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Carrier Sold my Sprint Iphone 6...problems!

CarRamRod

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 14, 2014
40
0
I preordered and received a Sprint Iphone 6 on launch day.

After a week or so of thinking about it, I finally decided that I wanted to change providers, and in this time the Iphone was never opened from its factory seal or activated in any way. When I log into sprint it still recognizes my 4s under "my devices."

Figured I would sell the phone and make a little cash to pay for the full priced T-mobile phone i'd have to buy. Sprint phones don't sell for that much, but since I paid the subsidized price, I figure a WIN WIN. Buyer gets a price lower than retail, and I make a little scratch.

But the buyer just contacted me and apparently, when he tried activating the phone sprint told him that it was associated with another account (presumably mine) and that it would have to be "released" first. I figured since it was never activated that anyone could use it since it wasn't stolen or anything like that. I tried calling sprint but they were closed by the time the buyer contacted me....

In the meantime I figure I would ask here since there are quite a few knowledgeable people here.

Anyone know if this is as simple as me calling sprint and telling them to "release" it? Sprint has a reputation for being such a hard@$$ on things (ie: unlocking policy) that I'm hoping there isn't a lot of hassle and hoopla.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,637
15,589
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I believe you would've had to pay the ETF first in order for the phone to be released from your account? Not entirely sure though.
^^^Correct.

OP, you paid the "subsidized" price. Your words. That means you signed a contract. That means Sprint paid Apple the DIFFERENCE between what you paid and the true cost of the phone.

Which means you owe Sprint for that difference. ETF is designed to recover that difference if you break the contract. Which you've done by selling the phone.

The new buyer will be unable to activate the phone until you pay Sprint what you owe them. I.e., the ETF.
 
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titans1127

macrumors 65816
Mar 10, 2009
1,035
186
You are going to have to have the buyer ship the phone back to you so you can activate it on your line first, then you can put your 4S back and then ship the phone back to the buyer. It's not something sprint can fix afaik as the phone is tied to the phone number that it was ordered under. This is true for ATT and Verizon as well. Only time this isn't an issue is when the phone is bought as "device only"
 
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Supermallet

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2014
1,465
877
You didn't activate the phone, but you ordered it at the subsidized price, and they know the IMEI/ESN of the phone they sent to you. Of course it was already associated on your account. Have you switched providers yet? If not, when you cancel you'll see you're going to have to pay an ETF or return the phone. Once you pay the ETF you can ask them to release the phone.

I'd suggest you apologize to the seller, explain there's been a mistake, and offer a refund for the full amount he/she paid and get the phone back.
 
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dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,238
493
NJ
There's a lot of derp going on here OP. I suggest you do a little more reading up on things next time before you blindly sell like this.

As others have stated, you upgraded and bought the phone for a discount which in turn extends your contract another two years. If you would've read the contract paperwork, you would've seen where you will have to pay the early termination fee to get out of this new contract. You dug yourself into a hole really and screwed a buyer lol. The phone you ordered is tied to your account and unless you cancel the account and pay the full balance including ETF, sprint won't release its ESN so it can be applied to another account. So make up your mind quick. You sold the person a paperweight for now. You sold a phone that you haven't truely paid off yet. Compare it to you getting a car leased or financed. The lets say $299 you pay as an upgrade price us equivalent to putting a down payment on a new car. Once you take delivery of the car, you sell it to a friend. Now your friend can't register it since there's a lien on it and the bank is gonna want its money before you go selling their car off.
 
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myscrnnm

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,413
881
Seattle, WA
Lol you bought a subsidized phone and thought you could get away with selling it at full price. No such thing as a free lunch, my friend.
 
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dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,238
493
NJ
Lol you bought a subsidized phone and thought you could get away with selling it at full price. No such thing as a free lunch, my friend.

He surely could do it. As many other have before. But he forgot to factor in two important things.

1.) sell the phone, stay with sprint, keep the current phone enjoy the profits
2.) sell the phone, leave sprint, use the profits to pay off the ETF and price of the device aka WHATS THE POINT?? All, if not most, proceeds go to paying off the dumb idea and the OP is back to square one. No extra cash. No sprint plan and no new iPhone.

OP, did you really truly honestly think that sprint would send you a new iPhone, for $500 off retail price, for you to sell and then cancel your plan with no course of action? ummmm they're gonna want their phone back or you will have to pay the difference for it. You were sold that phone at the discount on the grounds you sign another contract extension with them. I mean seriously?
 
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myscrnnm

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,413
881
Seattle, WA
He surely could do it. As many other have before. But he forgot to factor in two important things.

1.) sell the phone, stay with sprint, keep the current phone enjoy the profits
2.) sell the phone, leave sprint, use the profits to pay off the ETF and price of the device aka WHATS THE POINT?? All, if not most, proceeds go to paying off the dumb idea and the OP is back to square one. No extra cash. No sprint plan and no new iPhone.
That's what I meant. OP seems to have been under the impression that he/she could just leave Sprint after selling the phone (thus not honoring the contract), and not have to pay an ETF and the remaining balance owed on the phone.
 
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dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,238
493
NJ
That's what I meant. OP seems to have been under the impression that he/she could just leave Sprint after selling the phone (thus not honoring the contract), and not have to pay an ETF and the remaining balance owed on the phone.

Sounds like a plan a plan a 12 yr old would come up with. And I mean that in terms of not thinking things through logically. lol free phones for everyone!
 
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myscrnnm

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,413
881
Seattle, WA
Anyone know if this is as simple as me calling sprint and telling them to "release" it? Sprint has a reputation for being such a hard@$$ on things (ie: unlocking policy) that I'm hoping there isn't a lot of hassle and hoopla.
This is breach of contract. Sprint would be crazy NOT to be a "hard@$$" about it.
 
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bhags8

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2012
530
19
He surely could do it. As many other have before. But he forgot to factor in two important things.

1.) sell the phone, stay with sprint, keep the current phone enjoy the profits
2.) sell the phone, leave sprint, use the profits to pay off the ETF and price of the device aka WHATS THE POINT?? All, if not most, proceeds go to paying off the dumb idea and the OP is back to square one. No extra cash. No sprint plan and no new iPhone.

OP, did you really truly honestly think that sprint would send you a new iPhone, for $500 off retail price, for you to sell and then cancel your plan with no course of action? ummmm they're gonna want their phone back or you will have to pay the difference for it. You were sold that phone at the discount on the grounds you sign another contract extension with them. I mean seriously?


Actually for #2 he would have to pay the ETF before selling the device. Unless he didnt want the buyer to be able to use the device. And its not a terrible idea, I mean lets say you pay $200 for the phone at subsidized price, then pay $200 for the ETF. Your $400 deep, but you could sell it for $700-$1000 depending on which specs the phone has.

----------

Oh, and this thread is the PERFECT example of why I will not buy a phone from anyone on eBay or craigslist. Swappa is a bit more trustworthy because they make sure the phone is paid in full.
 
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Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,154
6,216
Actually for #2 he would have to pay the ETF before selling the device. Unless he didnt want the buyer to be able to use the device. And its not a terrible idea, I mean lets say you pay $200 for the phone at subsidized price, then pay $200 for the ETF. Your $400 deep, but you could sell it for $700-$1000 depending on which specs the phone has.

A subsidized $200 phone would be the one with the lowest spec. For a higher spec phone, the subsidized price is comparatively higher. So in order to get a phone you can sell at $800, you would have to pay $300 + ETF.
 
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myscrnnm

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,413
881
Seattle, WA
A subsidized $200 phone would be the one with the lowest spec. For a higher spec phone, the subsidized price is comparatively higher. So in order to get a phone you can sell at $800, you would have to pay $300 + ETF.
Okay, I'll play devil's advocate here and use the 16GB iPhone 6 as an example. Full price is $650, and subsidized price is $200. ETF for Sprint "advanced devices" is $350 (for a more liberal estimate, giving bhags8 the benefit of the doubt). If you're price skimming and sell it right now when buyers are willing to pay $650, that's still a $100 profit over the $200+$350.

I must be missing something here. Surely there must be some other cost that we've overlooked. Otherwise it's way too easy to beat the system; perhaps because the profit margin is so low for the amount of effort? What about carrier locks on subsidized Sprint phones?
 
Comment

libu

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
64
0
I preordered and received a Sprint Iphone 6 on launch day.

After a week or so of thinking about it, I finally decided that I wanted to change providers, and in this time the Iphone was never opened from its factory seal or activated in any way. When I log into sprint it still recognizes my 4s under "my devices."

Figured I would sell the phone and make a little cash to pay for the full priced T-mobile phone i'd have to buy. Sprint phones don't sell for that much, but since I paid the subsidized price, I figure a WIN WIN. Buyer gets a price lower than retail, and I make a little scratch.

But the buyer just contacted me and apparently, when he tried activating the phone sprint told him that it was associated with another account (presumably mine) and that it would have to be "released" first. I figured since it was never activated that anyone could use it since it wasn't stolen or anything like that. I tried calling sprint but they were closed by the time the buyer contacted me....

In the meantime I figure I would ask here since there are quite a few knowledgeable people here.

Anyone know if this is as simple as me calling sprint and telling them to "release" it? Sprint has a reputation for being such a hard@$$ on things (ie: unlocking policy) that I'm hoping there isn't a lot of hassle and hoopla.

You paid a SUBSIDIZED price- the reason it's cheap is because the full cost of the phone is spread through a 2-year contract and monthly payments, which are mandatory.

You can choose pay the ETF to terminate the contract (which will mean you pay full price and are out of the contract ... and probably made zero profit, or lost money on the deal.)

If you don't want to pay the ETF, here's what will happen- your credit rating will be hit for non-payment, and second Sprint will blacklist the phone, even on their own network.

----------

This is why I will never buy from a private seller. What a huge inconvenience this puts on the buyer.

Nothing wrong with buying from a private seller- just buy a device that was paid for in full and not under contract.

----------

Okay, I'll play devil's advocate here and use the 16GB iPhone 6 as an example. Full price is $650, and subsidized price is $200. ETF for Sprint "advanced devices" is $350 (for a more liberal estimate, giving bhags8 the benefit of the doubt). If you're price skimming and sell it right now when buyers are willing to pay $650, that's still a $100 profit over the $200+$350.

I must be missing something here. Surely there must be some other cost that we've overlooked. Otherwise it's way too easy to beat the system; perhaps because the profit margin is so low for the amount of effort? What about carrier locks on subsidized Sprint phones?

You are overlooking tax and non-refundable activation fees that bring the cost squarely to $649.

There is no profit .. unless you don't pay the ETF and just screw the carrier. You'll make out, at the cost of a blacklisted phone down the line, and a low credit score.
 
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myscrnnm

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,413
881
Seattle, WA
You are overlooking tax and non-refundable activation fees that bring the cost squarely to $649.

There is no profit .. unless you don't pay the ETF and just screw the carrier. You'll make out, at the cost of a blacklisted phone down the line, and a low credit score.
What if they bought it tax free? Say in Oregon or something. And how much is the activation fee? $40? (based on AT&T's activation fee). That would leave $60 profit. And based on my experience, tax is only charged on the subsidized price, so in my state (Washington), that would be $30. Still leaving $30 in profit (or zero if your time is actually worth any money).

(not condoning this practice in any way, just trying to figure out the numbers involved, because I feel like even with no profit in the end, the buyer should be penalized for screwing around)
 
Comment

bhags8

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2012
530
19
Nothing wrong with buying from a private seller- just buy a device that was paid for in full and not under contract.



First off, half the things people say online are lies. So you cant trust someone who says they paid in full.

Second, people are so dumb nowadays they probably think the $200 subsidized price is "paid in full"

Seriously, it blows my mind everyday how stupid people are.


Even companies like this wont buy T-Mobile used phones anymore because it isnt guaranteed that the device is paid off.

http://upgradeswap.org/why-well-never-buy-used-t-mobile-phones-again/
 
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libu

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
64
0
What if they bought it tax free? Say in Oregon or something. And how much is the activation fee? $40? (based on AT&T's activation fee). That would leave $60 profit. And based on my experience, tax is only charged on the subsidized price, so in my state (Washington), that would be $30. Still leaving $30 in profit (or zero if your time is actually worth any money).

(not condoning this practice in any way, just trying to figure out the numbers involved, because I feel like even with no profit in the end, the buyer should be penalized for screwing around)

The fees are collected at purchase and will round to to the full value WITH ETF trust me- maybe tax isn't it.

I think also the first month bill needs to be paid as well, so add that to the bill.

Depending on carrier, there is the activation fee, the ETF fee, first month bill.

It's not taxed at subsidized price, but full price.

For example, when I paid for a subsidized 128 Gold Plus, I paid $584.

In the end ... if you actually pay the ETF, you're not making any more profit than someone buying it full price, as you'll have to pay full price to get out the contract.

----------

First off, half the things people say online are lies. So you cant trust someone who says they paid in full.

Second, people are so dumb nowadays they probably think the $200 subsidized price is "paid in full"

Seriously, it blows my mind everyday how stupid people are.


Even companies like this wont buy T-Mobile used phones anymore because it isnt guaranteed that the device is paid off.

http://upgradeswap.org/why-well-never-buy-used-t-mobile-phones-again/

If they have the receipt, it's all good, showing full-price paid.
 
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papen

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2012
20
0
From what I know, It will be higher. First of all, you bought a phone with 2 years contract. Now, you want to break the contract. There will be a fine. The % will depend on how many months left in your contract, per month (24 months in here).

Before, AT&T (just an example) did not allow ETF until you have 12 months left. I don't know about now. You need to ask Sprint directly to get more information.
 
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Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,228
Jacksonville, Florida
"Anyone know if this is as simple as me calling sprint and telling them to "release" it? Sprint has a reputation for being such a hard@$$ on things (ie: unlocking policy) that I'm hoping there isn't a lot of hassle and hoopla."[/QUOTE]

Sprint tends to be a hard@$$ when they want you to fulfill your contract.

You really did not think that there would be a problem with this?
 
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617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
This is why I will never buy from a private seller. What a huge inconvenience this puts on the buyer.

Buying a sprint phone means he is used to inconveniences.

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Anyone know if this is as simple as me calling sprint and telling them to "release" it? Sprint has a reputation for being such a hard@$$ on things (ie: unlocking policy) that I'm hoping there isn't a lot of hassle and hoopla.

Sprint tends to be a hard@$$ when they want you to fulfill your contract.

You really did not think that there would be a problem with this?[/QUOTE]

why would they release it when you are still under contract. You will have to refund the seller. I doubt he wants to wait for you.

----------

This is breach of contract. Sprint would be crazy NOT to be a "hard@$$" about it.

How is it a breach of contract, he still has his sprint account active. He just doesnt want to use the iphone 6 on it. He is allowed that im sure.
 
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