Buying an Ipad in Marbella


Ok, today, 28th of May the iPad is launching in Spain, I have one now so am here to tell you about my experience about it and how I ordered it etc, because well, this is not exactly 24 hours a day Central London, this is the South of Spain (or rather as some put it “North of Africa!)

Firstly, over the last month two people who have bought the ipad from the USA, where it was launched earlier than the EU have allowed me to play about with their ipads a little and marvel at its magicity. Thanks to Joey Williams and Joe Carney for putting up with my incessant drooling!

So, one would expect, being based in Marbella, that it would have been a nightmare to obtain an ipad on the day of launch. I am happy to report that it was not a chore at all, in fact I was really impressed at how everything went, so much so, I just could not resist blogging about it.

Order them and they will come

After my first experience handling (and drooling over) the ipad early this month I immediately proceeded to the Apple web site and placed an order for the 64GB 3G model + case + docking stand + sim card. Yes, all that little lot set me back €924. (I can actually hear my wife frowning in the other room).

Okay, I am an English guy and speak some Spanish so managed to place the order on the Spanish site no problems. I did not take note if I could order in English or not but I am sure its possible so but I  proceeded in Spanish anyway. After the online order process I was sent a receipt via email a few minutes later with my ipad order number telling me that the ipad would be delivered latest 28th of May.

My initial though was “yeah right, 28th of May 2011 more like”.

Credit card not charged yet

So around mid may, I was checking my credit card statement and noticed that I had not yet been charged by Apple Spain for the ipad and the accessories. Of course alarm bells started ringing because I know my credit card is fine and was starting to get worried that perhaps they are not going to give me my ipad.

So I popped back to the apple web site to check the order and when entering my order number from the email I received the previous week, an error popped up saying there was something wrong with the system and I was prompted to call a freefone number in case I had any issues. I called the freefone number on the apple site, spoke to a customer support guy who spoke great English who told me that my credit card would not be charged until the ipad was in transit and that Apple had taken an “authorisation” for the order amount when I placed the order. He told me there was nothing to worry about and that the ipad should arrive on the 28th. I did ask him if he could send the ipad before the 28th and he politely told me that it was not possible (well I had to ask!).

So this Monday, 24th of May I received an email from Apple confirming again my ipad order and that it will be delivered by the 28th of May. I was gaining confidence now that it WAS actually going to arrive.

Its on the road

On Thursday 27th of May I received an another email from Apple saying that the ipad is now in transit and will be delivered on the 28th between 10am and 5pm. Woo Hoo!!!! I then spent all day Thursday dreaming about the lovely ipad and when it would arrive, how I would take it to dinner, caress its beautiful curves, maybe even sleep with her (yes we are still talking about the ipad).

D-day is here

Friday 28th is here. Its 10.01am. Where is the delivery guy with my ipad? Starting to get withdrawal symptoms already. I call some friends to off load some of the psychological trauma i am experiencing, I post to twitter asking anyone if they have seen it.

Then around 1pm I am talking to Justin a good friend of mine about various rubbish and he asks me if I receive the ipad yet……..then as if by magic the door buzzer rings and its the TNT guy with my ipad. GREAT!!  TNT delivery guy signs the goods over, I eagerly rip open the boxes, everything is there. The Ipad was even fully charged. BRILLIANT!

Overall, I was really impressed with the way Apple handled the order. Fortunately for me I speak enough Spanish to be able to navigate through the order process and enquire about the order and am hoping that other people living in Spain who lack Spanish language skills don’t have any issues.

In this case, I give Apple 5 Stars.

Slight Downside

A small word of warning though……if you have ordered the 3G version, you have to order a small micro sim card as the ipad only takes this smaller micro sim card and not the normal sim card that you usually use (with your iphone for example).

Also, you cannot use any of your current data plans with the ipad micro sim. I currently pay €50 per month for an unlimited data tariff for my iphone which allows me unlimited data transfer an no reduction of speed.

For the ipad, you have to subscribe to one of their special “ipad tariffs” in order to take advantage of the 3g service which is either €17.40 or €37.00 per month.

I did think this was a bit crafty of Vodafone (and Apple I guess) seeing that I was already paying Vodafone €50 per month……so new ipad owners, be a bit wary of this.

Anyway, I decided to take the plunge and subscribe to the extra tariff and went to the vodafone web site and placed an order for the higher 3g tariff. I did this at 1.30pm today and received a confirmation call from vodafone around 5pm. Not bad I thought but would have thought that activation would have been a bit quicker. They ran through some security questions with me to confirm who I am and then told me that the new sim card would be activated in the next 24/48/72 hours.

Oh. You mean I have to f***ing wait 24 hours for you to activate my 3g sim card? So, not happy with that. Sure sure, I can hear some of you say “well just connect with wifi” or “there are people in the world without even a telephone” but I live and breath internet and again, I would have expected that activating a card would take minutes not hours or days (even if this is launch day).

Conclusion

In my eyes, apple in terms of getting the ipad to me in Marbella was brilliant. I wished all companies operated with such ease and efficiency. I am slightly disappointed that I have to fork out another €40 per month to vodafone in order to use the 3g on the ipad seeing I already have an expensive data tariff with them. I think that I should be able to duplicate my current sim card onto a micro sim card.

Apart from that I am as happy as Larry. See you all later! I am off to play with the ipad now for the weekend.


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