My sister and I are going to a local Verizon in the Milwaukee, WI area to buy our iPhone 5's next Friday. We have never done this before and I'm wondering if any of you can help us out by sharing your personal experiences or giving tips/advice. How early should we go? Anything you could share will be greatly appreciated. I've been waiting for an iPhone for years and I will not be a happy camper to walk away without one on that day.
Thanks in advance!
Well, I haven't bought an Iconic device at a Verizon store, but I have bought an iPhone at an AT&T store on release day. I have to tell you that I will N-E-V-E-R do that again. Some of the people we waited in line with were very nice, but there were a few that were downright scary. This kind of event seems to bring out the worst in people - especially if/when they find out that they didn't arrive early enough to get a phone on release day. My wife & I stood in line together - for protection, as well as for moral support. The police were called to this particular store (Greensboro, NC) THREE times during the approximately 4-5 hours we stood in line. We ended up getting the last two iPhones they had, and many of the people in line behind us spared no effort in expressing their disgust that the store had the audacity to run out of phones.
As for your questions, if the store you are going to wait at is normally busy, I would plan to arrive AT LEAST 4-6 hours before the store opens. If the store is typically dead, I might cut it a little closer, but given the intense demand for the iPhone 5, I'd still err on the side of caution. Don't be surprised to see people camping out overnight at the store. Be prepared to see people at their worst. When my wife & I waited for our original 3G iPhones, there were at least 2 physical fights that broke out when people left the line to handle bodily functions. Another near-fight broke out when one person left her sister in the line for an hour while she went to get her nails done. Some of the people were not too thrilled when the person returned and got back into line. Don't trust anyone you don't know well to hold your place in line - these are playground rules. Make sure you bring something to drink, and maybe a book or something else to read. Expect that Verizon's registration systems will slow down (or go down entirely) under the very heavy load they will see, so it will very likely take longer than normal to get a phone. Don't expect to walk in and walk out - you should expect to spend at least 30-60 minutes. You should also be absolutely sure that you are eligible for an upgrade (if you are upgrading, of course). The store employees are probably going to have to deal with a lot of people that walk in knowing full-well that they are not yet eligible for the upgrade. You will probably also see people arguing about paying retail for the device when they try to grandfather their unlimited data plans.
I have heard that some stores (both Verizon and AT&T) started passing out numbers to people in line during the release of the iPhone 4S. This way, they know exactly how many devices they have, and they know exactly how many people are going to get them. Also remember that the lower capacity (less expensive) devices sell out faster, so if you are looking for a 16GB phone, DEFINITELY plan to show up as early as you can.
Finally, please be polite to the store employees. The best likelihood is that there are going to be people that behave badly, feel frustrated or jilted, etc., and every one of these people are going to try to take out their ill feelings on the store employees. Remember that these people will not get any breaks or lunch time on release day for this device. My wife & I actually brought a bunch of pizzas to the AT&T store employees after we got our iPhones. The store employees were very appreciative. I'm not suggesting that you need to bring the Verizon store employees pizza, but a modicum of understanding and patience will be very much appreciated.
Best of luck getting the devices you want - I hope everything works out for you. 🙂
I would definately recommend that you have atleast one other person waiting wtih you, and bring a those foldable chairs that have a cup holder.
I had 8 of my buddies wait in line with me, even though none wanted a phone. lol. Just guranteed I would get one.