I just got a bit of infuriating news from AT&T about iPhone 5 pre-orders.

Like many people, I stayed up late last Thursday night in order to pre-order my iPhone 5. Because Apple’s website wasn’t loading for me, I decided to go to AT&T’s website instead to place my order. The order went through within seconds, and I received a confirmation email telling me my iPhone would be delivered on September 21st. Great, I thought at the time.

Fastforward to today and my order still show as “processing,” which of course freaks me out. In the meanwhile, my wife’s iPhone which I pre-ordered Friday morning around 10am shows as “shipped.” What the heck?

So I decided to give a call to AT&T to find out what the hell is going on with my order…

According to the woman I spoke to, some orders placed on AT&T’s website before 9am on Friday won’t ship until September 21st. That means that those orders will ship on or after September 21st.

Furious, and somewhat rude, I asked why the hell would I pre-order my phone if it’s not going to be there on time. Most importantly, how can they ship orders that were placed after 9am before those placed after midnight that day. It makes no sense at all whatsoever. She had no answer for me, but what she’d been told, which is, if you order between midnight and 9am, then your iPhone won’t be there on time.

You have no idea how frustrated and mad I am right now at AT&T.

I guess all I can do at this point is get in line at my local AT&T Store on Friday morning. Even then, I can already foresee the problems I will have:

AT&T rep: Sir, you already pre-ordered your iPhone and it’s on its way, and unfortunately we can’t cancel your order right now.

Me: Well, then let me purchase an off-contract iPhone.

AT&T rep: Sorry sir, but we don’t have any in stock right now.

Me: what do you suggest I do?

AT&T rep: I’m really sorry sir, but there is nothing you can do but blame yourself for keeping doing business with us.

Bad news indeed. Who’s on the same boat and what do you plan to do comes Friday?

UPDATE: Those customer service rep usually don’t know much about anything. Calling Customer Service several times to talk to different reps sometimes gets you different answers. For example, Jason tells me he was told by AT&T that his order, placed like mine early Friday, will ship on the 20th. So really, who knows?

UPDATE 2: I called and talked to another Customer Service rep who told me the exact same thing. Basically, if your order still says “processing”, they have absolutely no idea when it will be shipped.

UPDATE 3: Miraculously, after writing this post and sending the link to AT&T customer service reps on Twitter, my order is now showing as “shipped.” I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or the fact that AT&T tried to take care of me.

  • b mo

    poor baby will have to wait an extra day or two for the same phone but a half inch bigger…..

    • Dom


    • Timothy Do

      don’t forget that you’re also getting a whole extra row of icons, yay!!!

      • And faster performance than any other phone currently available!


    • I agree, it’s not and shouldn’t be a big deal. No doubt that I’m excited to get mine but I would be less mad that I didn’t get online and get the first batch and have to wait two weeks, than have AT&T slip up and suck at what they do again. AT&T is FAIL all around, if it weren’t for the unlimited data I would have been gone a LONG time ago.

  • Wow well done AT&T. Why don’t you charge for FaceTime whilst you’re at it. Oh wait…

  • Edwin844

    I order my phone from the apple store right at midnight that Friday and it still shows as preparing for shipment.. I wonder if apple is going to pull the same crap on me too..

    • Ron McLaughlin

      Same here, hopefully the status will change tomorrow as they overnight the phones to us! 🙂

    • Same here. I wonder what’s up?

    • They all show as preparing for shipment. My two shipped on 9/16 and still show on Apple’s site as preparing. This is by design. You can look up your order through UPS using a reference number (e.g., I used my cell number that Apple has on record). Both my orders are schedule for delivery on Friday. One shipped from China, the other from IL (possibly because I ordered different colors and capacities). Hope this helps.


      • That’s pretty slick, just tracked per the method above and my phone shipped out on 9/16 and scheduled to deliver on 9/21. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Welcome : )


      • notewar

        Where do u look for the ref number?all I can see is just the order which start with “w”

      • As per Palik’s original post it’s could be a cell number or in my case it was my home number. Hope that helps.

      • Ron McLaughlin

        Thanks, I did this and it shows Origin Scan and ready to be shipped and delivered on 9/21.. I tracked my nieces’s phone and hers shows shipped on 9/16 to be delivered on 9/21… Wonder why mine is still waiting to be shipped?

  • I’m on Verizon and was forced to give up my unlimited plan. If you have that, be happy that wasn’t taken away from you. What was the reason they gave as to why your order will be shipped on the 21st?

    • I am on Verizon too and got 3 iPhone 5 coming… But I paid full price as I use 14GB a month as it is on 3G and I will not give up my unlimited data…..

  • It is a lil frustrating, but i’m not upset. I went to my local AT&T store to preorder the iPhone 5 last friday hoping that I would be able to pick it up at said store when it came out. I found out that that wasn’t the case this time around. My order was still placed before 9am. So even if it’s not gonna ship UNTIL the 21st I’m not worried. The end result is that I’ll have my iPhone 5. Even if it’s a week after everyone else. I still have a working phone in the meantime.

    • sinnerofa10shun

      I agree. Bottom line, everyone should know by now how iPhone releases are. I ordered mine and my wife’s at 9a.m. on Friday.

  • Mine says it was shipped on the 17th but as for shipping status it still says processing so idk wtf is going on. I assume it is shipped but they just can’t tell me where exactly it is yet.

    • J M

      That is exactly what mine says right now as well, and I didn’t have a tracking number listed. I called AT&T, and said how can I not have a tracking number if it says it was shipped, and she looked on their end, and actually had a tracking number. Make sure you type it in before they get off the phone, to make sure it works,

  • Johnny manidis

    2 things, first off, I preordered from AT&T Saturday so I definitely have to wait until after friday right? And second, how are you guys tracking your orders? If you preordered from AT&T is it possible?

    • If you go to AT&T website you can view purchase orders and just enter your phone number.

    • J M

      I couldn’t track it using my phone number because AT&T just gave it a number of 999.999.9999, and when I checked the status on the website, it didn’t have a tracking number, even though it said shipped. Call them, see if they have a tracking number on their end for you

  • Andy

    I don’t think this lady knows what she’s talking about, or she might be messing with you. I’m sure they’re getting a lot of calls, you know. Did you order from Apple.com or AT&T? I know a lot of people’s phones whove ordered on both ends (with AT&T carrier) have already be shipped.) Yours might have too, just go to UPS and track by reference and enter your main iTunes phone number and it’ll pop up. Most phones are sitting in Kentucky right now. It’s possible that they might not ship until Friday morning just to make sure they won’t get here early, but still arrive same day.

  • whynot6

    this is a load of sh*t.. classic AT&T

  • So glad I dumped AT&T for Verizon! If it is still processing than it’s not to late! Every time I had to deal with them it wads giant headache.

  • Solowalker

    This is why I chose not to order through AT&T. I recall some similar reports of messed up orders and shipping times last year with the 4S. I very deliberately avoided AT&T’s pre-order just to avoid the possibility of this kind of garbage. I feel for you, man. I really do.

  • Yan Kar

    same thing
    i ordered on att at 8.30
    called yesterday to customer premier and was giving a lots of crap how i won’t lose my spot and it will ship but… may be delayed.
    I asked why and the person said cause i have unlimited data… wtf? for over a 1.5 year i don’t have unlimited data and no grand father plan.
    In other words they have no idea what they are doing or saying.

  • I just talked with an At&T representative, i place an order from two iphone at once and another one later. Both of the orders were placed on Friday at 3 AM mountain time. I called back to cancel one of the two phones i ordered, turns out they canceled the whole order. What made me mad is they pushed my third iphone to be delivered on october 15. This is my last contract with At&T. We have a mobile share plan of 7 people with them.

  • I’m in the same boat – ordered at 8:00am on the 14th. Order early, receive late. seems it’s gamble. I’d bet that if I’d waited and ordered late, they would have been sold out. I should have just gone to the apple store. They’ve never done me wrong.

  • Steve Wilson

    What browser did you use Sebastien? I had the same problem on the Apple website using IE. So I used Opera and was successful. It seems IE doesn’t work well on Apple’s website. I’m sure Safari works well too.

    • JerseyD

      I had same problem w IE. funny loaded in private mode but wasn’t going to place an order that way so used Firefox.

    • I use FireFox. I think it was just a caching issue though.

  • I got an email from AT&T Premiere that my iPhone should be received before or on Sept 21st. No tracking # though.

  • So piss on ATT right now!!! What’s the pre-order for???

    • Eric Guerette

      Thats what i said.. Wtf is the point if some average joe gets a iPhone 5 you pre ordered for before you??

  • Donovan Davis

    My AT&T iPhone preordered from apple at 3:18est still shows as processing as well. I have to say I’ve been worried too.

    • Donovan Davis

      Sorry it’s status has been upgraded to preparing for shipment. Still nervous though

  • can’t even tell you how pissed I am right now

    • Looks like your not alone, AT&T has really messed up big time.

  • JerseyD

    Ahhhhh!! On AT&T page mine doesn’t say shipped yet. I ordered 2 from Apple but that was the limit so ordered the 3rd from AT&T. Which one do you think is mine?

    The thing is I got 2 emails. One for placing my order and one saying it was processed and that was back on the 14th and I got a text w the same message. Pray it gets here. I already found the 2 from Apple in the ups system even though order status says preparing for shipment.

  • Dstrukt79

    Omg Leo! I’ve searched everywhere and nothing came up until I clicked your link and found that it has shipped and I have a ups tracking number! Tanks your the best! Hopefull I’ll get it Friday

  • You win some, you lose some playing with big-buck cellphone carriers.

  • I pre-ordered the Iphone 4S last year (early in the AM hours) thru AT&T and the entire time it said mine would ship about 2 weeks later then when it was suppose to. However when that Friday rolled around (the day of the launch) mine did come in the mail early that morning. Funny thing was it took AT&T about a month before they ever charged my credit card for a while I thought I might have gotten it for free.

  • omakad

    Sebastien, here is an update on my end. This might help you a bit. I did exactly the same thing you did and my order has been saying processing ever since 10:35 AM EST. Ever since I ordered I knew that there will be an issues with AT&T. I called them two days ago to check on it, and they told me that if my order was made 9AM PST it will be delivered on 21st. I’m in EST so I was good.
    Then last night at 3AM, I got a very weird looking ATT business service text based confirmation email from ATT saying that my order has been processed:
    “Dear XXXX,

    Thank you for your recent purchase from the AT&T Premier Online Store. We’re pleased that you chose AT&T as your service provider.

    We wanted to confirm that your order is reserved and should arrive as soon as September 21, 2012.

    As a reminder, you will receive an email from the AT&T Premier Team confirming shipment along with the carrier information and tracking number to track your shipment online.

    Your web order number is:XXXXX

    Your order(s) will be delivered to the following address:”
    The problem here is, the address they specified does not have my Apt number thought the original order did have it. (I quadriple check it myself). When I logged in to my ATT portal, order status now says “shipped” but there is no tracking number or any kind of shipping address. Shipping address is completelly blank in the protal. So as far as I’m concerned is wrong on two different places.
    I’ve been on hold for ATT Shipping service for past 38 min. I think everyeone is confused with their email and general lack of service. What were they thinking? Obviously people want the phone on the 21st if they pre ordered it. #firstworldproblems , I’m trying to laugh about it but I can’t.
    I’m just like you and I feel that if I go to the store they will give me some good reason why they can’t upgrade me after I have just waited for hours. Not to mantion that as I was on 4S contract I’m paying the full price for it. I should have gone Verizon. Damn you, verizon shared planes and att grandfathered unlimited data packages.
    Let us know if something changes or you find out any more info. I’ll do the same. I’ll be watching this post.

  • I placed my order on the 14 of sept and its showing like I ordered on the 15,
    I got confirmation email and order number on Friday Sept 14, called my bank and yes my order was paid for Sept 14. I really don’t know where they get I ordered on the 15 of Sept. BUT IS SAYS ON MY ORDER STATUES PROCESSING, OUT OF STOCK… HUMMM…

  • Mine says the same, it even gave a tracking number for FedEx but the order wasn’t found yet. I bet they’re just sitting in a warehouse ready to be shipped and the status won’t be released until they leave the warehouse. I’m crossing my fingers at least…

    • Mine is currently in Memphis, TN while I’m in KY. Says it’ll arrive tomorrow by 3 pm

  • at least your getting one..

  • 2PointSlow

    You know there IS a way to track it without a tracking number 🙂

  • I’m getting screwed too. I ordered my iPhone at 8am EST friday morning and got an email confirming friday the 21st for arrival. Then I get several ails from AT&T Premier to callthem and reference my web order number. Turns out they had a problem with my credit card and needed to run it again(the same card I pay my AT&T internet and directv bills with). So the woman tells mey order was put on hold and as long as the card is accepted I’ll still receive my phone Friday. Card was accepted and I checked the charges. Get an email today saying my iPhone will be shipped in 14-21 days. I call AT&T and they tell me they cant even see an upgrade in the system and wait time for Premier help is 2 hours on the phone. Talked to one helpful guy who is gonna call me tomorrow with more information if he has it. He said the cutoff time for orders to receive Friday was 11am. Now i have to go to the Apple store and hopefully get what I want. Screw AT&T, I’m gonna go back to Verizon.

    • I have At&T and the problem really isnt them its apple letting all carriers sell too many of them. At&T sold 68% of iphone 5’s out of Verizon 24% and sprint8% and because of that I am sure the apple made equal ammounts of phones for everyone to top that off 2 million iphones wer preordered on friday the 14th. All you have to be is patient

  • It keeps giving me an error in red print and wants me to call to find out my order

  • Just received this email today from AT&T after placing an order at 12:14 AM PST on 9/14: “We regret to inform you that the delivery of your pre-order for iPhone5, originally scheduled for 09/21/12, will be delayed.”

  • This had me laughing…

    “AT&T rep: I’m really sorry sir, but there is nothing you can do but blame yourself for keeping doing business with us.”

  • Check the statues of my order and still says processing and next to it also says backed ordered. Wow!!! Can’t believe how so irresponsible AT&T is. And can’t believe how and order that was made Sept 14 with an email conformation says that the order was placed on Sept 15.

  • Jen

    I ordered my phone at 7:50am EST. My order status said “processing” until yesterday when it said it shipped but no tracking number. AT&T and Apple have been holding back shipping the phones until today so that no one receives one before tomorrow. Hence why I was also able to get a tracking number later on but no tracking info on FedEx’s website. This morning I was able to see the tracking info seeing my phone left Texas this morning and is now on its way, estimated delivery tomorrow before 3pm. I don’t think reps know much nor want to promise anything, so they just talk in circles.

  • Ordered my phone on September 14 at 5pm. Although it is not showing a tracking number online, it says carrier fed ex. When chatting with a rep they told me my tracking number. It says overnight delivery and be delivered tomorrow by 4PM! Bought through ATT. So happy =)

  • Eric Guerette

    Yea i was told my Iphone 5 would be shipped also on friday the 21st but no i dont see any progress why should i pre order if the average joe who didnt pre order et one before me who pre ordered??? Whats the point of pre ordering?? Guess i wont next year.They need to go back to when the pre orderers were able to come in and get their phones in store. ON TIME!!

  • Tim

    I hope you got yours. It is Saturday and I called to no avail. They have no idea when my order will ship. This is another reason I am frustrated at the all too often problem, AT&T. I asked if I could get it at the apple store or AT&T store and I was told no. This is a disappointment expecally having every previous i device the day it came out this is now a first.