apple and AT&T have worked hard to bring this product to the market place -- and all some folks do is to hit out at them when small inevitable problems arise. Apple and A&T have never ever claimed that there would be no activation problems or credit denials.

    Any system, however perfect, will have problems when half a million users try to access it within one night. All some folks do is focus on the negative and whine.

    Stop it, because it is getting tiring and unfair.
  7. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I think you underestimate the frustration of buying a $600 gadget and waiting 48 hours before using it.

  8. ajhill macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2007
    2% activation problem, which is now improving? Sounds like Apple and ATT will be laughing all the way to the bank.

    I was in an Apple store today (One that was sold out of iPhones!) and the place was PACKED. I have never seen that store so full. And it was one of the smaller, mall stores, not one of the massive flagship stores. There were a lot of people purchasing iMacs, Macbooks and iPods. Instead of focusing on the 2% that had trouble (most of which will be fixed soon, if not already fixed) maybe the "Experts" should consider all the sales from the huge number of iPhones sold, accessories, iPods, Macbooks, iMacs. Not to mention I would be willing to bet it was a record weekend for the iTunes Music Store! It's been a while since that was mentioned.

    Of those I talked to who had problems a big issue was that they were long-term ATT customers. Meaning that they were ATT customers long ago, then got bought out by Cingular and then bought out by ATT again. Apparently those accounts were so old that the system had problems transferring the old accounts (read great deals that faithful customers didn't want to give up!)

    The line around the iPhone demo table was two deep, all day long. And the iPhone seminar was full. The attendees were truely excited about this product.

    Are there issues with this phone? Yes. Can most be addressed by an update? Certainly.

    Do I care that I'm paying $20 instead of $60-80 for a 3G network? Absolutely not. EDGE is a challenge. I consistently get 200kbps out of it. Okay, but not too fast. But 3G has the same initial latency issues that EDGE has. So 3G web browsing isn't $60/month, or $1440 faster. I'll save that money for my next three iPhones in the coming years. 95% of the time I'm browsing with my iPhone I'm in range of broadband Wi-Fi, so I couldn't care less that I have to wait for 30 seconds for a webpage to load, that would load in 20 seconds if I paid a lot more per month. It just doesn't matter.

    Count me in as a satisfied iPhone owner!
  9. zgh1999 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007


    But seriously, this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion.

    It is all over the news network.

    Apple has worked hard to bring this revolutionary product to the market, and now it gets rewarded with this whining over a small, not-unexpected problem?

    Come on -- where is the fairness in all this?

    Maybe Apple should not innovate and just do business like MS.
  10. ajhill macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2007
    500,000 iPhones sold? I sure Apple & ATT will be crying all week as they count up the 1/3 of a billion dollars they took in this weekend. Not to mention that Apple will now have all those subscribers paying into the Apple coffers for the next 24 months. Can you say earnings growth?

    Maybe you'll get lucky on Monday (it's a slow week considering the holiday in the middle of it) and spooked investors will take profit and put Apple shares on sale. This time next year you will be looking back and saying gee I wish I had bough AAPL back in 2007 when it was only $125 a share. Just as the people who didn't by AAPL last year at $55/share. Or those who didn't buy in 2005 at $35, or 2004 at $17. It's gone up 1000% in 5 years, Without the iPhone sales and subscription sharing revenue. What's not to love?

    Attached Files:

  11. 3Tabernacles macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2007
    Why do I get the feeling that someone was hoping for the iPhone to fail?

    There seems to be an issue between the mouse and the chair!
    This 2% propbably accounts for those who:
    1. Do not read instructions.
    2. Have bad credit and are stupid enough to try and then complain.
    3. Theives
    4. Have business accounts and never verified if the number would work.
    5. And of maybe ATT's servers couldn't keep up with millions of buyers activating at the SAME time!

    Hmmm, the last time I had my phone number ported over, it took weeks! I had to carry 2 cell phones around! Give me a break.

  12. JeffDM macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2006
    How often to people transfer their phone numbers? I really don't think it happens that often, and I suspect that only a minority of customers have actually done it. It's only been available for maybe two or three years, and that's about the length of a contract, and I don't think turnover is that great, last I heard, less than 12% a year. So that probably puts number transfers at less than a third of the mobile customer base.

    While the news is slanted too far, the Apple fan conjecture in response is a bit much too.
  13. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    We live in an impatient fast-food society where we want instant gratification or we start to stress out.

    What we need is a major power outage for an extended period to straighten the **** out.

    cold turkey.

    Of course it would perhaps, be a bit messy.

  14. Chosenbydestiny macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2006
    That's actually a very good rate. 2% is definitely not something to go insane about. It took me a couple of days to transport over as well and I had the same problem, slightly more severe, when I bought a 700 dollar phone back two years ago. So I'm in the 2% crowd, and I understand that though things could have been so much worse... I wasn't very far from the best of it. Once again, I'm a happy apple customer. But If you're going to whine about it, you're in the wrong place. I believe they call it customer support...
  15. Ampidire macrumors 6502


    Feb 1, 2007
    Mine took 3 minutes to activate. New number, new contract, new phone.

    I had it easy I guess. I also had my credit pre-approval number from the AT&T Store where I bought the phone in the first place.

    I love it so far; freaking AWESOME!
  16. HyperZboy macrumors 65816

    Feb 7, 2007
    Well, that's a pretty ridiculous statement as I don't fall into any of those categories and I still had activation problems.

    And, I think I have a right to complain considering that the AT&T employees I dealt with were rude, unhelpful, & poorly trained and made it almost impossible for me to even purchase a $500 item which is still in stock in many stores. If they weren't completely incompetent, it seems to me that they would have been able to direct me to a store that had them or offered to order it for me directly from AT&T or be somewhat better organized. Not only did they not do that, they actually claimed the AT&T warehouses were out of stock and this is Friday at 8pm! Not to mention that they called over a security guard after I complained when the AT&T North Salisbury, Maryland manager had given the last iPhone in the store to the last person in line, his buddy!

    Of course, I also had an activation delay (probably from my credit report being hit so many times within a 24hr period), but it was minor, only several hours. Once again I think this is an AT&T problem, not Apple's, although I do have multiple iTunes accounts, so that could have complicated things. I found it very difficult to update my iTunes account info so that the phone bill could be charged on the credit card that I wanted it on. Oh, and the AT&T people said my credit had been pre-approved (probably multiple times), but never offered the pre-approved credit number to me. Obviously there was no way for me to know to ask for this. Isn't this what they train people for?

    By the way, the people at the Apple store were absolutely fantastic! There was none of the AT&T chaos and employees were helpful and courteous and they answered questions. Nor did I see an armed guard for intimidation purposes in the Apple store that I eventually purchased from.
    What a different experience!

    Obviously, all of this pales in comparison to world hunger so I do have perspective.

    And yes, I love the phone (minus the slow AT&T EDGE network)
  17. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    In other important news:

    I had a dream today where I thought I had an iPhone, I couldn't use it to make calls though because I live in the UK. I ended up showing people just the ipod functionality.

    I didn't have any activation issues though. It was a good dream.
  18. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    Are you kidding? Why do you care about fairness for Apple but not for the customers? No customer gives a rip about how hard Apple worked when their end of the transaction isn't working--nor should they be expected to. See, Apple gets rewarded with cash that the customer has paid. They don't get kudos, but rather cash. And the customer gets... hmm... frustration, more waiting? You think people are blowing that out of proportion, that their lack of praise for Apple's hard work is somehow unfair? For $500, you get a pretty paperweight? I don't think that's blowing it out of proportion at all. People deserve what they pay for, what they were promised. I don't recall any "Activation may take up to 2 days" taglines at the end of those spiffy iPhone ads. Do you? No, I saw the promise of a seamless and well-designed gadget with an amazing interface. That's not what that 2% of iPhone customers got (so far) and they should be screaming about it.

    I love Apple's products and their design is near flawless, but when they screw up, let's not cover for them. That's just embarrassing.
  19. freediverdude macrumors 6502a

    Dec 26, 2006
    I do realize that porting over a number isn't instantaneous (I have done one of these), however, after reading through all the posts and blogs over the weekend, I do believe that AT&T just plain was not ready for this, and had not prepared correctly. AT&T should have taken the time to test different types of accounts to see how they would react in their system to this itunes activation process, and they clearly did not. Many many people who had discounts of different kinds who would not have thought those to be "business" accounts, people with old AT&T Wireless accounts as mentioned earlier, people who live in "partnered" coverage areas, all had problems and did not know what was going on, or could even reach somebody who could tell them. All this should have been tested and either software put in place to override the problems, or tell the customer service reps what to look for and steps to correct it. No excuse for some of that.
  20. sethypoo macrumors 68000

    Oct 8, 2003
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    I agree, 2% (if that's true) isn't so bad. I think AT&T should have planned for this sort of rush. The fact that they're this under prepared makes me worry.
  21. zgh1999 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    I am an Apple shareholder. I have a right to care.

    Show me proof where Apple or AT&T stated that the activation would not be required or that it is guaranteed to go through within minutes.

    Porting a number for ANY cell phone takes typically 1-2 days.

    Stop your whining.

    If you don't like the product or got a problem with Apple's choice of AT&T as the partner, feel free to return it.

    No one is forcing you to do anything here.
  22. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    As has been pointed out, people not porting numbers are included in this 2%. Let's not rush in to be Apple apologists. I understand owning Apple stock is going to make you lean that way, but let's be fair. Apple and AT&T have botched activation a bit. They need to fix it. No excuses.

    Oh, and next time you're at a fancy restaurant and the food takes 3-4 hrs to get to your table, just sit down and be quiet. Try to appreciate the care the chef is putting in to your food, the hard work he's doing. And don't bother the waitresses. They'll just want proof that you were promised it would be there earlier. :p
  23. MrCrowbar macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2006
    2% is good. Usually cell phones are a real pain to set up. Usually you do that in the store where the people barely know what they are doing...

    When an Apple product has a few flaws on some models, it's usually blown out of proportions. Few people write in their blog how great their new Mac is. Well, actually they do but people having problems with it create whole websites, post on youtube etc...

    For a while, it seemed like there was no working Macbook Pro out there if you believed the internet. Still, everyone I knew with one were happy with it. That's a problem you get when you're not using a cryptic product name like other companies do. If you google Macbook, you'll find way more results that when you search for a specific Dell Inspiron number-bla-bla-bla-randomLetter.

    FYI: My Macbook has been to repairs quite a lot. Some things have been replaced twice, I had pretty much every known problem (random shutdown, heat, rainbow lines of doom, inverter board broken, trackpad button broken, blown up battery), some of them multiple times. They even f*cked up in the repairs (not putting it back together right, replacement topcase had half the keys not working, missing screws...). I just wasn't lucky. But hey, it's working now!
  24. zgh1999 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    No one is saying Apple ought to be immunized from any criticism.

    But look, taking an issue that affects 2% of the buyers of a product on a launch night where half a million other customers bought the same product and all simultaneously tried to get online to activate it, and then making the issue the sole characteristic of the iPhone -- to the point of overlooking and ignoring all the substantive merits of the iphone and its revolutionary features -- is simply unfair to Apple. Go ahead and blame the porting or activation or credit problems on Apple and AT&T and iPhone. Do what you want. It is all their fault and not your fault, because it sure sounds like everything is a negative just because things don't go your way.

    Think all you want. You are welcome to return your iPhone if you dislike it or AT&T.

    No one is forcing you to buy it or keep it.
  25. avkills macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2002
    Ok, 2% is not bad; but not everyone having activation issues were porting numbers. I've been with At&t/Cingular for over 10 years, and the one time I did get a new phone, it started working in 2 hours. My final solution for the iPhone was to go back to a At&t store and get a new SIM and re-do the activation which then took less than 1 minute. The store person had been instructed not to help me also, and also said he did not know how to change the SIM, luckily, online in the activation issues tread, we eventually all knew how to do it. My first attempt lasted 40+ that acceptable for a current customer, with a non business account, in good standing?

    I think a lot of the complaining would have been alleviated if Apple had made the rest of the Phone operational even though it had not been activated for cellphone use. That is where I feel the major "bitch" is actually about. I know I would have been a lot less aggravated if I could have gone on to syncing, learning the interface, etc etc.

    As a current long time customer (in good standing - no late payments), I felt like I was being treated like a nobody, which is quite disturbing.

    I fail to see how we were giving Apple users a bad name; At&t and Apple should have made the proper precautions (ie server load testing) to insure when a **** load of people tried activating their phones, the servers would not crash. I personally feel my first attempt was queued into a server that eventually crashed, in which case my activation was probably never going to happen automatically. Not to mention the CS people had no way of accessing any information (so they say) without what they called a Web Activation number. Any time you make a closed system with only a single point of data fetching is just asking for trouble. I'm no rocket scientist and even I can get a clue about that.

    But again, 2% is quite good, and I don't think anyone in that heated thread had any info as to just how many phones were trying to activate.


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