First Time iPhone Buyer Requests Advice

Sethro

New Member
Jun 17, 2009
16
0
0
#1
Hey, All -

I've been lurking at these forums for most of the morning--lots of great info--thanks everyone!

I've tried to buy our iPhone 16G 3gs at the Apple website. It doesn't let me actually pay for the phone, but instead sends "confirms" that we can pick up the phone at our nearby store (Short Hills, NJ) this Friday.

So, the first thing I have to say is that although I've been strictly an Apple guy since we bought our first Quadra in 1992, my experience at Apple stores has been pretty lousy. Regardless of location, I find they're generally staffed by kids who don't really know what they're doing--and while this has proved valuable to me, because I've probably gotten like $500 or more in discounts to compensate for poor service/incorrect info gotten at the stores--what I really want is to just get our phones, get the service set up properly the first time, and walk out as a happy customer who paid a reasonable price for the desired product.

Anyway, I called the store--'cause I noticed in my "confirmations" that the fine print says reservation of a phone does NOT guarantee you'll actually get one--and the personwho answered the phone said as long as we show up to pick up the phone by Midnight Friday night--June 19--we absolutely will get our reserved phones, no ifs, ands or buts.

She also said that the process to switch our service (we're currently on Verizon, and are terminating that early, but switching our existing phone numbers to the new ATT Family plan we'll be on) should not take very long. Even with a line, we should be in and out within an hour or so, she said.

Anyone have similar experiences, and should I expect the info I've gotten to be accurate? I'd really like to just walk in get the phones, switch/establish service and have it up and running by early the next morning...we want our phones as soon as possible, but I'd rather wait a few weeks for the frenzy to subside if we have to rather than go to the APple store Friday evening after work and wait three hours in line, or worse, wait three hours in line then find out they've run out of phones.

Thanks in advance for your feedback and wisdom!
 

trnsilver

Zealot
Gold
Feb 2, 2008
1,124
6
38
Florida
#2
I've tried to buy our iPhone 16G 3gs at the Apple website. It doesn't let me actually pay for the phone, but instead sends "confirms" that we can pick up the phone at our nearby store (Short Hills, NJ) this Friday.
What you did was reserve a phone, not buy one. If you want to pre-order one, you have to pay for it online and have it shipped to your house. You can not pre-order and pay for a phone to pick-up at the store, only reserve one.

She also said that the process to switch our service (we're currently on Verizon, and are terminating that early, but switching our existing phone numbers to the new ATT Family plan we'll be on) should not take very long. Even with a line, we should be in and out within an hour or so, she said.
I was moving a single line on Verizon to a family plan on AT&T and it took no time at all. But, I had done this on a non-iDay (day the phones come out) in an AT&T and not an Apple Store.

Since you only have a phone reserved and not ordered, you are not contracted to purchase it. On a personal note, I suggest going to AT&T and taking care of all of this because you are switching providers and want to keep your numbers. That is just what I personally would do. I'm sure you can do the same things at Apple, but I'd rather be in the hands of the service provider rather than the phone provider.
 

FrankieG889D

New Member
Bronze
Mar 23, 2009
232
0
0
#6
Your definatley going to experience long wait times online depending on what time you get to the Apple store.. last year for the 3G I was in line for about 6 hours.

Oh, and for the bad customer service thing, every Apple store i've been to, every employee is knowledgeable and ready to help i've walked in...
 
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Mar 24, 2009
1,005
0
36
Atlanta, GA
#7
He's correct about that.. The Apple Store employees usually know their stuff, as it relates to Apple products.. porting a number, and the intricacies of contracts and such, is an AT&T thing...
 

Sethro

New Member
Jun 17, 2009
16
0
0
#10
Hi, Guys. I'm aware that I reserved a phone, and didn't buy one (you usually have to pay for something you buy, and go through the process of getting a confirmation.) the issue is that after reserving the phone I saw the notation saying "reserving a phone doesn't mean you're guaranteed one" so I called the store. The kid who picked up the phone said as long as I was there by midnight they he "guaranteed" our order would be filled. I'm wondernig if others have heard that before, because I know with the last issue of new iPhones, there were a lot of disgruntled people who got turned away...I'm just wondering what people feel about this "guarantee".

I went to not one, but two AT&T stores--one guy said they hadn't had iPhones for over 3 months and that no AT&T shop would have them; at the second one, he said they'd have phones. So I said I'd like to start the process of switching service. So he said you can't do that unless you physically have the phone. So I said I understood--was there anyway I could guarantee that I could get phones on the release date. So he said you'd have to pay for it in advance. So I said OK. So he said, but we're not letting people pay for it in advance, 'cause we don't know if we don't have enough phones. So I said, I really don't have time for this--have a nice day.

Re: experiences at Apple stores...mine have been awful. Don't have time to go into them now, but briefly, I have a brand new battery in my G-4 powerbook that I got for free when I was absolutely trying to pay for it, but they screwed up so badly the manager just gave me a new one and wouldn't charge me--long story. All new cables on my wife's mini because some kid sold me the wrong ones...some other fun iPod stories I'll share with you later.

Thanks again!
 

Sethro

New Member
Jun 17, 2009
16
0
0
#11
By the way, just called the Apple store again--got through while typing the above post...and one of the things that's been clarified for me is that the woman I just spoke said she had no idea why the salesperson I spoke to yesterday told me I just had to be there by midnight; the store is closing at 10 pm. Also said that it's not a "guarantee", it's a "best effort". Quite a difference, especially in the world of retial electronics when a very hot product is introduced.
 

Sethro

New Member
Jun 17, 2009
16
0
0
#12
Your definatley going to experience long wait times online depending on what time you get to the Apple store.. last year for the 3G I was in line for about 6 hours.

Oh, and for the bad customer service thing, every Apple store i've been to, every employee is knowledgeable and ready to help i've walked in...
Hey, Frankie -

Not to split hairs or anything, but in my first post in which I criticized the customer service, I said the Apple rep I spoke to at the Short Hills store said even with a long line I should be in and out of there--buying the phones and starint gnew service with AT&T, keeping our old numbers, in about "an hour or so".

You're telling me your experience was 6 hours.

Wouldn't you say advising a customer it'll be an hour or so for something that will take 6 hours is an example of poor customer service and/or knowledge or the service?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sethro

New Member
Jun 17, 2009
16
0
0
#13
Hey, everyone -

It's all taken care of! After getting a tip online, went to Best Buy(5 minutes from my office.)

That store is getting 16 phones in on Friday; 1 was reserved (and in this case,"reserved" means paid a $50 deposit, got a receipt, etc.) So I put down deposits for my wife and I, and am #2 on the list. Once the phones arrive Friday, they'll call people in the order they're on the list. After getting that call, you've got 24 hours to come in and pick up the phone; after that, Best Buy has the right to sell THAT phone, but with the next shipment must call you again, etc...

Switching our service from Verizon to AT&T will be very easy, the rep said, including porting our numbers, though he stressed that sometimes it happens that for a few hours or even a day or two the process might not complete--for example, he said, it's possible (but not likely) you'll get calls on your old phone, but only be able to place calls on the new one, etc.

The guy said to allow for the possibility of things being a little crazy at the store that day, but he said that from walking into the store to walking out with set up, activated iPhone 16 3gss in hand, should take no more than 60 - 90 minutes. He emphasized that they'll only have 16 phones, and they have more than sufficient staff coverage to handle the volume.

Of course, I'll hold on to my receipts for our Apple Store "reservations" just in case, but it looks like Best Buy was the way to go.

Thanks again everyone!

Seth