T-Mobile Paying ETF

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Cergman, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Cergman macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

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    #1
    I started looking at the T-Mobile small business plans today, and those are crazy cheap! Unlimited data, 5GB tethering, unlimited talk & text, 5 phones, for only $110 a month. Also T-Mobile is talking about how they will pay user's ETF if they switch, but they have to trade in their old device.

    Do any of you know if there is a requirement for the old device? I'm currently on AT&T with 3 iPhone 5s, 1 iPhone 5 and 1 iPhone 5c, none of which I am willing to trade in. If you just have to trade in a phone, would I just be able to purchase some used Motorola Razr v3 phones and trade those in?

    I just ordered my T-Mobile test drive device today and am excited to try the service. If all goes well I think switching could be a possibility, but I am still in a contract with AT&T. How could I get my ETF's paid without trading in all of my iPhones? Also, would AT&T unlock the iPhones once the ETF is paid so I can then use them on T-Mobile?
     
  2. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #2
    You can trade in any phone. Yes at will unlock the phones.
     
  3. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    #3
    Well... You can't just trade in any phone, it has to be on their approved list but some of them are phones you can pick up pretty cheaply. You also have to buy a new phone from them on every line. The way the ETF works is that once you get your final bill from ATT you send that to them and after several weeks you get a gift card with the refund on it. So you have to shell out the money to pay your final bill and then try to convince ATT to unlock the phones, which can take some time.
     
  4. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #4
    If you have to get new phones from T-Mobile anyway, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to keep the AT&T phones unless you resell them for more than you would get in trade. Plus AT&T phones don't always get the best service on T-Mobile because they have to refarm the spectrum in certain areas. T-Mobile's normal coverage map doesn't mean much unless you're using their phones.
     
  5. hockeyman94 macrumors regular

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    #5
    That only applies to the iPhone 4s ^^^^
     
  6. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #6
    I imagine that an early 5 would also have the same issues. T-Mobile didn't get it until a few months in, and it's not that same one that AT&T sold from launch. Better to just get some 5ses or 5cs from T-Mobile and not worry about it. They'll give you $150 for a 5 or $230 for a 5s.
     
  7. Cergman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

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    #7
    The 5 should be a later version, since I got it swapped by Apple.
    As I said, it's insane for me to have to trade in my perfectly working iPhones just to buy new ones outright ($3,050 + tax)

    When I turned in my test drive phone, I asked the employee who was helping me what the best way to go about the ETF fees is. He said just to bring in any old (working or non working) flip phones I had laying around, and then I could buy 5 of the cheapest T-mobile phones ($30-50) and that would do it.

    Seems like a great deal to me. We will probably be switching later next month.

    Thanks for your help guys =)
     
  8. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    #8
    Unless something has just recently changed, you can't trade in just any old phone. It has to be a "smartphone" that is on their list of approved trade in devices.

    http://www.t-mobile.com/DeviceRecovery/cell-phone-trade-in.aspx

    Of course, it's always possible that they are accepting anything in that store, but much more likely that whoever you spoke to doesn't know what they're talking about. My experience with T-Mobile is that every person you talk to in the store or on the phone will tell you a different story.
     
  9. Cergman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

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    #9
    Hmm. I guess I'd have to contact the business team to see what the deal is. That's slightly disappointing that I was told incorrect information.
     
  10. GooseEye macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    #10
    I just used the T-mobile ETF payment offer last month and here's what I learned below. I switched to T-mobile using the online method instead of in-store. If I had it to do over again I would do it in-store though.

    For the ETF offer, you can trade-in any smartphone or flip phone. I recommend against trading in a flip phone if you're going to submit a smartphone ETF reimbursement, as trading in a flip phone will limit your ETF reimbursement to $200 vs $350 for smartphones.

    That above device trade-in list link is used for both the ETF payment trade-in program and the normal trade-in program. For the ETF payment program, you can trade-in any smartphone, not just the specific ones on the list. You can see this in the list by first selecting your carrier, then selecting "ETF" from the maker of your device list. This will allow you to select the model as iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, or other. Customer service didn't even know this, I ended up discovering it while I was on the phone with them about how to trade in phones that weren't on the trade-in list. This worked for me when I traded in both of my craigslist purchased Blackberry Curve 8330's(I kept my 2 Verizon iPhone 5s's).

    Obviously if you do this in-store, all the of this will be done for you behind the scenes. Just be aware of the flip phone/smartphone ETF reimbursement difference. Also, the fine print states that all phones on the plan must be activated in the same T-mobile market or else the ETF may not be reimbursed. I don't know how strictly this is enforced but just to be sure, I activated my 2nd phones SIM card while I was in my billing address market area, before I mailed it to my sister in another state.
     
  11. Cergman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

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    #11
    Awesome information, thank you very much.
     
  12. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    #12
    Well, the store you are dealing with may very well be willing to accept the phones you bring in. I know that when I did it they had to enter the phone into their computer and it would only accept what was shown on their site as a phone they would allow you to trade in. The list on their site changes all the time. The last time I looked, several of the phones on that list can be purchased on eBay for dirt cheap. What they told you about it not even having to be in working order is correct.

    Again, this changes all the time and T-Mobile is one of the most screwed up companies I've ever dealt with when it comes to customer service. None of their computer systems seem to talk to each other and everybody you talk to will tell you something different.
     
  13. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #13
    I must have really lucked out then, because I traded in this old dumb phone, bought the cheapest flip T-Mobile phone, kept my AT&T unlocked 5S, and still got reimbursed the full amount of the $240 ETF I submitted.
     

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