Four Days Until The T-Mobile iPhone Goes On Sale…How Are Those Pre-orders Going?

As you most likely know, T-Mobile will begin officially selling the iPhone on Friday, without a subsidy or required contract. That’s the good news. Excited customers could start placing pre-orders last Friday, a week before the official launch. How’s that working out for them? Reader Richard filed this report from Pre-order City.

He writes:

I have been a T-Mobile customer for more than 10 years. I was planning to jump carriers because I’ve gotten frustrated with their data coverage and lack of the iPhone. However, I was excited to learn that T-Mobile is getting the iPhone on April 12 and switching their service plans to a no-contract model.

That happiness is quickly getting extinguished. T-Mobile opened up online pre-orders for the iPhone this past Friday. I tried to pre-order but kept getting repeated error messages. I was told by two different phone agents that T-Mobile wasn’t prepared for the volume of online preorders. Neither phone agent could assist me with pre-ordering. They weren’t authorized to do so, they said. They suggested I go to my local T-Mobile store in person.

I did that. They gave me their computer to use, as they said they couldn’t pre-order it for me. They saw the error then called up their own customer service and verified that our account is in good standing and that there was no reason we couldn’t pre-order. They apologized and said that there was nothing they could do and said they were having web problems.

I then tweeted a complaint to T-Mobile on Twitter. Their “T-Force” customer service agents got back to me promptly and said that the website problems were being fixed. Over the next 36 hours, they kept assuring me the problem was fixed or would be fixed within a couple hours and every time they told me that, it wasn’t fixed. We talked back and forth by email for more than 10 hours. Finally, the best answer they could give me was that they couldn’t do anything about it and they thanked me for my patience and said that I should just keep trying. It has been an extremely frustrating customer service experience.

I cannot wait in line outside the T-Mobile store on Friday for the phone because I have a conference to attend for work. I really needed the pre-order and I am very frustrated that none of the T-Mobile customer service agents were empowered to take the simple step of taking my phone and completing the pre-order for me when they all acknowledged that their system was having errors due to the fact that their programmers were unprepared for the volume of pre-orders.

Well, he could try just waiting until stores are sufficiently stocked with phones. In theory, that should be Friday afternoon. If T-Mobile didn’t plan for the correct volume of pre-orders, it could be that they also didn’t correctly plan the number of phones they ought to stock. We sent Richard’s info over to T-Mobile’s social media and PR representatives, and will report back what we find out… and whether they could help him.

Have you placed a pre-order? How has it gone, good or bad? Let us know at tips@consumerist.com.