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.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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