iPhone activation disasters

I was so excited flying from my home in Halifax to New York this morning—I was getting an iPhone ! But three hours after getting my hands on one,I am ready to drop the thing from the 44th floor of the New York Hilton—and I probably would if I was sure it would hit someone from AT&T.

Earlier this week I transferred my Macworld business account to an individual account solely for the purpose of getting an iPhone—I had to since business plans don’t qualify for the iPhone. I know for a fact that I’m not the only person who had to do this—and judging from the wait time I’m having on tech support, I’m not the only one having problems.

When I tried to activate my account, I got an error message that said my account couldn’t be used with the iPhone. I called AT&T and explained the situation—the service-provider checked the account and said I definitely have a qualifying account. The tech support person checked all kinds of other things and said I should be all set to activate.

No go.

AT&T then said I had to call Apple; I was transferred to Apple iPhone tech support. After explaining the problem, the Apple tech support person asked me to wait while he read some documentation and advised me he would be gone for about four minutes. Four minutes later, we were disconnected without speaking further.

When you get an error activating, a special number comes up. I called it and a recording said they were having technical difficulties and couldn’t help me right now and to please call back later.

I decided to call AT&T back again. The person I got said that my account was still listed as a business account—well, that can’t be, I changed it. She said I needed to be transferred to another person who would definitely be able to help me.

I explained my problem to the new person who said that my account was most definitely an individual account, not a business account and they didn’t know why I couldn’t activate it. They needed to transfer me to someone who would be able to help me.

Starting to see a trend here?

I explained my problem to the new person who said it could be a business account, and they needed to transfer me. Apparently a password was set on my account when it was transferred and they needed the password in order to check things further.

“But I didn’t set a password on the account,” I said.

AT&T said, for security reasons, it couldn’t do anything else until the password was removed.

“OK, remove the password,”I said.

Nope, that had to be done at an AT&T retail store where I had to show ID. OK, there is one across the street from the Hilton on Avenue of the Americas in New York.

So, off I went. I explained the situation and said I needed my password removed. The clerk said the store wasn’t doing anything but selling iPhones today and that if I needed anything else, I would have to come back tomorrow.

I left in a huff and called AT&T support back again. I explained the situation and they said they needed to—yes, smart readers—transfer me to someone that could help me.

I have been on tech support for a couple of hours, been hung up on once and have been transferred no less than 12 times so far.

And I’m still on hold with AT&T.

If I see that guy from the AT&T Store across the street, this phone is going out the window.

And I see that my colleague Dan Moren is having problems getting his iPhone to work as well. So, Macworld is currently 0-for-2 when it comes to working iPhones; hopefully, our West Coast editors will have better luck.

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