Okay, so I didn’t need a new phone. My iPhone 7+ is just fine. Fast enough. Battery life and functionality is just fine. But… of course, Apple’s new iPhones tempt all of us Apple fan boys. So I jumped in and pre-ordered an 8 in black with 64 gigs.

That was my first mistake. My 7+ has 128 gigs and immediately my iPhone 8 began to have problems. When I synced the backup to my new 8 I was asked if I wanted iTunes to shrink my music library to fit on the new, smaller phone. I said yes. It seems that this part of the upgrade/migration process might have a problem, because immediately my poor, full, iPhone 8 began to complain and not perform correctly. I’m wondering if this is something like what happens on a Mac when you get too close to filling your HD. Certain things simply don’t work as well when they can’t swap a bit with the HD.

The problem was, I was stuck. When I asked the iPhone 8 to "manage storage" as it was suggesting I do, to fix the problem, the phone, the brand new flag-ship, fast-as-can-be, iPhone 8 went into the iPhone’s version of the pin wheel of death. It stalled in loading anything. The indicators spun as if it was trying, but nothing ever happened. Uh oh. I knew I could go into iTunes on my Mac and manage the music storage on my iPhone, but I was a little distressed that I couldn’t do this from the phone. I tried a number of times to the same result.

And one other thing was really bothering me as well. iOS 11 was really nagging me about setting up ApplePay. I wasn’t interested. But it popped up every time I tried to do anything on the phone. Along with a request to update my Apple ID settings. And this also caused a problem. Each time I went into the "update Apple ID" prompt, I went through the steps of validating with my password and Touch ID, and still the problem didn’t get fixed and the nag continued to pop up. I also think this had something to do with the maxed out memory and the phone not being able to save preferences. Again, this is my guess at what was happening, perhaps the problem was something else. But I didn’t get the phone to validate until I deleted some of my music, using iTunes on my Mac.

So, once I got most of these problems fixed I was reading about some of the issues with iOS 11 and battery life drains. The suggestion was that you do a hard reset on the phone. So that’s what I attempted to do. Here’s what the iPhone 8 looks like this morning, 5 hours later.

Okay, so to say that I’m ready to go back to my 7+ is an understatement, but it’s exacerbated by an issue with my ATT account, and that’s the second half of the story.

Of course, you can guess that ATTs website was overwhelmed with people attempting to upgrade their phones to the new iPhone 8. And I was no different. And when I bought the 7+ I did so with the knowledge that I’d probably want the newest iPhone so I paid extra every month to be part of the "upgradeable" program. (Essentially this allows you to upgrade at anytime without a penalty as long as you return the previous iPhone in perfect condition.)

Although, the ATT site was slow the day I ordered my iPhone it was working correctly. I accessed my account and told them I was ready to upgrade my phone. And I got through all the steps right up to hitting "Confirm my order now." And I noticed the ATT account was asking me to pay full-price up-front for the iPhone 8. Nope. That wasn’t the right option. Somehow I must’ve gotten off the correct path. But I tried several times and was unable to process my order correctly.

Then I made my big mistake, I assumed I could order the upgrade using my son’s phone (which was out of contract at this point) and fix it with ATT later when the phone arrived. I didn’t want to miss the window of opportunity to get in on the phone rush, so I ordered via upgrading his phone. Then all hell broke loose. Now to be fair, the ATT reps are merely employees and they don’t always want to do what’s right. They just want to complete the phone call so they can mark up another win on their quota chart.

The first rep I talked to said there was nothing she could do. I was simply going to have to pay the premium on my son’s account and continue to pay the premium on my 7+ until it too was paid off. "That’s not what I wanted to do," I said. "Well, you can send the iPhone 8 back to us and we can process your order through the upgrade channel, but you might not get your phone for a month, that way." I hung up and contemplated my next move. Meanwhile, I continued to have problems with the iPhone 8.

Yesterday, before the phone went into loading-forever-mode I spoke to ATT again. This rep had a different story. She tried, but could not reconfigure my account over the phone, I would have to go into an ATT store, return the iPhone 8 and have them set up the upgrade the correct way. Seems like if I had the phone in hand I’d be able to get my phone back before leaving the store. So I’m eating breakfast near the ATT Store this morning with high hopes, but an altered agenda.

I’m going to return the iPhone 8 period. I don’t need it. My 7+ has iOS 11 and is already doing some new tricks. And the speed of the new phone… well, the speed of the phone has never really been an issue. The "speed" issues are always related to the network connectivity and bandwidth, so a new "faster" phone was not really all that big of a selling point to me. I’m really not interested in the iPhone X, so I guess, for now, I’m going to be plussing it for another year or so. And I can change my account to not pay for the "upgrade me" package anymore. So it’s a win-win.

Now, if Apple would only come out with a new MBP with the latest Intel chip inside, I might consider that upgrade. (grin)

UPDATE: It took an hour, but ATT took my iPhone 8 back for a $45 restocking fee. That’s a lot cheaper than the new phone was going to be. And I’m back to my 7+, poor me.

John McElhenney

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth

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