Leaving the US for about 5 months--what to do about service?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by illjazz, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. illjazz macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    I guess the short version is: if I call AT&T and tell them that I'm leaving the US for 4 to 5 months, will they give me an unlock code for my iPhone along with canceling my service? I signed up for a new 2-year contract on July 12th 2008, when I bought my iPhone 3G. Once I return to the US, I'd obviously go back to AT&T because I'd still be using my iPhone.

    The problem of how to use my iPhone 3G overseas remains. See more details below.

    I've been with AT&T since a day after the release of the original iPhone. I bought the iPhone 3G on July 12th, and with that, of course, came a new contract. I'm an international student who's in the US on an F-1 visa. My situation has now changed in such a way that I am returning home to Europe for about 5 months. In January, I intend to return to the US.

    While in Switzerland, I'd obviously like to keep using my iPhone 3G, because using any other phone at this point would feel like down-grading, big-time. So now, I face a strange situation regarding my AT&T service and my iPhone ownership.

    Do I cancel my AT&T service and pay the cancellation fee, and then sign up anew once I return in early 2009? Or do I stay with AT&T and keep paying the core bills of $75 a month for a few months.. and then just pick up where I left off once I return? I don't really want to unlock my phone even though that's probably going to be possible, even on the iPhone 3G, sooner or later (if it isn't already, haven't been keeping up), but if I do not, I won't be able to use my iPhone with any other carrier back home (Switzerland).

    Between these two options, cost wise, I feel like there isn't a huge difference. Cancelling and rejoining is somewhere between $200 and $300, right? And paying the bills for 4 to 5 months and picking up where I left off is between roughly $300 and $400+.

    Thing is.. if I cancel service here and explain my situation, will AT&T unlock the phone for me?

    That's just the beginning of my problem. Swisscom's the only one in Switzerland that carries the iPhone AFAIK, so I'd go with them.. but prepaid doesn't seem feasible because data rates with prepaid are ridiculous. I'll somehow have to sign a contract for at least one year, then cancel that prematurely again..

    It's a headache, put briefly. Any suggestions? I thought I'd ask here first and discuss this before I call AT&T. I figure they'll simply suggest I keep the service and keep paying them.
  2. Etherz10 macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2008
    United Kingdom
    If You Call AT&T, They Will Probably Help You Alot With Your Issues
  3. rogers106 macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2008
    I know that when you tell AT&T that you are leaving the country for 5 months, they will gladly suspend your account for that time period. Your 2 year contract will resume when you get back.

    Not sure about how they handle letting you use it elsewhere.
  4. phaggard macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2007
    Make sure you don't take the Iphone with you and use roaming data. You mind wind up with a $19,000.00 phone bill.
  5. ACDeag macrumors regular

    May 25, 2008
    Edinburgh, UK

    You could always try this: http://www.any-network.com/
  6. illjazz thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    Yeah, I'll probably do that tonight and see what they say. Is their hotline open 24/7?

    Ok cool. Well that sounds good. Doesn't solve my unlocking/keeping my iPhone 3G issue though.

    I know about that. Won't be the first time I'm going overseas.. but it is the first time in years that I will be staying away this long. I always leave roaming turned off.

    Didn't know about this! This looks very promising indeed. Thanks. Has anyone tried this thing? Will it work for sure? Also, 2.1 is dropping just two days from today... guess I can wait until the weekend passes and check back on that site to see if they have it confirmed that it works. Thanks!
  7. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    Att wont unlock your iPhone. You should unlock your old one and sell your 3g on ebay to pay for your plane ticket back to the states in 5 months.

Share This Page