Activating iPhones. Two iPhones – one family plan

Over the weekend my wife and I upgraded our cell phones.
We’ve had a family plan with T-Mobile for several years and had been fairly happy with it. Especially the price, both of our phones combined only cost us about $50/month. Lately we’ve both been having problems with the service, which makes me think T-Mobile is having network problems as opposed to one of us having a bad handset. For the last couple months we would make or receive calls and we would be able to hear the person on the other end but they would not be able to hear us, and like I said, it happened with both of our phones. Friday was the last straw, as I called my wife 4 times and we had problems each time.

So, Sunday we went to the local AT&T store. I would have rather gone to the Apple store but AT&T was closer and gave us an opportunity to look at other phones. Anyway, we bought 2 iPhones, which we activated once we got home. Activation was easy, but there was a little confusion on signing up for the family plan. One of the options in iTunes is to sign up 2 or more phones on a new family plan account. I assumed after I set up the first phone it would prompt me to set up additional phones, but this was wrong. After the first phone was activated there was nothing to tell me what the next step should be, so I plugged in the 2nd phone and selected the family plan option again. About half way through I realized it was going to create another separate account instead of adding the phone to the account I’d just created, so I started over and used the existing customer option to add a phone. I guess I was only a new customer for the first phone, which I suppose is true, but since the option I picked originally said activate multiple phones I assumed it would prompt me for multiple phones. In any case, it only took about 20 minutes to activate my first phone and transfer the number from my old one, and about a half hour for the second including time I wasted trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

I have not called T-Mobile to cancel my old account. I had logged into their website to view my account information and find my account number prior to moving the phone numbers. After the new phones were fully activated I tried to log into the old account again to look for instructions on cancelling, and could not log in. The web page told me the numbers had been cancelled, so I’m thinking the account closed automatically.

3 thoughts on “Activating iPhones. Two iPhones – one family plan

  1. To answer your last paragraph, when you port your cell phone number, you do not need to call your old phone company. So you are in the clear with getting T-Mobile canceled.

    I did the same thing from Verizon to ATT, and it was a pretty smooth transition.

    One question for you. How did the family plan thing work? My wife and I want to buy a couple Iphones and put them on a family plan, but ATT will only let you buy one Iphone online. Did they give you a hard time getting the family plan set up? Also, did you get the “Two year contract price” for both of them, or did you have to pay full price for one of them?


  2. Wow, this is a pretty old post to be getting a comment. The family plan has worked out great. I originally posted this when we bought our first generation iPhones, and back then you didn’t really have any restrictions on how many you could buy, and the setup was totally done through iTunes.

    We’ve since upgraded both phones to the 16gb 3G ones. We just walked into an AT&T store together and bought both 3G phones in one transaction. They restarted our 2 year contract and gave us the subsidized price on both phones, plus something around $18 upgrade fee or activation fee or whatever. Since the newer pricing plans are eligible for corporate discounts that the original ones weren’t, the monthly service cost is pretty much a wash. I am paying $15/month more now, which is the same as the extra unlimited SMS charge I added on this time.

    Also, the old first generation iPhones sold for about the same price on Ebay as I paid for the 3G ones, so upgrading was nearly free.


  3. Scott…question…

    I am reading that you have two iPhones on one family talk accounton ATT. My wife has T-Mobile and I have ATT…her contract is up in May. My phone is eligible for upgrade in May also. We are going to switch her to ATT. I am thinking of getting us both iPhones. My question for you is about how much you pay per month for having both iPhones on one plan? Do you pay one $30 data fee? How many minutes? Text messaging, etc.?




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