Apple Upgrade Program has issues, not for me

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by HDFan, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. HDFan, Oct 8, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015

    HDFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #1
    My experiences with the Apple upgrade program have not been good.

    You may be asked to send a text message from a U.S. phone to schedule an appointment. Well I was in Tokyo with a U.S. T-Mobile phone but T-Mobile couldn't figure out how to send a 5 digit addressed text to Apple from Tokyo. This wouldn't have worked anyway. When I returned to the US I discovered you can only schedule an appointment for the current day. The text requirement may be due to the fact that I was overseas.

    You have to pick the phone up in a store. In California you only can find out about store availability at 8 am pacific time. Well due to my schedule that's the middle of my night. So I have to wake up to find out if a phone is available, then hopefully get back to sleep. There should be some way that Apple can put you a a list and let you know when one is there without you having to do this every day until a phone is available.

    My impression is that you can't just order the phone and put it into the program as when you order you have to pay for it up front (when it ships or arrives), but that may not be not correct.

    So after returning to the U.S. and 7 days of checking at 8 am I finally found my 6s+ rose gold 128 GB phone at a store two hours away. I made an appointment to pick it up between 8:30 and 9:00 pm. When I found out yesterday that I would not be able to make this time I called the Apple Store to ask them to change the appointment to the next day. No go. The appointments are only available for one day. I would have to try again today. So I lost the phone.

    This morning behold the phone was still there so I could again reserve it. Maybe they held it for me in spite of the cancellation until 9 pm when all holds expire and it rolled over to the next day? I don't know. Anyway I drove two hours today to pick up my unlocked 128 GB rose gold Sprint 6s+.

    I wanted a Sprint phone as I travel overseas and want CDMA. I already have both T-Mobile (monthly) & AT&T contracts (grandfathered, unlimited data) so all I wanted to to is buy the phone and put in my already activated sim card.

    No go. If you buy a Sprint phone, even though it is unlocked, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A SPRINT CONTRACT FOR AT LEAST 3 MONTHS!. And when you replace the phone in a year again you have to have a SPRINT CONTRACT FOR 3 MONTHS!. My understandings was this was true for AT&T as well, so likely for all carriers. If I had purchased an AT&T phone (for which I have a current contract) this would not have been a problem. Since most people buy phones for their current carrier they don't have this problem.

    So even though the phone was unlocked I would have to pay Sprint a ransom fee. So the upgrade program was a no-go for me. So to get this ordeal over I just purchased the phone at full cost.
     
  2. Cergman macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Location:
    my tesla
    #2
    Why would you buy a sprint phone when you could get one from any of the other carriers without having to deal with their bs? AT&T would have been the best option since it includes band 30, but Verizon and T-Mobile are also unlocked when purchasing full price.
     
  3. HDFan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #3
    It's not an issue of the unlocking. The Sprint phone which I planned to put on the upgrade plan but ended up just purchasing was unlocked. It worked immediately with my AT&T sim. But I would have to pay for a Sprint plan for 3 months until I could cancel it even if was using the phone on another network.

    I needed a phone (for overseas) that had CDMA. That meant a Verizon or Sprint phone (they are the same). This year there is a bit of a disadvantage to the CDMA version as it does not include ATT's band 30. Since AT&T is just rolling support for that band I don't see any downside of not having it this year. Next year I may have to reconsider.
     
  4. Lobwedgephil macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    #4
    I'm confused, you bought another sprint phone on a plan and then tried to do the program? They don't care about the plan, they just need to activate the phone on an active plan.
     
  5. DoofenshmirtzEI macrumors 6502a

    DoofenshmirtzEI

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #5
    All of the phones have CDMA. The only difference is that the "AT&T model" has band 30. Otherwise, the phones have identical capabilities. You could have bought an AT&T phone or Tmobile phone and used them just fine.
     
  6. HDFan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #6
    I currently have two plans, both T-Mobile and AT&T. Thinking that the Sprint phone was the best world phone as it had CDMA I wanted a Sprint phone but I didn't want a Sprint contract since I already have the two others. If I purchased a Sprint phone via the upgrade program I would be required to also take out a Sprint contract which I could only cancel after 3 months. Therefore I bought the Sprint phone to get around this restriction.

    However as DoofenshmirtzEI pointed out the best world phone now is not Sprint but AT&T. I looked at an early specification which showed that the AT&T phone did not support CDMA. (http://9to5mac.com/2015/10/09/psa-iphone-6s-att-best-worldphone/). The spec was changed and now the AT&T phone does have CDMA support, along with band 30. So the only difference between the two phones is the band 30 support which is only on the AT&T phone.

    So I'll return the Sprint phone and start the search for an available AT&T phone. Sigh.
     
  7. divergirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #7
    If you still want to do the upgrade program then I'd definitely go with the AT&T model, but if you end up buying the device outright I would personally recommend the sim free model.

    It's identical to the AT&T model except it is already whitelisted in Verizon and Sprint's databases, unlike the AT&T model. I exchanged my AT&T model for the sim free model today and I can confirm this is at least true for Verizon.

    Under the Verizon device checker, the AT&T model showed up as unusable on their network, while the sim free model showed up as eligible for activation.

    Verizon eventually ended up whitelisting all iPhone 6 models from every carrier this year, making the differentiation a moot point, though I'm not sure about Sprint. But for now the sim free model is definitely the safest bet for maximum compatibility.
     
  8. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    I mean no offense but in going to have to assume you're in the very small minority here. Your situation was the most convoluted I've ever heard. I have no idea about sprint but the other carriers don't require service. This could be some strange sprint restriction.
     
  9. HDFan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #9
    If you still want to do the upgrade program then I'd definitely go with the AT&T model, but if you end up buying the device outright I would personally recommend the sim free model.

    It's identical to the AT&T model except it is already whitelisted in Verizon and Sprint's databases, unlike the AT&T model. I exchanged my AT&T model for the sim free model today and I can confirm this is at least true for Verizon.

    Under the Verizon device checker, the AT&T model showed up as unusable on their network, while the sim free model showed up as eligible for activation.

    Verizon eventually ended up whitelisting all iPhone 6 models from every carrier this year, making the differentiation a moot point, though I'm not sure about Sprint. But for now the sim free model is definitely the safest bet for maximum compatibility.


    So today I located a sim free rose gold 6s+ 128GB 1 1/2 hours away. So naively (forgetting what you said above) I asked to join the upgrade program. No go. To get on the program the phone has to be "activated". And you can't activate a sim-free phone either, you can only activate a phone from the appropriate carrier. Since I had the AT&T sim to join the upgrade program I would have to purchase an AT&T phone. I assume this would be the case for the other carriers as well. Since my search today had only come up with this one sim free phone I wasn't going to waste some more days trying to find an AT&T phone. And assuming that this is some stupid carrier requirement imposed upon Apple the last thing I want is a phone associated with AT&T.

    I tried to get a definition of what "activated" meant but wasn't able to get a technical answer, just a statement that it was Apple Corporate Policy.

    I had been referred to their phone expert in the store who said that the upgrade program description was missing some rather important details. They suggested that I contact apple.com/feedback to pass on my "adventures in 6sland". Some things that come to mind: instead of "schedule an appointment" they should say "schedule a same day appointment"; give a detailed explanation of this very obtuse activation requirement; don't allow you to reserve a sim free phone. [But if I had opened a new account with, say, Sprint could I have put the sim free phone on the upgrade program?].

    On the positive side the store people, as usual, were very helpful. I received a complete refund for my rose gold 128 GB Sprint 6s+ as well as for the screen protector that I had bought and had them apply at the store. ($32!).

    Another tidbit was that phones that have been reserved are held to the end of the day if you miss your appointment. It is only released the next morning.
     

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