iPhone 3G Refurbs, or, More Fun With AT&T | iLounge Backstage

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iPhone 3G Refurbs, or, More Fun With AT&T

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, August 5, 2009
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What did it take to convert another of our family of iPhone users from EDGE over to 3G? An attractively priced refurb unit—$99 for a white 16GB iPhone 3G. Great deal, eh?

On July 26, we ordered one from AT&T’s web site with 2-day “priority shipping,” expecting it to arrive by Wednesday the 29th. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen; the iPhone proceeded to go AWOL in AT&T’s order status web site for 8 days, during which a page filled up with phantom shipment preparation notices that appeared to show multiple phones and SIMs being readied for processing. When called for assistance, AT&T representatives couldn’t explain the phantom notices, figure out whether one or more iPhone 3Gs were actually shipping, or provide a date when the device(s) would arrive. Of course, transfers to different departments ensued without any clarification.

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Last Wednesday, three days after the order was placed, a representative said that she’d call every day until the phone had been shipped or a unit was available for pickup at a local store. She never called. The status page continued to get jumbled up. And the iPhone showed up a week later. Note for those who may be curious: it doesn’t come in a standard Apple package, rather, it’s in a generic white and orange container with fresh-looking accessories and slightly less than perfect-looking instructions. The unit itself looked brand new.

If anyone wonders why people love their iPhones but can’t wait for the day when AT&T’s exclusivity has ended, add this little story to the already huge pile. Since this is our first time going through this particular process, we’re wondering: has anyone else ordered a refurb and experienced unexplained delays or problems getting status updates from AT&T?

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Comments

1

My first iPhone was a refurb and it arrived in two days.  The whole shipment status for the 3GS launch was completely borked, but I had mine in my hands by 10:30 a.m. on launch day. I never received a shipping notice, and was not charged for it until 8 days later.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on August 5, 2009 at 12:54 PM (PDT)

2

I ordered a refurb iPhone 3g 16gb a few months ago through the ATT site and arrived within 2 days, no problems, same packaging as you describe and seemingly new accessories and phone. Was a good deal to me.

Posted by eric on August 5, 2009 at 1:21 PM (PDT)

3

I’m in the black hole of support from AT&T regarding the subsidy. I purchased my iPhone 3GS prior to launch from Apple. I paid the full price, but after the AT&T announcement Thursday before the launch, I feel I’m due a refund. Apple has been great, and even given me an online credit. BUT AT&T has told me yes I qualify, no I don’t qualify, call Apple, and then even hung up on me (with an Apple rep on the line with me). I seem to have spoken to the highest level available on the phone.

Does anyone know how to reach higher by email, phone or snail mail?

Posted by Bruce McNeil on August 5, 2009 at 4:57 PM (PDT)

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