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sdsuman's profile

Contributor

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7 Messages

Tue, Nov 24, 2020 8:53 AM

Galaxy S8 unlocking nightmares - AT&T to Verizon

My Galaxy S8 is locked and AT&T customer service is not helping!!  Based on browsing these forums this problem seems incredibly common...I needed to switch carriers due to poor service at my new address.  Somehow my phone was locked to AT&T even though I purchased it full price at Target 3.5 years ago.  I requested an unlock code which was approved and sent however it did not work to unlock the phone.  I have been on dozens of service chats, at least 6-8 hours of phone technical service calls with AT&T and Verizon (my new provider).  I've been directed by AT&T to Samsung as being responsible for the problem unlocking the phone and then told by Samsung customer service that they have zero responsibility for it.  I'm going on 4 days without a phone and have been told to "buy a new one" to fix the problem.

I see dozens of different offshore unlocking websites offering this service but I'm confused as to how they can get these codes when Samsung or AT&T and Verizon are not able to??  This is maddening and I've seen others on this forum who have been dealing with this for over a month now and still no solution??  Has anyone resolved these more complex phone unlock problems internally via AT&T customer service?  I am yet to see a story of a similar problem being fixed.

I've seen people recommend to file FCC complaints which is likely my next task.  Who knows whether this does anything but I'm fed up and out of ideas.

I know these forums are being prowled/commented on by all of the unlock service websites who charge for this thing but there has to be a more official carrier solution...

Any ideas anyone?

Responses

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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21.1K Messages

3 months ago

If ATT sent you a unlock code and it did not work well it could be Samsung made a mistake.  Was the phone ever replaced by insurance?

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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.

Contributor

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7 Messages

3 months ago

Actually a huge and positive update here, I did end up going with an unlock service and it worked.  I am so pissed at AT&T/Verizon/Samsung for giving me the runaround and then I Paypal some (Russian?) guy and within 24 hours I have all of the codes that I need and I'm done in 3 minutes.  I was really skeptical about it not working and recorded a video with my wife's phone of me going through the process successfully on my Galaxy S8.

Now that I have a phone that works, here is what I identified as the problem:

  • After first inserting my new Verizon SIM (and a T-Mobile SIM just to confirm the problem persists across an other new carrier) the initial Galaxy S8 screen at boot said "SIM network PIN blocked.  Enter SIM network PUK".  Apparently they (Samsung?) misused the term PUK code when they should have said "MCK/Unfreeze code".  This must confuse a ton of people when they call customer service asking for the PUK code.
  • After entering the MCK/Unfreeze code I was then prompted for another code: "Enter network unlock code".  After entering this number (which was the original Unlock code that AT&T sent me) the phone unlocked.  It went blue screen, a sim card logo showed, and then I was on my home screen.
  • On the home screen I was prompted to restart my phone and now I'm back in business on the Verizon network.

I'm so mad at the carriers here.  How can some random offshore unlock company who only has my IMEI somehow pull my MCK/unfreeze codes for like $30 yet AT&T and Verizon and Samsung had zero opinion on this??  I spent like 20 hours either on the phone or chat with tech support teams.  Eventually their best advice was to "buy a new phone to solve the problem"???

I'll be posting the unlocking video once I can check that no personally identifiable info is on it.

Email below that I received with the codes: 

(edited)

Contributor

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7 Messages

3 months ago

Time will tell! I will update as things progress but so far so good. 

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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21.1K Messages

3 months ago

So it was perma locked.  Samsung has the tools to unlock a perma locked phone the carriers do not.  Stupid I know.  I'm not a samsung fan because of this.

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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.

Contributor

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7 Messages

3 months ago

It sounds like it was. However it was locked like that from the moment I inserted the new Verizon SIM, so was not due to entering the wrong code too many times.  Why did no one at the carriers or Samsung mention anything about an unfreeze/MCK code?  I had to comb through hundreds of forum posts trying to discern the truth between moderator/carrier (Edited per community guidelines) on one end and obvious planted promotions from the paid unlock companies on the other....it honestly feels like some sort of conspiracy between carriers and Samsung to make people buy more devices.  Anyhow will keep updating here whether the unlock is successful in the long term.    

(edited)

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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82.2K Messages

3 months ago

@sdsuman

Why would At&t?  They have carrier unlock code, and sim unlock code (PUK) only.  Unless they use their time off poking around for stuff that will get them FIRED from AT&T, they have no reason to know, and even if they did they can't tell you.

🐾 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 2020 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.

Contributor

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7 Messages

3 months ago

Why?  Quite a few reasons:

  • The DMCA unlock ruling in 2014 as well as their own statements that they will unlock a customers phone. (link and link)
  • They also mention in the first link above that they will unlock the phone if they have the unlock code or if they can reasonably get if from the manufacturer.  There was zero attempt to contact the manufacturer and in fact they told me to try and reach out.  
  • Their membership in the CTIA which clearly states that all CTIA members must abide by this rule for postpaid devices:  "Carriers upon request will unlock mobile wireless devices or provide the necessary information to unlock devices for their customers and former customers in good standing and individual owners of eligible devices after the fulfillment of the applicable postpaid service contract, device financing plan, or payment of an applicable early termination fee." (Principle #2 near bottom of page here).
  • I bought my phone unlocked from Target in 2017.  Zero attachment to a carrier, no payment plan, no remaining contract.  

Case is clear here that they're in the wrong.  Funny enough we filed a FCC complaint yesterday and then earlier today someone from "The office of the president of AT&T" reached out and left us a voicemail wanting to talk.  Should be an interesting chat!

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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21.1K Messages

3 months ago

Att did what they said they would provide a unlock code.  The mck code is not something they get.  It's there to prevent fraud.  

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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.
lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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82.2K Messages

3 months ago

And per your own post, they did EXACTLY as required for eligible device.  

If you read the CTIA, its VOLUNTARY.  No carrier is required.   

🐾 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 2020 Achiever*
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Contributor

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7 Messages

3 months ago

I don't buy that argument from them; my phone was perma-locked from the moment I first inserted a Verizon SIM.  Nowhere in the below CTIA member guidelines does it say that they just need to provide an "unlock code", it specifically says carriers "will unlock mobile wireless devices or provide the necessary information to unlock devices".  In my opinion they did not honor their CTIA commitment by providing a basic unlock code, and additionally they also neglected to acknowledge the existence of a deeper level of locking that might be at play.

While these CTIA commitments may not be contractual in nature, AT&T appears to 1.) have misrepresented the facts, 2) implemented their unlocking policy in a manner unconscionable to the simple consumer, and 3) this likely results in a pecuniary/monetary loss to many customers.

Regarding the above, I am not a lawyer but have the benefit of a quite famous one sitting at our Thanksgiving table each year, I'm curious to see what his opinion is and I will update with their thoughts.  As you can tell, I'm not the type to let this stuff go!

Contributor

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7 Messages

3 months ago

@lizdance40  - The reason businesses such as AT&T voluntarily adopt guidelines such as the CTIA is to avoid industry regulation by the government, which, if passed, may end up being stricter than the voluntary guidelines.  By getting ahead of potential issues and taking them seriously companies such as AT&T can avoid harsh regulation and protect long-term shareholder value.  This is common practice.  I can tell you based on my company being part of a similar "voluntary" industry advocacy organization that these sorts of guidelines are typically taken extremely seriously and violations can result in expulsion and loss of representation in industry lobbying talks.  

We will see what happens!  It will be interesting to speak with whoever reached out regarding my FCC complaint.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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82.2K Messages

3 months ago

I’ll be amused to hear the response.  

🐾 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 2020 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.
GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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21.1K Messages

3 months ago

I am trying to figure out who put the unlock code in wrong that many times.  The instructions state if it's entered wrong to many times it gets perma locked.

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lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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82.2K Messages

3 months ago

@Constructive 

not true.  Once an unlock code is entered, and it is a valid code, the phone cannot be relocked. It is permanent.   
The only time a phone is temporarily unlocked is when it’s an iPhone and it has been hacked. The hack is removed during the next operating system update.   

I have also gone outside of AT&T to have a phone unlocked, it also happened to be an S8 series phone.   The phone worked fine on AT&T and converted to Verizon beautifully.   

I think it was a year ago that AT&T discovered that a bunch of its employees were passing on unlock codes for kickbacks. They were of course dealt with severely and that plug the hole for at least a little while.   

🐾 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 2020 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.
lizdance40

ACE - Sage

 • 

82.2K Messages

3 months ago

The op has some entitlement issues that he can work out with the FCC. But it is not true that an android unlock code is temporary or that the unlock is temporary.  It’s not a hack.   He has permanently unlocked his phone and the only way it will become re-locked to AT&T is if he foolishly uses it on wing Alpha network, it relocks everything.  

🐾 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 2020 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.

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