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  1. Levyesq#IM's Avatar
    Having spent from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening without service on two phones and hours and hours on the phone at at stores (both Apple and AT&T), I want to share this information and ask if anyone else has had the problem.
    I ordered my iPhone 3GS from the Apple Store online at the instance of a brick-and-mortar store employee. I wanted to take advantage of my husband's full upgrade price on his line of our familyshare plan, as approved by AT&T. I was told by AT&T that all I needed was to call to report the serial number change, and switch the sim cards. This was one of two things that masked the real issue to follow. (The other smokescreen was stated slow activation time and servers - that I should just wait, days perhaps.) When I proceeded to sync to iTunes for activation with the sim from the phone number I planned to use in the phone, iTunes prompted the telephone number of the line I had ordered the phone under. It could not be edited. When I put in my billing ZIP code and the last 4 digits of the social, the error was something like "the sim card does not match the account associated with this phone." After many, many hours and trying to activate the phone with the actual number prompted by iTunes (and trips to the store for new sim cards for that line) it appeared that the problem was with the phone set-up, not the sim card or the configuration of our AT&T account. Did you know that Apple has a strict policy that you cannot replace a web order at a physical store, and it takes eight days to replace a web order? As a last gasp, an AT&T store employee made me an appointment at a Genius Bar. It turned out that someone was there with the identical error message from a web order, with a customer service rep on the phone to AT&T. The best I can determine, for a very few web orders, something associated a number with an account, but not completely. This error was done in a way so that AT&T just could not find it. (My account, sim card numbers, IMEI numbers, etc. were verified many, many times.) In the end, I got the new phone - activated like a charm, the sim swap and backup restore on both phones went perfectly. (I gave my husband last year's 3G). Please post if you have seen the same error message, any solutions other than a new phone, and express your outrage (I hope you agree) that Apple will not accept web order exchanges at their brick-and-mortar stores.
    Last edited by Levyesq; 07-03-2009 at 11:41 AM. Reason: Update thread title
    06-22-2009 12:37 AM
  2. Levyesq#IM's Avatar
    Just to follow up - Apple kept sending me threatening emails that they would activate the returned phone if I did not do so. Again, after many calls to Apple and AT&T to try to stop it and put the proper IMEI number in the system, the web store still went ahead and changed the IMEI number on the line to the returned phone this morning. So, in addition to Apple's policy of not letting you return a web order phone at a store, they also cannot control the web store in a situation like this. I will never make a major purchase from the web store ever again.
    07-03-2009 11:40 AM
  3. chobbs1's Avatar
    The first mistake was swapping the aim card??? Why on earth would you have swapped the sim card?? When you get your phone all that has to be done is connect it to iTunes and follow the instructions. If the servers were too slow then ... You just wait till they aren't loaded.
    07-03-2009 11:49 AM
  4. Levyesq#IM's Avatar
    No, the swapping was never the issue. The sim card that came with the phone was thrown away by an AT&T store employee. (See another thread about bad sim cards from web orders.) AT&T allows you to swap sims between familyshare iPhones. Once I got the new phone, everything activated fine, except in the webstore's records, which was probably the source of the original problem.
    07-03-2009 02:27 PM
  5. Levyesq#IM's Avatar
    Also-I was getting an error message from iTunes for two days - " sim card not associated with your account". It was not a slow server issue.
    07-03-2009 02:31 PM
  6. chobbs1's Avatar
    Didn't they give you a new sim card??? I used the some card that came with the phone and did the step by step set up on iTunes every thing worked out fine. I still think it was because you put a simcard in from another phone. I could be wrong but that seems to be the only variable that sticks out. Why would you take a som card from another phone and put it in your new phone??? I never understood this. I have never need to do this so forgive my not "getting it"
    07-04-2009 02:09 AM
  7. Levyesq#IM's Avatar
    Four new sim cards - one with the phone and three more at the AT&T store on advice of high-up AT&T support called by Apple support for me. Can't explain it, can only report it. It was pretty clear by Friday evening that a new phone would solve the problem, whether it was a problem with how the phone was associated with my account or whether the phone was defective itself. They wouldn't give me one until Saturday night, when I was at the breaking point. Not good customer service - very unexpected from Apple.
    Last edited by Levyesq; 07-04-2009 at 09:34 AM.
    07-04-2009 09:25 AM
  8. chobbs1's Avatar
    Is the new phone working now? I hope so. Usually Apple is very very good at customer service. Perhaps this is the first time they've run across this particular problem????
    07-04-2009 10:28 AM
  9. Levyesq#IM's Avatar
    Yes, all is working now, thank you. There was one other person at the store with the same error message from a web store order. Other than that, no one has posted here that they had the problem, so it must be rare. And yes, I do hope the customer service from Apple was an unusual circumstance.
    07-04-2009 11:22 AM