Poor College kid wants an iPhone

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by moldy912, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. moldy912 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #1
    Hey ladies and gents,

    I'm 19 and in college and since I was 15, I've wanted a smartphone (Blackberries were the thing back then) and since my parents make me pay for the extra line, it would be too expensive with our current carrier Verizon. I am looking to leave this plan and do something that is a good value and low monthly cost.

    From my research so far, joining my friend's Sprint plan seems to be the best deal, because it has all the big carrier perks (and utld data) but it's only $30 per month, which is fantastic and well within my budget. The problem is convincing his parents to allow me to do this. I am willing to give them a year's worth of money at a time ($360) and the cost of the phone and whatnot. They will also have the iPhone 5 at launch, which is what I am waiting for.

    The backup plan for now is with Virgin Mobile prepaid. They are also $30 per month, and it's contract free, so I could update ever year if I wanted to. The bad thing is there is no roaming, no nights and weekends (I don't talk much, so not too big of a deal), the data speed is throttled past 2.5GB, and I can't be sure they will have the iPhone 5 at launch because it took them 9 months just to get the 4s.

    I think we can all agree my best option is Sprint, but I am looking to you all for comments, suggestions, or alternative options. This is a big deal for me because it will take a lot of responsibility on my part, and I won't have to mooch off my parents anymore like all the other college kids with their parents' credit cards.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Charlaux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    #3

    Its about the matter of time.I am a macbook pro retina owner and paid 700 $ from my own budget,that I get from 25$ weekly.Basicly my parents were completely against me about buying a macbook,it was happening for years.So expensive,so high for you and tons of other reasons.However this year I was going to a summer program in USA so I opened an account and saved my money and when It was the time I just came near my dad showing my account details and they accepted me to buy a macbook pro retina.Because the thing was not about that they can pay or not,there are tons of way to do it the thing is that you should prove them you can be the owner of a new iPhone :)
     
  3. Lunfai macrumors 65816

    Lunfai

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    Sheffield
    #4
    If you truly think that responsibility is important you might want to consider the option of not buying such a expensive device when you don't need it. iPhone is a luxury product at its best and if someone must go through all this to buy something then the option of not getting one must be one of the answers.

    Now; anyway, if you do go for the device, you will need to ask his parents first, the device will cost around 650 dollars if you're going to get the 16GB version, and this won't include the monthly fee that you're going to have to pay. Remember with this shared plan you must need to make sure the plan is not overused and thus causing additional cost.

    Virgin doesn't seem bad, but in US, the reason it took them so long to carry the prepaid though, is because US stores wouldn't normally sell prepaid devices. They should carry the new device, but I wouldn't bet on it, you'll be able to get an unlocked iPhone by other means.

    Whatever your actions are, just make sure you can afford it and don't go out of a limb to get a phone. Make sure your enjoying all the other things that life offers, and don't try saving up cash as soon as possible, just set targets. Good luck!
     
  4. Tfb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    #5
    I think you have to figure out what's worrying them about letting you on. If it's that you'll have some kind of control over their account, you'll need to reassure them that it will be impossible for you to run up overage fees, change plans, or in any way affect their credit and bill. (Is that the case?)

    They may also see it as a slippery slope - how many of their kid's friends can they let piggyback on their plan, and maybe it's simpler to just stick to none.

    What do you think they're thinking about this?
     
  5. malman89 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Why limit yourself to an iPhone? Get Virgin Mobile with the One V and you'll be more than happy.

    I was on my dad's Verizon plan until my junior year of college - I paid what my line cost (and with upping to a smartphone, it was about $40/month). Then he was unemployed, so I paid it all and realized it was absurd on an individual plan ($85-90 for 350 minutes, unlimited text/data). Luckily my contract terms just carried over and I was out in no time.

    $200 for my LG Optimus V at $40 month = after 4 months of VM ($90 x4 = 360 or $200 + $160 [40x4]) was pure $50/month savings on VZW. Even if you go the iPhone 4S on VM, over the course of 2 years it'll be considerably cheaper than a traditional provider.

    I say get the One V and VM. It'll be your own snazzy smartphone, in your name, but without any contract or ETFs to worry about, and will be practically the same as being on your friend's account.
     
  6. Atemporal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #7
    I'm assuming you're talking about the Sprint Wireless Advantage Club (SWAC) plan? If the iPhone 5 has 4G LTE capabilities, you'll be paying $40 a month, not $30. Keep that in mind.

    You also should inform them that you're willing to pay any additional overage charges, in addition to paying them upfront each year or whatever. It's extremely unlikely that you would need to pay any overage charges, since you quite literally only have two real ways to get charged extra: international texts and overspending minutes. There's unlimited mobile to mobile on the $30 version though, so I highly doubt you'll go over.

    Sprint employees are given ten lines to use, and you can also set an account to only view select lines on the plan. I can only view my line and not my sponsor's lines when I go to pay my bill.

    iPhone 5 would run you $200 to $300 at launch, and your upgrade eligibility may vary. I'm eligible every 11 months, but my friend is only eligible every 20, he says. Also, do note that you're also not bound by contract - you can leave the plan at any time, though I don't know why you would.
     
  7. moldy912 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #8
    I am going to try to answer all of your questions.

    @Lunfai: I understand it is a luxury device, but with Sprint or VM, $30 is well within my budget thanks to my job at school and my Youtube adsense money. I am also very sure of the initial cost of prepaid and the prospect of sharing minutes via Sprint. Luckily, I rarely talk. I use maybe 60 minutes a month on average. I am glad you are confident they will have the iPhone 5, but VM will not take any unlocked phone. They will take only VM versions of the iPhone, so I would have to buy one on Ebay or through their site/store.

    @Tfb: That's the idea. I am planning to offer them the cost of the plan a year at a time, so on day one I will give them money for the first year. Like I said above, overages on minutes should not be a problem with me, but I will discuss it with them, because I don't know how many they use already. I honestly do not know what they would think of this. I only asked my friend like four months ago, and he seemed OK with that, but of course, he's not the one paying. I have met his dad before, but I couldn't get a good read on how charitable he would be to me.

    @malman89: Virgin Mobile is great, but it's really a backup for me. I am about 99% sure I want the iPhone 5 simply because I enjoy iOS and apps are great. Besides cost, what was your experience with Virgin Mobile?

    @Atemporal: I have not heard of SWAC, and I don't know any employees. From my research, this is a family plan that has unlimited texts and data, but like 1500 minutes or something. The extra line is $20, and premium data is $10. If it changed to $40 or something, I would be OK with that. Thank you for the other info though. Those will be great selling points to his parents! Can you explain the whole upgrade eligibility though? I thought all contract phones were 24 months.
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #9
    Sprint subsidizes the phone for Virgin Mobile no? I think I read they did even on a contract free phone (sounds crazy)
     
  9. Atemporal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #10
    Are you sure you're not on considering a SWAC plan? It sounds extremely similar to plan I'm on.

    For me, my plan is 500 mobile to land line minutes, and unlimited text, mobile to mobile, data, and roaming. I have a $10 premium data add on (required for smartphones) and an additional $10 for 4G LTE, totaling $40.

    Additionally, the SWAC plan doesn't bind me to a contract. I technically pay by the month, yet I receive eligibility to upgrade my phone at 2-year contract prices every 11 months. If you're not on SWAC, you'll be bound by contract and you will only be able to upgrade once every 24 months.

    More SWAC information here
     
  10. Herdfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #11
    How much would it cost to be on your parent's Verizon plan. I know they have juggled the plans lately, but I can add an iPhone to my AT&T plan for $30 for the 300 mb plan, $40 for the 3gb plan.

    How much does Verizon want? Who and how much are you paying for your phone now?
     
  11. moldy912 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #12
    Yeah, this is different. This is just a family plan that I would join and pay for the extra line. If you take a look at Sprint's Everything Data family plans, it will say $19.99 per extra line 3-5, and then later on it will surprise you with a $10 per month premium data charge.

    How exactly do you get SWAC though? That looks like a good deal.

    ----------

    Verizon is like $60 per month I think. $30 per month alone covers the data, and the extra line and unlimited texts take up the other $30. I don't think I can afford this without being able to go out to eat occasionally. With their new data share plans, the phone is $40 per month and $50 per month for 2GB which is ridiculous.
     
  12. Atemporal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #13
    For SWAC, you need to ask a Sprint employee to be your sponsor. They're given 10 lines, so if they have a spare line, they can "give" it to you.

    They're responsible if you don't pay your bill, so you need to be in a fairly good relationship with them.
     
  13. moldy912 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2012
    #14
    I don't know any, so I guess that is out of the question.
     
  14. Tfb macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    #15
    I think it will likely go better if you let your friend act as a go between. Different cultures have different cultural nuances, but unless you know for sure that approaching them directly would be more welcome, don't do it. It puts them in an awkward position of saying no to you and/or explaining themselves to you, and even if they say yes, they might not feel good about it.

    Your friend should pitch it to them, all the better if he can pitch it to them as something that was his idea, although you don't want to push the insincerity. But if he can honestly say that he heard you talk about how much you wanted the iphone and how excited about it you were and how you were saving money for it, and he thought that if he could share his family plan with you, you could make it a reality, then it makes you sound less pushy, makes their son sound more generous, and allows them to feel good not just about doing something for you but about doing something for their son. He could also work through some of the financial details so it's less like you're doing an economic transaction with your friend's parents. Does that make sense to you? Does it sound feasible?

    Of course, if they say they want to talk with you, do, and be very gracious. If they say yes, you definitely have to speak with them in person and thank them profusely and tell them what a great guy their son is.

    Good luck!
     
  15. moldy912 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #16
    Absolutely, I am going to ask him to do this. I don't know his parents personally. He does, so I'm hoping he knows the right things to say. I'll just tell him what I can do. I agree with what you say too. I'd be proud if he were my son and wanted to help a friend!

    Besides my friend's "yeah" when I originally asked him if this was OK, I think I could get him to a point that he can sell it to his parents. I plan on talking to him soon, but for now, I'm just reading MacRumors hoping for confirmation of a press conference.
     
  16. jbwhitley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    #17
    One of the other things to consider is the plan may only be $40, but by the time you factor in local taxes, state taxes, 911 surcharges and other fees, you're probably looking closer to $47/mth. Just a thought as this would change your annual payment from $360 to $550-ish.
     
  17. moldy912 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #18
    It's $30, but I realize that. I'm not sure they will make me pay tax, but I will discuss it with them.
     
  18. malman89 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #19
    I did most of my traveling/road trips still on VZW, but I lived in Chicago, now live in the Detroit area, and traveled a bit to Indianapolis and Cincinnati and all been great/full coverage. In fact, VM's coverage was probably better than VZW's in Chicago in general. I was right on Lake Michigan for a while, where VZW reception is spotty or non-existent in some parts.

    As long as you're in an area with service, it's fine. On the flip side, with VZW and a road trip to Texas, I doubt I could pull up GPS or 3G in the middle of Oklahoma on VM like I did with VZW (or maybe... too lazy to check their coverage map).
     
  19. moldy912, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    moldy912 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2012
    #20
    My hometown and college town (Chapel Hill, NC) are both on the coverage map, which is great, but the trip between the two will be a little spotty. Not a big deal, because I don't drive by myself, and I can just use someone else's phone.
     
  20. thuchu1 macrumors regular

    thuchu1

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location:
    Auburn Hills, MI
    #21
    I'm really not sure you are looking at the whole picture. By moving to your friend's parents' plan all you are doing is mooching off them instead. The $30 isn't all the plan costs. They are paying a significant amount for the data you would be tapping into, as well as the texting plan and whatnot. If you really want to be responsible/have an iPhone, get your own plan. It's $80 on Sprint, if you don't have $50 to spare a month, you may not want to blow 38% of your monthly budget on a phone you've gotten along just fine without. That's real responsibility.
     
  21. jdiamond, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    jdiamond macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #22
    Verizon's policies?

    TYPO: Title should say "Virgin Mobile's Policies"

    Are you sure about this? I've been using Virgin Mobile (in the US) for 8 years, at all different plan levels, and they've NEVER had roaming charges, nor do they have any concept of "nights and weekends". (You just get total minutes per month.) Granted, I'm not on an iPhone plan, but it would be odd for them to have to create new categories of charges just to try to gouge iPhone users.

    ----------

    Oh - I get it now - you mean nights and weekends that don't count as minutes. Yeah - like you, even if I'm not on an unlimited VM plan, 1200-1500 minutes a month might as well be infinity for me. :) Not sure where you'd ever hit roaming charges. Once when I was going mountain climbing far from civilization I finally lost a signal, but that is really rare.
     
  22. moldy912, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    moldy912 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #23
    I wouldn't pay for the plan, I would pay for the extra line. That's $30 plus taxes. I am not mooching off of anyone, because mooching would mean that I would get this for free while they pay for it. It was a poor choice of words, because I am not mooching off of my parents either. I am paying for the line now, and I fully intend to pay for the extra line if my friend's parents are generous enough to let me join. Do not tell me what is responsible and what isn't.

    My point was they do not have roaming at all (and thus no charges). There is no signal when you are not in a covered area with Virgin Mobile according to their website.
     
  23. thuchu1 macrumors regular

    thuchu1

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location:
    Auburn Hills, MI
    #24
    I'm say although the line is $30, theres a whole other pot of the plan. When my friend joined my plan it was $50 + $30 for my iPhone + $30 for his iPhone. He now pays $55/mo because it didn't make sense that I would pay all of the $50 when he was getting the same benefit. I'm just informing you that there's more to the plan than $30. If getting an iPhone was only $30 I'd be stoked, but you would only get that price because someone else is paying the base part of the bill.
     
  24. moldy912 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #25
    I don't think his parents are going to make me pay part of their plan. This isn't like two friends splitting the cost of a family plan. It won't cost them any more to add me on if I'm paying for it. That would be like them taking advantage of my want just so they can pay less for their plan, which I don't think they will do. I would not even bother considering this if I thought they would make me pay a portion of the whole bill.
     

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