DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan
I’ve never considered choosing another carrier besides AT&T until today. I’ve had an AT&T installment plan for years, going with the Next Every Year plan the past couple years.
I had been eligible for an upgrade for a bit, so in December I upgraded from an iPhone 8 Plus to an iPhone XR at the local Apple Store to take advantage of their GiveBack promotion. In the past, I’ve always upgraded at Best Buy because of the promotions they were offering. I get the return packaging and send off my old phone. A few days later, I get the email from Apple saying my return was received and accepted. All good, right?
Apparently Apple’s return program isn’t integrated with AT&T. I’m not sure why upgrading through Apple is any different than Best Buy, Wal-Mart or any other retailer, but it is. So if you do not want to be charged for a phone you returned, do not buy through Apple.