I've sent this email off to Apple; unsure if I found a valid email address or if anyone really cares. Just thought I'd share my thoughts with you: Dear Sir or Madam, Despite my best efforts to pre-order the new Iphone in the wee hours of June 15, I was unable to do so on-line because of the failure of Apple's and AT&T's websites. It was only because of the release of the Apple Store application for Iphone that I was able to make a reservation to claim a new Iphone at Apple's retail store at the Biltmore Shopping Center. This website failure resulted in an unnecessary 8 hour ordeal in extreme conditions. You may not be aware that this particular shopping center is an outdoor shopping center. My plan was to arrive to claim the phone at 8am following a 7am appointment. I arrived to find massive crowds waiting in line. The lines wrapped three quarters of the way around the building. The temperature at 8 am was 96 degrees. Two lines were formed, one for reservations. Water was offered along with various snacks throughout the wait. Rumor spread through the lines that only one non-reservation customer was allowed in for every ten reserved customers, yet the lines didn't seem to move. As time passed Phoenix's temperature reached 113 degrees and the lines barely moved. I left the line to enter the store to see what could possibly be taking so long. My assumption had been that one would purchase the phone and leave (to activate the phone at home as I had done with the Iphone 3Gs that had been shipped to me directly). Instead I witnessed each and every phone being activated in-store. The transaction became a two step process involving purchasing the phone followed by activating the phone. A minimum transaction time of 10 minutes per phone. AT&T had two representatives in-store. I casually asked them if AT&T would un-lock my Iphone 3Gs once I purchased my Iphone 4G. They suggested I contact AT&T customer service (by phone) for the answer. I then asked if they'd never been asked that question before. They responded that, when asked the question, they always refers the person to AT&T's customer service (by phone). I suggested that perhaps they should get the answer to the question to save their (and your) client a telephone call. They stared blankly at me as if they didn't understand the value of having an answer on-hand for the client. Announcements were made occasionally to the lines updating availability for those who were unable to pre-reserve a phone yet no one had an actual count to offer. Rumor spread that the ratio changed to one non-reserved customer for every two reserved customers. People called friends at other local stores and were told their ratios favored reservations to non- reservations 10:1, sometimes 15:1. Rumor spread through the line that employees were taking lunch breaks and there were fewer available to tend to customers. The line barely moved and the heat escalated. Finally, at approximately 3pm, my friend and I reached the front of the line. The guardian of the "list" was reluctant to allow my friend and I to enter together. Only if we were married would he allow this to happen. I lied to him to gain access simultaneously and escape the now 113 degree heat. The purchase of my phone took perhaps 2-3 minutes. My friend's transaction was a bit more complicated since she was upgrading her phone and that of her daughter. She also purchased MobileMe's family pack to cover herself, her daughter and her son. The transaction took approximately 15 minutes. Now we had to visit a second person to activate the phones. My transaction took literally seconds, Denise's took longer because we learned her Macbook's operating system (which she'd brought with her) was not compatible with the new IOS4. She purchased the new Snow Leopard operating system as well. The challenge here was finding someone with the point-of-sale machine to ring the transaction. None were readily available and this took time. I had anticipated perhaps a wait of perhaps 60 minutes. I anticipated entering the store, purchasing the phone and leaving. How naive was I. Apple offer amazing products which are beautifully designed and executed. There is no disputing that fact. Apple offer incredible customer support. The Genius Bar is my friend and has assisted with many issues as I left Microsoft's world to enter that of Apple. I cannot count the number of computers, Ipods, Iphones, Airport Extremes and other Apple products I've purchased in the past 5 years. I am a fan. Where Apple falls down is customer service. This rollout is a great example of that falling down. Apple's system's are precise. If the model used in scheduling Genius Bar appointments were somehow adapted to the rollout scenario perhaps clients would enjoy the experience rather than dread it. It appears that Apple chose the model the TSA use at airports instead of the model Disney uses in the the FastPass system at their theme parks. More specifically: The door to this particular Apple store faces north. The lines traveled east from the door, down the east side of the building and wrapped around to the south. The sun rises in the east and southern exposures always offer the most sunlight. This orientation offered the greatest exposure to our hot desert sun. Had the line traveled west from the front door and continued south (on the building's west side) customers would have been shaded for the majority of their wait. This Apple store does not have bathroom facilities for customers. Perhaps none do. Because this mall is completely exposed to the elements, a public bathroom is contained in an office housing the property's concierge. This office did not open until 10am when the majority of businesses open. Therefore, from 7am (and earlier for those who showed up to stand on-line) until 10am, there were no restroom facilities available for Apple's customers. The simplicity of the two lines was perhaps naive because there were more than two customer types present. This variety of customer led to the excessive delay. Instead, I believe you had these customers present: Existing AT&T customers, in good standings, with reservations Existing AT&T customers, in good standings, without reservations Existing AT&T customers, not in good standings, with reservations Existing AT&T customers, not in good standings, without reservations New AT&T customers with reservations New AT&T customers without reservations I learned, upon entering the store to purchase my phone, that many people were deemed ineligible for upgrade by AT&T. These individuals had issues with their AT&T accounts which required resolution before the phone could be purchased. Perhaps this is why two AT&T representatives were present yet this did not help expedite processing of all the customers. Instead it exacerbated the delay. These individuals, perhaps, saw this as an opportunity to resolve their issue and purchase a phone in one visit, to the detriment of all those in good standings with AT&T. Had the AT&T/Apple systems not crashed on June 15, this would not have been an issue. The work-around appears to have been the Apple Store application for Iphone. The bottom line is, to my detriment, Apple once again could not live up to my expectation to receive excellent customer service when purchasing the new Iphone 4G. Had the websites not failed on June 15 I would have received the phone by FedEx and activated online. Instead, a simple transaction which should have taken moments took 8 hours of standing in incredibly uncomfortable heat. People who brought small children with them couldn't complete their business. Elderly people with health issues couldn't complete their business. I believe Apple and AT&T (for their contribution to the fiasco) owe all of us an apology and commitment that this will never happen again. Respectfully, ps. For those wishing to keep our Iphones in pristine condition, perhaps Apple should consider sharing with third party vendors the specifications of new products so that protective cases can be developed and released to coincide with the release of the new Apple product. I'm not suggesting sharing the technical aspects of the product, just the exterior dimensions. No cases for Iphone 4G were available for purchase yesterday. The Bumper had sold out and, frankly, I couldn't justify spending $29 more for a picture frame for IPhone 4G.