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  • 3 Million iPhone Activations Overwhelm AT&T
    People are going to be TRASHING at&t for the next several days. Like many others, I'm still waiting on my activation to complete. At 11:30pm EST I initiated my activation thru iTunes. I'm replacing one of my current phones that is no longer under contract so all I needed to do was add the data plan and accept the terms.

    Everything seemed to process fine up until the final screen which stated: "Your activation requires additional time to complete. You will receive an email confirmation sent to (my email address) once your activation is complete."

    I received an email almost immediately that 'AT&T is now processing your activation." After waiting 30mins with no final confirmation, I called at&t. At this point the operator indicated it may be from 1 to 3 hours for it to process. So I decided to give it until morning.

    About 8:30am I called at&t again and was on hold for 1 hour before getting thru. I could hear in the background all the operators apologizing to other customers. The operator checked my account and removed a couple of features that were going to be incompatible with iPhone anyways and thought that might help the holdup. She also said that "there were 3 million phones purchased last night and everyone is trying to activate them at the same time and that has caused the system to bottom out." She did confirm that there should be nothing at this point holding my account up other than the overwhelming activation traffic.

    We're now at over 12 hours since initiating the activation and still no email from at&t. It will be interesting to see how they spin this problem and how widespread it proves to be.

    I'm a patient person but this is rough!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 3 Million iPhone Activations Overwhelm AT&T started by editwizard View original post
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. JedixJarf's Avatar
      JedixJarf -
      Dang man that sucks. I must have been a lucky one, took me about 3 minutes to finish the whole process.
    1. TomFrost's Avatar
      TomFrost -
      Same here.. the AT&T portion was about 40 seconds. Glad I stood in line early!

      It's nice to know that the iPhone sold that quickly, though . If this flopped, I didn't want to be "that douche" who stood in line for 12 hours to buy a phone that sucked xD
    1. JedixJarf's Avatar
      JedixJarf -
      Haha word.
    1. Asymptote's Avatar
      Asymptote -
      Yep, this wait sucks. I got my "You will be notified with another email upon activation" email 17 hours ago...
    1. nebulight's Avatar
      nebulight -
      Yea, I rushed home right after getting the phone to activate because I knew it was going to be a problem. I live on the east coast, so I was lucky. however, for some reason, porting my number from T-Mobile is taking time, 24 hours to be exact. I finished activation at like 6.41 last night and shortly after recieved an e-mail that my number would be fully ported tonight at 6.41. But I can send text messages and make calls, I just can't recieve anything until tonight. But at least I can play with all the other stuff.
    1. editwizard's Avatar
      editwizard -
      Yeah, pf had his activated and ready to go as we sat enjoying pizza at a nearby restaurant in the mall! I decided to wait until later and activate at home - BIG mistake I guess!

      Oh well, I've waited 5 months... just a little while longer now hopefully. I'm just wondering how many they sold in total last night?
    1. Cody Overcash's Avatar
      Cody Overcash -
      activation here out west took no more than 30 seconds and I didnt activate it until I got home around 11pm
    1. editwizard's Avatar
      editwizard -
      cash - was that a brand new account for your activation or a phone upgrade using an existing at&t number?
    1. Cody Overcash's Avatar
      Cody Overcash -
      existing . . . could be the ticket
    1. TomFrost's Avatar
      TomFrost -
      Existing for me as well. I just plopped the extra $20 data plan onto my account and AT&T sent the signal to my phone.
    1. JedixJarf's Avatar
      JedixJarf -
      Quote Originally Posted by TomFrost View Post
      Existing for me as well. I just plopped the extra $20 data plan onto my account and AT&T sent the signal to my phone.
      Same here.
    1. gadgetguy35's Avatar
      gadgetguy35 -
      I am one of the unfortunate ones stuck in iPhone purgatory. I sat in front of my local AT&T store for just over 10 hours. I was third in line and selected the 8gb model. I attempted to replace my current phone with iPhone as an existing AT&T customer and ran smack into a brick wall. I received a cryptic message stating that "my account information is incomplete" and was referred to the AT&T customer service number. A very nice operator spoke with me for nearly 2 hours(most of which I spent on hold) and after consulting with Apple finally figured out that my Southwest Airlines employee discount had flagged my account as "Business" which made me ineligble for iPhone activation. She said that the billing department would have to make an alteration to account that would allow me to activate the phone. By this time it was just before 10pm eastern. I was transferred where I received a recorded message saying the department I was trying to reach was closed. Another call to AT&T confirmed that they would be unable to help me until 8am eastern the following day.

      This morning at 8am sharp I called AT&T again and was told that while my account did show as registered an iPhone, some of my calling feature plans would have to be edited before activation could continue. I was told that the necessary changes were being made and that I would simply have to wait my turn for my order to be processed. Around 8:30 this morning, on a hunch I placed my iPhone in the dock and received a new error message. The message stated what I already knew, that my employee discount was screwing up the activation and it would take some time to straighten out. I followed the steps to opt out of my employee discount program and recieved an email stating that my activation was proceeding and that I would receive another email when it was complete. Again, this was at around 845am. Just before 4pm, I received another email this time with an order number again telling me that I would receive an email with further instructions when my activation was complete. So just under 24 hours later my gorgeous new iPhon is STILL not activated. The icing on the cake is that SIM card on my old phone now reads as unregistered and I am phoneless untill this mess can be straightened out.

      To their credit, the employees I have dealt with at both AT&T and Apple have been unfailingly polite and sincerely apologetic. I only have two real complaints. First, how could after so many months of planning AT&T NOT see this coming and fix it in advance and second, why are the other features of the phone disabled? At the very least I could be spending this time updating and syncing contacts, etc but instead all I can do is pretend to dial 911 and look at the pretty picture of Mother Earth. For a launch so carefully orchestrated and with so many months in advance to plan, this is giving an otherwise wonderful product a real black eye. I would guess Steve Jobs is non too pleased. So far the press has not seemed to have caught onto the story but, that can only last for so long. If the weekend wraps up with people still waiting for activation this could get really ugly.
    1. memphisguy's Avatar
      memphisguy -
      I know what you are going through.


      I got my phone this morning...my brother in houston got his about an hour later.

      His was activated within like 3 minutes....

      it's been 5 hours for me now.

      HE keeps spouting about how wonderful it is!

      Oh well...
      at least I got mine before he did.....

      even though he's using his first!

    1. nebulight's Avatar
      nebulight -
      Yea, I got mine up and transfered over, I can send and receive calls now, but text messages still go to my old phone and sim card from t-mobile! GRRRR WTF?!
    1. Donpianta's Avatar
      Donpianta -
      yea my phone is activated and i can make outgoing calls... but i cant receive texts or calls because my phone number wasnt transfered... and its been well over 24 hrs (i started the whole process at 7:11 on the 29th)
      i just hope i'll be able to receive a call on my iphone anytime soon
    1. moond0ggie's Avatar
      moond0ggie -
      No wonder they picked a Friday!
      They'll be working 24/7 over the weekend & then some, to straighten things out!

      I wonder if they're selling iPhones this weekend too.
    1. computerGirl's Avatar
      computerGirl -
      if you are having long waits for activation, try this...
      safely eject the iphone and then shut down itunes....
      wait a few minutes....connect your iphone and itunes will
      open again...wait a few minutes and if you still get the
      message about "still waiting for activation", repeat the procedure..
      after doing this a few times, my son's iphone completed activation..
      mine completed in 3 minutes last night...
    1. gadgetguy35's Avatar
      gadgetguy35 -
      Over 24 hours since I got the dreaded " Your Activation Will Require Additional Time to Process Message" and still...my iPhone remains an iBrick. I called AT&T first thing this morning to express my frustration. I was told that my new sim card was indeed activated that the hold up was waiting for Apple to complete their side of the activation process. Whoever thought up the idea of it taking 2 separate companies to activate a single phone should be drawn and quartered. The AT&T was kind enough to tell me that I could take my new iPhone sim card and place it in my old phone so that I would at least have wireless service. Why didn't someone tell me that yesterday?? A quick note on the AT&T or Apple homepage would have been a good place to start. Anyway, I am at least back in touch with the outside world. But, my wait for elusive iPhone activation continues.
    1. Kyle Matthews's Avatar
      Kyle Matthews -
      Its not an Apple issue. Apple doesn't have to activate it, thats all AT&T.
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      I certainly feel bad for those stuck waiting (some more than a day) for activation, but I don't understand why so many people are complaining about how long they stood in line to get the iPhone. No one told you to stand in line. Apple never said there was going to be a shortage. I walked in to an Apple store the day AFTER it went on sale and didn't wait 10 seconds to get handed one by a store employee.

      We had to wait 2 hours for activation. I know of someone who still has not gotten activation and bought on Friday.