1. BradM73's Avatar
    S last year I per-ordered the 4S and received it on launch day, probably like many of you did. Just out of curiosity, I just stopped in to my local AT&T store to check my upgrade status. Unfortunately I am not eligible to upgrade until next May, unless I want to pay an early termination fee (ETF) of $250. They don't even pro-rate their ETF anymore, according to the sales rep.

    I'm really on the fence about this. Upgrading would be great, but paying $650 plus taxes, plus the the ~$30 ish upgrade fee makes my bum feel a bit sore. Overall I'm perfectly happy with my 4S, but I've always enjoyed upgrading and taking part in the latest Apple has to offer. This might be the first year where I'll hold off.

    I also though about how many sales Apple is going to lose this year compared to previous years, as users are locked into their ~18-20 months between upgrade contracts. I'd imagine that less than 10% of users are really going to spring for the extra money and upgrade early, potentially leaving tons of iPhones on store shelves for those uninitiated into the Apple culture. This actually makes me worry about the Apple stock price too, as I'm heavily invested right now. I'm starting to think that the market is becoming saturated, and with customers unwilling to pay for huge ETF's to upgrade, this may end up being the first quarter that Apple fails to meet street profit expectations.

    So what do you think? Will you be uograding for an extra $250?
    09-13-2012 03:35 PM
  2. Garz's Avatar
    I have to buy 2. One line we have upgrade and the other we will pay the extra $250 early upgrade fee. So yes I am.
    09-13-2012 03:40 PM
  3. E Pow's Avatar
    Yes, I'm paying the early upgrade fee of $250 with At&t. I sold my 4S today for $350. So that took care of the $250 early upgrade fee plus an extra $100 in my pocket, so I'll be spending out of pocket the same amount as if I was eligible for the full upgrade discount. For example $199 16GB i5+$250 early upgrade fee=$450 and only $100 I have to spend out of pocket using the $350 I just got for my 4S.
    Last edited by E Pow; 09-13-2012 at 04:15 PM.
    09-13-2012 04:13 PM
  4. BreakingKayfabe's Avatar
    What rep told you they don't prorate the ETF anymore? That sounds like crap to me. If you bought it last October your ETF by now should be $240. Well, once your billing cycle ends. If it wasn't prorated anymore then your ETF wouldn't have gone down.
    09-13-2012 04:22 PM
  5. E Pow's Avatar
    You shouldnt have to pay a ETF early termination fee. You should be eligible for an early upgrade like I'm doing. I got my 4S on launch day last year and I'm eligible for an early upgrade.
    09-13-2012 04:27 PM
  6. cardfan's Avatar
    Yes, I'm paying the early upgrade fee of $250 with At&t. I sold my 4S today for $350. So that took care of the $250 early upgrade fee plus an extra $100 in my pocket, so I'll be spending out of pocket the same amount as if I was eligible for the full upgrade discount. For example $199 16GB i5+$250 early upgrade fee=$450 and only $100 I have to spend out of pocket using the $350 I just got for my 4S.
    What does selling your iphone 4S have to do with paying any less? You'd sell your iphone anyways.

    ATT gets an ETF from you and you renew your contract is all. Nothing early about it.
    Last edited by cardfan; 09-13-2012 at 04:44 PM.
    09-13-2012 04:41 PM
  7. Garz's Avatar
    Guys. The OP mean $250 early upgrade fee. It's pretty simple. If you don't understand it, Google it.
    09-13-2012 04:55 PM
  8. BreakingKayfabe's Avatar
    Guys. The OP mean $250 early upgrade fee. It's pretty simple. If you don't understand it, Google it.
    That's weird. I have that same option but it's $150
    09-13-2012 04:59 PM
  9. E Pow's Avatar
    What does selling your iphone 4S have to do with paying any less? You'd sell your iphone anyways.

    ATT gets an ETF from you and you renew your contract is all. Nothing early about it.
    I'm not doing an early termination fee. I'm doing an early upgrade fee. And selling my phone makes perfect sense. I paid $299 for it last year. So if I wanted to buy the iPhone 5 this year I would have to pay full price. I sold my 4S, made $350 off it plus an extra $50. I'm bascially using my 4S to cover the early upgrade fee of $250 and only paying out of my pocket this year for the 5 the same price I would be paying if I had a full upgrade. It makes sense to me. I dont plan on leaving At&t so renewing my contract doesnt bother me at all.
    09-13-2012 05:16 PM
  10. Garz's Avatar
    That's weird. I have that same option but it's $150
    Consider yourself lucky then AT&T Will Focus On Profitability As iPhone 5 Is Here -- Trefis
    09-13-2012 05:20 PM
  11. ebarne's Avatar
    I'll be paying the ETF on 2 phones to move to VZW, I am sick of lousy service. Hope to make most of it back selling 2 4S iPhones..
    09-13-2012 05:21 PM
  12. BradM73's Avatar
    You shouldnt have to pay a ETF early termination fee. You should be eligible for an early upgrade like I'm doing. I got my 4S on launch day last year and I'm eligible for an early upgrade.
    Really? I got mine on launch day last year too, but they told me I wasn't eligible until next May. Was that your first iPhone with AT&T?

    I've been an AT&T customer since the first iPhone, and have always upgraded on subsequent launch days and always qualified. Now they're saying that we're no longer qualified for early upgrades because of their new 20-month upgrade plans they switched to last year. So basically, we have to pay the ETF or wait.
    09-13-2012 05:24 PM
  13. trevorjd14's Avatar
    I will be paying the ETF and switching to Verizon. Gazelle is paying 300 for my 4S, on VZW I'll buy a 5 for me and 4S for my wife.
    09-13-2012 05:26 PM
  14. Fausty82's Avatar
    You shouldnt have to pay a ETF early termination fee. You should be eligible for an early upgrade like I'm doing. I got my 4S on launch day last year and I'm eligible for an early upgrade.
    Have you checked lately? I have been the past 3 years... but this year AT&T says no that Apple has changed the rules. I've complained and escalated but they're not budging.
    09-13-2012 05:27 PM
  15. BradM73's Avatar
    Okay, I just logged into my AT&T account online and this is the exact quote for upgrade availability.

    "Great news! You qualify for an early iPhone upgrade with a new 2-year commitment.
    Full upgrade available: May 07, 2013"

    So does that mean that I can upgrade without paying an ETF or not?
    09-13-2012 05:29 PM
  16. BreakingKayfabe's Avatar
    Probably because I have a corporate discount on my bill. I don't consider myself lucky because I'm not sticking with AT&T, lol
    09-13-2012 05:37 PM
  17. Fausty82's Avatar
    Okay, I just logged into my AT&T account online and this is the exact quote for upgrade availability.

    "Great news! You qualify for an early iPhone upgrade with a new 2-year commitment.
    Full upgrade available: May 07, 2013"

    So does that mean that I can upgrade without paying an ETF or not?
    THE ETF (Early Termination Fee) does not apply. It's an EARLY UPGRADE fee. Early Termination Fees are levied when you don't fulfill the contract.

    What AT&T is telling you is that on May 7 2013 you get a new phone at upgrade price. Until then, you qualify for a new phone at upgrade price PLUS $250 (the early upgrade fee).

    They are shaking you down, basically.

    In the interest of clarity, there are TWO separate fees that are somehow being confused.

    The Early Termination Fee (ETF) is now $375 for smart phones, and this fee does get prorated in that it reduces by a set amount each month (I think it's $20/month). This is to offset any loss the provider incurs in subsidizing the cost of your equipment that you got when you signed on (or renewed). I don't like these fees, but they are necessary to keep people from getting new phones and canceling their accounts and leaving AT&T in the hole.

    The Early Upgrade Fee (EUF) is $250 and it applies when you want to upgrade after a certain period after signing up (or renewing), but before the 21 month mark when they estimate that they have fully recovered their subsidization of your original equipment. IMHO, THIS is a money grab... unfortunately, due to the nature of some people, it, too, has become necessary.
    Last edited by Fausty82; 09-13-2012 at 05:56 PM.
    09-13-2012 05:47 PM
  18. BradM73's Avatar
    Yea, but my point is, they're still charging $250, either as an ETF or early upgrade fee. Is that accurate?
    09-13-2012 05:52 PM
  19. Fausty82's Avatar
    Yea, but my point is, they're still charging $250, either as an ETF or early upgrade fee. Is that accurate?
    They are charging you $250 to upgrade your phone before they have recouped the cost of subsidizing your last phone. Yes. But don't confuse it with an early termination fee (ETF). That's something completely different. It would apply if you cancelled your contract and went to another provider. It has nothing to do with your upgrading equipment or being able to upgrade equipment.
    09-13-2012 05:55 PM
  20. BradM73's Avatar
    LoL, for as much as I pay every month, they Recouped that money in the first three months!!

    I guess I just need to decide whether or not the $250 is worth the price to upgrade... Sigh.
    09-13-2012 06:00 PM
  21. cardfan's Avatar
    I'm not doing an early termination fee. I'm doing an early upgrade fee. And selling my phone makes perfect sense. I paid $299 for it last year. So if I wanted to buy the iPhone 5 this year I would have to pay full price. I sold my 4S, made $350 off it plus an extra $50. I'm bascially using my 4S to cover the early upgrade fee of $250 and only paying out of my pocket this year for the 5 the same price I would be paying if I had a full upgrade. It makes sense to me. I dont plan on leaving At&t so renewing my contract doesnt bother me at all.
    Call it what you want. You're paying 250 extra to upgrade. That's the complaint.

    You could have sold your 4S and had money left over if you didn't have the 250 fee. Which is what a lot of us did previously. That's not the point.
    Fausty82 likes this.
    09-13-2012 06:00 PM
  22. cardfan's Avatar
    They are charging you $250 to upgrade your phone before they have recouped the cost of subsidizing your last phone. Yes. But don't confuse it with an early termination fee (ETF). That's something completely different. It would apply if you cancelled your contract and went to another provider. It has nothing to do with your upgrading equipment or being able to upgrade equipment.
    True. But in essence he is paying 250 as an ETF and starting a new contract. They just don't put it that way. Kudos to AT&T for making it easier. Death to AT&T for taking away annual upgrades though..lol I'm looking to switch if possible.
    09-13-2012 06:02 PM
  23. Garz's Avatar
    Probably because I have a corporate discount on my bill. I don't consider myself lucky because I'm not sticking with AT&T, lol
    I'm sticking with Att. Full bars of LTE at my house. Vzn, which I have a Vzn LTE iPad, gets 1 bar if 3G service at my house. Not a option. Sprint, I won't even go there.
    09-13-2012 06:06 PM
  24. SeanHRCC's Avatar
    I'm getting one at the full upgrade price ($299 for the 32GB) and one with the extra early upgrade price...me and my wife already sold our 4S's so we're essentially paying nothing (again, like we always do).
    09-13-2012 06:09 PM
  25. Fausty82's Avatar
    I'm getting one at the full upgrade price ($299 for the 32GB) and one with the extra early upgrade price...me and my wife already sold our 4S's so we're essentially paying nothing (again, like we always do).
    I don't have the luxury of selling my most recent devices. I the kids need phones and it's cheaper than buying them brand new ones and fighting over who gets the upgrades. We have a hierarchy in our family. Dad (me) is at the top. Then Mom. Then kids in order of age. New equipment goes to the top of the list and filters down over time...

    But I am paying $299 (32GB) each year for a phone and then they roll down. When there are more than one upgrade available, Mom gets her upgrade whenever she wants it (if one is available). For the kids, they rotate through the ranks... so the youngest gets a shot at a new phone on occasion... still sucks that AT&T has seen fit to screw us over.
    09-13-2012 06:28 PM
32 12
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD