ETF + Cost of new iPhone 5s less than Early Upgrade Price

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Apfpilot, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Apfpilot macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2012
    What am I missing:

    My ETF with AT&T is $215, an iPhone 16GB 52 is $199 = Total Cost $414.00

    Early Upgrade = $449 only available at an AT&T corporate store or Apple store

    I should be able to take advantage of option 1 anywhere including Target or Radio Shack which have the device I want in stock. Beyond the activation fee which would apply in either case what am I missing? Has anyone done this? Any trouble with "porting" numbers and plans?
  2. 1981d macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    I was able to get a 5s ATT early upgrade at Radio Shack. I even got one at HEB( grocery chain) once. I'm pretty sure any store selling ATT iPhones can get you the early upgrade.
  3. Apfpilot thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2012
    i tried target earlier today and they told me pound sand, I called the shack and they said they couldn't do it either.
  4. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    You can't buy yourself out of contract. You would need to port elsewhere and are not considered a new customer for 90 days. However, If you are a line on a family plan you should be able to port out and after 24 hours should be eligible.

    P.s- what equipment are you on?
  5. 1981d macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    I've seen some other posts on here about having trouble with Target, but I know the Shack can do it. I went in on launch day and they had a little trouble at first, but the store manger found out that a technical advisory had been issued earlier that morning with instructions for how to conduct the point of sale transaction. I walked out with a 5s for the $449 amount.
  6. sclawis300 macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2010
    Pretty sure the ETF is linked to how long you have left on your contract. Is that not true?
  7. 1981d macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    Yep. IIRC, it starts at $325 and goes down $10 for every month of the contract you complete.
  8. UmichAg macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    I've done this in the past with AT&T when I upgraded from a "dumb phone" to an iPhone. I emailed the CEO of AT&T to explain how their stupid upgrade policy was deterring me from paying a larger monthly bill (due to the data plan with a smart phone). His assistant called me and agreed it was a stupid policy, but there was nothing they could do about it. So, I paid the ETF and later that day got a new iPhone as a "new customer" with AT&T
  9. Apfpilot thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2012
    grr this is frustrating, i went on a chat with att earlier and they said no way this would work. Granted they did tell me that it wouldn't work at an Apple store either.
  10. 1981d macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    Well, unless I broke the system, it should still work. It works at Apple as well, b/c I actually purchased a phone through them first, assuming I wouldn't be able to find one on launch day. When I found out RS had one, I cancelled my apple order, and my upgrade eligibility had been restored by the time I got to the store (about 20 mins). I would see if Radio Shack has a national number you could call, then you could put your local store on the line with them if you run into trouble.
  11. forcetactic macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    First there's tax on the ETF. My $315 ETF turned into $375 so expect to pay same if not more than the early upgrade price. Second once you ETF, I believe it's going to be hard to get your number back since the line is closed. Only way to do this is to port your #, pay ETF, then port back.

    All the above will take a couple of days and you will have to jump through several hoops. If you're on a family plan, just open a new line for i5S, switch that line to dumbphone, and pay $10 a month for 2 years.
  12. Apfpilot thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2012
    okay i just chatted with att online and confirmed that i can satisfy my contract through paying the etf (which makes sense after reading the actual wording of the contract) and then assuming that is done i can pay the $199 for the phone and walk out with a new iPhone 5s. Going to try tomorrow at radio shack.
  13. Apfpilot thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2012
    Well you were right and apparently AT&T as well as radio shack was wrong. I went into the store last night prepared to pay the ETF to satisfy my contract and then buy the phone under the full subsidized price. As I was in the store on the phone with AT&T to pay the ETF the manager showed up and said you know you can just buy the phone and pay an early upgrade fee of $250 (same thing I wanted to do all along) I hung up on AT&T and said done. I walked about with the phone happy as could be. This morning I called AT&T retentions and told them that I was very unhappy with what I was told and what I had to go through getting different answers from everyone and they gave me a healthy bill credit to make me happy. My 5 is up on craigslist and generating interest, all in all it worked out well.
  14. 1981d macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    Glad to hear it.
  15. mrzeve macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2005
    Did this last year. The reason was because Apple was refusing to sell the iPhone without a carrier commitment for about the first month of the 5 being released. Couple of things to note.

    - You will still have to pay the activation fee (35ish)
    - You cancel after 14 days (usually the providers grace period - which it was for AT&T). Because if you cancel earlier, they want the phone back.
    - You will have to pay for the 14 days of service (40ish+tax)

    All in all, yes, it was still about $80 cheaper than buying the phone outright from Apple.

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