My Bad Buying Experience of the iPhone 5

Let me preface this by saying that my iPhone 4 is over two years old and is very sick. The maladies include a non-functional sleep/wake button, a busted speakerphone/video mic, an intermittent home button, and a battery that dies after twelve hours of sitting all day. My mom would also add that I sound like I’m in a tunnel, but I’ve never confirmed that and no one else says that.  I’ve been holding out for this iPhone 5 announcement for months.

I set my alarm last night for 1:50am CDT this morning so I could be ready to pre-order my much-needed iPhone. Before bed last night, I did a test run on the site to make sure I knew all my passwords, zip codes, etc. Although the zip code for my AT&T account was not up-to-date, I didn’t think much of it.

At 2:01, the site came up and I was giddy to get my order in. I got to the last screen after I entered my credit card information and realized I hadn’t chosen a shipping location. I scrolled up, and low and behold, the address was for my old apartments. These are the same apartments that were bulldozed last year and do not exist.

I tried to click on the Edit Shipping link, but it wasn’t active. I gathered that maybe the shipping address was still associated with my AppleID, so I logged in to check. It was there, but it wasn’t the primary address. Nevertheless, I deleted every address saved except for my current one. I went back to the Apple Store and started over.

The same thing happened… my old address popped up. It took me a few minutes to realize where it was pulling this address from: my AT&T wireless account. Since I do paperless billing with them, it had never occurred to me that I needed to change my address with them when I moved. I tried to log in to their website. While I got in, I kept getting errors any time I’d try to go to my Profile. You have to log into your account, go to Profile, and edit the address from there. I called their Customer Service line (I’m not sure how they can call it that, but whatever.) After five minutes, an agent answered. He kept cutting out (and while I could blame my faulty iPhone, I think it was on his end). Eventually, I gave up trying to yell into the phone and called back. While I was on hold (for much longer than five minutes this time), I kept trying to access my Profile info on the site. (In the meantime, I was seriously considering switching to Verizon, but since I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan with AT&T, I didn’t want to lose it.)

At 2:54, the AT&T website decided to work. I managed to change my address, and when I started the process again on Apple’s website a mere minute later at 2:55, it took my new zip code and the shipping info was correct. You’d think ‘squeeeeee!’ Right?


Because at 2:55, Apple ran out of the iPhone 5. The shipping date was now two weeks out. Emmer Effer. Seriously?

I was livid, and I know multiple people who ran into shipping snafus when placing their orders. Most of them knew they wouldn’t be home at their AT&T billing address because they have jobs, and since someone has to be available to sign for the package, they wanted to ship the package to a different address where someone would be available to sign for delivery.

Why in the world wouldn’t you be able to edit the shipping address?! 

This was the absolute worst iPhone buying experience for me. It’s also the first one I’ve experienced since leaving Apple last year. I have to wonder if all the releases have been like this, and maybe I was just lucky being on the inside.

I will go ahead and take the blame for my mistake of not changing my address with AT&T. Totally no one’s fault but my own. But I just don’t understand why I couldn’t choose where to ship the phone!  It makes no logical sense.

After an hour of tossing and turning in disappointment, plotting what my life would be like in that week or two that my best friend has her iPhone 5 and I do not, I finally accepted the situation and made a plan for myself. After all, who wants to spend that much money and feel utter dissatisfaction with their purchase? So I just decided that I wouldn’t touch anyone else’s phone before I got mine. That way I’ll still have a special little unboxing of my own.

I always badmouth AT&T, but this time, Apple, it feels like you might be to blame.

UPDATED: Proof that there are many others with this problem. Since I posted this 2.5 hours ago, these searches are bringing people to this post:

3 thoughts on “My Bad Buying Experience of the iPhone 5

  1. This has been the case for as long as I can remember – they ship to the carrier billing address “for security purposes”. Think about if someone got your identifying information and ordered a phone using your upgrade/carrier account info but had the phone shipped to them. You wouldn’t know it until they activated the new device and you were without a phone.

    1. That’s fine… I guess my biggest issue is that nowhere on that website does it explain ANYTHING (or if it does, it’s nowhere obvious). A simple “for security purposes, we will only ship to the billing address on file with your carrier” would suffice. It would have saved me some time- one minute was the difference of me getting my iPhone September 21 or October 5. Instead, I’m left to figure this whole mess out on my own.

      Maybe the identification process on the front end should be more secure… but so many people would prefer to have their iPhone shipped to their work address, or somewhere that they know someone is available to sign.

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