Just after midnight last night AT&T finally starting taking pre-orders for the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 for this Friday’s release. Included with the Lumia 920 is of course one free wireless charging plate—a $49 value.

We had reports coming in all day though that customers were not getting the free pad offer upon checkout. In fact, there was often no mention of it during the whole pre-order process. Some in our viewership called AT&T and were told by customer-service reps (CSR) that in fact AT&T has “run out” of said plates, effectively making the offer over just mere hours after it had begun.

We decided against putting the story out for a few reasons. One, the offer is actually good through the beginning of January and two, we’re talking about AT&T pre-orders here—a notoriously unreliable and far-from clear system.  And while we’d love to believe that demand was so high for the Lumia 920 that AT&T simply ran out of their freebie allotment, we’re not quite that naive to believe such a thing would have happened.

Indeed, when we tried to do our pre-order just a short time ago we were presented with a new pop-up telling us of the free wireless charging pad offer. The popup window tells you to select the Nokia Black Wireless Charging Plate “on the next page”. It also mentions you need to sign a new 2-year agreement, meaning if you are buying at the no-commitment price (like we were), you may not qualify.

Reader Tal F. has a slightly similar story but he spoke to another AT&T CSR and was told quite specifically: “...the free charging plate discount wouldn't be live on the AT&T site until 11/9/12.  So even though it shows that your Lumia 920 comes with a free charging plate, you need to hold off on your purchase until 11/9/12 if you want it to be applied at checkout.”

So what is going on? Our bet is AT&T is still working out the kinks to the offer, which as far as we can tell was a last minute deal between Nokia and AT&T (remember we first old you about that deal only a few days before it was announced). Our advice is simple: order away. If you don’t get a free wireless charging plate, just hold onto your receipt and call AT&T as soon as you can. They will most likely have you pick one up in the store or they will send you one direct. Push come to shove, you just tell them to take the phone back and we’re sure that will get things taken care of but in all honesty, we’re not too concerned over this.

If you really want peace of mind, just get up early on Friday and waltz into your local AT&T Store and try to do a direct Lumia 920 purchase and bring a copy of the press release with you as evidence.

WTF

On a separate note, we were a little discouraged from the whole process for another reason: upgrade availability. Sure, we used our upgrade status back in March for the Lumia 900 so fair is fair, here is our $450 AT&T. But during the process, AT&T was will to extend to us a “special upgrade deal” for you guessed it, the Apple iPhone. AT&T might not have been able to fool us with their snake oil but we wonder how many out there would be determined to stick by their Nokia guns?

Have a similar story? Share in comments or head to our super-busy Lumia 920 forum to share your experience and advice.

Thanks to all who sent this in!