Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

Summary: Wow! Could AT&T have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day? I really don't think so.

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Wow! Could AT&T have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day? I really don't think so.

Let's count the ways the company failed both customers and Apple:

  • The entire pre-order system ground to a near halt within minutes, vomiting out pointless error messages.
  • For those who persisted, the system could be coaxed into working, albeit at a glacial pace.
  • Customers visiting AT&T stores didn't fare any better, with upgrades taking some 20 minutes per person.
  • Some AT&T stores gave up entirely on the IT infrastructure and instead resorted to pen and paper.
  • According to AT&T, customers who did manage to pre-order an iPhone 4 on Tuesday afternoon are unlikely to get their handset on launch day.
  • In what must be an additional embarrassment for AT&T, some customers found that on logging in to their accounts online that they were faces with the details of other customers. This is the second data breach to affect Apple customers using AT&T this month.
  • With respect to the data leakage, AT&T has issued a statement that makes it pretty clear the company has no idea what's going on:"We have been unable to replicate the issue, but the information displayed did not include call-detail records, social security numbers, or credit card information." If the issue can't be replicated, how can AT&T be so sure what data was or wasn't leaked?

This is a complete and utter mess, and it's amazing to think of Apple standing on the sidelines looking on at this disastrous handling of the pre-order of a flagship product.

Topics: AT&T, Banking, Enterprise Software, Government, Government US, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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65 comments
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  • Get over it.

    Sprint went down on the EVO launch.
    I'm sure T-Mobile may struggle on Sunday

    Verizon hasn't gone down because they have not had a wildly successful phone in......forever.

    Get over it, everyone has issues.

    The data breach is inexcusable though.
    itguy08
    • BTW Sprint did not go down, we just ran out of phones, we were prepared

      @itguy08 I personally witnessed it, checking out local stores for Marketing. We had people outside before the doors opened making sure the customer's had Gmail accounts set up and assigned sales reps in the store as the customer walked in. I worked for AT&T for 8 years in wireless and customer service is not their strong suit and still is not, I think they are dead last now in customer satisfaction.
      kurt.liebendorfer@...
    • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

      @itguy08
      AT&T's sites are all always a bit slow. I was able to get through but decided not to get the phone yesterday - I was going to get white - I can wait.

      Early in the day they did have a screw up on my upgrade eligibility (price $499 for an iphone 4) but when I went back a couple hours later it was $299 as it was supposed to be. Just an FYI - my contract is up in February 2011 and the previously posted upgrade date was in October. I am very happy to have the opportunity to go early.

      Problems are to be expected when a large number of people try to do these complex transactions all at the same time. Chill for a week and you will still be an early adopter.
      Schoolboy Bob
      • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

        @Schoolboy Bob
        Weird, I was told the upgrade is $199... Not that it matters to me much, I don't like Apple ideology. I have AT&T and they sent me a thing saying I could upgrade for $199 to the iPhone4.
        ryanstrassburg
      • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

        @ryanstrassburg

        He probably got the 32GB which is $299. $199 is for the 16GB
        bobiroc
    • Jobs's 1st WWDC Wifi Fail Data Breach WiFi PrisonWall Vidcam! :D

      @itguy08 Let's see No Real Multi-Tasking over Garden Walled Networks. Jail Broken? Yes Full you can use True Multi-tasking App that's available now. Facetime can only use WiFi! ...because Video Conferencing only supported on an Open Network over any 3G!<br><br>I repeat..... there are many things iPlatform Devices can't do over encrypted filtered and most of all virtually Hyper Tunneled Networks. Video Conferencing and REAL Multitasking are just two of them. Jail Break it and you'll be able to use even AT&T's "Video Share":<br><a href="http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/messaging-internet/media-entertainment/attvideoshare.jsp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/messaging-internet/media-entertainment/attvideoshare.jsp</a><br><br>AT&T already offers many WinMo phones that can use their $5 a month Video Share, to fully video conference over their Open Served 3G Networks with any other phone or desktop that has this ability. Many.... Android phones on the way. FASTER CPU's, BETTER SCREENS, MORE MEMORY, MORE FEATURES (like FLASH in AT&T's own video). Android? Actually over 200 devices still to come out this year. Even many Slates, Netbooks on 3G being able to FULLY Multi-Task (not just task switch & Precache), run full FLASH in Adobe Air and the Real Web. Not locked into Apple's AOL HELL Prison Walled Garden!<br><br>Can you say "Apple has been Pwned"???<img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink"> NOT AT&T's fault either!!!! Apple's GREED and own ignorance of Cellular Technology when they set their WebTV, AOL HELL Garden Walled Network up, is coming back to haunt them and their Developers are abandoning ship as we speak. When you can't even sell a classic comic book because a bare boob is showing in a cartoon drawing, that's CENSORSHIP gone Wrong!!!! Yes..... "Ulysses" Banned for one drawing till they change it to just her head..... that's SICK Apple's "THOUGHT POLICE" and Pre-Crime Prevention Dictatorship in Action!!! <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/shocked.gif" alt="shocked">
      i2fun@...
      • Truth about FLASH!!! :O

        @i2fun@... If..... Garden Walled Networks allowed INTERACTIVE WEB CONTENT, then iPhone/iPad could run FLASH GAMES, Applications, Games, etc. BUT..... they don't!

        This is the real reason Apple doesn't want Adobe to port FLASH to iPlatform Devices. Think I'm kidding? ...think about even on Proxy served Flash it's slow not because your iPhone can't handle it, but because your Apple Garden Walled Network can't handle it!

        It's a Firewall'd Tunnel and only supports large data packets going in one direction. Phone Calls are OK, but that's the real reason your calls are dropped and nobody on AT&T's are! ....if you were on Verizon or Sprint's CDMA Networks, they might work, but that's because of how use code frequency differences to send and receive calls. Remember that Verizon was the first highly successful Garden Walled Cellular Network!

        But even they are abandoning Prison Gardened Walled Networks because of it's restrictive standards. Blame Qualcom for that.... but they too are learning! ;)
        i2fun@...
    • Verizon has more.

      @itguy08 They don't have a wildly successful phone because they have a broader selection of phones people want. There would not be a mad rush over the one
      "Good" phone as at AT&T.
      Papa_Bill
  • Leaving AT&T

    If my bill isn't comped for the next month. I'm taking my 5 person family plan and my 3 person family plan to Verizon. The leak of information is unacceptable. Plus I was told not to go home and order and that they would GUARANTEE my order or 3 iphones would go through yesterday. I got a voicemail last night saying it didn't while 10 people I know ordered through the apple site.
    seriously3456
    • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

      @seriously3456

      There was a limit of 2 iPhone 4's per person so I do not know how you could have expected 3. If you were having trouble with AT&T did you ever think to try apple or Best Buy or Radioshack.

      Don't get me wrong as I know AT&T dropped the ball a bit but you had options is all I am saying.
      bobiroc
      • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

        @bobiroc We had 3 lines that were getting iphones. I didn't want 3 for myself. When they first had problems with it (9:00 central) they said don't worry and I asked if I should try the apple store. They said there was "No reason at all for that. You WILL have 3 iphones here on the 24th. That is my personal guarantee."

        Then they said I could go home, they had my info and would call when it went through. I explained I could have the phones shipped to the store and they said they would be trying to put it in all day and I was one of the first few in line that would get the phone ordered from that store.
        seriously3456
      • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

        @seriously3456

        3 lines under the same account/family plan? Or three separate plans? That makes a difference.

        I am sorry for your trouble and you have a right to be upset but I guess I have enough common sense to not expect to get such a popular device on launch day. If I didn't get into Best Buy like I did and there was a huge line I would have said oh well and just waited. It is not worth the aggrivation. Fortunately aside from both Apple and AT&T's sites being slow and unresponsive in the morning I think I was pretty lucky and that is how I am going to rule it, as luck. So if you get your phones a few days or a week later is it the end of the world? I would seriously hope not.
        bobiroc
    • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

      @seriously3456
      Wahh wahh wahh. Its PRE-f#@@kingORDER. Why not wait a few days till the crunch of people subsides?? Were you going to walk around with your pre-order confirmation receipt saying "Look, I got the next iPhone!!!!!!" Go ahead and take your business elsewhere.
      smartin007
      • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

        @smartin007 I was actually going to walk around with a working phone on june 24. (water damage). Not july 2nd when I'll be out of state. Do you think I'd care if I were still going to get the phone on the 24th, you halfwit? How stupid could you possibly be?

        AT&T messed up plain and simple. WAH WAH WAH. My personal information was given out to a stranger! BOO HOO! I might be a victim of identity fraud in the near future! I CAN"T STOP THE TEARS!

        You're the type of twerp that sits at a bar and lets dudes hit on his girlfriend, but is too scared to confront them so you politely ask the bartender for another shirley temple and stare meaninglessly at the bar, aren't you? Well I'm not. If I don't see results, I'm walking.
        seriously3456
    • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

      @seriously3456

      It seems people replying to your post are okay with that kind of abysmal service, and accept it as every day business practice.

      You had a series of choices, went with one, and had a horrible experience. As a result, you state that if they don't follow through with their guarantees, you are taking your business elsewhere.

      As a /paying/ consumer, this is your right. Perhaps the repliers know nothing about commerce and the inherent customer service expectations that accompanies it. Or on the other hand, maybe they like paying to get treated bad...
      doverbay
      • Exactly.... but we will soon find out that this is not AT&T's fault!

        @doverbay Otherwise it would be happening to customers who purchase the 100's of other phones they offer. Why doesn't anybody get it? These are servers Apple is writing the programs for. Accounts are all Apple's software responsibility on these Garden Walled Accounts. Where AT&T receives no compensation on the sale of any of these phones. And they get greedy residual monthly income that NONE of the other manufacturers get on top of that.

        If..... and that's a strong IF.... Apple had chosen an Open Network instead of their Garden Walled Prison, none of this would be happening. You would have full Multi-tasking, full video conferencing and FULL FLASH. Why? ..... simply because Garden Walled networks aren't supported on GSM networks. If..... (another big if) Apple had successfully gotten a contract with Verizon in the first place, then the way CDMA networks WORK, supports Garden Walled Networks naturally. By using Code Frequency differentials without the need for firewall'd Servers Hyper Tunneling through AT&T more Open GSM Network, because it uses different technology that was never meant to serve Garden Walled Networks like Quacom's CDMA Verizon and Sprint Networks!

        Want the real truth behind the reason Apple doesn't want FLASH on iPlatform???.... Because it would expose the fact that 3G GSM Networks Do Not Support Garden Walls natively. You must run different Servers to filter, firewall and tunnel them through AT&T's GSM Network. Meaning you are locking down a single frequency to operate everything on. Traffic overload is inevitable and that's why it needs to be managed so tightly. Any web interactivity is limited. That's why FLASH (fully interactive server side controlled player) would NEVER WORK on a GSM Served Network. That's why only a Browser controlled HTML5 Player is all you got for Interactive Web Content now!

        Why do you think iPhones have to suspend Safari to stream and play video from YouTube in the device's pre-cached local Player? Ok... I'm done! ;) All Apple needs to do is give up on their super duper controlled Garden Walled Network. Jail Break every iPlatform device. But for that.... it just may be toooo.... LATE! ;)
        i2fun@...
  • All this attack on AT&T

    and yet this is not uncommon for many companies. New game release and the online servers get hammered and this has happened to Sony and Microsoft. Any new product on launch day is crazy and I am not saying AT&T is not partially at fault but where is the blame on Apple? I know many that reported issues with their site as well and I had two friends that went to two separate apple stores and they were not exactly organized and prepared either.
    bobiroc
    • One would think...

      @bobiroc

      ...that since Apple is so determined to control every aspect of the end-users' experience with its products, it would be more concerned about issues such as this. After all, how many consumers are going to separate AT&T from Apple when experiencing something like this? I would imagine many would simply say, "It's not worth it", and go to someone other than AT&T - which means, of course, no iPhone. How does that help Apple's image?
      rapson
      • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

        @rapson
        I doubt anyone who is pre-ordering the iPhone will go buy another phone somewhere else. After all, they weren't going to leave the store with a phone in their hands even if they were registered. What is wrong with people these days????????????
        smartin007
      • RE: Oh AT&T, could you have FAILed any harder on iPhone 4 pre-order day?

        @rapson I'm guessing you've never been an Apple fan? Apple has been notorious for getting a new product launched. Been there ever since the 128k Mac and they've ALWAYS been a day-late-and-a-dollar short for getting their product out so that's been QUITE a few years, my friend. Bottom line, however ... their products are so insanely great for the common man that they've ALWAYS had folks lined up. More so than ANY technology company!!
        fissi