Got a free months service for Activation troubles!


macrumors member
Original poster
May 1, 2007
Orlando FL
Here's the email I sent to Randall and Steve while waiting 2 days to activate my iPhone:

From: scottf***@***.com
Subject: My iPhone experience
Date: June 30, 2007 11:22:15 AM EDT

Mr. Stephenson,

I would like to relay to you my experience with the new Apple iPhone that I purchased yesterday at an Apple retail store in Orlando Florida.
First I would like to say that I am a very brand loyal person, and I have been an AT&T wireless customer for 7 years, as well as having an AT&T Universal Platinum card, and AT&T long distance on my home phone. As far as Apple goes, I have never owned a computer that was not an Apple, I had an original Macintosh in 1984.
I have been anticipating the release of the iPhone since the January announcement, actually when it was just a rumor that Apple was working on a phone!
It was the "perfect storm" for me, I already used all the Apple applications that it syncs perfectly with, and I am an existing AT&T/Cingular customer, off contract, and with an old phone that I wanted to replace.
Yesterday, I waited in line for 6 hours to be one of the first to get my hands on the hottest phone in history. My Apple experience was perfect! The Apple Store staff was out talking to the crowd, handing out water, and making our wait very enjoyable. When it came time to purchase, the transactions were efficient, and I was out of the mall at 7:45p Eastern time. I drove home quickly to activate my new phone, I was very excited.

This, unfortunately, is where my story takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

I plugged in my iPhone to my Mac and started the activation process in iTunes, thinking it would be a breeze to add the $20 iPhone data plan to the existing shared minutes plan that my wife and I are currently on. At the end of the process, iTunes told me that "Your activation requires additional time to complete." and to wait for an email that will confirm my activation. This was at around 7:30p. Now I expected some delays, as thousands of new customers would be activating their new iPhones around the same time.

At 11:04p I received an email that stated "Your current AT&T rate plan is not compatible with the iPhone."
it took 3 and a half hours to tell me that I didn't even qualify!
I calmly called the Activation help number given in the email, and spoke to a representative who was very nice, and explained that my account was flagged as a business account, and that I would have to switch to a compatible family plan, and re-start my activation. I picked a plan and she transferred me to a tech support rep to fix my activation. The second rep took my call-back number and my Activation ID (web order number) and put me on hold, where I was promptly disconnected.
When no-one called back in 10 minutes I called back, and explained my situation again. I was transferred again, and this rep told me that she couldn't figure out the new rate plan in the computer, that it didn't exist in the system yet. She said she was trying to get a manager to override my account, and put me on hold again. About this time my old phone was taken off the network. When she came back on, she said that the system had crashed and that she couldn't do anything more for me tonight. The time was now 1:27AM.

I am typing this email at 11a on Saturday, while on hold once again.

So after 6 months of waiting for the release, 6 hours in line, and 6 hours of trying to activate, I have an inactive old phone, and a shiny new $600 paperweight.

While I was waiting and on hold for the 6 hours, I was reading internet forums about many other customers having similar activation problems, new customers, and existing customers.

All I want is a simple, low minute, family plan for my wife's Nokia, and my new iPhone. Why is this so hard?

I can't believe, after 6 months, how woefully unprepared your activation system was for this extremely-hyped release! Especially because it was supposed to be so easy for the customer to activate the phone themselves.
I am also very upset that existing customers were told that it would be as simple as adding an iPhone data plan to their existing voice plan.

This could have been an industry-changing event. With all the negative user experiences like mine, however, it seems that AT&T has dropped the ball!

Thank you for your time.

Scott F

This letter was written before we had to physically go to an AT&T store to migrate my wife's phone to the new family plan, and two more calls to AT&T before I was activated! (around 3:30p on Sunday)

I found out, through all the calls, that I possesed the perfect trifecta for a horrible activation experience:
1. Original phone and plan purchased years ago through a company discount
2. Had an existing shared-minutes plan
3. Plan was an old AT&T Wireless plan, grandfathered in at the merge with Cingular

Now, I'm not ususally a "letter-writer" or a big complainer; I was just letting off some steam while waiting the whole weekend to play with my new phone. I wasn't really expecting an answer, but yesterday, an executive assistant at AT&T called the house while I was at work and talked to my wife about the whole ordeal. They were very apologetic, and said they would take off the first months service from our bill (excluding overages and my wifes text):)
Then today, we got a letter in the mail from AT&T, thanking me for "taking the time to bring this matter to our attention." and that someone would be contacting me about the issue. (aah, snail-mail:rolleyes:)

Anyways, I'd never had a major problem with AT&T or Cingular in the many years I've been a customer, and I'm glad they're trying to make up for the horrible activation experience.


macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2007
Torrance, CA
One month free!!?

A loyal customer like you should be getting like a year for free.

Anyways, good for you for taking the time and bringing these type of issues to light.