This is part two of my two part (i)Phone update, you can read part 1 here.
After deciding I was going to go back to the iOS platform I looked around to see if I could get an iPhone 5 for a reasonable amount. I needed one with 64GB of storage (same as the existing iPhone 4S that I had) and new ones are very expensive (still). Fortunately I spotted a White model (in pristine condition) in one of our Game stores in Lincoln. It was 64GB and locked to EE (I mistakingly thought that EE, T-Mobile and Orange were the same company), the only missing item from the box were the “Earpod” headphones (which I already have a set of).
I traded in the Nokia Lumia, iPhone 4S and the two wireless chargers that I had for the Lumia. These exceeded the cost of the second-hand iPhone so I also got some GAME credit too; another bonus was that I also got a lot of GAME points as well! The only problem with the iPhone 5 is that they use nano-SIMS which are really tiny; the guy in the shop had a tool to cut these down so he did this for me.
Once I got the phone home and charged and after a bit of hassle trying to get the backup from the iPhone 4S onto the 5 all seemed well, the EE showed on the phone but with no signal (I thought nothing of this at the time) and all of the updates installed OK.
On the Monday I noticed that even at work (in the centre of town) I still had no signal on the iPhone and I couldn’t make or receive calls and text messages. The 3G data was working fine though which seemed strange. So I went through a number of hoops trying to get the phone to work.
I tried a new Orange SIM from the EE shop, this didn’t work. After a huge amount of hassle from the EE shop and their telephone centres I eventually found a helpful person who agreed to offer me what was on their website – a way for Orange customers to move to the EE (4G) network, keep their number and not have to buy out the remainder of their contract. It has added 3 months to my contract but I now have 2GB of data a month and unlimited texts and calls – for a small increase in monthly payments.
However, the EE SIM did not work either. The situation wasn’t helped by the fact that it took almost a week for the new SIM to get to me! I went back to the shop and got them to try an EE “known good” SIM and although it had more signal strength than my SIM it still could not receive or send calls or texts. It was the phone!
I took the phone back to the Game shop and they ran another check on the phone. It was barred as the previous owner had reported it stolen!!!!!!!!!! So thanks to a very dishonest owner who sold the phone to Game and then decided to claim on their insurance by reporting the phone as stolen the phone was useless. Fortunately Game were very understanding and couldn’t apologise enough even though this fiasco so far had taken two weeks to endure (so far). I asked if I could have the cash so that I could get an iPhone from somewhere else but what I didn’t realise was that to get me the best deal they had traded in my phones for credit and once you have credit this cannot be converted into cash.
Game then tried to source another EE (64GB White) iPhone 5 and after a fruitless search found a 32GB model in their Skegness Store that I could have until a 64GB model could be found, so I had wait another week and a half to get to this point. So yesterday lunchtime (Thursday 12th September) I went to the Game store as I had heard nothing. The iPhone had arrived from Skegness that morning; Skegness is less than 50 miles away from Lincoln so why it took 4 working days to get here is beyond my understanding. Game hadn’t had chance to test it the iPhone yet which is why they hadn’t rung me.
However, we popped in my EE SIM and…. it didn’t work; nor did the shop’s Orange or T-Mobile SIM. I was not pleased; it turns out that Skegness had either sent the wrong phone or had got confused between EE and 3 – which is what the iPhone was locked to. They even quickly tried all of the local stores (again) to see if they could get me one – still no. I left the shop an unhappy customer – now almost 4 weeks without a smartphone of any kind.
After getting back to work I had a bright idea that I would use the credit to buy some items from GAME and sell them straight back. A quick phone call to the manager and he agreed to do this for me, I lost some credit but ended up with £400 to put towards a new iPhone 5s (which is now what I wanted after all of the hassle that I endured). The silver lining in all of this is that I now have over £30 of GAME points on my GAME account – which I can use to purchase anything in store – I can see an iTunes £25 voucher on the horizon.
After putting the money straight into my bank account I visited the Phones 4U store on the high street and asked if they were getting stock of new iPhones (5s) next week (20th September), hoping that I might be able to pre-order one (I knew that both EE and the local Apple Store would not offer any pre-order deal). They instead offered me the chance to register my interest and anyone registered would be at the top of their list to get them on the day of release. The new iPhone 5s phones that they would be getting would be given to registered users instead of first come first served customers. So hopefully I will be getting my Silver-White 64GB iPhone 5s a week from today.
I also hope that I can get one of the nice Leather cases especially made for the iPhone 5s on the release date too, we’ll have to see.