iPhone Upgrade Program users: Anyone able to get Verizon model to use with ATT?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jmelrose, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. jmelrose macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2004

    I have an ATT iPhone 7. I have wanted to be able to do this for a few years but this issue between the modems I decided now might be a good time to try.

    I live in Florida but work for 2 months every summer in northern Wisconsin. In Florida ATT is a better signal, but in the north Verizon has much superior service. Not sure if the wooded area makes a difference.

    Anyway, I have the option for a few more days to return my phone to Apple. I am on the iPhone Upgrade Program, and I am off contract with ATT by several years now.

    I would want to return my ATT phone, pick up the same model with Verizon capability, activate the phone on Verizon then cancel it immediately after finishing the transaction. Put the ATT sim card into the new Verizon-capable model and leave things alone. In May when I get up north I would use their service for a couple months, get a small voice/data Verizon plan (as we would still be paying for my service with ATT, but at least I'd be able to use the service I'm paying for) then in August go back to Florida and ATT.

    Anyone have any input or experience doing anything like this, or at least getting a Verizon phone to use on ATT?

    I know I can get a Sim-free phone but the Apple upgrade program doesn't work with Sim free phones and I am like the target market for that program.... annual upgrade like clockwork, and always use AppleCare at least once a year.

    Thanks in advance for any input anyone can share.
  2. kevinkyoo macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2016
    I was able to return my T-Mobile phone (That I originally purchased through Apple's upgrade program), and get a sim-free model in place. I was within the return window, and explained to the rep and manager of the situation with Intel and Qualcomm. They didn't really give me any troubles at all, although I'm sure this will vary store by store, rep by rep.

    If I were you, I would try to get the sim-free model, rather than going through what you described with the Verizon model.
  3. jmelrose thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2004
    I would love to but was informed by a "Senior Advisor" at Apple Customer Service that under no circumstances could they move me from a IUP ATT Model to a sim-free... love to find out how some people are able to get a nice easy swap like that and I have to jump through all these hoops. :-(
  4. Shadowbech macrumors 68040

    Oct 18, 2011
    Planet iPhone
    I would say just get the sim free model in this case. Why go through the hassle of opening a Verizon account with the intention of closing it after the iUP process? Just hurts your score as it is a hard in on your report. I,d play it safe by either just keep what you have or get the sim free model (pay outright)
  5. jmelrose thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2004
    I'm going to try to argue for a sim-free one, I agree that would be the easiest thing. I feel like the national call center people are a little more anal about some of the rules than the boots-on-the-ground people in the stores maybe are, but unfortunately it comes down to luck and your Charisma rating then.
  6. jmelrose, Oct 24, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016

    jmelrose thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2004
    I have requested an exception be made so I don't have to do all this jumping around. Fingers crossed.... otherwise I guess I'll see if Verizon is true to their ads (and sales agents) that you can cancel immediately with no penalty.
  7. jmelrose thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2004
    I was able to do so without any major issues. Got a new IUP phone on a Verizon contract, left, cancelled the contract, put my ATT sim in. Done.
  8. MuGeN PoWeR macrumors 68020

    MuGeN PoWeR

    Jun 29, 2011
    what do you mean by Verizon contract? and then you cancelled the contract? According to my understanding you can only cancel the contract by paying the device in full or returning the device. but you stated you got it via IUP.
  9. jmelrose thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2004
    Heh. I have SO much information about this... I spent 2 hours interacting with Verizon reps, I talked with Citizens One, I talked with ATT, and I think Apple employees spent 2 hours on the phone with me, plus the THREE HOURS it took in the store last night, although that was not all spent on this situation.

    Any new phone sold by Verizon is not on contract. Period. The rep last night used those exact words with me. Some people may still be on a grandfathered 2-year contract but any new account is off contract. If you buy on installments through Verizon, I can't speak to what happens if you leave because I didn't care. I bought through the iPhone upgrade program.

    I am an ATT customer, and I have been off-contract for several years now. The basic steps of what I did:

    Reserved a phone with Apple (Verizon, 256GB, Space Black).
    Went in to Apple and explained what I wanted to do: I want a phone that can be used on ATT AND Verizon because I have a seasonal job in a Verizon-only serviced area.
    We activated a new Verizon account. I bought the phone on a Citizens One Loan, the 2nd one under my name. (Fun fact: you can apparently have up to 4 phones bought that way via the IUP!)
    Once the phone was activated, we popped in the ATT simcard to ensure it worked. No problems.
    Returned the ATT model to Apple, Citizens One loan for the phone was cancelled out. (email confirmation received today.)
    Left the store, ATT sim-in-Verizon phone, no issues.
    (Side note: getting better, faster service at my workplace than I did with the ATT model. Only one bar but very zippy. ATT model got 2 bars but was very sluggish at times.)
    Called Verizon on the way home, referred them to the phone number on the Apple Store receipt, account was closed out by the time I got back to my house. Left account active for use in the summer, saved the sim card, but no charges to me whatsoever.

    All in all, lot of hoops to jump through but no issues. Pity Apple couldn't have just made a sim-free version available via the IUP.

    I feel pretty certain that if you buy from Verizon and cancel the service, they will charge you for whatever cost remains on the phone. Not sure if returning the phone as well is an option. Either way, since the phone is unlocked Verizon views it as a "bring your own phone" type situation so they don't have any stake in the phone's ownership, it is left between Apple/CitizensOne.

    The folks at Apple were champs in helping me figure this out, and they stayed an hour past close due to some issues with Verizon's activation servers throwing up some flak and at one point denying me the account because apparently the offices on the east coast closed between the time I started to fill out the application and the time it was submitted (2 minutes). Really, really professional and almost annoyingly cheerful with how much they wanted to help me out with a fairly unique situation. (But annoying in a good way, I was just getting grouchy due to being tired and not having had dinner yet (10pm).

    Thank you also to those on here who shared their input. I hope my experience helps anyone else who needs to make a similar purchase. It would certainly be easier to do without having had to return the ATT phone, I know better for next time.
  10. MuGeN PoWeR macrumors 68020

    MuGeN PoWeR

    Jun 29, 2011
    so in short you just made a new account with verizon and bought an iphone via IUP. thats it. good. enjoy your new purchase

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