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iPhone Lies and Treachery.

by coqui171 / July 31, 2007 3:29 AM PDT

Hello Buzz Town

I write to you now incensed, nay livid, concerning the blatant lies on the part of AT&T and Apple.

I live in Puerto Rico, a third-world country in the minds of most tech companies. The iPhone, which once was coming here, was not released here, and, according to some of the people I've talked to, never going to be released here.

Now, I am not an Apple fanboy, having no Macs in the house, and not owning an iPod until it was given to me as a gift. But the iPhone interested me, for I had terrible experiences with the so-called "smart" phones I had owned previously, and I was looking for a new approach (something Apple does reasonably well)

Having a trip planned to the states within the week, I called AT&T multiple times, from multiple numbers, using multiple accents, and asked whether or not I'd be able to use an iPhone in Puerto Rico. The FOUR different AT&T people I spoke to assured me that it would work just fine.

I went to NYC, and purchased my 8GIG, from the Glass Bastion of Evil known as the Apple Store on 5th Ave. Then, I went to an AT&T Corporate store and purchased a brand new account, in the states, suited for the iPhone. The sales rep, convinced my mom to purchase a cheap backup phone, in case I visit a location where an expensive iPhone would not be ideal (this is something I do often). So we did, and he told me to wait three days before activating the iPhone. He knew we were the day after the purchase.

So, I waited three days (Saturday -> Today) and went to activate my iPhone and I recieved this message "We're sorry, AT&T has determined that your current account cannot be used with the iPhone."
I specifically purchased the iPhone plan, how could it not be used with the iPhone? I called them up, and the smarmy AT&T man informed me that the iPhone will not work in Puerto Rico.

THATS RIGHT! I was lied to, to my face, by four different AT&T reps and two people in the Apple Store. So, now I'm left with a really expensive paper weight, and a burning anger that's telling me to do something.

My mind flashes through many possibilities, from account relocation (using an address of one of my family members in the states), to a lawsuit (though I don't know anything about the law besides what I watch on Law and Order). I suppose I could keep my crappy phone and just upgrade it with some money that I'll find from who knows where. But now I get to the crux of the email, what should I do?

a) Relocate, use the address of one of my family members, get a phone number from that location, and be able to keep and use the iPhone
b) Return the iPhone, and buy a new phone, (because I'm sure as hell not keeping the crappy backup phone)
c) None of the above?

Any suggestions? My parents are both pretty Luddite about tech (they can't set up a DVD player by themselves >_<), so I can't really ask them.


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How did this lady do it?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 31, 2007 4:07 AM PDT
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Visitor, not Resident
by coqui171 / July 31, 2007 4:21 AM PDT

The person in that specific blog post brought an already active iPhone to the island. I need to activate from here, and as of now, AT&T/Apple have the 787 area code (the one I currently have) as well as all the other area codes from the PR/USVI area, marked as unusable.

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Usually not a restriction by T or AAPL.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 31, 2007 9:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Visitor, not Resident

Having worked behind the scenes in the cell phone supplier chain the real issue can be whether the local government allows such a device. Here in the US we must have FCC approvals before the cell phone can be sold and used here.

Your country may have similar regulations and may be what's holding up the show.

Many point that finger at the wrong parties.


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Puerto Rico phone service is considered USA phone service
by nutjob / August 1, 2007 1:25 AM PDT

The FCC treats it very much as they treat Hawaii and Alaska. The phone is approved for PR, Apple and ATT choice not to sell it there. It is the same issue in North Dakota (or South) no sales and no iPhone service attivation.

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File an FCC complaint
by Sabroson / August 6, 2007 3:57 PM PDT

Go to and file a complaint against AT&T.

I am sure if complaints start pouring in at the FCC, AT&T and Apple would be forced to stop this stupidity.

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Puerto Rico is "here in the US" ... Duh!
by Sabroson / August 6, 2007 3:59 PM PDT


Puerto Rico is "here in the US".

Aren't you aware that the US invaded Puerto Rico in the late 1800s?

The FCC has jurisdiction over ALL Island telecommunications, including wireless carriers.

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And here in the US...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 6, 2007 8:55 PM PDT

In many of the original 13 state, each city can enact more restrictions. You can P and M all you want but the system is not determined by US laws. The local government has a hand in this too.

Be sure next time to slag those who made it rough on you.


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But I am ... PR belongs to the US and FCC has jurisdiction
by Sabroson / August 7, 2007 11:17 AM PDT
In reply to: And here in the US...

> Be sure next time to slag those who made it rough on you.

That would be Apple.

Apple does not not ship to Puerto Rico any products from his online store.
Apple makes it very hard to subscribe to iTunes if you live in Puerto Rico.

It is Apple who neglects the Puerto Rico market.

I personally did not choose for Puerto Rico to be part of the US ... Heck, I was not
even born back then ... but the fact is that it is. If Puerto Rico is part of the US
then we should not be discriminated against.

This time, we can file complaints with the FCC as it is the entity that regulates
this in Puerto Rico. It is NOT a LOCAL issue. No local entity is prohibiting Apple
and AT&T to do business here... in fact.. the FCC is the one that regulates this
all across the border.

It is that simple.

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I don't understand a few things
by rockinphotognyc / August 6, 2007 11:15 PM PDT

Why would you expect the iPhone to activate for a PR area code when they don't even sell the phone there?

Why did you not try to activate it immediately in NYC? Was there any reasoning from the salesperson at the Att store as to why you should wait?

If you call Apple and Att posing as a new customer and specifically ask if you can "ACTIVATE" an iPhone with a PR area code and they say yes, then I can see you having a case. Asking if an iPhone will "WORK" in PR is insufficient, because they do work there. Maybe you just heard what you wanted to hear.

Seems to me that the only person really at fault here is that salesperson. I would call the manager of the store to deal with it.

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by Sabroson / August 7, 2007 11:20 AM PDT

> Why did you not try to activate it immediately in NYC? Was there any reasoning from the salesperson at the Att store as to why you should wait?

I think the problem is that some people have activated this phone in the US, then come back to the Island and try to change the phone number to a 787 area code.

There is no problem so far... The problem arises when Apple creates an update for the iPhone that prevents the 787 area code to be used on the device.

Why would they do such a stupid thing?

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A simple solution.
by michaeltlc / April 4, 2008 5:59 AM PDT

I was down in P.R. attending a funeral of a relative. Our iphone worked just fine (Infact even the Edge network seemed faster down there).

If you really want to get it to work, try the following if you have a current AT&T phone is a 3G phone with a 787 area code:

1. Install Jailbreak
2. Unlock the phone (you will see the utils once installer is on your phone after jailbreak)
3. Insert SIM from other AT&T phone.


You got a phone that will work on the Edge network and you will have a 787 number.

P.S. make sure you got some sort of unlimited (oh wait I forgot unlimited means 5G) plan on your old AT&T phone.

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