So Sprint got the iPhone 4S, and they are selling them like crazy… There is just one tiny little problem. No one seems to have trained their support staff on how to deal with them. Let me tell you about the 3.5 hour ordeal that we personally went through and after talking with more than a few other excited iPhone 4S owners ours was not a one off event.
The call started around 12PM Eastern Time as the phone had just arrived and we were excited to get things going. Previous to our return to Sprint we were with AT&T through the introduction of the iPhone 4. Unfortunately with the iPhone 4 we had issues, from a four hour battery to the grip of death. It was not a fun time and prompted us to move to Sprint. However, we knew that there are always activation issues when a new phone comes out. What we did not expect was to have activations issues with the personnel instead of the activation or iTunes servers.
After about a 30 minute wait (which we thought was quite short considering the circumstance) an activation rep picked up the line. Our first indication that all was not as it should be was when the rep told us to remove the back of the iPhone and take out the battery. We explained that this was impossible on the iPhone and that the IMEI and Serial numbers on the box as well. The rep then told us that without the numbers from under the battery she could not activate the phone for us. As you can imagine we were more than a tad annoyed by this point, but we pressed on. After some time we were able to convince the tech that we could not remove the battery and that the serial on the box was indeed valid. Just as we saw light at the end of the tunnel… we were disconnected at just about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
We called again and at 1 hour and 45 minutes into our ordeal we were back on the phone; again we had to explain that the serial was on the box, but at least this rep did not ask us to remove the battery. The next hurdle was running the activation wizard on the phone. This completed successfully but did not apply the phone number to the phone. The rep then tried to manually program the phone but the iPhone would not recognize any of the programing codes that he tried. We were advised to wipe the phone completely and start over. At 2 hours and 30 minutes we still had not been able to activate the phone and were grasping at straws, doing everything from activating over WiFi, iTunes and more than one wipe of the phone. Finally one of the wipes must have done something (or the system caught up) as we saw the new number displayed on the phone. Our attempt at running the iPhone 4S on Sprint’s network was finally running and it only took 3.5 hours out of our Friday afternoon.
We would suggest to Sprint that they update their activation steps or give better training as they are only going to get more iPhone customers in the coming months. If everyone has to go through 3 hours to get activated they might have more than a few that will turn to other companies that do understand the iPhone instead of waiting for Sprint to catch up.
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