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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Any advice before I return my iPhone?

Any advice before I return my iPhone?
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mo
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Feb 21, 2008, 02:00 PM
 
I'm very close to returning an iPhone I purchased from an AT&T store on Sunday. Before I did so, I thought I'd ask if anybody had any advice.

On Sunday, it was working fine, as far as I could tell. When I set it up, I was on WiFi, and then I went to some place with WiFi. Everything was great, and I was making calls with it. What I didn't notice until Monday was that I was not receiving any EDGE data -- nothing worked when I wasn't around WiFi, although I could still make calls. I naturally called AT&T, thinking it was a problem with my account with them. After three hours of being on hold, being transferred four times (including once to Apple and then back), and doing various combinations of things, they told me to go get a new SIM card at the AT&T store.

I did that. It didn't make any difference. No "EDGE" icon, no data over the phone unless I was on a WiFI network. They said it wasn't them; my account is provisioned for everything it should be. I called Apple, and after various diagnostic things over the phone, they had me send it in on Tuesday. I did. They sent it back today -- the same phone, as noted in their letter -- saying they were unable to reproduce the problem. I plugged in the SIM card, hooked it up to iTunes, and now there is still no data service.

Instead of going through AT&T again, I am thinking I will just return it and try to forget about the whole thing. I am preparing to do a restore now to see if it makes any difference, which I don't expect, but before I return it, I thought I would send up one last flare and ask: Am I missing anything obvious? (I'm quite capable of that.)
     
CorpITGuy
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Feb 21, 2008, 02:21 PM
 
If Apple was truly unable to reproduce the error, it sure does sound like a provisioning problem. I'd go to AT&T one more time.
"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

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ghporter
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Feb 21, 2008, 02:32 PM
 
PHYSICALLY go to an AT&T store (NOT an "authorized reseller") and show them the problem. It really should make a big difference.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
mo  (op)
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Feb 21, 2008, 02:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
PHYSICALLY go to an AT&T store (NOT an "authorized reseller") and show them the problem. It really should make a big difference.
Well, I guess I wasn't clear enough -- I did do that when they did the SIM swap. Same AT&T-owned store at which I bought it. They did the SIM swap and then stammered about how that's all they could do if it wasn't working, it must be a hardware error, etc. As far as they are concerned, my choices are to return it for $50 or keep it. They won't address any provisioning issues; "we don't do that here." Sort of a customer-service black hole. They say to call AT&T or Apple. ...
     
amazing
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Feb 21, 2008, 02:47 PM
 
ATT has been having loads of problems with Edge, so it's not the iPhone at fault:

AT&T EDGE Outage Impacting Customers Across US
AT&T EDGE Outage Impacting Customers Across US || The iPod Observer - Now Playing

http://theappleblog.com/2008/02/01/crazy-edge-outage/

there is one report of a fix

MacNN | iPhone GO suffers EDGE outage, AT&T fixes problem [u]
     
mo  (op)
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Feb 21, 2008, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
ATT has been having loads of problems with Edge, so it's not the iPhone at fault:

AT&T EDGE Outage Impacting Customers Across US
AT&T EDGE Outage Impacting Customers Across US || The iPod Observer - Now Playing

http://theappleblog.com/2008/02/01/crazy-edge-outage/

there is one report of a fix

MacNN | iPhone GO suffers EDGE outage, AT&T fixes problem [u]
I hear ya -- I've seen this stuff searching the web. But standing in the AT&T store, with other phones connecting to the EDGE network, and mine unable to even see it, one has to think that the problem is with my account, not the network. It's all been a question of how much time I want to spend on the phone with AT&T. (Where I am right now, one last try.)
     
f1000
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Feb 21, 2008, 03:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
ATT has been having loads of problems with Edge, so it's not the iPhone at fault:
EDGE may be having problems, but 3G has been working fine for me. This is just one more reason why Apple needs to stop making excuses and jump onto the HSDPA bandwagon as fast as possible. I can live with half the battery life; I always have a power adapter when traveling anyway.

Apple/AT&T should be honest and admit that they started with EDGE to prevent iPhone users using pixel rich applications from hogging cellular bandwidth.
     
mo  (op)
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Feb 21, 2008, 05:07 PM
 
End of story: I called AT&T one more time, and they said they couldn't see any problem and thus couldn't see any way to fix it. They offered to arrange to have the phone sent back to Apple again. I thought I had spent enough time on this project and had my account returned to its pre-iPhone status (still have a year before I'm out of contract).

One note in AT&T's favor: I told them as politely as I could that I regretted the fact that I was paying a $50 restocking fee at the (useless) AT&T store. The AT&T rep said she had it at her discretion to apply two $25 "courtesy" discounts to my account, and that she had. Given my case, she also said she would wipe any data charges from my account. I think that was quite literally the best she could do in her role. I include this in case anyone finds himself in a similar situation.

One note not in AT&T's favor: Even though I never lost my temper, the store manager declined to speak with me, although the clerk did tell me to have a nice day.

I think it's a wonderful device (as long as you're using WiFi; can't speak for EDGE) and I'm sure I would have enjoyed using it had this problem not existed. Perhaps someday under different conditions I'll try again.
     
amazing
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Feb 21, 2008, 05:13 PM
 
presuming that you bought it on a credit card, you could have returned it and disputed the charge through your credit card company, given that you received a defective product. The credit card companies are very on your side, all you have to do is document that you received a defective product and attempted to resolve the problem with the merchant, namely ATT.

Same result as what you received in the end, namely no restocking fee, but the hint that you are going to apply for a credit card charge-back usually means that the merchant will bend over backward to resolve the problem.
     
Nodnarb
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Feb 22, 2008, 10:25 AM
 
How long did you have the phone before you had these problems? It sounds like it was pretty new and you just didn't realize EDGE wasn't working for a little because you were using WiFi.

I don't understand why AT&T wouldn't just swap out phones for you? (unless it was a couple month old phone).
     
mo  (op)
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Feb 22, 2008, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nodnarb View Post
How long did you have the phone before you had these problems? It sounds like it was pretty new and you just didn't realize EDGE wasn't working for a little because you were using WiFi.

I don't understand why AT&T wouldn't just swap out phones for you? (unless it was a couple month old phone).
I had it for a couple of days -- I actually noticed the lack of EDGE when I left my house the second day, and then began my odyssey with AT&T customer service. I have WiFi at my house, so I didn't think about EDGE. I didn't even notice that there was no icon indicating a connection to EDGE.

AT&T says it can't swap phones as part of its agreement with Apple -- only Apple can swap phones at one of its stores or via its repair service.
     
Nodnarb
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Feb 22, 2008, 02:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by mo View Post
AT&T says it can't swap phones as part of its agreement with Apple -- only Apple can swap phones at one of its stores or via its repair service.
But Apple won't swap them because you bought it from AT&T?

So, if you buy a phone from AT&T, and it's broken, you are SOL? Sorry, but I'm not buying that. (not saying that you are lying, but somewhere down the line of communication something went wrong). Apple can't just say oh look you got a defective phone but bought it through AT&T, and we can't do anything, and we won't let them do anything? No way.
     
mo  (op)
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Feb 22, 2008, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nodnarb View Post
But Apple won't swap them because you bought it from AT&T?

So, if you buy a phone from AT&T, and it's broken, you are SOL? Sorry, but I'm not buying that. (not saying that you are lying, but somewhere down the line of communication something went wrong). Apple can't just say oh look you got a defective phone but bought it through AT&T, and we can't do anything, and we won't let them do anything? No way.
Well, see (above), Apple would swap out the phone if in their judgment it was defective, but they determined after I sent it to them that it was all in proper working order, so they sent back the same phone. I still believe the phone was not the problem; I think AT&T was the problem. AT&T would've arranged to have the phone sent back to Apple again for another examination, but I just wasn't up for it, especially since I think AT&T failed to set up my account properly but wouldn't fix it. So you could argue that I wasn't out of luck ... I was just out of patience.
     
83caddy16v
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Feb 22, 2008, 04:24 PM
 
They were going to charge you $50 to cancel the contract? I thought you had 15 days to decide and cancel if you were not happy?

The AT&T store told me I could cancel when I mentioned my concerns about living in a rural area and potentially lack of coversage, something that is not an issue with AT&T's competitors. I did not ask about a fee within the 15day window.
     
mo  (op)
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Feb 22, 2008, 04:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by 83caddy16v View Post
They were going to charge you $50 to cancel the contract? I thought you had 15 days to decide and cancel if you were not happy?

The AT&T store told me I could cancel when I mentioned my concerns about living in a rural area and potentially lack of coversage, something that is not an issue with AT&T's competitors. I did not ask about a fee within the 15day window.
No, it was a restocking fee for the phone. I didn't cancel my contract (went back to my old phone). It would have been a great deal more -- I think $175 or in that area -- to cancel the contract. My understanding is that you can't return the phone for a refund (minus restocking fee) after 14 days.
     
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Feb 23, 2008, 01:10 PM
 
Sounds like AT&T screwed up your account. Trouble is, once the dumb phone jockeys on the other end here "iPhone," they immediately transfer you to Apple.

If you still want an iPhone, return everything and cancel the account you were given. Then go to a real Apple store, buy another, and activate it through iTunes with a new account/new number, etc.

Unless Edge just doesn't work in your area, this is probably be best you'll do with AT&T at the helm.
     
bjojade
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Feb 23, 2008, 03:19 PM
 
The phone or the configuration is defective. If I went into a store and showed them the problem and they told me there would be a $50 restocking fee to get the problem resolved, there would be hell to pay.

At least AT&T did you right by refunding your $50 in the back end, but it's still a horrible policy.

Now, if you just returned the phone because you didn't like it, that's a whole different story.
     
mo  (op)
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Feb 24, 2008, 12:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cadaver View Post
Sounds like AT&T screwed up your account. Trouble is, once the dumb phone jockeys on the other end here "iPhone," they immediately transfer you to Apple.

If you still want an iPhone, return everything and cancel the account you were given. Then go to a real Apple store, buy another, and activate it through iTunes with a new account/new number, etc.

Unless Edge just doesn't work in your area, this is probably be best you'll do with AT&T at the helm.
Well, I must have wanted one really badly. Yesterday, it occurred to me that I had broken even on the deal (as far as dollars, anyway), and I had probably been spectacularly unlucky. EDGE works in this area. People I know have and use iPhones. So I went to the other AT&T-owned store in the area (both Apple stores are 120 miles away on their respective ends of the state), and bought a 16G model, went through setup again, and voila, everything worked properly, the number transfer, etc. Now I am happily using it. I still don't know whether the first phone was defective, or AT&T screwed up.

I might be the prototypical Apple fanboy or just a plain sucker or whatever, but I figured my experience had to be an outlier, I was with AT&T as a carrier anyway, and I can really use this thing if it functions properly. Which it does. So a happy ending, I guess. ...
     
ghporter
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Feb 24, 2008, 07:26 PM
 
Your experience with the second phone is proof that something real was wrong, either in the phone or the provisioning-which one it was doesn't matter because neither was something YOU did. I'm glad you're up and running.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
PhotoMacUser
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Feb 25, 2008, 03:05 PM
 
In my experience, if Wi-Fi is turned on, I cannot use EDGE reliably if there are Wi-Fi networks nearby- even if they require a password, the iPhone does not always default to EDGE. Turning Off Wi-Fi forces the iPhone to use EDGE when available.

Also, anytime your iPhone is exhibiting strange behavior you should simply shut down and restart the iPhone. Just like a computer, iPhone needs to be rebooted from time to time. I have had my iPhone since the day it was introduced and I cannot imagine giving it up.

It is true that ATT and EDGE service is not available everywhere, so it is important to check the service area maps before committing to an ATT contract. My friend in Colorado chose a new iPod Touch specifically because there is no service from ATT in his town.
     
hedmisten
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Feb 27, 2008, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by mo View Post
Well, I guess I wasn't clear enough -- I did do that when they did the SIM swap. Same AT&T-owned store at which I bought it. They did the SIM swap and then stammered about how that's all they could do if it wasn't working, it must be a hardware error, etc. As far as they are concerned, my choices are to return it for $50 or keep it. They won't address any provisioning issues; "we don't do that here." Sort of a customer-service black hole. They say to call AT&T or Apple. ...
I'll give ya $60 for it seriously
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