Setting up iPhone 5S – Log
My iPhone 4 was long in the tooth. The upgrade to iOS 5 slowed it down quite a while ago. I took it to iOS 6, which, at first, did not seem to slow it down. Yet, my iPhone 4 seemed to get slower and slower as time passed. Maybe it’s because I picked up an iPhone 4s for international travel in the past year. Using the 4s overseas may have increased the perception that my iPhone 4 was slowing down. As a side note, since the 4S had only 8GB of storage/memory and the next iPhone was due soon, I didn’t switch to the 4s as my primary phone.
So, more than a month after ordering it, my new gold iPhone 5S was delivered to me on November 1st while traveling.
First step was to back up my old iPhone 4. Last night between the very poor Verizon service here and the poor WiFi, I had no luck yesterday. Finally got it to backup to iCloud and to my machine this morning. Apple does not offer a way to check the backups to insure they are complete, so I’m going on blind trust. Luckily, I have my old phone (I’m not replacing a lost phone, for example) and can work this through until it’s right.
Unboxing New iPhone
The first contact I had with my new phone was it hitting my thigh on the way to the floor. I was using both hands to pull apart the tight white box that held my new iphone. When the box opened, the expensive 5S slid off the slick, rigid tray. Lovely.
Starting the Process
I thought I had activated my new iPhone 5S, but I had not. I thought I had restored from iCloud backup, but I have not. I don’t have phone service, other than Skype, so Apple can not call me. Got a chat started: case ID: 526625156. By the time lunch started, both phones were not working.
Now I’m stuck where I can’t activate either phone because trying to activate the iPhone 5S deactivated my iPhone 4. Now I can’t reactivate my old phone on the extended network. After some time on the phone with Verizon, I learned I could walk out to the highway to get a Verizon signal and activate my old phone. It’s also likely the reason I could not activate my new phone.
I also learned that Verizon’s window for cancelling my contract begins when the phone shipped, even though I didn’t get it until 7 days after Apple shipped it from China. So, 7 of my 14 days were taken up by shipping. I’ve been out of contract with Verizon 6 years. I’m not going to give that up this easily, especially how problematic this process has been.
In the meantime, I’m doing a Restore iPhone action in iTunes for my new iPhone 5S. It’s taking the full six hours it promised to take, sigh. Since that was taking so long with no promise of fixing the problem and since my window to return and stay out of contract is closing quickly, I spend an hour on the phone mostly with Apple trying to get the return started. The Catch 22 here is that even if I had returned it when I got it (let alone the Monday after I got it, which is today), there was not enough time for Apple to receive and process the phone in time for Verizon to consider me out of contract. I can not return the phone to an Apple store since I ordered it online.
The Nuclear Option
The nuclear option here is shipping my new gold iPhone 5S back to Apple, then ordering it again.
Shipping back a phone that I want makes no sense, but that’s the option Verizon and Apple have left me with. As I recall with my initial iPhone purchase, I had the same problem: The phone arrived as I was going away from (or in this case the day after I left) home. With all the delays and lack of Verizon service, the window to get the new phone set up is too short to know whether it’s going to work. The first time (when getting my first iPhone, a 4), I was going from a Treo to iOS, so there were more potential problems. This time, going from an iPhone 4 with iOS 6.x to an iPhone 5S with iOS 7.x, I thought it would be more straightforward. No such luck.
So, after hours of troubleshooting, the FedEx label is printed. I might be dropping of package Tuesday in Lakeport or Wednesday in SF. Once it’s in the system, Verizon promises, ”Definitely positive I can return phone and be out of contract.” This from Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org. She also assures me that all of this is “timestamped on my account.”
I’m still troubleshooting. Will update this as it happens. So glad I bought in to the closed Apple system so there would not be problems. I will say that Google has come through in this. I control my contacts through Google and that transfer was flawless. It just worked. So maybe it’s Android time. I think my Apple dollars will go a lot further with Android. I’m still weary of fragmentation, but could that be any worse than the Apple experience?
4:40PM – Finally the restore to factory settings process is starting.
4:55PM – Now the restore from backup is running.
7:15PM – Still updating iCloud settings on iPhone 5S when I got back from dinner.
1:11PM (the next day) -Still updating iCloud settings on iPhone 5S
2:28PM – Still chatting with Apple to get phone working. Just transferred to Senior Advisor after not getting anywhere for an hour.
Apple just told me to delete all my backups. I said that it feels very “Dell.”
Just after 3PM, the whole support session with Apple collapsed. Lost both my chats, and I’m at the same place I was yesterday morning.
3:45PM – It appears that my new iPhone 5S is working, other than having to walk along the highway to activate it.
877 388-0879 x36617 Lydia
9:30-8:30 Sun-Wedn Central time
5:30PM – Spent some around 4:30 down by the highway trying to activate my iPhone 5S. After a false activation and a dropped call, I finally got it activated. Was told by the second Verizon representative (like previous phones & contracts) that my 14-day return period begins with activation, not shipping. My activation date, according to this call, is 11/5/13. I can get out of my contract 14 days from then. May go for best two out of three answer with Verizon. Need to get an updated answer from Apple as to when I can return the phone.
Return date with Apple and stay-out-of-contract date with Verizon may be moot now that my new iPhone 5S seems to be working. The problem is that where would I go from Verizon? ATT? I don’t think so. That known hell offers lesser service. I am certainly ready to leave the Apple (non) ecosystem. If Apple doesn’t come out with a 17″ laptop soon, I may have no choice. That would free me from holding hope that the closed system, the walled garden of Apple, actually means fewer technical support calls and fewer problems.
I don’t think upgrading should bring such frustration and dislike towards the companies.