AT&T fails to cope with iPhone preorders

AT&T is struggling to handle the rush of customers for the new iPhone 4, and has found itself embroiled in yet another privacy scandal.

Hundreds of customers trying to order the phone online got nothing more for their trouble than an error message. And, worse, many reportedly found themselves looking at a completely different customer’s data.

Even in stores, many customers found that staff were unable to process their orders because of pressure on the system. Instead, they were advised to reserve a phone and make their payment and sort out a contract at a later date.

On Monday, AT&T was forced to apologise for a system flaw that allowed hacking group Goatse Security to harvest the email addresses of 114,000 iPad users.

And now, according to Gizmodo, the company is displaying account information to the wrong customers. Some users have found that when they enter their name and password, they’re taken to a completely different user account, showing information including addresses, phone numbers and bills.

The breach may have been caused by a fraud update over the weekend that went a little wrong. An anonymous AT&T engineer told Gizmodo: “I do know that there was absolutely no testing of this system done before the launch of the new iPhone.”

Despite the errors, plenty of people have managed to pre-order an iPhone 4 one way or another, though – enough to account fully for the initial batch produced by Apple.

“As of Tuesday afternoon, customers who preorder iPhone 4 moving forward will receive their device on June 25 or later, depending on when the order is placed,” the company told Engadget.

“We’ll email customers with confirmation once their order is placed, and again when it ships. In addition, we will have devices available on a first-come, first-serve basis in our stores beginning on June 24.”