AT&T Store: "I'm sorry, there's no way for you to buy an iPhone" Um, what?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Ashyukun, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Ashyukun macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #1
    A bit of background- I've been an AT&T/Cingular customer for probably as long as I've owned a cell phone. My previous 2-year contract expired last November, and I didn't get anything to replace my POS old phone until about 4 months ago when I had to start traveling more for work and needed something that could really use the internet- at which point I got a Samsung Blackjack II. What I really wanted was an iPhone- but I really wanted a 3G one, and since the iPhones cost the same no matter whether you were signing up new of not, the sales rep agreed that there wasn't much issue (if I was willing to pay the price) to get the subsidized phone then and pay the full price later for the iPhone to replace it.

    Of course, they switched to a subsidized setup unexpectedly. Still, I expected to pay the $400 or so from the get-go, so while a bit annoying that if I'd not upgraded when I did I could have gotten one for half the price- but at the same time, I really needed the phone and have more than gotten my money out of the one I got.

    So today I go into my local AT&T store to look at the new iPhones- I planned on getting one in about a month or so but wanted to at least play with one to confirm that I still really wanted one. One of the sales reps comes up and asks me if I have any questions, and I say, "Yes, what is the price again for the iPhones if you're not eligible for an upgrade?" She looks at me kind of funny and says, "Well, we don't have one." Going back and forth, she says that the $399/$499 price is just for people that have been cleared for 'early upgrades'- and that there is no way for me, an existing AT&T customer who just wants to replace their existing phone with an iPhone, to buy one. Her explanation (which sounded like complete BS) was that Apple had implemented this policy because of all the phones that had been unlocked and used on other networks.

    That's not the understanding that I had from everything I've read- my understanding that anyone could get one, but those ineligible for upgrades had to pay the higher price for them just like any other cell phone upgrade. Did I just understand everything wrong, or was she completely full of it? I did try calling and asking AT&T- but their customer service is closed.
     
  2. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #2
    LOL what the heck is that... the do not let you PURCHASE a product?? Go ask for her manager...

    If you are not eligible for the 399/499 price point that means you qualify for 199/299 that's what happened to my friend because he hasnt been in contract for almost 2 years clear now and he was eligible for 199 8GB

    Cheers
     
  3. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

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    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    Complete bull. Should've asked another rep right after. You CAN buy one.
     
  4. benlee macrumors 65816

    benlee

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #4
    Although I don't know whether she is wrong or not. If she is not wrong-- that would be probably the most idiotic business reasoning in the world.

    Lets lose a sale of an iPhone so this person doesn't go unlock it!??:eek:
     
  5. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    #5
    AT&T has said that in the future the iPhone will be available for a commitment-free price ($599/$699, I think.) However, they have not said anything, that I know of, about a committed (ie, 2 year contract) but unsubsidized price.

    Further, they have said that anybody with a 1st gen iPhone, regardless of upgrade eligibility, can get the 3G iPhone for the $199/$299 price. In other words, get a 1st gen iPhone and activate it, then get a 3G iPhone, and sell the 1st gen iPhone and Blackjack.
     
  6. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    #6
    She's not wrong, btw - ATT/Apple are ONLY offering the 3g iPhone for the subsidized price right now. If you're not eligible for a subsidized upgrade, they will not sell you a 3G iPhone (unless you can convince somebody to go against company policy, which is possible. I've heard of people getting a hold or CSRs who modified their upgrade eligibility in the ATT system, put I suspect you have to be luck or a good persuader for that.)
     
  7. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    No, if you're not eligible for an upgrade you pay the $399 - $499 prices.
    If you are eligible, you can get it for the $199 - $299 price.
     
  8. grantsdale macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    #8

    Absolutely not true. You can get it for $399/$499 if you are not upgrade eligible.
     
  9. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #9

    Incorrect

    199/299 = New Customer or Upgrade eligible or existing iPhone customer
    399/499 = Upgrade ineligible
     
  10. TimothyB macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #10
    What are you talking about, they offer two options, upgrade eligible at $199-$299, or early upgrade at $399-$499, which any existing ATT customer can do. Both those require a 2 year agreement and both restart your eligibility to another 2 years.

    Later, there will be a locked, but no commitment option for $599-$699.
     
  11. TimothyB macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #11
    The activation of the 1st iPhone for eligibility was for before the 11th, there hasn't been any confirmation that this loophole still works after launch. I bet ATT would stop it now so all the hand me down iphones, which that they give instructions to do) wouldn't make those people instantly eligible.
     
  12. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 3, 2007
    #12
    Go to an Apple store. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
     
  13. Ashyukun thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #14
    Ah, that's what pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I'll have to resist the urge to print that out and go back to the store and shoving it in her face. Though I will be going elsewhere to get my iPhone, that's for sure.

    I couldn't believe that they wouldn't have any way for you to buy one if you were willing to pay for it. Thanks for helping confirm it!
     
  14. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #15
    You should actually shoved it in her face.

    This is the reason why I will be printing the instruction on how to go from prepaid (gophone) to postpaid and keeping your number... because ive heard some store assistant do not let people to switch from prepaid to postpaid and keep their number.
     
  15. ScottFitz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    #16
    The ultimate revenge is that ATT made all those folks cancel their vacations and such. (Only to be denied any inventory and thus no way to make any money!)
     
  16. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #17
    I would print it out, get the iPhone elsewhere, THEN go back, and shove both in her face ("oh, looky looky! Not only COULD I get an iPhone, but YOU missed out on commission! Awwww too bad.")
     
  17. illutionz macrumors 65816

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    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #18
    superb idea
     
  18. jmckechnie macrumors member

    jmckechnie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    #19
    $199/299 price = upgrade subsidized price
    $299/399 price = nonsubsidized price but still signing 2 year contract
    $599/699 price = contract free price...at some point.
     
  19. JPIndustrie macrumors 6502a

    JPIndustrie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    #20
    This is another example of the biggest problem AT&T and Apple have on their hands now: misinformation.

    There is a whole lot of misinformation occurring with the new iPhone, and it will start to bite AT&T/Apple in the *ss. Maybe not now, but sooner or later.

    I was told at the 5th Ave/NYC Apple store that there "isn't an option for the $399/499 price - it just isn't in our system." BS, just one example of it.

    I really feel we should create a sticky on this site called "iPhone 3G purchasing/activation myths dispelled", and have members post their purchasing/activation stories and any information about how the process is really being handled so we can better inform the community on how to get one. Eventually we can have FAQ database with commonly asked questions for purchasing/upgrading.
     
  20. cardsdoc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Shaker Hts, OH
    #21
    I had a similar experience to the OP. After Apple made their announcement my Verizon razr started to die so I figured I'd port over to ATT (rather then sign a new Verizon contract for a new phone). I got a free Nokia phone on ATT. Then ATT announced the real pricing. I would have been a customer for 32 days on the release day - too late to qualify for the subsidized price. So I planned on porting back to Verizon within my 30 days then back to ATT after release. Just in case I called ATT customer service to explain the situation and they said not to port back and forth - they'll put a note in the account and authorize a subsidized price upgrade since it was so close.

    On July 11th, I waited 2 hours (starting at 6am) at a local ATT store. When I was ready to purchase they said they could not honor the customer service note and on top of that they claimed I was not eligible to purchase an iPhone at ANY price. They said the early upgrade eligibility was not well defined by ATT but this is what their computers said. They said I would have buy it at the yet unannounced fully unsubsidized price which they're not selling yet. WTF? I left irate. I called customer service and their possible solution was to purchase an iPhone on a new line (counts as a new customer) and they would swap the numbers then cancel the new line and dismiss the early termination fee. So after work I waited 1.5 hours at Apple to get an iPhone on a new number. I called back ATT to swap the numbers and then they told me this is very difficult and probably impossible and they'll get back to me in 48-72 hours. After about 4 days and after a lot of help to escalate the case from a local ATT store manager they finally did it. So now I'm good to go, but it was a horrible experience with ATT.
     
  21. ubersalad macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #22
    Most of these issues could solve easily if you simply ask the right questions, or keep asking questions until you get a sensible answer.

    If you truly want the phone, just open up another line and get it.
     
  22. cantankerously macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #23
    Not true. I was ineligible for an upgrade and I still walked out with an iPhone on release day for $499 + 2 year commitment.
     
  23. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    #24
    You're right, there are THREE purchase levels, I had forgotten about the middle one - no upgrade, but still with 2-year contract.
     
  24. laryter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #25
    What is AT&T doing about the May 27th cut off date

    Trying to find a way (I'm sure it's simple but I can't find it) to creat a new post...so apologies for joining this post, but it is about AT &T so I thought everyone on here would know something about their practices.

    Prior to the launch and on the day there seemed to be many conflicting reports on AT & Ts policy towards people who had bought an I Phone after the 27th.
    I purchased a 16gb on the 29th and paid $499 for the phone. I am apparently eligible for an upgrade, but they are saying that all they will do is swop the phones. I am more than prepared to start a new contract so I get the same rate $299 as others for the new phone, but since they didn't tell me a new phone was coming out, shouldn't they be prepared, as with everyone else to sell me the phone at $299 and give me a rebate of $200 on the phone I am giving back? I have heard from some people that they are, and then from a rep from AT &T that they aren't. I also understand I have until Aug 1st to do this. Thought I'd wait til all the excitement dropped from opening day, and do it leisurely especially since the protocol would probably be clearer now. Does anyone know what their policy really is on people who bought the phones after the 27th and are eligible for the upgrade and who can presumably...I bought the old phone on the first day, but have been with AT & T for about 10 years. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     

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