Cell Phone Question

Updated on May 16, 2010
H.D. asks from Keller, TX
9 answers

I am due for a cell phone upgrade so I went to the AT&T store and picked out a new phone. The salesman said I could only get that phone if I upgraded my plan to unlimited texting or got the internet. I would love the internet but DO NOT want to have a higher phone bill. I was wondering if I just bought the phone off eBay and put my SIM card in it if they would know the difference. Financially I am just not in a place to have the added cost of getting the unlimited texting or internet but still want a new phone.

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answers from Shreveport on

It all comes down to the type of phone you are wanting. We upgraded my son's phone and didn't have to get unlimited texting/data plan. Now my phone we did have to add a data plan because I got a smart phone.
If you can go to a different location and talk to someone there or go back to the original place and talk to someone different. Tell them you don't want those options and ask them to show you the phones that don't require that.

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answers from Washington DC on

Have you thought about checking out other vendors?


Shop around before you upgrade and sign on for one or two years more of service with them.

Go to Wal-Mart and Target and check out the Pay as you Go plan - you may end up finding a cheaper service

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cheyenne on

This is a little late, but I had to answer because I know the answer because we just went through this too!

So, the guy was not trying to cheat you out of money...that is the new rule with all upgrades...that all phones will be required to at least take on the $10 data plan (unless you have just a basic, run of the mill, no bells and whistles phone- which very few people have that anymore). The $10 typically gets you unlimited texting and a limited amount of internet...up to the $30 plan which is unlimited of both.

Now, e-bay works to buy phones but make sure to add AT&T in the search so you know the phone is meant for them...but, when you add your SIM card, it will not let you activate it...it will send you to a customer service rep because in their computer system, each type of phone (smart phone, regular phone) and what is on their computer system much match to allow the phone to be activated correctly.

Here is how I know this...I have Verizon and we decided we wanted smart phones but wanted to keep with our cheap $10 texting/internet plan and so came up with the bright idea to just get our phones on e-bay. When they came (and make sure you read carefully on the page to make sure the phone is exactly what you are wanting to get...had to send 2 back with false advertising...only go with "top sellers"- and even then, read carefully), I tried to call to activate and sure enough, it told me that it could not be done and sent me to a customer service rep who proceeded to add the $30 text/internet to both our phones (because we were going to use the internet lots- we went with the $30 plan)...it stunk! It is just yet another way the cell phone companies can gouge us...bad thing is-it's ALL OF THEM doing it...so you can't just skip out on it by switching companies. If your phone has the capability of going online, you will have to have at least the $10 plan (I have a feeling they are dong this because so many people probably accidentally get online- whether on purpose or butt dialing-and then they have to deal with angry, irate people calling asking what the charges are from the internet downloads...and this new procedure will stop these calls for the most part.) Anyway, hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Our unlimited texting and internet service only costs us $10.00 a month extra. Seems like to me that you might be able to cut a bit here and there to make the difference and have what you want in a phone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You should be able to buy it off ebay or craigslist and be just fine. Double check to make sure your sim card works in it before you purchase.
That way you won't have to sign up on a new contract OR spend more money. I hate cell phone companies!



answers from Hartford on

i have had at and t and I think he is lying or something. you should call the company directly and see what he is talking about. when you first sign up for a phone they for some reason do make you take text msg and web but they do tell you that it is free for a certain amount of time as a trial and then you call and cancel it....in hopes that you forget, or like it and keep it. maybe that is what he was refering to?


answers from Dallas on

If you are not financially able to upgrade....DON'T. There is no reason to put yourself in a financial bind because you are simply due for an upgrade and WANT a new phone. Use the phone you have until you are financially able to do what you want to do. Do you really NEED a new phone? If you really NEED a new phone, purchase one without all the bells and whistles and stay out of debt.

Smart phones do have the the data plan and my unnlimited texting for daughter and myself is optional. Our data plan is not an option. I pay an extra $50/ month for our 2 data plans and $30/month for unlimited texting. Our AT&T bill (IPhones) is $194/month. Hubby's IPhone bill is $171/month.


answers from Dallas on

He's trying to get a higher sale out of you. You can purchase that phone anywhere you like and put your sim card in. You just have to make sure your sim card is compatible with that phone. When I got my last phone, I had to upgrade my card...



answers from Dallas on

You didn't say what type of phone you were purchasing. If you are talking about an iPhone, then yes, you need to have a data service which will increase your monthly bill. You do not have to have unlimited text on any phone.

As for the SIM thing, you have to purchase a phone that is programmed for AT&T. If you have an older phone, you may need to purchase a new SIM card as well.

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