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DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan

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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?

 

Wrong. 

 

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. 

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Message 1 of 8
ACE - Expert

Re: DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan

You might want to make sure you got another Next plan and not Apple’s own finance program. Your return should have not gone to Apple, it should have gone to ATT. You got sent the wrong return info.

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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 8

Re: DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan

No, I signed the contract continuing my AT&T plan in the store at the time of purchase, just like I have every time I’ve upgraded regardless of the store. 

 

I’m not inexperienced in this. The last iPhone I bought directly from AT&T was either my 3GS or 4. In every other instance, the trade in has been seamless. I get a box with a prepaid return label, pack my old phone in it and ship it with the specified carrier. The ONLY thing different about this time is that the retailer was Apple. 

Message 3 of 8
ACE - Master
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Accepted by ACE - Expert (ACE - Expert)
Accepted by GLIMMERMAN76
‎02-14-2019 1:18 PM

Re: DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan


@MartzMimic wrote:

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?

 

Wrong. 

 

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. 


Through the Next Every Year plan, you can get a new phone every 12 months. You simply trade in the old phone and start a new Next plan on the new phone. The Apple Giveback program requires you to trade in your phone to Apple in exchange for Apple credit. Since you did the Giveback, you didn't trade your phone in to AT&T as the Next Every Year plan requires, so you owe AT&T what was left on the old phone. 

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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Message 4 of 8

Re: DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan

Yes, MicCheck, I’ve figured this out. As I said, I’ve taken advantage of promotional offers from retailers nearly every time I’ve upgraded. This is the only instance where the retailer’s return program wasn’t integrated with AT&T. 

Message 5 of 8
ACE - Master

Re: DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan


@MartzMimic wrote:

Yes, MicCheck, I’ve figured this out. As I said, I’ve taken advantage of promotional offers from retailers nearly every time I’ve upgraded. This is the only instance where the retailer’s return program wasn’t integrated with AT&T. 


Those other retailers are just a path to AT&T's Next trade in program. They don't have a return program to "integrate". Apple has the Giveback program which is independent. 

 

I think you're being pretty rash in saying NOT to upgrade through Apple. There are pros and cons which must be weighed. Most importantly, the consumer needs to know the details of what they are agreeing to. Based on the number of payments left, trade in value, etc. it might turn out to be the better option for some people. 

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 8

Re: DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan

MC - Let me say I appreciate your comments. I knew payments left, amount, trade-in, all that stuff. I just simply thought the return initiated was just like the returns I’ve made through other authorized dealers. Where I was mistaken is that I thought returns through Apple were just like returns through Best Buy. I was wrong, and I’m just warning others on an AT&T Next plan to not make the mistake I did. 

Message 7 of 8

Re: DO NOT Upgrade Through Apple if You Have an AT&T Next Plan

Sandblasted - AT&T never sent me a package to return the phone. As I’ve said, my mistake was thinking that AT&T partners with all authorized retailers to track returns. They don’t, or at least not with Apple. 

 

I’m not here to argue with anyone. I just hope my mistake helps others. 

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