Apple and Verizon pointing fingers at each other about iPhone XS activation failures

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2018
New owners of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are struggling to get the mobile devices to connect to Verizon Wireless, with the carrier allegedly having issues activating the devices for some customers on its network.




Less than 48 hours after the release of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, subscribers of Verizon cannot connect their devices due to problems verifying their Verizon billing information. The details are required in order to activate the devices with the carrier, but a breakdown in communications is making the process fail for some users.

AppleInsider was contacted by multiple readers on Friday and Saturday, claiming to have iPhones that are unable to be activated, because "Apple can't verify my Verizon billing zip code and PIN." Neither Apple nor Verizon are willing to accept blame, with the companies pointing the blame at the another.

Readers are not the only one to suffer from the problem, as Reddit posts on the Verizon subreddit reveal others are enduring the same zip code and PIN issue. Support teams from both sides are said to have no idea what is happening to cause this problem.

The same threads also offer up a hint at a solution to the woes, with users apparently managing to activate their devices by plugging in various PIN and zip code combinations they previously had registered to their Verizon account. One poster suggests the activation errors relate to the process grabbing the old address data from the associated Apple ID, and not the current Verizon billing address, which would be a problem for anyone who moved home over the last few years.

The root cause of the problem does seem to be a data mismatch between the two companies, but aside from trying older credentials and hoping it works, it is unclear if either side will fix the problem anytime soon.

The Verizon activation issue is one of a number of events that have slightly marred the launch of Apple's latest iPhones. Other mishaps that have occurred include the preorder system at Apple Store locations enduring an outage on Friday, notifications sent to some customers that their pick-up order is delayed, and errors with UPS' tracking system showing shipments supposedly due for Friday were pushed back to Monday.
Mike149
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Adam EAdam E Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I'm on Sprint and having the same issue. I have no old zip or PIN as this is a new account. Apple nor Sprint support can help.
    repressthisMike149toysandme
  • Reply 2 of 33
    Had the same issue with Verizon.  Couldn't use any of the online tools.  Kept denying my PIN.  Had to call. Waited 20 mins but they resolved it.
    repressthisbb-15Mike149wlym
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Hey guys, appreciate you writing up this article. I had a really bad experience with my iPhone X Max. 

    1) UPS Delivery issue:
    Was waiting at home all day for the phone UPS delivery didn't ring my doorbell and was going to take the phone back with them thinking I wasn't in my apartment. Thankfully my super signed for it.

    2) Activation issue:
    Couldn't activate my phone with billing postal code and pin code and and called the MYPHONE Apple number. They made me connect to iTunes and reinstall iOS for no reason. They said I have to do it that way if I didn't buy the phone from my carrier and bought it from Apple. This I am sure isn't true. This also didn't help. At the end iTunes asked for Verizon pin code and billing zip code and it wouldn't accept.

    I contacted Verizon and then Verizon didn't know what was happening and contacted Apple who didn't know what was happening either and Apple took down all my details and said an Engineer would get back to them in 24-48 hours. This took hours.

    I looked online and read that people had success activating with their old pins. So I spent a few hours searching for my old pin from a year ago.. I found it eventually and this worked! 

    No offense to anyone, This is what Apple's 15th phone they've released? Apple and Verizon should really have this all figured out and tested properly. If they're taking my money at least give me a pain free experience. I shouldn't have to worry about if I am going to get my phone or if I am going to have to spend 7 hours troubleshooting to make it work. 

    repressthisMike149
  • Reply 4 of 33
    JHJH Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    We’ve been through various levels of support with each of Apple and Verizon.

    We have an account with multiple devices getting upgraded. Bottom line, one device required entry of an old zip code despite all account settings and the like being updated to our latest address.

    Try your old zip code or Verizon pin!
    repressthis
  • Reply 5 of 33

    I experienced this problem, too, and opened a trouble ticket that was escalated to engineering.  I solved the problem myself.  Here's a copy of the message I sent to Apple Care to follow-up:

    --

    The verification dialog prompts for the zip code of my Verizon mailing address.  The zip code that worked was the zip code for our residence, where we do *not* get USPS mail delivery and never have in sixteen years.  Obviously our residence address is on file with *some* player in this dance, but it was never our Verizon mailing address.

    The verification dialog also prompts for a PIN, which it defines as the last four digits of my SSN.  The PIN that worked was my Verizon billing PIN, contrary to the onscreen instructions.

    In short, the root cause of this problem is the totally erroneous instructions provided in the identity verification dialog.  I suggest that Apple needs to find a less fragile authentication mechanism the next time around.
    repressthisavon b7
  • Reply 6 of 33
    I purchased my iPhone XS from Verizon and had no problem upgrading from my iPhone 7 Plus.  All I had to do was place the old iPhone (also on Verizon’s network) next to the new iPhone XS and my iPhone was activated and all my settings and apps were copied on to the new iPhone.
    bb-15davidf18
  • Reply 7 of 33
    WoodywoodWoodywood Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Had the same issue and ended up using and old zip and PIN number but the phone number did not transfer. I swapped SIM cards and now everything works. Talk about a pain. Don’t care who is at fault just fix the issue.  
    repressthis
  • Reply 8 of 33
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    This is clearly a problem with Verizon, and NOT Apple!
    bshankGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 33
    So this is all about SIM swaps. I prefer to buy my iPhones SIM-free and just transfer the old SIM to the new phone. That way there's no involvement with either the carrier or Apple. Just move the SIM and you're done.
    redgeminipatoysandmeAbbnner
  • Reply 10 of 33
    I couldn’t activate at the apple store. They took my sims card from my plus and put it into the new phone. 
  • Reply 11 of 33
    New owners of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are struggling to get the mobile devices to connect to Verizon Wireless, with the carrier allegedly having issues activating the devices for some customers on its network.




    Less than 48 hours after the release of the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, subscribers of Verizon cannot connect their devices due to problems verifying their Verizon billing information. The details are required in order to activate the devices with the carrier, but a breakdown in communications is making the process fail for some users.

    AppleInsider was contacted by multiple readers on Friday and Saturday, claiming to have iPhones that are unable to be activated, because "Apple can't verify my Verizon billing zip code and PIN." Neither Apple nor Verizon are willing to accept blame, with the companies pointing the blame at the another.

    Readers are not the only one to suffer from the problem, as Reddit posts on the Verizon subreddit reveal others are enduring the same zip code and PIN issue. Support teams from both sides are said to have no idea what is happening to cause this problem.

    The same threads also offer up a hint at a solution to the woes, with users apparently managing to activate their devices by plugging in various PIN and zip code combinations they previously had registered to their Verizon account. One poster suggests the activation errors relate to the process grabbing the old address data from the associated Apple ID, and not the current Verizon billing address, which would be a problem for anyone who moved home over the last few years.

    The root cause of the problem does seem to be a data mismatch between the two companies, but aside from trying older credentials and hoping it works, it is unclear if either side will fix the problem anytime soon.

    The Verizon activation issue is one of a number of events that have slightly marred the launch of Apple's latest iPhones. Other mishaps that have occurred include the preorder system at Apple Store locations enduring an outage on Friday, notifications sent to some customers that their pick-up order is delayed, and errors with UPS' tracking system showing shipments supposedly due for Friday were pushed back to Monday.

    Happier than ever that I switched to TMobile. 
    jbdragonbshankGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 33
    No problem with Verizon here. Easy as pie. Bought from Apple.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,074member
    It went smoothly for me at T-Mobile for my XS.  I was at Best Buy today and took a look at the Max, glad I went with the normal XS.   It's just too big for a phone for me.  I like that this phone is the same overall size if my iPhone 6 that its replacing and yet has a larger screen.

    So it pretty smoothly for me.

  • Reply 14 of 33
    No problems for me activating 2 phones. 
  • Reply 15 of 33
    I had the same problem.  Apple tech support, techs at the local Apple Store, tech at the Verizon store, and tech at Verizon's tech support line (in that order), couldn't figure out what the problem was.  Final suggestion was to wait a day and try again.

    The verbiage in the setup said to use my last four digits of my social security number as the PIN.  After I got home after all of those support failures, I tried it one more time, using my Verizon PIN instead of my social security number, and it actually worked.

    Next problem was getting my Watch series 4 connected to the Verizon network.  The problem is that they require my address be verified by e911, and because it's a new house on a relatively new street, the address wasn't in the e911 data base.  Solution was to use my previous address.
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 16 of 33
    I guess looking at the bright side:

    UPS goofed and did not deliver my phone to my condo building as planned on Friday. I can only guess they were a new or temporary driver that got confused by the hotel on the first floor of the building. Anyway, I had a flight to Florida Friday evening so I couldn’t take the phone with me on my trip. I see now that the phone was delivered yesterday and signed for by the building security so it’s safe and sound.

    Why is this relevant to this article, you ask? Well, I won’t even attempt to activate my XS Max on Verizon until Tuesday when I get home so hopefully all this will be fixed before then! :smiley: :wink: 
  • Reply 17 of 33
    tizzy00 said:
    Hey guys, appreciate you writing up this article. I had a really bad experience with my iPhone X Max. 

    1) UPS Delivery issue:
    Was waiting at home all day for the phone UPS delivery didn't ring my doorbell and was going to take the phone back with them thinking I wasn't in my apartment. Thankfully my super signed for it.

    2) Activation issue:
    Couldn't activate my phone with billing postal code and pin code and and called the MYPHONE Apple number. They made me connect to iTunes and reinstall iOS for no reason. They said I have to do it that way if I didn't buy the phone from my carrier and bought it from Apple. This I am sure isn't true. This also didn't help. At the end iTunes asked for Verizon pin code and billing zip code and it wouldn't accept.

    I contacted Verizon and then Verizon didn't know what was happening and contacted Apple who didn't know what was happening either and Apple took down all my details and said an Engineer would get back to them in 24-48 hours. This took hours.

    I looked online and read that people had success activating with their old pins. So I spent a few hours searching for my old pin from a year ago.. I found it eventually and this worked! 

    No offense to anyone, This is what Apple's 15th phone they've released? Apple and Verizon should really have this all figured out and tested properly. If they're taking my money at least give me a pain free experience. I shouldn't have to worry about if I am going to get my phone or if I am going to have to spend 7 hours troubleshooting to make it work. 

    I was actually worried when I went to pick on Friday at the Apple atore because this is my first upgrade program with TMobile as my provider. I grabbed my phone and a screen protector went home and set with no issues. Honestly this sounds like a Verizon issue and they tried to push it back Apple. You had to reinstall iOS because you didn't buy from the carrier. That's sounds like total horse sh** in my opinion. 

    That being said I definitely agree with you. There is no excuse for 7 hours of trouble shooting to use ANY device , let alone one costing this much. I have a higher expectation of Apple and a device at this price point. I am sorry that you had to go through that. 
  • Reply 18 of 33
    I wonder if the problem is in the dual SIM arrangement with the card and the eSIM. Verizon and Sprint with their CDMA roots barely have learned what a SIM is, and now they have to deal with two of them, one real and one virtual.
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 19 of 33
    bonobob said:
    So this is all about SIM swaps. I prefer to buy my iPhones SIM-free and just transfer the old SIM to the new phone. That way there's no involvement with either the carrier or Apple. Just move the SIM and you're done.
    I swapped my old SIM From the 8 plus to my new phone without issue.  It's a Xs Max bought for T Mobile via the IUP with Apple. 

    I think these were new phones that required a new sim to be activated. That activation process is where people are getting all this trouble. 

    Only the first year of the IUP program did I have  to have a sim activated at the store. I remember when I asked why the person at the Apple store  said they needed to have an activation on record ? Which made no sense, but no big deal.

    These last three years I get the phone have them put the matte screen protector on that I like and I am out the door. I swap sim cards and set my phone up at home with no problems. 
  • Reply 20 of 33
    ivanhivanh Posts: 316member
    I’d like to take this charge to urge AI to pay some attention on Apple’s deteriorating online support while currently all focus is drawn to Apple products and services.
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