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Anonymous

New Member

 • 

25.7K Messages

Fri, Dec 28, 2018 12:36 PM

AT&T cannot or will not unlock my phone, but fully elegible based on their criteria ?!

Hello.

 

I recently bought a brand new phone for work, but it will not update with latest Android security patches. Called my manufacturer's support (LG), and they explained AT&T need to unlock the phone for this first. Then my long AT&T crusade started...

 

Contacted AT&T phone support, we went through the unlocking procedure and got my first denial because my account "has a past due or unpaid balance". This is not possible as I don't even have an AT&T account, and fulfill all the unlock eligibility criteria.

 

Second call to support, this one lasted half an hour, and the final suggestion was to reformat completely my phone... not an option after having spent 3 days installing and configuring my apps. Additionally the rep was not even sure this would actually work. My second unlock request was then denied again because of "certain (obscure) AT&T guidelines"...no more explanations !

 

Lastly my third and final unlock attempt failed as they I "tried to unlock this device too many times. Wait 30 days and then submit a new request". So my nightmare continues... Can anyone please help me ?

 

Many thanks and seasons' greetings !

Best,

 

Couple of unlock references to help here if needed: NUL818544744112, NUL422644749105

Responses

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

 • 

37.9K Messages

a year ago

@Anonymous Yes, you do not need to be an ATT customer to get the phone unlocked but the phone still needs to meet the unlock requirements. However, there appears to be one key point you are not understanding. Your ATT phone can only receive OS updates on ATT’s network, even if it is unlocked. 

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*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

ATTDmitriyCM

Community Manager

 • 

9.3K Messages

a year ago

Hi @Anonymous

 

Just read your thread and I think there is a little bit of confusion here so I would like to clarify some things. The unlock request and the code you were asking about in the beginning is for the network lock, and it has nothing to do with over the air updates. I actually saw your phone was getting service from your screenshot, so it was already unlocked. Unfortunately this fact has no effect on the phone's ability to receive updates. There is no OTA update lock or unlock process. All AT&T branded phones run a customized version of OS specifically built for AT&T, and the updates are provided by AT&T over the air as you know, but in order for the system to locate a device and authorize the update, it has to be physically connected to AT&T's own network (meaning it has to physically be in US with an active AT&T SIM card installed).

 

Please let us know if you have any other questions.

 

Thank you,

Dmitriy

Rethink Possible


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Anonymous

New Member

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25.7K Messages

a year ago

Hi Lizdance 40 and thanks for your useful reply. My comments on your reasoning:

 

1. The phone was bought and advertised as new on Ebay. Why would AT&T expect me to pay off any history (if any at all) ? I have a purchase proof from Ebay for almost 500$ , and customer support never asked for this in the first place.

 

2. No I don't have an AT&T account, but OTA updates come through WIFI no ? Why would AT&T unlock phones in this case, if no OTAs are ever provided ? Does not make any sense to me.

 

Any other help much appreciated. Thanks !

 

PS: I just want to use my (new) phone like everyone else here, and benefit from latest security updates. Is this too much to ask ?!

kdfederer

ACE - Expert

 • 

12K Messages

a year ago

You paid through eBay and bought from someone who originally purchased the phone. They may not have paid for the phone in full. If not, the phone will NOT be unlocked. It does not matter how much you paid, it matters that the person that originally purchased the phone paid for it in full.

This is a user to user forum. I am a user, just like almost everyone else on the site.
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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

 • 

75.2K Messages

a year ago

@Anonymous

Unfortunately you can’t always trust eBay sellers.  I’ve had mostly good luck.  But have purchased one phone that the customer claimed was ‘mint’ with significant scratches around bottom of the phone.  And they had defaulted on the account, so I could not get a free unlock from ATT. 

Att identifies its devices only if connected to the network via cellular service.  While the update completes over Wifi, it cannot initiate without verifying IMEI, which is only done if the phone is on its network.  

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

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Anonymous

New Member

 • 

25.7K Messages

a year ago

Interesting suggestion thanks !

 

Based on your feedback, and after a long research online (as my FOTA updates are still blocked by AT&T) I found the following information under: Hidden Menu > Field Test > DM/FOTA Test > DMClient Test > Device Management Info

 

Capture+_2018-12-30-10-40-19.jpg

 

 

This screen (above) shows that the initial activation date of my phone seems to be in Chicago on the 20th of November 2018. I purchased it beginning of November from Switzerland, so cannot imagine how it could have been previously used. Furthermore the AT&T service reps I had on the phone twice not only never mentioned outstanding balances, but also provided me a manual 16 digit unlock code (which did not work).

 

Feel like I am really stuck now, and frankly leaning to avoid anything even remotely related to AT&T in the future, if they cannot offer a decent solution to my problem. Will try calling them one last time, then return my phone and never again this living nightmare !

Gary L

ACE - Expert

 • 

15.8K Messages

a year ago


@Anonymous wrote:

Feel like I am really stuck now, and frankly leaning to avoid anything even remotely related to AT&T in the future, if they cannot offer a decent solution to my problem. Will try calling them one last time, then return my phone and never again this living nightmare !


This doesn't seem to be an AT&T issue.

Most of your complaint against AT&T in this has you trusting the ebay seller in Switzerland that you purchased it from.

Why would someone in Switzerland even have an AT&T phone? Let alone a new one?

 

 

Contacted AT&T phone support, we went through the unlocking procedure and got my first denial because my account "has a past due or unpaid balance". This is not possible as I don't even have an AT&T account, and fulfill all the unlock eligibility criteria.

How could you know if this phone fulfills all the criteria? You aren't the original owner so you don't know the lineage of this device.

 

It could be an AT&T issue, but it smells fishy...

 

 

 

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Anonymous

New Member

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25.7K Messages

a year ago

Thanks Gary I will know soon enough where my phone came from.

 

What I am underlying is the terrible customer experience I had, and no solutions whatsoever from AT&T, as the ONLY PARTY here capable of delivering one (if they wanted to).  I bought an unlocked phone which is compatible with frequencies worldwide. It is just as I pointed out in the title----whether AT&T are willing to deliver OTA updates...or not to their unlocked phones.

 

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

 • 

75.2K Messages

a year ago

@Anonymous

I hate to be very blunt, but you ARE NOT a customer in any way.  The rest of us are, and as customers with phones purchased here and service and updates provided to us, we don’t have a problem.  

The seller should have known this, and I suspect you are in for more problems with the phone.  

I have purchased and sold ATT phones on eBay, and knowing they will only update on ATT I have refused to ship out of the USA, even when I got a message and offer to pay more (which I suspect is a scam).  I always list the phones warning they are unlocked, but will not update unless used on ATT.  Your seller didn’t care.  

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

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Anonymous

New Member

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25.7K Messages

a year ago

Beg to disagree again as the phone is clearly AT&T branded and so are its underlying services. From AT&T's unlocking FAQs it states very clearly that:

Do I have to be an AT&T wireless customer to make an unlock request?

No. We can help whether you have our wireless service or not. As long as you have an eligible device that works on our network, we’ve got you covered.

 

After my many requests it is very clear now they are not willing to support their unlocked devices, which is a real shame in my (non-expert) opinion. Lesson learnt... the hard way !

 

Irony of it all is that I would even be willing to splash out an extra 100$ or more to get me sorted, but AT&T just don't seem to care in my case. Maybe you are right, a person with an AT&T branded phone is a "sub-customer" of sorts...

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

 • 

75.2K Messages

a year ago

So you claim “ . . . the terrible customer experience I had . . . “  then acknowledge you are NOT a customer.  

Did I not say, bluntly, that you’re not a customer?  Yes I did.  

As a customer, I get a good experience.  

 

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T or any carrier. Never have, never will. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
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Gary L

ACE - Expert

 • 

15.8K Messages

a year ago


@Anonymous wrote:

Thanks Gary I will know soon enough where my phone came from.

You said you got it from Switzerland. 

That said, that fact that you got a locked phone from another country where it won't work (since it's locked) is kinda odd and suspicious. Plus, it's sold as "new".

 

Search the forums, you'd have to dig hard to find a stranger unlocking story.

 

Beg to disagree again as the phone is clearly AT&T branded and so are its underlying services.

Good to know on the branding. Not sure what point you are making. If you purchased a stolen device, it's not like you are an AT&T customer automatically.

 

From AT&T's unlocking FAQs it states very clearly that:

Do I have to be an AT&T wireless customer to make an unlock request?

No. We can help whether you have our wireless service or not. As long as you have an eligible device that works on our network, we’ve got you covered.

After my many requests it is very clear now they are not willing to support their unlocked devices, which is a real shame in my (non-expert) opinion. 

Please note the word ELIGIBLE, that means meets the requirements: which could be 6 months on the network, a 2-year contract or all payments made on the device (over 30 months), or not reported stolen and I'm sure some other things that I can't think of.

 

Here we go, coincidentally the requirements are referenced on the page that you linked to! Not sure how you could miss them as they are the next bullet down (and there were only 3 bullets in the FAQ!) and cover pretty much what I said with a link to even more requirements at https://www.att.com/esupport/article.html#!/wireless/KM1262649

 

And now I'm confused, you say "support their unlocked devices", I thought you were trying to get it unlocked??

 

 

 

What I am underlying is the terrible customer experience I had, and no solutions whatsoever from AT&T, as the ONLY PARTY here capable of delivering one (if they wanted to). 

It's not AT&T's job to find a solution if you have a phone that does not meet the eligibility requirements. The party responsible is who sold it to you.

 

By not returning it, YOU are CHOOSING to take responsibility for no solution to this. 

 

I'm not saying they don't occasionally have some difficulty unlocking a phone occasionally, but your phones history is odd right off the bat and is off the continent for some reason. That's suspicious and quite possibly not going to be resolved by AT&T (so return it).

 

  • Rember the Golden Rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated.
  • Just because my answer does not solve your issue (or agree with you), it may still be correct information...
  • Stating a fact about how something works, is NOT taking sides, it's just stating a fact...
  • Information provided might not be for "you" only, it might be clarification for other community members.
  • This is the public AT&T Community Forum (not AT&T support), please do not post personal info.
  • When provided an answer, please click "Accept solution" which helps other people to find an answer more quickly.
The (very) fine print - This footer is at the bottom of all my posts, its particulars may, or may not, apply to you & your post.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and 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.
Anonymous

New Member

 • 

25.7K Messages

a year ago

Yes seems obvious the tides are against me. To clarify my phone is SIM unlocked and works fine, but OTA locked...meaning it will never update, ever. Appreciate the time you spent here, and am amazed how much input you offered with no links to AT&T ! Believe me if I had any other choice but to reinstall a new phone I would have done so already. As you known Android phones are not exactly a breeze to swap, and I just wanted an option/hope from AT&T. None provided obviously and case closed thanks again. 

 

 

Anonymous

New Member

 • 

25.7K Messages

a year ago

Yeah thanks for pointing this out - this is exactly the issue and very different behaviour to European models. Here phones are not (forever) locked to an operator for OTAs, and we have full freedom to move from one to the other, still receiving precious software and hardware updates---from the manufacturer directly ! You are also right for pointing out that these locked phones (sold as SIM unlocked) should NEVER leave the US as utterly useless if that is the rule.

 

Have a great new year and appreciate all your help !