Some Verizon customers report glitches in iPhone pre-ordering

Site returned errors, customers didn't get order confirmations, but Verizon says process was 'smooth' for most

Some Verizon customers had problems earlier today placing their pre-orders for Apple's iPhone 4, according to threads on the carrier's support forum.

Others, however, reported that their orders went through trouble-free.

Verizon began taking pre-orders from existing customers at 3 a.m. ET, midnight PT. Consumers could also use Apple's online store to place pre-orders as well.

"I cannot order iPhone either," said a customer identified as "idssmitth" on the Verizon support forum earlier today. "My page errors at the shipping address."

Others reported similar problems. "Got this same error this morning. I have been working with my local Verizon store, and they got the error. It is happening nationally," said "jonm388" on the same thread.

Several customers said that they had had better luck on Apple's online store. "Use the Apple site. Verizon's sucks," said "krm944" three hours ago. "Keep trying. Took me about 6 hours."

Even those who successfully entered their order complained of snafus.

"I ordered me and my husband each an iPhone at about 2:15 a.m. this morning and I got a [confirmation number] but no e-mail," said "gnheajb" on another thread . "Everyone on here is getting e-mails. Wondering if anyone knows what still processing means?"

Numerous people reported that after completing their orders, the Verizon page displayed a message that said their credit cards had not been verified, and thus the order was still being processed.

A Computerworld staffer who pre-ordered on the Verizon site just after 3 a.m. ET saw the same message, and has yet to receive a confirmation e-mail. Late today, a Verizon customer support representative confirmed that the staffer's order had gone through correctly.

Verizon said the pre-ordering process had gone well for most, but tacitly acknowledged that some customers had had problems.

"For the majority of customers the online ordering process has been smooth," said Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney. "We are pleased at how our beefed up systems have managed the volume.

Raney declined to say how many iPhones had been reserved for existing customer pre-orders, but said that when supplies were exhausted, consumers will see a message to that effect when they try order online.

As of 2 p.m. ET, Verizon's ordering page was not displaying an out-of-stock message.

The general public can pre-order a Verizon iPhone from Apple on Feb. 9; retail sales kick off at Apple, Verizon and Best Buy on Feb. 10.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com .

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