Say what you’ll do. Do what you say.

I had an entirely frustrating experience with AT&T Wireless yesterday. (Shocker!) To their credit, the story ends well, but it strongly reinforced a principle that I learned early in my career: set proper expectations and manage them accordingly. Even better: under-promise and over-deliver, if you can.

My ordeal with AT&T began with my pre-ordering of the iPhone 4S (note the pre part) . I always like to have the latest iPhone so I can understand its capabilities when creating apps or mobile marketing programs. (And yes, I'm guilty of being an Apple enthusiast. Sue me.)

Luckily, my wife and I are on alternating upgrade cycles for our iPhones and she doesn't care if she has the newest hardware. So, during every iPhone refresh I get a new one and she gets my current one. (That's a pretty sweet deal.) 😉

She's been asking me about the upcoming product refresh since she's grown tired of the quality of the photos and video on her iPhone 3 GS and wanted my iPhone 4. So, when they announced the start date and time for for the iPhone 4S pre-orders, I set my alarm an hour early on that day so I could make sure to get an order placed before they ran out of the first production run of devices.