I’m starting to suspect that the launch of the HTC EVO 4G LTE is cursed. First, Apple successfully blocked HTC imports into the US, delaying the official launch by an entire two weeks. Then, some folks who preordered the EVO almost a month ago through third party retailers like Amazon or Wirefly have not yet received their devices. And now, Google Wallet seems to be down.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Google Wallet is a much-touted but under-used and under-appreciated feature that allows you to pay for purchases at select merchants with your phone using NFC technology. Instead of whipping out your credit card, using cash, or writing a check (who even uses checks anymore?), you just bump your phone briefly against the payment terminal, type your PIN into your phone, and you’re on your merry way.
However, users with Google Wallet-compatible phones have been complaining for over 24 hours that they are not able to access the service on their phones: most users are unable to add Google’s prepaid card to their device (and receive the promised $10 credit), and others are reporting trouble even adding a Citi Mastercard.
I’m one of the unlucky ones who is having trouble right now, as well. Admittedly, Google Wallet seemed to work flawlessly on my review unit from HTC, but on my personal device that I picked up last Saturday, I’ve been unable to add my prepaid card. What usually happens is I get stuck at the screen above, until it eventually returns an error message. However, sometimes it won’t even let me try to add a card: instead, I’ll get an error message immediately that says “Prepaid is unavailable.” I’m rooted now, but this happened to me when I was unrooted, and it doesn’t matter whether I’m on 3G or WiFi.
A phone call to Google Wallet support was largely unsuccessful, and I haven’t received any reply to the follow-up email I sent to the Google tech who was helping me out. Google also hasn’t officially acknowledged any outage, and has been largely silent on the matter (in typical Google fashion).
A quick internet search turned up the source links below, but this problem is largely going unreported. I should also note that this problem is not only affecting EVO 4G LTE users, but seemingly all Google Wallet-compatible phones.
But how about you? Have you been able to successful add payment cards and start using Google Wallet on your device? Let us know your experiences in the comments, and we’ll be sure to keep our eyes on this situation.
Update: Right after publishing this article, I received the following response from Google Wallet:
Thank you for getting in touch with our team. We’re aware that the Google
Prepaid Card is unavailable and our engineering team is working hard to
make sure Google Wallet is working as intended. We will be sure to let you
know when full functionality has resumed.
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
It’s not much, but at least Google has now acknowledged the problem.[The Verge | xda-developers]