The iPhone, and why I'm returning the greatest device I've ever used

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thetourist, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. thetourist macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Something I never thought I’d do…but let me explain. The iPhone is incredible. I’ve used a lot of devices and a lot of gadgets and a lot of technology and nothing has ever blown me away quite like this. Dare I say that the device has the potential (when software updates add some features like iChat, tested and approved 3rd party apps and a horizontal keyboard mode in all apps), it might be the closest thing to perfect a phone/music/video/internet device gets. It is an absolute pleasure to use.

    Sadly for Apple, the user experience is not up to them. Its up to The New AT&T…and that means that the odds have been stacked against them from day dot. Since picking up my 8GB iPhone last Thursday, I’ve had two phone numbers, four sim cards, 3 data plans and I’ve spent about 8 hours on the phone with AT&T support. I’ll go through and detail the whole ordeal once I part with the device which I’ve now named Harold. Harold will be missed…but sometimes you have to let go to save your sanity, and prove a point.

    The point is that AT&T either can not provide, or is unprepared to provide the kind of experience on their end that this device deserves. When part of ones service is acting up, an AT&T Corporate Store employee should know not to replace the sim card…something which on prepaid accounts, bricks the iPhone until a new account is activated and tied to the new sim card. This isn’t to say that several of the some 15 AT&T phone representatives haven’t been helpful. Many of them…in particular, several canadians and one southern man have been absolutely amazing, and are frankly the only reason I didn’t return the iPhone on Friday or Saturday. The AT&T store employees have been exactly as one would expect…which is to say that I’d expect them to behave like rude and unknowledgeable people making about $8 an hour.

    Still, I’d expect that they’d get simple training on how not to turn a device that runs $599 into a beautiful shiny brick-like 8GB iPod and wi-fi internet device unable to place calls or send sms messages.

    Everyone in Cupertino who worked on the iPhone should really be proud of themselves. It is a marvel of innovation, evolution and design from both hardware and software points of view. I’ll be picking another one up soon. Once AT&T figures out how to manage their customers.

    This isn’t a dig at Apple or the iPhone…its a dig at The New AT&T and their mismanagement of my account in particular. Some people have a fine experience and everything works…but I wasn’t one of them this time.

    Sad. Really. Glad I went prepaid (for this possibility).
  2. [G5]Hydra macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2004
    You do realize that in Apple's zeal for secrecy they didn't really let AT&T have much in the way of advance training before this massive launch so most of the AT&T store employees would know what they were doing right? I love my iPhone and was already an At&T customer before the iPhone but to have a massive launch in a situation where they were new to AT&T and visa-versa was not the best way to go about it. The use of activation through iTunes was actually a good idea IMHO but that means people that fall out of the mainstream, like those who were going the prepaid route like yourself, were not going to be getting a good chance at well trained service people. I like Apple more than I like AT&T but put the blame squarely where it belongs in this case.

    -Jerry C.
  3. Sobe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2007
    Wash DC suburbs
    Seeing that you really seem to like the phone (as opposed to the AT&T service), it sounds like a sad story.

    Wish you all the best.
  4. tttexxan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2007
    must not love it too much...I have not had one issue and LOVE AT&T...I live in the Fort Worth area...No drop calls and great service...My friends with sprint and verizon have all kinds of problems....You can get issues with anything...You must not like it that much
  5. Sbrocket macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2007
    You make it sound as if AT&T's store employees know anything about the products they're supposed to be selling in the first place. Of course, this isn't specific to AT&T; all cell phone providers seem to have dunderheads for employees. To any possible AT&T employee readers and anyone else in retail: please act like you give a **** when you're talking to the customer, people can tell when you're just waiting for your next break to come around. If you are one of those rare good salespersons, good for you and I wish you many promotions. :)
  6. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I agree that AT&T's customer services stinks. The people at my old store (I just moved) were from helpful and satisfying to useless and well, useless. AT&T's system in general though is absolutely aweful. Even the employees were apologizing for what it wouldn't allow them to do. I guess I just hate cell companies and how they try to control their customers. Screw that.
  7. thetourist thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2003
    i should say that i'm not trying to single out AT&T specifically. in this post i am obviously, but if you look at it, what could be done? not much. apple was super secret, obviously, and the launch was bound to have issues, but the handling of those issues is where people in a customer service situation have a chance to make or break it. t-mobile is abysmal, i've never known a company so intent on bending their customers over a table than verizon, and sprint shouldn't be mentioned with the rest. its just a crap situation for us cell customers, and i thought the fear of the wrath of steve or whatever would at least make at&t handle the iphone better...but 8 out of the 15 people i spoke with on the phone tried to transfer me to apple, to which i said something along the lines of "apple's hardware doesn't cause edge to stop working or my account to be frozen. don't pawn me off to some knowledgeable applecare person that can't help me".


    and it doesn't have anything to do with "not liking it that much"

    the phone's a dream. but if i bought a new amazing car that took some great new fuel and there was only one station in town and that gas station served fuel that perpetually was either making my car run poorly, not at all, or just making it so i had to get the engine replaced...i'd take the car back.

    also, if someone brought a computer or an iphone to the bar, and walked out with a brick...they'd get a new unit, a written apology and whoever bricked said device would be very close to being fired...yet everyone somehow expects it from at&t. unacceptable, no?
  8. [G5]Hydra macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2004
    Hey, I wasn't attacking you. I can understand Apple wanting to keep the phone a secret as long as possible but the phone was public knowledge for almost 6 months. There was almost no need to keep everything so tightly under wraps when the product was demoed 6 months prior. I just think that Apple sometimes goes a little overboard in their protective mode that it hurts customers. I love Apple and love my iPhone but for such a hugely important product launch for them, and ATT, they could have done a little more to prep ATT store people.
  9. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Fake Steve Jobs explained it best ... Apple needed to keep it under wraps to create this phenomenon:

    "Another note about the iPhone hysteria and why others can't replicate it is this. The one big mistake that other companies make is they start showing review copies of the product long before it's available. And they try to get as many reviews as possible. They think they're going to drum up loads of buzz. Huge mistake. Our biggest trick -- and it's not really a big stroke of genius or anything -- is simply to make a huge and dramatic presentation and then not let anyone actually see the phone. That way everyone can project their hopes and desires onto the object and build it up in their imagination as some great special unique magical device. We call it the Obama Maneuver. This creates a deadly combination: loads of demand and very little actual information."
  10. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    Here's a little vent... The iPhone completely changes the way cell phones are activated. Great strives have been taken to change the user experience for the better. I see many in the forums complaining of activation and related issues by those who are trying to circumvent the 2-year contract. If you're trying to get through a loophole and go month-to-month, more power to you, but don't expect the seamless experience the system is designed to provide.

    Or, if you don't have the minimal credit for cell service, why the hell are you wasting your money on a $600 phone?

  11. nicoboss macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2002
    New York
    I think that - if you are willing to wait for iphone updates to have an even better phone, with functions you absolutely want, then, you should also try to be patient with AT&T to get its stuff together - not talking about salespersons - i think this is a general issue to applies to all phone companies – but in terms of quality of communication. Keep in mind that the iphone is the premium phone that has given AT&T more advertising credit than anything they have tried so far - and I am sure that they are working hard to nurture this part of the business and are aware that making iphone customers happy about AT&T service is only going to bring in more clients as this is being closely scrutinized right now by the media – it's never happened before to a phone company that, for a specific phone, they had to adjust and curb their rules, regulations, habits and billing practices.

    Give AT&T a chance and some time! you won't be disapointed as you are using the BEST phone that ever hit the market!
  12. chicagdan macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Ha ... actually, most people with bad credit don't lack for income, they just spend too much of it on things like $600 phones ...
  13. thetourist thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2003
    my credit is exceptional, its got nothing to do with that. i planned on waiting for an iphone and just decided 'ah screw it. i'll get one'. the reason i went for the prepaid is because i was skeptical of the service aspect, having been a cingular customer in the past. "we're not happy till you're not happy". I'd have likely switched to a post-paid plan a few months from now when I got comfortable with AT&T...but it looks like that's not gonna happen.

    The bottom line is, either offer the prepaid or don't. If you do choose to offer it, you need to support your service. That's all.
  14. thetourist thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2003
    and now, after the AT&T demon was gone from my life...i just got charged for this month with my automatic payment for my at&t account. for the first iphone # i had for a day. which was supposed to be cancelled when the 2nd one was activated.

    so a number i had for one day that was supposed to have been cancelled, has now charged me 70 bucks. i'm disputing the charge and laying into at&t.

    this is awful.
  15. propynyl macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2007

    You named your phone HAROLD???
  16. earnjam macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2007
    North Carolina
    if you have exceptional credit, what did you do...fake SS#? That's brilliant.
  17. JoJoCal19 macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    Hmmm... I almost get driven to that same point everyday. AT&T service where I live sucks @$$. I cant even use my phone in my house (which is in a major area of Jacksonville) without continually dropping calls. When around town I have had several dropped calls weekly.

    The only reason I am with AT&T is the iPhone and the iPhone is worth dealing with this garbage cell service, to an extent.

    I am reactivating my Chocolate phone with Verizon and will use that when Im in areas that my iPhone does not get good service... which happens to be all over.
  18. thetourist thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2003
    so many people have used the all 9's thing. and it works, that's why they've been doing it.
  19. megfilmworks macrumors 68020


    Jul 1, 2007
    Sherman Oaks
    I had zero activation problems, total of 3 minutes and that was iNight!!
    Very few people did. And no matter who you sign with all cell companies have the same problems. If I were you I would not let a customer service issue make up your mind for you. Take control and keep your phone!!
  20. irun5k macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2005
    AT&T experience

    I *almost* had a major problem with my local AT&T store. We only have an AT&T store where I live- no Apple store.

    I bought my iPhone Friday night and it turned out to be mostly DOA- I was able to activate it but the speaker, mic, and headphone jack were all defective. I called Apple and they told me I had to ship it back to them, around a one week cycle (probably at best, I'm guessing.) He warned that the AT&T store WOULD NOT exchange the phone. So I'd be left with no way to make calls.

    At this point I was furious. Who ever heard of a store not taking back something that was $600 and DOA? As much as people complain about Best Buy, Circuit City, etc., they would at least accept an exchange if something was obviously broken.

    Anyway, folks here are pretty friendly and the girl at the local store that helped me on multiple occasions is pretty cool. I went in and played a little dumb about the "no exchange" policy. It was clearly difficult for her to tell me about it, and after some conversation she went to talk to her manager. She agreed to go against policy and accept the phone as a return (with no restocking fee) and then to sell me another one. Big points here for the store staff. Big, huge, monolithic NEGATIVE points for whoever came up with the no exchange policy.

    So this is what I want to know: The store staff said the no exchange thing is Apple's policy, because they want everything to go back through them. The Apple Care dude told me it was an AT&T policy. Who's policy is it??? And, why, oh why, is the responsible party too embarrassed to accept responsibility for making up the policy???

    The phone is great though, now that I have a working one. I find edge to be acceptable as well. For me, personally, I still prefer sites optimized for mobile use anyway. To spite having the capability of the "real internet/WWW"... and to spite having a large screen for a phone... it is still a heck of a lot smaller than the display on my 20" iMac I've gotten used to browsing on.
  21. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a


    Feb 9, 2003
    Durham, NC
    My understanding as to why there is an AT&T store no return policy is their limited stock and an attempt to stem financial costs. AT&T takes no responsibility for hardware support when it comes to iPhones (which somewhat explains the lack of monthly loss/theft/accidental damage).

    Also, when Apple provides you a delivery time range, it's generally a worst-case scenario -- for example, I ordered a Mac Pro on April 6 with an estimated ship date of April 15-17; I received the box on the 13th. However, if you live in a rural, remote location, where DHL/FedEx/UPS do not offer Morning delivery, shipping does take longer.
  22. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    see ya.
    My experience with Apple and ATT have been fabulous.

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