str1f3

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Original poster
Aug 24, 2008
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http://consumerist.com/2009/12/att-customer-service-new-york-city-is-not-ready-for-the-iphone.html

A call from The Consumerist to AT&T online sales:

Daphne: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?

Laura: Hi, I was looking at the iPhone 3Gs and the system tells me that I cannot order one in my ZIP code. My zip code is 11231. (Brooklyn, NY) Is this true? Are iPhones no longer available in New York City?

Daphne: I am happy to be helping you today . Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone.

Daphne: You don't have enough towers to handle the phone.

Laura: Thank you for your help. So the phone is not available to people anywhere in the city?

Daphne: Yes this is correct Laura.
-----------

This is an effing joke. You are actually trying to stop paying customers from using your service? AT&T, you're an embarrassment. Apple had better make sure this exclusivity ends next year. This is about as ridiculous as it can get.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,945
9,708
LOL ...... Your right.

I put in my Zip Code (Queens, NY) on the AT&T website and click on the Iphone and it said not available in your area.

So I did an ONLINE CHAT :D .........................

 
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NinjaKid

macrumors member
Feb 20, 2008
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0
Places to get an Iphone in Brooklyn

Best Buy and Radio Shack both have iphones in stock and for sale, kinda funny AT&T made a mistake like that when trying to order one.
 
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dynamo22

macrumors member
Jun 22, 2009
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My sister bought her iphone 3gs about 2 weeks ago on 61st and lex at an AT&T store in Manhattan.

This can't be right..
 
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str1f3

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Original poster
Aug 24, 2008
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Read the chat. They say online cannot be done. You can still purchase one in store.

So in other words: It isn't banned.

No it's not banned. They are intentionally trying to make it more difficult for you to buy it. You have to do the footwork yourself to get it. It is unprecendented for a company to want to make their product more difficult to buy.

Seems fraud is the reason from what that rep said in the chat. Maybe we have started to solve the mystery to this thread. ;)


This has already hit Gizmodo. At the time of The Consumerist post, they were already trying to reach AT&T Public Relations. The fraudulent claim is to divert attention away from the original reason.

As for eBay iPhones, you can find any of these for any cell phone under contract on eBay. This, or fraudulent claims, wouldn't be a NYC specific problem.
 
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thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
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Connecticut, USA
I have to say that LIVEFRMNYC's chat makes more sense than the Consumerist's. Fraud would certainly be reason for preventing only online sales. My guess is that the Consumerist got a typically uninformed call center employee.
 
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str1f3

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Aug 24, 2008
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I have to say that LIVEFRMNYC's chat makes more sense than the Consumerist's. Fraud would certainly be reason for preventing only online sales. My guess is that the Consumerist got a typically uninformed call center employee.

Why would that make more sense with one city? The fraudulent claims would have to be more than the iPhones they sell online in NYC. There are more iPhone users here than any other city in the world.

Also you would have to say the Consumerist (well-respected blog) is lying and AT&T isn't. Do you really believe that? The original reason the Consumerist went after this story was that people were having this problem and they initiated their own investigation.
 
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LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
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Why would that make more sense with one city?

Same reason most online stores don't ship to Nigeria.

If statistics show problem online fraud areas in a much higher percentage than other cities, it makes sense to temporarily curb it.
 
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str1f3

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Aug 24, 2008
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Same reason most online stores don't ship to Nigeria.

If statistics show problem online fraud areas in a much higher percentage than other cities, it makes sense to temporarily curb it.

You're talking about a whole country. As it is right now there are more iPhones in NYC than anywhere else. In order for this to be true it would mean tens of thousands of NYers, at least, are having their personal info stolen. Also, why only the iPhone? Wouldn't these thieves with all their stolen info just move onto another AT&T phone that costs just as much? Such as BB? Why hasn't any other telco stopped onlines sales of any of their high priced phones in NYC? Surely these thieves wouldn't just buy one phone.


To believe this you would have to jump through many conclusions, some being illogical.
 
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scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
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You're talking about a whole country. As it is right now there are more iPhones in NYC than anywhere else. In order for this to be true it would mean tens of thousands of NYers, at least, are having their personal info stolen.

Why is that not unrealistic? NYC has 8.3 million people as of 2008. Even if 99,999 people had their identities stolen for iPhones, that's only 1.2% of the population. Consider that as of 2003, 4.6% of the population were victims of ID fraud according to the Federal Trade Commission.

I think it would take less than 99,999 cases in a concentrated area for AT&T to consider potential fraud a problem. Even 50,000 iPhones and accounts lost due to fraud would cause about $15 million in losses, assuming an average $300 subsidy per iPhone.


Also: it's not just ID theft that could be the issue here. there are other ways to scam iPhones off AT&T and resell them.

Also, why only the iPhone?

Because it's a hot item, and continues to outsell other smartphones quarter after quarter?

Because lots of people are looking to buy "nearly new" iPhones on eBay and cragislist, and are willing to pay more in some cases than retail for them?

Because it's easy to jailbreak and unlock, and can be sold that way at a premium to countries where it's in short supply or not yet sold?


Wouldn't these thieves with all their stolen info just move onto another AT&T phone that costs just as much? Such as BB?

Because BB's aren't as easy to unlock, the BB PINs are traceable by the Blackberry network regardless of carrier, and they're just not as much in demand. People don't stand in lines for Blackberries. They have for iPhones.

Why hasn't any other telco stopped onlines sales of any of their high priced phones in NYC?

See reasons above.

To believe this you would have to jump through many conclusions, some being illogical.

I haven't listed conslusions. I've only listed facts.

Meanwhile, to believe your conspiracy theory is to, well, manufacture a conspiracy.
 
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thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
5,936
50
Connecticut, USA
Also you would have to say the Consumerist (well-respected blog) is lying and AT&T isn't. Do you really believe that? The original reason the Consumerist went after this story was that people were having this problem and they initiated their own investigation.

No, I said and say nothing of the sort. What I said is that it sounds like the Counsumerist talked to a call center employee who didn't know what was actually going on. The Consumerist was not lying, nor was AT&T lying; the call center employee wasn't even lying...s/he was just talking out of his or her ass. Call center employees are underpaid and under-trained, and half the time I think they're just trying to BS their way through the day. It has happened many times before that a low-level employee who is not even close to the loop has said something that has to be walked back by management. Always such things become gospel and remain fodder for conspiracy theorists. This strikes me as one of those cases.
 
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scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Also you would have to say the Consumerist (well-respected blog) is lying and AT&T isn't. Do you really believe that?

I believe the Consumerist will be more than willing to hype incorrect information it has received from an uninformed rep if it means increased site traffic, especially if it furthers the aim of hyping up a theme that's en vogue right now. It's a blog with a business interests and it receives revenue based on traffic, and that means it, like any other blog with business interests, has an agenda to pursue.

So like every other "news" source on the internet, I take what I read with a grain of salt.
 
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alent1234

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2009
5,688
170
You're talking about a whole country. As it is right now there are more iPhones in NYC than anywhere else. In order for this to be true it would mean tens of thousands of NYers, at least, are having their personal info stolen. Also, why only the iPhone? Wouldn't these thieves with all their stolen info just move onto another AT&T phone that costs just as much? Such as BB? Why hasn't any other telco stopped onlines sales of any of their high priced phones in NYC? Surely these thieves wouldn't just buy one phone.


To believe this you would have to jump through many conclusions, some being illogical.

NYC has so many ethnicities, people probably ship them to other countries
 
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