How to get an iPhone 5

Originally published on Sat, 10/06/2012

Here’s how I’m doing it, not that I recommend this to anyone else.

  1. Pre-order online, on the first day. Get informed that you will need to wait 2-3 weeks.
  2. 3 weeks and 1 day later, get a call from Apple saying the order has been put on hold by Sprint.
  3. Call Sprint, wait on hold for 5 minutes. Tell them the name of your first pet.
  4. Get told warmly that they cannot help you– as much as she wants to– because the order was made through a third party (Apple) and Apple must call Sprint’s National Sales Support Desk. They will only talk to third party retailers, “I can’t even talk to them,” she says. Helpfully, she gives you a phone number.
  5. Call Apple, have an automated voice tell you it can help you with anything, just ask in a complete sentence. Humor the computer for a few moments before telling it you need to talk to a human being. It transfers immediately, and a woman answers on the fourth ring. Explain the situation, give her the number. She puts you on hold while she calls.
  6. A few minutes later, she says they gave her a different number to call. She also verifies that she has your wrong phone number (home number, presumably). She calls the next number, with you on hold.
  7. A few minutes later, the Apple rep introduces you to a Sprint rep, who wishes to ask a security question. In anticipation, you tell him your first cat’s name. After ascertaining the situation, the Sprint rep puts the two of you on hold while he talks to his supervisor. After a while, he comes back and says you must contact the National Sales Support Desk. Once informed that you’ve already done that, he talks to his other supervisor (more hold music) and he agrees to wait on hold while he places the call.
  8. All three of you talk to a man who inverstigates and finds no good reason for the delivery of your iPhone to be put on hold. He seems almost confident that the problem can be resolved. But first, he must ask for the Apple rep’s store ID number. She has no such number, since she is a customer service rep. The man replies, “we can only validate through a store” and gives some helpful hints as to where she might find an Apple department that he’s authorized to talk to.
  9. The Apple rep hangs up on Sprint and puts you on hold while she finds a way to communicate through proper channels. Eventually she brings you into a conference call. The other person transfers the two of you to Sprint, this time without hold music. At this point, the Apple rep explains that Apple cannot complete the delivery, so they are cancelling it, but will send you email so that when you place a new order you can respond to that email with your order number and Apple will expedite the delivery. They’ll try to get it to you as close to the original delivery date as possible. You can even order a different color or storage capacity.
  10. The latest Sprint rep assures you that there was no reason for the original hold on your order, claims it may have been a computer glitch– and offers to remove the hold. The Apple rep explains that the order has been cancelled. It will take 24 hours for the cancel to propagate. Do not order a new phone before then, or you will be renewing a contract that has just been renewed– and the order will be placed on hold as invalid.
  11. Wait 24 hours, or better yet, until Monday.
  12. Hope for the best.

That’s 1 hour, 20 minutes for the second call. Mostly on hold.