iPad Pro Over Five Hours Wasted Activating Data

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,566
14,057
Central U.S.
I'm so sick of explaining myself to different reps that I don't even want to get into the details but I just feel like I need to rant, even if nobody reads this. Feel free to not read it because it sucks. I'm warning you. Between yesterday and today, I have spent over five hours between T-Mobile and Apple reps on the phone. T-Mobile kept sending me over to Apple. Overview of events below. I swear if I had these conversations recorded they would be viral.
  • Call T-Mobile to transfer data plan from 10.5" iPad Pro to 12.9" iPad pro 3rd gen
  • T-Mobile keeps telling me I need an ICCID. There is no such thing in settings, even when doing the trick where you tap the CSN number.
  • T-Mobile insists that my old iPad (which was at home at the time) has a sim card
  • I go home that evening. No sim card. Didn't think so.
  • I call them back. I argue with two different reps for 20 minutes about how eSim in the iPad is different than dual eSim in the iPhone XS. They keep telling me it's not possible to use an iPad on LTE without a sim card. My 10.5" which I have been using for 1.5 years with no sim card begs to differ. I offer to record video of my magical iPad.
  • They keep asking for ICCID again. I Google. iTunes on Mac can show ICCID. I give them this ICCID. No dice, it's 20 digits long and they need 19.
  • They say my iPad is clearly broken and transfer me to Apple.
  • Apple runs diagnostics, says everything is fine, says ICCID is valid.
  • Apple transfers back to T-Mobile, rep tells me he will explain to her how to setup with IMEI number which is what they should do before ICCID is provisioned by carrier.
  • T-Mobile rep comes on, Apple rep bails, T-Mobile rep goes back to script asking me for ICCID. I want to die. I really do. It gets worse.
  • T-Mobile rep escalates to manager. Manager has no idea how IMEI works or how to activate my iPad. Manager sends me back to Apple.
  • Apple rep tells me it's T-Mobiles fault, tries to transfer me back and stay on the line this time. T-Mobile is closed.
  • In the middle of all of this I discovered a vulnerability in iOS 12.1 which allows Touch ID bypass on my old iPad. Talked to senior Apple engineers this morning. Expect iOS patch next week. Seriously, not even a joke.
  • This morning Apple calls me pertaining to T-Mobile. Rep was going to call T-Mobile with me, but we decided to just try setting up the iPad on the device. Thought it worked because T-Mobile and bars showed up.
  • I get a message that pops up 20 minutes later saying that device activation failed and to try again.
  • I call into T-Mobile. Doing that was a mistake. It adds it as a prepaid line on my account separate from everything else.
  • Nice byproduct of doing this: I finally have an ICCID in the about section of the settings. It is different than the one in iTunes, and is 19 digits long so it will fit.
  • T-Mobile transfers me to a guy who can transfer the line back to a post-paid account. He does so, replacing my old iPad line. He says it should be working within two hours.
  • Three hours later the iPad is still not connecting to the internet on LTE.
  • I call in. T-Mobile rep answers the phone singing. Not even a joke. I genuinely thought it was some sort of automated music. "Oh great."
  • Turns out this guy actually seems to know his stuff. He said nobody associated the newly moved line with an IMEI. We do so. No dice.
  • He associates it with the new ICCID. It works.
  • T-Mobile gives me a $20 bill credit for wasting over five hours of my life. Whoopee. I never get upset with customer service reps because I used to work in retail but I have never come closer to having a mental breakdown on the phone. Add some thick accents on top of this to add to the frustration.
Remember, all I wanted to do was transfer the data plan from my 10.5" iPad Pro to my new 12.9" iPad Pro. But at least I discovered a vulnerability, and no I probably shouldn't talk about it.
 

LibbyLA

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2017
392
245
Wow! You have my sympathy. I wasted 3 hours on the phone with AT&T recently dealing with DataConnect plans on cellular trail cameras. They’re stupid system makes it really easy to choose a device to add a data plan to, only for the plan to end up on the next device below. When I tried to get that straight, instead of canceling the plan that went to the wrong device, they cancelled the plan that went to the right device. Argh! Once I found someone who knew what he was doing, it took maybe 5 minutes.

Oh, and AT&T thinks my trail cameras are iPads :(.
 
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Lobwedgephil

macrumors 601
Apr 7, 2012
4,553
3,035
Took me about 5 mins with At&t, but I did have an ICCID number, you do have to basically walk them through the process.

That sounds brutal.
 
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Azathoth123

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
662
386
Fountain City
I had a similar but much less stressful iPad 12.9” gen 3 LTE activation on Verizon - fortunately I was at the Apple store. I think that they have a ‘hot line’ to carrier folks who know what they’re doing. Apple is not taking pot luck with carrier people, they have to have good in-store support otherwise you’re walking out unhappy with a new product that does not work as advertised because of a lack of technical skill of a random carrier tech.

I will say that the Apple staff didn’t know how to activate it. They called Verizon - they had the contact - and presto it was going in about a minute. Verizon still uses a nano SIM in the iPad, and all they needed other than my name etc was the IMEI number and the number on the SIM. I think that you can do this from your online account, but since I was there I worked with them.

If you can, go to an Apple store. The carrier person they contact will know their stuff unlike many that you contact.
 
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Azathoth123

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2018
662
386
Fountain City
It isn’t hard - if you know what you’re doing - but apparently something is different/changed with the new models and not all the carrier folks (or Apple folks for that matter) got the memo.

Change is the mother of twins, progress and trouble.
 
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tbayrgs

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2009
6,488
3,418
This is why I have no faith in e-Sim yet and will only stick with physical sims for now.

Also why I gave up on cellular iPads and just grabbed a compatible Wifi hotspot, put my iPad data sim in that and just flip on the hotspot whenever i don’t have access to WiFi. Still using the unlimited data plan offered by AT&T for about a month back when the first iPad was released. :D

But can certainly empathize with the OP..have had my share of trying conversations with carrier service reps.
 
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Mabus51

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2007
1,315
806
@mackduke For future reference your ICCID is in Settings, General, About. It’s also on the box of the device.
 

darkgremio

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2011
282
34
Called T-Mobile upon receiving my iPad and told them I was wanting to switch iPad’s on my existing tablet / mobile data line.

Gave them the long digits from the EID number in the General > About section and it was changed intaneously with no physical SIM card or anything, usually strictly the ESim
 

a.y.n

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2009
263
43
San Francisco
Wow that sucks! I had an actual nano sim in my mini 4, just popped it into the 11” Pro and it just worked. I guess I won’t bother getting T-Mobile to switch to the eSIM then.
 

lax28

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2014
268
144
New Jersey
To avoid issues and have easy ability to transfer service I stopped by the ATT store while at mall. Even though my iPad 10.5 didn’t have a sim it was the embedded apple sim that I used to set the data up when I activated it, I told the ATT rep that I needed a new SIM card for the iPad. Basically told them how I lost SIM card, they did charge me $5 for a new one, but now I have a physical SIM to switch between my wife’s and my iPad as needed without having to call and have a rep change it in the system whenever I need to, also avoids ATT attempting to charge an activation fee everytime I charge which iPad has service.
 

eagleglen

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2009
1,075
273
Phoenix, AZ
Sorry for your hassle, but that’s nice they gave you a credit for the aggravation. Not to make you feel bad though, but it took an hour on the phone with Verizon to activate the data on my 11 inch Pro, for which they gave me a $30 credit.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
10,566
14,057
Central U.S.
It isn’t hard - if you know what you’re doing - but apparently something is different/changed with the new models and not all the carrier folks (or Apple folks for that matter) got the memo.

Change is the mother of twins, progress and trouble.
I remember there being trouble with my 10.5" back in summer 2017. Not as much as today, but it involved multiple people and a good bit of time with them not knowing which number to use and tried multiple until they could get something to work. I just think they don't train anybody.
@mackduke For future reference your ICCID is in Settings, General, About. It’s also on the box of the device.
OMG, one of the T-Mobile employees has snuck in here ;)
Sorry for your hassle, but that’s nice they gave you a credit for the aggravation. Not to make you feel bad though, but it took an hour on the phone with Verizon to activate the data on my 11 inch Pro, for which they gave me a $30 credit.
I'm going to need a lot higher than $4/hr, lol. I bill $80/hr for freelance design and that's on the cheap side since I live in the midwest.
 
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jazz1

macrumors 68000
Aug 19, 2002
1,814
448
Mid-West USA
I'm so sick of explaining myself to different reps that I don't even want to get into the details but I just feel like I need to rant, even if nobody reads this. Feel free to not read it because it sucks. I'm warning you. Between yesterday and today, I have spent over five hours between T-Mobile and Apple reps on the phone. T-Mobile kept sending me over to Apple. Overview of events below. I swear if I had these conversations recorded they would be viral.
  • Call T-Mobile to transfer data plan from 10.5" iPad Pro to 12.9" iPad pro 3rd gen
  • T-Mobile keeps telling me I need an ICCID. There is no such thing in settings, even when doing the trick where you tap the CSN number.
  • T-Mobile insists that my old iPad (which was at home at the time) has a sim card
  • I go home that evening. No sim card. Didn't think so.
  • I call them back. I argue with two different reps for 20 minutes about how eSim in the iPad is different than dual eSim in the iPhone XS. They keep telling me it's not possible to use an iPad on LTE without a sim card. My 10.5" which I have been using for 1.5 years with no sim card begs to differ. I offer to record video of my magical iPad.
  • They keep asking for ICCID again. I Google. iTunes on Mac can show ICCID. I give them this ICCID. No dice, it's 20 digits long and they need 19.
  • They say my iPad is clearly broken and transfer me to Apple.
  • Apple runs diagnostics, says everything is fine, says ICCID is valid.
  • Apple transfers back to T-Mobile, rep tells me he will explain to her how to setup with IMEI number which is what they should do before ICCID is provisioned by carrier.
  • T-Mobile rep comes on, Apple rep bails, T-Mobile rep goes back to script asking me for ICCID. I want to die. I really do. It gets worse.
  • T-Mobile rep escalates to manager. Manager has no idea how IMEI works or how to activate my iPad. Manager sends me back to Apple.
  • Apple rep tells me it's T-Mobiles fault, tries to transfer me back and stay on the line this time. T-Mobile is closed.
  • In the middle of all of this I discovered a vulnerability in iOS 12.1 which allows Touch ID bypass on my old iPad. Talked to senior Apple engineers this morning. Expect iOS patch next week. Seriously, not even a joke.
  • This morning Apple calls me pertaining to T-Mobile. Rep was going to call T-Mobile with me, but we decided to just try setting up the iPad on the device. Thought it worked because T-Mobile and bars showed up.
  • I get a message that pops up 20 minutes later saying that device activation failed and to try again.
  • I call into T-Mobile. Doing that was a mistake. It adds it as a prepaid line on my account separate from everything else.
  • Nice byproduct of doing this: I finally have an ICCID in the about section of the settings. It is different than the one in iTunes, and is 19 digits long so it will fit.
  • T-Mobile transfers me to a guy who can transfer the line back to a post-paid account. He does so, replacing my old iPad line. He says it should be working within two hours.
  • Three hours later the iPad is still not connecting to the internet on LTE.
  • I call in. T-Mobile rep answers the phone singing. Not even a joke. I genuinely thought it was some sort of automated music. "Oh great."
  • Turns out this guy actually seems to know his stuff. He said nobody associated the newly moved line with an IMEI. We do so. No dice.
  • He associates it with the new ICCID. It works.
  • T-Mobile gives me a $20 bill credit for wasting over five hours of my life. Whoopee. I never get upset with customer service reps because I used to work in retail but I have never come closer to having a mental breakdown on the phone. Add some thick accents on top of this to add to the frustration.
Remember, all I wanted to do was transfer the data plan from my 10.5" iPad Pro to my new 12.9" iPad Pro. But at least I discovered a vulnerability, and no I probably shouldn't talk about it.

You are way more patient than I could be.
 
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flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,191
914
I had trouble as well (Verizon), but nowhere near this much trouble. From what I can tell, carriers are expecting these to ship with a SIM card installed. It’s been several years since the previous time I did this (Air 2 launch) and then there was an Apple SIM in the box, and this time there isn’t. I don’t know about the other carriers, but Verizon doesn’t seem able to work with the EID (or at least the reps I spoke with on my three calls didn’t know how).
 
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wittyphrase

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2017
131
144
New York
I had trouble as well (Verizon), but nowhere near this much trouble. From what I can tell, carriers are expecting these to ship with a SIM card installed. It’s been several years since the previous time I did this (Air 2 launch) and then there was an Apple SIM in the box, and this time there isn’t. I don’t know about the other carriers, but Verizon doesn’t seem able to work with the EID (or at least the reps I spoke with on my three calls didn’t know how).
Yea I didn’t really understand how the whole eSIM thing worked and figured, since I wasn’t asked when I ordered who my carrier was that it would come with what I needed for it to work. So I couldn’t figure out why Verizon wasn’t an option to setup. Apple Support couldn’t answer my question. Got on chat with Verizon rep who told me pretty quickly what the issue was once he realized what specific device it was.

He told me they support it for the watch because there’s no other way, but they’re not ready to move to eSIM for iPads yet and that they’ll require a physical SIM at least until mid 2019. He said it with more certainty than I’ve ever heard anyone on customer service answer a something like that too. So I have no idea how accurate it is, but there was enough confidence to satisfy my curiosity.
 
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flur

macrumors 68020
Nov 12, 2012
2,191
914
Yea I didn’t really understand how the whole eSIM thing worked and figured, since I wasn’t asked when I ordered who my carrier was that it would come with what I needed for it to work. So I couldn’t figure out why Verizon wasn’t an option to setup. Apple Support couldn’t answer my question. Got on chat with Verizon rep who told me pretty quickly what the issue was once he realized what specific device it was.

He told me they support it for the watch because there’s no other way, but they’re not ready to move to eSIM for iPads yet and that they’ll require a physical SIM at least until mid 2019. He said it with more certainty than I’ve ever heard anyone on customer service answer a something like that too. So I have no idea how accurate it is, but there was enough confidence to satisfy my curiosity.
It does sound like he knew what he was talking about. The reps I spoke with did not even know what an EID was. They kept telling me the ICC ID was on the box. I assume it would be if there were a SIM in the box, but instead we have an EID. There was a lot of confusion about whether I had to put in a SIM as well.
 
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Wowmail

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2017
84
32
San Diego, California
I took my new 11" iPad Pro to T-Mobile. They said they were not ready for eSIM, and put in a nano sim. I took it home, it did not work. (They reported it working in the store). My bad for being in a rush. I ended up calling T-Mobile service, and the sim card number was incorrect. I read them the correct number, re-booted, and it's now working.

My SIM list on the iPad report 2 "SIMs" One for T-Mobile , one for T-Mobile Tablet.