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iPhone Pre-Order Questions
September 13, 2012 10:27 AM   Subscribe

First time pre-ordering an iPhone! Looking for tips/experiences/advice.

My circumstances:

- Going with Verizon based on their LTE coverage in my area.

- Starting new service -- no existing contract.

- Ordering two phones under a family plan.

- Need to ship to my work address, not home/billing address.

My questions:

- Is it particularly complicated to order two phones at the same time under one cellular family plan? What is the process and would it be easier to do this at the Verizon website rather than the Apple Store site?

- Will Apple ship to a different address than my billing address? I currently have a shipping address set up under my Apple Store account, but some people say that for the iPhone, they will not ship to any address but the billing address.

- For those who have Verizon iPhones, wondering if there is any difference between pre-ordering from the Apple site or the Verizon site in terms of ease of process, reliability and shipping speed.

Thanks for any info!
posted by El Sabor Asiatico to Technology (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you are porting an existing number, the area code probably needs to match the shipping address for the phone. I had this problem with two phones last year, one of which did ship early but had to be activated at a carrier store. The other number wouldn't ship from Apple because their ordering system wouldn't even allow the order to be completed, so it had to be purchased in person and activated at an Apple store (Apple's store reservation system worked fairly well). If this turns out to be a problem for you, I highly recommend the Apple store over a carrier store.
posted by stopgap at 10:42 AM on September 13, 2012


Anecdotal, but when we ordered our 4s they would only ship to the billing address and signature was required. We could not leave the signed "sorry we missed you" slip and ended up having to go to the FedEx distribution center to pick up.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:10 AM on September 13, 2012


(This was through Verizon, not the Apple Store.)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:36 AM on September 13, 2012


I have ordered several iPhones in the past, and they've always required shipping to the billing address. They also have shipped "signature required."

With the iPhone 4S, it was possible to order online and then go pick it up at the Apple Store. Not sure if they'll also offer that for the iPhone 5, but I'd guess they will. This theoretically should save you some of the line time at the store. But I did that, and I still ended up waiting over an hour in line, in a line specifically for people who had pre-reserved phones. Pick your poison.
posted by primethyme at 11:51 AM on September 13, 2012


Your bank may be willing to add another authorized address to your account such that AVS (the address verification process done with credit card purchases) will work for your work address as well. The forms say "billing address" but when I wrote credit card processing software that hooked into Authorize.net's system there was no differentiation - I passed it an address and it handed back a code, one of the following:

A = Address (Street) matches, ZIP does not
B = Address information not provided for AVS check
E = AVS error
G = Non-U.S. Card Issuing Bank
N = No Match on Address (Street) or ZIP
P = AVS not applicable for this transaction
R = Retry – System unavailable or timed out
S = Service not supported by issuer
U = Address information is unavailable
W = Nine digit ZIP matches, Address (Street) does not
X = Address (Street) and nine digit ZIP match
Y = Address (Street) and five digit ZIP match
Z = Five digit ZIP matches, Address (Street) does not

Apple or whoever is free to be as stringent or forgiving as they like - maybe they take it based on just a zip match. But there's no transparency with the bank's side. So if your bank will add a second address and their systems will check against both of them then you are golden.

There are considerations related to the address because it's a cellular device, however, as others said above.
posted by phearlez at 11:57 AM on September 13, 2012


Apple seems to be better with customer service, etc., as far as ordering goes. I had no problems shipping to a different address than billing via apple but heard that verizon/sprint wouldn't do that (4s).
posted by shownomercy at 12:26 PM on September 13, 2012


Re: only shipping the billing address, any reason you couldn't change the billing address to your work address for a week or so? I think they'll likely give you problems otherwise.
posted by jourman2 at 1:26 PM on September 13, 2012


Re: only shipping the billing address, any reason you couldn't change the billing address to your work address for a week or so? I think they'll likely give you problems otherwise.

I did try changing the billing address on my Apple Store account, but it won't let me change the address that's on file w/the credit card company. I don't know if it's worth the potential headache of adding my work address on this credit card account -- if it comes down to it, I'd rather just take a day off and have it delivered to my house!
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:32 PM on September 13, 2012


Re: only shipping the billing address, any reason you couldn't change the billing address to your work address for a week or so? I think they'll likely give you problems otherwise.

I did try changing the billing address on my Apple Store account, but it won't let me change the address that's on file w/the credit card company. I don't know if it's worth the potential headache of adding my work address on this credit card account -- if it comes down to it, I'd rather just take a day off and have it delivered to my house!


I think the issue is with ATT/Verizon/Sprint not allowing Apple to ship to any address that isn't the cell carrier account billing address as Apple will just be pulling that info into their site from the carrier. I don't think it should matter what credit card you use to pay for the whole thing or where that billing address of the cc is.
posted by jourman2 at 1:38 PM on September 13, 2012


Oh, I see...so when setting up the carrier plan I guess I could set the billing address of the carrier account temporarily to my work account.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:41 PM on September 13, 2012


Oh, I see...so when setting up the carrier plan I guess I could set the billing address of the carrier account temporarily to my work account.

I think that should work. I know on my att account it allows you to change addresses at any time with no problem. I believe it should give you the ability to order to that new billing address as long as that's the 'billing address' (I'd keep as the billing address until the phone actually ships as well. Honestly, I don't really understand the point of a billing address as you're probably receiving e-bills in any case.
posted by jourman2 at 1:50 PM on September 13, 2012


What is most confusing to me at this point is how it works if you're ordering two phones under a single family plan. Will the Apple site allow you to order the phones and set up the service in one transaction?
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 3:29 PM on September 13, 2012


I did this last night. Here's the deal:

-Verizon's website requires that the billing name and address (ie, the billing address of the credit card you plan to use to order a new phone) match what they have on file for the account holder. The shipping address can be changed, however.

-Apple's website has not such restriction. You can bill and ship with no restrictions.

posted by lohmannn at 4:50 AM on September 14, 2012


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