Plus: AT&T Trade-In Scams to Watch Out For

How to Trade in Your Phone at AT&T

Our expert team can help you submit an official legal claim against AT&T for free.

Every time you get a new device you have the opportunity to trade in your phone at AT&T. But what happens when you are the victim of an AT&T trade-in scam? What can you do when you are scammed by a third party offering a fake trade-in deal? We explain where the best deals are, and how you can protect yourself. We also explain what to do when things go wrong.

What Are Trade-In Deals?

Trade-in deals are an opportunity for you to give AT&T an old phone in exchange for compensation that you can put toward a new phone. When you get a new phone line, qualify for a new phone, or take out a new contract you qualify for potential promotional deals that can help increase the trade-in value you receive or give you some other form of credit toward a new phone.

AT&T, much like Verizon Wireless, provide certain trade-in deals but with some fine print.

For example:

  • Only qualifying wireless devices can receive trade-in credit.
  • You can only trade in up to five qualifying devices over a 12-month time frame.
  • You can get a trade-in deal in select stores only or online. 

When you visit a store directly you have the security of knowing your phone is being traded in at that moment from a reputable source and you don’t have to deal with sending it through the mail. However, if you trade in at the store, they will only provide you with instant credit to your account which means only current customers can use this option.

When you trade in at AT&T.com, they will send you an AT&T promotional card which can only be used to pay your AT&T bill, purchase things at physical retail stores from AT&T, or make purchases online. It is not redeemable for cash and it expires 90 days from the time it is received. This means if you don’t use it immediately, you might fall victim to a trade-in scam where you don’t get that credit at all.

Best Trade-in Deals for AT&T

You can visit the AT&T Device Trade-In Page to start. 

  1. Start by selecting your device model and answering some questions about the quality of the device and its current condition.
  2. Receive your estimate from AT&T based on this information.
  3. Send in the trade-in device with Prepaid shipping supplies from AT&T and receive your device offer or promotional card in the mail.

The best trade-in deals for AT&T, again, will vary based on the device you have and the situation where you return that device. While you can technically trade in any device at any time, the best value will be provided for you if you trade in at key moments such as taking out a new cell phone line or starting a new contract.

You are not required to use AT&T in order to find the best trade-in deals. There are situations where a third party might offer better compensation or compensation in some more appealing form than an AT&T gift card. Third parties function much the same way:

  1. Start by visiting their website and selecting your device model. Answer questions about its current condition and in some cases send pictures.
  2. Receive the estimate from the company based on the information provided.
  3. Send in the device using prepaid shipping supplies from the company and receive compensation.

Trade-In Scams to Watch Out For 

The Wrong trade-in value

The biggest trading scam from Verizon Wireless is when you agree to an appraisal but they received the phone and claim you deserve less competition than agreed to because of the condition of the phone. When this happens you have no control over it and no opportunity to combat it or get a new appraisal. Verizon Wireless will simply receive the phone, appraise it in person, and send you the competition they decide is appropriate. 

Third party scammers

Third-party companies can use scams too. According to Forbes  29 million cell phones  disappear every year because of scams on sites such as eBay or Craigslist.

Reporting the phone lost or stolen

 If you agree to send a phone to a third party, they might report that it was never received or that it was stolen in the mail in which case you won’t get compensation.

You can protect yourself against this trade-in scam by using a prepaid envelope with tracking and insurance. In fact, reputable companies will provide that for you. This doesn’t mean however that you will be completely protected against this potential scam. There are situations where AT&T might also report that they never received the phone in which case you will not receive compensation.

Selling a stolen or blacklisted phone

When you get a phone in exchange for your device trade-in, it might not be a legitimate phone. There are disreputable companies and individuals that sell stolen or blacklisted phones.

You can protect yourself against this trade-in scam by checking the CTIA’s Stolen Phone Checker online to verify that a phone is legitimate.

Were You Ripped Off by a Trade-In Scam? Here’s What You Can Do

If you were scammed by AT&T or any other company, you can report the company to the FTC. The FTC collects consumer information about scams including trade-in scams. You can view information about potential trade in scams from third parties or AT&T if you are unsure about the deal you are making.

However, reporting anything to the FTC only goes towards stopping that company in the future and doesn’t help you get compensation when you were victim to a third party trade-in scam or an AT&T trade in scam.

We can help. Arbitration is the next step toward getting compensation. Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution that lets you present your case in front of a neutral arbitrator. If you want compensation for trade-in scams we can help.

Submit your claim below for free to get started:

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