J JamesGames.com My iPhone 5: A Saga

My iPhone 5: A Saga

Will it be worth the wait?
A JamesGames  Review!
By: James Oppenheim | Created: 2012-09-30 19:48:10 | (Updated: 0000-00-00 00:00:00)
I was among the apparently two million others that reached out to Ma Bell and ordered an iPhone 5 during the first couple of days it went on sale. I ordered mine by phone early on the first day of sale to make sure that I kept unlimited data plan. I was, like many others, promised a phone on Saturday the sixteenth. Unlike many others, though, I did not receive an email telling me that my phone order would be delayed. So, like a kid waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney I waited all Saturday for my phone to arrive. It didn't. I didn't get any email on Monday either, though I noticed on line that my order didn't have a tracking number.

So, I called AT&T and was told that my order was being processed. When I asked "what did that mean" I was told that it meant that it could be up to twenty one business days until I'd have the phone, literally a full calendar month. I said "No problem. Just cancel the order and I'll go pick one up at one of the local stores."

But, faster than Lily Tomlin's Ernestine the Operator could say "One ringy-dingy" the AT&T operator said that I couldn't cancel the order because it was being processed. I'd have to wait until my phone came (in up to a month) and then ship it back. Only then could I cancel the order and pick up a phone at the local store. She said this with complete lack of irony, though I suspected that she got the latent sadism implicit in her catch-22. Just to be sure I asked her "why would I want to return the phone once it came?"

I tried a different tact. With her, and later a supervisor I asked "What if I just want to cancel the order and go with Verizon?" Again, they explained, I could only do that if I waited and returned the phones.

Nothing I tried did any good. I pointed out that I had been a customer for over ten years. I said that AT&T's failure to honestly say when they were going to ship the phone was a material concealment and an unfair business practice. AT&T didn't care. And, it wasn't offering any compensation, either.

The next day I tried again. This time I reached a somewhat nicer person. Ultimately she told me that my order had been canceled. Of course there were no phones left in the city of New York, but at least I had some satisfaction.

Until the next day, that is. Quite unexpectedly, and after the order had been canceled, I received my phone. Now I was really concerned. was I going to be charged for the phone? At what rate? Under what plan?

I'm pleased to say that here the next AT&T operator I got was much more helpful. She offered that I could return the phone at no charge or keep it at the discounted rate. When I said that I thought some further compensation was in order given the number of hours I had been on the phone trying to straighten things out she waived the activation charge and gave me a further credit on my bill.

The long and short of it is, then, if you're one of the many whose phone has been delayed it pays to contact AT&T for a credit. It won't get your phone to you any faster, but it may save you significantly in what you paid for it, making it look and sound a bit sweeter when it finally arrives.

So, the iPhone 5 is here, and I'll be giving you my experience with it now that it has been in hand for a little over a week. Stay tuned.
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