AT&T "Can't" Adjust Upgrade Date?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by camhabib, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. camhabib macrumors regular

    May 29, 2008
    Be it just dumb luck or something else, my iPhone 4 broke a few days ago - one month out of warranty, the power button on the top stopped working. Apple won't budge with replacing it, so I'm forced to pick up a new one (self repair process is way too complicated for my liking). I figured instead of paying the $200 for a new one of the same model, I'll pick myself up a 4S.

    I checked my upgrade eligibility date, and it's not for another 2 months. My ETF is around $160, and AT&T wants the subsidized cost of the phone + $250 + $20 to upgrade it in contract. I called them up and explain the situation to them, that I'd like to stay with AT&T, but it's significantly cheaper to switch to another carrier and just pay the ETF. Apparently, according to them, Apple prohibits the adjusting of eligibility date when an iPhone is in the mix. Nor can they issue me a credit on my account for the upgrade fee.

    Thoughts? Has anyone else run into this? Any tactic I can employ to make them more willing? I've already threatened to move about 3 other lines, 2 of which are out of contract already, along with me should I leave, to no avail.
  2. EmbraceTheOne macrumors 6502a

    Aug 26, 2011
    Apple prohibiting the ability to early upgrade is BS.
  3. thelatinist macrumors 603


    Aug 15, 2009
    Connecticut, USA
    Apple doesn't care whether they get their money from you or from AT&T. This would be an AT&T policy that they're just blaming on Apple.
  4. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    They can do whatever they want to do. They messed up my order so badly that it took three days of phone calls to straighten it out. In the end they said they would change the price to the full upgrade price. I had never asked for that and had a month to go before I was eligible.

    I would rather have my order done correctly and pay the early upgrade price. :mad:
  5. DoubleSh0t macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Are you dealing with AT&T representatives in the store or on the phone? Every AT&T rep I've dealt with in the store has strictly been a salesperson; they're not going to help you.

    If you're dealing with a CSR over the phone, ask them if they will do an exception upgrade given the circumstances. If you're not happy, elevate to a supervisor.

    Lastly, you could try contact AT&T corporate. I know back during the Cingular days, you could contact the office of the president and they were very good about resolving your issues. I'm not sure if that is still an option, though.
  6. camhabib thread starter macrumors regular

    May 29, 2008
    I've been dealing with them over the phone, and spoke with a supervisor once who said he was unable to do anything for me. They just gave me some generic canned response. I was told the only person who would possibly be able to help is a store manager, who could override the date for me somehow.
  7. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    When you call AT&T and the robo attendant asks what you want say "cancel". That will push you to retentions. They can issue credits. If they decline take the hint they don't value your biz and walk. You have choices now.
  8. DoubleSh0t macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2008
    You can also try speaking to someone in retentions, they may be able to push through the exception upgrade if you're threatening to move all of your lines.
  9. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    That might have worked last month, and it might work next month. Right now they are so inundated with iPhone 4S orders, they aren't budging on policy (and as a business owner I can understand the need to be consistent at a time like this).

    If you have 2 lines out of contract, you could use the upgrade on one of those lines. It's called a "Complex Upgrade".

    Or, you could fix (actually exchange) your phone for $200, and you will be able to sell it in a couple of months as a "low time" perfect condition phone, and net cost of the repair would be zero.
  10. trido macrumors newbie


    Mar 23, 2008
    Try a local ATT store talk to the manager if you can,seems at time now local store can do more than the 800 number.
  11. camhabib thread starter macrumors regular

    May 29, 2008
    I've been dealing with the retentions department this entire time as I was always informed they have the most leeway and flexibility when it comes to things such as this.
  12. j4bles macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2011
    They moved my wife's eligibility from late November to this week. Just have to get the right CSR, I guess.

    My wife called to bitch about how she didn't think it was fair that I was eligible and she was not (boo hoo). It was a quick conversation, the CSR said "let me see what I can do" and then a few minutes later told my wife to enjoy her new iPhone on Friday.
  13. UmichAg macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008

    AT&T screwed up my account and accidently pushed back my eligibility date by a year. I talked to 5 different reps and none of them could fix the date despite them seeing that the date was messed up. I finally contacted corporate and they very quickly and professionally resolved the issue
  14. SeanU macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2009
  15. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Is everything else working but the power button? If so, why not just use the home button to access your phone? I guess you won't be able to reboot or turn off your phone, but it will likely be functional for two months.

    Seems more simple than making multiple calls to AT&T.
  16. fjrabon macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2010
    kinda sucks, but this is basically the way it has to be.

    Fact: AT&T won't have anywhere near the phones to give one to every person who wants one.

    Fact: If there was some way around this, somebody would immediately come on here and post "found a way to get around AT&T's stupid 2 year upgrade cycle!"

    Fact: even if there aren't a lot of posters on here, word would quickly spread through the web.

    Supposition: then AT&T would have to choose between either making arbitrary choices about who really merits special treatment and who doesn't, when their manpower is basically stretched to the limit right now anyway.

    Fact: AT&T really screwed themselves out of a lot of potential new customers and full contract re-ups for the iPhone 4 because they gave a lot of their very limited supply of iPhones to people who were already under contract.

    Fact: AT&T doesn't want a repeat of this.

    QED: Hard and fast rules that are probably unfair in some very select cases, but that probably just have to be made.
  17. fahadqureshi macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2009
    Houston, TX
    some info on att and upgrade eligibility

    a supervisor told me that they use 150 different metrics(how long you have been a customer, your plan cost, what kind of plan you have, how many phones you have, premier or regular customer, etc...) to calculate your upgrade eligibility and it gets updated every month(on your billing cycle end date). so for example if you check in january your eligibility may be different then if you check it again in february. also the whole "if your plan is over $100 you are "automatically" eligible after 12 months" isn't entirely true.

    she also told me that i can open a new line and get a new iphone 4S at the $199 price then transfer it to my primary line and keep the 4th line(in my case its 4th in your case might only be 2nd or 3rd) as a sort of "insurance policy"(more on this below). so basically you'll be paying an additional $10 a month for 2 years but you will always have a second line that can be upgraded. she was also willing to give me $90 credit ($30 over 3 months) that would cover the $10 a month cost for 9 months. this is really not a good deal at all but if you are desperate and absolutely have to have new iphone its an option.

    its an insurance policy in the sense that a normal insurance policy also costs about $10 a month. and a normal insurance policy would cover your phone once a year. by having a secondary line in many cases you are almost guaranteed an upgrade pretty much every year because if one line isnt eligible chances are the other one will be. so if you break your phone or whatever you can upgrade your other line and have a new phone.

    this may have already been said before but once you do your next upgrade(whenever it is) it is likely that att is no longer going to change your upgrade eligibilty based on metrics. everyone will have a firm 20 month upgrade eligibility regardless.

    if you are ineligible for an upgrade i highly urge you to call att and politely ask them what your etf fee is. this will inevitably result in them asking you "why are you thinking about leaving". then you can drop the whole "its cheaper to pay etf and go to vzw/sprint". this wont necessarily get you an iphone4s but it can definitely get you some other goodies like free text messaging for 6 months or various credit amounts to your bill.
  18. camhabib thread starter macrumors regular

    May 29, 2008
    They tried to suggest this, and as I replied to the rep, it's still significantly cheaper for me to just switch carriers. I hate to do so, mainly because I've had good luck with AT&T, but at this point, it looks like I'll just jump ship.

    As an aside, a few people suggested calling AT&T Corporate; if anyone has a number or contact, I'd appreciate the info.
  19. wratran macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2010
    i am jumping ship as soon as the cdma 4S is confirmed on the unlock gsm side.

    I travel internationally a lot...and cdma by itself does not work economically
  20. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    You and a 1000 other people try this on a daily basis. I am sure they all laugh at some of the excuses claimed by users on why they should make an exception.

    They are likely just worn out and could not do it if they wanted.

    For $200 Apple will give you a like new refurb that you could sell for more than that when your upgrade arrives. That would be taking responsibility for your iPhone needs yourself.
  21. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    For clarification, Apple has indeed set the pricing and are in contract with AT&T so the carrier's hands are tied. Business is business. Thank You Apple.
  22. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    Makes more sense to pay $200, get a 4, then sell it in 2 months on Craigslist and get yourself a 4S at a discounted rate. You'll get a strong price for it on Craigslist if you specify that it's only 2 months old.

    Feel like you are jetting AT&T just because you are mad about the situation.
  23. RedRallyeZ macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2010
    I agree. I would take that, use the iPhone 4 for another few months, and ebay that one to recoup all if not more of the cost of the refurb.
  24. capcaveman, Oct 12, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011

    capcaveman macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2011
    5th time is the charm.

    I'd called four times to try and get my upgrade bumped from Nov 30 to launch day. They said they could only move it to Nov 1st every time. I'd gotten annoyed and posted that I'd just keep my 4 since ATT refused to bump it another lousy 18 days.

    But, I found my old 1st gen iPhone and figured I'd go ahead and sell my 4 since I had a decent offer on it then use the 1st gen. I shipped off the 4 went to the ATT store to activate the old iPhone, but they told me it was too old and my only chance of getting it to work is to go to the Apple store. Did that, no luck. Stuck using a crappy RZR for 4weeks or more and realizing the true meaning of Hell after 24 hours without my iPhone (yes, I have a sad, sad life) I called ATT back and started the call by asking them to save me from my own stupidity.

    The ATT rep laughed, and listened to my tale of woe. She talked to a manager who said they now have a "special team" to review these requests and would get back to me in 72 hours with a decision. I was thinking, yea right. Barely 15 minutes later I got a call back from another person at ATT who said my request was approved! Now I'm planning on getting in line early Fri morning and feeling very relieved. In the end, ATT gets a little more customer loyalty from me at least.
  25. midnightfalcon macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    The power button repair costs 50-69 dollars at an iPhone repair shop.

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