I just have to share: ridiculous hoops to get iPhone4S

Before I go nuts.
Its been a while since I’ve posted a proper “newbie in Taiwan” post anyway.

I just went through (and am still in the process of) the most ridiculous obscene number of hoops to get my new iPhone4S. Let me make a list of steps taken.

  1. Ask two Taiwanese friends to put themselves on the waitlist.

  2. One got a confirmation ticket.

  3. Ask that one to go to Chunghwa cause I like the plan better. Okay she does.

  4. Tell said friend to make appointment only at one of the main branches like at Jiantan, Dunhua, or Dongmen and list the reasons why cause I’m foreign and I’m sure there will be problems otherwise.
    She fails to do this. She goes to Senao. Says “It IS Chunghwa!” Ignores my protests of "But they are not. They are just sales people who have no authority and are going to be like wtf waiguo. She insists and in fact, it is already done. The iPhone has been pre-ordered at Senao. :doh:

  5. Show up to Senao with my waiguo papers and whatnot with her. Oh. Big surprise. They have no idea what to do with me and insist to her that as a foreigner I cannot get a contract. I argue in English making her translate everything that yes, in fact I can. In fact there are several ways to get me a contract so stop saying no and do your job. (In nicer terms.) Senao says “No. Not unless you, Taiwanese girl, get a phone and contract for your waiguo in your name, etc etc.” :doh: Me: You have no idea what you’re talking about, but that’s ok cause I knew this would happen so we’ll just go make our way to Chunghwa like I originally wanted."

  6. The next day I make the trek to Dongmen by myself and as I’m going, I realize that without her, I have no information about the iPhone whereabouts. But I was quick enough to take the Senao businesscard. As I explain to Chunghwa lady what happened (who is infinitely more aware of what’s going on), she tells me that because the phone was reserved at Senao, I need to go back there to buy it with a contract under my friend’s name. Then I have to return to Chunghwa to have them transfer the contract to my name. :eh: Alright. Well, at least its a plan. I have her write this out in detailed instructions in Chinese.

  7. Return to Senao with friend next day with hand-written note and businesscard of Chunghwa lady. Buy contract and phone in friend’s name and am ready to walk away. HOWEVER, they ran out of SIM cards. :doh: So they can give me the phone and contract, but I’ll have no phone number until they get teh SIM cards. FINE. WHATEVER.

  8. Next day (this morning), Dunhua Chunghwa with written instructions from Dongmen lady. We transfer contract after arguing a bit and the lady looking funny at my passport and visa. Wtf lady. Just look at my ARC. This ain’t a gallery showing of the waiguo’s American passport. I pay the illegal $2,900nt deposit cause damnit, I’m tired.

  9. Tonight, a few hours ago right before my second job started, I went back to Senao grab the SIM card. I walked in and the lady recognized me (well, duh.) and happily handed me my SIM card and said goodbye. I walk out pleasantly happy and can’t wait to open the Card Holder (with a special tool-thing at home) to activate the phone.

  10. And now here I am with SIM card and phone. And still no service.
    Why??? Because the SIM CARD IS LOCKED AND THE LADY NEVER GAVE ME THE PIN TO UNLOCK IT.

:astonished: :facepalm: :wall:

The only aspect of the total experience you’ve missed was what happened to me last year in Kaohsiung as I attempted to get a prepaid SIM. Having walked (yes, walked) from the airport to central Kaohsiung, I spot the particular shop I had been directed to. Only to see that they have ripped out all the sidewalk in front of the store, the door to which is perfectly centered and now eight feet from terra firma, and poured fresh cement.

I feel your pain.

I guess my question is, why didn’t you front up to the main Chunghwa center on Ren’ai Road and just keep saying “iPhone” until someone reserved one for you? Don’t they have any?

[quote=“ironlady”]The only aspect of the total experience you’ve missed was what happened to me last year in Kaohsiung as I attempted to get a prepaid SIM. Having walked (yes, walked) from the airport to central Kaohsiung, I spot the particular shop I had been directed to. Only to see that they have ripped out all the sidewalk in front of the store, the door to which is perfectly centered and now eight feet from terra firma, and poured fresh cement.

I feel your pain.

I guess my question is, why didn’t you front up to the main Zhonghua center on Ren’ai Road and just keep saying “iPhone” until someone reserved one for you? Don’t they have any?[/quote]

No, I needed an existing cellphone number and contract to pre-order one. :confused:

Why did you walk? How far is that? o.0

What’s an iPhone? :eh:

Have you eaten dinner?

this wouldnt have happened if you got an android right? :laughing:

I’m surprised you had to actually reserve one. When I got my iPhone 4 last year, I just kept going into Taiwan Mobile stores and flirting with the girl who works there saying stuff like “it’s too mafan for you to call the next person on the list…you should just give it to me, and then I’ll be so happy la!”. After a bit, the third store (zhengda) had a shipment coming in the next day, and the girl told me to come back the next morning at 9AM to get it. No waitlist. No problems. :discodance:

This reminds me of the time when i was really craving a guabao. I went to find the Guabao lady near my home.

But she wasn’t there.

The misery…

You apple fans and the lengths you go to to get new gear…me no understand. :laughing:

Holy mother of Joseph! That is some walk. I see why you are called Ironlady :astonished:

Getting a phone here is so hard. Why?

Only for foreigners, dear.

Sincerely, Lilli, your friend was not so bright. How can they not understand that it is “different” if you are a foreigner? Ye,s for further reference, you can have the phone by yourself on your name if you go to ANY Chunghwa branch (being a corner in Yonghe, Chiayi or the mountains of Taitung. Actually, any but Xinyi, Search why). Please note Senao is not really a “branch”, it is clearly stated in Chinese. Your friend did whatever was convenient for her/himself. The closest being Senao, mafan go elsewhere. He/she ought to know better. Heads up for the next time.

Oh, and “everyone” knows the iunlocking PIN number. I’m PMing you. :wink:

Isn’t the default SIM pin usually 0000?

No kidding…

When I was in San Francisco in late October, people who wanted to get an iPhone 4S from the Apple Store off Union Square had to not only make a “reservation” but then line up outside the store to pick it up. We passed by a couple times and the line was always between 20-30 people…

My brother told me when they first came out with the iPad, if you wanted to see it at the Apple Store, you had to make an appointment. You couldn’t just walk in and look at it.

Tried to buy an iPhone 4S in Hong Kong at the new 2-story store in IFC mall recently. The store told me that I could not purchase on same day but had to go home and register online and that I would get an appointment for the next day.

I do believe that the credit card sized piece of plastic that the sim card is kept in says that the default pin is 0000. I had the same issue when i put my sim in my iphone 4s and just checked the sim packaging and there it was, clear as day.

Thanks for the info.

Me and my wife have world unlocked Iphone 4s now and we’ll take your story with grain of salt when we move. I’ll just have my wife register 2 numbers until things settle to avoid trouble!

Even if you want a non-apple smartphone with Senao, you can’t. If you are a foreigner, avoid Senao. They can’t deal with anyone who doesn’t have a Taiwan ID.

Even the salespeople don’t realize this until they go to type your info into the computer and it does not compute. :loco:

The default PIN is 0000, by the way.

A friend just got the iphone 4S and treats his other friend with only the 4 (no S) like he still drives oxcarts !!

But you still gonna wanna die when the 5S comes out !! :smiley: