Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Buying iPhone 3G with GPS

Despite of the fact I already have an iPhone, I wanted to get the iPhone 3G with GPS to use while sailing (iNavX app) or mountain tracking. My wife would perfectly happy to use my previous model.

I don't believe in "hiring the carpenter to fix the plumbing",  so I drove 40 minutes to the Apple store to get it, instead of local AT&T store. There, I learned that Apple went entirely away with the idea of the register and with many people in the place getting any attention without elbowing the neighbors took me 15 minutes. Finally, I flagged down a store clerk who directed me to another one as if selling the item was too difficult for the local "geniuses" in that bar. The sales person, to my astonishment, has put me in waiting line behind a tape. There in waiting line I happened to be the only waiting person, but I guess that made no difference to the sales person. The salesperson asked me diligently if I want an 8 Gb, or 16 Gb phone, black, or white then told me they have only white 8Gb models. Once I made this convenient selection, he wrote a small slip of paper and gave it to another sales person. Now, that I was served by 3 very nice people, each in a different color T-shirt we got down to business. I answered FBI type of questions and after there was nothing else personal about me they could get I gave them my credit card. After running the card they told me that they cannot sale me the iPhone because I have a corporate discount with AT&T and that is blocking the transaction. Fuming, after wasting 2 hours of my time I left without the phone.

Next day, I gave a try the local AT&T store. This time more luck: a local store and the clark waiting in the door -- great, I thought! The nice lady with a notepad asked us if I want to "order" the iPhone, I asked if "ordering" is the same as "buying", she said no, they don't actually have any in stock and that the waiting period if "only" 10 days, which apparently was a good deal comparing to previous 20 days.

I was not surprised when she took my name and asked me to wait. 

The salesperson  could as well drop the "sales" from his title, he was just a person. To order the iPhone it took him 15 minutes of fumbling with the computer keyboard, listening to the conversation of the girls next to us and asking me another set of FBI questions (Do they really need to know if my place is a house or apartment building?)

Finally, I asked him if he would recommend me a better minutes plan to which he said my plan is fine. I asked him, what about the $600 bill last month. He said "Oh!". $20 addition to my bill fixed the issue.

Why do I write this? 

I hope that iPhone gets a real competitor really soon. I hope that Google Android phone operating system will be awesome.