Apple iPhone Upgrade Program with a Business Account

  • 11 September 2019
  • 73 replies

I am currently on a t-mobile business plan and wanting to upgrade my iPhone using the Apple iPhone upgrade plan. I have done this the last two years with the same t-mobile plan without, however now the app fails to confirm my carrier. I am asked to enter my cell phone number and the last four digits on the primary account holder's social security number (me) but when I do, I get an error that the "feature is not available right now" ... however when I friend did the same thing his worked. He is a regular t-mobile customer, not business.

How can this be fixed?


Best answer by tmo_amanda 13 September 2019, 12:46

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73 replies

Not too scared. Worst case scenario you just use the 3U tools program to activate the phone.


I have the same issue. Talked to Apple yesterday and they claimed it was a T-mobile issue. I had a chat with a T-mobile rep via the T-mobile app and was followed up with a phone call. I was told it was due to high volume and to try again tomorrow (which is today). I've tried all day today to get through but all I keep getting the same message saying that "Your T-mobile account is not supported on You can purchase a full price iPhone once pre-order begins and insert an active SIM card or contact T-mobile to activate your service".

Not sure what is going on but it's extremely frustrating.

Same issue as everyone else, no problems upgrading last two years but getting the “account not supported” error.

Talked with a manager at Apple store support about this and discovered that the problem is with Citizens One, the lender for the program.  Their loan terms require an active postpaid individual account and do not allow business customers.  Apparently between this year and last year T-mobile changed their systems and that is why they are catching it now.

Just got off the phone with Apple and was told that corporathe/business accounts are not eligible for Upgrade Program. No notice or anything. Im headed to t-mobile now to see how to get off the business plan. What a mess. What other options do we have if we’re in the program but technically not? I have no idea. Lots of people are on business accounts in this program.

I love how we are in T-Mobile's support page and yet not getting ANY support from them. 


Well, at least we figured it out. Business accounts are no longer allowed on Apple's iPhone Upgrade program.

I called T-Mobile this morning and had them change my business account to a family account (it's a small business, thankfully), and requested that they retain the same features for the same rate plan I was paying.

This whole process was extra complicated and time-consuming because I had an old "T-Mobile ONE PLUS @Work" plan, which no longer exists. Fortunately, they were able to (allegedly) keep my features and rate.

This has been my first real issue with T-Mobile, and it was disappointing to experience them dropping the ball on this.

After they changed it, were you able to get pre-approval through the apple store app?  I should have tried calling them earlier today.  Too late for me now. 


Yes. I was able to do it immediately, while still on the phone with the T-Mobile rep.

Sorry about the timing on your part. It's very unfortunate that we got a runaround from Apple and T-Mobile for so long on this. There must be a lot of confused customers out there.

They’re going to have their hands full tomorrow when all of the biz accounts aren’t able to upgrade. Thanks for sharing. I’m headed Tom T-Mobile now to do exactly the same thing with the same plan. I hope they can help me out. I’m in Hawaii so T-mobile is still open here. What a disaster of a day this has been and so much time wasted

What phone number did you call?

I called the business number through the app and they said I had to go into a store in order to switch the account from a business to an individual account because they would have to "migrate" my account and pull a credit check with my social and not my EIN. 

Let us know what happens.  I might have to go into the store tomorrow to get this switched.

I'd love to know if you were able to keep your features and rates. I was told that they could not keep the same features and rates as I was converting plans. I guess we'll see since I have been disconnected multiple times during this process and it's still not done.

Took 3 HOURS. Was originally offered a plan for $105+taxes for 3 lines but then got disconnected and had to start all over again. The next 3 people i talked to (got disconnected multiple times) couldn't give me that same plan. Not sure why. I told them just transfer my lines and I'll deal with this crap tomorrow. Totally ridiculous. Can't believe how many disconnects and transfers I went through. I really feel burned for choosing T-mobile business.

Userlevel 4

Hello All!

I've read each of your posts and I'm sorry there has been a lot of confusion with no real answers. From digging into this more, I've found that most business accounts don't qualify as an eligible account type to participate in the iPhone Upgrade Program through Apple even though most have been able to do it previously. It looks like a lot of you have been switching your account types and that has been doing the trick. I'm going to pass along this thread to my Apple partners for feedback because i know this is something a lot of our business customers are not a fan of. I'll keep you posted with any updates.

What I’d really like to know now that I’ve been forced to go from business to consumer accounts is what T-mobile is going to do to keep me as a customer now that my monthly bill has gone up $50 a month due to this change? Is there any way to get closer to what I was preciously paying for? Such a huge headache and painful process. No one knew what was going on at all and it seemed like the conversation to consumer was a ridiculously long and painful process full of promises of a call back if I got disconnected and never once getting a call back during the 4 or 5 disconnects.

Userlevel 4

I'm honestly not sure, @magenta9944660​, as we don't have access to customer accounts via the Support Community to review your plan. Changing your plan type to be eligible for upgrade through Apple isn't something we foresaw happening. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm working with a few people to make them aware of the changes that have been made to business accounts discussed in this thread but don't have any answers or alternative solutions at this time.

I'm having the same problem; however, I have an employee account.

Hello @tmo_amanda​, Apple says business accounts should never be able to signup for the upgrade program. At this point it's Apple's and TMO's fault for having a crappy integration to validate accounts in the past. Now I am stuck in a contract where I can't use the upgrade feature at all the way it was intended. Here my options per Apple:

1. Buy my new phone cash and give my current XS for trade in (the problem here is that apple is giving me 500 for the trade in and the balance of the loan is 599.... also apple will charge me full price for everything and give me a credit when I return the phone so I need to keep paying for the old loan or pay it off) All this makes no sense.... next

2. Call TMO to change the account... oh really? TMO downgraded every single plan since I signed up so I will end paying around $80 more for exactly the same features I have now... (this reminds me why I left ATT where loyal customers were always stuck with the short end of the stick)...

The only way I will change my account is that TMO have some kind of SMOOTH/1-1 migration and looks like that's not a thing. As of right now I am just looking at other phone companies because again... I went through this before with ATT and is just dejavu

Thanks for any Help you can offer. I really feel burned by both Apple and T-Mobile. Whatever the reason for this change, it’s caused a lot of stress and frustration. It’s very unfair to have to do all of this due to some change that none of us were aware of or told about in advance. It really feels like bait and switch and now my family will either need to pay $600 more a year or look for a different carrier. I guess I will start shopping around tomorrow just in case this can’t be resolved.

Please let let us know if you find out anything previous business customers can do due to this change.

I’m having the same issue, and unless it’s fixed immediately, I’m leaving T-Mobile. This is ridiculous.

I don’t think this is something that can be fixed, but who knows. I have a feeling that there will be a LOT of folks calling customer support today due to this change.

I am so ready to get rid of this business account ASAP.

I had the same issue last year but forgot how it got resolved. 

I am going to call to get rid of this account

I ended up just getting out of the Apple Upgrade Program as a solution.

Going to get burned a little on the money, but not as much as switching plans will cost me.

And I appreciate its not an option for many, they need to be doing the monthly payment, but for me it seemed like the path of least resistance to just go the trade-in route for now until/if this mess ever gets sorted out.

Still strongly looking at switching carriers, since going consumer plan on T-Mobile was ridiculous expensive.

Probably the most comical thing from all of this when I tried to go into a store to discuss the issue with a T-Mobile store employee.

He kept insisting that I couldn't do anything until friday, when order's start, and that was why it was failing. so ignorant , and even better, he stood by his statement, even in face of proof otherwise.

Does anybody here know if you can put a cellular Apple Watch on a business account? If I can't do that then I am definitely switching.