EasyPay to ease iPhone 3G transactions at Apple retail stores

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple plans to rely heavily on its portable checkout devices to speed up the iPhone 3G checkout and activation process at its retail stores beginning this Friday, according to information coming out of the company's retail meetings. Other notes from the internal gatherings follow.



People familiar with this week's disclosures between Apple and its retail employees say the electronics maker has designed its in-store iPhone 3G checkout process so that only handheld EasyPay systems (pictured below) carried by staffers can process orders for the new phone.



As such, the only forms of accepted payment for an iPhone 3G will be credit cards, debit cards, or Apple gift cards. However, gift cards can still be purchased with cash or a check at the stores' front POS (iMac) systems.



The EasyPay handhelds will also process every part of the iPhone 3G transaction ahead of activation, those same people say. This will include everything from a credit check (where applicable, see below), the customer's selection of a calling plan, plan add-ons, number porting, and the actual purchase.







Some other notes from Apple's ongoing retail meetings:

Apple retail stores will not be able to help business customers who wish to move to iPhone 3G. Business customers are categorized as anyone who has a portion (or all of) their wireless bill paid for by their employer, or receives discounts on their mobile phone by working for their employer.

If you're not an existing AT&T customer, you'll be required to provide an Apple sales representative with your social security number so that they can perform a quick credit check.

All iPhone 3G shoppers will need to present a valid government issued United States ID (such as a drivers license) at the time of purchase.

Customers subscribing to a new AT&T FamilyTalk plan will need to purchase at least two iPhone 3Gs with the plan, unless a first-generation iPhone is already owned by one of the family members that will be using the plan. In that case, the new phone is sold and activated and the old iPhone is ported over to the new plan.

Some retail store employees say staffers may also "personalize" iPhone 3Gs by setting up an email account for customers at the point of sale.

Apple retail employees may not be able to determine whether existing non-iPhone AT&T customers are eligible for upgrade pricing. As such, it's unclear how iPhone 3G sales to non-iPhone AT&T customers will be possible at Apple retail stores. Additional information will be published when it becomes available.

Porting non-AT&T mobile numbers over to iPhone 3G on new AT&T accounts may take as long as 4 to 6 hours to complete. During this time, outgoing calls can still be made.

Apple retail employees will receive additional training on July 9th and 10th.

Apple retail managers were expected to receive more details regarding launch day procedures during a conference call sometime Monday (today).

The slogan appears to be "GET READY, GET SET, GO..."

Apple is expected to issue a press release with additional details as early as Tuesday.

In the meantime, Apple has provided customers with a support document which describes how to replace an original iPhone with an iPhone 3G.

Once payment for an iPhone 3G has been processed, Apple staffers will activate (unbrick) the phone by tethering it to a modified iTunes application. The activation process on the modified iTunes app will mirror the first few steps of the original iPhone home activation process, and employees (at least at AT&T) are being told not to progress beyond the "Set Up Your iPhone" screen, as can be seen in the below AT&T training screenshot.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    axc51axc51 Posts: 98member
    I feel quite unsafe providing Apple my SSN and my driver's license. The former makes sense for a credit check, but what does the latter have to do with an iPhone purchase anyways? Are they storing any of this personal information anywhere?



    This is quite an interesting read... and somewhat disconcerting: [linky]
  • Reply 2 of 46
    jasonfjjasonfj Posts: 530member
    Shouldn't Apple be a little embarrassed using handheld POS devices labelled 'PocketPC'?



    Surely they could have developed an iPhone app for that?!
  • Reply 3 of 46
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasonfj View Post


    Shouldn't Apple be a little embarrassed using handheld POS devices labelled 'PocketPC'? Surely they could have developed an iPhone app for that?!



    ...And built custom iPhones that provide for the scanning of credit card magnetic strips? Actually they could have built some kind of add-on that snapped over the bottom of the iPhone to read the magnetic strip (and had its own on board battery so not to drain the iPhone) but to what end... Are the costs to design such a thing really worth the time/trouble/engineering man-hours/fcc-approval-issues/etc? When they could buy them off the shelf for a few hundred bucks each and already have the software written and working well?



    Dave
  • Reply 4 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Unless that image isn't real, I wonder why they didn't give AT&T employees a more simple portal for authorizing iPhones.



    Here is something ironic, I may move out of my Family Plan to save money. The Family Plan for the 3G iPhone offers only 2 options for SMS: 20¢ per text or $30 unlimited. If I move to two seperate plans, I pay $10 more a month over the Family Plan but then can add 200 SMS per phone for $5 each. A savings of $10 per month.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axc51 View Post


    I feel quite unsafe providing Apple my SSN and my driver's license. The former makes sense for a credit check, but what does the latter have to do with an iPhone purchase anyways? Are they storing any of this personal information anywhere?



    They are storing it, it's going to tie you to that iPhone IEMI and to your AT&T account. If you don't want that, then wait until you can buy it unsubsidized and pay the full retail price. No credit check then.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasonfj View Post


    Shouldn't Apple be a little embarrassed using handheld POS devices labelled 'PocketPC'?

    Surely they could have developed an iPhone app for that?!



    I would have thought they would be using an iPod Touch now, too. They would have to develop HW that can swipe your CC and send the info to an iPod 30-pin connecter. Perhaps Jobs is still want to be using a Pocket PC running Windows CE until someone else comes out with a CC reader for the iPhone/iPod Touch.
  • Reply 5 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axc51 View Post


    I feel quite unsafe providing Apple my SSN and my driver's license. The former makes sense for a credit check, but what does the latter have to do with an iPhone purchase anyways? Are they storing any of this personal information anywhere?



    Would you rather give your SSN to an AT&T employee?

    A credit check is SOP for setting up mobile phone service.

    (And I'd rather it was transferred verbally, or entered electronically, than stored on paper).



    The drivers license is probably to track either total purchases made (perhaps to limit resale possibilities) or for somewhat reasonable assurance that it will be used in the United States.
  • Reply 6 of 46
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jasonfj View Post


    Shouldn't Apple be a little embarrassed using handheld POS devices labelled 'PocketPC'?



    Don't worry, Apple has it covered... literally!



  • Reply 7 of 46
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    No one will be allowed to make a credit card reader for the iPhone or Touch at the current stage as they haven't allowed people to access the dock connector for 3rd party apps yet.



    But they could allow it in the future i guess :P
  • Reply 8 of 46
    firemoxfiremox Posts: 3member
    This would be really suck for Apple cannot handle people with existing AT&T customer that isn't using an iphone. I have $350 worth of apple gift card saved up that I was going to use on the iphone. I don't think AT&T store will allow me to use that.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    lonestar1lonestar1 Posts: 42member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axc51 View Post


    I feel quite unsafe providing Apple my SSN and my driver's license. The former makes sense for a credit check, but what does the latter have to do with an iPhone purchase anyways?



    It allows them to verify that you're the person you claim to be. A driver's license has a picture on it; a Social Security card doesn't.
  • Reply 10 of 46
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    ...And built custom iPhones that provide for the scanning of credit card magnetic strips? Actually they could have built some kind of add-on that snapped over the bottom of the iPhone to read the magnetic strip (and had its own on board battery so not to drain the iPhone) but to what end... Are the costs to design such a thing really worth the time/trouble/engineering man-hours/fcc-approval-issues/etc? When they could buy them off the shelf for a few hundred bucks each and already have the software written and working well?



    I think that makes sense. The typical customer probably wouldn't know the difference, it looks like a standard retail scanner and not a PDA. When I saw them, it seemed like the employees were pretty careful to not let customers see the screen up close. They are purpose-built devices that probably can't be beat by docking hardware to an Apple device.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    hiimamachiimamac Posts: 584member
    More news to come 9th and 10th - stay tuned.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PG4G View Post


    No one will be allowed to make a credit card reader for the iPhone or Touch at the current stage as they haven't allowed people to access the dock connector for 3rd party apps yet.



    But they could allow it in the future i guess :P



  • Reply 12 of 46
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I think that makes sense. The typical customer probably wouldn't know the difference, it looks like a standard retail scanner and not a PDA. When I saw them, it seemed like the employees were pretty careful to not let customers see the screen up close. They are purpose-built devices that probably can't be beat by docking hardware to an Apple device.



    You would think they could install a custom UI skin to make it look more Apple
  • Reply 13 of 46
    marmottonmarmotton Posts: 15member
    I would love to purchase 2 iPhones as I am moving 2 phones from T-mobile to AT&T. However, I also heard that you can only buy 1 phone per person in line. So what is right? That's confusing.
  • Reply 14 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by firemox View Post


    I have $350 worth of apple gift card saved up that I was going to use on the iphone. I don't think AT&T store will allow me to use that.



    There have been reports that Apple won't let you use multiple gift cards for the iPhone purchase. If that is the case, a possible way around it is to buy other items at once with the gift cards, then return the items which will get you a single store credit gift card for the amount of the purchase.
  • Reply 15 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marmotton View Post


    I would love to purchase 2 iPhones as I am moving 2 phones from T-mobile to AT&T. However, I also heard that you can only buy 1 phone per person in line. So what is right? That's confusing.



    The first report from AT&T stated 3 iPhones per customer, the next said only one, now they are saying you have to buy more than one to get on the family plan.



    I'd wager that it's still only one per customer right away, which would be an individual plan. But when you buy a 2nd one you can upgrade that individual plan to a Family Plan. With so many yo-yo comments from AT&T, if we are confused the CSRs surely will be.
  • Reply 16 of 46
    jasonfjjasonfj Posts: 530member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    You would think they could install a custom UI skin to make it look more Apple



    and at least order them without the PocketPC logo printed on top.
  • Reply 17 of 46
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,301member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by axc51 View Post


    I feel quite unsafe providing Apple my SSN and my driver's license. The former makes sense for a credit check, but what does the latter have to do with an iPhone purchase anyways? Are they storing any of this personal information anywhere?



    This is quite an interesting read... and somewhat disconcerting: [linky]



    As far as I can remember, they needed that info to start my T-mo account also.
  • Reply 18 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    As far as I can remember, they needed that info to start my T-mo account also.



    Pretty much everything in the US where you are being sold an item for less than the full retail price requires a SSN for a credit check.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonestar1 View Post


    It allows them to verify that you're the person you claim to be. A driver's license has a picture on it; a Social Security card doesn't.



    And that proves what???



    My 80 year old father whose drivers license expired but still had a photo that looked like him and we could provide supporting documentation showing the same current address in order to proceed with a transaction, however, the bank was adamant about a valid photo ID.



    So I had to take him to the DMV and provide their requirements such as his honorable discharge papers from the military and his last years State taxes that met with their approval to proceed and provide him with a state photo ID.



    Those documents had no photo ID on them and they were not good enough for the bank but they were good enough for the DMV to give him a valid state photo ID, that when the bank, which was adamant about him having, saw it, they were more than helpful! Go Figure?!



    Feel any safer now?



  • Reply 20 of 46
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    And that proves what???



    It proves that the state has verified to the best of their abilities that he is who he is. Even though faking an ID isn't difficult, by having a government issued ID it shifts the blame away from the company and the employee. People try to scam banks everyday, if the teller allowed someone to use an expired ID and the person was not who they said they were they would lose their job. The bank has rules set up for a reason. I'm not certain, but I reckon part of the requirements for being FDIC insured financial institution is to follow certain guidelines. Not to mention that DMV employees are experienced in looking at birth certificates and such as a form of ID and bank tellers are not.
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