My 8 hour adventure in getting LTE working on my iPad 3
I waited in line 8 hours to get my iPad on Friday. Once the Apple Store opened, it took me 5 minutes to buy my iPad 3. It then took 8 hours to get LTE working.
First, at the Apple Store, the Apple specialist tried to add the LTE account to my iPad but the plans on Sales Central didn't match the plans on the brochure. After a second Apple specialist couldn't figure it out, a Rogers rep came to help. She couldn't figure it out either. They called Rogers and eventually said it was done. I got what I thought as 5GB of data for ~30 a month. There was also some promotion that gave double data for a certain period of time.
But it didn't work.
I called Rogers and they said the SIM hadn't actually been activated. Then they couldn't find my plan. All they could find was a plan that was $60 a month, or a "flex" plan. I said fine, give me the flex flan.
Still no LTE.
I called again. They said everything should be working. I got escalated to priority support. They wanted to figure out why the plans were different but I didn't care at that point. I just needed LTE working.
Priority support left me a message saying my plan had been fixed. It hadn't.
I called back. I spoke to support and again they said everything was fine. But I still had no LTE.
They suggested I go to a Rogers store and ask them to use an LTE test chip to make sure the radio in my iPad was working properly.
I went to the Rogers store and was told the test SIMs were minSIM, not the microSIM the iPad uses.
I called again. (And I should point out each time I called I got passed to at least 2 different reps.)
This time I hit paydirt. A really smart rep who helped me get my iPad 2 working when that 3G account was bungled.
He looked and saw that the wrong plan was added to my account. Over and over and over and over again.
Also -- he had different plans listed for him than the other reps, and it took him a while to find the flex plan. It was almost unbelievable how poorly set up the plans were within the internal systems.
As usual, plans weren't announced until the last minute, Sales Central was buckling under the load, CSRs weren't properly trained on the plans, and the system used to enter plans was subject to a lot of human error due to arcane codes and overly complex variations.
Once the right plan was added, LTE lit up for me and I started getting great bandwidth (49mbps on my first test)
But that was 8pm EDT, when I bought my iPad at 8am that day (after waiting in line all night)
I understand launch events are hectic, but waiting until the last minute and not properly training carrier reps has been disastrous every time, since the iPhone 3G, and they keep doing it.
Simpler plans. Announced earlier. With better rep training.
Make the carrier experience as good as the Apple experience.