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Verizon Bumbles iPhone 4S Preorders, Customer Service Clueless (Updated)



Like many of you, I woke up early last Friday to complete my iPhone 4S preorder.

I assumed that ordering direct from Verizon would simplify the hassles of adding another line to a family share plan. I also assumed that this was a simple process that would culminate in me giving Verizon a large sum of money and me receiving an iPhone 4S on October 14th.

How wrong I was.

Sadly, the issues began as soon as I placed my order. Despite being an account manager I needed the primary account holders SSN and driver’s license. OK, even though I had confirmed I had all I needed with customer support on Thursday, I could get beyond this.

After a few phone calls I had the information I needed and was able to place my order for the iPhone 4S mid-morning on Friday October 7th. During checkout and on my confirmation email I was assured that I would have my iPhone 4S on October 14th.

Update: Verizon has finally shipped my iPhone 4S. There are a number of others having issues. While I am glad to have my iPhone 4S on the way, the bak and forth needed to make this order happen is ridiculous.

iPhone 4s preorder screw up Verizon

Verizon appears to have things under control.

Things looked good for a few hours, and then I got an email saying there was a problem with my order. 5 phone calls later I was able to find out that this new line required a security deposit. After agreeing to pay it, I was told that my order was good to go. Fast forward a few more hours, and I had another email saying there was an issue. I called back and was asked again if I would pay the security deposit. In all, I agreed to pay for this phone and the security deposit at least three time.

All the while, my online order status still had October 14th listed as a ship date.

Then on Wednesday October 12th, while dealing with the iOS 5 release date posts, I received another email telling me that there was a problem.

Before calling I checked my online status and found that Verizon had pushed back my order to shipping on October 28th and noted that I had not paid for the order.

Verizon iPhone 4S preorder screwup 28th

Verizon now has no idea what is going on with iPhone 4S preorders.

Frustrated, I called in to Verizon again, 6 times over the course of the day. Each time I got a slightly different story, but was assured that my order had been paid for and that it would ship out on Wednesday. Multiple times I was told that I would get an email with tracking information before the end of the day.

Well, here we are a day before the iPhone 4S arrives on porches and in stores, and my credit card has not been charge and my order is still showing a ship date of the 28th.

I’ve called Verizon more about this issue than any other problem in my decade of service and have been incredibly disappointed with their service and support. This is just another reason why Early Termination Fees suck. Even if this was enough to push me over the edge, leaving Verizon is cost prohibitive.

I tried to use Twitter to get better customer support, but unlike Time Warner Cable’s awesome social media service team, @VZWSupport has no real power to fix issues. Their ability appears limited to saying happy things to excited customers and telling angry ones which numbers to call. Not a special, “something is obviously screwed up” high level customer service rep number — the same number you are told to call in your email.

At this point, it’s too late for Verizon’s online order team to come through, so I will have to go wait in line to try and get an iPhone 4s on launch day.

I’m not alone, @dt3 on Twitter learned that @VZWSupport can’t really do anything to help customers.

Verizon issues iPhone 4S

Another iPhone 4S issue at Verizon.

It looks like Alw on Twitter is also experienicng issues calling in for support. He was told that iPhone 4S orders won’t ship until tomorrow.

Verizon iPhone 4S preorder not shipping

Verizon iPhone 4S preorder not shipping in time.

It’s absurd that customer support either doesn’t have the training or access to information needed to answer questions during the biggest phone launch on Verizon.

If you placed an iPhone 4s preorder with Verizon, now would be a good time to verify that it is shipping or has shipped.

Let us know what’s going on with your Verizon iPhone 4S preorder in the comments.



  1. Susie

    10/13/2011 at 10:01 am

    I got an email at 2:30 am this morning saying that my phone has shipped. My tracking number isn’t working though, which is odd.
    And as for @dts’s problems, I wasn’t able to pre-order my phone through apple either! I ended up doing it through verizon….still not sure what the problem was.

    • Craft874

      10/13/2011 at 11:30 am

      I am in the same situation.  Tracking number isn’t working.  Verizon took the money for the  phone out of my account last night around the same time the email was sent saying that it was shipped.  UPS  said that if the number isn’t working then the phone hasn’t shipped.

    • Anonymous

      10/13/2011 at 11:30 am

      Tracking numbers are produced locally at the shipment center but aren’t valid until they hit UPS systems, usually @ pick-up.  You should be able to track it later today/tonight.

  2. Joebeltron31

    10/13/2011 at 10:24 am

    my local vzw store ordered one for me and it will be here next week in their shipments….maybe a perk for living in a small town??

    • Mackenzie

      10/17/2011 at 9:34 am

      I’m in the same boat. Have you heard anything?? I tried to call this morning but they didn’t have any shipping info yet.

  3. thebrob1983

    10/13/2011 at 10:55 am

    Vzw won’t charge I till the phone actually shipped they do that to me all the time

  4. Anonymous

    10/13/2011 at 11:30 am

    Surprised you had a security deposit.  I have horrible credit and was fine adding one to our account. Logged in on Monday night, ordered in a single step, shipped today.

    • Anonymous

      10/13/2011 at 11:38 am

      So was I. 

  5. Jessica C

    10/13/2011 at 2:11 pm

    They said the best bet, is to try and get it at the store and cancel the pre-order right before.

  6. VZW

    10/13/2011 at 3:24 pm

    Ordered the phone last Friday about 2:00pm PST through the Verizon website. Luckily, it’s on its way and I’ll be receiving my gf’s white iPhone 4s 16GB. :)

  7. Unhappy VZN customer

    10/13/2011 at 3:59 pm

    VZN screwed up my shipping AND billing address in my pre-order (missing a crucial cardinal direction in one and my apartment number in the other).  I know I put it in correctly (even if I hadn’t, then it would have had the same mistake in both addresses).  Anyway, it took 5 calls to VZN to try to get them to correct it – they finally said they fixed the address.  But when the shipping notice came, it was wrong again.  I finally called UPS, and now I have to pay $5 to change my address through UPS.  Thanks Verizon…

    • Otherjfk

      10/19/2011 at 5:11 pm

      Wow! This sounds exactly like my story. Only in my case they got the quadrant of the city wrong (Washington DC has four of most close-in addresses so this is crucial) and someone at Verizon checked the “Hold at FedEx Location” box on the label. Since I neither work or live at FedEx, FedEx was not able to process the order. After being lied to by a Verizon employee yesterday who told me FedEx had the package, I called FedEx and they said they have never even been given my package. I got a hold of a Verizon employee today who admitted that Verizon had a shortage of phones and that they would send mine out this Thursday for Friday delivery – a week late. 

  8. Sfsavoia

    10/13/2011 at 7:16 pm

    No problem here.  Went to Verizon’s web site at 2:50am to log into myverizon just to get a jump on the ordering process and low and behold I was able to preorder before the 3:01am start!  Received confirmation email 15 minutes later.  Received shipping confirmation yesterday with tracking number and UPS tracking system shows my phone at my local UPS distribution center.  I was able to keep my grandfathered voice plan as well as my unlimited data plan…NICE!!!

  9. Torin Weatherbee

    10/13/2011 at 8:08 pm

    i got my preorder in and got a confirmation email. but as of this time the day before it is supposed to arrive, i have gotten no shipment confirmation email and the tracking page given in the email just says it will arrive /by/ the 14th. i entered a PO Box as the address, so hopefully that didnt change anything. but in the email it said the address shipping to was “PO BO PO BOX ***” so i don’ t know if that will screw it up

  10. Jer

    10/13/2011 at 9:24 pm

    Ordered two 4S phones on Oct 7 at 5 PM CDT and have tracking numbers that they will arrive by late afternoon Oct 14.

  11. Guest

    10/13/2011 at 11:26 pm

    I ordered my iPhone 4s on Friday the 7th through Verizon online. After spending an entire day trying to get the website to work and process my order, I was able to get the order through at about 9 p.m. When I received the email confirmation they didn’t use the billing address I had given them, but the billing address for the actual account. After a failed attempt to call Verizon to get the issue taken care of, I had to actually contact my bank and have them change my billing address just for this one order. After 5 days of constant phone calls and struggles my iPhone should be here tomorrow, thank God. Hopefully I’ll be calling my bank on my new iPhone 4s tomorrow to change my billing address back. Thanks for nothing Verizon!

  12. Andy

    10/14/2011 at 3:35 am

    I ordered on Oct. 7 and everything went smoothly.  I found out yesterday that Verizon shipped my phone UPS 2 day air on Thursday.  When told that my phone wouldn’t be delivered until Monday I had then cancel my order, reset my upgrade date and now I’ll take my chances in the store.  Monday would have felt like 2 weeks.  Not happy… at least Verizon’s customer service were trying to be helpful.  Can you imagine how frustrating it is to talk to UPS customer service somewhere in the Asian Pacific while your phone is being processed in a facility 20 minutes away from you, yet you won’t get it for 4 days?

  13. Knowspics

    10/14/2011 at 10:24 am

    Verizon 4S is charging, ATT 3g is backing up. In a few hours all should be right in the world. Had no problem ordering through Apple was close to ordering through Verizon and all I had to do was put in my cc#. Got distracted and timed out. Went to Apple online when I returned and did it then. Easy. I’m using a macbook pro to sync. So far no hitches except I live in NYC and ATT iphone is not a phone as much as a glorified itouch. Hoping Verizon works as a phone.

  14. Jules_5

    10/15/2011 at 4:28 pm

    Well i have been trying to order my iPhone thru Verizon and cannot.  Once i get past the are you and existing or new customer screen, the next screen is to re-log in and that does not respond.  I have talked to 3 reps about this and none have been able to help.  So i went to my eNook to see if i would have better luck.  I got all the way in to ordering the phone, my case, my data plans, and now there is no response.  It refuses to go the next step.  I am on the month to month as i was waiting for the iPhone 4s came out to renew my contract.  If i can’t order my phone today i probably will close my account and go to AT&T … am done with the run around. Grrrrr :(

  15. Dfergy

    10/15/2011 at 7:59 pm

    On Oct 15th, my ship date  is stated to be Oct 14th, no tracking number, which Verizon admits means it has not been shipped.  Oct 14th was my original arrival date, as my order was in 15 minutes after they began accepting orders.  Customer support apologizes, and expects “three is nothing we can do’ is an adequate line.  Luckily my entire family plan can be moved out to Sprint.

  16. Jules_5

    10/15/2011 at 8:33 pm

    To update my post above… I went back on to my eNook and was able to order my phone.  Do not understand why I could not order on my computer.  I checked everything that could have blocked or not allowed the iPhone to be ordered.  Funny thing is i tested all the other phones available and i was able to log in and purchase those if I wanted to.  This has all been very frustrating, but I am thankful for my eNook connection.

  17. Fa

    10/17/2011 at 5:44 pm

    exact thing happened to me as in the article! I got mine on the 14th!

  18. guest

    10/22/2011 at 11:44 pm

    I went to a retail outlet on 10/15 and was told they didn’t have any on hand, and that I had order one, which I did and was fine with. I came back an hour later to see a woman switching from Sprint being handed her brand new iPhone 4s by the same sales rep. They just miraculously found one for her! Right. Way to treat loyal customers, Verizon.

  19. cindy

    12/22/2011 at 7:04 am

    I ordered 2 4s phones the 1st week of December for my early 20’s kids. This is their only Christmas present.Was so glad to be able to go to the store and the girl I ordered from said”girl they are shipping fast , should be here in a week , you can go home and track this with this #. “Well of course I am screwed  as the date was then  said to be 1 week, then between the Dec. 16-20th and after several calls and the sad attempts of one poor store manager at Wendover in Greensboro named Travis, he began to stutter like Elmer Fudd and said OOOOneee or Twooo offff our customers have had a late delivery date. That of course is untrue I work as a nursing supervisor at a large hospital and everyone I have spoken with has not gotten their phone.. It is so sad that there is no customer service training and basically you are being placated and lied to by these people that just want to sell you (me almost 2000$ worth of Phones) they dont really care when you get it and will use any excuse to put you on hold. If you politely protest that you need someone with customer service experience or someone who can actually help they punish you the only way they know how , by putting you on hold or saying I am ending this call now if you become assertive. One girl at the Wendover store named Theresa told me yesterday. I judt got to work and my station is not up and referred me to Elmer Fudd Travis who was so pitiful I feltsorry for him. He told me that the date now is the week of December the 26th of course after Christmas and my family will be gone. THANKS VERIZON for taking my money and givening me pooor customer service . Do NOT promise what you cannot deliver. I should have known better as only Verizon has ever given me the 25% discount from my company but charged me 15$ more a month, when I aske that this be corrected and to be reimbursed I was told that it was a computer error and I would have to speak with “Corporate”, I would not recommend buying anything from Stacey Bennet at the Verizon Store at Wendover as she is not interested in customer service , obviously just your $. Poor Verizon, Maybe invest all this $ in some customer service lessons for your employees. Pitiful and Poor I knew there were others that had been mistreated by Verizon just not sooooo many. I have left an e-mail with their CEO IVAN Seidenberg but of course he must care less to have a company like this, how embarrasing.

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