Hi there!

This totally makes me sick. About a week ago, I renewed my contract with t-mobile and got an upgrade from my old iPhone to a new 3G iPhone with 16GB memory. Well, nice, nice.

I was told, the “old” contract would be cancelled within the next few days and the new contract would begin right after the other one stopped. But the new phone would work instantly with the old card. Well, and it did. Everything worked quite fine.

Just until last Sunday, 2009-04-12. On Sunday, my iPhone told me for the very first time: Could not active cellular data network. Well, at first I thought there might be just a coverage problem. Then I remembered, the contract needed to be switched and maybe there would be a short service outage.

Then I forgot about the problem for a while. Until today. I tried data networking and it didn’t work. So I called the service this evening.

There’s one number burned in the very back of my brain. It’s the T-Com service hotline:

+49 800 33 0 1000

I called this number and all the fun began. This hotline is voice-guided, which always makes me very, very happy. You can shout from the deepest point of your lungs to this conversation partner and she will never ever be mad about it.

She asked me, what my call was about. I said: “INCIDENT!”

She did not understand.

I shouted: “OPERATOR!”.

Well, she agreed to connect me with an operator but she first needed my phone number. After I told her my number, she said: “This is a cell phone number. I need a land line number.”

Just as I was about to destroy everything I could reach with my free arm, she said: “If you don’t have any number, just say ‘next’.”

“Hell, next. Neeeext! N – E – X – T !!!”

“Please be patient, the next operator is reserved for you”, she said and I smiled. Nice, nice. BUT: after 16 (sixteen!) minutes, a male voice said: “All operators are busy. Please call again later.” *Click*

What the hell?! Okay, okay. I remained totally calm (will clean up the broken dishes later… [just kiddin’]) and called the same number again. “Incident. *ARGH* OPERATOR! NEXT!” And I got connected to a women within less than one minute.

I told her about my problem and after she listened about 2 minutes to my hole story, she said: “You have to call T-Mobile, there’s the number 01805 …”

“Stop!” I said. “I definitely WILL NOT call a service number which is NOT toll-free.”

I could see her shocking face on my iPhone as she searched on her computer and finally found another number, which I immediately called:

+49 800 88 55 400

Funny thing: the man who answered was responsible for DSL and leased lines and had absolutely no idea about cellular networking. But he agreed to pass me on… to his manager or whatever. And this funny person told me to call the toll-free cell phone service number:


Well, I called this number. Three times in 5 minutes!

The first guy told me to active the Airplane Mode. As I told him “but this will interrupt our call”, he said: “no, no, we will stay connected, I know this for sure!” Oh my God, what a freak. As I tapped the “Airplane Mode” button, my iPhone said — guess what — “this will interrupt your current call”. Well, ehm… eh?

He then told me to quit the call and to this Airplane-Mode thing. Cellular data networking should work after that. I tried and — surprise! — it dit NOT work!

I called the same number again, told the hole story to another guy and just as I was about to ask what to do now, the connection was terminated. What the hell?!

So, I called the same number again a third time and told the story again. It was someone with a foreign accent, but he was totally okay. He asked me to stay connected, he would talk to an iPhone expert. After about 5 minutes, he came back and asked if I ever tried to turn the device off and on again. OMG! Sure I tried it several times. He again talked to the iPhone expert. As he came back to me, he had no further idea.

His suggestion was to call back tomorrow at 8am to get directly connected to an iPhone technician. I agreed to that.

But I could not believe, this problem to be that unique. So, I googled for “could not activate cellular data network” and the very first link was. http://unfake.it/c4l

One guy posted, he simply reset his networking settings (Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings). So, I tried this. And — TADA! — it works perfectly again.

My conclusion: T-Mobile should use Google as knowledge-base.

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