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vineyardray's profile

Tutor

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3 Messages

Wed, Jan 24, 2018 3:16 PM

Closed

AT&T Refuses to Unlock Device - Complaining to FTC & FCC

I believe that AT&T is using deceptive business practices to squeeze extra billing time from wireless customers who are trying to switch to another carrier. My experience is that I paid off my phone and requested an unlock from the AT&T Device Unlock Portal. For a week, it reports that I still have a balance on the phone. I do not. I've called customer service to confirm this and they did confirm. They stated there is no reason that the unlock request should be denied. I submitted a service ticket and the response was the same. I submitted several unlock requests and my most recent has been under 'review' for the past 48+ hours. I don't think AT&T has any intention of unlocking my device. It seems that they are just trying to wait me out and get as many billing days as they can while I wait with no recourse at all. I see this as an intentional action and it goes against the FCC law that was passed in 2009 to prevent this particular type of abuse. 

This abuse is ongoing even today and from what I read in this and other forums, it is standard business practice at AT&T.

ACE - Sage

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96.3K Messages

4年前

@vineyardray

 First let me assure you there are no such thing as “billing days”, you are billed month to month. So you want to move to a new carrier porting out all of your numbers at the end of a billing cycle. 

 Only one single carrier prorates last bill.  All major carriers DO NOT prorate your final service bill.   If you were told otherwise by Support that is entirely incorrect 

 Second, I agree with you AT&T is not following the spirit of the unlocking the policy by keeping phone is locked two and three weeks after they are paid off. I recommend calling AT&T and asking for advanced tech support and insist on help getting phones unlocked.

 The requirements for getting your phones unlocked is they have to be paid off in full, your account must be current paid up, zero balance. 

 If you are still having a problem after speaking with advanced tech support file a complaint with the FCC 

Tutor

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3 Messages

4年前

When AT&T delays the process for weeks, then we are forced to pay for additional billing cycles. You recommend waiting until the end of the billing cycle before transferring? What good does that do if the process takes WEEKS to complete? 

 

I have gone through multiple levels of support and I was told by multiple people that they have no visibility into the support process and they don't even have a number to call to check on the status of a ticket. I was told to 'just wait' no matter how many levels of support I traversed. I've spent many hours on the phone with AT&T and it is nothing but a waste of time despite all of my spirited 'insisting'. 

 

My point is that this process (and most other AT&T processes and policies that I have encountered) are not built with the consumer in mind. Their customer service model proves this. Their practices are deceptive and predatory and should be reported by everyone who is being abused by them. I've had eerily similar issues with U-Verse internet, which is what started my migration away from AT&T.  

ACE - Sage

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96.3K Messages

4年前

And I don’t disagree, there is a fault here.  ATT agreed to unlock phones once financial responsibility is complete.  In the last few months we are seeing more and more complaints because they are not keeping to the agreement.  Which is why I suggest an FCC complaint.  The more the FCC sees, “I’m paid up and ATT won’t unlock” the better.  

My advice, “don’t transfer till the end of a bill cycle”, is because you will pay for a full month even if you port out on the first day of a new cycle.  This in industry wide, not just ATT.

   Back to the unlock...  The agreement is that once all financial responsibilities are complete, you can request an autolock online, the carrier must unlock your phone within 48 hours or notify you why not. Since AT&T is incorrectly denying because their billing isn’t reporting a phone is paid off, the system is “flawed”.   I believe the flaw is intentional. I also believe until somebody calls them on the carpet they’re not going to fix it

David606

Employee

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3.5K Messages

4年前

Device unlock =/= active service and the ability to cancel an account. An account cancellation can happen, if there are no financial obligations, at any time.

 

I understand the frustration and definitely apologize but the unlock portal works how it works. It's slow, automated and errors may happen. With the change across the industry away from actual contracts for service it has separated hardware from the service itself. Once out of any agreement an account (or individual lines) may be cancelled and will be cancelled at the last day of the cycle.

Tutor

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3 Messages

4年前

I understand that I can cancel an account, but that is not the point. Keeping my device is critical to me personally and professionally. It does me no good to simply cancel the account. I own my $1000 phone and want to use it as I please (and as the law requires!)

 

Your statement that the site 'works how it works' is incredible and illustrative of the problem. The actual functioning of the site aside, there is no escalation or customer service capability to back up the site deficiencies. If it 'works how it works' - what if it doesn't work? You're stating that its just too bad and customers will just have to feel the pain. This underscores my assertion that AT&T is INTENTIONALLY making the process difficult, cumbersome, and PROLONGED in order to use customer requirements (keeping their existing phones and numbers) against them. This is a horrible, and I contend - ILLEGAL business practice.

ACE - Sage

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96.3K Messages

4年前

@vineyardray

Now that isn't quite correct.  There is no law requiring carriers unlock phones.  The agreement with CTIA is voluntary. 

David606

Employee

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3.5K Messages

4年前

Except there are no legalities involved in the unlocking of phones. It's merely agreed upon as a courtesy by wireless carriers.

 

https://www.fcc.gov/general/cell-phone-unlocking

New Member

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1 Message

2年前

Experiencing a similar thing right now - Oct. 2020.  I bought my phone from a random person on Ebay over two (2) years ago, paid nearly $800 for it (Samsung Note 8 - SM-N950U) and have used it on the StraightTalk since then, but now I want to move to a different carrier (Metro) now. Both Metro and Straight talk told me phone is locked to AT&T, so I purchase a monthly plan with lowest data amount, activated it, and AT&T rep. directs me to https://www.att.com/deviceunlock  to unlock which states the following requirements:

Before you submit your unlock request, make sure you meet these requirements:
  • You purchased your device with an installment or term agreement and:
    • You've had active AT&T service for at least 60 days.
    • You completed your contract (including paying any early termination fees) or paid off your installment agreement at least 24 hours before your unlock request.
  • You have AT&T service and no past due or unpaid balances.
  • Your AT&T PREPAID®device has been active for at least 6 months.



So they are holding me hostage in a plan - even though it is month to month, making me wait six (6) months!!  Even though the LAW is as follows:

As of February 11, no carrier can deny a request to unlock a users' phone, once the two-year contract is paid up. This past August, President Barack Obama signed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law, finally making it legal once more to unlock your phone.Feb 11, 2015

[EDITED per Community Guidelines]

(edited)

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