- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
AT&T Phone Broken? Here is a Replacement Options
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Broken Cell Phone Blues?
The story is heart breakingly the similar. You lost your phone, it was dropped. It is acting up, not working right. There is water damaged, out of warranty, physical damage. Whatever the case may be, the result is that AT&T has told you your only option is to upgrade your phone, or maybe your not eligible for upgrade yet so full retail is the way to go. Well fear not fellow cell users, if you have an AT&T service plan, you can get a replacement phone that is brand new for as little as $30 without renewing your contract!
(A personal note: please do not be angry with AT&T if the cell is not covered by warranty. It is the manufacturers that put these requirements, not the wireless carrier. At least AT&T does not have you call the manufacturer for warranty. The company spends millions a year supporting the phones they sell in this way to provide better service.)
Phones to Look ForClick thumbnail to view full-size
The solution is quite simple really. Since May of 2009, AT&T GoPhones, or prepaid phones, have been enabled to be used by normal AT&T users. Here is the catch; the phone has to have been released after May 2009. Not bad eh? Provided to the side are pictures of some of the phones offered and what the packaging for the updated phone looks like. To make it simple, if the phone has the blue speech bubble on the right side saying GoPhone and above that it says Preloaded with X amount of money (usually $15 to $50), then you just have to slot your SIM card in and it will work!
Your SIM card lost or damaged with your phone? Well, most corporate owned AT&T store will provide a replacement SIM for free if you ask. Authorized retailers do sometimes, but not as often. Calling into customer service is a bit of a pain since they have to charge $25 plus shipping, but if you're in a bind and the closest store is too far away, managers can override the price sometimes. Personally though, I recommend trying a store first.
There is a very sweet little bonus to using a GoPhone on a normal account. After about 2 weeks, the system recognizes the phone automatically and adds a bonus 150 minutes to that line. The reason I bold "that line" because these bonus minutes apply to only the one line, so if you are in a family plan, the minutes cannot be used by other people on the account. Also, these minutes do not rollover and are used only after the normal allotted minutes are used, but before any banked rollover minutes are used. (Something not often advertised clearly, but is basic knowledge with AT&T service is that rollover minutes have a life of one year from when they rollover and are added to the banked minutes. That means if you rollover 200 minutes on July 15th of 2011, any minutes remaining unused by July 15th of 2012 expires. Also keep in mine, if you change plans, you could lose some rollover minutes.)
So long story short, AT&T is actually giving you a bonus for using that GoPhone on your account. This is not counting the fact that you can now buy these phones almost anywhere for a VERY reasonable price.
GoPhones to Go
Did you know:
Did you know if you bring your own phone to a wireless carrier and it is compatible with their network there is no contract to start service with that carrier?
- Tips for Replacement Phone Options for Verizon, Sprint or Alltel
If you need to replace your CDMA phone then you need to read this this article.