AT&T Screwed up the iPhone 5 Launch

Update: (Sept 23 12:02AM EST)

There has been quite a response to my post from yesterday. Looks like there was a thread started on Reddit.

There have been 116,235 unique visitors since I first posted.

A lot of people seem to think I'm an Apple fanboy, and you'd be right. I think Apple is special, and in a way that transcends a regular company. It's not that Apple makes great products, it's the succession of great products and focus on the user that makes the company so special. 

Apple is a Religion

My (unedited) post below was not meant to sound like I was whining or bitching, but maybe I was. Ultimately my goal was to make AT&T and Apple aware there was a problem, and that something should be done to fix it. I realize I sound a bit off my rocker, I have a pretty blunt writing style. 

I've received a lot of hate email and about the same amount of email supporting and defending me. Thank you for the feedback and support. I'm disappointed with the quality of the hate mail, though. It could be reproduced with the following template:

You are what is wrong with _____________ . 
And you are a __________ bitch. 

Roger Rando

P.S. You have first world problems, bro.  

Did no one use a thesaurus? The best one I got was from a fellow iPhone user, saying I was the "Flavor of the day douchebag." That one I did appreciate.

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*Audio rendition of my regression, or as one user puts it.. "Meltdown" *

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I was invited into the AT&T store this morning, after a long wait, to purchase my iPhone 5. I avoided looking at the display model iPhones on the way in, and averted my gaze from everyone elses iPhones. I wanted to enrich the experience of opening my own iPhone 5, and make it more special than it already would be. The sales rep retrieved the iPhone I requested... 

Then he then proceeded to open the iPhone himself, with his back to me.

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My stomach sank. Opening an Apple product is a religious experience. It's one of the best things about the first day with your shiny new device. He took that from me. I felt like this sales rep had stolen from me. They were stealing from everyone. No one was opening their new iPhone. Is it not supposed to be special anymore? Then why does Apple continue to spend 3, 5, or 10 times as much on packaging and presentation as other companies?

I took a deep breath, and swallowed the lump in my throat. The sales rep then removed the Lightning USB cord from my box, peeled away the packaging, and stretched out my USB cord between his hands. I looked on, puzzled, as I could see several spare cords the manager had unpacked on the counter. 

Then the AT&T rep proceeded to scatter the contents of my iPhone box all over the counter. He peeled off the front and back plastic covers from my iPhone and threw them in the trash. Then he sat the bare iPhone down on the table and pushed it toward his computer.

I can't believe what I am seeing, and I feel incapacitated to do anything about it. I had been awake all night waiting outside, and I didn't really have the energy to say anything.

Finally he was able to set up my new phone, then the rep grabs my iPhone box from the counter and tips it so that my charger falls on the ground. He doesn't even notice that he's lost the charger. He hands me my iPhone box with my USB cord haphazardly mashed in the box.

I had to tell him that he dropped the charger on the ground, and he says "good catch." Yeah...OK. Then I open the box, only to realize that the top tray, manual, stickers, and top part of the box are completely missing. I had to ask for them to be returned. 

I finally walk out of the store with my iPhone, and I can tell you unequivocally that they ruined my first impression with the iPhone 5. Having used the phone now for several hours, I love it.. but the way that AT&T handled the launch today was a travesty. 

Here's how they should have handled it. 

  1. You request the phone you want

  2. The rep retrieves the phone and hands it to you to check. 

  3. The rep then encourages you to open your iPhone and shares in your excitement. 

  4. Once the phone is open, the rep then respectfully asks to take the phone and goes about his business. He leaves the protective covers on the phone, and lets you take them off at your own will. 

  5. He uses a spare USB cable, and leaves yours in the box, factory wrapped. 

  6. When your phone is activated and you're ready to go, the rep thanks you for your business, and wishes you the best with your new device.

That's how I wish it would've gone. 

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