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New iPhone Pre-Order Process Created Headaches For Verizon Customers

Illustration for article titled New iPhone Pre-Order Process Created Headaches For Verizon Customers

Did you try to buy an iPhone from the Apple website to use with your current Verizon plan? Did you have very little success, or finish the process so late that your phone isn’t shipping until October?

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You are not alone. Twitter was flooded with irritated pre-order customers unable to get their hands on their phones, including two separate Gizmodo writers.

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The problem lies in Apple’s new method for purchasing phones. Traditionally you selected your phone, then your carrier, and then you made your purchase. Now, however, Apple requires a “handshake” with the server of your phone carrier and has to confirm your pre-existing account.

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Something seriously went awry with the handshake between Verizon and Apple early this morning and created a major headache for eager (and cranky) pre-order customers.

Insult to injury? Verizon charges a $20 “activation” fee on any phone you managed to successfully purchase.

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While we like to talk about the stagnation of phone sales as a problem of innovation in the smartphone industry, it might, just maybe, also have something to do with the near-sisyphean task that pre-ordering a phone has become.

Were you up at 12am PST/3am EST for your pre-order? Was it successful? Sound off with your pre-order nightmares in the comments.

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Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.

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DISCUSSION

Text from my complaint to FTC.gov and one of my facebook posts
Please urge your readers to do the same at ftc.gov - Thanks, Herschel Redd

#Apple
#Verizon

This morning my roommate and I attempted to purchase Apple iPhone 7 Plus models that will work on both GSM and CDMA networks. We wished to purchase them at full price unlocked. I was able to purchase ONLY because I have an existing Verizon account. My delivery date was delayed well over a month, forcing me to choose a model different then my first choice, and it is delayed 2-3 weeks. My roommate is not with a major carrier (He is with a MVNO - Crickett) and was prevented from purchasing a phone. I was forced to continue service with a carrier I despise plus forced to pay an additional $20 “upgrade fee” to Verizon. Changing phones with my existing carrier should be remove old SIM from existing iPhone and install in new iPhone. I have no intentions of doing further business with Verizon, yet due to the way Apple and the big four carriers colluded, I was forced to accept a contract with Verizon with unacceptable terms requiring dispute resolutions forfeiting my right to sue. Apple misled me and delayed shipment by asking for a Verizon “account password” when in fact they needed the PIN for the account. This misrepresentation delayed my purchase and has caused me undue stress and embarrassment. Apple is obviously conspiring with the big four carriers to put the MVNOs at a disadvantage. This needs to be punished harshly, especially for a profitable company that pays no US income taxes. I tried for several days to contact Apple regarding the procedure to purchase a phone without a carrier and was unable as their support lines online and via phone were shut down. This is certainly a planned event and not a mere oversight.