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    Dear Steve Jobs, The 3G Launch Sucked

    By Derek | July 11, 2008

    Dear Steve Jobs,

    Next time you have the chance, kick someone over at AT&T for me. Thanks.

    Then kick yourself for allowing AT&T to dictate how you sell product. Thanks.

    Wow… purchasing an iPhone 3G was so not the experience I expected from Apple.

    Ok, waiting in line for an Apple Launch, I don’t mind.

    I got to the La Cantera store at 9am. They opened at 8am, so I figured the line would have moved some by the time I got there. Not so much. It didn’t even seem like anyone was coming out with new phones!

    At 10am, Jill left to take Ian to his six months doctor’s checkup. She got back before I got into the store.

    By noon, I wasn’t in the store yet. Let’s be clear, I was only 250 or so people back in line, when I got there at 9am. In fact, I wasn’t as far back this time as I was for the original iPhone launch. I waited in line from noon to 6pm that day, but that’s because the store was closed! I knew there was going to be a long wait… I even took a cooler and a lawn chair. And then, after the line started moving, it only took a half hour or so to get inside the store. But not today, though.

    We were hearing from people coming out of the store that activation was taking about 15 minutes per person (per phone, I guess).

    Once we got in the store, it didn’t get any better. We tried activating Jill’s phone first, an 8GB. Her activation failed for reasons unknown — perhaps the servers were having trouble at that point. I don’t know. Whatever, though, once that happened, then her phone number was caught in the middle of the “port” — because she was moving her phone number over from Verizon — and her phone couldn’t be activated.

    So, we decided to activate my new phone, a 16GB model, and then work on hers. Mine activated just fine, no problem. Well, almost no problem. Once my phone activated, my old phone no longer worked. You wouldn’t think that would be a big deal, except that my new phone had to be plugged into iTunes before it could finish activation. So I was basically without a phone for almost an hour while we worked on Jill’s phone.

    We waited in line again for a “concierge” to help us fix the problem with Jill’s ported number. He had to call AT&T directly, wait on hold forever, and then cancel her number port so we could start again.

    During this entire time, you have to realize, the handheld kiosks that the Apple employees were using were working really, really slowly. So we finally got Jill’s phone activated, on the third try.

    Then we went to another part of the store, and meet with another Apple employee to plug the phones into iTunes so that they can “upload the IMEI number”, according to one employee. Surprisingly enough, each phone at this step only took a minute or two. The employee told us when we walked up that it was taking “5 to 45 minutes” for this step. Boy, were we happy at this point. Just to get out of the store.

    Let me say that all of the employees were nice, even though they were obviously frustrated. I mean, everyone was great, it was just a bad situation.

    All of you guys (and gals) that skipped today’s launch… pat yourselves on the back.

    On the other hand, a friend of mine, Chad, stopped by the La Cantera store around 10:30 or so, and said that he already picked his phone up, at an AT&T store, and everything went smoothly.

    Of course, I heard from someone else in line that they went to an AT&T store, waited since 6:30am, just to find out that store had only been shipped 15 phones!! So, did Chad get lucky? I don’t know.

    Topics: Apple, Me | No Comments »

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