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That does not sound right, sandiegoguy...... if you have made 12 consecutive on-time payments (that means you pay within 2 days of your due date, no payment arrangements, no suspensions, and you don't get sideways with your account), then you should be qualified to be moved to a well-qualified credit approval and get yourself into all sorts of trouble with a zero down phone all you want.
I can confirm this works, as its exactly what I had to do - limp along with an original AT&T Galaxy Note (no numbers after. THE Note) for a year, and then I was moved into a better credit approval bracket and was able to get my existing Galaxy Note Edge (which I adore ) for not quite zero down, I still had a small down payment, but much less than what I was approved at when starting service (evil evil Student Loans a bane upon my existence unto the end of time. Amen.)
If you have met those requirements, then the switch is automatic, in my understanding. Since that switch clearly did not happen, maybe a system error responsible or maybe one of the requirements to qualify was overlooked? I would recommend giving a call to Customer Care at (800) 937-8997, (or 611 from your T-Mobile phone will get you to the same place), and have them look through your payment history. If they find that you do, in fact, qualify for 'Smartphone Equality', then they will be able to escalate the issue for resolution.
Fingers X'ed for you. Let us know!
All best- wtssup
Thank you very much wtssuperpower for the very informative response! Sorry for the very late response, there's so much happening for the past months that's why it's unfortunate that this issue with T-mobile adds to it.
I did call the Customer Care multiple times and was told different answers about why my equipment credit available (ECA) is low. One said that it's because I have two phones on Jump-on Demand! so I technically owe T-mobile, one said that I'm paying too early for my due date (paying the between 24-28th of every month, due date is 12th of next month). One rep has escalated it to the T-mobile financial department and after several weeks I got a mail that says,
"As you remember, when you recently requested financing for a mobile phone handset, you were required to pay a deposit or down payment. This was due to the status and terms of your account. This information is for your records and does not affect your relationship with T-mobile in any way."
It doesn't really explain why my ECA is low or why I can't have the Smartphone Equality program when I've been paying on time for the past 2 years.
Hmmm.... Well, I gotta be honest: I don't like those answers you've been given. They are not very helpful, that's certain.
My thought is that its time to contact T-Force, T-Mobile's social media customer support group. They may be contacted on either Facebook or Twitter, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You're never "in the wrong department", therefore no transfers. And (usually) no need to endlessly repeat oneself since there is a running record of the conversation. You just send a message to Tmobile on either of those platforms, just like you're messaging a friend. The response time is very quick usually. About 3-4 minutes in my experience.
Another thing I just thought of ...... 3 years account tenure will definitely serve to raise your Equipment Credit available. It could very well be that with two phones on a payment plan that is using up your available credit.
In any case, call in the calvary when you get a chance. You've got me curious now...... hahahaha
Maybe this should serve as a message you should only buy what you can afford. Only homes and cars should need to be financed. Jewelry, furniture AND phones s/b paid for.