Useful stuff

extra: My experience on ordering iPhone 3Gs through AT&T Premier website

one word: Don’t!

So i have tried ordering an iphone with new att account from att premier website for THREE times spanning 2 and 1/2 weeks. they all failed for various reasons. the 1st attempt failed because i used a different billing address(since my mom wanted to give to me as a gift) than primary account holder address and SSN, and it took several phone calls to find out(each with wait time of 40 minutes minimum) that this is the reason the process is halting and eventually the ordered got cancelled.

The second time I just used my credit card to set up the account, it all seemed good at beginning, the order status page indicated it is in processed stage for few days until three days later it showed the infamous attention sign. I called the rep(another 1 hr long wait time call), the rep said something i wasn’t sure and dumb for me to not asking for more detail at the time, but basically he said he fixed the order(and it turned out the guy cancelled the order and place a new one) and it should be good for now. I’ve waited for couple of days and on Friday the status of the order went bad again. i called and unfortunately the support number for premier is only good for 9-5 Monday-Friday.

The next day morning i just tried calling a different number(the general one), surprisingly the wait time is only 10 minutes and i got a very helpful agent that took time in investigating the order. Turned out my order number was not in the system(funny that the computer recognized the number but said that the number does not associated with any order). the rep was not sure why this is happening and was also unable to contact premier people, and recommended me to got an ATT store and talk to an actual rep.

For which i did. the store rep was also being very helpful, he showed me my order record on the system, and he also called the ATT and i guess store ppl can reach high-level rep that can see through the dark force that shrouded this order(probably). All being said, at the end the store rep and the high-level att rep weren’t able to do anything until the premier support department comes back online(which is after the weekend), so they scheduled me a phone call on Monday @ 8:00 am.

The store rep suggested me to go the apple store to buy the iphone instead, and do the number porting process in this store later if needed. so I drove to ValleyFair and to the Apple store. I went in, asked one of the apple store employee, he told me to wait outside in the “iphone line”, well there’s nobody waiting or forming any sort of line outside the store, but i did what he said anyways(maybe this is some sort of apple way of doing things). Fortunately, I was just stood outside the store for 10 seconds and another store employee came to me and 10 minutes later i got my iPhone, activated, 80% charged and with my current phone number!!!(and its a new york number!)

The moral of story: well the one of the main reason i went with att premier first was that i thought business account would make porting out-of-market number possible(the new york number that i have and wish to keep it). well who know just go to the apple store and ordering through normal channel(not business channel) would accomplish the same result without lifespan-reducing frustration. the trick is when they ask you where you will be using your phone, give the address that’s in the same market as the number you are trying to port over.

what about the discount that ATT premier gives: well for one i am not sure if iphone order would get any att premier discount, on the intertube some ppl said none, and some ppl said the plan cost would be reduced after 2 or 3 billing cycles. well one thing i was told from the att store rep that i can always come to store and upgrade my current plan to premier account plan. i have yet to try it, but i plan to do it next few days.

I think apple store got some sort of black magic ordering system that minimized pain in creating phone service account/purchase phone. maybe they demanded ATT to have that kind of system working in apple store. After all, if Apple also took in account on the purchase experience as part of their sleek user friendly iphone user experience as a whole, props to them by all means.

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