No physical home address, no iPad 3G!

Numerous eager to-be iPad owners line up around Apple Stores to await the release of the 3G version, but some of these people have found a problem when trying to activate their 3G data plans on the devices. When they enter their P.O. box addresses as a billing address for their credit cards, the registration process refuses to continue, claiming an invalid address.

Last Friday numerous eager to-be iPad owners lined up around Apple Stores to await the release of the 3G version, but some of these people have found a problem when trying to activate their 3G data plans on the devices. When they enter their P.O. box addresses as a billing address for their credit cards, the registration process refuses to continue, claiming an invalid address.

MacFixIt reader "Skip" writes:

"I have been bitten by the AT&T P.O. box bug. I tried to activate my new 3G iPad Friday night and it would not accept my P.O. box billing address...I have have received all of my mail at my P.O. box for the last 26 years because of mail theft problems. I have an active AT&T cell phone account with five phones that is billed to my P.O. box. Yet I cannot have a P.O. box for my iPad?"

This is echoed by numerous other iPad 3G owners on the AT&T and Apple message boards.

Apparently, to register your iPad 3G with AT&T you need a physical address, which puts a number of people at odds who use either P.O. boxes or businesses as billing addresses for their credit cards.

According to AT&T's Web site:

Unfortunately, we cannot accept a post office box in place of your street address. A street address is required by Federal law to provide a geographic location for each wireless device that can be associated with the state, county, or city for tax purposes.In order to comply with the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act (MTSA) of 2002, AT&T is required to capture and maintain a Place of Primary Use (PPU) address for all of its customers. PPU is defined as a valid street (physical) address within the defined licensed service area for the customer's home market. This address is used only for taxation purposes, not to determine if a customer can have an out of market secondary/additional line. In addition, we use your street address to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud against you. Our Credit and Activations policy is to run credit only on a physical address. Customers can provide a post office box for their mailing address, but not for billing or place of primary use. A post office box may be entered after the activation process has been approved. The billing ZIP code you provide us needs to match the zip code on your credit card. Our Credit and Activations policy matches the billing ZIP with the ZIP on your credit card as a way to reduce the risk of identity theft and fraud.

Despite this requirement, there are some workarounds that people have used. The first is to change your card's address just for the registration, and then revert the address back again. This may take time for the credit card information to be updated in your account. The second workaround is to enter your home address, but use your P.O. box ZIP code in the ZIP code field. The ZIP code must match your credit card ZIP code.



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