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New Member

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3 Messages

Thu, Jan 14, 2021 6:52 PM

Activating an iPhone 5C to use prepaid cards

I want to take my old iPhone 5C and set it up for my 12 y.o. son, primarily to use for "emergencies" on the 2-3 days a week he's in school, which will give my wife and me some peace of mind.

Instead of adding this phone to our wireless plan and having him tap into the unlimited data, we want to go the prepaid route and use the AT&T prepaid cards (available at Target, Best Buy, the grocery store, etc) to add minutes on a monthly basis.  I have a new sim card in the phone which will allow it to do the prepaid thing.  I can start the BYOD (bring your own device) activation process online ... the website accepts both the IMEI and ICCID numbers.  The activation fee ($30) is waived, but there's a $40/mo charge to add it to our plan, which is -NOT- what I want to do, nor is there a way to change it.

So I contacted support twice.  The first time I was told the monthly fee would be half that amount, and it would appear as such on our bill.  The original sim card ICCID wasn't accepted on the website, hence getting a new one.  That conversation ended with no successful resolution.  Second time I chatted with someone, I was told that the prepaid cards work in addition to the monthly fee, so I would be paying $40/mo -PLUS- however much I add via prepaid card.  This doesn't seem to make much sense to me, and that chat finished unsuccessfully, too.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what I can/cannot do with this old phone and any prepaid options, or maybe the agent I most recently chatted with misunderstood.

Am I doing something wrong here, is there a step I'm missing?

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

ACE - Sage

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98.6K Messages

2 y前

https://www.att.com/buy/wireless/prepaid/devices

Sim card is $4.99. No activation on prepaid when you buy online.  Buy a plan and sim can be shipped.  You might find a curbside pick up option

Accepted Solution

ACE - Sage

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98.6K Messages

2 y前

The $30 card can be used for a pay per use plan during activation.   You will be forced to choose a plan with data initially in order to activate the phone.

My concern is that you have gone through the BYOD process for postpaid and have received the wrong type of SIM card.

   Just because you have mentioned the $30 activation fee is a red flag. Only postpaid has a $30 activation fee. The activation fee on prepaid is $15, but is waived if you purchase online

ACE - Sage

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98.6K Messages

2 y前

It sounds like you are going through postpaid activation, with a postpaid SIM card?.

Prepaid and postpaid are different systems and there is a different SIM card.

    I would recommend you get back online and go through the prepaid purchase process buying the $30 plan online, which will be shipped to you with a SIM card for prepaid service.

       Do not go through your postpaid account to add a line.  Your information is not required to buy prepaid service.

New Member

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3 Messages

2 y前

I get where you're coming from, thank you.  But then the only option I have is to purchase one of the four prepaid plans online.  Even the lowest - $30/mo - is more than we anticipated paying, especially when those retail prepaid cards come as low as $15.

New Member

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3 Messages

2 y前

Both of the AT&T agents I chatted with had me going through the BYOD postpaid process.  Maybe I wasn't clear with them what I was looking for.

I'll go through the prepaid ones now, and it sounds like if I go with the $30 plan, once that runs out I can reload it using a prepaid card.

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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23.4K Messages

2 y前

UM they may not activate that iPhone anyway as its not VoLTE compliant.

ACE - Sage

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98.6K Messages

2 y前

They get no credit for adding prepaid service.  Neither do store employees.  Store employees have been known to turn people away and tell them that they have to do business online only if they ask for prepaid SIM cards, plans or phones.

   Unlike postpaid there is no benefit to them selling these services so they can't be bothered.

    The link I posted should allow you to buy online.  

    When you go through the activation policy do not panic, you are forced to select a plan with data. Before you actually input payment information you can select a pay-per-use plan.

ACE - Sage

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98.6K Messages

2 y前

  @GLIMMERMAN76

You might be right.

@ADtwentytwo  he is referring to the end of 3-g service which is ongoing.  It is possible 3-g is already turned off in your area which means your son would have no voice call capability.

    The oldest iPhone that will work once 3-g is shut down is the iPhone 6. The original iPhone SE is also voice over LTE compatible and will work oh, it's actually 15/18 months younger than the iPhone 6. 

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