Getting around upgrade eligibility for iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by spj123, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. spj123 macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    I've spoken with every higher-up person at AT&T I can get in touch with and the story is the same every time - too many contractual stipulations that prevent AT&T (or Apple it sounds like?) from discounting the iPhone in any way (or discounting your account in any way that can be traced back to the iPhone) if you are not eligible for upgrade. Of course AT&T has offered me an "exception upgrade" so I can have any other phone at upgrade pricing - any phone BUT the iPhone. Or I can have the iPhone for the 399/499 pricing.

    I have an iPhone 3G, DH wants one. My plan until today was to cancel my husband's line and have him re-sign up w/AT&T and get the iPhone as a new customer. A CSR there told me they would waive his termination fee (we've had multiple issues w/our service) but could not advise me on how to help him re-sign up and keep his same number. Turns out, he can't keep his same number if he wants to come back to AT&T, he can only take his number w/him if he ports it out to another carrier.

    So my other ideas are:

    -Go ahead with canceling his account, get termination fee waived, have him port his number to some sort of non-contract provider (does this exist?) and then after a few days or something have him go get the iPhone and start as a new customer. Possible problem is obviously getting a new non-contract carrier and also will AT&T have any issues w/him starting new account since it was their account just a few days ago (they said if he doesn't port his number out to different servicer that they would hold it 30-60 days, and if he comes back during that time he is still not eligible b/c he'd be under his old contract - so, wonder if that would still apply if he's already taken his number w/him?). I have a relative who manages a cell phone store, wonder if he may be able to help w/porting the number to another servicer temporarily somehow.

    -Or, this is a new one I haven't asked AT&T about, I could try to add a new line to our family plan, buy the iPhone for that line.. then cancel that line at some point (this assumes the cust. service supervisor I'm working with would agree to cancel a different line), and have DH "switch" phones w/this other line (do I need a person for this line?). But even if they won't waive the termination fee isn't adding a line only like $10 on your bill? Of course there's the iPhone plan, not sure if they can switch it to the other line or not or how that'd work..

    It's late and I'm just really reaching for ideas here... Please let me know your thoughts or any similar experiences.. thanks!
  2. aok1975 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    From my experience cancelling your account doesnt make you immidiately a new customer. Your information is held for a while just in case you want to return to the same account. That was on tmobile and sprint, dont know about att.
  3. spj123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    Yeah, I think this is what they were saying in terms of not being able to get the upgrade pricing even if he came back as a new customer within 30-60 days, though I think something like 6 months was mentioned. But I'm hoping that if he has already ported his number and moved to a new carrier, that porting it back and making a new account in his name (he's just added to my account at the moment), that he would be a new customer then. I'm thinking my option #2 sounds more likely to work at this point though.. This is all pretty confusing.
  4. dave006 Contributor


    Jul 3, 2008
    Just West of East
    If you return within 90 days they just reopen your old account, this is to prevent the exact thing thng the Thread Starter is trying to do...:eek:

    If you just want to get your DH an iPhone 3G, just add-a-line to your FamilyTalk rate plan with a new iPhone 3G. Once you get the new iPhone 3G via mail or in store, just take out the SIM and put your DH's existing SIM into the phone and ask the rep to add the iPhone 3G data plan to his existing line.

    Now you can take the new SIM that came in the new iPhone and put it into your DH's old phone and ask for the iPhone 3G data to be removed.

    You will end up paying $9.99 for the add-a-line but you can always cancel, pay the $175 ETF then complain this summer when the new iPhone comes out that you are not eligible on either line to upgrade.

    Summary: By the time you get do with all the scams you could have just paid the $399 / $499 and said Thank you and been on your way. Once you pay the phone, voice / data plan and then the EFT you are pretty close to the $399 / $499

  5. milani macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2008
    Why not just accept responsibility for your contract instead of trying to nickel-and-dime the system?
  6. mavis macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Tokyo, Japan
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 3G (white): Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    Seriously. If you really MUST have a new iPhone and don't qualify for a discount, just buy one outright. Or don't. What the problem?
  7. JBaker122586 macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    If $200 is REALLY worth all that hassle to you to try and beat the system, then you probably shouldn't be spending upwards of two thousand dollars on cell phones and their data plans.
    Just pay the extra $200...
  8. spj123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    I don't know how you can presume to know me but I culdnt care less about a new iphone coming out this summer, so no we won't be complaining then when neither lines are eligible. I just want DH to have a good phone and 3g network, he's had his Blackberry for a long time, it's giving him problems and we don't want him to waste his upgrade getting a replacement for it (warranty is up). If the cost works out to the same I'm not doing it- I'm just trying to find a way to make this affordable. Nickel and diming better refers to AT&T giving us no option for DH to have a functional phone without extending his contract early. And I guess I'm in the minority here but after being with Cingular/AT&T for more than 10 years I feel they've made enough money off me where I don't fee bad trying to save myself a few bucks - no doubt they'd do the same to me.
  9. Revelation78 macrumors 68000


    Dec 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    Well, buy a different phone then! In your first posting in this thread you said you can get any other phone at upgrade pricing, just not the iPhone. In the second quote from you I included you state you're only looking at getting your hubby a good phone on the 3G network. AT&T has plenty of options, there you go!

    Also, he'll be VERY disappointed to go through all of that only to get the 3G iPhone right before v3 comes out - trust me he won't be happy.

    Then you'll be on here asking how you can get the 3G swapped out for the new one. That, or you'll be asking how the v1 iPhone owners were able to upgrade without penalty and you can't - that's so unfair.

    Also, if you decide to jump ship to another carrier, you'll need to be there for 90 days, guess what, you'll need to pay an ETF with the other carrier. You'll have a poor chance of getting on with a carrier that doesn't require a contract.

    Enough of my rant, have fun with what ever you decide.
  10. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2007
    Signing up with the cell phone providers is like becoming an indentured servant. Don't expect any breaks in the less than two years period. sometimes if you're re-upping the whole contract you can include phones that haven't reached two years but I don't you could swing this deal including an iPhone. As others have mentioned the new iPhone arriving in say July would be great to have. I would suggest buying sometime that fits your list on Ebay or the like to hold you over and then re-up when the chips are on your side of the table
  11. spj123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    Once again, no, have no interest in upping to whatever iPhone comes after this one, so no, I won't be complaining then. The only reason we are not choosing another phone is that the upgrade pricing on these other phones isn't that great either.

    And what makes you all think there is this great new iPhone coming out in the summer? What will the pricing be? I can't find any info on a new iPhone.

    I'm honestly shocked that more people can't relate to trying to get a deal on something. It's called being a smart consumer, IMO.
  12. Aaleck macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2007
    Michigan, USA
    Yeah, just sell your old phone and that'd take care more of it...
  13. lilmitchmitch macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2008
    That's what I did for the 3G this past summer... I needed a new phone and I knew that it's what I wanted, so I paid $400 for it. And it's well worth every penny I spent and I'm going to do it again this summer. :rolleyes:
  14. wolfpackfan macrumors 68000

    Jun 10, 2007
    Cary, NC
    No, it's called being dishonest and trying to break the rules that everyone else lives by. I've been in the same situation as you many times in the past. I've always just paid full price and sold my old phone for whatever I could get for it on eBay and taken a loss on the rest.
  15. aok1975 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    what is dishonest about it. If they give it to her she gets it, if they refuse she does not.
  16. spj123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    DH is dear husband.

    You know, not to make this a philosophical thing but I just happen to believe that sometimes you need to speak up or get creative if you want something to work out your way. My husband would never be trying to fanangle his way into the phone somehow, he'd just pay full price or get over it. Anyway it's not even dishonest bc the manager i've been working with knows full well I'm trying to find a way around this- she's the one who offered to waive his termination fee if he left at&t, knowing the plan would be that he'd turn around and sign back up. Problem is, as i've said, keeping his number, so I'm back to the drawing board.

    I'm not sure what his Blackberry would be worth if we tried to sell it - good idea though.

    Obviously part of me wants to suck it up and pay full price, it just seems like a waste when in Sept. he could get it for half the price, he just needs a working smart phone for work now though.
  17. FunkyTang macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2008
    Drive your SUV to Costco and look for bargins there, instead of boring us with your trying to save $200 thread.
  18. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Aug 23, 2008
    +1. You sure have a lot of free time, haggling the AT&T CSRs and now haggling us for $200.
  19. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    you can always buy one off ebay. It's nto $200, but it's nto a 2 year contract either.
  20. spj123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2009
    wow, you guys are incredibly rude - I came here for help as a consumer on a budget, fwiw it's not haggling AT&T, it's their JOB. you should try it yourself, they want to keep their customers happy and not switching to other companies..
  21. aok1975 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2009
    im with you on that, i wont be doing it but its your choice and I wont knock you.
  22. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Aug 23, 2008
    Rude indeed. Why should we help you find and exploit loophole when most of us paid for the upgrade.
  23. Revelation78 macrumors 68000


    Dec 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    We HAVE helped you!!!

    Get an iPhone and get a different number, or pay the higher price. OR, you can go to a different carrier and in 90days come back to AT&T and get an iPhone and keep your number.

    It's been said before, what have you not understood? No one's being rude to you, YOU'RE not reading what has been written...
  24. Resist macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    Cell phones are just money pits. Makes one long for the days before cell phones and answering machines. If you weren't at home, no one could get a hold of you....those were the days.

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