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  • Apple & AT&T Only Allowing One iPhone Replacement Every 18 Months
    For the next 18 months poor Roney can not buy another iPhone. Why? Because Apple and AT&T suspect him of being a jailbreaker. After losing his iPhone Roney was willing to pay full price to buy a new one but was completely rejected. The new policy of one iPhone replacement* every 18 months went into effect just a couple short weeks ago around the time Apple started contending the legality of Jailbreaking.

    Originally Posted by Roney:
    I unfortunately left my iPhone unattended for a brief period over the weekend and when I came back it was gone. On Monday, I went to visit my local ATT store and they were unable to sell me a new iPhone, even at the $499 price. Apparently I have had too many iPhones on my line. I then called customer care and was then bounced to an Apple store to see if they could sell me the phone. The same error occured on their system and the Apple employee advised that two weeks ago a new policy went into effect preventing them from selling too many phones on a line because people are jailbreaking them.
    I origninally bought an 8gb and returned it for a 16gb within the first 30 days of service. Now I lost my 16gb and they won't sell me another for 18 months! After using my lunch break I went back to work and decided I would try again at another ATT store. The next store said they had to deal with the same problem and asked me if I was attached to my phone number. They offered to cancel my line and start another, or add a line so that I could purchase an iPhone. I told them this was not an option because I had to pay an ETF through Verizon to keep this number and I would not part with it. I also did not need another line and would not pay more for monthly service, especially if I was about to pay $500 for a replacement iPhone. I then asked to speak to the manager who said that he would emails his ops team, whatever that means.

    So here I am waiting to hear from the manager and feeling like I am being punished for upgrading my phone early on. Also, why do they care how many phones I buy at full price? Any suggestions or help would be appreciated. Has anyone else had this trouble?
    [via The Consumerist]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple & AT&T Only Allowing One iPhone Replacement Every 18 Months started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 75 Comments
    1. imagine engine's Avatar
      imagine engine -
      It's an unfortunate situation for the AT&T customer that needs to wait the full 18 months before they can get another subsidized iPhone. At least with Rogers the customer only needs to wait 12 months between upgrades which prices the upgrade hardware based on the customer revenue incurred between upgrades. Sure they have 3 year term commitments and a higher ECF $400.00 but they also don't care if a user tethers their iPhone and they have a backup program called Lost, Stolen or Broken Phone Program for hardware upgrade on select models one of which is the iPhone 3G refurbished. This is an option available once every 12 months and useful in cases such as lost, stolen or for hardware damaged beyond repair. Even though it's not new and it's not new activation pricing it's better than waiting till the eligibility for subsidized hardware is available to the customer. Does AT&T have any program similar to Rogers for their customers?
    1. blazingangel1986's Avatar
      blazingangel1986 -
      Guess the Empire strikes again and big brother is sticking there rules at us again
    1. DigitalMelee's Avatar
      DigitalMelee -
      Let me help you guys out. First of all, "MSRP" for the iPhone is not $399/$499 its $574/$674. I know because I work for ATT and I check in our iPhone inventory when it comes in, the cost is all over our inventory system. So for you folks out there that can't figure out why you are unable to buy an unlimited amount of iPhones, now you know why. We're not stupid. as for being able to upgrade from the iPhone 3G to whatever comes out this summer, don't hold your breath. You just got a $375 discount on a new phone less than a year ago. Don't think we'll be offering the same deal this summer. As for the guy who is unable to buy another iPhone for 18 months, here is my advice; port your number over to another carrier, pay the ETF with ATT and port back back after 30 days. You'll pay 2 year price for the phone and go about your business. Oh yeah, make sure you port over to a carrier that doesn't require you sign a contract. I'm sure you're going to want to limit the amount of ETF's you'll be paying. There is one other way to do what you're asking that will only make you wait about two days to get your iPhone and original number. Its confusing so PM me if you want. BTW it legit.
    1. mastuul's Avatar
      mastuul -
      Wish we were still back in the good old days when I bought my 1st generation iPhone at the Apple store, no contract, no questions asked, they gladly took my money and I was on my way. We want it like that again!
    1. IphoneLurch's Avatar
      IphoneLurch -
      I am a current employee at at&t wireless. There are a couple of misconceptions i'd like to address. First, there are many things that are considered when upgrade eligibility is given including revenue(profit att gets from you), churn rate, and months left on contract. Also we CANNOT have you in contract for more than 24 months on consumer lines. So if you have 20 months left in contract then att is only getting 4 additional months if they let you upgrade, not much in return for subsidizing phone cost. More specifically the iphone; iphone 2g users were given special consideration in upgrading to the 3g even if not eligible to upgrade to other equipment, which i would assume the same consideration will be given if a new iphone is release, rather WHEN a new iphone is released. Also, the cost of the iphone is not 399/499, this is why you are still put on a 24 month contract when purchasing at that price, it is not FULL or RETAIL price. Lastly, this one iphone every 18 months thing, i haven't heard of it, i think the person you talked to is just trying to make excuses. We can sell you 2 iphones within any length of time, BUT after the 2nd you must wait 6 months until being able to purchase another at 399/499. Now there are other things as well to take into consideration, if for some reason the rep had to sell you two iphones when you activated(the first one was dead so we had to get you another, or the system crashed during activation, or you returned it for the 16g instead of 8g, etc..) then the system will not automatically allow us to sell you another this can be taken care of but is not realized by alot of reps and even managers. So if you have only purchased 1 iphone and they tell you you can't buy another, its a mistake and you should escalate it until you find someone to fix it. Sorry for the long post but thought i would share.
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Lot of ATT spam tonight........
    1. iDCP's Avatar
      iDCP -
      Wait so this one iPhone every 18 months thing isn't true? Is that ATT guy right? :S
    1. jimmybino's Avatar
      jimmybino -
      WHAT I DON'T UMDERSTAND IS IF UR BUYING A iPHONE AND PUTTING IT ON A LEGITIMATE AT&T WIRELESS #...THEN THERE SEEING THAT UR NOT USING IT WITH A DIFFREBT SIM CARD FROM ANOTHER CARRIES...SO AS LONG AS UR iPHONE HAS BEEN ACTIVATED ON THAT LINE AND THEY COULD SEE THE MINS BEING USED AND THE ACTIVITY...(DATA..ECT....)THEN WHY SHOULD THERE CARE....WHY WOULDN'T THEY WANNA TAKE UR MONEY...THIS IS THE STUPIDEST THING I EVER HEARD OF!!!!!

      MINE GOT STOLEN A FEW MONTHS BACK AND I HAD JUST UPGRADED FROM THE ORIGIONAL iPHONE AND A WEEK AFTER I GOT THE BLACK 3G SOMEONE SWIPPED IT...SO I WENT BACK TO APPLE AND THEY SOLD ME ANOTHER ONE AT THE DISCOUNTED PRICE BUT THIS TIME I BOUGHT A 16GB WHITE ONE...WHICH I HAD TO BEG THEM TO DO...I GUESS I BETTER HOLDO N TO MINE EXTRA TIGHT NOW..WITH THIS NEW ******** IN PLACE...HOW COULD THEY JUST LEAVE U WITH NO iPHONE ESPECCIALY IF U WILLING TO PAY.....THATS SOME REAL ********!!!!!
    1. cpjr's Avatar
      cpjr -
      Thank god for insurance.

      Ohhh......wait
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by IndianCheese View Post
      It doesn't. But how do they know if the phone you claim you "lost" isn't actually listed on eBay?
      Because if it's lost they will block the IMEI and make it useless - at least that's how it works in Europe. I assume it's the same in the US?
    1. reddawg's Avatar
      reddawg -
      For people like me, who don't want a contract with AT&T and want to use a different carrier like T-Mobile(USA), this is going to make it harder to get an iPhone 3G phone. By limiting iPhone 3G purchases to 18 months per person, Apple & AT&T are going to cripple the supply of iPhone's on eBay and Craigslist, which will drive up the price.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I don't know what it's like in the USA but here in the UK most iPhones on eBay are unwanted upgrades. ie someone has been given an iPhone free to get them to sign up to another 12/18 month contract and are happy with their existing phone so sell the upgrade.
      That won't change with this policy.
    1. shadowrain's Avatar
      shadowrain -
      wooo guys this really suck ....
      it reminds me with movie fiction when companies of advanced technology control the people with what they may even think or dream of ...what a disaster if we suffer such a thing with apple in this days what it might be the situation after 2 hundred years for an example with such a way of thinking i see a very dark side of world then ...thank god i will not be living at that time hah ..it really make me sad when they act with such kind of things thank you free man you made our iphones see the light...no one knows what they even might come with the new iphone hope not they will not lock it on our fingerprint from the very first purchase oh ..I'm afraid they may be do this ...such a tragedy
    1. andygev35's Avatar
      andygev35 -
      Just another reason to give the Palm Pre a try, and get out from under this dictatorship...
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I hope the Palm Pre is a success in America - at least enough of a success for them to scrape together the cash to launch it in the UK.

      I'd hate to see Palm go under.
    1. BenzoHartt's Avatar
      BenzoHartt -
      Quote Originally Posted by one1 View Post
      well here's the deal....... Att locked me to an iphone contract. They have to sell me an iphone to continue the contract if i lose it. They have to replace the iphone at my expense if i lose it, or they have to drop my contract. They can't not sell me a replacement phone and hold me to contract. At that point they are breaching contract by not allowing me to purchase a replacement phone under the iphone contract and plan i signed. They can't give me a cheap replacement, i signed up for an iphone plan for an iphone.
      nuff said!!!!

      Quote Originally Posted by IphoneLurch View Post
      I am a current employee at at&t wireless. There are a couple of misconceptions i'd like to address. First, there are many things that are considered when upgrade eligibility is given including revenue(profit att gets from you), churn rate, and months left on contract. Also we CANNOT have you in contract for more than 24 months on consumer lines. So if you have 20 months left in contract then att is only getting 4 additional months if they let you upgrade, not much in return for subsidizing phone cost. More specifically the iphone; iphone 2g users were given special consideration in upgrading to the 3g even if not eligible to upgrade to other equipment, which i would assume the same consideration will be given if a new iphone is release, rather WHEN a new iphone is released. Also, the cost of the iphone is not 399/499, this is why you are still put on a 24 month contract when purchasing at that price, it is not FULL or RETAIL price. Lastly, this one iphone every 18 months thing, i haven't heard of it, i think the person you talked to is just trying to make excuses. We can sell you 2 iphones within any length of time, BUT after the 2nd you must wait 6 months until being able to purchase another at 399/499. Now there are other things as well to take into consideration, if for some reason the rep had to sell you two iphones when you activated(the first one was dead so we had to get you another, or the system crashed during activation, or you returned it for the 16g instead of 8g, etc..) then the system will not automatically allow us to sell you another this can be taken care of but is not realized by alot of reps and even managers. So if you have only purchased 1 iphone and they tell you you can't buy another, its a mistake and you should escalate it until you find someone to fix it. Sorry for the long post but thought i would share.

      Light at the end of the tunnel.....
    1. theevilone's Avatar
      theevilone -
      they so much money that they are tuning down customers. phones gone can not buy another, cancel contract and tell them why.
    1. parolee1978's Avatar
      parolee1978 -
      It sounds to me like Apple is basiclly forcing customers to switch over to T-mobile, purchase a phone on Craigslist or eBay, Unlock and Jailbreak it and never have to deal with AT&T's crap again!! I think Apple has stock in T-mobile or something!
    1. riku98523's Avatar
      riku98523 -
      Quote Originally Posted by IphoneLurch View Post
      I am a current employee at at&t wireless. There are a couple of misconceptions i'd like to address. First, there are many things that are considered when upgrade eligibility is given including revenue(profit att gets from you), churn rate, and months left on contract. Also we CANNOT have you in contract for more than 24 months on consumer lines. So if you have 20 months left in contract then att is only getting 4 additional months if they let you upgrade, not much in return for subsidizing phone cost. More specifically the iphone; iphone 2g users were given special consideration in upgrading to the 3g even if not eligible to upgrade to other equipment, which i would assume the same consideration will be given if a new iphone is release, rather WHEN a new iphone is released. Also, the cost of the iphone is not 399/499, this is why you are still put on a 24 month contract when purchasing at that price, it is not FULL or RETAIL price. Lastly, this one iphone every 18 months thing, i haven't heard of it, i think the person you talked to is just trying to make excuses. We can sell you 2 iphones within any length of time, BUT after the 2nd you must wait 6 months until being able to purchase another at 399/499. Now there are other things as well to take into consideration, if for some reason the rep had to sell you two iphones when you activated(the first one was dead so we had to get you another, or the system crashed during activation, or you returned it for the 16g instead of 8g, etc..) then the system will not automatically allow us to sell you another this can be taken care of but is not realized by alot of reps and even managers. So if you have only purchased 1 iphone and they tell you you can't buy another, its a mistake and you should escalate it until you find someone to fix it. Sorry for the long post but thought i would share.
      Why did you post a huge wall of text 90% of the world would give up on trying to read. Also I don't honestly care if your system lets you do something or not its crooked either way and Apple should be ashamed (jailbreaking isn't illegal)

      AT&T shouldn't have agreed with this, instead AT&T should have just stopped selling the iPhone all together Apple is on a contract and can't sell it to other companies AT&T is in control of this market.
    1. andypropaganda's Avatar
      andypropaganda -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Z View Post
      rediculous, I ran into a similiar problem. I want to upgrade my wife's phone but we have to wait till our contract is up to upgrade(i gues not similiar, but it still angers me) I think we should be able to upgrade our phone no matter what. Hell, I wish they could just add another 2 years on top of my 2 year contract. I'd take that even

      You can do this. All you have to do is sign up for a new contract. It might cost you like 18 bucks or something, but if you call at&t and complain that its a bs charge because you have been a loyal customer then they will wave it.

      I do this all the time because I pretty much get one or two news phones a year (I used to break them a lot), but since I've had iPhone's I go 1 a year. Everytime I've gotten a new phone I wasn't elligble for an upgrade and would have had to pay full price for the phone but instead I just signed up for a new contract or contract renewal or extension i suppose. it's something along those lines.

      Not sure if you tried this, but this is what I've always done. if they say that you can't do this then i think they are lying to you.


      As for this whole stunt by Apple. It's completely stupid. Just because the someone has bad luck with phones does not mean they are jailbreaking and vice versa. What if you have the broken iPhone with you? And can show them that it got smashed or something? So, it smashed itself because you jailbroke it? I don't think so. Also, there are plenty of people who keep their phones jailbroken without ruining them so WTF? I love Apple's products, but I'm beginning to hate the company. They are getting ridiculous. You know, and the way they present themselves, it seems that they would almost like the idea of creativity, originality, being different, and doing your own thing. But nope.