The AT&T IP5 16GB to 32GB return/upgrade dance

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dcrumbaugh, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. dcrumbaugh macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2011
    Bought AT&T black 16GB iPhone 5 as a walk-in purchase, via upgrade from my old 4, at Target 3 weeks ago today. Have buyer's remorse and want 32GB. No Target around here (Buffalo, NY area) has 32GB in stock.

    I can't reserve one via the Apple store pickup process because my line shows not eligible for upgrade, though I can add a 2nd line and reserve one that way. I don't want a 2nd line. Can I buy a 32GB as a 2nd line, port the phone# over, and then return the 16GB to Target within the 30-day window and be back where I want to be, with a 32GB single line with my current plan?

    Would I have to get a new line as the 2nd line with a new phone#, then swap SIMs with the old phone, and return/cancel the old phone attached to the new line, keeping the 32GB on the main number with the data plan I had purchased with the upgrade 3 weeks ago?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think you'll be okay but you need to return your phone asap.
  3. kmichalec macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010

    Just did something similar myself yesterday, except I was between the AT&T retail store and Apple Store, and was switching from a White to Black phone. Here's what I did (sorry it's so long):

    • Got a White 64GB from AT&T retail store on launch day using Line #2 upgrade, but using the phone on Line #1
    • Wanted to exchange for Black 64GB, using reservation pickup at Apple Store
    • Reserved the phone online using Line #1's reduced eligibility (not the full subsidization, but the reduced $650 vs $399 as I am not eligible for a full subsidy until June 2013 on that line).
    • When it was ready the next day, went to AT&T store first, and returned the white phone, where they reversed my upgrade on line #2, and made it fully eligible for an upgrade again. They then temporarily put my line #1 on a SIM car, but not in any phone.
    • Walked downstairs to Apple store (they are in the same mall) to get new phone
    • When the rep brought the phone out, I told him that I did NOT want him to process the order as is. I wanted to cancel the order which has the phone tied to line #1 at the $650 price, and then reprocess the order with the same device as a walk in using line #2 and eligible discount of $399.
    • They had me call the 800 number right there in store, and cancel the order (the whole time, holding the phone for me)
    • After about 10 mins, their system showed the phone was no longer tied to my original order, and was "available" for walk in sale.
    • We then processed the transaction on Line #2 for $399.
    • However, I still needed to phone to ultimately end up on Line #1, and they can't do that there, so I had to walk back upstairs, with the new phone in hand, to the AT&T store, and have them do the line swap, and give me a new Micro SIM for my wife's Line #2 (it temporarily shut her phone down after I took possession of the iPhone 5).
    • Went home, put the Micro SIM in her iPhone 4S, and she is up and running, as am I.

    Couple of points:
    1. Returning a phone to the AT&T store instantly returns the eligibility to the account in question. Not sure if returning to Target does the same. Call them and find out, as that's key, otherwise, if you return to Target, and the reversal hasn't shown up in AT&T's system, Apple won't be able to see it until it processes.
    2. Doing it this way will result in you (me) temporarily being out the money for the refund of the original device (in my case, it'll take AT&T 1-2 days to return the original $399 to my credit card) + the money for cancelling the Apple reservation (in my case, the $650 for the not fully subsidized iPhone which takes 1-2 days to return to my card) + the $399 for the newly swapped iPhone. In total, temporarily out $400 + $650 + $400, but in 1-2 days, it will all net out to the $399 total. So, DO NOT use a debit card, use a credit card with room.

    In your case, I would do the same thing, but use a new line when reserving. Then when you get to the store, say you don't want process the iPhone on the new line, but instead, cancel the order (and hence the line), and then buy the same phone, in their hand, using the eligibility of the phone and line you returned to Target. Just make sure the eligible is back on the line first before going to Apple. I used the Apple Store app on my ipad to start another new reservation process (didn't complete it), which told me the eligibility was back, otherwise the Apple Store app wouldn't let me start a new reservation after entering the phone number, SSN & Zip.

    Again, sorry for this being so long, but I think if you follow this, it should work out for you. It's close to your situation, and it worked for me.
  4. aphexacid macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2007
  5. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    LOL - God that is an awful dance...! I'm old enough to remember when that was cool...

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