Carrier ATT: Is dummy/ghost line my best option?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dvrmstrng, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. dvrmstrng macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2006
    Currently on AT&T grandfathered unlimited data.

    Current contract began 11/05/2012 and I purchased a Galaxy Note 2 with my upgrade at the time.

    Screen broke and is usable but I am looking to purchase new phone and get back to an iPhone, preferably 5S.

    From my reading, is it my understanding that my best bet is to add a line to my current plan, thus making it a family plan and using the new line to purchase a subsidized iPhone and then transferring my current number to the new phone?

    Everything I am reading indicates you can do this without losing unlimited data and it will only cost you $10+ tax for 24 months. I obviously will not have a data plan on the second line and will probably purchase a go phone to have a serial number/sim attached to the dummy line.

    Is that really my only option other than buying the phone at retail price?
  2. dvrmstrng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2006
    Follow up: I just checked my eligibility through Apple/ATT and they are showing I can get the 16GB 5S for $449.99 as soon as it is released which is basically what I would be paying ($199.99+ $10x24 months) for adding a ghost line and buying subsidized.
  3. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    Last year, I added 2 dummy lines to my AT&T account. Used the upgrades to move us to our current iPhone 5 phones. Bought a couple of $20 GoPhones for the $9.99 lines (about $13 after ridiculous taxes) and they sit in a drawer in case my kids ever need to use one if running out to an event or something.

    Even though over 24 months it comes out to about $300 to upgrade each phone early, I now have extra lines for my kids (which was gonna happen real soon anyway) AND every year SOMEONE's line is upgrade eligible for me and my wife to upgrade with.

    She and I also have the grandfathered unlimited plan from the first iPhone in 2007.
  4. dvrmstrng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2006
    Thanks for the reply! I am interested to see where I end up after tax here in "tax free" Delaware. Also this is strictly for myself so other than being able to upgrade once a year I'm not sure if it's worth it. I used to get by just by keeping my iPhones mint condition and selling at upgrade time.
  5. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    Ghost line $10 plus taxes equals about $12/month x 24 months
    $144/year x 2. Equals $288 dollars to maintain line.

    Plus $199 plus $36 activation fee.

    Total cost $523.

    Sure sounds better than paying $650 retail for it or even using "early upgrade" $450 plus $36 activation fee. Because you still won't have full eligibility for another 24 months if you upgrade using the partial $250 plus price of iPhone upgrade.
  6. DENTNU macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2010
    If I understood this correctly all I need to do is buy a GoPhone activate it and I will be able to then upgrade it to an iPhone 5S at the 199 price ? I don't need to wait 2 years to upgrade at that price point ?
  7. ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2013
    I think the idea is that you add the new line with the iPhone for 199, then activate the GoPhone on it afterwards, so you can then activate the new iPhone on your current account/number. Then you remove the data plan, if any, from the GoPhone line and continue it at the base rate for a family line ($10 on Verizon, close to that for AT&T?)
  8. ebika macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2008
    You don't need to buy any phone for that ghost line if you buy the iPhone 5s from an AT&T store. They'll add the second line as a default plan (no iPhone data or rates) with two year smartphone contract, and you can either put your existing nanosim into the new iPhone, or they'll provision your current # as a new nanosim for the new iPhone.
  9. DENTNU macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2010
    Ok so this is getting a bit confusing can someone please explain in detail how this works ?
  10. ebika macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2008
    1. Go to an AT&T store
    2. wait in line to buy the iPhone
    3. ask to add a line to your account to get the subsidized iPhone price
    4. tell them you want to use the new phone on your current #, not the new line
    5. remind them you don't want any phone on your new line

    Having more than line on an account is a family plan, so all lines share the minutes. The cheapest family plan you can get is the 450 minutes one (they don't advertise this, but you can ask for it for $40/month). You won't have any special data plan on the second line, unless you ask for it. The ETF on that line will be the smartphone ETF ($325 - $10/mo of full service, I think). You pay $10 + tax / month for that second line, and it has a 2 year contract on it. You can keep the grandfathered unlimited data on your main #.
  11. DENTNU macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2010
    1.Att does not require me to have a phone linked to that new line ?

    2. All I have to pay is around $13.00 for that line ?
  12. ebika macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2008
    Yes to both. (I just looked... $13.77 for my ghost line)
  13. dvrmstrng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2006
    I also thought ATT waived the $36 fee when adding new lines.
  14. DENTNU macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2010
    thank you you been most helpful. Now my last question is what happens if I am using a mobile share plan ? Do you know if I can still add this other line for $13.00?
  15. ebika macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2008
    I only vaguely remember, but I don't think they waived it for me.

    I'm sorry. My responses are limited. You must ask the right questions. :D (j/k)

    I don't have a mobile share plan, so I can't answer that one.
  16. DENTNU macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2010
    lol thanks calling att now :)
  17. hbenitez09, Sep 10, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  18. Stein357 macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    Rip City
    If you're on an 450 minute individual plan with unlimited data and text, that's $89.99/month before taxes. To transition to a family plan with 550 minutes, your unlimited data, and unlimited text, you're talking $109.99. So that extra line is going to cost you $20 a month, use the early upgrade.
  19. karmatourer macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2011
    In my house
    I added a dummy line last year.You don't need to by a phone at all for the dummy line/s.

  20. Jest3r, Sep 10, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

    Jest3r macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2010
    Attached is a spreadsheet of my upgrade options with monthly costs along with yearly sums. Obviously, the numbers will vary slightly per account. I already have a second line that I have always used for upgrades between my normal main line eligibility and I have a 15% FAN discount on the account.

    Tax is not included with the exception of the initial device tax associated with the AT&T Next initial purchase.

    Attached Files:

  21. ebika macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2008
    Have they changed policies internally to disallow ghost lines, or are they just instructing you all to strongly dissuade customers?

    All the steps I listed are what I followed last year for the iPhone 5. I have no idea if they'll work for the iPhone 5s. I do not fear for the viability of AT&T. I'm confident their margins are well able to support this kind of thing. ;)

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