1. Scott R's Avatar
    My wife and I are currently on a family plan. Least number of minutes shared. We started out with two 3GS units and I upgraded mine to an iPhone 4 when it came out. We also started out on the least number of text message plan (because we only texted eachother), but my wife became a texting addict and I got dinged a few times with overage charges, so I begrudingly bumped up to the next tier in text messaging (and they dropped the cheapo plan so I can't switch back). For now, we're both still on unlimited data but my wife only uses about 200MB while I use close to 2GB (not even sure how - I don't video stream, but I do use Pandora and sometimes stream podcasts when driving).

    Anyways...so I've still got my old iPhone 3GS lying around unused. We started my 12-year-old daughter out with a cheap pay-as-you-go phone last year and she miraculously didn't lose it (well, she left it over a friend's house a couple of times, but it was always recovered). Now that she's a bit older she's been nagging me for the old 3GS, but I'm dreading committing to the added extra cost per month. But I just priced it out and it looks like it may not be too bad. We get a corp discount on certain parts of our family plan, and when I priced it out online, it looks like it will cost $42/month total ($10 add-a-line, $22 discounted for 2GB data plan, and $10 for 2000 messages). Whereas I'm probably spending about $25 every 30-60 days to add another $25 to her pay-as-you-go phone.

    When pricing things out, I see that AT&T is offering a refurb iPhone 4 for $99, so I'm thinking of getting one of those and either giving it to my wife and having my daughter take one of the 3GS units, or letting my daughter start right out with the iPhone 4 (and upgrading my wife separately - hopefully using her upgrade to get me an iPhone 5 around September and then giving her my iPhone 4).

    In any case, a few questions:

    1) Anyone here get a refurb iPhone 4 from AT&T? Are these generally in great shape?

    2) If I give the iPhone 4 to my wife, what sort of hassle will I have to deal with so that my wife keeps her current phone number and data plan? Should/Can I bring my wife's 3GS and the new iPhone 4 into an AT&T store and have them re-configure the SIM cards, or am I better off cutting my wife's 3GS SIM card down to fit the 4 and just having the AT&T store transfer the new line (with, presumably, a new SIM) to the old 3GS?

    3) Is there any way for me to have this new line set up so that when she uses up all of her data and/or SMS messages that it shuts her out, rather than automatically tacking on an add-on package for the overage? I believe that AT&T offers this as an added cost "feature", but I'm hoping for some free way of handling this.

    4) I was also considering trying to pair the old 3GS with a pay-as-you-go plan (and there's a recent thread in the forums here about doing that), but it sounds like that would be a hassle and would be more expensive than the $42/month I'd be looking at. That said, I'm curious if there's a way to just add $25 worth of pay-as-you-go dollars to a 3GS and locking her out of data usage altogether (except when on WiFi).

    Any other thoughts/advice would also be appreciated.
    07-06-2011 05:24 PM
  2. Ham Solo's Avatar
    If you're paying $10 a line for 1000 texts each on the 2 current lines, and add your daughter and pay another $10 for 1000 texts on the 3rd line, you should just pay that "same" $30 and get unlimited family messaging.

    I would let the wife take the iPhone 4(refurb) if you go that route. I would also let AT&T replace her SIM with a Micro SIM. It wont cost you anything.

    That's my $.02.
    07-07-2011 02:53 PM
  3. Scott R's Avatar
    Yeah, I had forgotten about the unlimited family text plan.

    I'm actually leaning more towards giving my daughter the iPhone 4 because it could be a birthday gift for her and she'd appreciate the higher-res screen more than my wife would. Plus I got my wife an iPad 2 recently. If rumors of a new iPhone around September prove true, I could give my wife my iPhone 4 then, or upgrade us both to the iPhone 5.
    07-07-2011 03:06 PM
  4. gvndeb60's Avatar
    When activating a new line you get a subsidy to use or lose(that's how it was a few months ago) so you should get a new phone no matter who you give it to. The refurbs are generally pretty good, I have purchased several from AT&T over the years and not had any issues. Remember that not every new phone is given a strict QC, but every refurb is. Plus most refurbs are simply returns within the first 30 days, plus Apple puts a new screen and battery on all refurbs(so they say). I personally would give the 3GS to my daughter because of the metal back, just a mental thing thinking it is more durable plus you would have a spare for her. There was a special for business customers online a few months ago that also gave you a $50 credit for new line activations.
    07-07-2011 09:04 PM
  5. gvndeb60's Avatar
    Forgot, I think AT&T has a family feature that is a pay service to limit minutes, data, etc....think you can even block certain hours. If saving money is the primary concern, maybe you just go with Boost Mobile, it is prepay service on Sprints network for $50 unlimited everything.
    07-07-2011 09:06 PM
  6. Totalimmortal363's Avatar
    When activating a new line you get a subsidy to use or lose(that's how it was a few months ago) so you should get a new phone no matter who you give it to. The refurbs are generally pretty good, I have purchased several from AT&T over the years and not had any issues. Remember that not every new phone is given a strict QC, but every refurb is. Plus most refurbs are simply returns within the first 30 days, plus Apple puts a new screen and battery on all refurbs(so they say). I personally would give the 3GS to my daughter because of the metal back, just a mental thing thinking it is more durable plus you would have a spare for her. There was a special for business customers online a few months ago that also gave you a $50 credit for new line activations.
    Not exactly true. If you do not use your subsidty at the time of purchase, you're free to use it ANY time after activation. It may require some phone calls to CARE or a visit to the store that activated you, but its very easily done once the wheels are in motion.
    08-05-2011 09:07 PM
  7. applefanboi's Avatar
    Also, if you upgrade to the $30/mo unlimited texting, it now includes unlimited mobile to ANY mobile calling, so any calls made/received to any other cell phone are unlimited.

    I bought the iPhone 4 refurb from ATT, had one problem with the sim tray not reading the sim card correctly, took it to Apple and they gave me a new phone. No problems since.
    08-05-2011 09:39 PM
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