Sometimes the word “epic” just isn’t epic enough.
Have you tried pre-ordering the iPhone from AT&T? My sympathies, friend. What a monumental fail this is turning out to be. No one on planet earth could think that iPhone pre-ordering would be anything less than massive — that is, except AT&T.
There are reports flooding in about really monstrous problems with AT&T’s internal ordering system and customer website. Perhaps most disturbing of these glitches are the reports of yet another online account security breach.
Basically, when some users — including several commenters at Gizmodo — logged into ATT.com, the system called up a stranger’s account information instead.
The addresses, call logs, and other private info were all viewable to these unauthorized third parties. According to Gizmodo, “an AT&T insider claims that this iPhonecalypse may be related to ‘a major fraud update that went wrong.’”
Went wrong? That’s an understatement. How about “colossally, horribly, inexplicably borked”? Does that begin to cover it? It seems that the update went live over the weekend, but wasn’t tested prior to this — the iPhone 4’s pre-ordering day.
This security breach follows another one that exposed the iPad 3G owners’ email addresses, though this one looks even worse by comparison.
What is not known right now is if logging in to your account is a trigger that somehow leaves your data exposed. Says Gizmo’s insider: “You might want to advise people to not get the upgrade at this point as it may be a doorway to a major privacy breach.” Even so, it’s entirely possible that — whether you log in or no — your info may still be exposed.
As far as the in-store experience is concerned, AT&T’s own internal ordering system has also imploded. Not only are lines ridiculously long, with orders taking up to 20 minutes to transmit, but apparently customers can’t just walk out.
Once the process starts, the contract has already been topped off. So if customers stopped then, they’d have longer contracts and no new handsets to show for it. This has unintentionally held patrons hostage all over the country.
Sales people have resorted to chucking technology altogether and writing orders out by hand on paper.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, I can bypass all that by using Apple.com to upgrade,” think again. It may work for new customers, but as of this writing, the upgrade feature of the site is busted. (Makes sense, since it likely hooks into AT&T’s system.) Since they can’t confirm upgrade eligibility online, the only other option is for visitors to reserve one for in-store pick-up instead.
All I can think is: “Man, I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the same room as Steve Jobs when he found out about this one…”