Saturday, AT&T told me (twice) that they would have iPhone activation back online by 4am. At 8am NYC time (5am Pacific) my iPhone still hadn't activated. I called AT&T (this was my 4th call, and at least the 4th AT&T rep I have spoken to so far on this issue) today (Monday), and was told that it should have activated after 7am, but if it didn't I need a new SIM. When I asked where, she suggested an AT&T store at Fulton St. I explained this is halfway across Manhattan, and not near my subway line, and asked if I could take it to the Apple Store where I bought the iPhone a week ago. Sure. So I made an appointment with the Mac Genius for 5:45, left work 15 minutes early (not having a cellphone or pager is a big problem), and got to the Apple Store at 5:30. They were "only running 8-15 minutes late" when I signed in to wait.

At 6:22, I finally spoke to an Apple iPod Genius, who listened to my 2-minute summary and told me I need an AT&T SIM. No, they don't have any SIMs -- they are supposed to get them from AT&T, but AT&T hasn't delivered any. No, he doesn't know where I can get one from AT&T. No, they can't just replace my iPhone. He'll lodge a complaint with AT&T, as they should not have sent me to Apple for a SIM.

At this point I've spent an hour or two troubleshooting the iPhone myself. I've called for support 4 times, speaking to 1 Apple rep and at least 4 AT&T reps (who have had little, or no, or wrong, information). These calls have been averaging about 45 minutes apiece -- some are over an hour, so call that at least 3 hours on the phone. I've registered on a website for an appointment with the Apple iPod Genius, and waited 35 minutes past that appointment time, only to be sent away without anything to show for it, about an hour after I arrived.

I called AT&T tonight, but their customer service line is closed. I called Apple, but they know nothing about which AT&T locations might have SIMs.

"Fed up" doesn't cover it. "Thoroughly disgusted" with incapable AT&T and impotent Apple is more like it. FUBAR, in the original sense.