iPhone activated: It took AT&T only 39 hours

The good news is that my iPhone is finally activated and it’s definitely worth the money.

The bad news is that it took AT&T 39 hours to get it done.  

I’ve documented the problems step-by-step, including the magic (and not-so-magic) numbers I called, in this post. Here’s our review from my colleagues at CNET Reviews. 

It’s not just me. An unscientific poll shows half of the respondents who bought iPhones had activation problems, blogger Thomas Hawk has recounted his similar woes, and there’s a Slashdot thread too. And check out Apple’s own discussion forum

 Some of the posts that you, our esteemed readers, made to my step-by-step recounting of AT&T’s comedy of errors are as depressing as my own experience. One Sprint-to-AT&T switcher said both phones on a family plan had to be activated in sequence before the first one would begin to work. Another one says they’ve been waiting 31 hours.  

What remarkably poor planning on the part of whoever designed this activation system. So who’s responsible? Nobody outside AT&T and Apple seems to know for certain so far. But I wonder about the role of a New Jersey company called Synchronoss, which has a contract with AT&T to handle the activation. 

 As my colleague Tom Krazit says in this article on Sunday, we haven’t been able to reach any of the executives at Synchronoss for comment over the weekend (and it’s not for lack of trying). 

 Publicly-traded Synchronoss, oddly, hasn’t been very public about its iPhone involvement. One of the few articles was one last week in Investor’s Business Daily, which says: “Its software takes care of the process from the time the customer has made the decision to buy to when the transaction is processed and the account is activated on the network.”  

That sounds like a pretty key ingredient in the mix to me. Also, the e-mail updates that iPhone customers received said AT&T in the From: line but were actually, as the headers reveal, sent by Synchronoss.  

Yahoo Finance discussion boards, and a few investor sites, have talked about buying shares of Synchronoss as a way to capitalize on the iPhone’s expected success. I wonder if investors will be a little less optimistic now.

 Update: We’ve heard back from Synchronoss. They’re “extremely pleased” with the way activation went over the weekend.

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2 Comments on “iPhone activated: It took AT&T only 39 hours”

  1. patrick seery Says:

    Anyone who has had AT&T for any service in the last ten years knows tech support is close to non-existent in helping resolve problems, assuming you have the patience to
    wait on hold forever.

    And their customer service reps are the laziest, rudest, do-nothing people on the planet [and these are Americans, not Indians]. They don’t respond to “nice”; they don’t respond to “polite”. If you insist [nicely] they do their job, they’ll hang up in you.

    As soon as I saw Jobs had contracted with AT&T, and by extension I would be contracted and locked into AT&T for two horrible, aggravating years, I wrote off the iphone.

    I have a Palm, I like my Palm, I’ll stick with my Palm.
    Patrick Seery

    [and I am not connected to Palm in any way, other than as a customer.]

  2. Chris Says:

    ..ditto that- I couldn’t get away from Cingular fast enough a couple years ago and vowed never to do busines with them again. When I left, I wound up with AT&T, ( yeah, I know..) and when they merged, it was ”as if a million voicces cried out and were suddenly silenced..”

    I swear by al that’s holy or chocolate covered if you GAVE me a free iphone and paid for the monthly, you still couldn’t get me to use it because of AT&T / Cingular. When I heard that was who apple picked, I wrote off ever owning one till any other carrier was allowed in.

    C.


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