After some initial scepticism, I bought an iPhone on the day it launched in the UK. It was great but Wi-Fi coverage is limited (so is 3G for that matter) and I wanted faster browsing (GPS will also be nice) so I decided to upgrade. In order to fund this, I unlocked my first iPhone and sold it on eBay, 2 days before the new one was launched. As I paid Â£269 for the phone and sold it for just over Â£200 after PayPal and eBay charges (not bad for an 8-month-old handset), I was pretty pleased – and that’s more than the upgrade will cost (Â£159) so you could say I made a small profit (except I also threw some almost-new accessories into the deal, so I guess I’m about even), but for the last couple of months I’ve been paying an iPhone tariff and using an old Nokia handset with only limited data capabilities…
The problem is that I would like to have the white model – and, if you live in the UK, that’s only been available from Apple. Of the three authorised retailers (Apple, O2 and Carphone Warehouse), only O2 and Carphone Warehouse can handle upgrades – so no white iPhones for loyal customers then… only for new business customers via Apple. Until today!!!
This morning I started my bi-weekly Monday and Friday call to my local O2 store to see if they have white iPhones in stock or any idea when they might have (“no”, in both cases) and checking the web for news. Apple customer forum moderators seem to be deleting posts about this issue (as with most things that are not pro-Apple) so Neil Holmes’ White iPhone Blog is a good place to start (there’s a good thread at MacRumors on the subject too) and I found that, from today, Carphone Warehouse (CPW) have white iPhones available for pre-order. Yay!!!
(still no news from O2 though…)
Unfortunately the CPW web site doesn’t mention anything about upgrades, so I called CPW’s 0870 (national rate rip-off) sales number and spoke to someone who said I couldn’t upgrade until they had stock (expected later today). After reading Neil’s experiences, I called back and spoke to another CPW representative, who took my details, contacted O2 for authorisation and called me back to take payment. Frankly I was amazed when he called back – CPW have a very bad reputation for customer service (which I why I checked that my billing will still be through O2) but I have an order reference number and my shipment will be confirmed later today or over the weekend, for delivery on Tuesday.
To CPW’s credit, the guy who dealt with my order (Soi) was helpful, called me back as promised, asked if I wanted accessories (but wasn’t pushy when I declined) and didn’t try to force me to buy insurance (it was offered but there was no pressure when I said no) – so that means he was actually better than the O2 representative that sold me my last iPhone in an O2 store last November.
Once I have that shipment notification I’ll be a very happy boy. Until then I wait with more than just a little trepidation.
[Update: 22 August 2008 @18:17: Just received an e-mail to say that the order has been processed and will be despatched shortly… could it be co-incidence that I phoned CPW within the last half hour to see what was happening with shipment?]
[Update: 26 August 2008 @09:42: It’s here! It even comes in a white box!]