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  1. #1
    Uncle Wulf
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    All righty then... I've about settled on AT&T and an iPhone 3GS as my next carrier/phone. It ain't cheap, but what is these days?

    I'm figuring to head over to the local AT&T store tomorrow afternoon, and seal the deal. Got to looking at the Apple store, which led me to the AT&T site, which got to talkin' about credit checks, of all things. Umm....

    Anybody know what AT&T's credit qualifications are these days? My credit ain't what I'd call great, thanks to some formerly-high balances on bank cards. But it ain't trash, either, No late payments, ever.

    Am I likely to be looking at a deposit or some such? Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but I'd like to have a heads-up before I get to the store.


    See More: AT&T credit check and deposits?



  2. #2
    nicknrm
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    AT&T does require credit checks.

    Their standards aren't much higher than any other carrier/company. They have various deposits based off of how good your credit it. Obviously perfect credit won't require a deposit.

    AT&T does have the highest amount of a deposit for any carrier. Their deposit ranges from $100-$750 versus the other carriers which range from $100-$450. The worse credit you have, the higher on the deposit chain you'll be.

    The good news is that the deposit is returned after one year and usually with up to 3% interest. You do have to make all payments on time and have no outstanding balance in order to get the deposit back on time; however.

    To find out what your deposit is going to be, call the AT&T sales department and ask for a pre-screen credit check. Sometimes they'll perform this. If you're one of those people who believe that checking your credit often can lower your credit score, then don't do the pre-screen check as the guy at the store will run it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wulf View Post
    All righty then... I've about settled on AT&T and an iPhone 3GS as my next carrier/phone. It ain't cheap, but what is these days?

    I'm figuring to head over to the local AT&T store tomorrow afternoon, and seal the deal. Got to looking at the Apple store, which led me to the AT&T site, which got to talkin' about credit checks, of all things. Umm....

    Anybody know what AT&T's credit qualifications are these days? My credit ain't what I'd call great, thanks to some formerly-high balances on bank cards. But it ain't trash, either, No late payments, ever.

    Am I likely to be looking at a deposit or some such? Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but I'd like to have a heads-up before I get to the store.
    Send Nick a PM

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  3. #3
    Uncle Wulf
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    AT&T does require credit checks.
    This much, I knew. I just hadn't thought about it up until recently.


    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    Their standards aren't much higher than any other carrier/company. They have various deposits based off of how good your credit it. Obviously perfect credit won't require a deposit.

    AT&T does have the highest amount of a deposit for any carrier. Their deposit ranges from $100-$750 versus the other carriers which range from $100-$450. The worse credit you have, the higher on the deposit chain you'll be.
    We'll see how high their standards are. About 2:30 tomorrow afternoon.

    Like I was sayin', my credit ain't perfect, but it ain't in the toilet, either. I was up around 760 before the most recent round of the banking crisis hit. Then I had a couple of my card banks decide to arbitrarily reduce my credit line. Presumably, to cover their asses in case I dropped dead or something. One day, I had a couple of cards with credit limits of $12-15k each and utilization of less than 20%. The next day, the same cards had limits well below $4k, and utilization around 95%. All without ever being a single minute late with a payment. My score dropped close to 100 points in a week, which kinda sucked...


    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    The good news is that the deposit is returned after one year and usually with up to 3% interest. You do have to make all payments on time and have no outstanding balance in order to get the deposit back on time; however.

    To find out what your deposit is going to be, call the AT&T sales department and ask for a pre-screen credit check. Sometimes they'll perform this. If you're one of those people who believe that checking your credit often can lower your credit score, then don't do the pre-screen check as the guy at the store will run it again.
    Up to three percent? Happy, happy, joy, joy! That beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. But an investment, it aint.

    I'll find out how it goes tomorrow, and go from there. I'll let you know.

    ---------- Post added at 02:54 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:31 AM ----------

    Another thought...

    Given that I'm interested in an iPhone 3GS, is that likely to run up the deposit? Or should the deposit be pretty much the same, regardless of what phone I'd be getting? Not that I'm much interested in their other offerings, though.

    I think the 3GS will be the best they have for what I need to do. Long distance motorcycle travel imposes its own set of imperatives. I expect to recoup the extra $200 on the purchase in setting up the phone to work with my other electronics on the bike. Having 32 GB of storage for music and such will save me $150+ in music player and ancillary equipment, as a start.



  4. #4
    nicknrm
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    The credit score is set by AT&T's creditor's standards, not Apple's. Therefore, the deposit will be pretty much the same no matter what.

    Personally, I have found no interest in the Apple iPhone 3G or 3GS or any iPhone (or even any Apple device). I did at one point like the Apple iMac computer, but that soon failed when its reliability failed.

    When I was working at Verizon Wireless (when the first iPhone came out), our customer service department received over 100 calls per day related to customers changing from AT&T to Verizon because of the reliability problems they had with their phones (specifically the Apple iPhone). Obviously times have changed and Apple has attempted to make a better device, but that still fails. The current review rate for this device is 2.5 stars out of 5.

    The 4G may be better, but I doubt it.

    When I had my iPhone 3GS, I returned it for a full refund whenever I had three warranty replacements in a 2 week period because it froze up completely. Obviously there is a big issue when it freezes up because you cannot remove the battery to reset it (like you can on ANY other device).

    For me and my friends, the iPhone was a BAD idea. Keep in mind you can return or exchange it within 30 days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wulf View Post

    I think the 3GS will be the best they have for what I need to do. Long distance motorcycle travel imposes its own set of imperatives. I expect to recoup the extra $200 on the purchase in setting up the phone to work with my other electronics on the bike. Having 32 GB of storage for music and such will save me $150+ in music player and ancillary equipment, as a start.
    Send Nick a PM

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  5. #5
    Uncle Wulf
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    The credit score is set by AT&T's creditor's standards, not Apple's. Therefore, the deposit will be pretty much the same no matter what.
    That makes sense. AT&T is the one who stands not to be paid if I keel over dead or something. Apple will have already gotten their money, for the most part.


    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    Personally, I have found no interest in the Apple iPhone 3G or 3GS or any iPhone (or even any Apple device). I did at one point like the Apple iMac computer, but that soon failed when its reliability failed.
    This marks an historic first for me. The very first time I've ever had any interest at all in Apple anything. Other than pie, of course. I do love to eat...

    I work with computers professionally. I use Unix and Windows on Intel/clone hardware. Never found anything that I really needed a Mac for, that I couldn't do just as well or better on the hardware I've got.


    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    When I was working at Verizon Wireless (when the first iPhone came out), our customer service department received over 100 calls per day related to customers changing from AT&T to Verizon because of the reliability problems they had with their phones (specifically the Apple iPhone). Obviously times have changed and Apple has attempted to make a better device, but that still fails. The current review rate for this device is 2.5 stars out of 5.

    The 4G may be better, but I doubt it.
    Ah... The peril of being an early adopter.

    I had an IBM Personal Computer, brand spankin' new offa the lines in 1984. It had 'issues' too... I'd like to think that Apple has had time to get the bugs out of this device. At least, I'd hope that they have.

    What review are you looking at? C|Net gave it 4 out of 5 stars from the editors, and 3.5 from the users. Pretty much the same ratings as the Droid and the Blackberry Bold 9700.

    reviews (dot) cnet (dot) com/smartphones/apple-iphone-3gs-32gb/4505-6452_7-33674173.html?tag=mncol;lst

    As to choice of carriers... In this market, we have AT&T, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, and US Cellular. AT&T is a corporate store. Verizon and Sprint are resellers. US Cell is a joke, in addition to being a reseller. Sprint and US Cell are out, based on reports of their customer service I've received from my clients and friends. Verizon would be in, if they were a little easier to get to if I need them (downtown on the corner, with no convenient parking). I thought AT&T might have an advantage in cutting out a layer of crap, being corporate.

    On choice of phones: I've looked at iPhones, and I've looked at Blackberries. The iPhone is easier for me to see without my glasses. Sucks to get old...


    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    When I had my iPhone 3GS, I returned it for a full refund whenever I had three warranty replacements in a 2 week period because it froze up completely. Obviously there is a big issue when it freezes up because you cannot remove the battery to reset it (like you can on ANY other device).
    Agreed. There's a big issue when any modern device fails to perform as expected. Especially a $300 phone. There must be a hard reboot procedure for the iPhone, yes? Short of taking out the (soldered in place) battery?


    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    For me and my friends, the iPhone was a BAD idea. Keep in mind you can return or exchange it within 30 days.
    I'll certainly remember that. If it has terminal 'issues', it's goin' back.



  6. #6
    nicknrm
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    What do you mean resellers? When you said corporate store for AT&T do you mean that you have a direct store (corporate store) in your area and Verizon and Sprint do not? By store, I'm referring to where you'd purchase your device.

    Verizon Wireless is not a reseller. Resellers are defined as a company who purchases phone numbers (and usually rents towers) from one large national carrier and then sells them to customers at lower costs. A reseller would be like Tracfone, Virgin Mobile, or Boost Mobile. Resellers do not maintain their own coverage area. They use the coverage area of other larger providers. Verizon Wireless is one of the only wireless carriers that provides more than half of their network on their own without the help of other providers. In fact, 96% of the Verizon Wireless network is owned and operated by Verizon Wireless. Their closest competitor, AT&T, owns and operates 75% of their network. The percentage of the network that they do not own and operate are owned and operated by "roaming partners", like Sprint for Verizon and T-Mobile for AT&T. U.S. Cellular is a regional carrier, not a reseller.

    Were you referring to "authorized dealers". These are the people (like Radio Shack or 4G wireless) that sell the products of these larger carriers but are not actually stores ran by the specific carrier.

    Verizon Wireless operates on a "trust system" where they make it almost not necessary to ever visit a store. Unlike AT&T and others, you can call customer service and do almost EVERYTHING you could do in a Verizon Wireless store. Yes, it takes a little longer to get the device or whatever you need, but with fedex 2day delivery, it is often very convenient. Personally, I have to travel 40 minutes to a Verizon Wireless store, which I'm willing to do for great customer service and great phone service. The nearest corporate AT&T store is 3 hours away from me, in Sacramento. There are NONE in Northern California where I live. Please note that my circumstances may not be the circumstances for everyone. I do know that AT&T has less than half of the corporate stores as Verizon and I do know they employ less than half the customer service reps as Verizon, so your wait may be longer when you need help over the phone with AT&T.



    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wulf View Post

    As to choice of carriers... In this market, we have AT&T, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, and US Cellular. AT&T is a corporate store. Verizon and Sprint are resellers. US Cell is a joke, in addition to being a reseller. Sprint and US Cell are out, based on reports of their customer service I've received from my clients and friends. Verizon would be in, if they were a little easier to get to if I need them (downtown on the corner, with no convenient parking). I thought AT&T might have an advantage in cutting out a layer of crap, being corporate.

    On choice of phones: I've looked at iPhones, and I've looked at Blackberries. The iPhone is easier for me to see without my glasses. Sucks to get old...




    Agreed. There's a big issue when any modern device fails to perform as expected. Especially a $300 phone. There must be a hard reboot procedure for the iPhone, yes? Short of taking out the (soldered in place) battery?




    I'll certainly remember that. If it has terminal 'issues', it's goin' back.


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  7. #7
    Uncle Wulf
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wulf View Post
    I'll find out how it goes tomorrow, and go from there. I'll let you know.
    OK, just got back from a client's location, and stopped by the AT&T store. Apparently, their credit standards ain't as high as I thought they might be. No deposit required.

    FWIW, my credit score with TransUnion was 658 as of this morning.



  8. #8
    Uncle Wulf
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    What do you mean resellers? When you said corporate store for AT&T do you mean that you have a direct store (corporate store) in your area and Verizon and Sprint do not? By store, I'm referring to where you'd purchase your device.

    Verizon Wireless is not a reseller. Resellers are defined as a company who purchases phone numbers (and usually rents towers) from one large national carrier and then sells them to customers at lower costs. A reseller would be like Tracfone, Virgin Mobile, or Boost Mobile. Resellers do not maintain their own coverage area. They use the coverage area of other larger providers. Verizon Wireless is one of the only wireless carriers that provides more than half of their network on their own without the help of other providers. In fact, 96% of the Verizon Wireless network is owned and operated by Verizon Wireless. Their closest competitor, AT&T, owns and operates 75% of their network. The percentage of the network that they do not own and operate are owned and operated by "roaming partners", like Sprint for Verizon and T-Mobile for AT&T. U.S. Cellular is a regional carrier, not a reseller.

    Were you referring to "authorized dealers". These are the people (like Radio Shack or 4G wireless) that sell the products of these larger carriers but are not actually stores ran by the specific carrier.
    Store (noun) An establishment where merchandise is sold, usually on a retail basis. The retail location where I walked in, paid for the plan, etc., and walked out with the device in my paw. You know, like, a store...

    As to what constitutes a 'reseller', bear with me. I'm a consultant dealing with small business networking and such. I'm not in the cell industry. We all have different industry-specific jargon, which sometimes attaches different meanings to the same word.

    I'm aware that Verizon Wireless is an actual carrier, with its own towers and such. Likewise the others. In my little town, however, this is what we've got:

    AT&T store: Operated directly by AT&T Mobility. At least, I think that's what it says on my paperwork.

    Branded locations for Sprint/Nextel and Verizon. To outward appearance (to my uninitated eye), these look like corporate locations of their respective carriers. I'm told by one of their customers that the S/N location isn't actually owned or operated by S/N. I know for a fact that the verizon store is not owned or operated directly by Verizon. I asked the rep on that one. As for the US Cell store... They may well be corporate. I don't know. But I've known the guy that's the manager in there for years. I wouldn't buy a used motorcycle from him, let alone cell service. In each case, the sign on the location says the carrier's name, the staff wear carrier-branded uniforms, and they sell only that carrier's products and services. Beyond those four, we have the usual, obligatory assortment of people selling TracFones, Virgin, Boost, and what have you. Quite the assortment for a town of 18,000 people.


    Quote Originally Posted by nicknrm View Post
    Verizon Wireless operates on a "trust system" where they make it almost not necessary to ever visit a store. Unlike AT&T and others, you can call customer service and do almost EVERYTHING you could do in a Verizon Wireless store. Yes, it takes a little longer to get the device or whatever you need, but with fedex 2day delivery, it is often very convenient. Personally, I have to travel 40 minutes to a Verizon Wireless store, which I'm willing to do for great customer service and great phone service. The nearest corporate AT&T store is 3 hours away from me, in Sacramento. There are NONE in Northern California where I live. Please note that my circumstances may not be the circumstances for everyone. I do know that AT&T has less than half of the corporate stores as Verizon and I do know they employ less than half the customer service reps as Verizon, so your wait may be longer when you need help over the phone with AT&T.
    I could have gotten the device, set up and paid for the service, and all like that, all online. I just like dealing with folks face-to-face, though. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, or just plain old. But I like bein' able to ask questions based on what they're saying. I like being able to look 'em in the eye, too. Makes it a lot easier to tell when one of them's trying to blow smoke up my butt...

    As to customer service, we'll see. Hopefully, I won't need to use it much. I do know that the customer service from S/N and US Cell is reputed to be terrible, at least in the Northeast. My clients have told me that much. Can't speak to Verizon's or AT&T's customer service as yet, though.



  9. #9
    mspatriceruffi
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    I would like to do a online credit check



  10. #10
    gotto
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    Re: AT&T credit check and deposits?

    i just got cleared for 3 lines no deposit and got an iphone 4s.



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