The personal website of Chris Coyier

It seems quite impossible to get AT&T Cellular Service on an Apple Watch

I was finally convinced to get an Apple Watch. My wife and I wanted to do some fitness tracking stuff. I figured, sure, why not, the Apple Watch seems to do that super well. The series 3 has cellular service now too, so I could listen to music at the gym without bringing a phone at all. Kinda awesome I figured.

Here’s how setting it up is going so far. I have a totally normal iPhone X on a totally normal personal AT&T cellular plan with just me on the bill. I bought a totally normal Apple Watch.

I opened the Watch app and went down to the Celluar section and Set Up Cellular.

That loads a fancy in-app myAT&T page where I logged into my AT&T account.

I selected my data and it showed the costs and whatnot:

Then it told me that it can’t possibly process that order and it’ll have to be reviewed by AT&T.

Later, an email with Status: PENDING and says I better call to keep that order on track.

I called the number.

The lady I talked to had no idea what I was talking about. She literally doesn’t know anything about Apple Watches or plans that require adjustment to use them or anything. She needs the last 4 of my social security number though, and the exact spelling of my last name, because my security PIN needs to be updated (?). To update that they have to send me an email and awkwardly wait for it to arrive so I can read out a code from it.

She has to send me to a higher department. 30 minutes later.

The higher department talks to me, but they have zero context of what’s going on, so I had to start over. The new lady is nicer, but is also confused. There is absolutely no pending order under my name, phone number, or the number I’m literally looking at in my email inbox.

That lady, after collecting my driver’s license number, expiration, and date of birth (??), can’t help me either. She sends me to a different, specialized, department.

It’s now 45 minutes into this call.

Now an hour.

Is it actually possible to add cellular service to an Apple Watch through AT&T? How on earth could it be this hard? What is the problem? Why won’t they talk to me and explain it? I’m rather sick of being treated like this when it’s my money and my time.

I give up.

After compaining on Twitter they asked me for more info, so I’m trying that for now. I’ve already dug out the box to just return the thing though, as at least that feels like I’m speaking with action.