Local ATT store guaranteed me 6+ with preorder? S&H fee and new secure SIM card?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by thesmallelder, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. thesmallelder macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2006
    I just visited my local ATT store. It's not a corporate store. The store manager said that if I preordered (i.e. paying in full right now) I would be guaranteed the 6+ 128gb model I want. However, he said that I would have to buy a new "secure" SIM card for $20 and pay $30 "shipping and handling". This adds on $50 to the cost of the phone.

    I am dubious about these additional charges. He claims the store pays $60 shipping for each phone, so we're actually splitting the fee. I also have not read anything about a "secure" SIM card. I am not an idiot, but if it means I am ensured a 6+ without having to wait in line, then it's still worth it for me. Has anyone experienced something similar?
  2. DravenGSX macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2008
  3. saltd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2010
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    It sounds like a bunch of bs to me.
    Splitting the shipping cost with you and making you pay for a sim and shipping and handling?
    I never heard of that nonsense.
    Stay away.
  5. whyamihere macrumors 6502


    Jun 30, 2008
    Sounds like the store manager has found a nice method of supplementing his income in exchange for holding phones.
  6. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Yeah, I think you nailed it. And if the OP doesn't mind paying the extra fee, it might be worth it.
  7. thesmallelder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2006
    This is what I believe the situation is. My gut tells me that I will get the phone I want, but I'm paying him an extra $50 to do it. If I can avoid staying in line for at least an hour, then it's already worth the cost for me. I'll probably go ahead and pay for it ahead of time, but with my AMEX credit card in case he doesn't deliver.
  8. iososx macrumors 6502a


    Aug 23, 2014
    It's a scam. Plain and simple. They're criminals
  9. WolfSnap macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2012
    What the hell is a "secure sim"??

    All SIM cards are secure. iPhone comes with a sim for the appropriate carrier. He's completely screwing you over.
  10. jlake02 macrumors 68020


    Nov 2, 2008

    What a load of crap.

    I'd never return to that place. In fact, I'd probably see if there was a way to report him to AT&T corporate.

  11. nnacrumors macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2014

    As soon as I saw the OP I was going to say the same thing. I would never return there and report that a hole ASAP.

    Don't let that guy **** over legitimate customers like he is trying to do to you. Besides, if he is that untrustworthy how do you know you could even trust him with your account details (i.e. SSN).
  12. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    At best, this guy is just ensuring that he gets a nice paycheck at the end of the month for "securing" iPhone purchases and reaping the commission from activations, with no actual way of ensuring that you're really going to get your phone on time. He just hopes you won't want to cancel if you show up after stock runs out, and you realize you're not getting a phone on launch day, but stand to wait even LONGER if you cancel the pre order and start a new order with someone else.

    Charging for the SIM card is another way of padding his profits. AT&T stores can and sometimes do charge for SIM cards, but only if they don't like you very much, or if a rep is again, trying to pad his commission. The SIM card you have on your existing iPhone is no less secure than what's shipping with iPhone 6/Plus models on Friday.

    At worst, this guy is skimming stock and padding his pockets somehow. I hope you didn't pay in cash.

    You should've thrown this back at him: "Isn't that what the upgrade fee that AT&T charges is for?" ;)

    In any case, I don't know of any AT&T store that has ever directly passed on the cost of shipping to its customers. It's already built into the purchase.

    As others have said, proceed with caution. If he's doing anything he shouldn't be doing and gets caught, there goes your iPhone and possibly your money.
  13. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Absolutely. That's exactly what you should do. Right after you walk home with the new iPhone you bought from him.
  14. Azzin macrumors 601


    Jun 23, 2010
    London, England.
    This x 1000 ^^.

    Get your phone and report the guy.

    I don't know AT&T (I'm in the UK), but I'm sure they like to hear about any underhanded activities in their stores and will refund you any unnecessary costs you have incurred.

    Play dumb, take the phone and do as above.

    Good luck.
  15. kazmac macrumors 604


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    Listen to your gut, like others have said this "manager" is FoS. I wouldn't believe the guaranteed of an ensured 6+ either. You're paying enough for the + as it is. Do not go back.
  16. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
  17. thesmallelder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2006
    I ended up prepaying for the phone. The charge shows up as pending on my credit card as "V GUPTA CORPORATION", so it's an authorized retailer even though it looks exactly like an ATT store.

    He said to call when the store opens to make sure my guaranteed phone will be available. I'm thinking he doesn't know what phones he will receive on Friday. I will call him out on the SIM card and S&H fee on Friday, but if I get the phone and have to pay those, it's still okay to me. I water damaged my phone last weekend and it doesn't look like I have any other shot of getting a 6 any time soon.

    Does anyone know how to report these offenses to ATT? I have a receipt from him with the dubious $20 and $30 fees.
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    You should report him. What he is doing is unethical and illegal. Trying to take advantage of the iPhone popularity for personal gain through his position.
    Call AT&T and report his business practice and they should be able to transfer you to the appropriate department that handles these types of issues.
    Also I really doubt your "guaranteed" iPhone 6 will even be available.
  19. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    Oh man, that sucks. I know this all too well. Not too long ago I sold my co-worker friend an unlocked HTC One M8, and she needed a Nano-Sim for it, so she says she's going to go to the "AT&T Store" at lunch. So wanting to support her (I did just sell her a $500 phone) I tagged along.

    It turns out this "store" looks like a regular AT&T store but it was just a shady "Authorized Retailer". So we get there, my co-worker friend asks for a Nano Sim and the girl behind the counter proceeds to say "SIM cards are $30, but if you buy one of our cases I'll give it to you for free".

    BS. I pulled my co-worker right out of that store and took her to a Corporate Store 2 miles away where we got a Nano Sim free and of course the Corporate Store properly installed it and set up her existing line with the new phone. Done and done.

    I don't mean to rain on your parade but be very very careful with this transaction. This clown may or may not have a 6+ on day one, but I wish you luck regardless. I'm also not sure of the legality of these practices, but I would certainly at least check with AT&T corporate to see if anything can be done to get those other charges refunded. You might be able to dispute the charges with your CC company as well, but I'm not sure. Good luck.
  20. DollaTwentyFive macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2010
    Parts Unknown
    Wow. Just. Wow.

    I do a lot of consulting work with authorized agents of different carriers - mostly AT&T and VZW. Some of them are awesome, legitimate small businesses that go above and beyond what a corporate store will do for you. My job is to get them to that level.

    Others are like the one you ran into. Gangsters.

    I've never heard of a secure SIM card. And unless he is buying the phone straight from Foxconn, there is no way shipping is that much. In most cases, the shipping runs $1-$5 per device. Also - when it comes to launch day for iPhones, agents rarely even know what they are going to get. They are sent an allotment of what is available. They always get less than corporate.

    Having seen some of these scams and, as a result, seen agents shut down, here is my take.

    I suspect the business has a cash flow problem. A lot of agents do. They have to lay out, say $600 for an iPhone and a customer comes in and buys it for $200 on contract or $0 on Next or Edge. The agent then has to wait from 30-90 days to be compensated on the contract or installment plan. So there is a big outlay up front that isn't recovered for a long time. As a result, many have difficulty with operating capital.

    So, my guess is this guy needs cash. So if you pay up front, he promises you the phone you want. Plus more ridiculous fees. Now say he does this with 40 customers. No way is he getting 40 iPhones on launch day. So some of his "preorders" he will be able to fulfill. Most he won't. So what then? He offers to refund your money for the shipping and "secure sim." The customer is feeling a little better and he still has all the money for the phone up front and fulfills his orders with the phones as they trickle in. He may even throw in a free car charger that they charge $29.99 for. BTW - they pay about $3 for the car chargers.

    Now, OP, you may get lucky with the 128GB as less people are buying that model. I hope you get it on Friday. But this reeks of a scam.
  21. thesmallelder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2006
    Got my iPhone plus

    I ended up getting my iPhone plus. He didn't have the 128gb, so I got the 64gb. It's very light and slides into my pocket with no problem, but I thought the smaller one was the perfect size. Just small enough for comfortable one-handed typing, but big enough that I didn't mispress keys as I did on my 5s. He only had 16gb otherwise I would've changed my mind. Hopefully it will grow on me.

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