Apple's online, phone order systems struggle with iPhone 4 demand

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  • Reply 121 of 210
    aiaddictaiaddict Posts: 487member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post


    I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you're not a network engineer. Your suggestion (the one you did provide) presents a whole mess of problems. Processing things gradually, as resources are available, is awesome when you know you have all the necessary data to complete that order and do not need to interact with the customer in any way. There are plenty of other problems with this too.



    Actually I was a network engineer, though I changed careers a few years back. This is a classic case of horrible process design. For anyone who is already an AT&T customer, all the data they needed was phone number and 16gb or 32gb preference. They could then reserve the device for you and move on to the next user. One simple web page, with a couple back end data calls to reserve a device and verify remaining availability. With only 2 part numbers this is an exceedingly simple inventory to manage. Given the volume of transactions they handle with iTunes on a daily basis, Apple should have been able to build a simple 2 entry web interface that could handle several million pre-orders per hour without a hickup. By keeping the process simple you avoid all of the overhead wasted on transactions that do not go through. I bet most of the CPU cycles, network bandwidth, database calls, etc. today were for orders that did not get placed. This is seriously stupid engineering.



    At some point in the future, you run the number check, send the customer an email (it is on file) or a text and ask them to verify the phone price and rate plan based on their AT&T eligability and choose pickup or delivery. This is not hard. Actually no more complex than the multiple screen multiple vender cluster F!#@ they had this morning. If you are a network engineer, software engineer, or any type of engineer and you can't figure this out, you should go to McDonalds and fill out an application. One of the cool features of databases since the 1960's or so is the data is not static. You CAN go back to the customer if needed and you CAN fill in missing fields, or update fields if the customer changes their mind. This is really amazing tech! Duh.
  • Reply 122 of 210
    I've been at it since 4 AM, with a short nap since. Fuck this.



    & it's not solely AT&T's fault. I got as far as adding the phone to my cart and then the whole thing crashed. I was renewing my contract as well.
  • Reply 123 of 210
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neckra View Post


    Go to Radio shack - they started taking orders at 1pm EST. Went down there and go my pre-order placed.



    My radio shack had the same problems att and apple are having.



    I will prob just wait till it all calms down. I have a 3gs anyway so i get the multi threading and stuff which will hold me over.
  • Reply 124 of 210
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,520member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aiaddict View Post


    Actually i was a network engineer, though i changed careers a few years back. This is a classic case of horrible process design. For anyone who is already an at&t customer, all the data they needed was phone number and 16gb or 32gb preference. They could then reserve the device for you and move on to the next user. One simple web page, with a couple back end data calls to reserve a device and verify remaining availability. With only 2 part numbers this is an exceedingly simple inventory to manage. Given the volume of transactions they handle with itunes on a daily basis, apple should have been able to build a simple 2 entry web interface that could handle several million pre-orders per hour without a hickup. By keeping the process simple you avoid all of the overhead wasted on transactions that do not go through. I bet most of the cpu cycles, network bandwidth, database calls, etc. Today were for orders that did not get placed. This is seriously stupid engineering.



    At some point in the future, you run the number check, send the customer an email (it is on file) or a text and ask them to verify the phone price and rate plan based on their at&t eligability and choose pickup or delivery. This is not hard. Actually no more complex than the multiple screen multiple vender cluster f!#@ they had this morning. If you are a network engineer, software engineer, or any type of engineer and you can't figure this out, you should go to mcdonalds and fill out an application. One of the cool features of databases since the 1960's or so is the data is not static. You can go back to the customer if needed and you can fill in missing fields, or update fields if the customer changes their mind. This is really amazing tech! Duh.



    +++ qft



    .
  • Reply 125 of 210
    daylove22daylove22 Posts: 215member
    Just succeeded getting mine reserved through the app
  • Reply 126 of 210
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    No, he's right! There is no excuse for this other than a National disaster / massive power outage!.



    Apple spends $ billions refining every detail of the user experience and advertising "It just works!"





    A pre-order transaction could have been done with the equivalent of 2 Google/Bing/Yahoo searches, 1 iTunes store purchase or 2 Twitters per pre-order.





    Can't Apple handle 1 million transactions in 24 hours?



    Google can handle (2 times) that number of searches in 2 minutes.



    http://www.imediaconnection.com/news/16954.asp



    I think you are belittling the type of searches going here. To put it simply, Google is allowing you to the closest of thousands upon thousands of servers to query and open search, while Apple is having to portal into your AT&T account to with secure data from a transaction server. They are hardly the same thing in the way they work and the way they are distributed.



    Of course, it sucks that there isn't a better system in place that is better designed to take on this volume in such short order, but I don't know who could. You may very well be right but I have yet to see any evidence that supports that this is easily handled data that shouldn't cause a hiccup.
  • Reply 127 of 210
    ...Pre-ordered at 4:08 EST, 32GB. Phew! What an ordeal. Don't know if it makes any difference, but I ordered through Apple's website after logging into my account. Had tried without logging in since 10am EST.
  • Reply 128 of 210
    mkeathmkeath Posts: 60member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flipperfeet View Post


    In what respect, the clusterf*** with the online processing? Wishful thinking aside, there is no way it can dwarf the iP4 launch, as the Aria is not launching in four countries on its first day, or 18 countries within a month.



    People will get fed up with the iPhone ordering process and see that the Aria is a much better phone in both hardware and software. It will mark the downfall of the iPhone.
  • Reply 129 of 210
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post


    Actually I was a network engineer, though I changed careers a few years back. This is a classic case of horrible process design. For anyone who is already an AT&T customer, all the data they needed was phone number and 16gb or 32gb preference. They could then reserve the device for you and move on to the next user.



    I guess you haven't followed the recent AT&T screw up involving the leak of iPad customer data, all because some AT&T engineer tried to make things easier for customers. Do a bing for "goatse" and "ipad".



    If all a person needs is a phone number, then a prankster could readily screw up orders and supplies by issuing one phoney request after another.
  • Reply 130 of 210
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post


    Actually I was a network engineer, though I changed careers a few years back. This is a classic case of horrible process design. For anyone who is already an AT&T customer, all the data they needed was phone number and 16gb or 32gb preference. They could then reserve the device for you and move on to the next user. One simple web page, with a couple back end data calls to reserve a device and verify remaining availability. With only 2 part numbers this is an exceedingly simple inventory to manage. Given the volume of transactions they handle with iTunes on a daily basis, Apple should have been able to build a simple 2 entry web interface that could handle several million pre-orders per hour without a hickup. By keeping the process simple you avoid all of the overhead wasted on transactions that do not go through. I bet most of the CPU cycles, network bandwidth, database calls, etc. today were for orders that did not get placed. This is seriously stupid engineering.



    At some point in the future, you run the number check, send the customer an email (it is on file) or a text and ask them to verify the phone price and rate plan based on their AT&T eligability and choose pickup or delivery. This is not hard. Actually no more complex than the multiple screen multiple vender cluster F!#@ they had this morning. If you are a network engineer, software engineer, or any type of engineer and you can't figure this out, you should go to McDonalds and fill out an application. One of the cool features of databases since the 1960's or so is the data is not static. You CAN go back to the customer if needed and you CAN fill in missing fields, or update fields if the customer changes their mind. This is really amazing tech! Duh.



    This I agree with in principle. I do think the design is faulty from the core.
  • Reply 131 of 210
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by haveyoumetmark View Post


    I've been at it since 4 AM, with a short nap since. Fuck this.



    & it's not solely AT&T's fault. I got as far as adding the phone to my cart and then the whole thing crashed. I was renewing my contract as well.



    Why work up the sweat? Wait a day or two.
  • Reply 132 of 210
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,183member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mkeath View Post


    People will get fed up with the iPhone ordering process and see that the Aria is a much better phone in both hardware and software. It will mark the downfall of the iPhone.



    Doubt it.
  • Reply 133 of 210
    dwcerradwcerra Posts: 7member
    Still 8 hours and counting and I STILL cannot finalize a pre-order for the iPhone 4.0!There really is no excuse for this. I've been attempting place it online to no avail, I've even tried the Apple Store App......in all instances it's says I cannot place the order at this time & prompts to reserve one for store pick up.......doing that it doesn't show the discounted price but the full price. I was hoping by this afternoon they'd have this settled by now.

    It's AT&Terrible's servers b/c every attempt seems to get hung up while attempting to check eligibility.



    Yes I can reserve one at one of the 3 or 4 Apple stores in my area and have the hassle of waiting in lines then having to hope I get it for the $299 price but I really would not want to deal with that drama.
  • Reply 134 of 210
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,520member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I think you are belittling the type of searches going here. To put it simply, Google is allowing you to the closest of thousands upon thousands of servers to query and open search, while Apple is having to portal into your AT&T account to with secure data from a transaction server. They are hardly the same thing in the way they work and the way they are distributed.



    Of course, it sucks that there isn't a better system in place that is better designed to take on this volume in such short order, but I don't know who could. You may very well be right but I have yet to see any evidence that supports that this is easily handled data that shouldn't cause a hiccup.



    My whole point is that there is no need to access ATT during the pre-order process!



    Gather the info: phone number; new phone model.



    Take the order.



    Access ATT after the fact!



    You have days to resolve any issues.



    An analogue I posted elsewhere: You don't start a NASCAR race, then after the first lap force everyone to get a smog inspection (at a single gas station). You run the race and check valid smog credentials later!



    .
  • Reply 135 of 210
    argeliusargelius Posts: 309member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post




    1) Explain that: To better serve you, this is a pre-order process, subject to after-the-fact validation with ATT."

    2) Gather the data and place the pre-order.

    3) Acknowledge the pre-order immediately, via email.

    4) Perform after-the-fact validation with ATT

    5) Send pre-order validation acknowledgement within 24 hours (with link)

    6) Customer has 24 hours to accept pre-order terms, resolve issues (with already captured information), or let order expire.

    .



    That is a brilliant suggestion. Makes so much sense. I'm giving up for today and may try again tomorrow...



    But would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at Apple headquarters when the "what the hell is going on!??" call was placed to AT&T.
  • Reply 136 of 210
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,457member
    Has anyone been successful in the last hour or so? I'm trying to order a few as gifts and now wondering if I should keep at it.



    -Chris
  • Reply 137 of 210
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,520member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


    Has anyone been successful in the last hour or so? I'm trying to order a few as gifts and now wondering if I should keep at it.



    -Chris



    I got as far as selecting a data plan--- then:



    Make a reservation.



    Your request couldn?t be processed.

    We?re sorry, but there was an error processing your request. Please try again later.



    .
  • Reply 138 of 210
    After trying about two dozen times my order finally went through at 1:35 PDT. Looks like the system may be clearing up.
  • Reply 139 of 210
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,313member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    Attention whiners and bitchers: Try tomorrow. It's just pre-order day, for Chris-sake!



    Oh no - you don't understand that if Americans can't consume instantaniously, the world as we know it is ending!







    Then again, I got my reservation via the iPhone app before it crashed
  • Reply 140 of 210
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,457member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    I got as far as selecting a data plan--- then:



    Make a reservation.



    Your request couldn?t be processed.

    We?re sorry, but there was an error processing your request. Please try again later.



    .



    I just got through on the first phone order. It's letting me go back and then resubmit the last form and it retries. I made it through the data plan, the messaging plan, and the add to cart too!



    I guess don't give in to the errors.



    Good luck!



    -Chris
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