iPhone order FAIL

My attempt to switch from Windows Mobile to the iPhone has been thwarted by AT&T themselves, with an assist by UPS (what can brown screw up for you?). I’m sticking with Windows Mobile for the time being, and might go with the Pre when/if it’s ever released.

I placed my order Sunday, knowing it would be processed Monday morning and with the 2-day air shipping AT&T was offering, I should have it today, Wednesday. However, there’s a problem. Apple dictates that AT&T use the same address as both the shipping address and the credit card billing address on all iPhone orders (this is according to AT&T). When I placed the order, my “billing address” on my debit card was still my old apartment, not the house where I live now. This hasn’t been a problem for me since I get my statements electronically, so it really hadn’t occurred to me to change it. (It’s changed now.) I had to put my old apartment’s address as the billing/shipping address when placed the order or the website wouldn’t approve my card transaction.

I called AT&T Monday morning to let them know that the shipping address was outdated. The customer service agent informed me that she couldn’t change it because it was already at the warehouse being prepared for shipping, and that I should call UPS and have them change the shipping address. This meant I had to sit and compulsively refresh the AT&T order page Monday until it finally showed me a UPS tracking number. Then I called UPS.

UPS informed me that they couldn’t change the destination address until the package had failed delivery. They had to make at least one attempt, then I could change it. So I’d just have to wait until Wednesday, then have them change the address and deliver it to me Thursday.

So I waited. I waited all day Tuesday and all Wednesday morning, checking UPS’s package tracking page to see when they tried to deliver it. Finally, I saw the exception pop up and that they’d tried to deliver it and failed. I called UPS.

They informed me that their contract with AT&T forbids them from changing the delivery address once a package has been shipped, and that there was nothing they could do on my behalf. They did say that AT&T could change the destination from their end.

I called AT&T and they told me that they weren’t able to change the destination address. What I needed to do was refuse the package… At this point I stopped listening and tried to explain that I can’t refuse the package because I DON’T LIVE THERE and they needed to fix this. They had two options, as far as I was concerned. Change the delivery address and get the iPhone to me on Thursday, or cancel the order entirely so I could go buy something else.

AT&T refused to do either. Here’s what they said would happen. UPS was going to try to make two more deliveries to the address where they now know I don’t live. Then, after they fail at an impossible task two more times, they’ll ship the iPhone back to AT&T and only then can I cancel my order.

Call me crazy, but this doesn’t fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling about AT&T and their attention to detail. I got conflicting information from both AT&T and UPS, conflicting not only with each other but with what they themselves had previously told me. I don’t think signing up for a two year stint with AT&T, with this in mind, is the wisest thing I could do right now.

So I’m back to a 2-device solution, my iPod Touch and an HTC Touch Pro with which I’m continually dissatisfied. Even virtually stock with no 3rd party software, the Windows Mobile device is slow, buggy and unreliable compared to the iPod/iPhone. Unfortunately, the iPhone is shackled to only one carrier here in the United States, a carrier that has baffled me by doing what I believed was impossible: providing even worse customer service than Sprint.

One thought on “iPhone order FAIL”

  1. I work with UPS and feel horrible that they didn’t tell you the one other thing you could have done. Once they attempt the delivery, they take it back to the UPS hub where all the trucks are at. Once the delivery driver is back at the warehouse, then you can go there with a picture I.D. with your name on it and retrieve the package.
    I found this article b/c I just did the same thing today, and I will probably have to go to the hub myself and pick up the iphone. That is of course if my old landlords dont sign for the package and end up steeling it.

    We’ll see

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