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AT&T Randomly Cancelling iPhone 4 Pre-Orders?

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The saga continues. A reader forwarded us this note he got from AT&T, simply stating that his iPhone 4 preorder had been cancelled, for no apparent reason. And he's not the only one. Updated: More cancellations, including some from Apple.


Even for AT&T, a company that's proven itself adept at frustrating its customers, last week's iPhone 4 preorder was a clusterfuck of impressive proportions. Servers meltdowns, privacy breaches, redundant charges and mixed-up shipments—it had it all.


So it's not entirely surprising that there seem to be some aftershocks from the fiasco, and they're arriving in the form of cancelled orders. A reader, Craig, found the above email in his inbox last night, informing him that his two iPhone pre-orders were no more. It read:

Your iPhone order has been cancelled.

Your credit card has not been charged.

If you believe you have received this email in error, please return to the AT&T store where you placed your order.


As of the time he wrote, his credit card still had the "pre-authorized" charge. We figured it might be a fluke, but then we got this troubling email from another reader, with the subject "IPHONE ORDER CANCELLED!"

My apple order got cancelled, ive been calling back and forth to Apple and ATT.. they both have no idea why it was cancelled, att says apple was out of stock and apple says att said i wasnt eligible.... they say alot of people are calling about it


A lot of people are calling about it? That's no good. Apple and AT&T playing the blame game? That's even worse. It's hard to say how widespread the issue is, but a quick search shows that some cancellations have been rearing their tiny, ugly heads for the last few days. At this point, I'm not going to consider my pre-order a guarantee until I have a new iPhone in my hands next week.

Now, we realize that this pre-order slapped AT&T's services with an unprecedented amount of traffic, and, hey, maybe come next weekend everything will have worked out and we'll all be drinking beers and talking to each other on FaceTime and saying, "Man, that pre-order shit actually had me worried!" But if Thursday rolls around and a sizable amount of customers who were promised new iPhones don't in fact get them, well, it could get ugly.


Update: Reader Alex wrote in to say that his iPhone 4 pre-order was cancelled, too, from Apple's side:

My iphone pre-order was cancelled from APPLE. I used the same info on booth apple and att online pre-order page and APPLE cancelled on me.

"Dear Customer,

We were unable to complete the authorization process for your iPhone
order. As a result, we had to cancel your iPhone order. To complete the
purchase of your iPhone, please visit an Apple Retail Store or an AT&T
company-owned retail store.

To locate an Apple Retail Store near you, please visit

We apologize for this inconvenience.

Apple Online Store Team

And another from Apple:

you wanted people to let you know if our orders were cancelled. mine was cancelled by apple for no apparent reason.


And another:

Mine was cancelled out of the blue too.

Lonely bumper:


More bummers:

I did not receive any type of notice, only a statement in my apple order status that my Iphone 4 order was canceled. No explanation. To make matters worse, ATT spent the day attempting to tell me that I had accepted a new 2 year contract and would not be eligible for an upgrade regardless of apple's unilateral cancellation of my order. It appears at least that I've sorted out the situation on ATT, but apple wouldn't pick up the phone all day. My guess is that they are unilaterally cancelling some orders with no explanation because they are now realizing that they oversold their original allotment but are afraid to say so. Now the only way I can get it is to go back on to the site and re-order, putting myself at the back of the line for delivery sometime in July.



All was going well, until this evening when I got three emails from Apple (I only ordered one phone, why three emails?) stating that my iphone order had been canceled.

Why did I stay up all night on the east coast this past Tuesday night.... I had a completed order at 4:20am.... 4:20am!!!!!! Words can't even express how frustrated and annoyed I am. I even checked my bank account the next day and saw that I was charged for the purchase. After receiving this cancelation email, I checked my account and sure enough the charge has disappeared.


Update 2: A reader claiming to be an AT&T rep says that the cancellations are just of extra pre-orders, and no one's actually out a new iPhone. That sounds plausible, but what then of the people who see their sole order status as cancelled?

The preorders weren't cancelled. the people who received the emails received them because they hit the submit button too many times. I work for AT&T and that's what happened. I'm a cust service rep and learned of the emails two days ago and immediately engaged a manager and contacted Apple. Apple stated the cust I was working with had 3 preorders and the cust stated they received to cancelled preorders. So that's the issue. No one's preorder was truly cancelled unless you hit submit more than once.


Has your iPhone 4 pre-order disappeared into thin air? If so, shoot us an email to let us know. [Thanks Craig, Sean, and the rest]