07-17-2011 03:54:28 AM
I am currently living in Israel, although I am from the States. I was wondering if AT&T does unlock phones. In the UK, where I was before coming to Israel, you can get your phone unlocked (and EU law protects consumers). In the US, I am not sure if AT&T will allow my phone to be unlocked. When you buy a prepaid phone (as I'm sure you know), the major cost is the phone as the companies are not subsidizing a phone and getting rewarded with the plans fees. How do I get AT&T to unlock my phone (which I still want to use when I come back to the States on AT&T's network)?
07-17-2011 05:54:01 AM
AT&T will provide the Unlock Code for phones on wireless plans if:
- Your wireless service has been active for 90 days or longer
- Your account is current and in good standing aka no past due balance.
- Your phone is not sold exclusively by AT&T
- Your phone's Unlock Code is available from the Manufacturer
I put the last 2 in bold so that you are aware not all phones are eligible to be unlocked. Wouldn't want you thinking the guy online said I just have to call to get my device unlocked, this rep is bsing me. You have to call in at 800-331-0500, and they will be able to give you the unlock code, and assist you with the process, if applicable.
07-19-2011 05:06:22 AM - edited 07-19-2011 05:07:19 AM
Your better option is just to purchase a non-branded (unlocked) phone to begin with. As you are correct - with a recently released device, you are paying the vast majority of the purchase price when you purchase it with prepaid service anyway.
There are quite a few disheartened at&t customers who have purchased recent models from at&t (Garmin G60, SE X10a, etc. at at&t's full retail, no commitment pricing), yet at&t refuses to provide the subsidy unlock code. There was a fairly recent ruling (state, I believe) that mandated the subsidy unlock codes are to be provided even for devices with an exclusive sales agreement once the age of that sales agreement has moved beyond 10 months. But at least to my knowledge, at&t still "hides" behind item #4 as stated in the prior post, while of course the manufacturer states they can't provide the code because at&t has to provide the authorization. IOW, the typical finger pointing designed to avoid accountability for the device vs. the service that goes along with the subsidized equipment purchase model.
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.
- Doug Larson