Digital Culture Personal

No iPhone for me


To say that I am disappointed in both AT&T and Apple would be putting it mildly. I understand the need to pump up anticipation, as well as moderate supply in order to maintain a certain marketing illusion for the 3G, but the experience of standing in line was so remarkably poorly managed that I find it hard to believe that AT&T has any idea what dealing with customers should be like. They clearly didn’t exhibit any customer service skills on Friday, July 11 during the global launch of the iPhone 3G.

First off: You know how many iPhones you have, and what type. The proper way to handle the line is to print up vouchers for the available stock, walk the line asking people what type they are planning on buying, and give them a voucher. You can tell people without a voucher to come back in the afternoon and place an order…but there is no excuse for letting people stand in line for 3 hours when you know that they aren’t going to be able to buy the thing they are in line for. I’m talking to you, AT&T of Chattanooga: big fat failwhale for your customer service! The minute that your exclusive contract is up with Apple, expect people to bail with their phones like mad…way to think short term.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

4 replies on “No iPhone for me”

That’s exactly the opposite of what happened in England. At my O2 shop in Loughborough they went down the que and said if you wanted say 16GB model, they are sold out/out of stock etc. They managed the que.

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