Remember JD? 32 hours of tech support from Apple and AT&T couldn’t coax his replacement iPhone into working with his prepaid SIM card. After we posted his story, representatives from both companies had a powwow and traced JD’s problem back to mismatched IMEI numbers. Now JD’s replacement iPhone works, and he has advice for anyone in a similar bind:
Received a call from an extremely helpful AT&T representative yesterday. She was informed of the situation by Apple, and worked with them to resolve it. Along with AT&T, I received a call from an Apple executive, who was also extremely helpful. Thanks to them both for getting to the bottom of this situation.
The gist of the problem is: the iPhone requires communication through the iTunes Store, then to AT&T, to get past the main activation screen. Part of this communication includes the IMEI number of the iPhone. Since the IMEI numbers didn’t match up compared to my original broken iPhone, this is where the problem was.
If anyone with a prepaid plan ever runs into this situation, your first call should be to Apple. Apple will need to work with AT&T to “whitelist” your iPhone, and then things should be a-ok. Don’t make AT&T your first call, as you’ll just be told that if you’re on a prepaid account, you cannot utilize a replacement iPhone without creating a new account.
Thanks to Consumerist for shedding some light on this situation!