Friday, October 07, 2011

Ordering the iPhone 4S - Deja Vu - Felt like June 2007

At 3 AM Eastern Time, 12 PM Pacific Time, I awoke to find our Family IT Dept trying to pre-order the new iPhone 4S phones. As loyal purchasers of the very first iPhones back in 2007, this was perhaps a RIP Steve Jobs purchase more than the iPhone 5 Must Have Phone Upgrade. I walked in the Family Data Center and found 4 screens fired up, most with ATT website and Apple website error messages. Ouch, it felt like the June 2007 ATT Activation Debacle all over again.

When issues like this occur, there is rarely any word or update from the vendor so you have thousands of Early Adopter Apple and ATT Customers unable to pre-order their iPhone 4S. These are some of ATT's most sophisticated and powerful users - ATT Premier, Corporate and Business customers, many of them now resurrecting their Twitter accounts searching for information or venting their frustrations. Many of these customers are the ones that you see in the First or Business Class ticket lines at the airports; with their names on the boards at the Rental Car Agencies or the Special Check In Desks at the Hotels. But tonight, they are in the Apple iPhone 4S line or queue with the rest of the general population.

With Verizon and Sprint now offering competing services and rumors that only Verizon 4S orders were being processed, I noticed the tone in some of these outraged customers this morning using the S word ("Switch"). I would hope that ATT might eventually start to direct their resources at the L word ("Loyalty") and start to pamper their loyal customers. Being loyal to a company or brand should mean something as Netflix found out. I just simply don't understand why the service level ATT customers received this morning when ordering their new iPhone 4S shouldn't be similar to a visit to their Airlines Flight Club or a phone call with AMEX.

A little after 5 AM this morning after I had "given up" I heard some cheering from the family IT room. I fired up my iPad and looked in my mailbox and received the message: "Your iPhone has been reserved." Next, we'll see when our phones arrive next week!

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