Carrier Switching back to AT&T from T-Mobile

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
12,877
3,413
Boston, MA
Had a few questions for anyone that may be able to answer.

my wife recently found out she can get a massive Account wide discount on most plans with ATT. We have confirmed that it will work with the new (as of this Monday) $35 per line for four lines plan, so all is good there.

We initially had no plans to replace devices. All are working fine and so we had no desire to incur an additional expense. But then since we would be porting numbers we were made aware by the CSR that we would be eligible for free base iPhone 11's with trades for any device iPhone 6s or newer, and that deal seems too great to pass up. But before we jump in feet first I want to make sure everything is as I expect it to be.

the devices are supposed to be free via bill credits (which I do have experience with through T-Mobile) but it says it may take 1-2 billing cycles for that to work. So, my question is, how does that work? If it takes two billing cycles for it to work, I will have paid roughly $47 per device, essentially not making it free. Do they credit that back in an upcoming bill? Or is this just or for the course and "free" means "after out system gets around to crediting you". Obviously $47 isn't the end of the world, but as I said, "FREE" is what made this enticing. I am aware sales tax is due up front.

also, it didn't seem like the csr had any problems with four lines receiving free phones. Is there a limit? That seems like quite the "gift" and even without a discount towards the lines it would seem a family in the market for new devices is better off going with ATT than T-Mobile right now, no? I'm basically getting $2800 in hardware (granted there is a trade in but our phones total worth is maybe 800) handed to me to switch...

lastly, the term of the purchase agreement seems to be 30 months. As is par for the course you basically have to stick with it for 30 months in order to make this whole thing actually net you $0. We don't typically buy AppleCare but with repair and replacement costs having risen over the years it seems worth it. I think there was some sort of option with AppleCare for theft. Does Apple offer a monthly option (I know ATT does but I don't believe that has Apple care type coverage) or does one need to buy that up front?

Appreciate the help. This deal kind of came up unexpectedly and I am trying to make sure all the facts are clear before we move ahead.
 

jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
543
277
Had a few questions for anyone that may be able to answer.

the devices are supposed to be free via bill credits (which I do have experience with through T-Mobile) but it says it may take 1-2 billing cycles for that to work. So, my question is, how does that work? If it takes two billing cycles for it to work, I will have paid roughly $47 per device, essentially not making it free. Do they credit that back in an upcoming bill? Or is this just or for the course and "free" means "after out system gets around to crediting you". Obviously $47 isn't the end of the world, but as I said, "FREE" is what made this enticing. I am aware sales tax is due up front.
After 1-2 billing cycles you'll get full credit from day 1.

I had a deal like this for the iPhone 7 Plus, where I was getting $29/month credit. I got nothing the first two months, then $87 the third month, followed by $29 each additional month (up to 24 months).

Four free phones does have a certain "too good to be true" feel to it. Can you get the offer confirmed in writing?
 
  • Like
Reactions: lordofthereef

pbonitati

macrumors newbie
Aug 25, 2015
18
23
Rhode Island
I'm sorry but my billing (whole) experience with AT&T was horrendous. I was only with them a short time due to this and "their ways". Small example of my experience: First bill: 4 lines/$640 and really no idea why nor did the CSR's (prorated BS), second bill $430ish, and third bill came down to almost normal. Took over 3 rotations for credits to kick in as well. Now, I switched back to T-mobile and my given situation with turning in phones my first bill is negative $415. You will miss taxes and major BS fees being added in at one price at T-Mobile. I know this is biased a little as I truly dislike AT&T ... Think back to Data Saver (opt out), 5G evolution advertising. Carriers are bad, they are the worse.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lordofthereef

phpmaven

macrumors 68040
Jun 12, 2009
3,382
442
San Clemente, CA USA
This kind of thing is why I finally decided to opt out of T-Mobile and go with Mint Mobile. They use T-Mobile's towers and it costs me a ridiculous $11.25 per month per phone for 8GB of data. I have 5 lines with them and so it costs me $56.25 a month. You do have to pre-pay for the year, but with T-Mobile I was paying over $300 a month with everything I had going on. I just paid off all of the devices and moved to Mint Mobile. Been great so far. The one annoying thing is that they don't support eSIM, so you can't bring an Apple Watch over. I figure that's a small price to pay to save thousands a year.
 

Plutonius

macrumors 604
Feb 22, 2003
7,916
6,094
New Hampshire, USA
This kind of thing is why I finally decided to opt out of T-Mobile and go with Mint Mobile. They use T-Mobile's towers and it costs me a ridiculous $11.25 per month per phone for 8GB of data. I have 5 lines with them and so it costs me $56.25 a month. You do have to pre-pay for the year, but with T-Mobile I was paying over $300 a month with everything I had going on. I just paid off all of the devices and moved to Mint Mobile. Been great so far. The one annoying thing is that they don't support eSIM, so you can't bring an Apple Watch over. I figure that's a small price to pay to save thousands a year.
Another recommendation for Mint Mobile.

I'm not sure how you got a $11.25 / month plan with 8GB of data.

I'm getting their current lowest price plan of $15.00 / month 3GB plan by prepaying for a year.
 

Beelzbub

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2012
317
83
If it were me, I would make an appointment with the nearest AT&T Corporate store and do this in person and get it all in writing. Sounds like an excellent deal, but I would rather do this in person.

Whenever I need a new device with AT&T, this is what I do. Nothing against reps over the phone, I just have had a better experience with reps in person at the store. From past experience, calling a head and making an appointment works out good, this way you are not standing in line forever when showing up.
 

hbenitez09

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2009
197
18
You mention porting back to AT&T how long ago did you port out? Could disqualify depending on how long it’s been. Just make sure it’s over 60 days.

They do credit back to day one for the free device with trade in. And it doesn’t take 2 bill cycles they just say 2 bill cycles to be safe.

Is your wife a veteran? It’s the only discount that qualifies on all plans. The limit is 10 on 1 consumer account. But technically unlimited as long as you meet the criteria port in a line and trade in a qualified device with minimum $40 dollar value.

Had a few questions for anyone that may be able to answer.

my wife recently found out she can get a massive Account wide discount on most plans with ATT. We have confirmed that it will work with the new (as of this Monday) $35 per line for four lines plan, so all is good there.

We initially had no plans to replace devices. All are working fine and so we had no desire to incur an additional expense. But then since we would be porting numbers we were made aware by the CSR that we would be eligible for free base iPhone 11's with trades for any device iPhone 6s or newer, and that deal seems too great to pass up. But before we jump in feet first I want to make sure everything is as I expect it to be.

the devices are supposed to be free via bill credits (which I do have experience with through T-Mobile) but it says it may take 1-2 billing cycles for that to work. So, my question is, how does that work? If it takes two billing cycles for it to work, I will have paid roughly $47 per device, essentially not making it free. Do they credit that back in an upcoming bill? Or is this just or for the course and "free" means "after out system gets around to crediting you". Obviously $47 isn't the end of the world, but as I said, "FREE" is what made this enticing. I am aware sales tax is due up front.

also, it didn't seem like the csr had any problems with four lines receiving free phones. Is there a limit? That seems like quite the "gift" and even without a discount towards the lines it would seem a family in the market for new devices is better off going with ATT than T-Mobile right now, no? I'm basically getting $2800 in hardware (granted there is a trade in but our phones total worth is maybe 800) handed to me to switch...

lastly, the term of the purchase agreement seems to be 30 months. As is par for the course you basically have to stick with it for 30 months in order to make this whole thing actually net you $0. We don't typically buy AppleCare but with repair and replacement costs having risen over the years it seems worth it. I think there was some sort of option with AppleCare for theft. Does Apple offer a monthly option (I know ATT does but I don't believe that has Apple care type coverage) or does one need to buy that up front?

Appreciate the help. This deal kind of came up unexpectedly and I am trying to make sure all the facts are clear before we move ahead.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: lordofthereef

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
12,877
3,413
Boston, MA
You mention porting back to AT&T how long ago did you port out? Could disqualify depending on how long it’s been. Just make sure it’s over 60 days.

They do credit back to day one for the free device with trade in. And it doesn’t take 2 bill cycles they just say 2 bill cycles to be safe.

Is your wife a veteran? It’s the only discount that qualifies on all plans. The limit is 10 on 1 consumer account. But technically unlimited as long as you meet the criteria port in a line and trade in a qualified device with minimum $40 dollar value.
It was four years ago.

no, she's not a veteran. But we confirmed with the ATT rep she worked with at her store that the discount works for the new (as of Monday) $35 per line for 4+ lines unlimited. This is what ultimately got us to switch back; our service bill should effectively get cut in half. The free phones were just icing on the cake.

we just picked our phones up today. crossing my fingers the bill credits go smoothly. When we originally switched to T-Mobile we took advantage of the "we pay your etf " deal and it was a battle getting the payout; we did eventually... 3 months later.
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Original poster
Nov 29, 2011
12,877
3,413
Boston, MA
This kind of thing is why I finally decided to opt out of T-Mobile and go with Mint Mobile. They use T-Mobile's towers and it costs me a ridiculous $11.25 per month per phone for 8GB of data. I have 5 lines with them and so it costs me $56.25 a month. You do have to pre-pay for the year, but with T-Mobile I was paying over $300 a month with everything I had going on. I just paid off all of the devices and moved to Mint Mobile. Been great so far. The one annoying thing is that they don't support eSIM, so you can't bring an Apple Watch over. I figure that's a small price to pay to save thousands a year.
Unfortunately their data packages aren't typically enough for every user in our family. I see they have an 8 and 12 gig plan. Two of The lines on our plan end up being between 15-20 gigs a month, sometimes even more. There's a lot of streaming typically going on.

With T-Mobile we were using an old plan that gave 10 gigs per line with rollover but streaming didn't count against you in terms of data use. This was around $148 a month after taxes and fees.

the ATT plan is $140 for the base unlimited package (we don't get tethering but we don't typically use it anyway). On top of that there's a 60% discount. So we would end up paying about $60-ish per month for the service. It was too damn good to pass up rates like that.

The free Phones were something we did simply because we could. It was a port in offer we had to either take advantage of or lose. In hindsight I should've purchased at least one used 6s as a trade. I traded off an X that I could've gotten $350+ for. But this was an easy $0 out of pocket exchange.

forgot to mention that I found out triple A members also get their activation fees waived. The ATT Guy that was setting us up let us know.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Beelzbub