Pre-Pay Account - Activation Nightmare - HELP!


New Member
Jul 27, 2007
This nightmare is now in it's 25th hour. I will go step by step, in the hopes that someone out there will be aware of a resolution- Or maybe prevent someone from making the same mistake I did. Here we go...

1. I purchased an 4gb iPhone from an AT&T store last Wednesday.

2. I went home and began setting up my new 4gb iPhone_ The 1st thing I had to do was port over my cell # that I've had for 5 years w/ Verizon. After that, I was instructed to choose a pre-paid plan due to my credit report. I choose the 650 min. plan w/ unlimited text. I pumped some money into the account and away I went. Everything worked great.

3. After importing some songs and videos, I quickly realized 4 gigs wasn't gonna cut it. So 8 days into my purchase I decided to exchange the 4gb iPhone for the 8gb.

Side Note: The AT&T store gives you 14 days from your purchase date to try the phone, with a 10% "re-stocking fee" if you decide to return or exchange.

4. After returning the 4gb iPhone and paying the 10% restocking fee ($54.00) I purchased the 8gb iPhone. I then asked the sales person "This will sync with my account I already set-up with my 4gb phone correct?" Yes, he assured me. "Just connect your new iPhone to iTunes and everything will sync right up"

5. Back home I plug in my new 8gb iPhone into my iTunes, and guess what? It doesn't sync. I tried a few different times, with no luck. Then I made the mistake of thinking I had to set up a new account because it's a new phone. So after a minute I have a screen in front of me that says "YOUR NEW NUMBER IS 646-XXX-XXX" Bad. Very Bad.

6. I quickly call AT&T tech support and inform them on the mistake I've made and if they can help me out with the activation process.


7. AT&T told me that my original 5 year old # i ported over was GONE. Because each iPhone has a specific OMIE # that corresponds with the SIM card in that specific phone.

8. AT&T told me the only way to get that number back is to try to go back to the AT&T store and ask them to give me my old SIM card out of my old 4gb iPhone I had returned the day before.

9. I go back to the AT&T store, and retrive my old SIM card out of my old phone. I pop it into my new 8GB iPhone and....NOTHING. I get a picture of Earth and a message to connect to iTunes to activate my phone.

10. I have AT&T store employees make calls to figure out the problem, no-one seems to know what is the problem. Then after speaking to some AT&T person over the phone they tell me to go to the Apple store, because AT&T is just the billing side of the iPhone, and not the activation side of it.

11. I arrive at the Apple store, 2 hours later, the Apple tech in the Genius Bar tells me there's nothing he can do to make this work, and that this is a AT&T problem, and they should be the ones that should fix it. He also told me that if would've bought the 4gb iPhone from them and decided to upgrade to the 8gb phone ***THERE WOULD BE NO RE-STOCKING FEES*** and that they would have been able to make my new 8gb iPhone work w/ my old number and SIM card.

12. I go back to the AT&T store and tell them what Apple employee had informed me- They get on there computers and keep telling me "There's nothing we can do". All the AT&T sales people tell me to do is go back home and try syncing my new iPhone w/ the old SIM card.

13. Back home. Plug in my 8gb iPhone to iTunes....NOTHING. It prompts me to start the activation process all over again.

14. I stay on the the phone for at least another 2 hours with 6 different people- All telling me different options and opinions, none of which ever work out.

15. At 11 pm I finally reached someone at AT&T that said there was an issue with my social sec. #. When you set up a "Pay as you Go" account there is no social sec. # put on file. Also, that my old cell # was already assigned to a different iPhone (4GB) and that they couldn't bypass the social sec#. AT&T told me that in the morning i'd have to go back to the AT&T store with my actual social sec. card in hand to verify that it is my number/account, and to make the adjustment to my new 8gb iPhone account profile. AT&T also said they would make a note on my account.

16. I went to bed at midnight w/ no iPhone service.

17. Next morning I go back to the AT&T store, explain everything AGAIN. After another 2 hours. They tell me there's nothing they can do. My options are to return the 8gb iPhone, and pay another 10% re-stocking fee. Or return the phone and get the 10% re-stocking fee transfered into a store credit that I can only use on phone products. Also, they said i'd have to wait another 48 hours to get my old 4gb iPhone back because they "have to run it throughan inventory process" 48 HOURS! WHAT THE $&%*#U(U

18. I decided to just leave and try to calm down, and stay positive. With some many units sold, I'm sure I can't be the only case out there. My next move is to post this saga on as many message boards as I can, as see what turns up.

Any advice will be gladly accepted.

Mike Vargas


New Member
Jul 27, 2007
So to make a long story short....

There is NO way to upgrade from a 4gb (Pre-PAy Account) to a 8gb w/ the same Pre-pay account and keep the same number from the original phone.

I had to go to AT&T get a new SIM card and sign up for a POST PAID ACCOUNT. After a credit check and $150 deposit, I signed up for a 2-year contract, and went home to sync my original info back into my new 8GB phone- They were also able to transfer my remaining balance, as well as my number from my PRE-PAY ACCOUNT into my new POST-PAID PLAN.

I just finished syncing up my new 8GB phone and all my photos, contacts, calendar events, even my notes came right back in.

Hopefully, there will be some changes made with the whole activation process as a whole- As of now, there are two distinct camps- One being APPLE and the other being AT&T.

In the end, I was just happy I could keep my same number, and sign up for a better calling plan. Hope some of my nightmares will prevent future ones for all of you....