AT&T + Apple Watch S3 with LTE ... my story

Along with many other geeks, I woke up early on Friday, Sep 13 to order my S3 Apple Watch with LTE. I received it on Sep 22, as scheduled. I immediately paired it to my iPhone, and started the Cellular setup process. It immediately failed. I was connected to the web login screen, and then asked for my passcode. A message followed that directed me to call a 1-800 number, followed by an error code.

Watch Series 3 with LTE Stainless Steel   

Watch Series 3 with LTE Stainless Steel  

Before I go any further, I need to share some important background information. Prior to this, I already had 10 devices on my account. My family shares pooled data. That is 9 iPhones, and 1 iPad. This is important, as I soon learned. 

After talking with a very helpful agent at AT&T, we learned that I was not able to add my watch without removing a device from our cell plan. The limit is 10, and I was at my limit. I thanked her for helping, and hung up. I was disappointed!

After some discussion with my wife, I decided I would remove that iPad to free-up a slot for my watch. This came at a cost .. at least 2 steak dinners. 🍖🍖

I called AT&T back, and requested they remove the iPad from my account. Before we hung up, she asked for the IMEI from my wartch so she could add it to my account. I thought that was odd, but gave her the information, and hung up. I immediately attempted to setup the watch again, with the same results: it failed.

I called AT&T back, but this is where things started going crazy.  The agent was sure it was a problem with the login I was using. Nothing worked. I had to leave for a doctor appointment, so she said she would call back.

When I returned home, I waited for a while, but did not receive a call, so I called them. I was on the phone with this person agent for at least 2 hours. She could not let go of the idea of trying to setup the watch as if it was an iphone. She asked over and over for the ICCID for the SIM .. and asked me if I had inserted the SIM into the watch. I tried to explain that the watch uses an eSIM, and there was no slot. Finally, she called Apple. That didn’t go any better. After being routed around for a while, someone finally told her there was no slot and the sim was built into the watch. They concluded I should setup a genius appointment so someone could look at my watch. By this time, I was ready to scream. She said she would file paperwork to exculate my case, and that I would hear something next week.

That night, I put my own plan in place. I looked at my account and could see that the iPad was still there. That explained way I was still getting the same error. When I got around the next morning, I called AT&T, and just asked for the agent to remove my wife’s iPad. I wanted only 9 devices on my account. She did that, and a quick test showed the iPad was not connected. After hanging up, it was time for the big test .. I fired up the circular setup on the Watch. Guess what .. it worked perfectly!

I called AT&T one more time to make sure they will not do not do something that breaks my connection when they work on my case. The reality is that I don’t want them to do anyting! The agent promised that they would ‘never’ do anyting without talking to me. Just in case, she agreed to put a note in my file. To be honest, this freaks me out.😱

Sometimes, being on the leading edge of technology does not pay. Not that this is so advanced, but it is new. It is clear that the agents at AT&T are not well trained. It’s new, and it’s different. I feel bad for them. The folks I worked with were reverting to what they knew how to do, not what they need to know to succeed.

That’s my story .. I hope it helps someone. Perhaps my cause is unique. Good luck! 

Bonus: Check out a great review by Serenity CALDWELL at iMore. Good read!