What would be the process of moving from ATT to T-Mobile?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by orbitalpunk, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. orbitalpunk macrumors 6502


    Aug 14, 2006
    ok, so we now know there is a cancelation fee of $175. so it is cancelable. does anyone have experience canceling other phones from ATT and moving to another network like T-Mobile? how did you get it unlocked? does ATT have to unlock it for you by law after you cancel a contract?

    would this seem plausible?

    1. buy iphone
    2. depends on whether you have to buy a contract at the store or online
    3. call ATT and cancel the contract
    4. bring phone into local ATT store to have them unlock the phone since im out of contract
    5. pop my Tmobile sime card in and im good to go.

    and frankley, i couldn't care about visual voice mail to keep me at ATT. people talk about how you would lose features. thats it.

    i love my tmobile prepaid plan. $100 gets me 1000 minutes (.10 a min) and they last for 365 days. that $100 lasts me for at least 7months. considering the cheapest plan from ATT is $50 a month, $350 for 7, wasting $250 and wasting minutes, that is why i wanna switch and can justify the cancelation fee of $175 being worth it.

    so yeah, is it possible and how as it worked for other phones?

    Thanks guys
  2. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    No, they don't have to help you with that. The recent changes allow you to get it done elsewhere or on your own, provided that someone can figure out a way to unlock it.
  3. orbitalpunk thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 14, 2006
    so would T-Mobile be able to since that is where i wanna go. Anyone having simallar success but other phones, please chime in.

    Thanks again!
  4. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    Theoretically possible, but a)T Mobile would not be able to unlock it for you, since it's not a phone they sell, and b) when you bought it you will have signed a 2 year contract that states, if you read it, that if you cancel in the first six months of service you must surrender any equipment you bought when you signed the contract.

    So you can't do this immediately, or even after 30 days. You are in for six months no matter what.
  5. daveschroeder macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2003
    Madison, WI
    No. You are wrong.

    You can cancel IMMEDIATELY, and pay the contract cancellation fee. You DO NOT have to "surrender" anything. Especially since the iPhone is unsubsidized.

    Also, there may end up being ways to buy iPhone unactivated and without a contract via Apple retail and online, as has been discussed in numerous other threads, which I'm not going to rehash here.

    The only uncertainty is the unlocking situation, which may effectively end up requiring that you are an AT&T customer for 90 days, as that is their standard wait time for unlocking a phone (ususally for "international travel" and the use of prepaid SIMs). So, unless there is a third party way of unlocking iPhone, you may be in for a minimum of 3 months with AT&T anyway, plus a cancellation fee. And this assumes that iPhone is even allowed to be unlocked in the same way as other phones; I've never seen a GSM phone that isn't able to be unlocked, but since many things are different about the iPhone situation, this may also be different. Also, even if it is unlockable, it may be what is referred to as a "subsidy unlock" (even though the phone is unsubsidized), which requires you to enter a code EVERY TIME you use the phone with a foreign SIM.

    So the answer is, it may be very easy to take the phone to another GSM carrier, but some of the features besides visual voicemail MAY not work; or, it may be possible but difficult to take the phone to another GSM carrier; or, it may not be possible in any practical sense at all. We'll know once we know the unlocking situation.

    But you DEFINITELY can cancel the contract IMMEDIATELY, pay the cancellation fee, AND keep the phone. But there is nothing that says AT&T must unlock anything.
  6. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    NO. You can't. Read the TOS. If you cancel in the first 30 days, you are liable for any useage, you don't pay an ETF, and you turn over any equipment you bought:

    "You may terminate this Agreement within thirty (30) days after activating service without paying an Early Termination Fee. You will pay for service fees and charges incurred through the termination date, but Cingular will refund your activation fee, if any, if you terminate within three (3) days of activating the service. Also, you may have to return any handsets and accessories purchased with this Agreement."

    There is no option to pay the ETF and keep the equipment. I just did this, and they do not let you cancel service without giving them back the phone.
  7. paulyras macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2006
    You're assuming AT&T has the same rules about unlocking phones as T-Mo. One of the things that has kept me so loyal o them is that if you say you are going overseas for a few days and want to pop a local sim card in, they will email you the unlock code. Even with a blackberry, it's next to impossible to get them to give you the unlock code on AT&T.

    It may not even be possible to unlock (might be hardware tied) seeing as there is a 5 year exclusive agreement between apple and AT&T
  8. fishkorp macrumors 68020


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ellicott City, MD
    AT&T doesn't unlock phones in store. If you have a valid reason for getting one unlocked you need to contact the technical support folks over the phone, explain why, and within 7 days they will call you with unlocking instructions for the phone based on manufacturer unlocking protocols. If Apple doesn't provide unlocking instructions, you're out of luck. My best guess...AT&T will not unlock an iPhone at all and their solution for out of US usage would be discounted roaming rate plans. Your only chance is if some 3rd party figures out how to unlock it and provides the service for you. I'm guessing Apple went out of their way to make it so that more then just visual voicemail will get crippled if the phone is unlocked though. Sounds like a $1000 gamble to me.

    And yes, if you cancel within 30 days you absolutely have to give the phone back. After 30 days it's yours, you just need to pay the termination fee.
  9. orbitalpunk thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 14, 2006
    wow, a lot of great, yet conflicting info here guys. if you get any updates, please post em here. I might just call ATT myself and see what there whilling to say.
  10. Twiztedklown316 macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2004
    Spokane, Wa
    I dont know this for fact, but I would imagine that getting out of your 2 year contractual agreement, weather or not you pay a fee, would put a spot on your credit background, so the next time you try to get a contract with someone, they may see that, and consider not giving you their service.

    Just a thought, seems plausible.
  11. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I would wait awhile to see if anyone figures out a way to unlock it. Trust me, if they do, it will be all over the internet. It would be a geek badge of honor so of course they will brag out it.
  12. SheriffParker macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2006
    The land of love
    Just curious, but if someone could unlock my iPhone and I put a T-Mobile SIM in it, would the EDGE still run? Or would I be restricted to Wi-Fi?
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It's really hard to say... understand the concept that none of us have *seen* an iPhone or used one. Nor has anyone figured out how to unlock it.

    Generally speaking, when you unlock the phone, yes, features that are supported by the new network would work fine. So, ignoring the iPhone for a moment, if you get another phone with EDGE and unlock it, you can use EDGE on T-Mobile. You probably will not be able to use very specific services of that company -- if you went from Verizon to Sprint, you wouldn't be able to use VCast. If you went from AT&T to T-Mobile, you probably wouldn't be able to use Visual Voicemail.

    The reality is that you're not going to get answer now. You're not going to get one in a week, either. It's going to take several weeks for people to get a chance to play around with this thing and crack it before someone figures out how to unlock it and gets it running on another GSM carrier....

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