Buying an iPhone and plan from AT&T, then ditching...

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AmazingRobie, Aug 20, 2009.

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  1. AmazingRobie macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #1
    Buying an iPhone and plan from AT&T, then ditching...

    Does anyone know if there are any unforeseen charges that will be incurred if a "friend" of mine purchases an iPhone 3GS from AT&T at their introductory rate of $199 for the 16G along with the 2 year contract and data plan and then walks out and just pays the early termination fee of $150 or whatever that is? Do you have to end up paying the full retail price of the phone as well along with the cancellation fee and is there any charge for cancelling the data plan too? My "friend" can't really afford thirty bucks a month in addition to a regular home internet service and they really want an iPhone, but don't want to buy one through a shady source like eBay or one of the other online retailers. My "friend" can unlock the phone themselves.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Please do try and search before you post.
    Here are some ideas of what might happen.
     
  3. Simgar988 macrumors 65816

    Simgar988

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    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    UYBAATC
    #3
    +1. Your friend isn't very clever:confused:
     
  4. AmazingRobie thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #4
    Sorry. As you can see I'm not only new, but I'm also lazy. Thanks for your help. :eek:
     
  5. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    Connecticut, USA
    #5
    And also unethical.
     
  6. wilheldp macrumors member

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    Oct 23, 2008
    #6
    You can't afford $30 a month for service, but you can afford a $199 phone and a $150 ETF? Why don't you just bank the $150, pay for 6 months of service, and in those 6 months, find a job to continue paying the $30 a month for service?
     
  7. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #7
    Perhaps you should tell your "friend" that if they can't afford the iPhone - they shouldn't get an iPhone. And that your "friend" should wait until they can before buy one.
     
  8. AmazingRobie thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #8
    The $30 is on top of another AT&T home service internet which already includes mobile wifi, why should you have to pay twice for a service that you are already receiving, plus the thirty dollars more is on top of an already $75.00 a month phone service, so $105.00 a month to own an iPhone is ridiculous. And already have a job, just don't feel like throwing away money. Thanks anyway.
     
  9. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #9
    You mean your "friend" doesn't want to throw money away.

    Why is your (I mean your "friend) phone service 75 + $30 data?

    And again - if you (I mean your "friend") can't afford the iPhone then you shouldn't own one.

    Try living within your means instead of outside it.
     
  10. cardinal macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2009
    #10
    Don't know why all of you guys are bitter about someone canceling a contract. So what if people are owning the same phone you are and paying less. It is not illegal or unethical to do this.

    For the OP:
    You can buy the phone, keep it for 30 days, and cancel. You'll end up paying the following:

    200+sales tax
    170 ETF
    45+cell taxes
    36 activation

    451 + ~25 taxes. Which is significantly less than paying a non-contract price (600 + ~45 tax).

    Make sure as soon as you buy the phone to switch the sim into a non-iphone and call AT&T. They will allow you to cancel your data plan right away, leaving you with only a $40 monthly cell bill, which comes out to about $45 because it will be prorated until the first billing cycle begins.
     
  11. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #11
    I don't think anyone is bitter. I don't think that has anything to do with the comments here.

    Not illegal - correct
    Not unethical - questionable
    Responsible/Smart decision - no... not really

    If I can afford to buy a new BMW but can't afford the maintenance on it or insurance - then I really shouldn't be buying the BMW. Perhaps a less expensive but still reliable means of transportation is better suited for me financially.

    What people are responding to (I believe) is the sense of entitlement some people have that they are entitled to have an iPhone despite it being beyond their means to pay for it. It's not a responsible behavior to encourage. Which is why, personally, I don't condone it. Just because you can manipulate the system in this instance to perhaps get what you want doesn't make it something worth encouraging.
     
  12. cardinal macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2009
    #13
    There is no analogous maintenance or insurance for the iPhone, because there is no mandatory payment for it once you own one without a contract. You can then use it as you would any other cellphone: with or without data, on various carriers, etc.

    The sense of entitlement seems to be coming from the above posters - they believe nobody should own an iPhone if they cannot afford the data plan. That is false. You can use the method I outlined and sell the phone a year later, netting a loss of only about $100. I'm sure many people that cannot afford a data plan pay $100/year for a phone (not including any cell bills here). So it is well within their means to use an iPhone without a data plan on their existing plan.
     
  13. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #14
    If the minimum cost for an iPhone plan is $69/month, how did you get $45?

    Also, I thought they don't prorate the last month of service? Which can be an issue, seeing as how your first bill from them will include the amount due for the prorated first month and the entire second month?

    After you've jailbroken the phone to get around AT&T's requirements, correct?
     
  14. cardinal macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2009
    #15
    You use another phone on AT&T by putting the sim in it. You can then call AT&T and cancel the data plan. You do not need to keep data/iPhone on the plan for a month.

    They prorate until the first billing cycle, which will only be a few days. It'll add like $5 to the $40, not much of a difference.

    Yup, jailbreak & unlock.
     
  15. cmwade77 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 18, 2008
    #16
    Umm, it's not always about the money for the service, the problem that you find is AT&T's service stinks, I can certainly understand why the OP's friend would want to ditch them.

    And to the previous poster, AT&T requires you to keep a data plan, if you are using an iPhone.
     
  16. samcraig macrumors P6

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #17
    I'm not going to get into a verbal sparring match with you. Most states require insurance. So you can liken that to having to pay a monthly or yearly fee to use your car on the road. Whatever

    If the requirements of owning an iPhone include a voice and data plan and to be on AT&T - then yes - if they can't afford those TERMS - they shouldn't get one. The ones that are abiding by their contracts/agreements ARE entitled. The ones that want to jury-rig their situation to get one aren't ENTITLED.
     
  17. cardinal macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2009
    #18
    Of course car insurance is required. You misunderstood my point: you listed mandatory payments for cars, of which there are none once you own an iPhone without a contract. You can use it as an iPod if you'd like.

    There is no requirement to stay with your AT&T contract - as they allow you to break it - so there is no requirement to have a voice or data plan. You can choose a cell phone plan that is no different than your previous one. Since there are provisions in place that allow a person to break a contract, he is entitled to do so.

    Why are you so against this? The more people that own an iPhone, the more developer support there is. This is good for everybody. Don't be an elitist.
     
  18. patrickdunn macrumors 6502a

    patrickdunn

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #19
    Dude, you, I mean your friend would be the first one EVER to do this!!! Let us know how it turns out.
     
  19. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #20
    I don't know who taught you ethics. It is very unethical to enter into a contract in bad faith and then break it. If he wants a contract-free iPhone, he should pay the $699 unsubsidized price. Then he can do what he wants. Otherwise he is essentially stealing the $400 subsidy AT&T paid for him to have an iPhone in the expectation that he would fulfill his obligations under the contract. He may get away with it, that doesn't make it right.
     
  20. netslacker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #21
    Also know that AT&T is aware of people doing this. They will NOT make it easy under any circumstance. There are multiple threads on here discussing the problems that people have had trying to pay the ETF and get out of the contract. If you think AT&T will gladly let you do it you're dead wrong.
     
  21. wingnut8 macrumors 65816

    wingnut8

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    Jun 8, 2007
    #22
    Get an iPod Touch.
     
  22. cardinal macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2009
    #23
    What? If you want to get out of the contract, it's not like they can say no. The only posts are from confused people who thought they wouldn't have to pay a prorated amount.
     
  23. samcraig macrumors P6

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    Jun 22, 2009
    #24
    Actually - the #s are different for different posters. So there's no hard and fast rule on how much it would actually cost to pull of this "ditch"

    But whatever the cost - it's not all that different than buying the phone outright without a contract. AND you don't jeopardize a relationship with AT&T should you want to return for whatever reason within 6 (I believe that's the magic #) months.

    Why not just buy it outright and have all the freedom you want vs trying to ditch?
     
  24. cardinal macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2009
    #25
    Except you end up paying more than the $400 subsidy to AT&T, so you're giving them money for providing no service. I wish I could run a business like that.
     
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