iPhone 3G Activations Fail Nationwide

A nation-wide epic fail of the iPhone activation systems has gutted the release of the new iPhone 3G. Here’s an account from reader Tyler:

So, I just talked to the AT&T rep who sold me my phone. They didn’t active “in-store” as they were on iTunes 7.6 – and thought that was why they couldn’t activate. Just phoned in after updating to 7.7 here at the house – network connection timed out. I phoned my very friendly (and helpful!) rep and let him know “what’s up”. He advised this outage is nationwide and NO-ONE call activate iPhones right now. 1-2+ hours (not helpful!) was the projected time of “repair”. I have a very pretty and expensive paperweight taunting me from my desk.

Matt in Louisiana writes:

So I went to my local AT&T store this morning at 5AM, getting the 7th spot in line. By 7:00 there were at least a hundred people there, so I was excited that I’d be one of the first to get the new phone. Employees started to come and hand out paperwork, explaining how the process would work. “It is going to take 10 to 15 minutes to activate your iPhone, please have all of your documentation ready so we can get through everyone as soon as possible.”

Finally they opened the doors at 8:00 and let about 15 of us in! They started by porting my phone number from T-Mobile, which immediately deactivated my current handset. Next, they put a SIM card into my new iPhone, and plugged it into Itunes. This is where the fun begins.

After waiting for OVER an hour and a half, the guy just decides to give it up. Apparently they were sent an internal memo saying to send people home to activate their handsets. They send you home with no idea how to ‘activate’ the phone, as up until this point we had all been told that the only way to activate the phone was in the store.

I get home and update iTunes, and then plug in the new iPhone, and immediately get an error message…. Now I am stuck with a bricked iPhone and no other cell phone service due to them already having ported my number… but they have my money, so it really doesn’t matter much to them. What do I do? I feel as if I should be compensated for all of the difficulty, as well as for being made completely unable to make/receive calls. I am very disappointed at this entire situation, and the manner in which AT&T is handling it.

Gizmodo is also following the issue closely and has more reader horror stories.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.