Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

Scholar

Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

Hi, All

 

I'm trying to understand the contract length requirements for a non-subsidized iPhone line added to a family plan.  I also have a question about upgrade eligibility. 

 

First:  One of my family members recently upgraded his iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 after becoming eligible for an upgrade.  The family was on the Nation 700 Family Talk with Rollover at that time (July 2010). 

 

I obtained his old iPhone 3GS from him (which I assume puts me in possession of a non-subsidized iPhone). 

 

The family upgraded their family plan from the Nation 700 Family Talk with Rollover to the Nation 1400 Family Talk with Rollover and added me to that plan with the non-subsidized iPhone 3GS that I had obtained from the family member. 

 

Given that my iPhone line was added to their Family Talk plan with a non-subsidized iPhone, is that line required to be on a 2-year contract term?  The 2-year contract is what shows as associated with this line in the account, but I wonder if it was truly required to be under a 2-year contract. 

 

My impression was that the 2-year contracts were required for subsidized phones, but it seems from some other threads I've read that a non-subsidized phone added as a new line to an existing plan might not necessarily require a 2-year contract.  Can anyone shed any light on that for me?

 

Also, I'm curious about eventual upgrade eligibility.  I'm very happy using the iPhone 3GS at present, but I also see that coming into this family plan with a 2nd hand (and non-subsidized) 3GS, I'm apparently not eligible for an upgrade at the best reduced price until 21 months have elapsed from the date my line was added.  I'm assuming upgrade eligibility is based on when the line was added to the plan and has nothing to do with the actual phone that was added.  Am I correct in that?

 

Thanks in advance for help in understanding how these things work.  Smiley Happy

Message 1 of 10 (11,359 Views)
Master

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

A two-year contract should not be required.  Most CSRs don't really know how to add no-contract lines, so they default to adding lines under contract.  If this was the case, you NEED to correct this IMMEDIATELY.  If the CSR signed you up to a contract on that line, you will not be eligible for a phone upgrade for 18-21 months.

Message 2 of 10 (11,350 Views)
Scholar

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

Thanks, Brian -- I appreciate the input.  We did get the activation at the local AT&T store (very small one) and I got the feeling during the activation process that there were some uncertainties involved.  I had even asked the question at the time about coming on month to month (not necessarily wanting to have the line committed to 2 years, especially coming in with a used phone), but the sales people there seemed to be telling us that a 2-year contract was the only option. 

 

I think the reason the AT&T store reps gave us (if I recall correctly) was supposedly related to activating an iPhone and the required data plan. 

 

Is it somehow possible that the required data plan for an iPhone could involve a mandatory commitment to a 2-year contract, even if added to an existing family plan?

 

Any of the AT&T employee/participants here have any feedback on this for me?  We're definitely going to call customer support on this, but I also want to make sure I approach this correctly and with the right information. 

 

I'm by no means wanting out of the plan or anything (I think the iPhone is great), but don't want added contract time thrust upon my family unnecessarily.  (They've been with AT&T since 1998, so are long term customers in any case.) 

 

Brian, thanks again... 

 

 

Message 3 of 10 (11,338 Views)
Scholar

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

Please, if an AT&T insider has some input for me here, I'd sure appreciate it. 

 

I'm not mad at anyone in this matter, I'm not looking to complain, not trying to get anyone in trouble, not seeking vengeance ( Smiley Tongue ) -- nothing like that. 

 

I just want to know what's right and what approach I should take in addressing whether or not my second-hand iPhone should have been assigned a 2-year contract when added to my family's Family Talk plan. 

 

Any help from you AT&T folks?

Message 4 of 10 (11,332 Views)
Solution
Accepted by topic author varuscelli
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

You were not getting any equipment with the new line, since you were using an existing device you already owned.  Although you CAN sign a contract without purchasing equipment, I don't know of any reason to do so.

 


I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
Message 5 of 10 (11,330 Views)
Scholar

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions


erichamion wrote:

You were not getting any equipment with the new line, since you were using an existing device you already owned.  Although you CAN sign a contract without purchasing equipment, I don't know of any reason to do so.


Thanks very much!  I suspected this would be the case.  I'm getting it touch with AT&T customer support now to verify options in this situation. 

 

The strange part was that I asked specifically about the possibility of not putting my added line on a long-term contract, and the representative who worked with us at the AT&T store told us that monthly service was not an option in this case and that adding my line to the account required a 2-year commitment. 

 

In this case, it sounds like the situation was much as BrianfromNO described, and perhaps the CSR who dealt with us just was not aware of the option of adding (or how to add) a no-contract line. 

Message 6 of 10 (11,312 Views)
Scholar

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

OK, as a follow-up to my situation: 

 

I got this resolved nicely with AT&T customer service by placing a call to them.  It took a few minutes of background explanation on my part and bit of hold time while my direct representative consulted with her management, but the situation is now resolved (about 15 minutes of phone time with AT&T to deal with this).

 

In this particular case, since the iPhone in question was not subsidized (second-hand phone), it did not require a 2-year contract.  So, what was done to resolve this was the early termination restrictions were removed and the line is now essentially a monthly line. 

 

As an offshoot of this issue, we had another line on the account for another family member that was in exactly the same situation (a line that was added to the family plan several months ago with no new phone involved) and it, too, had a 2-year contract and early termination restrictions.  The early termination was also removed from that phone line, and it is now a monthly line. 

 

Many thanks to BrianfromNO and erichamion for good feedback to me in this thread, which certainly helped me to resolve this quickly and efficiently with AT&T. 

 

And, kudos to the AT&T folks with whom I spoke who took care of our needs in this.  The direct representative was courteous, helpful, and very responsive to our concerns -- and she was able to effect a relatively quick and easy resolution to those concerns. 

Message 7 of 10 (11,304 Views)
Highlighted
Master

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

Glad it worked out for you! Persistence and a positive attitude can solve a lot of customer service issues.

Message 8 of 10 (11,292 Views)
Scholar

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions


BrianfromNO wrote:

Glad it worked out for you! Persistence and a positive attitude can solve a lot of customer service issues.


Thanks, and I agree.  Courtesy, persistence, and positive attitude beat the heck out of "irate, impatient and negative" any time...  ;-)

 

I'd leave you and erichamion kudos on your posts, but the system will not allow me to "kudo" anyone by clicking the kudos button.   (I get a hover message of "Sorry, you can't give kudos to this post" whenever I try.)

Message 9 of 10 (11,286 Views)
Contributor

Re: Family Plan/Used iPhone/Add Line/Contract Questions

Pardon me for reviving an old thread, but I have the exact same situation going on that you had and I don't know if AT&T policy has changed or if I'm just being given a hard time. I added a line to my Family Plan using an old existing iPhone 4. I opted not to upgrade it at the time, under the assumption that it would keep me out of a contract.

 

Well, fast forward over a year and a half later and I'm trying to take advantage of a Best Buy deal where I can trade-in this iPhone 4 for a new iPhone 5 with a 2 year commitment. Problem is, they showed that this line is not eligable for an upgrade. Assuming this was a small clerical error that could be easily fixed, I called AT&T. They're telling me that whenever I add a new line it's an automatic 2 year contract unless I use a GoPhone, and, that I'm ineligable for an upgrade despite the fact that I came into this contract without having purchased a new phone to begin with.

 

After some polite back and forth with the agent and putting me on hold twice, I was told I'd be eligable if I called again next week. Not only does that make no sense to me, this promotion at Best Buy ends today (one week only deal).

 

I am totally baffled as to why I could've gotten a new subsidized phone back when I opened the line, yet because I didn't, I'm now stuck waiting 2 years before I can. It makes zero sense to me.  

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