AT&T Kicks Business's iPhone 4 Order To The Back Of The Line

Tyler tells Consumerist that he and his family, like every other person in the United States (or so it seems) tried to pre-order the iPhone 4. Since they were ordering three phones for their small business, they dealt with the business sales department over the phone. Their order went through: and then everything went horribly, horribly wrong and the entire iPhone pre-order system went down in flames. Now Tyler and family’s order has been pushed back, and now their order now comes after those placed after their call.

I’m sure you guys have heard about the iPhone 4 update debacle. I am writing to tell you about a hole in AT&T’s system that my family (amongst others, I’m sure) has fallen through.

My mother called at about 11:15am CST to the business sales department (apparently they have different processes than the personal department and as we are a small family business we called them) at AT&T. She began speaking with [L.] (who was extremely helpful, and I would like to make it clear that I wish to cast no aspirations on his competence or service). We told L. that we wished to pre-order three iPhone 4′s. He said that that would be no problem and promptly took my mother through the credit check and ordering process. We had absolutely no trouble setting up the transfer of our 3 numbers from Verizon Wireless, plus an additional cell line and an air card. In other words, smooth sailing up to this point.

Then, L. dropped the bombshell. My mom had already been approved credit wise, but L. informed us that we had to go through another approval process on AT&T’s side. He explained to my mother that this process was basically to make sure that we had selected appropriate plans for our phones, and that this process would take 24 hours. At the time (now about 12:45 CST) this was not a problem.

But then, as I’m sure everyone knows, AT&T’s system went down the tubes a little later. L. dutifully called my mother back 24 hours later and informed us that we would now have to wait until June 24 before our order could even be placed, because AT&T was no longer accepting pre-orders.

Even though we pre-ordered our equipment on the first day of availability, because of AT&T’s idiotic approval process, we will not be getting our phones until up to a month after the fact. Technically, our orders will not be placed until AT&T decides to reopen ordering for the iPhone 4. I feel at this point I should say that AT&T has not taken payment from us yet, so they are not withholding service from us.

The reason I am writing is because my family feels very unfairly treated by AT&T. Instead of honoring the time that we made the call to place the order when they finally do get around to fixing their servers, they will put us in the queue behind everyone who managed to place an order behind us, which, as I said, could lead to us waiting for a month or more for the phones that were supposed to be delivered on Monday. And, to reiterate, the reason for this gargantuan delay is because they can’t set up their system in such a way that it doesn’t require an individual approval process.

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