Two Out Of Three Of My iPhones Were Defective And The Third Won't Receive Calls

Reader Michael is having a rough time with the iPhone. He says that two out of three of the iPhones purchased by his family were defective, and the third one wouldn’t receive calls. Weirdly, this story has a happy ending, because Michael found some contact information on Consumerist that got his problem solved in 5 minutes.

Michael says:

On Saturday, July 12th, my father stood in line outside of the Apple retail store in Oklahoma City for approximately three hours. As soon as he made it inside the store, it did not take very long to purchase a Family Plan with three new 8GB iPhone 3Gs. The checkout process was fairly simple (although he did have to purchase gift cards because he couldn’t use cash) and everyone treated him well.

However, when we got home and started to look at our new iPhones, mine froze shortly after opening it. After I reset it, it would not turn on. The next day I took it back to the Apple store, and it was soon determined I needed a new iPhone. However, during the activation process, something went wrong and my phone got my dad’s phone number assigned to it. I was then told that I needed to go to an AT&T store (luckily there is one in the mall) to get a new sim card for my phone and put my old sim card in my dad’s phone. I did this, and my phone started working.

However, the third iPhone (my sister’s) had been showing a weak signal ever since it was opened. It often showed “No Signal” when it was right next to my iPhone with full bars. We took it back to the Apple store and they tried to fix it by doing various things, including restoring the software. This did nothing, and so it came to be that for the second time in as many hours one of our iPhones was being replaced. Luckily the new iPhone activation went smoothly and her new iPhone showed full bars.

We thought that we were finally done with all the problems, so we left the store. So far, of the three iPhones purchased on Saturday, one had died shortly after leaving the box and one had been defective. Only my dad’s iPhone was the original one from Saturday. However, when we got home, we quickly discovered that although his iPhone could send and receive text messages and make calls, it could not receive calls.

All calls to my father’s iPhone went straight to his old voice mailbox from the previous carrier. They did not ring through to the iPhone and they did not show up on his iPhone’s voicemail. I then spent a long time trying to get a hold of AT&T support (not easy to do on a Sunday evening). I finally talked to a person, who after hearing about my problem decided it was an iPhone problem and forwarded my call to Apple iPhone support. After close to an hour and a half on hold, I was quickly given back to AT&T. However the Apple rep did make sure to stay on the line and explain the problem to the (different) AT&T rep. After doing several things to try and fix the problem, the AT&T rep said he thought it was a problem with the port request, and put another port request in. This was at about 9 p.m., and he said he thought it might go through by midnight. It is right now 1:45 a.m., and it still does not work.

Although I was treated very well throughout my experience by both Apple and AT&T, spending an entire day having to replace two out of three iPhones and have the third one not be able to receive calls was not a pleasant experience.

Here’s the happy ending, a few hours after Michael emailed us, he emailed us again. He tried our contact information for AT&T’s executive customer service and it worked!

Update: I called one of the numbers from this post and had my problem solved in less than five minutes. Thank you so much!

If you’re having problems with your new iPhone and regular AT&T customer service isn’t working for you, why not give these numbers a call?

(Photo: qshio )