Cancelling outright iP6+ pre-order to purchase from Verizon and have T-Mobile pay ETF

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by apunkrockmonk, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. apunkrockmonk, Sep 14, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2014

    apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #1
    I pre-ordered a no-commitment iPhone 6+ 64GB on launch day but I am contemplating canceling the order, purchasing the phone on contract through Verizon and then a month later immediately switching to T-Mobile and having them pay off the Verizon ETF. Ultimately netting a cheaper price for a no-commitment iPhone 6+.

    The T-Mobile ETF payoff offer has a couple caveats as I understand it.
    - You must port in a phone number, this phone number must match the line
    on which the ETF is to be paid.
    - You must trade a device (presumably a smartphone) into T-Mobile.
    - You must purchase a device (presumably a smartphone) from T-Mobile.
    - T-Mobile will take approximately two months to send you the ETF rebate.

    For the past year I have been on T-Mobile's $30/mo pre-paid plan that includes 100 voice minutes, unlimited texting and unlimited data (first 5GB @ LTE speed) per month. For the ease of keeping this calculation simple all monthly service costs will be listed as delta over $30/mo to see if this will personally save me money or not.

    iPhone 6+ 64GB no-commitment price $849, this is the price to beat.

    iPhone 6+ 64GB 2 year contract price $399, $35 activation fee and $30 delta cost of service for one month of Verizon service, total $464.

    Port to T-Mobile, two months of T-Mobile service, $20 delta cost of service per month for two months $40. Total so far $504.

    Purchase of an outdated smartphone for trade-in to T-Mobile via craigslist, $50. Total so far $554.
    Per Vdubguy18 T-Mobile will accept any cell phone for trade in, smart or dumb, functional or broken. This invalidates this line item and saves me $50 as I have old flip phones lying around. Total so far $504.

    Purchase of a refurbished Nokia Lumia 510 from T-Mobile $50 (Technically I will have some trade-in value from whichever phone I just traded in... but I'll assume $0 just to have the worst case covered). Total so far $604.
    Per Vdubguy18 the cheapest phone T-Mobile has for sale is $30 not $50 for an additional $20 savings, total so far $534.

    At this point I should be free and clear to take my new iPhone to whichever carrier and whichever service plan I'd like, total savings ($849 - $604) are $245. My regional sales tax is 8%, so if you're being generous I'd save an extra $36 in sales tax on the original iPhone purchase as well for a total saved of $281.
    Updated savings ($849 - $534) = $351!!!

    I will also have an extra (refurbished) Nokia Lumia 510 that I can hang onto for a backup or sell to recoup a little extra money.

    Can anyone point out anything I've missed or any reason why this isn't a good idea?
     
  2. WolfSnap macrumors 6502a

    WolfSnap

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    SoCal
    #2
    Doesn't work that way.

    T-Mobile makes you give the phone to them.

    Plus, they pay a crappy amount of money for the phone.

    You'll be paying twice for the same phone.
     
  3. apunkrockmonk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #3
    How does T-Mobile know what phone you've purchased from your old carrier and prevent you from trading in a different phone?

    I can't think of a way they'd be able to tell.
     
  4. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    stylinexpat

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #4
    If you pay for the phone in full then you get an unlocked phone with full features and no strings attached. Paying less would come with less features and options. That sounds reasonable
     
  5. apunkrockmonk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #5
    In my post above I believe I've detailed a way to get the unlocked phone with full features while simultaneously paying less.

    I've posted my plan on MacRumors to see if someone can poke holes in my theory.

    All Verizon phones with LTE are sold as unlocked due to an agreement Verizon made with the FCC while acquiring some 700MHz spectrum in the past.
     
  6. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #6
    I think it'll work but I'd have to ask, please reconsider doing this. T-Mobile is probably the only carrier driving down rate plans. They lose money by paying your ETF but they're banking on continuous revenue from people who switch. I'd hate to see T-Mobile go bankrupt because of people gaming the system thereby leaving AT&T and Verizon unchecked yet again.
     
  7. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    stylinexpat

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #7
    I went back and read your post again. I misunderstood.


    I believe you are right. I support T-Mobile . Had it not been for T-Mobile Verizon and AT&T would still be charging us outrageous prices for their services.
     
  8. apunkrockmonk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #8
    I had the same thought myself. I really love what T-Mobile has been doing, I witnessed it first hand as my iPhone 5 went from edge, to 3G to 4G to LTE in under a year. It's been incredible!

    However T-Mobile is still for sale, when they ultimately find a buyer their agenda could do a total 180.

    I'd love to believe that what they've done is for the customer and to become the "uncarrier" but I fear that in actuality they're trying to inflate their subscriber numbers only to woo potential buyers.
     
  9. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    the OC
    #9
    keep in mind you're going to have to get two hard inquiries into your credit report (one from verizon and one from t-mobile). if that and all the legwork is worth $280 to you, then more power to you.
     
  10. apunkrockmonk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #10
    Definitely hadn't taken that into consideration... great point.

    My Verizon will be an add a line on a friend's pre-existing account.

    Two inquiries wouldn't be worth it but I feel that one will be worth it.

    I deal with TN porting on a daily basis for a living so the legwork is no big deal :)
     
  11. jbromer macrumors 6502a

    jbromer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    MD, USA
    #11
    Make sure you buy your iPhone and contract from Verizon directly and not a premium retailer, and scrutinize the language hardcore.

    Since they make $0 from the phone and all their money from the contract, a lot of stores have now added language to the contracts requiring you to give back the phone if you cancel the contract within 6 months (even if you pay the ETF).

    Don't get caught there...
     
  12. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
  13. Vdubguy18 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #13
    I talked to T Mobile the other day...You do not have to trade them a smart phone as they will take any phone even a non-working phone as the trade in phone. Just the newer the phone the more money provided.

    Secondly you only are required to purchase a phone from them...cheapest is $30.

    This is currently my plan as I have preordered my verizon phones. Will be doing ETF on Verizon and taking my phones to Tmobile. Will give them old crap phones as the credit means nothing as I will have the new iPhone 6's to use. Secondly I will be purchasing the $30 phones to meet the requirements for the program.

    Right now I am just trying to figure out if I am required to keep my verizon phones beyond the 14 day return time frame or if I can cancel on day 1 and go to verizon and just pay out the ETF.
     
  14. apunkrockmonk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #14
    This is very interesting, I've never heard of such a policy. I'll have to look into it further.

    That is all valuable information. This makes my original calculation $70 cheaper meaning total savings would be $351.

    From what I remember it is not possible to cancel the service within the first month without also returning the cellphone but I could be mistaken. I haven't asked a CSR this question recently or anything.
     
  15. Diegobot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    #15
    following your method. How soon can you cancel service with Verizon to get the ball rolling after signing that 2 year agreement again. thanks!
     
  16. techiegirl macrumors 6502a

    techiegirl

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    #16
    I would think after the 14 or 30 day cancellation/return period.

    When I transferred to T-Mobile in January I bought flip phones from Wal-Mart for $15 each to trade in.
     

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