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WannaApple?

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 9, 2008
629
70
Maybe Im not thinking about this correctly but can someone please set me straight if so.

Last year I traded in my iPhone 12 Pro Max and received the $700 credit over 36 months for which I have been receiving a $27.78 credit each month for 11 months so far so I've paid $305.58 and am still due $394.42 in credits. AT&T has my iPhone 12 so I should be due this credit no matter what.

I also have an installment plan for my iPhone 13 Pro Max for which I've paid $336.16 leaving a remaining balance of $762.84. If AT&T is offering either an $800 or $1,000 credit for my 13 (see screenshot) less the credits they still owe me for the iPhone 12, I ideally should not have to pay anything to upgrade, correct? So why is AT&T telling me that I have to pay $213.13 to upgrade? They still owe me for the 12 and would owe me for the 13 that they are offering.

All AT&T keeps telling me is that I have to pay 50% off, but that's just talk if they are saying they are going to offer $800 or $1000 off since that would be more than what the phone is worth! They have also tried to state that my iPhone 12 credits would go away if I traded in my 13, but why? They still have my 12...I could have sold it to someone on the street instead and got more than $300 for it!

If this is incorrect can someone please provide some better context, because this simplified version is just not making sense to me. I'm sincerely frustrated with AT&T at the moment especially with the fact that they've gone to 36 month installments now and just want to leave and buy my own phone from Apple directly but I feel like Im still stuck with this 13 as well as the money I'm due for my 12 still.

Any additional suggestions on how to handle this would be appreciated as well. Thanks!
 

lindros2

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2011
857
515
Dude. YOU HAVE TO RIDE OUT THE INSTALLMENT PLAN TO GET ALL CREDITS.
You exit early, you lose ALL remaining "credits". It's a contract. It's a scam. And you signed up for it.

"AT&T has my iPhone 12 so I should be due this credit no matter what."
WRONG.
 

maracuch0

macrumors newbie
Nov 5, 2020
20
15
Whenever you sign up for those trade in credits, it is basically a contract that you keep that plan for 30-36 months depending on the credits. In those 30-36 months, if you try to upgrade your phone to a new one, the only way to not lose those credits is if you buy them outright from manufacturer, such as Apple or Samsung. If you upgrade from your carrier, you will lose those credits and they will make you pay whatever is left. What you can do is sell the phone to someone who uses AT&T (which is what I do because I never keep a phone for 3 years) and buy the new iPhone from Apple.
 

WannaApple?

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 9, 2008
629
70
Definitely a scam and I will be looking into other options. For AT&T to even consider saying that we have your iPhone 12 but aren't going to pay you for it anymore because you upgraded to a new phone despite you agreeing to pay the full price for the new phone is just downright wrong. I don't even seen how its legal. I could have and will from now on just sell my phone outright and do better than trading it into a carrier. Now, off to figure out how to get an iPhone from Apple directly and screw AT&T.
 
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Jackbequickly

macrumors 68030
Aug 6, 2022
2,596
2,642
Definitely a scam and I will be looking into other options. For AT&T to even consider saying that we have your iPhone 12 but aren't going to pay you for it anymore because you upgraded to a new phone despite you agreeing to pay the full price for the new phone is just downright wrong. I don't even seen how its legal. I could have and will from now on just sell my phone outright and do better than trading it into a carrier. Now, off to figure out how to get an iPhone from Apple directly and screw AT&T.
It is all in the fine print.

I hate ATT, too!
 

iStorm

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2012
1,789
2,213
Not a scam and all carriers do this. I do it through Verizon and it has been pretty clear how the trade-in works, or maybe I just pay attention to the terms and conditions more closely. Not sure how AT&T presents the info, but it has to be there somewhere.
 
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thadoggfather

macrumors P6
Oct 1, 2007
15,588
16,340
Whenever you sign up for those trade in credits, it is basically a contract that you keep that plan for 30-36 months depending on the credits. In those 30-36 months, if you try to upgrade your phone to a new one, the only way to not lose those credits is if you buy them outright from manufacturer, such as Apple or Samsung. If you upgrade from your carrier, you will lose those credits and they will make you pay whatever is left. What you can do is sell the phone to someone who uses AT&T (which is what I do because I never keep a phone for 3 years) and buy the new iPhone from Apple.

Or trade to apple who doesn’t care it’s carrier locked

I bought 14 PM outright and 6 months of credits left on 12 pro
 

Jackbequickly

macrumors 68030
Aug 6, 2022
2,596
2,642
It is why I refuse to ever be under contract for any phone or plan. I do AT&T Prepaid and pay just $25 a month with unlimited text and talk and 8gb data. $25 a month!
 

Jackbequickly

macrumors 68030
Aug 6, 2022
2,596
2,642
I was just looking at this, but still appears I would be out money. If I have to buy out my contract with AT&T I would have to pay them $763 and Apple is offering $720 for it plus wanting me to pay another $379 for the new phone. My out of pocket cash money would be $1,142 but yet my monthly payments for phone/service would stay the same....assuming that AT&T still continued my credits due for the iPhone 12. How is this a deal?

It is not a “Deal”. It is always in favor of the Carrier. They are in it to make money.
 

webkit

macrumors 68030
Jan 14, 2021
2,948
2,556
United States
Definitely a scam and I will be looking into other options. For AT&T to even consider saying that we have your iPhone 12 but aren't going to pay you for it anymore because you upgraded to a new phone despite you agreeing to pay the full price for the new phone is just downright wrong. I don't even seen how its legal. I could have and will from now on just sell my phone outright and do better than trading it into a carrier. Now, off to figure out how to get an iPhone from Apple directly and screw AT&T.

How is it a scam? AT&T agreed to give you an inflated trade-in value for your previous phone (spread out over 36 months) which means you need to stick with the new phone and plan for those 36 months in order to get the full credit. If you continue with the same phone on the same plan for another 25 months, you will have received the full promised trade-in value and are free to do whatever you want at that point. If you want to sell/trade the new phone and/or discontinue the plan early, you need to pay the remaining balance.

Years ago, carriers used to give device discounts with term (usually 24 months) contracts. What we have today is similar except that they roll the discount into a trade value and spread the discount/credit out over a period of time. In this case, it's 36 months.

it's not a scam. It's how long-term plan discounts and/or inflated trade values, etc. have long worked.

it's the customer choice which deal, commitment, etc. they want to go with.
 

thadoggfather

macrumors P6
Oct 1, 2007
15,588
16,340
I mean you still have to pay the price difference between out of pocket cost and trade in value to apple or sold on Craigslist or a marketplace , and then credits are a separate ordeal

I owe like $40 in payments with 6 months left att is subsidizing the remaining $160

So it’s whatever I feel like doing + $40 spread over 6 months. Not a biggy, the latter piece


Nobody said it was a “deal” you’re buying a phone outright so you’re getting the latest with no strings attached like anyone else who buys outright.

Bit confused
 

thadoggfather

macrumors P6
Oct 1, 2007
15,588
16,340
Yeah I’m not a carrier simp but it’s not a scam if you understand what you’re getting and your habits weren’t changing independent of it. If you have to break your habits sign up for plans you weren’t interested in or are confused by it all it’s probably not the best route for you. Maybe also not if it’s a certainty you’ll get the latest next year. I skipped iPhone 13 and didn’t feel I was missing out terribly. I figured it wouldn’t have been that different to an iPhone 12 (in my eyes at least)

I’m glad I went this way for 12 pro. At the same time, not gonna do it again for another round anytime soon. In the end still no regrets
 

theshoehorn

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2010
500
484
How is it a scam? AT&T agreed to give you an inflated trade-in value for your previous phone (spread out over 36 months) which means you need to stick with the new phone and plan for those 36 months in order to get the full credit. If you continue with the same phone on the same plan for another 25 months, you will have received the full promised trade-in value and are free to do whatever you want at that point. If you want to sell/trade the new phone and/or discontinue the plan early, you need to pay the remaining balance.

Years ago, carriers used to give device discounts with term (usually 24 months) contracts. What we have today is similar except that they roll the discount into a trade value and spread the discount/credit out over a period of time. In this case, it's 36 months.

it's not a scam. It's how long-term plan discounts and/or inflated trade values, etc. have long worked.

it's the customer choice which deal, commitment, etc. they want to go with.

This. For those of us that don’t carrier hop or get a new phone every year this is a decent deal. However you need an unfinanced line to use it.
 
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PlainEnvelopes

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2018
236
268
Definitely a scam and I will be looking into other options. For AT&T to even consider saying that we have your iPhone 12 but aren't going to pay you for it anymore because you upgraded to a new phone despite you agreeing to pay the full price for the new phone is just downright wrong. I don't even seen how its legal. I could have and will from now on just sell my phone outright and do better than trading it into a carrier. Now, off to figure out how to get an iPhone from Apple directly and screw AT&T.
Every carrier does this model so that you dont jump ship. This is why I do the apple trade in program or sell my old iphones. I stopped doing the 2 year contracts with, in my case verizon, years ago.
 
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sjperformance

macrumors 68000
Oct 7, 2013
1,994
2,147
Miami 305
All carrier deals this way. Its in the fine print. Yall really think they gonna give you free money and then you walk away next month or so. Nah. In order to get the entire credit they requires months of service. Go ahead and buy put before and lose all your credits. Carrier deals good for those who don't mind upgrading every 2-3 years like my mom. I only use IUP. Been with AT&T for 10 years now. I stopped using Next many many years ago.
 

WannaApple?

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 9, 2008
629
70
For those saying its not a scam it surely is but that's your opinion. I get now that its in the contract, but nobody reads the entire legal garbage on every page before upgrading and the carriers know this and count on it.
AT&T isn't doing us any "favors" by allowing us to upgrade early. We're still paying full price for the new phone, unless we trade it in early and the values they are initially providing is not inflated...its the same value I could get if I sold the phone on eBay for instance but they are just giving themselves a loophole to get out of it by allowing us to upgrade early and they get the $400 benefit of a device that they don't have to continue to pay credits for. Oh and for the sole value of keeping us as a customer...the only one who gets the deal here is AT&T, not the customer. The only benefit or value we're getting is the "privilege" of being able to get a new phone earlier, but still pay the same price for it and the same inflated prices for service. That's what scam artists do...Apple doesn't pull that BS with their upgrade plan.
 
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PlainEnvelopes

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2018
236
268
For those saying its not a scam it surely is but that's your opinion. I get now that its in the contract, but nobody reads the entire legal garbage on every page before upgrading and the carriers know this and count on it.
AT&T isn't doing us any "favors" by allowing us to upgrade early. We're still paying full price for the new phone, unless we trade it in early and the values they are initially providing is not inflated...its the same value I could get if I sold the phone on eBay for instance but they are just giving themselves a loophole to get out of it by allowing us to upgrade early and they get the $400 benefit of a device that they don't have to continue to pay credits for. Oh and for the sole value of keeping us as a customer...the only one who gets the deal here is AT&T, not the customer. The only benefit or value we're getting is the "privilege" of being able to get a new phone earlier, but still pay the same price for it and the same inflated prices for service. That's what scam artists do...Apple doesn't pull that BS with their upgrade plan.
It is not a scam, it should have been an understanding when you signed up a company is not going to just hand you free money.
 

WannaApple?

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 9, 2008
629
70
It is not a scam, it should have been an understanding when you signed up a company is not going to just hand you free money.
Well thankfully we all have our own opinions. I wasn't asking for free money, I gave them a $700 phone and expect $700 in return, not $400 just for a privilege to upgrade.
 

webkit

macrumors 68030
Jan 14, 2021
2,948
2,556
United States
For those saying its not a scam it surely is but that's your opinion. I get now that its in the contract, but nobody reads the entire legal garbage on every page before upgrading and the carriers know this and count on it.

One does not have to read through the "entire legal garbage on every page" to be able to quickly figure out the basic terms. Just because you may not have understood how these carrier trade-in deals work and/or didn't read even the basic terms and conditions and/or chose not to ask questions doesn't make it a scam. These types of offers have been around for years and from multiple carriers.

Stick with the plan and phone for another 25 months and you should get exactly what you signed up for.
 

lindros2

macrumors 6502a
Mar 21, 2011
857
515
Listen - it's simple. You want $700 (previously 30 months) or $800 or $1000 - ride it out 36 months. I'm on your side here - I'm not disagreeing nor attacking you, but you have to be careful.

Do the math for YOU. For example, I found that the BEST time to buy a high end phone is release day. Period. $1300 for 14 Pro 512GB (or Max 256GB). It loses 38% of its TRADE-IN value year 1. Or if you buy it in August, it loses 38% of value ... in a month or a couple days. Second and third year? Only 10-15% loss. If you do Apple Upgrade Program, they throw in AC+, which softens the blow.

Now I did the math - and I say "F it" and bought all of my parent/adult phones outright, but my kids phones are installment plans (because I don't want them to hop every year or two, and if they DO, I want them to experience the pain of buying out a ... lease).

There's little to no legal garbage to mine through. You want the full amount? Ride it out. You willing to deal with LESS (i.e. $333, $667, or whatever) - pay it off and get a new phone. Simple.
 
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zecanard

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2022
73
80
Longmont, CO
For those saying its not a scam it surely is but that's your opinion. I get now that its in the contract, but nobody reads the entire legal garbage on every page before upgrading and the carriers know this and count on it.
You can’t skip reading the very simple terms of a contract, stated in plain English, then blame the other person/corporation for not holding your hand. You’re an adult (presumably), yet a toddler could read and understand the following statements:
  • To get all the credits, the discounted device must remain on installment agreement and you must keep eligible service for entire installment term.
  • If you upgrade or pay up/off the installment agreement on the discounted device early, your credits may cease.
At the very least, check BEFORE upgrading your device that your credits won’t go away. I’m sorry, but at some point you have to take responsibility for your mistakes.
 
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