Today, I fell, once again, into a Fool’s Queue and helplessly tried to upgrade my two iPhone 3GS devices to iPhone 4 cellphones.  I should’ve known better.  Upgrading your iPhones has never been an enjoyable, or easy, job.  I first logged on to the AT&T website to upgrade.

I cheerily clicked on the “Upgrade Options” link and was taken to this screen where I could select each existing iPhone for upgrading.

After lots of waiting and dead web page responders and re-loading and re-trying, I was finally able to get this error screen from AT&T for my upgrade order:

Calling that phone number leads to a recorded loop telling me how precious I am, and what a good person I am, and to keep on holding on because AT&T is such a great company and can’t wait to speak with me.

I hung up the phone after 25 minutes of that incessant drivel.

I decided to head on over to the Apple website to see how I might upgrade my phones there.  I’m not interested in standing in a line.  I want to order my phone online and have it delivered to me on June 24.

I clicked on the blue button below.

I was met with this dead screen.

I went back to AT&T and tried to upgrade again — carefully repeating all my previously failed steps — hoping against history and time and tide that, somehow, AT&T would finally get a smooth launch of a new iPhone off the ground.

This time, AT&T changed the game on me as you can see below!  Suddenly, I was no longer able to order online!  How.  Dare.  They!

I clicked on the “How to Upgrade” link and was given the following in a pop-up window.  The error message has no meaning or context if AT&T will not answer the phone.

I don’t understand why Apple and AT&T can’t better sync their efforts so we are not made to suffer during the iPhone upgrade process.

Every year we go through this — every year both Apple and AT&T are caught unaware — every year we get wrung through the upgrade wringer.

I know this is only the beginning of my demise with AT&T and I know what will happen.  AT&T will use the eagerness of early upgrade freaks like me and punish us for trying to get our place in line.  Our “unprocessed” order will muck things up for a week or two as they seek to gather time and regain their breath and then they’ll process a new upgrade order, but double-charge us because the “first, unprocessed order” was amazingly already released and charged.

AT&T is a nightmare company.  They always have been.  They always will be.  I accept that I am certifiably insane because I keep thinking, hoping, wishing — that somehow, “this time, it will be different.”

Posted by David Boles

David Boles was born in Nebraska and his MFA is from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is an Author, Lyricist, Playwright, Publisher, Editor, Actor, Designer, Director, Poet, Producer, and Boodle Boy for print, radio, television, film, the web and the live stage. With more than 50 books in print, David continues to write 2MM words a year. He has authored over 25K articles and published more. Read the Prairie Voice Archive at | Buy his books at David Boles Books Writing & Publishing | Earn the world with David Boles University | Get a script doctored at Script Professor | Touch American Sign Language mastery at Hardcore ASL.


  1. They are a nightmare and I hope to get away from them in the future. I just know too many people who use them who rely on my having it to get free minutes while speaking with me.



    1. That’s the way they keep pulling us back in, Gordon! They make it too hard and awkward to cut the tether and walk away.



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