Help me understand AT&T BS

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Small White Car, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #1
    Anyone have experience with this?

    My father in law switched to AT&T 6 months ago. He bought a 2 person family plan and got the $200 subsidized iPhone 4 for himself. I gave my old iPhone 3G to his wife and she used that.

    Got it so far? He pays for 2 iPhone plans on a family plan but only bought 1 phone from them.

    So now he's considering buying his wife an i4 and figured he could get the subsidized price for her. I thought so too and said so when he asked me.

    But today AT&T told him that she's not eligible because she (through him) signed up for a 2 year contract and can't get a subsidized phone until 2012.

    So I ask you: When did AT&T change it so that you can only get ONE subsidized iPhone with a 2 person family plan? Did they make that change? Or are they just lying to him? He's already done the "argue with them on the phone" thing. It would help if we had something specific on their website to point to.

    Or are we wrong? Do 2nd family members not get subsidized iPhones anymore?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #2
    Yes, every line is eligible for a subsidy at least every two years. If she hasn't had a subsidized phone on that line she should be eligible now. He should call AT&T and try to get that straightened out; I've had much better luck with that than with my local store.
     
  3. Los macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #3
    Alright, well a lot of things come into play. For example, when your father in law bought the new contract, did he buy himself the iPhone 4 at the start? If so, then that's why he got the subsidized price. His wife could have gotten the same deal, but I take it she didn't and so she got any random phone, right?

    Then, you gave her your iPhone 3G, she loved it and wanted an iPhone 4? If that's the case, then she can't because she started a new contract with another phone.

    Anyways, the 2nd line can upgrade to another phone regardless of the other members in the family plan being locked to an contract and being upgrade eligible or not. That's how it's with the family plan that I have with my mom and dad. I upgraded in June to the iPhone 4, my mom could upgrade but she's going to use hers next year and my dad started a new contract about a year and half ago and so he's not eligible at the moment.
     
  4. transam7816 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    #4
    i know it's wrong but i think this is how they look at it. when you originally get a plan, you usually get a subsidized phone. well if you just want the plan..you're still gunna be locked into the 2 year contract without getting any equipment. say 3 months later you're like hey..i never got a subsidized phone for my line..they're gunna say..too bad, you're already locked into a contract and you have no leverage on them
     
  5. Los macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #5
    Do they really let you start a contract without a phone? I'd take advantage of the subsidized price or get a free phone at least.
     
  6. transam7816 macrumors regular

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    Mar 7, 2008
    #6
    i'm not sure. i'm just talking out of my ass
     
  7. Small White Car thread starter macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #7
    She didn't get a phone from them. She just used my old phone.


    This is, sadly, exactly what they seem to be thinking.

    What I'm trying to figure out is where their contract says "limited time offer" for the subsidized phone. Where do they tell you that "right now" is ok but "next month" is not ok? I'm still looking.


    Yep, that's what I am calling "BS" on. That they can lock her into a contract and not give her anything in return for the locking.

    She received NO phone (subsidized or otherwise) and is now barred from getting one for 2 years. Why? She didn't cost them anything. All she's been doing is paying them for service and now, apparently, she's less important to them than a Sprint customer off the street.

    Sucks. So the lesson is, get the damn subsidized phone when you sign up, even if you don't need it. Sell it online or something. Just get the stupid thing because they'll sure treat you like you got it even if you didn't!
     
  8. Los macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #8
    Wow, that seriously blows. I guess they're just treating her as if she got a subsidized phone with the contract.

    I know when my mom added my line into her family plan, AT&T did not let her add the line without a phone, in fact, they insisted on one. Unfortunately we didn't have money for a phone and I was just going to use my old T-Mobile phone (I unlocked it), and so they let us get a free phone and within 30 days I could get whatever phone I wanted at the subsidized price as long as I returned the free phone with the original packaging. A week or two later I got an LG Shine, and that's that.

    I'm sure they would have let her done that, problem is, it's been 6 months. :(

    What your father in law can do is just add another line and get the iPhone 4 at a subsidized price and only pay the $10 a month for two years for the additional line. Unfortunately that would carry over to about $240 for the contract and $200 overall for an iPhone 4.
     
  9. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #9
    Same thing happened to my cousin last year.
    She had an unlocked cell phone and just opened up an account and got a SIM. Thats all and when she tried to cancell a year later she found out she was tied up into a 2 year contract with nothing in return. You gotta be extra carefull when you sign up with them cause the reps will try to lock you into an agreement anyway so they can get their cut. Doesnt make any sense, if you're locked into a contract mind as well get something out of it not just a simcard. It does happen though and unless you specify and make sure that line is not under contract they will try to screw you.
     
  10. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #10
    THey were wrong to sign her up under contract, you need to call in or talk to the rep who signed them up or a manager. I just added a line two months ago to my family plan and used an old razr for that sim, that line has no contract and is currently available for upgrade if I wanted a new phone. It's not AT&T or their policy, but either a rep who screwed up, or worse a bad rep who purposefully signed them up on contract to get the comission.
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #11
    Thats my guess also.
     
  12. Small White Car thread starter macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Washington DC
    #12
    Thanks for all the different perspectives. Very glad for the help I always get here.
     
  13. mad-dog-one macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #13
    He should be entitled to a second subsidized phone on the two-person family plan. Talk to AT&T on the phone. I have found that the guys in the store don't care about customer service unless you are opening a new account. I don't know, but have observed that they behave as if they receive a commission for a new account and just see you as extra work for anything else.
     
  14. Irish Rose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    #14
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Yes, they do. I brought in my own phone when I signed up with AT&T just to avoid getting into a contract with them. My account still shows that I can get a discount on a phone if I wanted to.
     
  15. Irish Rose macrumors 65816

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    May 29, 2010
    #15
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    Sounds to me like one of the reps screwed up, and as usual, the customer is the one who has to pay the price.
     
  16. BeyondtheTech macrumors 68020

    BeyondtheTech

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #16
    Every time I've added a line on my family plan, I just get the SIM card and ask to go month-to-month.
     
  17. TSX macrumors 68030

    TSX

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #17
    Tell her to dial *639# and see what it says. They also might have upgraded her line and not his by mistake.
     
  18. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #18
    Some providers like Sprint will not sign you up for a plan without a contract even if you have a old phone. It's in their policy. So be glad Att allows this. Call then to get it fixed. It was obviously a rep screwed up.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #19
    No no. 2nd, 3rd, 4th or w/e the line you are, you get subsidized iphones every 20 months, period.

    The problem begins with where he sat up his account. Whoever was handling the account obviously put the 2nd line in contract and took the commission. If you bring your own phone to activate, then the line should have no contract in the first place. Call AT&T and fix it.
     
  20. Small White Car thread starter macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #20
    Thank you. THIS is very useful information!

    See, when arguing with them, it's very helpful to have information like this. "You made a mistake" is less convincing than "Your employee intentionally cheated me just to line his own pocket."

    Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  21. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #21
    If your father in law sat acouunts up at the AT&T owned store, then AT&T will be a lot to blame for this. However, it's hard to prove that employee did it intentionally or it could be that he/she did not know what he/she was doing. While I am sorry to hear this story and trouble your father and mother in law are having. Try to be nice, but aggressive on this issue. This is not best way to start a relationship with a customer for AT&T. If AT&T gives you trouble blah blah, use the receipt to prove that iphone 3GS was not bought at the store. Also, if iPhone 3GS was given by you, then 3GS was purchased quiet some time ago. Apple has 1 year warranty policy from the date you bought the phone. However, I doubt you will have to take it that far. This isn't even an issue. It's a mistake and must be corrected. If I were them, I would be all over this and get even some credits out of AT&T. Time is valuable for everyone including all of us. While AT&T doesn't have to do anything other than fixing the contract date, I would ask for compensation to keep your parents in law happy or satisfied. Good luck.
     
  22. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #22
    Unfortunately I can't be too much help.

    But I remember that way back when (way before the iphone) for some reason Shoot, I can't remember what spurred it. But what happened was I was told my contract looked to be signed more recently but since it was obvious that didn't happen (or rather that I had not upgraded my phone) the AT&T person changed it so I could get my upgrade when it happened.

    I'd call a representative and explain the situation and see if there was a mistake made that they can't fix. I'm betting cause she got a "new" (rather different) phone that they had to activate a plan on, it some how got put in that the upgrade was taken and the contract started then.
     
  23. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #23
    The second line should be out of contract since you didn't pay subsidized pricing for the old iphone. You definitely need to get in touch with someone who knows how to fix it.
     
  24. Small White Car thread starter macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #24
    Thanks. He's handling this himself, but I am passing on everything I get. I'm glad I can forward on much more info than I knew yesterday!
     
  25. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #25
    I would definitely have him deal with AT&T customer service directly, rather than the local AT&T store. I've had really good luck dealing with telephone customer service, and it is much easier to elevate to a supervisor. Just make sure he doesn't give up; if he doesn't get the answer he wants from the first person he talks to, ask to talk to someone higher up. Or call back. Sometimes different reps will have very different ideas of what is possible.
     

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