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Tutor

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4 Messages

Mon, Oct 1, 2018 6:42 PM

ATT will Lock you into a 6 month prepaid contract without your knowledge... BE AWARE

After over 10 hours of calls and research... the end result was ATT denied my unlock request for my FULLY BOUGHT AND PAID FOR IPHONE Xs purchased from Best Buy

 

 

I am currently out of the country and will literally have to FLY back to the US to return my phone...  Absolutely, completely RIDICULOUS that you can be locked into a contract without any time of acknowledgement.  I'm pasting my complaint I posted on the ATT facebook page below...

 

There is a 27+ page thread on the best buy forum for this exact issue... which best buy's only response is to return the phone if it's within 14 days... if it took longer than 14 days to realize what happened... then they will not help you at all and don't care.

 

TL:DR
ATT locked my phone I purchased at Best Buy at full retail price with no contract, agreement, subsidy or anything else... Neither the Best Buy employee, nor at ANY point during the process of setting up at transferring my old phone data to my new
phone was I made aware by acknowledging any terms, conditions or anything else that I would need to use ATT on THAT DEVICE for 6 months. I have used ATT for over a decade and ATT prepaid for over 3 years... this whole experience has been Atrocious and all Best Buy has offered is "sorry, they should have told you"

Good Morning, I have called 5 times to customer service, with an approximate total time on the line with just ATT customer service of 4 hours, with no resolution. The issue is as follows:
I was an ATT postpaid mobile customer for the better part of a decade, and now a prepaid customer for over 3 years. Never have I had such failure in receiving a reasonable resolution to an issue as I have in this instance.
On September 21st, I purchased, for full retail price, an iPhone Xs from Best Buy. Approximately 4 hours later, I left the US and returned to Grand Cayman where I am currently staying with my fiancee. Upon arrival to Grand Cayman on the morning of September 22nd, I attempted to insert my FLOW sim card and was given a message that my sim was invalid... I have never received this message before so I was completely unaware of what the issue could be... as it turns out, I wasn't the only one! Speaking with my first two ATT representatives, they also were completely unfamiliar with why a phone I paid full retail for would be locked.
After approximately 8 hours of my own research combined with calls to ATT, Apple, and the Best Buy store I purchased the phone from, I was finally able to deduce that the phone was locked to ATT because the first sim card I inserted into the phone was my ATT prepaid sim... When I found this out I was in complete Shock... Why would a phone that I paid FULL retail for, received no benefit from ATT for, and at NO POINT acknowledging a contractual obligation of 6 months active on the network, be locked??? Apparently, this is how things are done... Consumers are locked into 6 month contracts without being made aware that will happen... ATT just "hopes(??)" that a sales agent at a reseller will verbally tell the customer they are effectively signed a contract?? That seems ludicrous to me.
After a further 3 calls, and 3 separate denials to unlock the device... a supervisor has emailed the "back office"... I was told approximately 40 hours ago that I would receive a response in 24 hours.
I am asking for that response... and that response should be my phone being unlocked for me to use as I see fit... I would appreciate any help in the matter you can offer.
In closing there are 4 key points to this issue:
1- The store representative at no point made me aware of this issue... it would have been MUCH easier for me to simply NOT BUY the phone than to have spent the last now 8 days dealing with my $1300 unusable phone.
2- I am now locked into a contract I didnt accept and more importantly was NEVER given the chance to accept or deny!
3- The 3 denial emails all came with the title "Subsidy Device Unlock Request" THE PHONE WAS NOT SUBSIDIZED... I received NO benefit from ATT for this device... I paid for my service and paid for the phone at full retail... the very implication of the email is that I received a benefit when I purchased the device... I did not
4- the email ALSO states that I must be an ATT prepaid customer for 6 months... I've been a customer for over 3 years... the denial does NOT state I must use THIS device for 6 months
I truly hope this can be resolved... and more importantly not a single other person buying a phone in the United States should EVER be locked to a contract without their knowledge

Responses

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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76.5K Messages

2 years ago

Not true.  You are entitled to get your phone unlocked.  It is not a contract.  

Had you bought a sim free from Apple, you would not have a locked phone.  Best Buy phones are all subject to Apple US Flex activation policy.

  The system is automated.  It doesn’t know your phone was a full price purchase.  All it knows is it’s subject to Apple's US Flex activation policy, which locks is to the first network used.

   The lock policy is designed for subsidized phones, but it doesn’t filter, everything gets caught in the net.  

   You have 2 options.  1.  Call ad ask for tech support. Have them run the IMEI and they can see it was not a subsidized phone and unlock eligible.  2.  If they can’t or won’t, file an FCC complaint.  

 

🐾 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*
*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.

Tutor

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4 Messages

2 years ago

Yes, you are correct about the Flex Phone issue... which NO ONE told me... and is the crux of my issue... if they dont tell you, you have NO way of knowing, and are then locked in to what is effectively a contract... if I'm paying full retail price for a phone and leave the store without activating it as I did, how would a consumer possibly know that they are locked to a network for 6 months??

 

After literally 10 hours of back and forth with ATT, Apple And best buy... ATT will NOT unlock the phone... 

 

 

Thank you for speaking with me Andrew! As mentioned in the conversation, at this point you would have to return the device back to best buy to receive your refund. If you require any assistance in the future, don't hesitate to reach back to us. Thank you sir, and have a great day! -DwightA, Social Media Manager

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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76.5K Messages

2 years ago

🐾 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*
*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.

Tutor

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4 Messages

2 years ago

Yup... They are locked to the first SIM you insert... which was Not disclosed to me (and apparently a LOT of other customers!)

 

 

So, effectively, you are in a 6 month contract that you can easily enter in to with absolutely zero disclosure. 

Contributor

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1 Message

2 years ago

Hey i am also in the same situation as you are. My friend bought several iphones xsmax from best buy and they also are locked. He paid full price. Please let me know if you are able to solve anything. 

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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76.5K Messages

2 years ago

@JonaGlick

Read the thread.

You have 2 options.  1.  Call ad ask for tech support. Have them run the IMEI and they can see it was not a subsidized phone and unlock eligible.  2.  If they can’t or won’t, file an FCC complaint.  ”

 

🐾 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*
*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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19.8K Messages

2 years ago

Why in world did he buy non unlocked phones from att?

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.
gr8sho

ACE - Professor

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2.1K Messages

2 years ago

I wouldn't make excuses for AT&T on this .  They can and must do better .

The best solution is to avoid the scenario in the first place as @GLIMMERMAN76 suggests. If you can afford to buy the device, get a SIM-free version from apple . Always .

 

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.

Tutor

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7 Messages

2 years ago

I am from eastern Europe and I am a religious worker. I visit the US once or twice a year. I bought a second hand Verizon phone (iPhone 8 Plus) and since I knew that Verizon doesn’t lock their phones and It worked with my At&T sim, I figured that it was unlocked. When setting it up as a new phone which I did soon after, I was given a prompt by iOS asking to choose what company I was going to use it with. Since I had a prepaid AT&T sim, I chose AT&T without paying much attention. Soon after I learned that my phone was now locked to AT&T. Sure enough I spent some time on the phone with AT&T trying to explain my situation. Which is: instead of a phone that I could depend on and use for work I I spent my monthly wage on an iPod with a 6-month obligation to pay AT&T for the service that I am not even going to be able to use. The answer, that At&T gave me was “we can’t unlock it for six months”. I am leaving the US in two weeks until God knows when and the whole thing is disastrous. Can someone please tell me: is it enough if I simply pay for the service for six months or how does it work?

Tutor

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7 Messages

2 years ago

I’ve bought a second-hand phone and I know that it had been a Verizon phone and it gave me an option of choosing carrier. AT&T locked it for six months. My question is: is there anything that I could have done prior to activating the phone on AT&T network that would prevent it from getting locked. Like, maybe, calling Verizon and asking them to REALLY unlock my phone. I hope this makes sence. 

dwill05

Master

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3.8K Messages

2 years ago

@offliner

 

Verizon has nothing do do with it.  The phone was already unlocked, otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to use an AT&T SIM in it.  It became locked to AT&T when you first used a prepaid AT&T SIM in it.  The way for the lock not to have happened when you activated would to have used a postpaid SIM instead of a prepaid SIM.

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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76.5K Messages

2 years ago

@offliner

If you bought a second hand phone, how do you know it was previously with Verizon?  And you said you chose AT&T, why didn’t you use Verizon if it were a Verizon phone? 

  I suspect the phone was never used, and due to Apples Flex lock, it locked to the first carrier used, AT&T.  

 

🐾 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*
*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.

Tutor

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7 Messages

2 years ago

I was told that the phone was originally Verizon and I witnessed it working on Metro PCS. Obviously I erased it when I bought it. When restoring it I was given an option of choosing carrier. I chose AT&T because that’s what I was using. Even if it wasn’t a Verizon phone when I brought it, it wasn’t locked to AT&T before I started using it. Clearly the phone had not been locked by previous carrier and it was by AT&T. My question remains: could I have contacted previous carrier and prevent the phone from being locked by AT&T

Tutor

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7 Messages

2 years ago

You’re kidding. They locked an unlocked phone?

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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76.5K Messages

2 years ago

@offliner

It wasn’t “unlocked”.  The only way to buy an unlocked phone is direct from Apple.

 

🐾 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*
*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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