A complete step by step guide to purchasing a refurbished iPhone from AT&T with a 1 Year Warranty

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In the past month, AT&T began sporadically selling $250 refurbished iPhones on their web site. Of course, this led to a frenzy of bargain hunters flocking to the site to purchase the holy smartphone.

However, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

Note: We experienced this first hand, for we also attempted buying a refurb 8GB iPhone from AT&T.

The majority of refurb iPhone buyers did not receive an iPhone on delivery day (which from here on out I will purposely call D DAY).

Instead, when D Day came, they got one of two things: a box with an empty, orange, plastic AT&T bag  or just nothing at all.

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Upon calling AT&T Wireless most individuals discovered that the 8GB refurbished iPhones were no longer in stock – and AT&T had no clue when the inventory would be replenished.

Many people had their orders randomly cancelled, and received nothing but the worst customer service from AT&T.

But here’s the deal people. The 8GB iPhone runs $400 – and getting it for $250 results in nearly a 40% savings.

That kind of a deal is UNHEARD of in the tech world – and since the transaction is so difficult to complete succesfully – we’re giving you the complete guide to purchasing a refurbished iPhone from AT&T Wireless so you could easily snag the device for cheap.

And as to all those horror stories about the iPhones being refurbished by AT&T as opposed to Apple, or not coming with a 1-Year Warranty – they are false. An Apple employee told us first hand that the phones are refurbished by Apple – and we got the full one year warranty from Apple.

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1. Monitor the AT&T Wireless Store for the availabiltiy of refurbished iPhones.

Set up a free monitoring system with either ChangeDetection or Trackle (these programs simply monitor when any changes occur on a web page).

Here’s the direct URL you’ll be monitoring:
http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phones/cell-phones.jsp?fearefurbished=refurbished&allTypes=on&feapaytype=standard&startFilter=false&manapple=apple

2. As soon as the iPhone becomes available – make the purchase and brace yourself!

3. Record your AT&T order number (DON’T LOSE IT)

4. If you want to track your order and AT&T didn’t give you a tracking number (which they probably won’t) call this number: 1-866-391-0749 (do not try calling any other number, you will waste your time)

5. Wait for D Day (3-4 business days)

6. When D Day comes, it will be more than likely that you received either a plastic bag in a DHL envelope or nothing at all. This means AT&T is out of stock. Don’t sweat – this is normal – you’re just gonna have to wait.  Why AT&T chooses to inform their customers of a shortage in inventory by sending an empty bag is beyond me.

7. As soon as the refurbished iPhone is back in stock, you will receive an e-mail with your new tracking number.

8. 2 business days later the iPhone will be at your doorstep via Fed Ex

9. The iPhone comes in an AT&T package with a sign on it that says you have a 1-year warranty.

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10. The iPhone is in excellent condition. There are no scratches, smudges, or cracks. The iPhone is not refurbished by AT&T as many rumors have you believe. Several Apple employees told us that they do not issue 1 Year Warranties unless the product is refurbished by Apple itself.

In other words – your iPhone was refurbished by Apple. We’ve purchased several iPhones directly from Apple in the past, and this one was identical. The only difference is the package it arrives in.

11. To find out how much warranty is left on your refurbished iPhone before or without activation you must call Apple at:

1-800-694-7466

12. We had 240 days left on our warranty, which means our iPhone was only 3 months old before it got refurbished.

13. To get your full, 1 Year Warranty you must activate your iPhone.

14. Call the Apple support number: 1-800-694-7466

15. Ask to be transferred to an iPhone Specialist. Your warranty will be restarted and you will have a full 1 Year Warranty. Note: Apple sees who activates their iPhone and who doesn’t almost instantaneously.

16. Check out these screen shots. We tested our warranty on  https://selfsolve.apple.com/GetWarranty.do

[click to enlarge]

- Original Warranty

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- Email from Apple iPhone Specialist

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- New Warranty

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Ta Da! You now have a perfect 8GB iPhone that only cost you $250. And if you choose not to activate your iPhone (if you’re planning to unlock it) then as far as warranty is concerned – you’re on your own.

In conclusion, the horrors you’ll experience with AT&T’s customer support will be balanced by the quality support you’ll receive from Apple.

And although this may seem like a hassle, for a deal this good – it’s worth it.

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