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Verizon iPhone order server errs out; Apple rejects orders

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Thursday, February 3, 2011
News Categories: Apple, iPhone

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In an unexpected repeat of the problematic online launches of past iPhones, the pre-ordering systems set up by both Verizon Wireless and Apple have turned away some iPhone 4 customers who arrived for the companies’ 3:00AM sign-up process. Attempts to order the iPhone 4 through Verizon Wireless’s web site failed for more than five hours, as some customers who attempted to sign in to the ordering page were presented with a broken “Sorry, an error has occured” page, promising to get “this fixed as soon as we can.” Other customers reported successes in ordering only after extended problems with the site; one noted that “Verizon’s web site was a disaster” with an early-morning order taking an hour to get placed. Separately, some customers attempting to order the iPhone 4 through Apple’s online Apple Store website were presented with inaccurate information denying their eligibility to pre-order the phone, despite confirmations from Verizon that they were in fact eligible.

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As has become common with Apple’s iPhone launch problems in recent years, Twitter discussions have popped up to express the frustration and distress of customers who have been unable to place their orders. Apple has previously made only modest attempts to apologize for pre-ordering issues, instead citing high demand for its products.

Updated 9:08AM: iLounge’s editors have been testing both Apple’s and Verizon’s ordering systems this morning with mixed results. One editor has found that adding an additional line of service to an existing account appeared to be successful in placing an order through Verizon’s site, whereas other editors have been unable to get orders placed through either Apple’s or Verizon’s pre-ordering systems. It’s obvious at this stage that some users (and some web browsers) are having different experiences than others, though the reasons for continued generic error messages on some accounts remain unclear. We’ve updated the title of this story to reflect the uncertain nature of the errors.

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Comments

1

Interestingly, Verizon opened the site early. I wanted to have the browser open to the page before 3AM because I was afraid I would not be able to even reach the site. At 2:45, I got into the site and placed my order. Got e-mail confirm at 2:53.

Posted by Big Money Tony on February 3, 2011 at 7:15 AM (PDT)

2

I had some similar problems as I tried to get on the site at 2:45 AM through my IPAD and was experiencing an error.  However, then I turned on the trusted hard wired to internet desktop computer - had no problems and in fact had my confirmation at 2:51 Am.  I was probably fast asleep by 3AM.

Posted by Kristi on February 3, 2011 at 7:26 AM (PDT)

3

Ordered my iPhone on verizon site 15 minutes before midnight pst and I had no issues.  It was eerily easy smooth and quick!  Within five minutes I had a confirmation number.

Posted by Eric aguirre on February 3, 2011 at 7:36 AM (PDT)

4

I ordered at 2:50AM this morning without any problem.

Posted by Jason on February 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM (PDT)

5

Verizon customer service informed me that the pre-order site only works with IE.  Luckily, the Apple Store will allow phone orders.  Now, we shall see when the phone is delivered.

Posted by Kevin on February 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM (PDT)

6

My attempt to order on the Verizon site was a nightmare. I switched to Apple and was done within 5 minutes. Whew!

Posted by Clint on February 3, 2011 at 8:05 AM (PDT)

7

I ordered on the Verizon site around 2:50AM with no problem except I did switch from Chrome to Explorer because of unusual behavior with Chrome.

Posted by Richard on February 3, 2011 at 8:28 AM (PDT)

8

Ordered from Verizon site…Safari Browser and in 5 minutes had two phones ordered and confirmed in the 2200 range…Zero Defects

Posted by Tim on February 3, 2011 at 8:40 AM (PDT)

9

I also got on before 3. I hit the error page but then I just reclicked on the link I got in the email from Verizon and everything went fine. That’s a bit suspicious to me; if there were a real error I would have expected it to hang at some point in the process but it went not only smooth but fast. I think the problems (w/Verizon, anyway) are probably related to one broken web page and not their whole site.

Posted by Matt on February 3, 2011 at 8:59 AM (PDT)

10

I also had the good fortune of getting on the site before 3:00 AM and had no problems with my order although it took about 35 minutes before I got my email confirmation.  My friend wasn’t so lucky, she has yet to be able to place her order and it’s been 8 or so hours.

Posted by Plasmodius on February 3, 2011 at 9:08 AM (PDT)

11

I don’t know how but I managed to place my order in less then 5 minutes.  To be honest, I expected it to take a lot longer.

Posted by Murray on February 3, 2011 at 9:49 AM (PDT)

12

I got on, ordered, and was off within 10 minutes. It was as seamless as any promotion of this type has ever been.

Posted by grouchonyy on February 3, 2011 at 10:03 AM (PDT)

13

Unexpected?!!!! Uh, Verizon? Think not. Had to go in repeatedly starting b4 3 am EDT ...no joy! Totally Lily Tomlin! “Teehee…there goes Toledo!” Kept hanging on some Verizon twitch w/ Safari and Flash, if I had to guess. Finally processed around 8 ish. By the time dawn hit the East Coast, site was clearly slugging down, but still more resilient than the Verizon MotherShip’s website notorious omnipresent creep ‘n crawl.

Posted by Ronji on February 3, 2011 at 11:17 AM (PDT)

14

I am still getting the error message. Luckily I was able to get on apple’s site and order with no problems. Thank you apple!

Posted by Traci on February 3, 2011 at 11:23 AM (PDT)

15

I ordered the Iphone at 2:50 am with no problems!!!Confirmation about 10 minutes later!!!

Posted by Brenda W on February 3, 2011 at 2:27 PM (PDT)

16

I ordered on Verizon a few minutes early using a MacBook Pro and Safari.  Although I was able to order, the web page refused to accept my business address for delivery.  I put the order though with my home address, hoping I could change the delivery address over the phone later.  Verizon now refuses to change the address. Looks like I’m going to have to have someone at home on the 10th, which is not at all convenient.  I sure hope this doesn’t signal crappy customer service from Verizon for the future.

Posted by ticked off on February 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM (PDT)

17

I ordered at 3:00 am eastern, 2/3, using Firefox, with no issues at all.

Posted by David on February 4, 2011 at 7:12 AM (PDT)

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