My convoluted equipment swap with 3UK is almost complete

If you’ve been following my interactions with 3UK, you’ll know that in order to get an iPhone 4S, I had to take out a new contract with them, rather than upgrade the existing iPhone 4 agreement that still has about 8 months left until it expires.

This is all well and good.

It’s just a bleedin’ annoyance.

I no longer require the iPhone 4. I still require the 3UK service. So we’ve a natural way ahead, right? Why don’t you just give me the new iPhone 4S, charge me a reasonable amount and take the old one — the iPhone 4 — back and credit me the 200+ pounds of value from that.


3UK isn’t built to work in this manner.

So I took out the new contract, got the new iPhone 4S in return for about £279 up front.

Then I got the iPhone 4 valued by Envirofone at about £218 if memory serves.

So that means it cost me £61 to upgrade to a new iPhone 4S, effectively — if I ignore the outstanding line rental on the existing iPhone 4 I’ve committed to.

Why couldn’t 3 have just charged me £61 to upgrade? Because their accounting and financial bods don’t view it this way. It’s not a big problem. I’m just highlighting the arse required to play the contract game.

I’m now going to use the £218 to pay off the outstanding line rental on the old iPhone 4.

This will involve quite a lot of heartache speaking to their call centre who will be horrified. I wonder what they’re going to say when I explain that I’m not actually leaving, that I’ve already got a new contract and I just need to kill the existing one? Perhaps they will be content.

I’ll let you know how I get on.


9 Responses to My convoluted equipment swap with 3UK is almost complete

  1. Richard Yates January 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    You must be mad to sell your iphone that way – tweet you have it for sale, I’m sure you’ll get more.  Hell I’d give you £250 for it:-)

  2. Ewan January 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Uh oh. Well I’ve just stuck it in a bag and sent it off to Envirofone — I liked the fact I didn’t have to do any additional thinking!

  3. Richard Yates January 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Shame  I meant it too.  I sold my iphone for for £350, then my son asked if he could buy it, not realising I’d done it!

  4. Ewan January 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Ah well I’ve missed out, Richard!

  5. Jay January 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Good luck with cancelling your other line early – CS are notorious at not understanding something that is not in the manual.

  6. Ewan January 16, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Yeah… it’s going to be fun…

  7. Richard Yates January 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    happens, but try it sometime – you must have a huge list of followers

  8. Ewan January 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    I might! I’ve got an Orange iPhone 4 that I’m considering doing the same thing with…

  9. Iain Wallace January 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Do let us know how the envirophone experience goes, e.g. is it as straightforward as you hoped etc.

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