Yesterday, like six billion other people, I tried to pre-order a new iPhone 3GS from the Apple Store online. After trying multiple times getting multiple timeouts, I was finally given a message stating that they could not complete my request online, and that I needed to go to a brick-and-mortar Apple Store to complete it. This didn’t completely shock me since when I bought my first generation iPhone, I could not activate it through iTunes, and instead had to visit an AT&T store.
Shortly afterward, I received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, with this text
Apart from the fact that I didn’t select a store, this was in sync with what the online store told me. A pain to have to visit an actual store, to be sure, but it didn’t sound like it would be too painful.
So today, I drove to the mall and visited the Apple Store. As soon as I entered, I spied an orange-shirted “concierge” and approached her. “Hello,” I said, “I tried to preorder an iPhone 3GS yesterday online, but it said it couldn’t do it, and I needed to seek out an orange-shirted person at an Apple Store. Can you help me with this?” She looked pained as she responded, “I’m sorry… we don’t actually have a system in place to pre-0rder the 3GS.” She went on to say that they did have a pre-order system for when the 3G was launched, and she assumed they would move that system over for the 3GS, but they had nothing now, and I should come back on the 19th. She also said that “lots” of people had been coming in today, who had also been told to visit a store to complete their purchase.
That just sucks out loud.
I’m trying really, really hard to throw money at Apple and they just won’t take it. They clearly underestimated how many people would try to pre-order online yesterday, otherwise they would have had more server bandwidth to handle it. The fact that they sent me (and others) an email telling me to go to a store to finish the process, when they have no such process in place, is just sloppy. I’m not happy about this one little bit, and I want people to know about it.
Does this mean I’m not going to buy a 3GS and, instead, go with a Pre or something else? Of course not, and Apple knows this….