russell_314

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Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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Has anyone looked at the fine print of T-mobile's "Get up to $850 off" trade in deal? If you read the fine print it's 30 monthly bill credits for trading in a "iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max" but you have to keep the new phone for 2 1/2 years to actually get the rebate. I'm sure this is perfectly legal but it seems really slimy. Is anyone here going to bite? I have T-mobile but I'm probably just going to buy an unlocked 12 outright.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
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In the middle of several books.
I am with T-Mobile. I sold my SE (2020) on here and no longer have a trade-in. If i did, there is no way in the world I would do that deal. I saw the smoke and mirrors ad. I will buy the mini outright from Apple. A 30 month contract on a cell phone is crazy. If a person has to do a contract like that to be able to get the phone, then I think said person is in financial disaster.
 

aneftp

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Jul 28, 2007
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I am with T-Mobile. I sold my SE (2020) on here and no longer have a trade-in. If i did, there is no way in the world I would do that deal. I saw the smoke and mirrors ad. I will buy the mini outright from Apple. A 30 month contract on a cell phone is crazy. If a person has to do a contract like that to be able to get the phone, then I think said person is in financial disaster.
I prefer gift cards promo so I can pay off immediately

but the monthly credits over 30 month is to ensure Monthly revenue for carriers as they know u won’t bail before getting all ur monthly credits.
 
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buckethead

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2008
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We took advantage of the trade in deal. It ended up working out so we are getting more monies for our X and 11 than we would have anywhere else. could we have sold them for more ourselves? Maybe, but I am not messing around trying to sell a phone for an extra $50 or maybe $100...not worth the hassle. We are definitely not a financial disaster as @BasicGreatGuy mentions. Few things that make this good for us and others
  • been a with tmobile for almost 20 years and are not going to leave anytime soon
  • upgrade every 2 to 3 years so 30 months is no biggie
  • the 1 or 2 times we have upgraded a line before bill credits finished t force took care of us
  • we could pay out of pocket full price, but why turn down a 0% rate when we have it budgeted anyways
 

russell_314

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Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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I prefer gift cards promo so I can pay off immediately

but the monthly credits over 30 month is to ensure Monthly revenue for carriers as they know u won’t bail before getting all ur monthly credits.
I understand but a 2 1/2 year commitment without any way to upgrade is crazy IMO. I got the contracts because that only tied you to a carrier so if you're not planning on going elsewhere no big deal. This is tied to you having that phone. You might as well say that's a three year deal because by the time you get out from under that thumb it's less than six months till the next iPhone release.
 
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russell_314

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Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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We took advantage of the trade in deal. It ended up working out so we are getting more monies for our X and 11 than we would have anywhere else. could we have sold them for more ourselves? Maybe, but I am not messing around trying to sell a phone for an extra $50 or maybe $100...not worth the hassle. We are definitely not a financial disaster as @BasicGreatGuy mentions. Few things that make this good for us and others
  • been a with tmobile for almost 20 years and are not going to leave anytime soon
  • upgrade every 2 to 3 years so 30 months is no biggie
  • the 1 or 2 times we have upgraded a line before bill credits finished t force took care of us
  • we could pay out of pocket full price, but why turn down a 0% rate when we have it budgeted anyways
If you know you don't upgrade but once every three years then it's fine. Sorry I can do every two years but no more than that is stretching it for me. I understand you've been with T-mobile for ages but this isn't just tying you to the carrier but to that specific phone. In the day I've done contracts and even when they were two years once you got the new phone it just extended it so it didn't prevent you from upgrading. At least that's how it was with Verizon. I didn't have T-mobile back then. I mean I guess this could be okay for some but no way would I do this. If I had friends I would ask how long have you had your current phone. If the answer is less than three years I would advise against it.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
27,892
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In the middle of several books.
We took advantage of the trade in deal. It ended up working out so we are getting more monies for our X and 11 than we would have anywhere else. could we have sold them for more ourselves? Maybe, but I am not messing around trying to sell a phone for an extra $50 or maybe $100...not worth the hassle. We are definitely not a financial disaster as @BasicGreatGuy mentions. Few things that make this good for us and others
  • been a with tmobile for almost 20 years and are not going to leave anytime soon
  • upgrade every 2 to 3 years so 30 months is no biggie
  • the 1 or 2 times we have upgraded a line before bill credits finished t force took care of us
  • we could pay out of pocket full price, but why turn down a 0% rate when we have it budgeted anyways
My point stands. If the average person (not with T-Mobile for 20 years etc.) needs to finance an iPhone for 30 months in order to be able to afford the payments (phone), said person is in over his or her financial head and needs to strongly consider cutting back.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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My point stands. If the average person (not with T-Mobile for 20 years etc.) needs to finance an iPhone for 30 months in order to be able to afford the payments (phone), said person is in over his or her financial head and needs to strongly consider cutting back.
You're not financing the phone for 30 months. They are stringing the rebate along in 30 monthly payments. Their hope is you will get the new iPhone 13 when it comes out and they won't have to pay you the whole thing.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
27,892
34,538
In the middle of several books.
You're not financing the phone for 30 months. They are stringing the rebate along in 30 monthly payments. Their hope is you will get the new iPhone 13 when it comes out and they won't have to pay you the whole thing.
I understand all that. They are trying to lock people in to 30 months. Unofficially, it is a contract with monthly payments. And those payments have to be financed in some manner by the customer. If a person can’t afford to buy a cellphone outright, and has to depend on officially financing it whether through the carrier, credit card etc. then that person is not spending wisely, in my opinion. T-Mobile isn’t going to take a loss.
 
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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,663
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Bay Area
Yup, same thing with the AT&T deal. 30 months of monthly payment. I know they need to get something out of it (your guaranteed business), but 30 months is just greedy. Verizon is offering the same thing but 24 months, and I also think Verizon is not threatening to charge you the full cost of the device if you upgrade before that.
 

russell_314

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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I understand all that. They are trying to lock people in to 30 months. Unofficially, it is a contract with monthly payments. And those payments have to be financed in some manner by the customer. If a person can’t afford to buy a cellphone outright, and has to depend on officially financing it whether through the carrier, credit card etc. then that person is not spending wisely, in my opinion. T-Mobile isn’t going to take a loss.
TBH since contracts stopped being a thing the vast majority of people in the USA that buy expensive phones finance them with 24 monthly payments. I've done it and pretty much everyone I know does it. No one I know drops $800 - $1500 on a phone in one payment. I take that back one person I know does this but no one else.

You're absolutely correct that it's not spending money wisely. I can't argue with that at all.
 

russell_314

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
2,451
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USA
Yup, same thing with the AT&T deal. 30 months of monthly payment. I know they need to get something out of it (your guaranteed business), but 30 months is just greedy. Verizon is offering the same thing but 24 months, and I also think Verizon is not threatening to charge you the full cost of the device if you upgrade before that.
I'm really considering going to Verizon because of their network. I have T-mobile right now and it's okay but I don't get coverage in many areas. I mean unless I was broke down it's not a big deal to wait for a phone call till I get in a better area but it is annoying.
 

russell_314

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 10, 2019
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You need to get out more. Or spend a couple of hours at an Apple Store on a Saturday.
I'm sure people go to the Apple store and walk out paying cash for 50,000 Mac Pros too. Most people don't get their iPhones or any phone from the Apple store. They go to the Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile store etc. I guess it depends on the income class too. Perhaps if you're around people who make mid to high six figure salaries then of course it's I want it and I go buy it. I'm talking mostly people who make mid to high five figure salaries.
 

vincenz

macrumors 601
Oct 20, 2008
4,271
155
My point stands. If the average person (not with T-Mobile for 20 years etc.) needs to finance an iPhone for 30 months in order to be able to afford the payments (phone), said person is in over his or her financial head and needs to strongly consider cutting back.

And the reverse could be said for the other guy who buys a new phone outright and then sells it at a loss the next year to buy the new version outright. Not everyone doing this deal is strapped for cash. Your viewpoint is extremely close-minded.

I took the deal with my wife and T-Mobile is giving us $800 for each of our phones. To get $800 for my 3 year old phone is unheard of and our monthly payments with brand new pro phones will be less than what we currently pay Verizon monthly with both our devices paid off.. 30 months is nothing. We keep our phones for longer than that, so moot point.
 

iFan

macrumors regular
Jan 3, 2007
220
653
Wealthy people finance things all the time if the APR is 0% or lower than they anticipate they can earn elsewhere. Why would I give Apple 1k now when I can put that money to work? It's actually wiser financially to finance over 24-30 months.

I hate debt - and try to avoid it - but sometimes its just easy leverage. I will be taking advantage of the AT&T promo of bill credits over 30 months even though I could afford to pay the full price now. In the end, I'll only be paying $300 for an iPhone 12 Pro 256GB and I can invest the rest.
 

krifor03

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2020
64
77
Buying my first iPhone years ago I remember thinking “that’s a cap load of money!“ but I prefer the outright method of buying a phone. I take my little 10% discount from Apple, say thank you, and move on. I don’t want to deal with credits and I don’t want to be stuck with a carrier I’ve decided I don’t like anymore. That being said, I’ve had T-Mo for 6 years in two countries and they’ve always been awesome - but I’m still not signing a contract (T-Mo One), and you can keep your subsidized phones 🇺🇸 🦅
 

Stolz25

macrumors regular
May 14, 2012
133
44
I might be reading the deal wrong, but I didn’t think it was attached to the phone, but to the line. If you pay off the phone early and change phones but keep the line I think you still will get the billing credits. Can anyone verify how it works one way or the other?
 

cdames00

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2012
96
53
I might be reading the deal wrong, but I didn’t think it was attached to the phone, but to the line. If you pay off the phone early and change phones but keep the line I think you still will get the billing credits. Can anyone verify how it works one way or the other?
I thought it seemed odd too, so I confirmed the following with t force: “If you pay the phone off, you absolutely keep receiving the bill credits until they fully pay out! The only thing is, you can't have more than one device promotion on the line at a time. But yeah if you pay the 12 off and get a new phone, you can do that as long as the new phone isn't on a promotion... you'll get all of the monthly credits”
 

Stolz25

macrumors regular
May 14, 2012
133
44
I thought it seemed odd too, so I confirmed the following with t force: “If you pay the phone off, you absolutely keep receiving the bill credits until they fully pay out! The only thing is, you can't have more than one device promotion on the line at a time. But yeah if you pay the 12 off and get a new phone, you can do that as long as the new phone isn't on a promotion... you'll get all of the monthly credits”

Thanks for double checking, that puts my mind at ease. I had already taken the promotion deal on 4 phones moving to T-Mobile and then I read this thread and started to panic.
 

Taco1933

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2014
599
293
I don’t see it as being all that different from how cell companies used to operate, discounted phones in return for 2 year contracts. They aren’t just going to give you $850 and watch you head off to Verizon/AT&T.
 

buckethead

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2008
80
44
In the end the nice thing is folks can make informed decisions now. In the past the price was subsidized by a contract and hidden. Now you know what you are getting into and how much it is costing you to stay for a specific length of time.
 

bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,433
2,703
Buffalo, NY
I am with T-Mobile. I sold my SE (2020) on here and no longer have a trade-in. If i did, there is no way in the world I would do that deal. I saw the smoke and mirrors ad. I will buy the mini outright from Apple. A 30 month contract on a cell phone is crazy. If a person has to do a contract like that to be able to get the phone, then I think said person is in financial disaster.

Your way: Pay $800 upfront for an iPhone 12

My way: Get the phone for free. If I want to upgrade next year, I’ll pay $480 for my iPhone 12 then upgrade. If I want to upgrade in 2 years, I’ll pay $160 for my iPhone 12, then upgrade. Or I can keep my iPhone 12 for 2 1/2 years, pay $0 for it.

You can always get out of the 'contract' at any time by paying the remaining balance. My way is ALWAYS financially better.
 
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