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Mouseonawheel's profile

New Member

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3 Messages

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 11:24 PM

How to unlock a phone that was locked by AT&T when Tracfone was bought out by Verizon but my phone used an AT&T Sim?

I have gone around and around with Tracfone and At&T about how to unlock my previously UNLOCKED phone.

I was a Tracfone customer for 3 years after I bought my UNLOCKED phone. Since Tracfone was bought out by Verizon in 2021, apparently some that were on Tracfone were using an AT&T SIM card.  Now, AT&T locked those phones that were using those SIM cards.  Any ideas how to unlock the phone?  No one seems to be able to help. SO FRUSTRATED

ACE - Expert

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64.7K Messages

1 year ago

First off, it’s not possible to lock an unlocked phone. If your phone is locked to ATT, it has been since you got it. If it’s an iPhone, what you likely bought was a “not yet locked” phone, not an unlocked phone. Under Apple’s flex lock policy, it is locked to the first carrier activated on.  Have you tried submitting an unlock request?

https://att.com/deviceunlock

If you have done that and you are sure your phone meets the requirements to unlock but your request is being denied, file an FCC complaint.

New Member

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3 Messages

1 year ago

Thanks for that info.  Yes, we have submitted an unlock request to At&T twice with no luck - they won't unlock it.  We were with Tracfone, which used an At&t SIM card for 3 years. We have gone through Tracfone twice, At&T twice, even gone to a local At&T store (and they went through the same headache and hassle we did). Neither Tracfone or AT&T will help us unlock this phone.  AT&T says because we haven't had service with THEM for the past 6 months, they won't help us.  Awful customer service online.  The store personnel tried their best to help us.  I think I have a valid FCC complaint.

Community Support

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232.1K Messages

1 year ago

Hello there, Mouseonawheel. We understand how important it is to get your device unlocked, and we'll be happy to help you with that.

 

Let’s meet in a Direct Message to get started on a resolution for you. Please check your Direct Message Inbox (it’s the chat icon next to the bell icon in the upper right corner of the Forums).

 

In the meantime, please note that as long as your device is fully paid off, and you have been an AT&T customer for at least six months, the device is eligible to be unlocked.

 

Feel free to review the Device Unlock Requirements to be sure your device is eligible for unlock.

 

Here are the general requirements for all unlock requests:

  • The device must be designed for use on, and locked to, the AT&T wireless network. 
  • It must not be reported lost or stolen.
  • It’s not associated with fraudulent activity.
  • All the device’s service commitments and installment plans are completed, and all early termination fees are paid in full.
  • The device is not currently active on a different AT&T customer’s account.
  • If you performed an early upgrade, you must wait the 14-day buyer’s remorse period before you can request to unlock your previous device.

For personal device unlock requirements the phone should meet the following eligibility requirements for unlock: 

  • Is an AT&T phone or device and isn’t active on another AT&T account.
  • Was paid in full when you bought it (not on an installment plan). You won’t have to wait 60 days to unlock it.
  • Has a paid-off installment plan.
    • Paid through your monthly bill: Submit your unlock request at the start of your next bill period.
    • Paid off early: The wireless number assigned to the device must be active for at least 60 days. Wait 48 hours after you make your final payment to submit your unlock request. Learn how pay off your installment plan.
  • Doesn’t have a past-due account balance. Make a payment to bring your account current. It will take 24 hours for your payment to post. 
  • Hasn’t been reported as lost, stolen, or involved with fraud.
  • Is an AT&T PREPAID phone that has had paid service for at least six months.

Once you have verified that your account and device meet all the requirements you are then able to:

  1. Go to att.com/deviceunlock.
  2. Select Unlock your device and follow the prompts.

For more information about unlocking your device check out AT&T Device Unlock Help - Solutions & FAQs

 

We hope this information helps and we look forward to speaking with you to further assist.

 

Thank you for contacting AT&T Community Forums. 

 

Rasheedat, AT&T Community Specialist 

Contributor

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6 Messages

1 year ago

This is absolutely a crime by AT&T. Are they not being paid BY tracfone for my use of the network?? I too now have an expensive iphone (bought and paid for in full) that will soon be A BRICK when AT&T stops working for tracfone. Because I can't even get my verizon tracfone sim card.  AT&T has hijacked my phone, and the only way to use it is to give AT&T my money directly, which I have patently refused to do. I will die first. Especially after this ridiculousness. 

ACE - Expert

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23.9K Messages

1 year ago

Where did you buy the phone that is the question.

Contributor

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6 Messages

1 year ago

Glimmerman76, I purchased it from Best Buy, paid in full as an unlocked phone, though I understand from reading it can lock to the first sim card you insert. Which was a tracfone "at&t" sim. As with everyone else with this issue, tracfone says they can't unlock it, AT&T says "oh sure we can unlock it if you give us 6 months of your time and money". NO THANK YOU

Contributor

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6 Messages

1 year ago

And before you tell me "that's the flex lock policy you should have bought it from Apple", NO. If I was even told when I was buying it from Best Buy that it would be locked to the first carrier, I'd say "ok, no biggie". I'm 46 years old, I've been a gadget geek for a while, bought lots of phones, sold lots of phones and had lots of phones unlocked (as I always unlock them before selling them), so I would have said "no prob, I'll just get it unlocked when I need to". Does the flex policy say "your phone will be hijacked in perpetuity and no one will help you"?

New Member

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3 Messages

1 year ago

You are spot on!  AT&T is ridiculous to treat customers from Tracfone that have long used their service this way.  Unfortunately, my son ended up buying a new phone since we weren't going to stoop to AT&T either!  At least his phone was old nd needed an upgrade anyway. Sill frustrating!

Contributor

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6 Messages

1 year ago

Mouse, I even didn't like using the AT&T towers, but the hospital I worked in had AT&T repeaters and I worked in the basement, so I sucked it up for the sake of the ability to get calls from my children. Now I wish I would have stuck to my instincts. 

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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13.1K Messages

1 year ago

My brother had a TracFone that was on AT&T. He had to get it unlocked through TracFone

https://www.wikihow.com/Unlock-TracFone-Mobile-Phones

or https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/tracfone-phone-unlocking-program

However, since TracFone was sold to Verizon, they most likely purged all of the AT&T phones from their system.

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