AT&T website ground to a halt under crush of iPhone 4S pre-orders

Widespread reports of long waits [on AT&T Mobility’s website], starting shortly after midnight Pacific time.

2 hours of putting in my information and hitting refresh and I STILL don’t have an iPhone 4S. AT&T, you failed again. Goodnight.

Eric (‘gameric’) Gamero, who posted that message on Twitter at about 3:15 a.m. PST Friday, was hardly alone. In the early hours after Apple began taking pre-orders for its latest iPhone, due out next Friday, hundreds of similar complaints flooded the messaging service, “Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We ordered our iPhone 4S units via Apple Store Online earlier today and everything worked perfectly. Anyone try AT&T Mobility’s or any other carriers’ site and encounter problems?

52 Comments

  1. Tried ordering at 2:05 AM CDT and the Apple Store was down. AT&T wasn’t working, either, so I went back to bed.

    Tried the Apple Store again at 6:00 AM CDT and my 4S 64GB order went through just fine.

    1. That was a concern of mine, too, since I’d rather get it delivered to me at work, where I know someone will be around to sign for it.

      Under Apple’s shipping notes, it does talk about “pre-signing” for it and adding delivery instructions, and it mentions changing the delivery address. You may be able to change it then, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it adds a delay to its arrival.

      I think it locks in the delivery address to your AT&T address because the carriers need to determine fees and taxes based on where you live. So, maybe that’s why there’s no option to change it.

      1. Yep, the taxes on my cell phone tripled when I went from CA to NY. Since I have addresses in both locals I quickly changed it back to CA and do billing electronically.

    2. I was forced to talk to management about this very issue. She said she will call me back on it. No time frame given. The other option is to change my billing address to my home. I can’t do this for various reasons that I will not get into.

      But I point blank asked her, Who makes this phone? Who ships this phone? Both times she reluctantly said, Apple. So there you go. I will repost here once I get the call back from Apple Inc.

      1. My problem is two fold, so lets skip the fact that they shipped me three iPhones to my current address.

        One is everything I do goes through my Post Box. Driver’s License, Taxes, Billing, Everything! If I change the billing address to my home, then I will have to change all my bank info as well. I could go on, but it gets rather horrible.

        I asked Apple about changing the shipping address after I order, they said My shipping address and billing address have to be the same to even process the order.

        Now again as I told the ladies I talked with. On the day that Steve passed away, I received the Red iPod nano I ordered.

        Apple Made the nano and ships it. The also make the iPhone and ship that too. BUT the Tel Co controls who Apple can sell to?

        1. I finally called AT&T for purchase the iPhone 4S(teve). As the AT&T tech told me, this is a new requirement that the billing and shipping be the same. Why he was not sure.

          New iPhone 4S Black 64GB is going to ship to me 🙂 Thank you AT&T Support.

          1. Hmmm, thats odd. I just called Apple and they changed the shipping address after I ordered. I ordered a second phone and was even able to go in my self and change the shipping address afterward on Apple’s site.

    3. I ordered two Black 64GB 4S’s after calling 194 times. I was 6 redials away from going back to bed. The site was delayed (haven’t heard why) and I couldn’t get my orders to go through for about an hour. So naturally once my call goes through I am able to place my orders online. I spoke with a nice lady from Pa. While I finished my orders online. I wasn’t about to let her go because I just knew that something would go wrong. We talked as I finished my orders. All went well finally. My phones will arrive in a week. Yea! One of my orders had a different shipping address from the billing address. No problem.

      1. AT&T : without a doubt the worst run company in the world. The Apple customer service lady told me that it was AT&T that caused the delay. No doubt. They suck! And did I mention that AT&T has the worst customer service in the world too? Geez would I like to change but Verizon keeps me limited to calling or surfing on my iPhone. Plus I’m grandfathered on my unlimited plan so I’ll stick with AT&T for a while. But I can’t wait to dump em someday!

  2. Didn’t work for me on Apple’s website at all as I was stuck in an endless loop (thanks to AT&T as it was not being able to connect to them to verify eligibility). I finally gave up at about 3:30am CT. However, by 6:00am it was working smoothly and my order went right through.

  3. I ordered via Apple, but it was 45 min after midnight (Pacific time) before I saw the actual pre-order page rather than the “store is down” post-it page, so Apple may have been a bit busy, too.

  4. I ordered from the Apple Store this morning about 9 a.m. Everything was really smooth.

    I was worried there would be delays when it pinged AT&T for my current account information, but there were no unusual delays. It was a great process, and I got my confirmation email about an hour later.

  5. Actually, I had the exact opposite experience. I tried to order from the Apple store once they went live at about 12:40 PST. Got through the process, and was given a ‘reservation’ rather than a completed order. At 1:08 AM PST, I received an e-mail form Apple to complete my order, and when I tried to do so, I got an error at the stage where Apple gets my account info from AT&T (this happened too with my iPhone 4 last year).

    So, I decided to try AT&T’s website instead, and it went off without a hitch. Couldn’t have been smoother. The sole issue was the website’s inability to calculate sales tax, but it didn’t impeded the process in the slightest.

  6. I took me about an hour but I successfully placed an order on ATT about 2am MST. Kept trying Apple – but it was a no go.

    * After first being somewhat underwhelmed about the 4S now I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Kind of stupid to want re-designed handsets every year. Back in the day – if a manufacturer doubled the processor speed, doubled the ram on a computer you’d be happier than a pig in shit. Well, right now I’m rolling around in it.

    1. I’m with you on that last part. Wasn’t to excited at first but now I can’t wait. I’m getting a white instead of black like I have now. So it’s gonna look new to. So the “shallow” part of me is happy also.

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