Carrier Avoiding Upgrade Costs

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by msnbgn, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. msnbgn macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2014
    Hello all... New to the forum and I have a quick question about upgrades. If I have missed posts that I need to be looking at first before posting my question, I apologize in advance... Please direct me to them. Otherwise...

    I have an AT&T account with two lines... One I just added in October. The first line isn't due for an upgrade until July of this year but the iPhone 4 is broken for this line... Being that Best Buy had a great deal on iPhones, I bought a 5C for free on a new, 2 year line.

    Can I take this new iPhone and put it on the broken phone line and then cancel this new number without having to pay Best Buy full price for the phone within the first 14 days? Will AT&T recognize this and perhaps charge me account directly for the full price of the phone?

    Please also note, the original line that is broken only have a $150 ETF... So all in all I'd be only paying the $150 for the 5C, but looking to avoid that fee obviously.
  2. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    My guess is that if you cancel the purchase, Best Buy would want the phone back as well. Not 100% sure though.
  3. 3lite macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2011
    Didn't read your long post but just off of your title... don't upgrade. Problem solved.
  4. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    Best Buy wants the phone back within 14 days. If you cancel the line after 14 days, you can keep the iPhone, but you have to pay ETF on the new line.

    Best way would be to call AT&T and ask them for an early upgrade. I do this every year or so. I've never been denied. (My account is also 14 years old though)
  5. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    You want to do a device swap. Go to an at&t store and have them device swap the new iPhone to the line with the broken iPhone. Put a dumbphone on the new line and you can remove data on that. You'll have to honor the rest of the contract on all the lines though. This is assuming you're not on some shared plan.
  6. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Whichever line you cancel, you'll end up paying the ETF. If you cancel the new contract, you'll pay the full ETF of $325. If you cancel the old contract, you'll only have to pay $150(less $4 for each completed month on the contract).
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You're not looking to avoid upgrade costs but rather ETF costs and carriers have pretty much closed all loopholes. If you start a new line to get a subsidized phone, you're on the hook for the ETF, no if ands or buts about it.

    You can swap the phone and then on the new line drop the data plan which should reduce your monthly cost.
  8. blarivee macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2009
    ETF goes with the line you are closing. If you close the new line within 14 days, you have to return the iPhone and you won't pay the ETF (trial period), or you pay the unsubsidized price. After 14 days you pay the ETF ($325).
  9. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    Is $325 the maximum? Seems it would be beneficial to do this when Best Buy has the 5c on sale.
  10. blarivee macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2009
    Yes, $325 is the minimum and you get $10 off for every month of service completed. You are right, you can get the 5C for much lower than retail price :D
  11. msnbgn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2014
    thanks for all the replies! I ended up canceling my previous line and ended up paying only $150 to cancel and get a new 5C. Thanks for everyone's input! Greatly appreciated.
  12. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    How do you ask? The reason i ask is because back when the 4s came out i had my upgrade at the same time come up, but right before it got changed and pushed out by like 4 months for no reason. I called and the rep said he would have to put me on with a manager. She was being quite bitchy and didn't even want to change the upgrade date back to what it should be.
  13. AutoUnion39, Jan 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014

    AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    I usually start by asking about the price of an "early upgrade" for a certain phone on one of my lines. Then the rep usually quotes $XXX + $250, which is the early upgrade fee. Then I ask if they could do something about the fee due to my loyalty, etc. They've never said no.

    However, I've dealt with the upgrade in 3 diff't ways (on my own line)
    - Order the phone at the $XXX + $250 early upgrade price, and then get the $250 back as a bill credit (S3 to iPhone 5)
    - Order the device over the phone at that moment at the 2 year price (iPhone 5 to Galaxy S4)
    - Most recently, for my 5S, they "pushed up" my upgrade date, so I could take advantage of the black friday $99 5S deal. A case had to be filed and took about a week for them to do it. (GS4 to iPhone 5S)

    I just upgraded my line in November to the 5S, but plan to get an early upgrade for the Galaxy S5 in May.

    I almost always do it over chat on their website. If they want me to order the phone at that moment, I have them call me and process it, etc.

    If you want to talk about it more, PM me.

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