iPhone activation nightmare

Dec 28, 2007
First off, Hello all!

My story begins on Christmas Eve when I got to work. On my desk is a box with a ribbon on it. I have seen many iPhone boxes, so I immediately realized that my boss had gotten me an iPhone for a Christmas bonus. I ripped it open and was exstatic! I have wanted one for a long time, however my contract with my current mobile company was not expired yet. I immediately wanted to activate it. Rather than breaking my contract I decided to go with a new number for a while and port my number over when my contract expires on january 1.

I plug the phone into my computer and go through the activation process. At the end it tells me that, " Based on the credit information you have provided, you must talk to an agent at an AT&T store to finish the activation process." I called AT&T and asked them if there was any way that I could avoid going to a store seeing as I live in the mountains almost an hour away from any AT&T store. They said I had to go to a store and there was no way around it. So, since all my family was out of town for Christmas I decided to bite the bullet and drive down to the store.

I got to the store about an hour and a half later and talked to a girl about my credit check. She said that I had to leave a 50$ deposit. I was fine with this as I don't have sparkling credit. Before she even takes the deposit she gives me the pre-approval code. So we plug my phone into my laptop and go through the activation process. At the end of the process a screen comes up and says,"Your activation is going to take more time to process." The girl had absolutely no idea why. She asked a few people in the store why and they had no idea either. We waited for the email that was supposed to be sent to me to finish the activation for about a half an hour. It never came. So i asked her if it was ok to just leave the deposit with her. This is where the story starts to get really strange. SHe said that she can't take my deposit until the phone is activated. I asked her about five times and she was positive of this. So the option was presented to me to drive home, get the email and then call the store with my credit card # to leave the deposit. After being in the AT&T store for over an hour on CHristmas Eve, this seemed like a good option.

I drive back to my office, check my email and it says,"You must first pay a deposit before your phone can be activated." I was beginning to get a little annoyed. So I call AT&T and talk to a very helpful girl. She takes my payment for deposit and gives my a new pre-approval activation code. I go through the process of activating the phone in iTunes again and it wont let me. Not once, not twice, not even three times. While on the phone with AT&T I go through the process about 25 times. I must have talked to 8 different people. I was on hold for about 2-3 hours total. I was hung up on at least 4 times until I finally get on the phone with a guy for about 2 hours. THis guy could not figure out why my phone wouldn't activate. Finally he put me on hold for 45 minutes. Mind you by this time it was about 8 PM. I had first arrived at the AT&T store that day at 12:30 PM. I was late for a Christmas party and just generally sick of trying to activate my phone. While on hold, I grabbed another phone in my office and called AT&T back, again. I was immediately connected to a girl who activated my phone in 3, yes 3 minutes.

SO the moral of the story? AT&T has employed a lot of people that don't know how to their job at all. I only posted this because I want it to be here if anyone has the same problem. The problem was that the AT&T people had tried to go through the "activate one iPhone now" process in iTunes more than one time. Apparentely their system gets confused when you try to do that. Their resolution eventually was to give my SIM a phone number and give me an account. Once I had an account, I chose the, "I am an existing AT&T customer" option and iTunes and bang my phone was activated in minutes.

I am now a happy iPhone user and grateful to be a part of this forum community. Thank you all for listening to my rant. I hope that this post is useful so that someone doesn't have to go through what I went through that day.



Jul 9, 2007
Pottsboro Texas
I had problems with AT&T as well. I bought the iPhone on iDay and was able to setup easily enough but my Visual Voicemail didn’t work. I called AT&T and was told by three different people that visual voicemail was an added cost above the $20 monthly fee. One month later I called back and was told the same thing. Almost three months after getting the iPhone I finally got a hold of an AT&T person who said that visual voicemail was included in the $20 monthly fee and apologized for my trouble. I never had this kind of problem with Cingular.


New Member
Aug 11, 2007
I too have has several issues with AT&T.

When I tried to activate, they, for some reason, thought I was activating a Razr. (Can you activate a Razr via iTunes? I don't think so.) I got hte wrong plan, they had to de-activate the phone (for the little activation it had) re-charge me, etc. It was a mess.

Then when I went to the UK for a week, I racked up a $1,245 bill. And that was after 1.1.1, with the EDGE roaming switch. That took several annoying phone calls to clear up.

I'm with wrhutch, I never had any issues with Cingular. They were great.

- John


New Member
Sep 8, 2007
Sunny Florida
I left ATT for Sprint , left Sprint for Cingular and ended up with ATT anyway. I sorry you had so much trouble activating. Sweet Christmas bonus! Welcome to the forum.


New Member
Jul 3, 2007
Salinas, Ca
that is a cool bonus to get, ihave had issues with att only with sms though. again that is a COOL Christmas bonus


New Member
Jul 22, 2007
Stevenson Ranch
So sorry you had problems. Probably the best thing to do was wait until January the 2nd, then you could have ported your orig number over.