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Cellular Phones - F&A Reimbursement Policy FAQ

This document explains answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Finance & Administration Cellular Reimbursement Policy.

This document explains answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Finance & Administration Cellular Reimbursement Policy.


100% Liability

If 100% responsibility is agreed upon, will personal usage be allowed?

No, personal usage is not allowed and as a corporate responsibility account. All lines/phones provided for corporate liability use will be audited periodically for compliance.

I work in the field on a daily basis to support University business. Does this qualify for a 100% liability phone?

Please review your business needs with your manager who can provide this guidance.

What does "Function 100% responsibility, Employee Elects $75 for single device" mean?

An employee's position may require 100% University responsibility, however the employee may choose to carry one phone. In this case, the personal liability phone will be limited to a stipend of $75.

I support International locations. I really do not want to add International access to my personal plan. Does this qualify for 100% liability?

This seems like a good application for phones requiring 100% liability. You might consider a shared phone for your department for on-call technicians supporting the International sites. Please review with your manager who may submit this application as an exception.

Change Plans

Can I change plans with the current carrier and if so, will the termination fee apply?

Yes, you can change plans with the same carrier and no termination fee will apply.

Am I required to stay on the same plan if I take on personal and financial responsibility?

If you stay with the same carrier, you can change plans with no termination fee. If you change phone devices, you will enter a new agreement with the carrier. Changing carriers or canceling the line before contract end-date will result in the Early Termination Fee.

Change Vendors

Can I change vendors once I have personal responsibility on my line?

The process is complete once you also have financial responsibility. Please complete the appropriate transfer of this responsibility. When this is complete, you own the line and any decisions. If you cancel the service with the carrier before the contract termination date, you are responsible for those costs. If you have no contract termination date, you can make the change when you wish.

Will my phone work with a different vendor?

Verizon phones will not work on another carriers network. AT&T phones will work once the phone is unlocked.


If my phone will be changed to personal liability, but my department uses my phone (android) for testing applications, will UChicago provide devices for testing services and applications?

We have not talked about this question, but it seems that devices that are required for testing (likely ITS devices) will be attained separately and potentially shared for testing purposes. This request would be submitted as an exception and would not be assigned to a specific person.

Can I have receive a stipend for more than 1 device, i.e. cellphone, iPad with a data plan, Mi-Fi, etc.

The stipend is applied for one cell phone. Please review the remaining devices with your manager for either 1) exception approvals, 2) cancellation of the line, 3) possible use of wireless access in-line cancellation.

My iPad has a data plan, can I keep this line if I do not have a cellular account?

We recommend using wireless access as a more economical means for data use while using tablets. Please review this need with your manager for continued use or exception approvals.

I recently upgraded my phone to an AT&T iPhone 6S. I'd like to keep this phone, move to my Verizon Family plan, but cancel the line. Can I do this?

First, it is not likely that the AT&T provided iPhone will work on the Verizon network. Second, if your account does not have a contract, then you can move the line to Verizon. Third, if your account has a contract, you are responsible for the termination fees associated with this line.

Employee Termination

What happens when an employee leaves the University?

The stipend ends for lines reimbursed.

What happens when an employee leaves the University and wants to change plans?

If the employee is using a 100% corporate liability phone, the University owns all responsibility. We may choose to reassign the phone/number or terminate completely. Since the employee has no financial responsibility, the employee cannot change plans.

If I leave the University, can I take the University Owned telephone number with me?

The University owns all corporate liability lines. It is our choice to allow the employee to retain the number. This will require both personal and financial responsibility assignments.


What is the exception process?

If you feel you have a need for service that is not defined in the policy, review this need with your manager. Your manager will review with your department's Finance Manager. If the exception is approved at this level, the Policy Administrator will review and either approve or decline with reason.

Job Responsibilities

I really do not want to attain a personal cell phone.

You should review this with your manager to understand the extent your position requires your availability. It is up to your manager to ensure the responsibilities of the position are met. There are cellular plans and phones that are well within the stipend amounts. You may also want to research this further.

I do not want to publish my personal cell phone number for business needs.

University phone service includes Single-number-reach which ensures that your office telephone number can reach your cell phone based on a schedule that you and your manager can agree to.

My job requires me to be on-call. Does this automatically qualify for a 100% responsibility account?

It is best to review the frequency of after-hours calls with your manager to determine if this may be a shared department phone instead which your manager will assign and manage on behalf of your team.

Locked Phones

My phone is locked. What does this mean?

All AT&T phones are purchased as a locked phone. The phone cannot be moved to a new carrier before the end of the contract. At the end of the two-year term, the phone can be moved to a different carrier. The employee can request the phone be unlocked within 24-48 hours. Early Termination Fees will apply if the contract has not expired.


What is the best way to determine the appropriate stipend?

We recommend that you review your cellular line costs with your manager. If you are using your current cellphone for both business and personal use, you'll need to assess your own use of this line for business needs.

Can I have access to the usage history for my cellphone to help determine how much is business verse personal?

We can provide the summary level of information for text, data and voice. Normally, providing any call detail to anyone requires approval by ITS Security and Legal.

Can I add a stipend for those users who currently do not have a university owned device or reimbursed through GEMS?

This is a budget decision. Once you and your manager agree to the stipend level, your department manager should submit this request to your division's Finance Manager for approval.

If I use a pre-paid phone, can I receive a stipend?

Providing you agree with your manager on a stipend level based on business needs, then yes, you can receive a stipend for any phone type/plan which you pay directly to your provider.

Is the stipend taxable income?

The stipend is not taxable.

Can I just continue to use my GEMS for exceptions?

No, the policy and the stipend reimbursement is the University's means for cellular reimbursement. Any item considered an exception should be reviewed with your manager, Finance Manager and submitted for approval through the Division Controller.

I don't think $75 will cover my expenses for business use. Can the Policy Office increase the stipend amounts?

The Policy Office will review this program and determine the appropriate levels for reimbursement if any. Many organizations do not provide stipends or reimbursement for cellular use. Many organizations stipend limits are significantly less than this policy.

How will the stipend be validated in future years?

If you feel that the stipend does not cover your costs then be prepared to share your total bill amount with your manager. If you feel it's worthwhile, you may also summarize your call detail utilization to review with your manager.


I went to an AT&T store and they said that my account still shows University responsibility and could not make a change.

Many cellular stores or kiosks do not have access to corporate liability services, therefore the store cannot fulfill our procedures for this transfer of responsibility. Please follow the process as defined in the communication and if you need assistance, please call 2-5800.

Can I still contact IT Services for support on my personal liability phone? They're so helpful and easy to work with.

Thank you for the compliment for our support but, unfortunately, the ITS Support team will be reserved for supporting cellphones for 100% liability phones, faculty and our Medical Center along with additional ITS offered services.


My position no longer requires a cellphone. Who pays the termination fee?

Termination fees will be paid for lines that are determined as no longer required by the University. These lines will be terminated before January 7, 2016. Termination Fees will be paid by the University and applied to the cost center for that cellular line.

If my cellular phone contract has not expired and I need a phone for my job, who is responsible for any fees?

We recommend that you stay with the current carrier through the contract end date in order to avoid Early Termination Fees. If you choose to cancel your personal liability line after January 7, 2016, you are responsible for the termination fee if you 1) cancel the service or 2) cancel the service to change carriers.

Is the department responsible for the termination fee?

The department is responsible for the termination fee for lines cancelled before January 7, 2016 determine where the line is no longer required for the business function.

Will I receive a pay increase since I will need to pay for my own phone use?

The stipend will cover the costs for your business needs. No, this does not result in a pay increase.

What happens if the employee does not transfer financial responsibility by January 4th?

The phone will be cancelled and the University will incur termination fees if any.

What if an employee does not want a personal cell phone?

This is fine, the phone number will no longer be available for use, assumes their function does not require they be reached through means other than their desk phone.

What is to stop an employee from letting the University cancel the plan and then go to a different carrier a week later?

This would allow the employee to change carriers without paying the termination fee. They would not be able to claim the same number. If the University cancels the number, this assumes their function does not require cell phone use therefore no further reimbursement or stipend will be approved and applied to their bi-weekly/monthly paycheck.

If your cell line is OUT of contract, can you port (transfer the line) to another carrier from the corporate account?

Yes. Fill out the cellular request form in ServiceNow and select port. You will receive the porting information needed to port your cell line from AT&T or Verizon to your preferred carrier.

Keywords:stipend, port, transfer, liability, 100%, att, Verizon, ETF, early_termination_fee, plan   Doc ID:58902
Owner:Kathy C.Group:University of Chicago
Created:2015-12-14 13:40 CDTUpdated:2017-03-07 08:36 CDT
Sites:University of Chicago, University of Chicago - Sandbox
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