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Network World - Eager Verizon customers are logging onto both Verizon's and Apple's Web sites to preorder a limited inventory of iPhone 4 smartphones. And they're posting at online forums trying to sort out a welter of misinformation, confusion and glitches.
Some posters rant that they've been unable to complete their preorder, or even get to the Verizon Web site. But for many, at least on Verizon's own user forums, the process seems pretty smooth.
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Verizon's community bulletin boards for the iPhone have been intensely active all day as customers share experiences -- good and bad -- and ask for help, clarity, and links.
Verizon has a lengthy online FAQ related to the iPhone.
One user, Skier_Girl, wrote a panic post at 7:50 a.m.: "IS THE IPHONE4 SOLD OUT??? I have been trying since 3:00am and am continuously receiving the error message. Please let me know!"
A quick reply from another user pointed her to Apple's own ordering site, and at 8:16, Skier_Girl posted a heartfelt "Thank you!!! I didn't even realize I could purchase through Apple, I just successfully purchased it!"
One customer who did not try to log on at 3 a.m., SuffolkD, complained that at 8:32 a.m., the link to the Verizon site is "dead." He wasn't happy with Verizon's customer service, which advised him to reboot his computer and try again. "Apparently its a tech issue or their 'limited' quantities ran out before 8:AM. AT&T maybe? I bet I could have one today in hand if I did that," he wrote.
That drew an unsympathetic response from another forum poster. "It humors me that when people have issues with the Verizon website they instantly want to go to AT&T," posted hmvargo. "You're gonna start reaching a point today where the lines will get busy with people who didn't wake up at three am and they are all, like you, trying to get on. did you try apple.com? they're working just fine."
One business user, Disco63, was dismayed because just as he was about to start the preorder, he saw onscreen, "Corporate Discount not Available." He explained, "I get a 20% discount on my plan including data. To verify, I tried to order a Droid and the 20% data plan discount was included. However, when I got to the data plan screen for the iPhone, it was full price $29.99!!"
But Tsheley copied a statement from Verizon's Web site that says "eligible discounts" are applicable, but the discounts are applied after the purchase:
"If you are placing an iPhone 4 order today, you will receive any eligible discounts thru your Employee Discount Program. However, those discounts will not appear in your shopping cart. After you place your order and receive your iPhone 4, register your new line of service thru here: Discount Eligibility Form."
Some customers were confused or worried by Verizon's "order status" report. At midmorning, Oriolesbeth1 wrote, "My order status says...'Here is the status of your Pre-order: We received your order and it is in process.' Anybody have anything different?"