Did my iPhone subsidy just disappear?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by core2duo, May 11, 2009.

  1. core2duo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #1
    When the iPhone 3G came out, I really wanted one but couldn't justify the extra expense of the 3G rate plan, so I bought a used 1st gen iPhone and activated it with AT&T instead. At the time, I checked, and I would have qualified to get the 3G at the subsidized price.

    Now I'm a little more financially comfortable, and I was thinking about upgrading to a 3G. So, I checked online and was surprised to see that I don't qualify for the subsidized price anymore. I emailer AT&T to ask about it, and their response was that I signed a two year contract, and that I wouldn't be elligible until I was 21 months in.

    Is this normal? I guess I'm just really confused as to why my upgrade option vanished when I didn't use it. Has this happened to anybody else? If so, were you ableto do anything to resolve it?
     
  2. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise
    #2
    You don't need to sign a 2 year contract if you buy a phone out right, but if they fooled you into signing a new 2 year contract when you didn't need you then they win, you signed a legally binding contract.
     
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #3
    Instead of e-mailing, you should probably talk to someone at AT&T.

    We really couldn't tell you what the details are in your account. Just call them.
     
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #4
    You should have hacked it and not activated it online thru itunes/AT&T.
    Now you're locked into a contract.
    They allowed previous 2G owners to upgrade to the 3G but that was only limited if they bought the 2G prior to the 3G release or they had issued a cuttoff date.
    After that it wont work.
     
  5. Ride9650 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #5
    I would call and ask about this or walk into a store.
    With the 1st gen Iphone, I don't know about how the policies were stated last summer, but at least, right now, they can't force you into a contract when purchasing from a third party.

    When you go in/call, make sure you have proof that you purchased from elsewhere and as long as you have that, I don't see a problem getting your contract(if there is one) voided, though if you really did sign something, you might just be outta luck..


    I also bought a 1st gen Iphone and activated it a week or so ago without a contract.
     
  6. Pared macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    #6
    Of course this is normal; You agreed to use AT&T when you activate the iPhone, used or not.

    Their contracts come in 2 year agreements, and 99% sure you agreed to a typical contract. Have to wait a year and half now before you're upgrade eligible.
     
  7. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #7
    You can buy an iPhone 3G any time you want. You don't have to be eligible at all. I bought an iPhone 3G after only having my original iPhone for 3 months. I just didn't get it at the $299 price. Trust me, you have bigger things to worry about than spending $200 extra dollars for an early upgrade iPhone.... for example... the bill when it's added up over 2 years. Just go for the $200 extra dollars. If I were you though, I would hold off until the next iPhone comes out "this summer".
     
  8. core2duo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #8
    So if I'm understanding correctly, even though I didn't get a dime from AT&T toward the purchase of my phone, the moment I signed the contract for a two year service plan the money they would have given me to upgrade to a 3G just went poof? I admit that it sounds an awful lot like AT&T, but at the same time it seems pretty unfair.

    I don't necessarily have a problem with paying more for the phone, but on principle this doesn't seem right to me. What difference does it make to them whether I ask for the subsidy now vs then?
     
  9. randomusername macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #9
    I think the subsidy for the 3G is only available if you are new to AT&T or if you bought the first generation iPhone through AT&T. Seeing as you bought it used, it shouldn't count. AT&T is giving the $200 and $300 prices to first gen. iPhone buyers because they paid so much for it unsubsidized with a two year contract FROM AT&T. It makes sense to be nice to the original buyers for kinda getting ripped off, it doesn't really make sense to give special treatment for people who bought the phone used, just like how you would buy any other used phone. That's why they're not letting Blackberry users or LG users or Samsung users get the $200 or $300 price for the iPhone 3G.

    And I assume by "used" you mean "bought it off Ebay" and not "refurbished". If you bought it refurbished from AT&T or Apple, you might get the subsidy.
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #10
    I hear you, it doesnt make any sense.
    They lock you in for 2 years and you get zip out of it.
     
  11. ltn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    #11
    I just checked my plan because I did the same thing. I bought an iphone 3g used but I just checked my plan and it still says I am eligible for a discount on phones with a 2 year contract. I don't know why your situation would be any different.
     
  12. Revelation78 macrumors 68000

    Revelation78

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    People....

    You contract term is different from your upgrade eligibility. For instance, if you were to sign on today and access your AT&T account online, add or change any feature for that matter - you have to sign a new two year contract. Read the fine print...

    OP:

    If you're now showing that you're not eligible; when you bought it used, did you go into an AT&T store for any type of help? Someone may have upgraded your line for you, and "acted" like you got a new phone. Your best bet is to call AT&T customer service to determine why your upgrade eligibility has been changed.

    Applejuiced:

    The whole cutoff date was there because AT&T said that if you have an iPhone you are eligible for an upgrade to the 3G regardless of the last time you upgraded. For example, there were people who joined AT&T 3 months before the 3G rolled out, they got a subsidized phone through AT&T and later bought a 1st gen iPhone. If they bought and activated the 1st Gen before the cutoff date they were allowed to upgrade at the subsidized price.

    There were a lot of people using their "buddies" iPhone on there account for a day to get the iPhone to show on their account, then they were upgrade eligible when the 3G rolled out. The trick was, they couldn't put their sim card back into their old phone until after they purchased the 3G.
     
  13. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #13
    AT&T will probably do something for people like you if/when a new iPhone comes out in July.
     
  14. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise
    #14

    Nope, they won't... It would just make too sense if they did, which means they won't. AT&T works in reverse logic.
     
  15. core2duo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #15
    I called AT&T, and the customer service rep told me that if you don't use your subsidy within 30 days of signing, you lose it.

    I'm still a little salty about the whole situation, but at least I now have an answer.
     
  16. Revelation78 macrumors 68000

    Revelation78

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #16
    No you don't! I would call back and speak with a manager.
     
  17. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #17
    Go to an AT&T store and talk about it. They should allow you an option which you do your subsidy manually to work around the computer. It takes 2-3 days because it has to be approved by the local district manager, but if you are eligible, then you should be approved.
     
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #18
    I noticed that every time you call AT&T's customer service you get a different answer and a different supposelly policy for the same question.
    I called yesterday to ask for an unlock code for an old cellphone that I had and wanted to give to a coworker to use on Tmobile.
    Lady on the phone tells me its an AT&T phone and they dont unlock them.
    I hang up and call 2 seconds later some guy gladly walks me thru the steps and gives me the unlock code.
    Figures :eek:
     
  19. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #19
    Which is why in-store is better. You talk directly to the AT&T rep and get to explore more options. They tend to work better than on the phone.
     
  20. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
  21. DCBass macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #21
    For What It's Worth...

    I've been on ATT for a few years now. When my old sony ericsson went kaput at the end of 2008, I went in to get a new free Sony Ericsson w580i (pretty sweet for a free phone).

    It was then that I learned that in getting the new free phone, I would not be eligible to get a another subsidized phone for 18 months, so that's a little better than an actual 2 year contract.

    Pertaining to the original problem, I would definitely give a manager a call. If they give you s***, keep going up the chain. Your concern is reasonable, and if they want a repeat customer, they'd likely see your side of things and be accommodating.

    Don't give up easily though. My guess is that the first people you talk to won't have much power or care as much as their superiors.

    Good luck,

    DCBass
     
  22. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #22
    Actually thats how all 2 year contracts work. You can resign and upgrade your phone at 18 months even though you're tied up for 24, they didnt do you a favor like you thought they did:D

     

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