Verizon Upholds Tradition of Bumpy iPhone Launch

Published on February 3, 2011
by John Paczkowski

“We’ve been working on this for a very long time. We expect unprecedented demand, bigger than anything we’ve ever seen before. We feel good about being able to handle it.”

John Stratton, Verizon Wireless COO.

AT&T must be snickering into its cornflakes this morning (okay, perhaps it’s more of a hollow chuckle). Verizon began taking pre-orders for the forthcoming CDMA iPhone this morning and is suffering some of the same issues for which AT&T has been taken to task in the past (though AT&T’s problems were substantially more severe).

I received multiple reports from eager buyers whose purchase attempts were thwarted by infuriatingly slow page loads and/or error messages. Twitter is full of similar notes. This despite Verizon’s claim that the iPhone’s launch on its network would go flawlessly. “We are not going to have any flaws on the execution of the iPhone launch,” Fran Shammo, president and CEO of Verizon’s telecom and business unit, said ealier this year. “We’ve been preparing the network for the last year anticipating the launch of the iPhone.”

Well, perhaps a few flaws, as Verizon Wireless conceded this morning. Still, nowhere near as bad as the ones that troubled AT&T, which had to issue a formal apology.

“We have been processing orders all morning and most customers are not experiencing problems,” spokesperson Brenda Raney told me. “On balance this has been a smooth availability launch. In instances where customers get an error message, they tend to be specific to that individual versus a system wide issue. For example, if customers on a Family SharePlan log in and use a mobile number other than the one belonging to the primary account holder, they will get an error message. We are working to address that now.”

Of course, “on balance” doesn’t help if you are the one who has waited for years for the Verizon iPhone and find yourself unable to order one.


[Error Image Credit: Business Insider]

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