Promotional Trade-In Credit Never Applied to Account?

  • 7 January 2022
  • 22 replies


Several months ago, I moved from Sprint to T-Mobile and traded in my paid-off, fully functional and cosmetically near-perfect iPhone XR during a promotional offer to “Get an iPhone 12 on Us” with any Apple trade-in in good condition. 

I had a solid, grandfathered in price at Sprint, but after reviewing all of the conditions of the promotion, I realized that I could potentially be saving money with a new phone if I met all of the promotional requirements. 

So, I went in to a T-Mobile store and spoke with a representative who, after inspecting my phone, determined that I was eligible for the full promotional value of the phone, and we began the process of switching my line from Sprint to T-Mobile. This process required ‘’porting” the number from Sprint to T-Mobile. It usually only takes a few minutes, however, my porting was significantly delayed. I waited in the store for about 45 minutes, before the representative told me I should likely come back several hours later before store close to finalize the process, as they believed the port would have finished by then. 

When I returned, the port was not complete and the store representative told me I would have to come back in the morning to finalize the process and finish my trade-in. When I spoke to the representative, I asked if this would effect my promotional credit, as it was the ONLY reason I had any desire to switch from Sprint to T-Mobile. The representative, who I believe was a sales manager, assured me it would not effect the value of my trade-in promotional credit whatsoever. They informed me they would leave a note on my account, affirming the value of the trade-in even in the unlikely event that the promotion expired the next day (which they did not believe to be the case) as I had started the process the day prior and the process was delayed due to T-Mobile’s devices. 

I came back the following morning to finish the trade-in process, and the sales representative who had helped me the day before was not working, nor did the store signage reflect the same promotion it had the evening before. I spoke to the available representative who had no knowledge of the creation of my account in the first place, so the process had to be started over completely. 

As this happened, I spoke with him about the promotion I had received the day before and mentioned the name of the sales associate who had helped me and guaranteed my promotional offer. I asked him to guarantee the promotional offer as well before finishing the process, because if it was no longer valid I could not afford the change in phone plans. He gave me all assurances that he understood the situation and would ensure the credit was applied, then completed the process. 

While going through all final documents after the process was complete, I saw that the credit applied for my trade-in was listed as “$7.39/billing cycle” - $33 LESS than the promotional credit I was supposed to receive. As soon as I saw this, I called T-Mobile customer service and informed them of the situation and the error. They then assured me that it would take up to two billing cycles for the change to appear, but that they had applied the promotional trade-in value to my phone. 

After one billing cycle, I did not see the credit applied to my account or any documentation of the correction, so I reached out to customer service to verify that it was on record. Once again, I was told there was no record of the correction, and was quickly promised that they would personally ensure the correct price was given to me and immediately applied to my account. 

After two more billing cycles, the proper trade in credit still did not appear, and I have reached out to T-Mobile every month since and have gotten essentially the same reply from all customer service agents - with absolutely no action on my account despite all assurances.

At this point, I am exhausted and extremely, extremely frustrated. I feel that my money is being stolen, as I never would have made the switch to T-Mobile were it not for the promotion I was promised. I made the switch and signed the contract under the believe, as was told to me by T-Mobile, that I was getting a significant promotional offer. I am now paying over $40 more a month than my original Sprint plan, a price which I did not budget for nor did I consent to, and am locked into a contract at that price. I have had to make other adjustments in my monthly bills because I can get NO assistance from T-Mobile despite this wrong doing being entirely their responsibility. 


22 replies

I’m the the same boat. I feel scammed. My original rep told me I’d get $200 trade in credit yet so far I only see $21 and no promotions listed in my account.

And I just got off with customer service who “gave me his word” that after two billing cycles I would get my promotional credit. There is no documents showing my promotional credit on my account or given to me by my original rep. No confirmation code. Each person I’ve seen in person gives me a different story of what might have happened and shrugs.

I believe after what I’m reading online, this trade in thing is a scam to lock customers into a new plan giving them the runaround when we try to reach out. Someone is eventually going to put in a class action lawsuit. 

If I were you, tell them you will put in a bad BBB rating and review. I feel that’s the only way they will resolve this. 

UPDATE: I talked to someone that finally sounded more knowledgeable and they offered me $80 goodwill credit and apologized my rep made a mistake in offering a promo that didn’t exist. It still sucks I’m out $100 from originally promised, but at this point I can’t get my trade-in device back and it’s a pain to do buyers remorse. Last time I’ll ever do a trade-in with them…it’s too risky and reps are all saying different things.

Same thing happened to me in a T-Mobile store. I traded in a Sprint iphone last summer for a $730 credit towards a new iphone for the same price. They are continually billing me for half the amount, no matter how many times I have complained. They keep telling me it’s resolved and it never is.

I’m really close to filing a “bait-and-switch” complaint with my state Attorney General’s office.


Same thing happening to me. I kept my phones with the promise of a lease buy-out in Nov. 2021 and still being double billed and charged for the devices that are actively listed and paid-on in my TMobile account.


I could’ve gone to another carrier — this promotion seems very bait & switch. 

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T-Mobile does not honor the trade-in promotional values

We had the same issue as well. We went from ATT to T-Mobile under the impression we could get up to $800 credit for our X and XR trade in. We were told $122 was a quote but would be evaluated for the remainder credit. 

It’s been four months and no more credit has been issued. We handed over immaculate phones over $1500 and received $244 in credit. 

When we signed up it was a newer employee that said we had all these benefits and come to find out all we got was one year of Netflix. We were falsely advertised a bunch of promises and T-Mobile hasn’t came through with any of them. 

I had the same thing happen to me. Bait and switch for sure! 

TMobile Puerto Rico also blocks me from reaching out to TMobile US so I was stuck with the bad customer service in PR. Do you know what did work? Write on their Facebook page so everyone can read. This still didn’t fix the issue for me since I STILL DID NOT GET WHAT WAS OFFERED IN STORE AND I SIGNED ON FOR but I did receive an extra $200 off my last bill in essence bringing what I was going to pay for my phone in the end down even more. Will I stay with TMobile? NO!!!!! This was the second promo (can’t be a coincidence) I got burned on so I assume it’s a usual tactic for TMobile to mess with their customers hoping they don’t catch it on their monthly bill or they just get tired of calling over and over again and seeing nothing happen and quit and except the fact that they are getting robbed. This is my last TMobile contract since I am stuck under it for a while longer. I appreciate the extra $200 but it all would have been much easier for everyone had TMobile just honored what was offered to me at the store and what I contractually obligated myself to. In my eyes TMobile as a business (not their employees) are just a bunch of cons and crooks. That's bait and switch, it’s illegal, it’s a crime and a bad business practice and it should ultimately be punished. I am still waiting for someone to reach out to me for a failed promo on 2x1 for smartwatches and this was almost 2 years ago. I ended up paying full price for both and since I caught on to it when I was almost done paying for them they told me contact their customer service division through written letter….. NOTHING HAPPENED!  Lost $475 on that failed promo.


I am going through this right now. I went through my app on my old phone under my login, went to upgrade, when asked about trading in my phone, I marked yes and they valued my phone at $800. When I get my bill, it shows that I am to make monthly payments when I was told that with my trade in and down payment I wouldn’t have a monthly payment but would have a credit. Have got the run around for several weeks now and talking in circles. I call them out and demand for them to listen to the recorded phone call. Workers document different than what they tell the customer. It is ridiculous. Still working the problem. Not giving up

We got the same issue. We had 4 lines. Only 2 lines got the credit monthly, and another 2 lines got nothing.

We are still dealing with T-mobile on the iPhone 13 trade-in rebate. We have been calling them many times since January 2022. Every single time after the call, they said they took care of it, and the credits should be reflected to the account in a month or two. After 2 months, we still hadn’t seen the credit. Then we called again, and they said it was declined. What were they talking about? When we submit the rebate, the system showed approved. Also, all 4 iPhone were purchased and trade-in the same way. Why did they only approve 2 of them?

My wife and I are so tired of dealing with them. I am almost at the point that I give up the credit, and switch to AT&T. I really can’t deal with T-mobile customer service anymore. From what the accent of the representatives, they were not in US. They just read whatever showed on the screen.

Such a scam. I got my phone March 2021. Suppose to pay $5/m for my phone but this still charge me $27. No…. I gave you my trade in. I still have to call EVERY SINGLE MONTH to make them fix my bill and it’s the same run down “so sorry this won’t happen again”. I try to be so nice because it’s not the reps fault - but I just tell them yes it will. Now I am so over I just don’t pay my bill on time, turn off auto pay, and then make them give me like $80-100 in credits because I am so annoyed I can’t call every month. 

After doing this so many times I told them I need out of the contract and I won’t be paying the early termination fee because they have failed to properly bill me every month for 1.6 year. They agreed to it, but then I would loose the rest of my trade in credit and had to pay the rest of the phone off. I decided against it because they owe that to me…. plus their internet is the only service I get where I live. 

It sucks because I love the service/Internet…. want to get an Apple Watch… but not if they can’t hold up their end of the agreement, month after month. I mean, in the beginning they even charged me for TWO phones!! I don’t even have two phones. 

This is obviously a reoccurring/common scam and this should get on the news. They know what they are doing……. 

I am seeing a similar scenario. We traded in my husband and son’s phones when switching from sprint to T-mobile. We were assured that the trade ins would be accepted but that the trade in would not be applied to the account until the phone was received at the main T-mobile branch. I had called to check on the trade ins and was assured the credit would be applied to my account, however, a year and a half later the trade-ins were never applied. The company basically lies and promotes misleading promotional information. We could have sold our phones on our own and received the money, but instead this very corrupt company took our phones and made a profit off of our phones and the sale of the over-priced phones. I will be paying my balance off and switching carriers. I will be filing a complaint with the FTC and FCC. This company needs to be investigated for their misleading information and corrupt means of managing business. 

Literally just had this same issue. It’s my fault for not looking at the bill closer until now but I honestly had a few promotions with T-Mobile when we switched from Sprint. I got the text message that our 4 iPhone trade ins were completed and credited but one of the iPhone 7 Plus 128gb weren’t eligible for the installment credit because as the main account holder, I chose the BOGO for the 5th line for a free phone. Store associate never mentioned that. He sold me on trade ins for the iPhones with credits for each phone/line. I’d get a free 5th line with a free specific phones only but even that promotion had issues. Got the Apple iPods promotion too and they tried to sell me on the iPad promo too. Why offer any of these promos if the system can’t handle it or if the promise isn’t going to be kept? They did offer to credit some but we definitely lost out on a lot more. Honestly the only way we’d probably even see a better resolution is when we decide to leave tmobile. 

I am going through this right now. I went through my app on my old phone under my login, went to upgrade, when asked about trading in my phone, I marked yes and they valued my phone at $800. When I get my bill, it shows that I am to make monthly payments when I was told that with my trade in and down payment I wouldn’t have a monthly payment but would have a credit. Have got the run around for several weeks now and talking in circles. I call them out and demand for them to listen to the recorded phone call. Workers document different than what they tell the customer. It is ridiculous. Still working the problem. Not giving up

Ugh! We got told this exact same thing and we still have a $300 phone bill. We also were suppose to get the promotional credit for trading in our phones and the girl who helped us entered our phones into the system wrong so when we sent them in we didn't get the promotion because the phones don't match what's in the system and 5 different people have said they would fix it and it hasn't happened.

What a scam… wish i read this sooner...on Sept, 2021 I went to my local T-mobile store looking to switch over from sprint to t-mobile and in the process i was offered a promotion deal to trade-in/upgrade for my phone. I had an iphone 8 256 gb.  After talking to one of the employees about their current deals, they employee suggested i sign up for the Magenta MAX and I would get a $800 trade-in credit towards an Iphone mini 12. i really wasn't interested in trading because i was happy with my iphone 8 and had 256 gb but was told if i didn't switch it would cause issues with the new service etc.etc. so reluctantly i traded in my phone under the condition that the trade in value would cover the cost of the new phone. low and below countless hours on the phone with customer service and 17 months later still paying $22.08 for the iphone mini12.. this scam is so convoluted that the customer service reps do not even know how to explain or handle the questions although one did say that there's was something wrong with the phone i traded in .. so i asked why wasn't i contacted and why wasnt the phone returned if it wasn't suitable to trade in then proceeded to tell me to contact the store where i purchased the phone. I did contact the salesperson and she was surprised at what had occurred and at that time i was on the plan for 4 months so she refunded $120 via gift card (at that time i was being charged $30/ month for iphone 12 mini)... (not sure why now im being charged $22.08/month) and told me she would attempt to get it straighten out but to date issue has not been resolved. Again where is my phone?? why wasn't it returned ?? why didn't i get the credit that was promised?? all questions still awaiting responses.

deceitful practice and untrustworthy company never had these issues with Verizon or sprint

very dissatisfied soon to be ex customer

UPDATE.. I wrote a letter to T-mobile customer service and my issue was resolved and i was made whole. The customer service rep. who contacted me was courteous, knowledgeable and empathic. 


i think we have been looking for resolution in the wrong places..write a letter 

Kat V

I have the same issue and even worse. They promised to take care of balance device payment from Verizon when I switched 2 months back. They didn’t do anything with Verizon which costed me $679 dollars to Verizon. I called and they said there is glitch in the system and they will approve and send me a master card for $679 but I have not yet received it.

TMobile is also double billing me. They are charging on my two cards without even my approval.

I am on the same boat . After several follow-up with customer care representative, one of the supervisor talked to me saying he will check with backend team and call me back with update. When I called after a month, customer care representative told that there is comment in ticket from supervisor mentioning promotion code could not be applied and they refused to transfer the call to  supervisor. Now I regret my decision of moving from ATT to T-Mobile. 

Back in April 2022, Sprint had an offer for a Pixel 6 for free after trade-in (original value $600). A customer rep online gave me that offer and said it applied to my Pixel 5. Of course, I was aware that I had to pay the tax on the phone and the activation fee, totaling nearly $80. But Sprint/T-Mobile started charging me for the phone $25 per month for 24 months with only a $12.50 credit, basically charging me $300 for the “free” phone. I called and they claimed that my phone was a Pixel 4a and only qualifies for the half price promo. I had to send photos and screenshots of my phone as proof. They then gave me credit for the overcharge and assured me that I would be credited properly after that. Of course, they were wrong and I have to call back every month or 2 to get my credit. Luckily I have the email transcript of the original offer with the details, but even once they denied the refund. I called the following month and was able to get the refund. I’m now calling every 2-3 months, because it takes so much time to get this resolved. It really isn’t worth my time and frustration for $25 each month. I HATE SPRINT/T-MOBILE!!!!! If I didn’t have a contract with multiple phones to pay off I would drop them in a heartbeat for this BS! I don’t think they are screw ups, I think corporate doesn’t want to fix these issues because they figure that the customers will give up and that’s a lot of extra cash for T-mobile. At this point, when people ask me about my service, I tell them to go to Verizon.

T Mobile is a disastrous. I have been a customer of 6 years and recently in Jan 2024, i added two lines over the phone with customer service with the agent told me to give me 2 iphone 14 promax devices with a trade in of 1 iphone 12 pro and i phone promax 12 with a 800 dollar discount on each device price. I shipped two devices of mines to them through a  UPS prepaid envelope ( supplied by t mobile) in May or April after my several follow up for the UPS mailer envelopes. Since then they never applied discount and I have been paying for each device full cost per month (45.84 per month per device total 90) and i paid almost 10 months in between several times, i called customer service and they said they had  a problem. I stopped payments and they  are cutting services even after agreeing that the problem is from their end and one customer service agent  had done wrong. Ultimately, customer is suffering, i have been in calls with agent each time a minimum of 1.30h, No resolution. T mobile is cheating customers. I hope this will bring to their leadership team. i will quit T mobile

Still going through this. I only received 2 of the 4 credits. Every customer rep I’ve spoken to tells me the other two are still under review. It has been approximately 5 months of waiting. Just another way for T-Mobile to keep customers locked in, if they want to see the end of their credits. Or bait and switch which seems to be a recurring theme. Not what the company used to be when I had it years ago, regretting switching back. 

It has been for me since Jan 2023. They have disconnected my lines and when called they turned on but no one told me that service on charging for suspending. I had to pay a lot of money to get service because my other members in the line are suffering. T mobile is a disastrous. I didn't expect this from T Mobile . Where is their leadership team. They may be successful business, i am sure one day they will get hit very hard if they continue do the same


Same thing happening to me

How are they allowed to do this?

My story is similar to the rest of you.  I had a Sprint line for my daughter, and a year or so later my wife and I went to T-Mobile.  We kept them separate for awhile but decided to merge the Sprint (turned into T-Mobile) with our T-Mobile account.  It seemed like T-Mobile just doesn’t know how to do this.  With a paid off phone, we thought about closing the old Sprint line and going with the bring-your-own-phone trade-in deal offered at the time (back in October), but we would have lost the phone number.  After contacting T-Mobile, they said that they could work it so that we could merge the accounts, keep the number, and get the same trade in offer, so that is the approach we took.

The first thing they did wrong was charge us twice for November on the old Sprint/T-Mobile account.  It had already been merged in, so we were paying for it on our main account, but they continued to charge the closed account.  It took 3 months to get this resolved, and they finally sent a debit card for the duplicate payment.

The second thing they did wrong was make me have to contact them again and again to get the bill credits started.  I had to keep reminding them of the previous conversations and the deal we agreed to.  It took until February to get bill credits for the trade in that they “received” back in November.  They applied 5 monthly credits.  The way T-Mobile does it, they give a starter credit for the phone, and they make the rest up in bill credits, so that the total is the cost of the new phone.  I understand that, and I expect the monthly bill credits to be less than the monthly charges, because I am supposed to get the difference up front.

The third thing they did wrong was to not give us the up front trade-in value of the phone.  This new phone was supposed to be free with trade in and bill credits.  Instead, I will end up paying $180, just to keep an old phone number!  Had I known that, I would have given up the phone number, closed the old account, and brought the new phone with the “add a line” promotion.

They never evaluated the old phone and made any claims that it did not deserve the full trade in value.  It was a working phone, and there was nothing wrong with it!

Whenever I compare the main large phone carriers, T-Mobile seems to do better than Verizon or AT&T, but their way of getting money seems to be in their incompetent manner of handling things like this.