Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » iPhone 14 Pro Max

Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » iPhone 14 Pro Max


I’ve got no service. Haven’t had any cellular since last night. When I exported the data from my iPhone 13 Pro Max to my new iPhone 14 Pro Max.

But it gets worse.

No, it can’t be any worse than that. In a world where you only have one phone line, and my cell is mine, I’M LIVING IN THE PRE ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL ERA!

Darkness, darkness, as Jesse Colin Young would sing.

Yes, I get a new iPhone every year. I can rationalize it. Because it’s the most used device I’ve got, more than my Macs, more than my car, so I’m treating myself, and paying through the nose for the experience, full retail.

And I get my iPhone via Apple, because the transaction is seamless. I want to do it all online, because online there are no MISTAKES!

But, to satiate east coasters, the iPhone goes on sale at 5 AM, and I’m not going to get up that early to order so mine always comes late, and it came yesterday.

I wasn’t gonna set it up. I remember the old days, when there used to be computer problems, before OS X. You could spend all night trying to make your hardware or software work, and sometimes you found out it wasn’t even your fault, there was a bug in the system.

But it being 2022, I decided to take the risk.

It failed. The activation and transfer. I’ve never had this happen before. I had to reset the damn phone and start all over.

But the second time it worked, until…


Well, it had a blank screen, dark black, and I was afraid to touch it, for fear of screwing up the transfer process.

But it being 2022, and knowing that calling tech support it just a waste of time, I did my own research, and found out it was an acknowledged bug. WHAT???

Apple said just to force quit and restart. I mean why is this not more publicized?

So I thought I was home free. But then I tried to send a message and…

It wouldn’t go through. And that’s strange, I mean I had Wi-Fi service.

I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

And then I couldn’t make any calls either.

And I’m researching on my iPad, and I’m going through all the prompts. Turning Airplane Mode off and on, resetting the network settings, rebooting a zillion times, and nothing ever worked.

And then I saw Om Malik’s tweet that he spent four hours on the phone with Verizon with the same problem, but it was too late to talk to anybody at Verizon other than the chatbot, which is built for idiots. Did you plug it in, did you charge it up? So I continued experimenting.

Maybe it was cell range. So I got in my car at 11 PM and drove down to the Whole Foods parking lot… Nada.

Now unlike in the old days, when you transfer data from one iPhone to another, it now KILLS the other iPhone. So I couldn’t use the iPhone 13 Pro Max either.

But in the morning…

But I had a packed day. Even worse, a follow-up phone call with my doctor re my annual physical. I ended up using Felice’s iPhone, an ancient 7, and there was an issue, but I got through it.

Then I called Apple.

I got India. Or at least someone with an Indian accent. A heavy Indian accent. That used to be the advantage of Apple, you got an Anglo, an American. And I’m not saying that Indians don’t know the tech, but I am saying so many of these people I CAN’T UNDERSTAND!

And this woman has got me doing the same damn things I already did multiple times, I knew more about the damn phone than she did, which is one of the reasons I don’t call tech support. You’ve got to waste all this time talking to someone who assumes you’re a nincompoop, who doesn’t know that much to begin with, waiting to be kicked upstairs to a senior tech.

But this woman said to call Verizon, and thinking about Om’s text, I did that.

And spent nearly an hour with someone going through the same damn “fixes” I’d spent two hours on the night before. Finally this guy kicked me upstairs.

And over the next hour, the expert technician couldn’t fix my damn phone either. He even put me on hold and called Apple. He left me by saying he’d kicked the issue up the food chain to the super tech team, gave me a case number, and told me he’d call me back, tonight. But when I pushed him he said HOPEFULLY tonight. Then he said sometime tomorrow.

And in truth, I have e-mail. But I’ve got to go to someone’s house tomorrow, a place I’ve never been, and I guess I’ll have to print out a map like in the MapQuest days.

So I decide to e-mail Om. And this is what he said:

“Sorry to hear that you are having the same issues as me. It took them a full day to figure out that it is an actual bug and it is on the Verizon side. This is a much bigger problem than they are acknowledging.

For instance the PR guy who got in touch later pinged me and sent a long email. Here is the part which told me that they are lying: ‘your escalation helped identify a provisioning anomaly which affected a small number of customer activations. We quickly pinpointed and resolved the issue.’

This is PR speak at its finest. By the time he responded I did what I needed to do.

I simply decided enough is enough and switched to TMobile. It took me 30 minutes to switch and 30 seconds to use the eSIM to get my number working. It was seamless as Apple intended.

I have two lines on TMobile and paying 90 for Magenta Max 55+ for unlimited everything. I was paying roughly $170 a month to Verizon. The whole quality network thing worked 25 years ago, but now it is just a sham.

If TMobile coverage is good where you live or in Aspen (where you seem to go often) then switch. You actually get real 5g. I am getting 400 mbps on my phone.

Enough with Verizon and it’s draconian charges! TMobile isn’t perfect but god damn, they are cheap and they don’t nickel and dime you.

Ps: I might hate them in a few weeks, but for now glad they Verizon isn’t part of my life.”

If you don’t know Om Malik, Google him, he’s a player. Like that old song, he hasn’t got time for the pain.

So what are the odds that senior tech at Verizon is going to get back to me with the solution? PROBABLY ZERO!

What next, drive to the Apple Store to waste hours and still get no solution?

Or the Verizon Wireless store, which is run by dummies?

I’m not about to switch to T-Mobile, but I’ll be honest, I just researched it. Speeds are fantastic, because of spectrum issues. Verizon bought spectrum that allows higher speeds, it’s just that it doesn’t go very far and it doesn’t penetrate walls and there’s not that much of it anyway. But, getting into it, T-Mobile still has spotty rural service, check it out: https://bit.ly/3yfXcGa

And I don’t really care about the price. I’ll pay extra for the best. But if I’ve got no service at all?

So, I resorted to tweeting Verizon. Needless to say, I’ve gotten no response.

So I’m writing this. Because this is now my sole means of communication, e-mail.

Utterly ridiculous.


When the internet goes down in an office, everybody goes home.

But I’m already home, where am I supposed to go?

I haven’t a clue.


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