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O2 chief dampens iPhone hype

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Another reader, Craig, has the most amusing account:

"Funniest step was when one employee remembered that back in the days of stock delivery there was one of those 'swipey' machines (ie. a manual credit card swipe machine), which he retrieved. We then witnessed the amusing sight of all of the store staff (inclucing the manager), being unaware of how this old technology worked... when we pointed out they were missing the merchant embossed plate and demonstrated how to swipe our own cards, the staff gave up in disgust. ;-)"

"By this time I'd decided to wander down the road (200yds) to the O2 store, where 8-9 staff were sitting around... no customers. After checking they had stock and a working chip and pin system, we walked out with 2 iPhones in about 5 mins. Strike one blow for O2 efficiency, minus one for CWs attitude and capabilities (didn't O2 bring them along to 'reach the high street'). You've also got to wonder if CW didn't know this was on the cards, as why else would they, "Only today, ship us one of those 'swipey' machines!'. Do CW's systems maybe go into a maintenance/batch state at COB Friday (5pm?)?"

Happy new iPhone owner Damien said: "Major disappointment for CPW and O2 staff. They had thought they would have such an easy long weekend of it, upselling till the cows came home to the millions of happy punters lining the streets, waiting to get their hands on the beautiful iPhone. Poor buggers..."

Carphone Warehouse told us that the glitch only affected Friday shoppers. It was caused by all the stores reopening and logging into central servers at 6:02pm.

Grab a bargain

There are cheaper ways of getting an iPhone. The going rate on eBay UK this morning is £399 for an unlocked iPhone: a considerable saving over the compulsory 18 month O2 contract. Several hundred are available for immediate purchase.

Or you could just nick one.

"Must admit, it's a bit posh," writes Steve. "At least three teenagers have tried to snatch it so far. Must be good."

Be careful, out there. ®

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