Ordering the iPhone 3G - what a nightmare!

Now that 24 hours have passed, it seems a good time to reflect on the - shall we say 'awkward' - iPhone 3G ordering process of yesterday. Like many punters, myself and a couple of other What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision staffers had our bank cards out as soon as the email came in from O2 announcing the commencement of pre-orders.

Little did we know that only one of us would get one, and that an innocent PC keyboard would have met it's demise by lunchtime that same day.

Firstly, there was the website collapsing under the sheer number of visitors attempting to put their order through. The frustration of getting through pages of the order process only to be thwarted at the last moment by an unresponsive page was huge the first time, let alone on the fifth and sixth attempts (this is where one member of staff's annoyance was vented on the aforementioned keyboard).

And then they closed the website, handily offering a number to call if you wanted to order the iPhone. But alas, calling the number simply generated an automated instruction to place your order online - oh dear.

So we waited and waited, and attempted to do some work in between regular clicks of the refresh button, until finally, it was up and running again. After a couple of false starts and page errors, my order was complete - I can expect my iPhone 3G on Thursday...

...or can I? You see, the email I received shortly after placing the order begins with this vaguely worrying sentence: "Your order is still being processed and, if accepted, should be despatched to you within the next 5 days. Any iPhone 3G orders will be delivered on or after 11th July."

So let me get this straight: my order hasn't been "accepted" yet, and if it is "accepted" I can expect to receive it on launch day, or maybe sometime afterwards, like, say, Christmas.

Still, it could be worse - I could have been after a white 16GB model, which Carphone Warehouse and O2 have now said isn't coming into the UK at launch. Or I could be a current customer of O2, and suffered an even more obstructive ordering process as a result. Strange that one, isn't it?

As it is, I'm very lucky - I'm the only What Hi-Fi? Sound And Vision bod to successfully complete an order. I'll be even happier if it actually arrives on Thursday...