Upgrade Swap Over The Phone (separate accounts)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pwb2103, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. pwb2103 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    My very nice girlfriend let me use her upgrade to buy an iPhone 4 from apple.com (she gets my 3GS to replace her old 3G). It is supposed to arrive in the mail as early as tomorrow. Has anyone on here successfully bought a phone on one line and then used it on another line (not on a family plan) without going into an AT&T store? I have seen claims that it can be done over the phone.

    If so can you give me some idea what information we would need to make this work over the phone? I've seen mention of:
    sim numbers (is that printed on the card?)
    IMEI (can I get that without activating the phone?)

    ...but none of the threads I found while searching were by people who had actually done the swap (just people planning to do it).

    She will be at her work, I'll be at my job in a different location, I don't think we will be able to meet in the same location (let alone an ATT store) until Tuesday night and I would absolutely LOVE to not have to wait to use my shiny new iphone.
  2. onep00nis macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2009
    I did sort of the same thing. I used my work account upgrade to get the iPhone 4 (from iPhone 3GS) and switched with my personal account using iPhone 3GS. So now I'm still using the 3GS for work and 4 for personal.

    I had to go into ATT to get a new micro-sim card for my personal account and have ATT not invalidate the sim card in the 3GS used for work.

    I'm pretty sure that both you and your generous girlfriend has to got to the ATT store, but I'm sure that you have to go in to get a new micro-sim card for your account. Or make your own micro-sim card. But I would go into ATT to get a new micro-sim card. The whole process only took me about five minutes at ATT.
  3. Psant macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    I have to do the exact same thing too. Been looking for this answer.
  4. SiskoKid macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    I did this. I went to an AT&T store and picked up a regular sim card and a microsim card. My mom bought the iPhone 4 under her number I then went home, called AT&T and told them I'd like the microsim card to have my phone number on it and the new regular sim card to have my mom's number on it. Now the microsim card can go into the iPhone 4 for me and the regular sim can go into the 3GS for my mom.

    It was actually pretty painless. I did pay $15 for the microsim card though. Not sure if they're free now.
  5. pwb2103 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks Dave, that thread is perfect. I'll still post here afterwards and say how it ended up working out.
  6. joshrholloway macrumors member


    Sep 22, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I'm really wondering why I'm seeing so many reports of people cutting microSIMs and doing other crazy stuff, including paying AT&T $25 for a blank microSIM, when they have instructions on how to do this right on their site:


    No cutting or fiddling around with microSIMs involved. Just call the number and everything will be transferred over.
  7. pwb2103 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Well the phone arrived today. I followed the instructions in the link: Started charging it from the wall, called 1-800-331-0500, put the number in that received the upgrade and right away things were different than expected (no option to press 2 for activating on a different line... pressing 2 just lets you check your minutes).

    i managed to get through to a representative. She first asked for the numbers, account holder names, and last 4 ssn digits on both accounts. She then made me take out the new sim card (good thing I had the tool from my old iphone handy) to confirm it actually came with one. Then I had to read her the IMEI and ICCID. She said "alright, i'm going to put the change in, your old phone will disconnect and its sim card will no longer work, after 2 minutes you can plug your new iphone 4 into your computer and activate it with itunes". Sure enough, my call disconnected and my old phone stopped working... but when I plugged the new iphone into itunes to activate it still listed the wrong (old) phone number that I just went through the trouble to change it away from. Entering my account info with the old number just gave "we were unable to verify your information" type of error... entering the old account info allowed me to agree to terms of service before eventually it gave a sim card error.

    Now, as I guess I should have expected, I'm heading down to the AT&T store to see if they will fix this crap.
  8. Psant macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    Exact same story with me today. I was frustrated because I have work until 9 and my local AT&T Store closes at 8PM. Sigh.
  9. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    Did this today with two of our business lines. Didn't have any trouble getting an ATT rep to do this. I plugged the phone into iTunes first and left them on, then called 18003310500 and had somebody switch the service from the old SIMs to the new ones that came with the iPhone4's. I turned the devices off, then back on a few minutes later, and a few more minutes voicemail was working and all was good.
  10. pwb2103 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    Well, AT&T couldn't fix it. So I went to the Apple store, and they tried to tell me that they couldn't fix it either, but I begged them to help me deal with AT&T and as a result of the persistence of two dedicated Apple employees everything finally got figured out.

    I'll leave out the hours of trouble shooting and cut to the chase:
    If you want to buy a phone on an upgrade eligible line and then use that phone on a different line (that is not on the same account) then it seems you have to:

    1. Activate it on the upgrade eligible line
    2. Get a new sim card, put it in the activated phone, and call AT&T to have them set up that sim card with the line you want to use the new i4 on.
    3. Get another new sim card for the old phone that you want to use the original upgrade eligible line with (have AT&T set that up for the correct line).

    So this would have all worked pretty well if I had NOT tried to do everything over the phone. It seems that by calling AT&T before activating they set the sim card up with the number I wanted to use with my new i4... but iTunes will not allow you to do that first activation with any number besides the number you ordered the phone with?

    Somehow even though AT&T had the sim number and IEMI associated with the number I wanted to use plugging it into itunes to activate would still always show the old number. (serial number? Different data on Apple's server? I don't know what itunes was using)

    So the advice I would give is: activate the phone and then head into the AT&T store with both phones you want to set up
  11. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    Or do like I did, and plug in iTunes first and THEN call AT&T and have them switch service from another line (non upgradeable) to the new sim in the i4. This way you only have to deal with one rep over the phone.
  12. SiskoKid macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    I posted how to do this above. You gotta get two new sim cards, one regular sized and one microsim. Call and activate each sim to the number you want (microsim goes to iPhone 4, so put YOUR # on that one and your wife's on the regular sized sim). Once they're activated, put the sims in each phone and voila.

    The instructions AT&T put there haven't worked for A LOT of people.
  13. pwb2103 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2008
    VSmacone that is basically what I tried, but somehow it epicly failed... wish I had seen that other people were having trouble with this before I tried it.
  14. dave006 Contributor


    Jul 3, 2008
    Just West of East
    Actually the instructions are correct but you are at the mercy of the Care rep and your own rush to complete the steps.

    If you connect with iTunes and it still shows the donor line, DO NOT CONTINUE! The rep has to complete the parking of both the SIM and the IMEI of the iPhone 4 on the line before you try the iTunes activation.

    You don't need to remove the Micro-SIM, the ICCID of the SIM and the phones IMEI are on the back of the iPhone 4 box.

    Yes, you can activate the iPhone on the donor line but as mentioned above, you will need additional new SIMs and a trip to Apple or AT&T and or both again depending on the individual skills of the person or persons trying to assist you.

    Again, just mention that you want to do an Upgrade Swap, if the rep does not go OK I just need to gather some additional information or asks you other basic questions, just say thanks and call back until you get a properly trained Care rep.

  15. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    Because it's a lot faster to just activate the phone with the sim it shipped with and then swap the sim in the phone with your cut sim during the "Activation can take a while" message which also bypasses the "while" part.
  16. Hellafornia macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    hey i have a awesome girlfriend who shared her upgrade with me as well, so i plan on activating the iphone 4 with the original micro sim it came with, then take the micro sim out, and put in my trimmed pay as you go sim, i was wondering if i can just call att and have them reactivate her old big sim so she isnt left without a phone?
  17. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009

    No, you either have to get her a new mini sim card or put the micro sim that came with the iPhone 4 in a mini sim adapter.Or if you are lucky, when you activate the phone, it won't activate the service, so you could turn off the phone before it activates the new micro sim.
  18. Hellafornia macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    When does that process begin?
  19. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    When I connected the iPhone 4 to iTunes, it automatically activated the phone but it said


    So if you remove the sim card right then, you can possibly stop it from deactivating the old sim and activating the new sim.
  20. Hellafornia macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    aye man thanks for your reply, i really appreciate it, you seem like u have already done this, can you tell me if this is correct? beginning from taking the brand new phone out the box,
    1. unbox
    2.plug in iphone and punch in the info for the original upgraded line
    3.wait for that screen above
    4.pull out the micro sim the phone came with so it doesnt activate and deactivate old sim
    5.put in my pay as you go sim
    6. hopefully im golden?

    thanks for you picture and help dude. forreal its been confusing and ive been looking at so many threads.
  21. Hellafornia macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2010
    bump, if anyone can let me know if im going the right direction please let me know, my phone is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. :D, damn im excited..

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