iPhone Upgrade Adventures (or Why AT&T Sucks)

My original, first generation iPhone was destroyed late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Laura and I had just worked at a friend’s wedding inside the San Diego Wild Animal Park and had just safely driven the 80 or so miles back to my house and I put my iPhone and iPod on the roof of Laura’s car while I grabbed the rest of my luggage (we had stayed the night in Escondido so we could attend the rehearsal/dinner the night before the wedding) and forgot to retrieve them before she left. About two minutes later I realized my mistake and realized I had to call Laura and get her back to me! But I couldn’t remember her phone number (damn speed dial)!!! And my computer had apparently lost power during the blackout we experienced while I was unloading luggage (a Westminster councilman was DUI and hit a car with three people…and a power pole). So there I am frantically encouraging my PC to boot and load Outlook so I can get Laura’s phone number. By this time I’ve actually calmed down and accepted the fact that both devices are lost forever. Finally I get a hold of Laura and she turned around and picked me up so we could go look for my devices. We look along the streets in my neighborhood and the main thoroughfare to the freeway and then decide to get on the 405 N and immediately flip on hazards and get to the side of the freeway to take a short look. Shortly after pulling over, the CHP show up (of course they’re going to investigate any car on the side of the road with it’s hazards on). We explain the situation to them and they say they will keep an eye out for them. So Laura takes me back home and then heads home herself (she reported that as she drove back past where the CHP had showed up, the CHP was very diligently searching for my stuff, bless their hearts).

Sunday evening I don’t have rehearsal, so after church I go hang out with Laura at her house and have fun watching Walt Disney Treasures DVD’s. Around 10pm, there’s a call on Laura’s house phone that is ignored for about 15 minutes. When Laura’s mom listens to the message, she’s curious as to why the CHP would be calling them about my iPod. So I call the officer back and he says the iPod was recovered and the iPhone was shattered into several pieces, which saddens me (fun pictures from the Miller wedding irrevocably destroyed), but isn’t too disheartening overall. So I ask the officer if there is a local office in Westminster where he can leave the iPod for me to pickup. He says there is and he gives me the address.

Monday morning I’m up really early because I have an early massage before working at Staples and I wanted to go to the CHP office before all of that. So I go get my iPod back…apparently when it flew off of the car, not only did the Speck case pretty much protect it, but the iPod started playing all the songs and nobody had paused it leading to a very low battery. But other than that it was working fine! However I’m still concerned about confidential information stored on my iPhone…I need to know for sure that the device is utterly destroyed and data can’t be recovered. But I have to wait until the CHP officer gets back on duty (he works the night shift) in order to call him and confirm the iPhone’s destruction. In the meantime I need to get a new iPhone. So my dad, being the account manager of our business family plan, says he will call AT&T to make sure I’m elligible for the cheap upgrade (aren’t telecom companies wonderfully overzealous?) before I buy the phone at the South Coast Plaza Apple Store. So I go to my massage and finish up a little early (I have an hour to get to work and I only need 30 minutes). So I decide to go to the South Coast Plaza Apple Store to make sure they have the 3GS in stock. I go to the store and they have plenty of them. Then they ask me if I want to get one – I explain about how I’m not sure of my elligibility for an upgrade (aren’t telecom companies wonderfully overzelaous?) and they say they can check that. I’m intrigued, but I’m short on time so I decide to hold off for the moment. Next I find a payphone and use an old calling card I’ve had since high school to call my dad (despite it’s age, the card had 800 minutes on it…hah!). I ask if he’s called the account manager at AT&T, he says he left a message, so I say I’ll wait (even though I explain to him that the Apple Store could check my elligibility). So I head off to work waiting for news that I can snag a new phone. At the end of my shift I headed home to find out that when AT&T called back, the account manager told dad that the Apple Store isn’t supposed to check elligibility for business accounts (aren’t telecom companies wonderfully OVERZEALOUS!) and tells dad to just order it with him, which he does. The last piece of business is to call the CHP officer back and confirm that the iPhone was completely destroyed. He tells me that the only way they knew the shattered parts were from an iPhone was because his partner had once owned an iPhone and recognized the plastic charger bit…other than that the phone was destroyed. So I’m satisfied and ready to recieve my new iPhone tomorrow (Tuesday).

Well…apparently we either misunderstood the AT&T rep or just assumed that since we had ordered the phone before 5pm that it would be there on Tuesday. So I waste most of the afternoon waiting for my new phone to show up. By 7pm, I give up and we leave a message for the AT&T rep.

Wednesdy we get a call back saying it had to come from Dallas so it would ship Tuesday and arrive today. So I go off to work, eager to get a phone back (I’ve survived a year without a car bumming rides off of folks, but I’ve barely been able to survive the 72-ish hours without a phone…yeesh!). I get home from work and the phone is here! Yay! Dad activated it with AT&T and they said to power it off and power it back on. But I can’t! It won’t power on! I reload it with iTunes, I reboot it, i try everything short of banging it with a hammer…nothing is working. So after 15 minutes of mucking about with it, I say, “Screw it! I’m going to the Apple Store!” I get there, let the concierge know what’s going on and proceed to wait (no appointments available, so I’m at the mercy of walk up). The concierge plugs it in and tries to reload it. Still waiting. Another concierge tries reloading it. I pull out my comic books and sit down next to the concierge table. Finally the third concierge takes a look at it, asks me a couple of questions, and them proceeds to bring me a brand new, working, activated 3GS. Hooray! After all that hassle, I finally have a working iPhone! Hooray!

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