Help! AT&T Wants A $750 Deposit, But I Really Want An iPhone!

Dana’s divorce left her with crappy credit and now AT&T wants a $750 deposit! She’s wondering if anyone has any advice for avoiding such a large deposit…

Hi there! It’s kinda embarrassing for me to write this, because I obviously have crappy credit that I managed to incur through a divorce. But I’m hoping that you have some insight.

I have been planning to buy an iPhone 3G since the second they were announced. Yesterday, just because I wanted to know how much I would be forking out for a deposit, I visited an AT&T store and asked them to run my credit to find out how much I would need. They hemmed and hawed about running it at first, but they finally did. The price they quoted was $750 for the deposit. Not WITH the phone, but just the deposit.

I’ve been a Verizon customer since last fall. When I bought my Chocolate (ugh) I paid a $150 deposit on it. And I never, EVER was disconnected for non-payment. I thought that was fair. But why $750 for a phone (an admittedly nice phone, but still.) Is this part of their effort to keep people from hacking? I asked them if they were going to offer a GoPhone for credit-challenged folks, and they said no (and I’d heard that elsewhere anyway.)

Does anyone have any idea on how I could get the iPhone without tripling the price. Thanks!


Don’t be embarrassed Dana, divorce can be rough on your finances and, let’s face it, it’s not like AT&T itself has good credit or anything. We’ve heard rumors that one can get the current model iPhone and use it as a GoPhone, (by the way, plenty of people with excellent credit use prepaid phones in order to avoid abusive cellphone contracts as a matter of personal preference) but since the new model is going to be subsidized, we’re guessing it might be more difficult to reach GoPhone utopia.

Commenters? Can you help Dana out? Or is she stuck with this crappy deposit?


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mayor McRib says:

    You could possible find a friend that you have multiple trust with and work out a family plan. Although, based on some Judge Judy cases this doesn’t always work out so well.

  2. Daemon_of_Waffle says:

    How about just realize that the iPhone is an extravagance and you do not need it. Save your money and get a cheaper phone.

  3. bobpence says:

    Wait and see on the GoPhone options. And remember, the reason divorce is so expensive is it’s worth every penny.

  4. induscreed says:

    so they ran a credit check on you and again when you do buy the phone it will be another hit, thats 2 unnessecary hits to your credit.

    Or lets wait till about a week after July 11th, I am sure by then a lot of rules would become more clear, and people wouldve figured out how to go about getting iphones and skirting pesky contracts.

  5. anatak says:

    Advice? Yes. Put the wallet back in your purse and go home. The clearly don’t need your business.

    Ok, you reeeeeeally want it? Show them why your crappy credit score is not an accurate measure of you. Bring proof that you’ve paid all your bills on time for the last two years (assuming you have) and pay stubs to prove that you have an income (assuming you do). Ask to speak to the manager and nicely ask him to look at you and not some stupid number on the screen. See if he will waive the fee.

    Otherwise – wallet back in purse, go home. You don’t need them.

  6. mike says:

    I agree with Daemon_of_Waffle. Yeah, it sucks that your credit took a hit because of your divorce. But there isn’t much you can do about it now. Getting an iPhone seems like something you don’t realy need. If you need a cell phone, get a throw-away phone for much less and not be bound to a contract.

  7. quixiotic says:

    Looks like the first thing you should do is work on brining your credit back up. You don’t need an iPhone. Let alone for the $750 deposit. I would just suck it up til the end of the year and hope that you can clear some of the credit up and consider it a christmas (hanukkah?) gift to yourself?

  8. ErinYay says:

    Sheesh, just get a Nokia E70 and be done with it.

    iPhones are much like designer handbags: if I see you with one, I know you’re no one I need to waste my time with.

    Think different, after all.

  9. Black Bellamy says:

    Time to blame the consumer I think. If you find out your credit is so awful that you’re being forced to fork over $750 to the phone company before they will give you the phone, it’s time to forget about your fancy iPhone that you “wanted” and had been planning to get “the second they were announced”, and it’s time to start worrying about how you will build your credit back up – which will go a lot easier if you’re not throwing money down Apple/ATTs toilet.

    Stick with your current communication device and if possible downgrade it as well.

  10. onesong says:

    wait a bit for the unlocked ones to appear on ebay and get one for verizon :)

  11. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    @onesong: You officially don’t understand the difference between CDMA and GSM.

  12. barty says:

    @induscreed: An inquiry from the same type of creditor within 30 days only shows up as one inquiry. I doubt at this point if something like an inquiry is going to further ding her credit anyway.

    When I used to sell cell phones back in the day, we could sometimes get $25-50 deposits waived over the phone. Cell phone companies wouldn’t give up a sale over a small deposit like that. A $750 one? Forget it. You don’t NEED an iPhone. Come back in 12-18 months when your credit is better and then maybe you’ll qualify without a deposit.

  13. blkhwk86 says:

    Listen here, there are better options than the iPhone. Ask yourself: “What is the real reason I want an iPhone?” And then, ask yourself: “Are there any alternatives to the features I want to use?” The LG is a surprisingly good phone and they don’t break as often as an iPhone. But, I would work on your credit first before splurging on such a gadget like the iPhone. Girl, listen, run the numbers and see if you really want to pay that much to get out of Verizon, then pay for a new phone, and then be locked into a contract with AT&T and pay the charges each month. Soon, you will realize that it totally isn’t worth it. Do the smart thing and put that money that you would otherwise spend into an account that will make a lot of money.

  14. cwlodarczyk says:

    I’ve had credit problems in the past. My credit is now improving, but even though I could probably qualify for a credit card I don’t have one.

    Because I don’t have a card, that means that I have to actually manage my money. If you don’t have an emergency fund, and money in savings that you can “play” with, without damaging your ability to pay your bills, then how can you possibly justify your “need” to have a phone that will cost you so much?

    Save your money, fix your credit, and realize that you won’t die if you aren’t able to buy this tomorrow.

  15. Nenne says:

    So she already has a phone service but she wants to switch because she wants a pretty IPhone? Her credit may also be bad because of poor decisions like this. If 750 is the deposit, then that means she would fork over around $1000 to get a phone that she doesn’t need. She could use that money to pay a bill and start at fixing her credit.

    My brother works for AT&T and I begin working with them in August and I’m pretty sure there is no way to get around it. I tried to call him but he’s probably busy doling out cellphones and $750 deposits.

    Stick with Verizon. If you want to treat your self to a pretty phone do so with them. But I still think it would be best to focus spending your money on paying down debt.

  16. statnut says:

    God you anti-apple zealots are ridiculous. You accuse others of being sheep, but you’re trying to get other people to fall in line behind you in your anti-Iphone craze, so how are you any better? If someone wants an Iphone, thats their business. If they’re asking for help on how to get one, well, you’re being unhelpful.

    And no, I dont have an Iphone.

  17. Daniel-Bham says:

    What a moron. If you’d been “planning” to get the iPhone in terms of saving money, budgeting, etc. that is one thing. If you’d been “planning” in the sense that you really really really wanted one and as soon as you could scrounge up the money and fork it over for something that isn’t a necessity while leaving $0 in your savings account that is another.

    So which is it?

  18. dveight says:

    @anatak: People in store and the activation/contract department are separate. You can bring in all the paperwork you like and talk to the manager all you like, but in the end, its the system that checks your credit score, and there is no way around it.

    Now if you really want the phone, bite the bullet and pay the $750. But in my opinion, you have other things to worry about then this if your credit is that bad.

  19. Ben Clayton says:

    @ErinYay: Good, I have an iPhone and I don’t think I’d ever want to know you. That’s got to be the single shallowest thing I’ve ever read on this site.

  20. Just because her credit’s crappy doesn’t mean she can’t afford an iPhone. It means that she got a divorce and the divorce got a little messy; there’s a lot of assuming she can’t afford the phone in here, which isn’t necessarily true.

  21. lol_wut says:

    I worked for Cingular for a number of years. $750 is the maximum required deposit they request for customers with poor credit. The average deposit I saw was $100 – $250; quite the range, but nothing to really be freaked out by. As I left the company, they began to offer a “Z” credit class for young adults that had no way to establish credit to begin with, and they would be approved, conditionally, with a zero deposit.

    But no, $750 indicates a very poor credit score.

    Verizon and Sprint have flexible sign-ups. I admittedly had poor credit when I signed on for Verizon, but they waived the deposit for me. After a tiff with Verizon, I tried to get service with Sprint [as a leverage tool] and I was approved with a $150 deposit. I would have switched if Verizon didn’t help me with my problem.

    Fortunately, they did.

  22. jmuskratt says:

    It’s not so much advice, but statement of fact:

    AT&T ain’t gonna budge on that $750. When I sold phones for them it was rare you ever got someone with worse credit (resulting in a $1000 deposit). The store manager doesn’t care what kind of payment history you have with your other carrier, that you’re going through a divorce, or that you really really really want an iPhone. He doesn’t want his DM beating him to death with a phonebook if he somehow manages to find a way to “waive” that full 750.

    Moreover, the iPhone won’t make you feel any better.

  23. VeryPlainJane says:

    Priorities, people…. In the end it’s just a phone! Get a cheaper (WAY CHEAPER) phone and start working on paying off your debt.

  24. Hop on the eBays and buy an older generation iPhone. Enter 999-99-9999 as your social, fail the credit check, use the go-phone option that is provided. It won’t be 3G, but is ATT 3G available where you live as it is? and you can pay 9.99 for the iPhone 2.0 OS update.

    That’s pretty much your only option without forking over $750 and locking into a contract.

  25. Your credit would have to be actively bad for that kind of deposit. I had almost non-existant credit when I picked up an iPhone last summer and didn’t need to put down a deposit at all.

    @ErinYay: Judging people based on the things they buy themselves is awesome. You’re probably a fun person to hang out with.

  26. battra92 says:

    I hate to play blame the consumer again (and I’m not blaming you per se) but what I am saying is that honestly, a cell phone is a luxury and when you have bad credit then you really REALLY can’t justify spending money on a telephone.

    Seriously, just get a basic telephone that actually makes calls. The LG Chocolate is a decent phone for what it’s worth and I’d really recommend staying with Verizon on this one. Stick with the old phone unless it’s dying or has serious issues.

    Status symbols are for the weak.

    @ErinYay: “Think different, after all. “

    Haha, so true. It’s like those people in Starbucks writing their novel on their Macbook Air. It’s just to be seen with one.

    What’s sad is I always liked retro stuff and now that’s becoming the trendy thing to be seen with.

  27. GrandizerGo says:

    Everyone complaining on how she has bad credit and she needs to do something about it??
    Did you read the OP story??
    Nowhere does it say she was responsible for the bad credit, only through her divorce does she have bad credit.
    I see that all the time, and it is not always the fault of both people, many times one party is to blame for it all.
    Hence the divorce. Now though her credit is dinged and will take some time to return.

    I personally would not get an iPhone, but hey, it is your money… I would go the friend / family route.

  28. SpecialEd says:

    “I’ve been a Verizon customer since last fall. When I bought my Chocolate (ugh) I paid a $150 deposit on it.”

    So you paid $150 deposit last fall and too much for a phone that you (now) do not like. You will also be paying the ETF to get out of you verizon contract so that you can now overspend for another trendy phone with a hefty price.

    News flash: Divorce does not necessarily ruin your credit, but bad money decisions will. Sounds like getting into an iphone is going to cost you another fortune that you do not have.

    I’ve never had a “trendy” phone, but I have never paid money out-of-pocket for a phone either. I find a good deal and stay away from ETF’s, unnecessary charges, and throwing away money on stuff that doesn’t matter. It insures that I have money in the bank and a credit score over 700. Think about it.

  29. one800higgins says:

    Go with a different phone service. Helio only charged me $150 for a security deposit and that’s the highest bracket of deposits for them. I’m incredibly happy with their phones and phone service.

  30. ErinYay says:

    Dudes, there are SO many alternatives to a zillion dollar phone with a zillion dollar data plan. So if you’re wasting your cash on an iPhone when there are cheaper and (imo) more effective alternatives, you’re either not so high on the critical thinking honor roll, or you care way too much about your outward appearance.

    Knock yourself out and buy whatever you please, but don’t be shocked that not everyone’s ready to jerk you off for being so trailblazing and clever.

  31. krispykrink says:

    @Black Bellamy: Maybe her credit is already built up and is just fine where it is. All it takes is for an ex-spouse with vengeance on the mind to royally screw you over for the next 7 years.

    A year after my divorce was final my ex decided to fraudulently use my details to get herself a shiny new car. Two weeks after she had it, she took off with it to the other coast and never made a single payment.

    I got slammed with a $35,000 ding on MY report. And none of the reporting agencies removed it from my report. Was I going to pay it? FRAK NO!

    I got stuck with a $35K ding, and it was the only negative I have ever had. The only thing I was able to do was wait 7 years for it to fall off the report.

  32. ReverendDrGladhands says:

    For those of you telling Dana that she shouldn’t be wasting her money on an iPhone when she has bad credit, have you considered the fact that she may have actually have paid her debts? Paying debts off doesn’t magically erase previously bad credit. She may very well be able to afford the phone now, but is being punished for the financial hardship of her divorce. Stop automatically blaming the consumer.

  33. bmwloco says:

    Net10. $200 will get you a year of service, no contract, and it works.

    Cheapest way to get a phone, and it won’t ping your credit one red cent.

  34. kevin104 says:

    Bring the last few months of bills from Verizon to the AT&T store and ask the manager or sales rep to submit a request for a deposit waiver. With a deposit that high they may not waive it, however with a good payment history with your current provider there is a good chance that it will be lowered.

    Good luck!

  35. mcdonnr says:

    @blkhwk86: “The LG is a surprisingly good phone and they don’t break as often as an iPhone. “

    Um, what? I call bullshit/made-up fact.

  36. induscreed says:

    @ReverendDrGladhands: @krispykrink:

    people are not autmatically assuming she is responsible for her bad credit, people are basically being judgmental about the fact that she wants an iphone so bad that she is willing to keep a 750 deposit for something as transient as a flashy phone SO she MUST be bad with financial prioritization and HENCE must be responsible for her dinged credit so on and so forth.

    Maybe thats true, maybe not, we cant be sure w/o knowing more, not that I care to, but lets be honest, I think none of us really cares about her credit score or her finances,

    shes an adult, we’re not her mother, why cant we just focus on the “Does anyone have any idea on how I could get the iPhone without tripling the price?”

  37. nataku8_e30 says:

    See of they’ll wave (or reduce) the deposit if you can get a letter of credit from Verizon, or any utility provider you have used for more than a few months. I managed to use this to avoid a deposit from my gas company, but not my water company, so its probably fairly hit or miss.

  38. nataku8_e30 says:

    @nataku83 waive, rather…

  39. Mikestan says:

    I think this credit check and deposit thing with cell phone companies is really ridiculous and out of hand. A cell phone is no long a luxury like it was in the early 90’s it is now a necessity. I could understand that in the early 90’s a cell phone was not common and a very luxuries item to have so a credit check was required but does days are done with. People can argue that you have the option of prepaid or “pay as you go” but those options can become very expensive. It’s almost as cell phone companies are discriminating against the little people and taking advantage of them with prepaid plans since they don’t have any other option. Maybe someone should write to congress about this. How do they turn around and ask people for ridiculous deposit on a necessity in our daily lives. My cell phone replaced my land line and if the cell phone companies were smart they would ditch this deposit thing so that everyone could have a cell phone plan and ditch their land lines. I bet you the first carrier to ditch deposits will become the number one carrier in the country.

  40. virgilstar says:

    OMG! I have no money! But I just have to have this new shiny gadget thing! I simply must have it! And it’s got to be an apple iphone, because all the other touch-screen phones out there which off more functionality for a lot less money are just not cool enough!

    Get real. You can’t afford it!

    BTW, never walk into a store and let them check your credit. Spring for the $5 and get your score online, then walk into the store with the numbers. That way you’ll know if they’re BS’ing you.

  41. MeOhMy says:

    Just forget it. I would not pay a $750 deposit for any phone. It’s not *THAT* great!

  42. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @Daemon_of_Waffle: Hey buddy, this is America, not every darn decisioin we make has to be based on need. If the lady wants and iPhone than that’s her choice.

    So you live a frugial life where every decision is based on necessity, good for you. No need to be fascist.

  43. katylostherart says:

    @GrandizerGo: i just got divorced, i’m working on my destroyed credit that i wasn’t even close to wholly responsible for either. buying an iphone, as cool as i actually would think it is because i geek over apple, is not something i would even attempt to do. and it’s not only through her divorce. getting a divorce does not cause a $750 deposit. getting a divorce after having your credit history connected with a spouse who was horrible with money and didn’t give a crap how it affected you will cause a $750 deposit. it’s not just the divorce and it will take time to fix.

    it’s pretty fair of people to say “don’t get one it’s a bad idea” because it is. she doesn’t need one. the contract would help build her credit a bit, but a cheaper phone and plan and therefore smaller deposit would be the smartest route. a phone may not be a luxury in america in this day and age, but an iphone is.

  44. Plaid Rabbit says:

    To everyone who tells you that you don’t need it, or your stupid…ignore them. They don’t know if you’ve budgeted for this, or what your financial situation is, except that you’ve had something happen that iced your credit. Just because she’s buying something that requires a credit check for service doesn’t mean that she is going to pay on credit! Jesus.

    To answer your actual question, AT&T announced this morning that they are going to sell the phones at a no commitment price, meaning that you can pay $599 for the phone, and not have to pass any credit check or sign any long term commitment. So, save the credit check money, and just buy the phone outright for less than what the deposit would be on a “subsidized” phone.

  45. macinjosh says:

    Does at&t just hold on to that money or do they actually apply it to her account at all? It wouldn’t be so bad if this were more of a prepay rather than a security deposit. That 750 will cover them for about a year (figuring $60/month w/o taxes and fees).

  46. nycaviation says:

    @virgilstar: Have you ever used that method? No serious company is going to offer credit to anyone based on an easily forgeable printout.

    I would advise you wait until your credit improves to switch carriers, but if you absolutely need one, my advice: check eBay NOW for a 2G iPhone which will probably be 1/2-1/3 the cost of the new one, and seriously isn’t much different from the new one…it’s slower (but still usable) and there’s no GPS. ATT will probably still make you pay the $750 no matter what, but you can sign up on the current data plan which is significantly cheaper.

  47. nycaviation says:

    @macinjosh: Usually they hold onto it until the end of the contract, at which point you can ask them for a check or they apply it to your bill and you don’t pay anything for a few months.

  48. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    How about just not getting an iPhone? Whenever I want something I can’t afford, my first instinct is to post about it on a website. Get an original iPhone and work on fixing your credit so you can upgrade in a year.

  49. katylostherart says:

    @induscreed: because telling someone they’re mostly likely shit outta luck (which she most likely is) is a reasonable response to this query. there may be an end to this problem that results in her getting the iphone sans the bank account smackdown. an equally probable result is she doesn’t get it because there’s no way in hell she can get around paying that and her energies are best focused somewhere else.

  50. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    I’m seriously, dissapointed in my fellow commentors. The lady didnt ask for help about how to fix her credit score. She asked for help on how to get them to waive this fee. You so many of you just went and slammed her unnecisarily. Hey, if you think the iPhone is useless peice of fasionista equipment, fine, but you dont have to slam the poor lady. Have you no decency.

    Oh and @ErinYay: “iPhones are much like designer handbags: if I see you with one, I know you’re no one I need to waste my time with.

    Think different, after all.”

    Oh yeah because stereotyping everyone who has a particular phone is thinking waaaaay different.


  51. katylostherart says:

    @Plaid Rabbit: well then there you go, she can do that. tra la la she gets the iphone and goes on her merry way.

  52. Need versus want.

    Wants always must wait.

  53. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: spelling fail Avant-Garde*

  54. NotATool says:

    $750 deposit for a phone is AT&T’s way of saying “Go away — we don’t want your business”. It’s also a blessing in disguise.

    DO NOT fork over $750 to have this really cool phone. $750 deposit for a phone is a waste of money. Keep the phone you have and wait. Wait for your credit to get better. Wait for newer and cooler phones to come out. Wait and you can get something even better and not pay a stupid $750 deposit.

    I’m sorry if this is harsh/blunt. Sometimes the truth is hard to face, but you’ll be better off for it.

  55. timmus says:

    I’m going to have to go with the recommendations to deny the sharks at iPhone/AT&T your business and work on focusing your income and efforts into building up your credit and parking a bit of savings. If it makes you feel any better I own a small programming and publishing business and have no use for these extravagances… in fact all I carry is a Tracfone for times when I have to be in contact with family or with clients on business travel, and I get my laptops for $350 off eBay every few years. That’s plenty enough to keep me productive and in touch on the road.

  56. katylostherart says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: it’s not necessarily slamming the lady. it’s pointing out that there are alternatives to this that are much cheaper and just as effective. isn’t that also the point of this place? to get the better deal for your money not necessarily just the thing you happen to want?

  57. Plaid Rabbit says:

    @NotATool: Did you read any of the other comments? How are you “not a tool” for saying almost the same facist crap (albeit nicer, I will admit) that everyone else has been spouting in the previous 40-odd comments?

    Does anyone in this thread read the other comments, or like most people, just wait for other people to stop talking so they can talk, instead of actually listening?

  58. macinjosh says:

    @ErinYay: More like ErinBoo…. Please wear a name tag so I know not to have anything to do with you. I’m getting an iPhone because I would rather have the best syncing situation available for my environment. Apple’s sync software may not be perfect but syncing between all Apple products (I already use Macs with iTunes) has got to be more reliable than syncing Mac to WM/Symbian/etc. That’s the main reason.

    And the status. ;D I keed. I keed

    Also the “overpriced phone” argument doesn’t hold much water anymore now that it’s not $600. The new iPhone is around the cost of my current WM phone – more than I paid but less than full price at the time.

  59. tande04 says:

    I’d wait ’til the phone actually comes out and see what happens then.

    AT&T and Apple basically have no idea what the hell they’re doing yet. You ask apple one thing and get one answer while AT&T tells you something completely different.

    There isn’t any reason that I could think of that you’d get a $150 deposit from Verizon and a $750 one from AT&T. I’d imagine they just don’t have the information in their system yet and thats what the grumbling was for when you asked them for a “credit check”. They’ve got no idea so they just high balled you.

    Sometimes planning and checking into things pays off. Sometimes it doesn’t. I’d actually wait ’til the 11th (or god forbid the 12th) go in, buy the thing, don’t bring up any thing about bad credit, and see what they tell you then. If its still $750 tell them to take a hike.

  60. soloudinhere says:

    Bringing anything into the store to try to prove your cause won’t do you any good. The sales reps in the store have zero authority to do anything about the deposit. You could try talking to corporate but they don’t really care if you’ve been paying verizon or not. Your credit score shows that at some point in recent memory, debt that you were responsible for was in default. Doesn’t matter who the court said should pay it, if you’re responsible for it, you’re responsible for it. The credit score shows a lack of responsibility.

    If your score is so low that you’re in the highest bracket for deposits, the probability of getting it waived or even reduced is low. They assume you’re that much of a risk, since your credit score proves that you are a risky consumer to extend credit to.

  61. Pasketti says:

    I’d wait awhile until the bad credit score is fixed.

    Look at it this way. It may take a couple of years, but imagine what new model of iPhone will be available then.

  62. soloudinhere says:

    I should also add that the credit check is for the issuance of any contract, not just the iPhone, and if the system spat out $750, that’s what you’d have to pay to get any phone from AT&T, not just the iPhone. They’re gonna tell you the exact same thing when you go in to buy the phone, contrary to what tande04 says.

  63. JennQPublic says:

    @ErinYay: Yes, think different, like you. After all, no one else commented that iPhone are basically worthless pieces of trend.

    I’m really disappointed by the quality of these comments. She was looking for help with a specific problem, and all she got was hated on for wanting an iPhone. She never said she can’t afford the $750 deposit, she just said she didn’t want to pay it (totally reasonable). We don’t know what the state of her savings or budget is, so there’s no real reason to assume she’s making a bad financial decision. If she was getting a Blackberry, there wouldn’t be this kind of backlash.

    Your best bet is to find someone who trusts you, and have them open the account. I wouldn’t get on a family plan with someone, because then if you go over on the minutes things get confusing. Make sure you set up online bill pay in your own email account, then you should be able to pay the bill and add features. For the record, Judge Judy would think this is a terrible idea, and she’s usually right.

    I have yet to hear anyone say “I had an iPhone and it sucked!” Most people love them, so don’t feel bad for wanting one. The hatred is totally unwarranted.

  64. NotATool says:

    @Plaid Rabbit: I wanted to say my bit. And say it nicer as you pointed out. And there’s nothing ‘fascist’ about recommending against an “OMG GOTTA HAVE IT NOW” decision.

    Being smart and disciplined with your money, while being barraged by spending temptations, is not an easy thing at all.

  65. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @katylostherart: I’m just saying that people are being overly harsh when the OP did/said nothing to deserve such sucktitude.

    I’m having one of those sensitive, protect people days.

  66. secgeek says:

    I’m confused as to why you all think she can’t afford an iPhone because her credit is bad due to divorce. I had credit issues due to a similar situation years ago, but having your debt paid off does not instantaneously translate into good credit.

    Who says she can’t afford it… Only a few on this board have some common sense to see where here issue is.

    I wouldn’t give AT&T a deposit, but that is more on principal. Either the friend and family plan with a parent, or wait until it comes out as I’m sure people will figure out how to go contractless on it.

  67. Plaid Rabbit says:

    @NotATool: The point I was trying to make was really to question “Why?” – everything you said was just something someone else had said, and totally a value judgment at that.

    I feel bad singling you out, but this is the entire thread in a nutshell:

    1) Value Judgement of “The iPhone is an overpriced piece of crap, is only for those who don’t know better.”
    2) Assumption that she can’t afford it, is a horrible money manager, and should thank god that the poster is giving her some “tough love” advice.

    This wasn’t the question. The question wasn’t “Should I buy this, even though my children are starving?” No, her question was “My credit is shot from a divorce. How can I get AT&T to sell me something I want, since I am smart enough not to pay (or can’t afford, and know I can’t afford) the deposit?”

    This didn’t require a 40 comment pile-on about something other than the topic at hand, and the self-rightousness was as overwhelming as the smell from a teenage gym locker room.

    God, I totally remember now why I don’t read the comments since they opened it up to anyone with a computer and pulse.

  68. That-Dude says:

    “Nowhere does it say she was responsible for the bad credit, only through her divorce does she have bad credit.”

    But isn’t she responsible for her score now?

  69. That-Dude says:

    One quick question: Couldn’t she straight out purchase an iphone for less than this amount and then go month to month?

  70. Geekybiker says:

    If she has bad enough credit to need a $750 deposit, she probably shouldn’t be buying an iphone. Unless its a required business expense, a $200 phone and a $80 a month minimum bill sounds like a bad idea.

  71. katylostherart says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: go kick a bunny. it’ll totally fix that.

  72. Geekybiker says:

    @macinjosh: Overpriced? It costs more over the course of the contract than the old one.

  73. JustThatGuy3 says:

    Think of it this way. If the OP just has terrible credit from her divorce, and isn’t in debt up to her eyeballs (and paying interest on it), then all she “loses” by putting down a $750 deposit is the interest on that deposit. Assuming (worst case) that AT&T won’t refund the deposit under the two year contract is up, and that she’d get 3% in a savings account on that, then she’s looking at:

    0.03*750*2=$45 in lost interest, pre-tax, so maybe $30-35 after tax.

    Not that terrible, over two years. Of course, if the OP _does_ have large outstanding debts, then paying a lot of extra money for a nice phone _does_ seem unwise.

  74. bobbleheadr says:

    Post divorce credit can improve quickly (I know). Wait 6 months and get a less buggy model and hopefully a lower deposit.

  75. Norcross says:

    @bobbleheadr: Correct. If the divorce was the single cause of the bad credit (i.e. multiple changes, dual accounts becoming single accounts, lower debt to income ratio, etc), then a few months will sort it out. However, if it’s because she now has a mountain of debt to address, then AT&T is perfectly in their right to charge her that, given that most likely the first bill to go unpaid would be the cell phone.

  76. TPS Reporter says:

    You all that are saying that since she has bad credit she doesn’t need this phone…you do realize that she could have brought all her bills up to current and not owe a dime and still have the bad credit. It doesn’t go back to being good instantly. Maybe her ex husband ran up a bunch of cards before they got a divorce, who knows. Thats not what this is about. Just stick to the issue, not about whether she should even get the phone.

  77. Alexander says:

    Since Consumerist doesn’t like us “blaming the consumer” here are some suggestions:

    Put the deposit on a credit card.

    Borrow the money from someone.

    Get a second job.

    Get someone to co-sign.

    Have a yard sale to come up with the money.

    Well, that is all I can think of…

  78. tande04 says:

    @soloudinhere: Maybe, maybe not.

    It depends on how she asked when she went in and the person that was helping her.

    If I were checking on it I would of just picked up a pearl or something, started the whole process of signing up and just dropped it when they got to the deposit part. Then I would of really known what to expect when I went to get the iPhone.

    If she went in and started asking a whole bunch of iPhone questions that to someone thats put up with it for a while now she might of gotten the “go away” deposit amount because they didn’t want to deal with it.

    You could be right, if her credit is that shot it isn’t going to matter what phone she gets through AT&T or when she goes to get it, its going to be $750. On the flip side though at that point it shouldn’t really matter who she gets it through. If she’s the highest tier risk to AT&T she should of been the highest tier to Verizon (or at least close), which she wasn’t. There could be any number of reasons for that disconnect. Maybe she hasn’t been as good with other bills in that period of time, maybe that was before the divorce (though that wasn’t the impression I got), or maybe the $750 quote was the “please leave me alone if you aren’t going to buy anything today” quote and when she actually goes to get it (or any other phone as you pointed out) she’ll find that she isn’t actually in that tier at AT&T either.

  79. cyclade says:

    @macinjosh: @nycaviation:
    To the OP, I’d say check the story on what they mean with the “deposit.” Check to see if it’s something akin to a pre-payment for a year’s worth of service. If so, it sure stinks to have to fork it out up front, but it isn’t all that bad considering you won’t be making those monthly payments later on. And, the successful completion of your contract term will likely help you get on the road out of your credit mess.

    Then, seriously consider whether you’re actually going to use all the “features” you’re paying for each month of the service plan. Sure, the device is slick and looks cool when you pull it out, but think long and hard about what you use your mobile device for, and consider cheaper alternatives like a blackberry or some other smartphone if plain ol’ calling and txting isn’t enough.

  80. Rodeo Queen says:

    For the record, I am the person who originally sent the question to Consumerist. I’m not going to go into the details about what happened to wreck my credit, because frankly that’s not anyone’s business but mine and my creditors. Rest assured that I do have a full-time job, pay my bills, drive a used car w/ no payment, and live far from an extravagent lifestyle. I am working hard to rebuild my credit.

    Why do I want/need an iPhone? I am a journalist who has to be constantly ready to be able to capture breaking news as it happens and needs to be able to get good quality that looks decent on the Web. A good cameraphone is both easy to carry at all times and can quickly send images back to the station. With my Chocolate, the picture quality is, at best, passable. I’m also wanting to be able to capture video, which is something that will probably be hackable with the 3G.

    If I weren’t trying to do the right thing and get a phone that is reasonably affordable, I would’ve already bought the original iPhone. Or I would’ve gotten a Nokia N95, which is pretty much the ultimate backpack journalist streaming videophone. But no, I’ve been trying to save ahead to get ready for the new iPhone because it seems to meet the middle ground here. And what’s wrong with that? It’s not just me wanting the shiny new toy. I’m trying to make a sensible investment for my career.

    Thanks to everyone who has offered helpful comments. For everyone who has offered criticism, your points are well taken. I know that it’s maddening to see someone buy something flashy when they can’t afford it, but I can promise that this is something I’ve thought through endlessly.

  81. captadam says:

    Dana COULD just pass on getting an iPhone. Maybe it sucks, but we can’t have everything we want.

  82. newgalactic says:

    If you can’t afford the $750 deposit for the phone (+$200 for the phone itself), then you won’t be able to afford the $80 + taxes and fees per month for the two year contract. An expensive phone + expensive plan already makes it harder to get your credit back in check. Don’t add to it, get a cheap phone with the cheapest voice plan you can get. In a year (at most), the iPhone 3G will be very dated and available for much less money.

  83. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    @Rodeo Queen:

    The iPhone camera sucks, and you’re buying it on the *potential* you might be able to hack it to capture video, which you state that you need?

    Not to be rude, but I’m thinking the shiny gadget/status symbol factor is much higher then you’ve indicated in your message.

  84. Nenne says:

    @MrBill38: Well if she did indeed pay off all her debt, wouldn’t it be wise to simply wait until it’s been updated on her credit report to go ahead and get the IPhone with a much lower deposit? This is what leads most to believe that she actively has bad credit.

    In her reply she said she’s working to rebuild her credit. Paying all of that money for an IPhone just seems off to me, when she’s actively working to rebuild her credit and that money can obviously help to speed that effort along.

    And she’s right it is none of our business about the situation. She asked about how she could get the IPhone for cheaper and unfortunately there’s little she can do aside from getting an older version and using it as a go phone (but this is not the one she wants) and building up her credit so that she doesn’t have a crazy high deposit like that.

    And to @krispykrink: Is that not fraud and identity theft? I’m naive, how are you responsible for things like this?

  85. packetsniffer says:

    Dana, you have bad credit. You did this to yourself. No iPhone for you.

    Well, maybe you could buy a used one on eBay and try to work out a lower contract and deposit with AT&T. Doubtful. But maybe.

  86. fostina1 says:

    umm. just wait and buy without contract, its cheaper than your deposit.


  87. fostina1 says:

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. consumers who want the new iPhone but cannot or do not want to sign up for a two-year contract with AT&T Inc (T.N) will eventually be able to buy it for an extra $400.


    Apple Inc (AAPL.O) has said the new iPhone will go on sale July 11 at $199 for the model with 8 gigabytes of storage and $299 for the 16-gigabyte version. These prices apply to customers signing up for a two-year AT&T contract.

    Those who don’t want to be locked into such a contract, or do not have adequate credit, can buy the iPhone for $599 or $699 as long as they sign up for some kind of AT&T wireless subscription, AT&T said on Tuesday.

    An AT&T spokesman could not yet say when that option would become available.

    (Reporting by

  88. adrian666 says:

    Rodeo Queen,

    AT&T has not announced (at least I don’t think they have) the price of an iphone for customers who are not eligible for an upgrade (ie, the full price). But it probably will be less than $750, although a lot more than $299. In other words, it may be possible to purchase the 3G iphone outright and use a pre-paid plan, for which no credit score is required. But as far as I know, no official accouncements have been made concerning this, so don’t get your hopes up.

    Also, you might want to purchase a 1st gen iphone off ebay or some other source (have any friends with iphones who are upgrading?). It doesn’t have 3G but will run iphone 2.0 software. You can definitely get a pre-paid plan if you go this route. Also, after July 11 a million iphones might hit craig’s list all at once, so prices for used 1st gen phones might drop significantly (but then again, perhaps not, because dealers ship so many overseas to be unlocked in countries where the iphone is not officially available).

    Personally, I am planning on doing the latter, as I know a lot a current iphone users who will be upgrading. I have excellent credit (not bragging, just saying) but I personally always buy cell phones outright (unlocked and non-hobbled by the carrier!) and use pay-by-the-month plans. I just can’t stand the idea of contracts. Especially for contracts that last longer than a phone’s warranty or battery (as is the case for the iphone). Also, a look around the internets and you will find prices for the unlocked, unhobbled version of almost any GSM phone (for use on AT&T or T-Mobile; but not, alas, for an iphone) that are not actually all that much more expensive than the discounted carrier prices, especially when you consider how long you will use the phone for. Honestly, and I mean this in a nice way, if you can’t afford the price of the phone, then perhaps you shouldn’t get that phone.

    Lastly, there are lots of great reasons to get an iphone, but the camera is not one of them. No flash, a measly 2 megapixels, no video. Just saying.

  89. lalaland13 says:

    @Rodeo Queen: Is your employer willing to help you out at all if you need an iPhone for work? Maybe try to convince them? If not, as much as it sucks, I’d just wait. I know how divorce can screw up credit-it got my mom bad, real bad.

  90. joellevand says:

    “I’m also wanting to be able to capture video”

    What publication are you a journalsit for?

  91. joellevand says:

    …er, journalist.

    As you can see, I am NOT a journalist by any stretch of the imagination!

  92. rellog says:

    @Daemon_of_Waffle: I agree. It is a straightforward case. Whether it is the OP’s fault she has bad credit or not is irrelevant. The company she wants to do business with has put forth an offer for service. If it is not to the liking of the OP, then she shoud simply walk away. No one “NEEDS” an iphone… And if your credit is shot, you have more pressing issues than having an expensive toy to play with…

  93. rellog says:

    @packetsniffer: We do not know if she did it to herself. I have a good friend, who’s husband DESTROYED her credit without her ever knowing…

  94. Eilonwynn says:

    @Rodeo Queen: My mom went through a divorce that trashed her credit six ways from sunday. It’ll do it again once it’s finalized (thank you, 1 year minimum mandatory separation.) – Your credit issues are your own thing. IN your situation, I’d probably also consider talking to an accountant. You may find that such a deposit is tax-deductible, in addition to the phone itself.

  95. battra92 says:

    Positive suggestions?

    Buy the older model iPhone on eBay from someone who MUST have the newest version and activate it with AT&T.

    Check out the LG Voyager from Verizon. It’s a very similar device and a lot less.

    Just give them the $750 deposit since you’ll eventually get it back.

  96. Alexander says:

    @battra92: Refer to her post in the comments. She pretty much said it has to be the 3G iPod.

  97. K-T says:

    you cant assume that the bad credit has to do with an inability to pay and not the divorce. divorce can murder your credit in certain situations. besides, it isnt up to any of you what she does with her money.

  98. jhurley03 says:

    You might be able to get it reduced or completely waived. I used to work for an AT&T call center and had people call in from the store to see if they could get the deposit reduced. We had to talk with another dept and then transfer them. There were a few times where it was reduced or completely waived. I can’t remember the name of the dept., but if I do I will post it. It might have been credits & activations. Just call AT&T and see what they can do.

  99. Myrddraal says:

    Once again Maddox to the rescue:[]

  100. ellastar says:

    @induscreed: There’s only one actual credit check. The second time she goes back, her information is still in the system and they’ll just bring up the existing credit check.

    @onesong: The iPhone won’t work on Verizon (or Sprint for that matter, because it’s the same technology). Verzion and Sprint are CDMA. At&t and T-Mobile are GSM, which is the only technology (at the moment) that the iPhone can work on.

    @tande04: The deposit screen comes up before any phone information is even put in. It doesn’t matter what phone she’s interested in, because the deposit is based on her personal information. There is no such thing as a “‘please leave me alone if you aren’t going to buy anything today’ quote”, unless the salesperson explicitly lied to her about the amount of her deposit. The system doesn’t care WHEN she’s going to buy the phone or even WHICH phone she’s going to buy. It all comes out to the same deposit amount, regardless. Also, I’ve noticed that deposits with Sprint are significantly lower than deposits with At&t (sometimes people want to check both), and it has something to do with the companies’ credit standards. Verizon might work the same way (they’re both CDMA). $150 is considered somewhat high for Sprint, as most of the credit checks we run come up with no deposit. At&t’s deposit amount was $400 for a person who had $150 deposit from Sprint.

  101. amyschiff says:

    @Mayor McRib: based on ALL Judge Judy cases this doesn’t work well. If they worked well, they wouldn’t end up on her show ;)

  102. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Patience is a virtue. The iphone2 will be launched worldwide. And in some European countries, mobile phone providers are required to offer an unlocked version. For $750, you can buy a grey market iphone2 from ebay. No credit check required. Just get a prepaid SIM and you’re all set. The only catch is that you won’t be able to access all the features, like visual voicemail. But that’s no big deal really.

  103. sean77 says:

    Pay the deposit.. consider it an investment. A year from now AT&T will give you back your deposit, plus interest.

  104. johnva says:

    @newgalactic: It’s not necessarily that she “can’t afford it”. It’s that $750 is pretty damn steep as far as a required deposit. I could afford to pay that deposit, but I’d still be really pissed if someone tried to make me put that much down just to get a damn phone. I do remember that when I had a short credit history and got my first apartment, the electric company made me put down a $90 deposit that they refunded 6 months later. That’s fairly reasonable, I think. But $750 is pretty steep unless the credit issues are REALLY severe.

  105. sardonicbastard says:

    I have a first generation iphone, and unless you are a VERY heavy user- I doubt that most people would be able to tell the difference between it and the iphone 3g, save for the GPS functionality. It has the same processor, the same memory, the same screen, and all the same applications. The EDGE data access is fine for most everything… google maps is pretty snappy, and most web pages load in less than a minute.

    Unless you absolutely, positively HAVE to have 3g data and GPS functionality, buy a used iphone! The prices on them will go down quite a bit after the new one is released, I guarantee. Your up-front commitment will be much lower, and you will have a phone that you OWN.

    I won’t be upgrading to the 3g iphone until this one is dead, and I don’t see that happening any time soon. I’ve had mine for close to a year and it still works great.

  106. Yeah, all you haters are jumping to way too many conclusions. Jesus, what if she makes really good money and the credit problems are all her ex’s fault. Then you are pissing on her for ‘being willing to pay this outrageous deposit just to get a fashion toy blah blah’ when clearly that’s NOT what she’s doing. She’s trying to find an option to get the iPhone for a fair deal instead.

    And to @virgilstar, who says you can get “more functionality” on another phone for “a lot less money,” please demonstrate for me how your phone’s browser does on Travelocity, Orbitz, or Flickr. Phone browsers I’ve used, other than the iPhone, can rarely handle “Web 1.0” sites with Javascript, let alone “Web 2.0” stuff with AJAX etc. The only way the browser app on the iPhone could be better, of course, would be if it had Flash. Now maybe you can download and load bunches of obscure apps on a Treo, a PocketPC phone (more expensive btw) or even a BlackBerry, but if her needs are more in line with “I need a phone with a browser that doesn’t suck ass” then who the hell are you to tell her that’s not the best phone for her? Also the Palm OS is crashy shit, Windows Mobile/PocketPC is crashy shit, and BlackBerry is very finely aimed at business email. None of these have a syncing solution that is easy to use for consumers, doubly so if you happen to use a Mac.

    /I have a crappy-ass browser on my phone so I know a good one when I see it. I don’t have an iPhone or plan to get one ’cause I hate AT&T.

  107. xkaluv says:

    You can take the $200 you would have spent on the iPhone and pay off some debt… do that a few more times and then wait a few more years and you will be good to go. It’s called LIFE!

  108. stupidjerk says:

    oooh oooooh OOOOOOOOOOH!…I want an iphone too…where can I turn in my first born child so I can have a ‘metoo’ gadget so everyone will think I’m trendy and hip?

  109. drjayphd says:

    @xkaluv: Really, because I’d like to introduce you to another concept called “reading the effing article and OP’s comments before chiming in with your completely inapplicable (as far as you know) comment”. And she already commented about an hour and a half ago, so you have no excuse.

    Seriously, this place could use a few wild swings of the banhammer. I vote ACAMBRAS, Ben, Meghann, et al. do their best impressions of Mario in Donkey Kong.

  110. soloudinhere says:

    For all the people saying that the bad credit isn’t her fault–

    One of the most commonly misunderstood things about divorce is that creditors don’t give a rat’s patootie who the judge said needed to pay what bill. If both names are on an account, BOTH parties are responsible for paying it.

    The way credit gets trashed in a divorce is someone defaults on the bills that were split, but both people are responsible for.

    That’s right– BOTH PARTIES are responsible for ending up with a bad credit rating.

    The FIRST THING you do in a divorce is close all credit accounts so that the debt situation is frozen, then use shared cash to reduce the debt as much as you can. That which you can’t eliminate, you REMOVE the name of the party not responsible from the account.

    Thus, failure to pay on the part of your ex doesn’t impact you.

    So, lessons learned, but in order to have such bad credit that AT&T is demanding nearly a thousand dollars in security deposit, the credit must be really, really bad. Buy an iPhone contract free if you want to avoid the deposit, but you obviously pay more for it if you do it this way– AT&T will give you the deposit back after a year, meaning the phone only cost you $200, instead of $500.

    That said, the liklihood of a video capture app coming out that is decent is pretty slim. You’re working against hardware limitations at that point. I would never buy an expensive phone on the idea that it might be hacked to do something I want.

  111. battra92 says:

    @alexander: *shrug* Can’t help her then.

    Seriously, a journalist using an iPhone for newspaper photographs? No wonder the photos in my local paper look so awful. What happened to the Snapper McGee types with their Speed Graphx cameras on wooden tripods? Thems were the days!

  112. @LatherRinseRepeat: She could also just buy an unlocked iPhone 3G from AT&T for $599.

  113. temporaryerror says:

    Once upon a time, I worked at a store that sold both ATT and Sprint. If someone had a $500 deposit on ATT, we would run the credit on Sprint and often times the deposit would be from $50-$150. But, then again sprint has been shooting for the high risk customers. Anyway, once I ran a credit check for ATT that came back “Possible Undesirable”. Any other phone jockeys ever seen THAT one? I think that is the worse possible response that ATT can give. To me it means that they won’t take that persons business, even with a huge deposit…

  114. ogremustcrush says:

    Once you can unlock the iPhone 3G, buy on on eBay or have a friend pick one up then pay the cancellation fee immediately. Then put in a prepaid SIM card, or use T-mobile’s flexpay or an equivalent. Paying the ETF for AT&T is still better than paying their other prices for the phone. Or you could always buy the last gen iPhone on eBay and do the same. AT&T’s 3G service is way expensive, and its the only benefit of the new model verses the old besides GPS.

  115. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    Some of you people don’t seem to understand. Buying an iPhone is about a lot more than just getting a cell phone, it’s also a guaranteed ticket to getting a handjob from the emo-cutter barrista at Starbux. Priorities people!

  116. macinjosh says:
  117. sean77 says:

    I’ll say it now, most of the people posting here are idiots. The deposit is required to cover her service. It doesn’t matter which phone she bought.. if she wants a contract with AT&T she needs to put down a deposit.

    The whole iPhone part of the story is immaterial. As long as she isn’t going pay-as-you-go, she’s going to be hit with the exact same deposit.

    Finally, after a year, the deposit is returned to her in the form of a check, complete with interest earned. It’s no worse than sticking $750 in a savings account, only it helps repair her credit.

  118. BadBadKitty says:

    sept of 2006 i was also quoted a $750 deposit .
    So i had to use gophone.
    Earlier this year i bought a 2nd hand iphone with the intention of using it with gophone ( which is possible) but when i went to activate it they mysteriously approved my credit with NO deposit !
    I have done nothing to repair my credit, bought nothing on payments so i doubt there could be that much improvement.

  119. MrEvil says:

    If you have to put down a $750 deposit to have a new trendy fashion accessory (and don’t act like the iPhone isn’t, because it is.) you probably have OTHER things to worry about. This isn’t about being anti-apple its called being wise rather than a damn fool. Don’t come crying to us about how your life situation precludes you from iphone ownership.

    @krispykrink: Similar thing happened to my dad. His second wife after he booted her no good ass out of the house went and opened up a home phone line in HIS NAME racked up a $500 bill and fled.

  120. macinjosh says:


    “What happened to the Snapper McGee types with their Speed Graphx cameras on wooden tripods? “

    I dunno. Maybe Eyebrows McGee knows. :D

  121. trujunglist says:

    Nokia has a MUCH larger market share last time I heard, in the hundreds of millions of phones. What’s thinking different about carrying a Nokia?
    @ Dana
    I think you’re screwed. Back when I had no credit, no one would would touch me for under $500 except for Verizon, who wanted $400. I agree that this was the “go away” price, because once they said that, the CSR was ready to say goodbye and hang up. When I said “OK, I’ll do it” to the Verizon deposit (no other choice at that point), the CSR literally said “I’m sorry that we couldn’t help you.” and I said “No, I mean, OK, I want to do the deposit.” He said “Oh.. wow… Hold on a second.” and then disappeared for 5 minutes. Sad, but even when I offered to attempt to prove that I had never defaulted on my rent which was about the total cost of the 2 year contract for 1 month, they still didn’t care. They really wanted that $400, but at least they proactively returned it and gave me the interest as well.

  122. peteostro says:

    Ok if you want and iPhone 3G there are 2 things to do.
    After July 11th pick up a used iPhone 1st gen (just like 3g but slower network and no on board GPS, but will be upgradeable to the new 2.0 software). Get a Pick you plan account for 1st gen iPhone from at&t (just like pay as you go but they auto bill your credit card each month, No Credit check) do this for 6 months. Make sure all the credit card payments with at&t go through each month. After 6 months go to at&t store and tell them you want to switch to iPhone 3G, they will enter your info in and you will pass the credit check since you have been a paying customer for 6 months.

  123. peteostro says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: Problem is the only 3G network in the US compatible with iPhone 3G is AT&T (edge will work on t-mobile) and you can not do Pre Paid on AT&T with 3G iPhone only 1st gen iPhone can.

  124. drjayphd says:

    @battra92: The parent paper enjoys my Shakycam more? That or they’re CHEEP.

  125. blueneon says:

    Actually, a deposit CAN be waived. I work at AT&T and I added on my 6th line to my account couple weeks ago. They wanted a $500 deposit because of how many lines I already have, so store rep called c&a and they approved me for another line, and no deposit. So yes, it CAN be done, but probably not in her situation.

  126. anyanka323 says:

    I’d wait several months to improve my credit. I got my first credit card in January, a Capitol One card with 20%+ APR and didn’t use it a lot, maybe twice month at most for small purchases. I just got a Citi one with a much better APR that I would have gotten rejected for 6 months ago. Waiting some time to improve your credit does help.

    I’d love an iPhone and might get one when my current AT&T contract is up in August. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them from other people who own them.

    If I were Dana, I’d wait until Christmas to get one and see if my credit improves enough to where a more reasonable deposit is requested.

  127. meefer says:

    Just wait – the 3G Iphone will be unlocked and all the T-mobile carriers will have them anyways for the same price. Heck a bunch of them post on another free advertising site that they will unlock an iphone for you in the store and put you on a T-mo plan.

    Don’t forget to flip the bird to the Death Star. Seriously a deposit higher than the cost of the damn phone?

  128. battra92 says:

    @macinjosh: Well, I was referencing this ~_^

  129. donTHEd says:

    Sprint has recently tightened their credit requirements.


    It doesn’t matter if the OP wanted some Free phone, she would still pay a deposit.

    Most $750’s are because of a past balance with AT&T that was written off. If that’s the case, contact the finance department @ AT&T and works something out. If that is not the case, perhaps pay the deposit, and come next year, you will get it back on your bill, and live cell phone free for 8-10 months.

  130. wildness says:

    A lot of the advice hears misses a vital point: AT&T would still ask for a $750 deposit on the freebie model as well. My credit ain’t so great at the moment and Alltel wanted a $1000 deposit from me when I wanted to change to them from Verizon (of which I had been a paid customer in good standing for years). I told them as much, but they don’t care, so I got a new upgrade from Verizon instead.

    Bottomline is that they want a massive deposit from your sub-par credit because they can basically tax you for a profit (sure in theory you will get it back some day, but they are at least earning interest on your money), not because your bad credit means you are likely to stick them for $750 as opposed to a more reasonable deposit of say $200.

    epilogue: the jokes on Alltel at this point as it looks like I might get their favorite thingie offer afterall now that Verizon has bought them up.

  131. BadBoyNDSU says:

    @statnut: Ditto

  132. Dyscord says:

    Verizon wanted 1,000 for me to start an account. So I know how it feels.

  133. surgesilk says:

    I need a new gf…just send me a pic and I’ll put you on a family plan =)

  134. Anonymous says:

    Dana, keep your current Verizon service, and buy an iTouch. It’s the same thing as the iPhone, minus the dial tone from ATT. You don’t need $750 deposit to make that call. It’s a rip off. I’ve been using Apple products for over 8 years. Their products are refine, reliable, sophisticated, and about 10 years ahead of the pack. That’s why everyone is trying so hard to catch up with them using words like ” The Instinct iPhone killer” and the “Palm Pre iPhone killer”. (You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all people all the time!).
    Please get an iTouch for $200 and enjoy the best PDA/COMMUNICATION/ENTERTAINMENT device ever created. Don’t listen to those fools.