Best Buy Unable to Activate New T-Mobile Lines


And you know what that means! Full retail for the Nexus S, if you can’t wait. It’s unclear if this is an issue across the board, or if only certain locations are going through T-Mobile activation withdrawals.

Has anyone been able to activate a new line of service, regardless of device, through any Best Buy medium over the past week? Let’s see if we can pin down what is going on and who is affected, if Best Buy doesn’t want to play nice.

[via BGR]

Tyler Miller

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  1. Just buy the phones online.

  2. While all Best Buy Mobile locations can activate Verizon & AT&T phones, stores offer either Sprint or T-Mobile service but never both. The way I understand it, every store is carrying the Nexus S but ones that activate Sprint phones are unable to activate T-Mobile phones so the only option in those stores is to sell the phone at full price.

  3. Best Buy counldn’t even upgrade my phone so I had to buy the Nexus S off contract… boo

  4. @Aaron You are incorrect. All Best Buy Mobile stores can activate all 4 carriers. However, one of the four is not carried in store but is shipped to customers instead.

    Also, our stores are not having issues as far as I know. We activated a few in the last week via the shipping method. Additionally, the Best Buy system is not the only way to activate. Stores that need it have a phone number that can be called to activate over the phone.

  5. On launch day I walked into bestbuy and started new service. The sales associate went to ring me up and it would not allow him to sell me the phone at contract price. This was AFTER I signed the contract and was approved for the phone. They had to reverse it out and send me to another store that would be able to sell me the phone. What a joke the whole process was.

  6. T-Mobile shut them off! LOL!

  7. Best buy is the absolute worst. Sans hyperbole, they are the worst form of customer service that I think they’re shooting for a Guiness award. I too can’t activate through the number they specifically told me to call. After going into the store, buying the phone and expecting them to hand me a brand new toy to play with all day, I’m told that they will place an order and ship it to me from the east coast. Oh, really, although I can literally See the new shipment you got directly behind you. Nope, you can’t have one of those. Wait for ups to smash it to hell and send it to you. So I’m later transferred to Tmobile on the phone, go through the hoops then they say, “We’re sorry, your request can’t be complete right now. Please hang up and call again.” Well…I didn’t exactly call you, Best buy transferred me, and I’ll be damned if I call those clowns again. In synopsis: best buy is terrible. Commiserate with me, because I’m sure you all already know.

  8. My Nexus S / Best Buy (Sherman Oaks, CA) experience was a NIGHTMARE! I went in there at 8am on Launch Day. They had 4 phones in stock. I was the first person in line. Yet I was there for almost TWO hours!


    First, they said, “no problem, we can extend your T-Mo contract without changing anything.” Great! A $199 Nexus S, right? WRONG! They somehow extended my T-Mo contract for two years but could NOT give me the subsidized price through the register! They went through managers, a district manager, T-Mo reps. T-Mo managers, etc.. I was promised I would be able to get the phone at $199 before I left. But no one could actually give me the “nice price!”

    Turns out they have a deal with Verizon that they cannot sell T-Mo contracts. And if Verizon found out, they could pull their business. This is what the store manager told me, anyway. So there I was, stuck paying the unsubsidized price AND having to extend my T-Mo contract. What kind of deal is that?!

    It took nearly two hours for the sales guy to assure me that my T-Mo contract would be reset back to Nov 2008. That was enough for me to run out the door (and I really couldn’t take it anymore). Then I was so late for work and had to deal with the fallout. And a few hours after that, I received a text message from the Best Buy sale guy saying everything was handled and my contract is as if it was never altered.

    So, I bought the Nexus S unsubsidized and my T-Mo contract was rolled back. However, the update function on the T-Mo website has been ruined for me for two years going forward now.

    I was so unbelievably frustrated with Best Buy and T-Mo . . . words cannot explain adequately. I never want to shop at Best Buy again, so long as I can help it. And shame on Best Buy, T-Mo, and Google for screwing up the launch so badly! Best Buy should have been better informed about the phone, the process, etc.. And besides, there was NO WAY Best Buy should have ever been able to modify my contract WITHOUT charging me properly. It was so, so stupid. The whole damn situation.

    [END RANT]

    I should note: The two sales guys, however, were very nice and tried tirelessly to help me. In the end, their superiors let them fall and their hands were tied.

  9. Corporate America at its finest.

  10. I had nothing but crap from T-Mobile when I first got my G1. It honestly seemed like every T-Mo support person told me something different, and none came through with what was promised. I can only imagine how bad it would be if you threw BestBuy into that mix. I ended up just paying the contract cancellation fee and said to hell with them and went to Verizon. They might be slightly more expensive, but I haven’t had a single problem with them. Their website works too, unlike T-Mobile’s, which always gave me an error and told me to call.

    TLDR: Stay away from T-Mobile and wait for the Nexus S on Verizon/Sprint, or even AT&T.

  11. Google could have sold more phones and avoided all the hassle by letting TMobile sell the Nexus S. #googlefail again.

  12. from what i hear is that in store they only have 3 carriers but they vary from store to store… most if not all will have verizon and at&t but the third will vary… i just found out today best buy is having this “deal” where when you buy a phone and a better one comes out b4 you contract expires best buy will give you half of your phones retail value (the day you got it not the day you want an early upgrade) towards the retail price of the phone you are replacing it with… confusing i know but awesome!!!

  13. Getting my Nexus S was a pain in the ass as well. I went to the store early, was 7th in line, but apparently they only had 10 phones in stock. The guy in front of me bought the last two. I asked the employees when the next shipment was due, and none of them had any idea.
    So I decided I’d purchase it online…big mistake. Despite already having unlimited web on my account, Best Buy’s system was trying to add-on another $30/mo data plan (wtf right?). So I online chatted and called them, getting various answers, from “it won’t actually change anything” to “that’s weird. I don’t know why it’s doing that.”
    After another day went by, I decided to bite the bullet and make the online purchase (local stores were still sold out). I have yet to see my bill and how my rate plan might be affected.
    So a couple days go by, and I get an email from Best Buy saying my phone is back ordered, and won’t arrive for two weeks. even though the website STILL said it was in stock and was guaranteed delivered before Christmas.
    Upon learning this, I called them up to see wtf was going on. The sales support guy couldn’t do shit. So I called back again and got someone else. This guy actually put me on hold while he called nearby stores to see if they had any on stock. He found one…1.5 hours away. I decided, fuck it. Put the fucker on hold and I’ll make the drive. He also said he’d cancel my online order.
    The actual in-store purchase went smoothly, and I was very happy with the phone.
    Fast forward a few days. I got an email from Best Buy saying there’s a problem with my online order (the one that was supposed to have been cancelled). I called them up to try to re-cancel it, but they said I couldn’t because it had already shipped. WTF again right?
    I figured screw it. My credit card hadn’t been charged so maybe it was taken care of. Nope, two days after that, I got an email saying my order had just shipped and my card was charged.
    Pain in the ass!

  14. Me and my girlfriend purchased the nexus s and started new service 3 days ago in Spanish Fort AL at a best buy. They were having problems with their computer and just called it in and did it over the phone. Maybe this was the start of the problem?

  15. Wow I guess I have good luck.
    Walked in at 8 asked for the nexus s signed the contract set everything up and walked out by 8:20

  16. I bought my Nexus S on the Friday, the week it came out.

    The Best Buy I bought from did not normally sell the cell phone contracts, but they could link to T mobile and establish a new contract, in order to sell me the Nexus S at the subsidized price.

    The phones were not in stock, but they told me I would get the phone (with the new T mobile sim) the next day! I was skeptible, but decided to go for it. BTW I was a brand new T mobile customer at the time, my first contract. I signed up for a new phone number for the new Nexus S, in lieu of porting my existing number to the phone.

    Low and behold, the new Nexus S and the T mobile sim was delivered to me the very next day, on a Saturday! Very cool.

    Problem :
    The new sim from T mobile was “dead” and T mobile was unable to activate it. The T mobile rep told me over the phone that this was due to a “system error” and that they never encountered this error before. All they could do was issue a “ticket” that they sent to an outside tech team, in the hopes to have it activated within 24 hours, maybe.

    The best guess from the people at T mobile is that there was some sort of error by the Best Buy employee who input my order into the system, causing a freeze on the new sim activation that the T mobile people could do nothing about.

    Called the store I bought the phone and new contract from and spoke to the mobile services manager who was very very defensive from the get go. I did not place any blame on Best Buy when I called them, remaining very neutral. They explained to me that they did everything right. This explanation was provided to me BEFORE they even tried to access my account to see what happened. After convincing them to check my order in the Best Buy system, they called me back to confirm for me that they had done everything perfectly.

    After the 24 hour window that T mobile gave me to fix the problem, the problem was still unresolved.

    At this point the T mobile rep made arrangements for me to go into my local T mobile store and get an entirely new sim card. This final solution worked.

    Long story short. Love my new Nexus S. So much so that I ported my AT&T cell number to the Nexus S and closed my AT&T account.

    The Nexus S is better (IMO) than my Samsung Captivate, HTC Desire and my iPhone 3gs

  17. Bought two of then off contract, the sales people seemed scared of my reaction though, they both gulped when I uttered the word nexus!

    They breathed a sigh of relief when I didn’t want a contact though!

  18. 1) The problem isn’t corporations, it’s the stupid US consumers who want cheap phones and long contracts instead of just buying their phone and not having a contract like just about every other market on Earth.

    2) Why would anyone want a Nexus S anyway? It’s a crippled version of a Galaxy S!

    3) Verizon is pure evil, AVOID!!! They’re against net-neutrality laws and for obvious reasons, they’ve been blocking net content for years!

    4) I forgot what #4 was, but it was REALLY GOOD!

  19. Its meant to be off-contract. Just buy it out-right or get out :P

  20. Nexus S unsubsidized – $529
    Nexus S subsidized with contract = $199
    Difference in price = 330

    T-Mobile even more plus savings with voice/text/data = $20 mo for individual $30 for family.

    Total savings over contract period = $480 individual $720 family

    480 > 330
    720 > 660

    Simple math :)

  21. Nexus S full price = $529
    Nexus S subsidized price = $199
    Difference in price = $330

    T-mobile even more plus plans without contract = $20/mo less for individual voice/text/data plans. $30/mo less for family voice/text/data plans.

    even more plus savings = $480/2yrs for individual, $720/2yrs for family plan.

    720>660 (assuming a family plan with two Nexus S phones purchased outright).

    Simple math. You save more if you buy the phone unsubsidized with t-mobile. That’s the only reason why I switched to t-mobile. More carriers should consider that those of us willing to pay up front for our unlocked phones should not be paying the same monthly rate as those who don’t want to, or can’t.

  22. dude!!!! i went to 4 different best buys in northern california.

    stockton! stockton california sells the nexus s for $199 because they still have t mobile phones there.

  23. America at it’s dumbest. Who in the living F buys anything from Worst Buy?!?

    And you trailer dwelling dilfod that over pay by paying contract rates all should be arrested on Cops

    Stupid illegitimate idiots!

  24. Elmer Watts. Suck me!

  25. FU Elmer Wabbit, you euros would be a bunch of corpses if it wasn’t for the US.

    Your just jealous your 2nd rate, when when your country gets in trouble, you need our help.

  26. I activated a line 4 days ago over the phone with no troubles.

  27. It’s been a complete nightmare for me as well. I went to the store and played around with the nexus s but decided to purchase it online – big mistake.
    I tried to purchase the phone online, but it failed running a credit check and this ruined my best buy account. The account always shows an item in my cart and a transaction in progress. Nothing seems to fix this. They wouldn’t let me sign up for a limited data plan over the phone, instead I had to purchase the 30 dollar unlimited plan.
    That was enough for me. I told them to call it off. I disliked best buy earlier, now I detest them.

  28. I didn’t have some of the nightmarish issues that many of you are experiencing, but it still was a pain in the ass to deal with them. I had a 10% off coupon I brought with me, that specifically said it applied for no-contract phones. First thing I asked when I told the lady I wanted one was “This is a no-contract phone, right? I don’t have to sign anything to get this?”

    “That’s right. It’s no-contract.”

    She rings it up, and then I hand her the coupon. She then proceeded to tell me she couldn’t honor the coupon because it was a contract phone. I immediately brought up the fact that she had JUST told me that it was no-contract. Her response: “Yeah, it’s actually a no-contract phone, but we consider it a contract phone.”

    I told her that was absurd and made no sense whatsoever, that you can’t have it both ways. Typically I’d ask for a manager and argue, but it’s Worst Buy, and arguing with a manager usually results in customers being kicked out of the store.

    Best Buy’s motto is “The customer is NEVER right”.

    Seriously, Google, how the hell did you manage to screw up this release so badly?

  29. I can’t even get it to work online. Choosing a plan keeps prompting me to “Are you currently a T-Mobile customer?” and no matter what I choose I can’t proceed.

    That, plus you can’t take advantage of T-Mobile’s current 1500+unlimited web for 79.99 = Best Buy Failure

  30. I had a huge run-around with both Tmobile and Bestbuy. I dropped my Nexus One in the toilet 2 days before the Nexus S release and I was not going to even bother with the Nexus S because honestly its just not that good and the GPS is so bad its a joke. But I HAD to get a new phone and after pure Android, why would you ever buy anything less?

    Went to Bestbuy to purchase this phone and sign a new contract because I was on the Even More Plus and thus not under a contract. Walked into BB and they were acting like Michael Jackson was hanging out there. All these stupid fliers and uptight sales people. I asked could I see the phone and they told me they were sold out but had a demo. He handed me the demo phone and was watching me like I was holding the cure to cancer. I laughed and handed it back and walked out because he was stupid and overreacting to A PHONE!

    I drove 45min to another in the middle of NO Where Bestbuy and they had the phone. Then the told me they were not allowed to sell the phone on contract to me but would have to MAIL IT! I was pretty mad because I drove that far only to have them pull this game. I called the BB customer service line and they said that was no such policy even after the store manager told me it was. I called back that Best Buy and they told me they sold the phone. Best Buy only wants to sell these phones for $530 and not the $200 contract. Proof on the day of the phone release you could get the phone from the website for $250 if you did an “add a line”, $200 contract, or $530 out right. I asked the online help why I didn’t see the “add a line” price up anymore and they said, “oh umm I guess we took it down but it’s still around.”

    They then told me I could not upgrade to a contracted Nexus S because its only for BRAND NEW Tmobile customers. I knew this was a lie to so I called Tmobile and made them call Best Buy. They both told me that I had to get a Tmobile phone from the store as Best Buy can’t upgrade contracts.

    I knew this was a lie too so I asked to speak to someone at Tmobile that could make important decisions as I didn’t want to play on the phone any longer. The guy helping me put me on hold, came back, typed a few keystrokes and said, “sorry sir you are set, you can upgrade it online yourself.”

    I went online and did it all myself after that.

    Bestbuy and Tmobile CAN do the upgrade but they are discouraging people from buying them on contract because they know people want this phone just so they can sell it on ebay for $630. I got mine for $200, its the best phone right now if you don’t own a Nexus one, and its only slightly better just due to the OS. The front facing camera is terrible and not very useful yet.

    Is it worth the trouble to get this phone………nah unless you were like me and dropped your nexus one in the toilet.

    Good luck getting your phones. Its over hyped and silly.

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