AT&T activation question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by isharan, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. isharan macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Hey all -- quick question regarding AT&T activation. I'm planning to go to an AT&T store tomorrow and pick up an iPhone 3GS. I'm on a family plan which has three numbers. Line A is eligible for an upgrade, while line B isn't. I want to get the iPhone on line B. I know I can get the iPhone on line A and transfer it over to line B, but the problem is, the person who has line A won't have time to go to the store, meaning that we'll have swapped numbers for a period of time. I want to avoid this. Can I purchase an iPhone on one line, but activate it on another? I'm going to an AT&T store, not an Apple store.

    If you're too lazy to read the whole thing, the question is in bold.

    Thanks everybody!
  2. pugnut macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    The short answer is yes. Once you have the phone you will need to activate it to the number that it was assigned. After that you can put any valid AT&T in the phone, as long as it has the data plan and use it without issue.
  3. isharan thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009
    So right when I buy the phone, I have to activate it on the line it was purchased on? It can't just be directly activated on another line?
  4. teaguecole macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    Once you get the iPhone, all you need to do is stick an AT&T sim card in it and it will activate regardless of whether you have a data plan. I bought my phone off eBay and stuck my AT&T sim card with just a regular plan and it activated and then I disabled the APN so I don't get charged for outrageous data plans. Bottom of the line is, use line 2 to get the upgrade and get the iPhone and then just swap sim cards and you are good.

    EDIT: No, it doesn't matter whether it's activated on the line it was purchased on or not.
  5. isharan thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009

    One more question: Does the primary account holder have to be there? I know that this holds true for apple stores...not sure about AT&T.

    Thanks for all your help guys!
  6. Dominat0r macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    I can say for sure you can upgrade a line thats not the one you want to use the new phone on. I just did that about a week ago. I have 3 phones on a family plan.

    You need the person authorized on the account to make changes though. Unless you have the iPhone plan already...they will need to change the data plan and texting plan. However, they never really ask for anything more then the last 4 digits of the account holders SS#.
  7. isharan thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Thanks. So I guess its confirmed that I can purchase an iPhone on one line, and directly activate it on the other without doing the sim-swapping dance?

    As for the primary account holder being there, I'll call and find out.

    Thanks for all your help again guys!
  8. Dominat0r macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009

    I had to switch sims with mine....i had a old Cingular 3G sim in my phone.

    I dunno which one you have, but you might need to change it. Its not hard to do and there will be NO issues from ATT when you call to change it.

    You will do the activation from iTunes, just plug it in and follow the directions.
  9. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    The account holder absolutely must be there to sign and authorize any
    new line or change to service. Huge penalties to the company if they don't
    and an account holder complains.
  10. Dominat0r macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    if you call and order it online, i believe all they will ask you is the account holders last 4 digits of their SS#.

    I dunno if they do it for everyone, but thats normally how they verify with me that im the account holder.
  11. isharan thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Sorry to bump this thread, but I have another question.

    Say I walk into an apple store and purchase the iPhone on one line. Can they activate it on another line if I ask them to do so? Or do they have to activate on the line I purchased the phone on, and then we have to swap the sim ourselves. It just seems silly if they can't, because it just wastes our time doing the same thing if they can just directly activate it on a different line.

    And yes, the account holder does need to be there. Thanks for the clarification guys!
  12. Dominat0r macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009
    im not 100% on this, but before i knew that i needed to activate my phone via iTunes, i was on the phone with ATT...they couldnt activate my iphone over the phone. They said it needed to be connected to iTunes and activated through there.

    Again, i dont know if this is true for everyone...maybe just me cause i was switching sims.
  13. kelpi macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2008

    As far as the account, the only things the Account holder needs to do is add you as an retail authorized user (RAU); no need to have them present unless you are adding a new line of service. Just have the AH call CC to add you as a RAU. When you visit the COR, advise the store rep you want to do an upgrade swap on the two lines and they'll understand what you're talking about.

    People got to make everything so convoluted and difficult. Google:
  14. isharan thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Yeah, I know for sure I can do an upgrade swap. My question is that instead of activating it on the line that's eligible and then having me swapping sims and stuff, can't they just purchase it on the line that's eligible and activate it on another line? No biggy, but it'll just save me 30 minutes of being on the phone and stuff.
  15. Dominat0r macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2009

    Yes, you can do me..i did it =)

    My number that im using my iPhone isnt up for a upgrade in a few months, but instead of them giving me a discount, they actually used a upgrade to the other number on my account.

    Right now i have my brother and step father in a family plan..its really only 10$ a month each for them, but they just use simple phones..they have no need for smart phones, so basically since i pay the account, i get the upgrades =)

    Np what so ever to buy it on another number on your account and use it for your telephone number, dont even worry about it from ATT. They were happy as hell to help me when i told them what i wanted to do.

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