Mark’s iPhone

Let me rip the band aid off: I bought an iPhone.

Now, let me tell you about my painful experience…

This morning, I attempted to perform a firmware update on my phone. You see, my phone was running firmware version v1.0.5 and the latest version is v3.3 and I wanted to get my phone out of the stone ages. “Stone ages?”, you might ask, “But your phone ran Windows Mobile 5!” Yes, but it ran slow and crashed often. Now, don’t interrupt me while I tell my story.

So, I downloaded the firmware update utility and followed the instructions… Only, something went horribly wrong and my phone would no longer boot. Ugh! I told Jeremy about it at lunch, and he took the phone and was able to restore and upgrade it for me. Yeah! My phone was running the latest firmware — plus Windows Mobile 6! Yes, that’s right, WM6!

Cool, so now I’ve got the latest and greatest stuff out there. Now, I’m gonna play with it. I customized it a bit and, after modifying the function of a “soft key”, the phone requested a soft reset. “No prob”, I thought, “I’ve soft reset’d my phone every few days since I bought it.” So, I perform the soft reset — but it won’t boot again, and Jeremy’s gone home for the weekend.

Let me give you a little backstory… I’ve been eyeing the iPhones since they’d been announced. And I’ve hated my Windows phone for quite a while now. But I didn’t jump to buy an iPhone right away because I didn’t want to shell out $600 after spending $400 on my Windows phone just a year prior.

Well, after todays little events, I was very, very, very frustrated. So, I decided it was time to make my move.

I got off work at 4pm — just like any other day — only today was the day my phone committed suicide. I jumped into my car and drove for the Mission Valley Apple Store. Upon my arrival, I learned that the store was closed from 4pm-6pm… to prepare for the arrival of the next OS X version.

WHAT THE HECK?! Who closes up shop for two hours in the middle of the business day?! That makes no sense.

From the Apple Store, I drove to the Best Buy in Mission Valley. I knew they had Apple Stores inside, so I thought I’d check it out. Nope, I didn’t see any iPhones.

I jumped onto the freeway and drove down to the Best Buy in Chula Vista. I said “Hi!” to the cute security gal who checked my receipt yesterday. And ran over to the Apple section. Nope, no iPhones. But, I did ask one of the dudes where the closes AT&T store was. “Chula Vista Shopping Center”, he said, and I was out the door — after saying “Bye” to the cutie by the door, again.

I rode like the wind, until I finally arrived at the AT&T store. I walked up to the counter and sheepishly asked, “Uhm, do you have iPhones here?”
“Yes”, she replied.
“Ooh, I want one.”

So, now I have an iPhone. End of drama, right? Heck no!

When I got home, I threw the iPhone into the dock and pulled up iTunes. I followed the prompts to activate the phone, but it erred when attempting to perform the credit check. Ugh, no!! iTunes was now asking me to perform the credit check in an AT&T store and then come back and enter a code.

Now, I’m off to Plaza Bonita. I walked up to the manager at the kiosk and told him I needed to perform a credit check to activate my phone. Cool, cool. He gave me a form. I filled it out. Bada-bing, bada-boom. There was a problem. He called corporate and they found my fraud alerts (which were a result from my identity theft problem, blogged as “Who?“) . And after looking into it, they found that Equifax did not have my phone number, so they could not call me to authorize the credit check.

I was given a phone, which I called from a phone in the kiosk. But, I found it to be the wrong number. They gave me the number used for requesting a report. I don’t need a report, I need to update my info and authorize a credit check. I was told that I couldn’t be helped at the moment. So, I went to church for youth group.

Once I arrived at church, I went up to the office and jumped online. I started surfing all over the ‘net and calling everywhere: Equifax, Apple and AT&T. No one was very helpful. Not that they were rude, but no one was capable of helping.

Apparently, when the fraud hold was added at Equifax, no contact info was provided. I don’t know how. The fraud stuff was initiated by CitiBank, TransUnion and myself in a conference call. I believe TransUnion forwarded the fraud alert requests to Equifax and Experian, but I don’t know why Equifax did not have my contact info. At any rate, I cannot change my contact info over the ‘net nor over the phone — I need to snail mail them a letter!

I also learned that Apple doesn’t handle the activation or credit checks, that is AT&T. But, AT&T can’t perform credit checks over the phone or the ‘net. I need to do that at an AT&T store.

As I understood it… I need to snail mail Equifax my contact info. Once they receive it, they will update their records. After this, I would need to go back to an AT&T store to request another credit check. As a part of this check, AT&T would request details from Equifax. Prior to providing these details, Equifax would contact me to request authorization — likely via phone. I would then be able to authorize the credit check, Equifax would provide AT&T my credit report, and then I would receive the pre-qualify code, which iTunes requires to finalize the activation of my new phone.

This sounded like a much too difficult and extremely dragged out process. I did a little more research and found that I would be able to select a pre-paid program for my iPhone. It is not publicized by AT&T or Apple. But, if your credit check fails in iTunes, right below the request for a pre-qualify code, there is an option to use a GoPhone pre-paid plan.

I selected the GoPhone pre-paid option, and picked a pre-paid plan… followed the rest of the prompts… and I now have an activated phone!

And my goodness, AT&T can port a phone number quick! It was probably within an hour of activation that I receive an email (which I read from my iPhone) saying that my phone number had been successfully moved. And you know what? They were right! (Yes, I tested it.)

Stuff you might want to know:
If you had my cell number, you still do. It’s the same.
If I had your number in my cell, I still do. I’m still syncing to Outlook.
If you thought I liked my Windows phone, you were mistaken.
If you thought iPhones were cool, you underestimated them!

It has been a long day and a stressful day. But I’m happy with my new iPhone.

(P.S. – I’m too tired to proof read. So, forgive my spelling and grammar errors!)

2 Responses to “Mark’s iPhone”

  1. heather Says:

    good story.
    and i did think that you liked your old phone.

  2. Dan Says:

    Great googly moogly! That was hell wasn’t it. This is why I still think the following things “are the devil”.
    Cell phones in general

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