Reply
Posted Jul 8, 2014
10:22:39 AM
View profile
Beware if ever need a phone unlocked for overseas travel

I have been with AT&T for 10+ years and just got the bad news that you now have to wait for the full 2 years on a subsidized phone to get it unlocked.

 

About 5 years ago I got a phone unlocked by AT&T after either 60-90 days before a trip to Europe.

 

When I got my son's new phone last summer the CSR told me it was 60 days and then I could get the phone unlocked, so either they were wrong or the policy changed.

 

Regardless this is pretty ridiculous.  What kills me is I submitted a request last Februrary after booking a trip to the UK for this phone and I bet back then it was still 60 days.  I got a response from AT&T when I submitted the request saying they have received the request, but never anything after that.  I repeated the process last week, same thing, got an acknowledgement from AT&T and nothing else, so today I called them and learned you know must have the phone for 2 years before they will unlock it.  So anyway, anyone submitting an online request should be aware that AT&T does not send out a response if they decline to unlock your phone.  It is up to you to call them.

 

I also wonder if switching to the Next plan a few months ago caused this, though nothing I can do about it now.

 

Good new is T-mobile's is much more reasonable and is going to unlock the phones so the family can use them in the UK in a few weeks.  T-mobile is going to pay the ETFs (which are small we only have 2 phones under contract now), we get 4 new phones, move up to unlimited data and save about $30 a month for the family.

 

Big companies do some really stupid things to run off their long time customers!

 

 

I have been with AT&T for 10+ years and just got the bad news that you now have to wait for the full 2 years on a subsidized phone to get it unlocked.

 

About 5 years ago I got a phone unlocked by AT&T after either 60-90 days before a trip to Europe.

 

When I got my son's new phone last summer the CSR told me it was 60 days and then I could get the phone unlocked, so either they were wrong or the policy changed.

 

Regardless this is pretty ridiculous.  What kills me is I submitted a request last Februrary after booking a trip to the UK for this phone and I bet back then it was still 60 days.  I got a response from AT&T when I submitted the request saying they have received the request, but never anything after that.  I repeated the process last week, same thing, got an acknowledgement from AT&T and nothing else, so today I called them and learned you know must have the phone for 2 years before they will unlock it.  So anyway, anyone submitting an online request should be aware that AT&T does not send out a response if they decline to unlock your phone.  It is up to you to call them.

 

I also wonder if switching to the Next plan a few months ago caused this, though nothing I can do about it now.

 

Good new is T-mobile's is much more reasonable and is going to unlock the phones so the family can use them in the UK in a few weeks.  T-mobile is going to pay the ETFs (which are small we only have 2 phones under contract now), we get 4 new phones, move up to unlimited data and save about $30 a month for the family.

 

Big companies do some really stupid things to run off their long time customers!

 

 

Beware if ever need a phone unlocked for overseas travel

257 views
3 replies
(0) Me too
(0) Me too
Post reply
Replies
(3)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Jul 8, 2014 11:06:45 AM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor
You may call it "stupid", but since AT&T is paying for the majority of your smartphone for you when you sign a contract, then they deserve the right to control where you can use that phone until you have paid them back the subsidy through your service fees during the contract period.

For basic phones, you can probably get them unlocked much earlier just because AT&T had a smaller portion of the phone that they paid. Consider that if you sign a contract and purchase a smartphone at a $450 discount, then you get the phone unlocked and use it on other networks, how is AT&T recovering their expenses for paying for your phone and the support that goes along with that? You are giving your money to another carrier, so there is no cost recovery there for AT&T, but there are expenses for supporting you and they still paid for most of your phone. AT&T does offer international roaming rates. Yes, those rates might not be as low as getting a local SIM, but once again, you are paying for a convenience of getting a phone discount, and only paying one source for your service.

As for a NEXT program, once you pay off the device, you can get it unlocked by AT&T. This means that you can go payoff your phone and then get it unlocked within a couple months of starting the agreement if you so desire. This means that you don't have to wait the full 2 years to get your phone unlocked if you really want to get it unlocked.

Jerry B.
"GeekBoy"

--

For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare.
You may call it "stupid", but since AT&T is paying for the majority of your smartphone for you when you sign a contract, then they deserve the right to control where you can use that phone until you have paid them back the subsidy through your service fees during the contract period.

For basic phones, you can probably get them unlocked much earlier just because AT&T had a smaller portion of the phone that they paid. Consider that if you sign a contract and purchase a smartphone at a $450 discount, then you get the phone unlocked and use it on other networks, how is AT&T recovering their expenses for paying for your phone and the support that goes along with that? You are giving your money to another carrier, so there is no cost recovery there for AT&T, but there are expenses for supporting you and they still paid for most of your phone. AT&T does offer international roaming rates. Yes, those rates might not be as low as getting a local SIM, but once again, you are paying for a convenience of getting a phone discount, and only paying one source for your service.

As for a NEXT program, once you pay off the device, you can get it unlocked by AT&T. This means that you can go payoff your phone and then get it unlocked within a couple months of starting the agreement if you so desire. This means that you don't have to wait the full 2 years to get your phone unlocked if you really want to get it unlocked.

Jerry B.
"GeekBoy"

--

For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare.

Jerry B.
"GeekBoy"

--

For additional help, please send a PM to ATTCustomerCare.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Beware if ever need a phone unlocked for overseas travel

2 of 4 (240 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Jul 8, 2014 11:59:17 AM
0
(0)
Traveler
Edited by recon91 on Jul 8, 2014 at 12:00:08 PM

Sure it is stupid.  I am a loyal AT&T customer who prior to this had no notion of looking to move to another carrier, but now I am and will be off AT&T by the end of the week.

 

"Consider that if you sign a contract and purchase a smartphone at a $450 discount, then you get the phone unlocked and use it on other networks, how is AT&T recovering their expenses for paying for your phone and the support that goes along with that?"

 

If they had unlocked my phone I would stay and continue to pay AT&T, that is how they would recover their expense.  If they unlocked it and I then ran off to some other carrier they would recoup their expense via ETFs.  As it turns out, the fact that they didn't unlock it is causing me to go to another carrier and that carrier will reimburse me for ETFs.  

 

See any irony in this?

Sure it is stupid.  I am a loyal AT&T customer who prior to this had no notion of looking to move to another carrier, but now I am and will be off AT&T by the end of the week.

 

"Consider that if you sign a contract and purchase a smartphone at a $450 discount, then you get the phone unlocked and use it on other networks, how is AT&T recovering their expenses for paying for your phone and the support that goes along with that?"

 

If they had unlocked my phone I would stay and continue to pay AT&T, that is how they would recover their expense.  If they unlocked it and I then ran off to some other carrier they would recoup their expense via ETFs.  As it turns out, the fact that they didn't unlock it is causing me to go to another carrier and that carrier will reimburse me for ETFs.  

 

See any irony in this?

Re: Beware if ever need a phone unlocked for overseas travel

[ Edited ]
3 of 4 (234 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Oct 4, 2014 9:36:16 PM
0
(0)
Tutor

We have using AT&T for over 20 yrs. This is very frustrated spending hrs on the phone, still can't get the phone unlocked. One of the reps even hung up on us. I guess AT&T assumes customers don't travel overseas. If they won't unlock the phone before contract expired, they should have told us up front. We thought by signing the contract, we are using AT&T phone services for the next 2 yrs and cannot switch to other carrier. If u unlock the phone, we will still be using AT&T for the next 2 yrs since we have the contract. Right from the begining I already asked the sale rep if I can get the phone unlocked, she said i just need to call customer services and she didnt mention about the 2 yrs contract restriction. Otherwise, I will pay for the full price, don't care about the stupid discount. I have the old phone unlocked with no problem before, i didn't think that it will be BIG issue this time. One of customer services rep suggested me to use my old phone, what the heck is she thinking, using my flip phone from 2005? What is the point to get a new phone??? I guess if customers need to travel overseas, they have to figure it out on your own.

What about the tablet? I can't use it overseas either? How do I know if it is locked? Do I need to wait for 2 yrs to get it unlocked?

 

We have using AT&T for over 20 yrs. This is very frustrated spending hrs on the phone, still can't get the phone unlocked. One of the reps even hung up on us. I guess AT&T assumes customers don't travel overseas. If they won't unlock the phone before contract expired, they should have told us up front. We thought by signing the contract, we are using AT&T phone services for the next 2 yrs and cannot switch to other carrier. If u unlock the phone, we will still be using AT&T for the next 2 yrs since we have the contract. Right from the begining I already asked the sale rep if I can get the phone unlocked, she said i just need to call customer services and she didnt mention about the 2 yrs contract restriction. Otherwise, I will pay for the full price, don't care about the stupid discount. I have the old phone unlocked with no problem before, i didn't think that it will be BIG issue this time. One of customer services rep suggested me to use my old phone, what the heck is she thinking, using my flip phone from 2005? What is the point to get a new phone??? I guess if customers need to travel overseas, they have to figure it out on your own.

What about the tablet? I can't use it overseas either? How do I know if it is locked? Do I need to wait for 2 yrs to get it unlocked?

 

Re: Beware if ever need a phone unlocked for overseas travel

4 of 4 (135 Views)
Share this post
Share this post