Nightmarish experience with Apple Upgrade Program

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by inkyoto, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. inkyoto macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2013
    Results probably not typical. YMMV. Curious if anyone else experienced this though.

    Went into the Apple Store for my 8am reservation for my iPhone 6S Plus 128GB. All went smoothly until the final step after I put my SSN and other details into the approval system. The system said something like "purchase exceeds financing limit."

    Strange, since I have a high credit limit (5 digits, way larger than the $130 initial payment you have to do) and flawless credit. It was financing it for $1170, the full price of the 6S Plus 128GB, so the Apple sales rep told me to contact Chase to see why it was declined.

    Chase call #1 — Chase said they didn't even receive an authorization for the purchase, but put on a high spending note anyway. Tried it again, no dice - same error message.

    Trying another card — Okay, trying another credit card, this time from Bank of America. Went through the entire process again. Same error message.

    Chase call #2 — This rep has no idea what is going on and is confused about why I'm financing a purchase on my credit card. Tells me to contact Citizens One (the bank financing the iPhone upgrade program) because the error isn't on their side – they aren't even seeing an authorization.

    Citizens One — Rep says I have 3 tries per card before I have to wait 30 days. Says that their financing limit is $4000 so as long as I'm under that, and my credit can accommodate the next 3 months of payments, it should go through. Tells me to contact Apple. Gives me a phone number for Apple Financing that goes to "not in service". Nice.

    Trying again — Decided to give it another shot with my Bank of America card so we could get another look at the error message. This time it changed. Now it says "Customer ineligible for Apple Offers."

    Apple — Enter the twilight zone. Apple rep has no idea what is going on. When I ask to be transferred to whoever is responsible for Apple financing, they say it's the person in the store. Oh yeah, brilliant! I ask again to be transferred and they say they don't have anyone to transfer me to and that I need to contact Citizens One about why it's not going through.

    Thanks Apple. The store rep was incredibly nice and patient for the HOUR that this took and she said I should pay outright to secure my reserved phone, figure it out with Apple, and then come back in a week so they can do a return and then set up the financing program again. What a nightmare that was.
  2. lah macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    I too received the "purchase exceeds financing limits" reason for not being approved. I have excellent credit and my cards have high limits, also 5 digit credit limit, and balances are not high (pay off every month). I had to get to work so I just paid off the entire phone on the spot with the same card I used to apply for the upgrade program. Oh well.
  3. Nino313 macrumors member

    May 7, 2010
    Same issue here, Even got a email saying i was financed and how much payments were. Kept getting the "purchase exceeds financing limits"
  4. iamkilo macrumors newbie


    Jun 23, 2015
    So when you were declined they did let you pay full retail for it? I'm expecting to be declined, just didn't want to then have to be sent away with my tail tucked between my legs and have to order online and wait forever to get it. I'm okay paying cash, just wanted to try this method if it worked.
  5. icedlatte macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2015
    Oh wow, this exact same thing happened to me! I was there for an hour - finally ended up financing on Verizon. Also got the emails from Citizens Truth in Lending Disclosure. I did notice in that email this partial statement "...some of the important financial terms that will apply to your loan if your application is approved and if you choose to accept the loan.". So this email didn't mean you got approved.

    I ended up getting my silicone case I was going to add to the order for 99 cents for my trouble. So thanks rep! He was very nice and patient.

    I intended to find out what the deal was with Citizens, and why the non-approval and maybe try again but after a few days I may not think it's worth it anymore :).
  6. mobutt macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    Mine was smooth. Although I think they ran a credit check twice which kind of sucks.
  7. lah macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    Yes, it was no problem at all. Just paid full amount on the spot.
  8. pbsno1 macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2015
    I was denied too, in spite of great credit. Not sure why. Apple Rep didn't know either. I signed up with ATT Next in the end, but would love to bring the phone back and get the iPhone Upgrade Program version instead, but don't know how at this point.
  9. bhags8 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2012
    Maybe call citizens one and see if they can do it through your bank(routing number). I used a credit card to get approved but I don't want to use that because I don't want to get charged interest. So once you sign up on their site you can change it to Bill your checking account. That's how I set mine up. Maybe if you call citizens one and see if they can set you up that way?
  10. pbsno1 macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2015
    I called. They said to call back 24 hours later and they can help me further, but they can't see anything in the system until then.
  11. Lobwedgephil macrumors 601


    Apr 7, 2012
    The rep told me they were having trouble with Chase, so probably you guys.
  12. CE3 macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2014
    Considering they were run that close together, it'll probably only count as one pull.
  13. ekrueger24 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    London, UK
    This program seems like a great idea in theory. Sounds like they weren't anticipating the influx of applications for it. Hope the kinks get ironed out soon and they learn from this for when it launches in the UK.
  14. dino325 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2014
    Same issue here.. Tried purchasing through upgrade program for my wife and I... Seems like they may lose a good deal of business because of this until it gets sorted...
  15. JPIndustrie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2008
    Queens, NY
    Jeez that does not sound like a good experience at all.
  16. inkyoto thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2013
    Update: I was transferred between Citizens One and Apple three more times before they worked out that I have to call back on Monday to see if I got approved or denied. Hooray. Will report back with what happens.
  17. Ferrari450, Sep 25, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015

    Ferrari450 macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Citizens One are the only ones approving people. Apple has nothing to do with that process.
    Edit: Seems like Apple needs to train the people in their Retail Stores and the people on the phones to give correct information when it comes to this upgrade plan and the finance approving process
  18. sumiphone macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2015
    I also had a horrible experience. I have high 700's credit score and had around 3500$ credit on my credit card thru which I tried to pay but I was denied. Apple representative told me that it will be an hard credit check.He told me that I have not been approved to buy phone. Hard credit check and that too being denied is a bad thing, as I have been told. I have a very good credit score and this is first time I have been ever denied of credit.

    I tried calling Citizens One and they don't have a clue whats happening.The representative just told me that I will have to wait for letter to come to my house to know why I have been denied.They did not have other information.

    Apple guy was clueless and for me it was an embarrassing experience.

    Any suggestions what to do further will be appreciated .

  19. dino325 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2014
    I called Citizens One as well and was told the same thing...
  20. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
  21. inkyoto thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2013
    Citizens One told me that, if I was declined, they will have a decline letter on file 24 business hours after the decline date. That means calling back on Monday, but I'm going to call back on Saturday just because. 1 (855) 764-6395 is the number the Apple rep gave me.
  22. inkyoto thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2013
    This is technically true, but in my case I was seeing an error on their system that Citizens One said was Apple's fault and that Apple said was Citizen One's fault.

    EDIT: Sorry for the double-post, I was under the impression MacRumors Forum merged double posts as it used to.
  23. lah macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    I gave up on this program. After speaking with Citizens bank on Saturday, I was assured I was not declined due to credit worthiness. So I went back that evening and and tried to apply again - this time I did not use a Chase or Amex - but was declined again. Locked for 30 days. I said screw it and just signed up for the Next 12 program from At&t, and returned the phone I paid full price on launch day. And sorry if this might sound obnoxious to some, not trying to brag, but after I was declined, I went home and applied for a credit line increase on my Amex card just to see what would happen and boom, approved on the spot for a 10k increase, now I have a 25k dollar limit on my card (zero balance). Just happy it's not my credit, but something else. Curious to see what the official letter says when I receive it.
  24. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Something weird with Citizen or whomever Apple is using. I, too, have a credit score of over 800 and was rejected. I did recently buy two cars which probably caused the rejection, but nonetheless is pretty stupid.

    Gave up and paid full retail instead. I was in the store for 45 minutes and just wanted out at that point.
  25. Mac Tyson macrumors regular

    Mac Tyson

    Jul 1, 2010
    I had no issues getting an iPhone 6s on ATT on Saturday. It was quick and easy. I was able to keep the iPhone unlimited plan on my wife's line. After experiencing how quick and easy it was, I went and checked stock early Sunday morning and they had stock of some iPhone 6s plus 64gb space grey but not with ATT. They only had it 'unlocked' or T-Mobile. I reserved one and finally was getting setup with the purchase when I find out you can't use the Apple Upgrade Program on an unlocked phone. You have to get it activated right then and there. They can sell it to you unlocked but for full price.

    I'll keep checking stock this week for a 64gb iPhone 6s plus.

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