Thursday, December 18, 2008
iPhone - "We were not able to validate your number." with free WiFi (Starbucks, McDonald's, etc)
As any iPhone user knows, we've been allowed to access free wi-fi hotspots wherever there's an AT&T hotspot (Starbucks, McDonald's, etc). That is, if your phone is hooked up properly. Well, my phone never worked and I've worked with several AT&T customer supports reps about this. This was the error message I kept receiving:
"We were not able to validate your number."
When I first called, they sent me over to Apple support, even though it was obvious that it had nothing to do with Apple - it was an AT&T account validation issue. The usual circus ensued where I was sent back and forth between departments. They opened a case and told me to check back in a month.
Fast forward a month (that was sometime last week). I called back to check in on what they'd found out. While it was nothing, I had the absolute best experience I've ever had with a customer support rep (actually, to be fair, she was tech support). She was obviously very concerned about the issue and wanted to help me find a solution. After we talked she explained that she can't stand leaving issues open - man I wish all tech support was like this.
She did her research and found out what the problem was. First, my phone wasn't in their database as an iPhone. It was an unknown phone. So she changed that. Then using my IMEI number (Settings -> General -> About), she found out that my iPhone wasn't properly registered in the different systems (I'm not sure what these systems are, but I'm assuming billing, activation, etc). So what'd she do? She changed my name in the database. This caused all of the systems to update, pushing the correct IMEI number to all of the systems.
I had to wait about 24hrs, but here I am...online at a Starbucks with my iPhone. Thanks Shannon!
UPDATE: "If you’re posting suggestions on your blog, just tell folks to call AT&T customer service at 800-331-0500, ask for Technical Support, and have the tech support rep to make sure the system that contains the Media Net registration information shows the correct device type. The support rep will then know where to look."