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Some customers can't use Apple's new iPhone Upgrade Program

Some customers can't use Apple's new iPhone Upgrade Program

September 25, 2015

For Apple fans, this is supposed to be a great day thanks to the arrival of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in stores around the world. For some, however, this day has brought grief and aggravation, according to some posts on Reddit.

This year, for the first time, Apple has introduced an iPhone Upgrade Program. Like AT&T Next and Verizon Edge, the program allows users to spread the cost of a new phone over 24 monthly payments with the option to snag a new iPhone after 12 months. The program is being backed by Citizens Bank, N.A.


Today, Sept. 25, some current iPhone owners had decided to use the program to purchase an iPhone 6s. Some, unfortunately, have been turned down at Apple retail stores.

Reddit user jlew715 notes:

Was just at the Apple Store trying to get my phone. Citizens, the company financing the iPhone upgrade program, is having huge system issues and hanging / blanket denying people at random. The Apple point of sale units say “insufficient funds” even if there are sufficient funds. The store manger and I called Citizens and the first level reps were clueless, but once I got to a third tier supervisor, she acknowledged the problem and that a fix was being attempted.

Just a PSA to anyone going in today for the upgrade program.

User GilgamEnkidu is equally furious:

I’m pretty speechless right now. After owning an iPhone since day one in 2007 and after weeks of excitement for the 6S and after waiting on line for 2 hours today I was told I wasn’t approved for the iPhone upgrade program. Frankly, I’m insulted. I came home and immediately checked my credit score to see and, according to anyway, it’s 738. I don’t understand why I was rejected. The employees told me that since it’s all handled through CitizensOne Loans that they had no idea. Honestly, with the exorbitant prices for buying a phone off-contract, the upgrade program was the deciding factor in my decision to upgrade. Now, I don’t know if I’ll stick with the iPhone. I’m pissed off, insulted, and embarrassed. Did this happen to anyone else?

Two Reddit comments don’t necessarily mean this situation is system-wide or even accurate. We have reached out to both Citizens Bank and Apple for clarification. We’ll update this post accordingly.

We would also like to hear from our readers. If you used the iPhone Upgrade Program to purchase a new phone, let us know how it went using the comments below. You can also send us a tweet.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus were first introduced on Sept. 9. They are available beginning today at Apple retail stores and third-party vendors in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

For more on today’s iPhone 6s launch, see: Long lines await the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and Early reviews: the iPhone 6s offers ‘screaming speed’ and is ‘the best smartphone on the market.’

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