Rogers or Apple iPad Security Issue in 3G Activation Process?

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The iPad registration process ruined my 40th Birthday. I spent it tethered to the Rogers’ Helpline, being transferred about near randomly, before being told that the problems I’m experiencing in 3G registration were an Apple problem and I should phone their product support line. The 3G iPad was to have been my means of writing and posting on the road without having to drag a laptop along, but in reality the first post from the iPad is bemoaning how the 3G that was supposed to free me doesn’t work. There’s more here than irony though, there may be a security risk.

After repeatedly following the “Quick and easy activation with Rogers” for the iPad 3G Cellular Plan, all matrixed across multiple credit valid cards there was no joy. Each try returned the message “Format Checking Failed”.

This morning, a new problem cropped up when I tried to activate the 3G cellular service this morning.

After entering User and Credit card information the “Address Confirmation” dialog which references Canada Post refused to allow me to proceed. I’m pretty sure the entered address is valid, I mean I’ve been living in this apartment over 13 year and mail keeps showing up. Like any good quality assurance type or reviewer I mashed the “Next” button with no effect, then I repeated the registration process for good measure.

Then, out of curiosity I hit the “Back” button on the address confirmation dialog. This returned me to the “Cellular Data Account” form, with an “Please enter a valid credit card number” error. Here’s the security bit, the credit card number in the field is not the one I entered (see the photo above).

This “mystery” credit card could be indicative of a hack to Apple’s or Rogers’ 3G activation system, exposed user data or test data remaining in the system from sloppy development of the web based activation code. Any way I slice the Apple, my faith in the Cupertino company is shaken by this experience… As a iPhone 3G owner I had little to none in Rogers as a carrier and their “black hole of time” customer service lines to begin with. Admittedly the response through @RogersHelp on Twitter was more effective, allowing me to get an e-mail through to the Office of the President and raise these issues.

Of course, the over arching point is that the Rogers/Apple alliance has taken a potentially good product and left me wondering if I return my birthday gift gracelessly and find something less frustrating to do with my time… self water-boarding perhaps. Or shopping for KTM 690 Enduro R accessories, because they would be of some use to me. Plus, if I weren’t hanging out on endless helplines and doing unpaid quality assurance work for Rogers I might actually get some work done and have the time to go for a ride.

If anyone out there can replicate this issue, please feel free to comment with details. Maybe we can provide information to Rogers and/or Apple allowing them to rectify the problem.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lee Middleton says:

    Hi Neil,
    Thanks for highlighting an incredibly frustrating problem that I’ve also been wading through on Roger’s Customer Service lines.
    Exact, same thing happened to me during my laborious activation process. After I changed my address with Visa to get through the Canada Post database screen (rural addresses, even when correct by Canada Post standards, are a no go with the 3G activation process) to my office address I got a ‘Canada Post Database returns this address’ type of message that showed a reasonable enough approximation to the actual address (insisted on Apt. # instead of Suite # – ‘next’ on the Canada Post data screen simply did nothing. I then had Visa change my billing address to as close as they could get to the address returned from the Canada Post/ Rogers database. Still would not go beyond the address correction screen. I did as you did after a lot of frustration, and hit the ‘Back’ button to see that my credit card number had been overwritten with a non-valid number (ie, not Amex, not MasterCard and not Visa).
    This has led me to wonder if credit card information is being stored on the micro-SIM. The best I got from Customer Service at Roger’s yesterday was ‘buy a new SIM card, do not try to activate it and phone us, we will add a dataplan to your cell phone account manually for use with the iPad’. Which I see will actually cost way more than the self-activation option on the i-pad. Hmmmm. I got the feeling they are thinking at Roger’s the SIM chip memory becomes corrupted with failed activations hang up – but where it would get that credit card beginning with 9 from that it overwrites I have no idea, perhaps as you suggest, a batch of mSIMs went out with test data on them. Either way looks possibler there is a security risk through credit card info being stored on the mSIM.
    My solution after reading posts like this (although I really appreciate your taking the time to put down exactly what happened in your case, it’s lessened the frustration a little bit to know I’m not alone in this problem) is to request a friend to pick up a Telus MicroSIM (I’m on a fairly remote island) on his way over here this week. On the boards it looks as though the Telus activation is an over the phone process and works well, plus their data plan looks more expensive than Rogers when approaching 5GB, which I doubt I’ll use.
    Sure would like the Roger’s activation to work though so that I can be up and running with the iPad pronto. I’d be very pleased to hear of any success you enjoy getting your iPad activated. Thanks for you post. By the way, I think the same ‘wrong’ credit card number in your screen shot is the one that was overwritten on my credit card number – can’t be sure though as I didn’t write it down.
    Lee

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    1. No success with Rogers in the end even after working with the Office of the President. My solution was to use Bell, as they have a matching 5GB plan for the same price and manual activation by phone. Rogers is aware of the problem, and while I was in the Apple Store about five others were facing the same issue. The returned credit card number is consistent across registrations that fail due to the address mismatch issue, so strikes me as a mishandled return code or garbage test code or data.
      The solution across Apple Stores I followed up with is to simply use Telus or Bell, which means Rogers is loosing business on a consistent basis. Deeply frustrating as a potential client, and I doubt Apple (if they are aware) is any to please about having their user experience tainted by a carrier.

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  2. srigler says:

    3V Visa does not work with Rogers prepaid either. 3V Virtual Visa can be purchased online and people needing a Canadian credit card to buy from Rogers might be considering this option. It doesn’t work. “”Please enter a valid credit card number.”

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