My letter to Randall Stephensen

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Bunsen, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. Bunsen macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando FL
    #1
    From: scottfdesign@mac.com
    Subject: My iPhone experience
    Date: June 30, 2007 11:22:15 AM EDT
    To: randall.stephenson@att.com
    Cc: steve@mac.com, sjobs@apple.com

    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
     
  2. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #2
    The AT&T store in my town told me that it was Apple's servers that were overwhelmed, and that AT&T had nothing to do with it once you walked out of the door with the phone. It will be interesting to see if Steve issues a statement of apology in the next few days, if that is the case.
     

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