AT&T Halts Online iPhone Sales in NYC

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AT&T raised a few eyebrows over the holiday weekend when it stopped selling the iPhone to New York City customers through its Web site. So far the company has offered up only vague reasons behind the decision, leading to speculation that this was a move to deal with wireless network congestion issues in the city.

"Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone. You don't have enough towers to handle the phone," AT&T online sales support told The Consumerist.

AT&T spokesperson Fletcher Cook, however, offered up a different reason for the sales blackout. "We periodically modify our promotions and distribution channels," he said.

It also looks like the AT&T's online sales support staff later changed what it was telling customers. According to Gearlog, another sales support representative said the company's Web-based iPhone sales were halted in the city due to "increased fraudulent activity in that area when ordering the iPhone."

So far it appears that the only place New York City shoppers can't buy an iPhone is at AT&T's Web site. The combination iPod and smartphone is still available at the cell carriers retail stores, Apple's retail locations and at the Apple Web site.

AT&T has not offered any additional clarification on the matter.

Comments

Jeff Gamet

So far AT&T has offered up three different reasons for stopping Web-based iPhone sales in NYC. My guess is we’ll have yet another before the day is out.

HD Boy

If true, it’s about time. Existing ATT customers in cities with problem networks should be filing class-action lawsuits against the company for overselling its network. The only thing is, ATT should be halting sales of all wireless phones in these cities.

Hopefully, this will give Apple a legal opportunity to invoke an early end to ATT iPhone exclusivity. At this point, ATT is killing Apple’s reputation.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Funny. When I first signed up and wanted area codes for phones on a family plan in two different AT&T sales regions, I got three different answers on that too! Very friendly people trying to be helpful, though, if that counts for anything.

Lee Dronick

AT&T is just revising its website to sell the iSlate. smile

gslusher

Fraud may, indeed, be the problem. When the iPhone was first released, there were stories of people buying as many as they could to be sent to other countries, including Russia. It would be a lot easier to do this online than in person, where the sales staff could demand identification.

Lee Dronick

Reportedly the iPhone is now available online in New York

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