Buying an iPhone 6 During the Worst Time of Year to Buy Phones

Photo credit: Kārlis Dambrāns, CC BY 2.0.

In an earlier episode of The Billfold, titled The Cost of Having a Janky Phone, I told you all I wanted to upgrade my three-year-old HTC Evo by August 1, and I wanted to finally buy an iPhone.

I bought my iPhone 6 on August 10. I hate missing deadlines.

I was ready to buy my new phone on August 1. A friend sent me a referral code to sign up with Credo Mobile (“phone-powered progressive change”), and if I bought my phone with that code, we’d both get $100.

So I hopped on to Credo, checked the coverage in my area, and then decided I’d buy an iPhone 6 because it was the highest number of iPhone offered, so that probably meant it was the best.

Then I decided to run it by my friends, and the dialogue kinda went like this (paraphrased):

ME: So should I buy an iPhone 6 or what, it is the biggest number of iPhone

FRIENDS: You’re going to buy a phone without testing it first tho

ME: Online shopping, get on trend

FRIENDS: Um the iPhone 6 is big, have you even seen it

ME: Do you understand that the only thing I know about this phone is that it has a number 6 attached

FRIENDS: Well, some of us think it is too big for comfortable use

ME: Is it so big that I will have to remove snacks to fit it in my purse

FRIENDS: Probably not

ME: So can I buy this thing, I have an arbitrary deadline here

FRIENDS: This is the worst time of year to buy phones, maybe wait until September, iPhone 7, DISCOUNTS???

ME: My phone is broken now tho

FRIENDS: Seriously, go to a store and hold one

ME: Stores are the worst but okay

I ended up going to a T-Mobile store because it was the closest one to my apartment. The T-Mobile customer service rep really wanted to have a conversation with me about the benefits of switching to T-Mobile, but I said “I’m just going to look at your phones for a few minutes and then I’m going to buy one online,” and he left me alone. It was excellent customer service.

At this point, a person who was interested in phones might have paid attention to details like battery life or megapixels, or the way the phone felt in the hand. But I’m a satisficer. It took me maybe two full minutes to walk through the phone display, note that all the phones were larger than they used to be, and pick up an iPhone 6. It was a phone. It appeared to work. It had the biggest number on it. Done.

(I will be honest; I was briefly tempted to buy an iPhone 5S because I would have saved $50. But then I told myself not to cheap out on this.)

So I went back to Credo and used the $100 referral code to get my phone. In my case, the $100 came off the cost of my purchase, bringing my bill to $53.70. I’ll be interested to see whether my friend gets $100 off his bill, or if Credo offers him store credit on headphones and travel chargers.

Then Credo invited me to e-sign a bunch of petitions supporting progressive social causes — Bernie Sanders’ name was prominently mentioned — and I was all awww yeah, I am doing the minimum amount possible and I’m still feeling great about myself!

Lastly, I had the option to trade in my HTC Evo for cash. I’ll leave you with the image of what my janky phone is worth:

Photo credit: Kārlis Dambrāns

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.