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Now I’m a Victim of AT&T and Apple’s Success



Yes, AT&T fumbled the ball today, again! I am the guy who wrote the reasoned article about being patient as you wait for your phone to activate, because like my first activation it should only take about 10-20 minutes and you’ll be done. Then I tried activating my second phone. Now at 6PM, after getting the first one activated before 10 AM as I began writing this post, I am still waiting. What’s worse, you have to keep hitting next and entering your zip code and last four digits of your Social Security number over and over and over again!

Activation Failure ScreenIn comparison, I recently reviewed the new $79 Amazon Kindle. Amazon gave me the “Apple out of box experience”. I opened it up and it was already configured and ready go. In fact it welcomed me with my name. I know that a Kindle and a phone are different animals. To activate my phone, AT&T must also turn off my old phone if I’m upgrading. That would make some people pretty mad if their phone turned off and they didn’t have access to their new one till the UPS or FedEx guy showed up.

I get that we have to activate after getting our phones. I just wish the would make it a little more enjoyable on high traffic days like this. Rent out some extra servers from someone. It’s more complicated than that, but it seems Verizon and Sprint handled this well. They seemed to handle the pre-order too, something AT&T couldn’t muster.

AT&T’s store wasn’t any help either. I’m using my oldest son’s eligibility for an upgrade. So I knew I had to swap phones on our account after activation. When my iPhone 4S wouldn’t activate, I took it to AT&T to handle both. The poor sales clerk tried, but she couldn’t do a thing either.

There’s a happy ending though. Just now, activation finally went through!

I suggest that you try to activate over Wi-Fi and not over 3G. I kept retrying activation while driving to and from the store and nothing. Finally, ten minutes after getting home and within range of Wi-Fi, it worked. Could be just a coincidence, but I offer it as a possible assistance to anyone else just as frustrated as I had become.

By the way, I asked Siri just now why AT&T is so bad, as per Warner’s suggestion. She answered that she couldn’t do that.

And neither can they!



  1. BrianB13

    10/14/2011 at 4:55 pm

    Why people wait in long lines for a phone is beyond me.  Why people have to activate their phones on the first day and not expect delays is ridiculous.  If I wanted a iPhone 4S, I would have pre-ordered it and then waited until next week to activate it.  It’s just a freakin phone!!  I have the patience not to waste my own time.      

    • Breaking Bad

      10/14/2011 at 6:20 pm

      Don’t you almost comment on almost every thread on this site? And you are calling out those who wait in lines for a phone? Hilarious. To each his own.

      • Phillip Faulk

        10/15/2011 at 7:41 am

        some people have really badly broken iPhone screens such as myself and need a new one as soon as possible for work and other things…its not that I would not have waited a week for them to die down. Many are lucky all they are stuck with is this “activation limbo”. I was on the phone with apple and AT&T for five hours yesterday trying to get mine set up. I took another persons upgrade who was on my plan and that was a catastrophe because I pre-ordered through apple online and it came pre-programmed with the upgrade number. AT&T can’t seem to figure out how to activate the phone on my number, so today I get to talk with them again for five hours, but hey, at least this time they are going to call me.

  2. FtKknoxTMO

    10/14/2011 at 5:09 pm

    By comparison I picked up a new HTC Amaze 4G at my local T-mobile store, I popped the sim card out of my old MyTouch 4G, logged into my Google account on New phone, out the door within 5 min. And on release day for this phone and the Samsung Galaxy S II I am still trying to put apps back on my 4th Gen iPod from the IOS 5.0 updates the same day.

  3. Scotty Braun

    10/14/2011 at 5:38 pm

    I don’t see what the rush is to get it today especially its pretty much the same as the iPhone 4.. would people really die if they got it next week when things have slowed down??   I’m sure 90% of you have the iPhone 4 already, so just go use your digital camera, talk to a girl, and theres your 4S

  4. Easy.

    10/15/2011 at 5:04 am

    Walked in the at&t store…got my phone…it was working within 30 seconds.

    • Jimridgway

      10/15/2011 at 9:02 am

      It appears that they fixed their server issues last night

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