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s810434's profile

New Member

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6 Messages

Sunday, August 7th, 2022 4:18 AM

AT&T locked my phone that I purchased by myself (not from AT&T)

I purchased a new iPhone12 by myself (my company paid for that) on May 2022. NOT from AT&T.

Then I switched my AT&T plan to prepaid plan sometime in June, and started to use my new phone with the prepaid plan.
The reason is because I planned to travel to Japan in June 2022, and I want to keep my US number with a lowest rate, in order to just receive SMS in Japan.

FWIW, my old phone was from AT&T and I have used AT&T non-prepaid plan for years with my old phone, and my old phone has been unlocked before I purchased my new phone.

After I arrived Japan in June, I got a Japan number. I planed to use my new phone with the Japan number, and use my old phone with the AT&T number.

However! I realized that AT&T has locked my new phone.


I tried https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/, but it keeps saying “The information you have entered is incorrect. Please update and try again.”

I called AT&T for 3 times from June to August. Every time I had to spend quite some time and energy to explain my situation, and the representatives would finally agree that my phone is eligible to be unlocked and my phone was locked by mistake due to technical limitation.

The first representative said that due to the technical limitation, I have to wait for 2 months to call back and start a case.

The 2nd representative said unfortunately I may need to visit AT&T stores with the phone physically to unlock, which I can’t do since I wont go back to US for at least 1 year.

The 3rd representative helped me to create a case. 

Few days ago, I got an email about the case update. It says:

A device must be used for a minimum of 180 days on the network to be eligible for unlocking. Go to att.com/deviceunlock for eligibility.

Whats going on here??? My device is not from AT&T, so shouldn’t AT&T not lock my device at the first place!!??

Also how can I track the case online? I really don’t want to call AT&T again. I am in a totally different timezone now, so I either need to wake up very early or very late to make the stupid phone call.

The whole experience is ridiculous and terrible. This thing has been wasting me so much time and energy.

AT&T should unlock my device immediate and even compensate me for my time and energy!!!!!!!!!!!

ACE - Sage

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115.9K Messages

7 months ago

@allen1982fisher 

I don't know if you read the solution post or not but you did understand it. The only way to buy an unlocked phone is directly from the manufacturer, and it has to be unlocked Sim free from the manufacturer.

If you buy a phone from Apple based on it being an AT&T phone or a Verizon phone, or even a T-Mobile phone It will be subject to Apple's US flex activation policy.  Which means it will automatically lock and then be subject to the lock policy of whichever carrier you have used.

Big box stores like Best buy, Walmart, Target sell carrier phones.  

Unless a phone is specifically sold and says it is unlocked for any service provider, it is not a carrier-free phone.

Your lack of understanding does not mean that AT&T, or any other service provider has done you dirty.

ACE - Scholar

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933 Messages

7 months ago

Actually, if you go to Apple and buy a phone, even ones for a carrier, it is unlocked unless it is for ATT and you are financing with ATT installments.  But you would only want to buy the "carrier" version at Apple if you are wanting to get carrier deals or financing.  

Best Buy actually sells some unlocked iPhones now (not the 14 generation), but I personally would be leary in case they sold me a flex locked phone model by mistake.

3 Messages

5 months ago

Sandblaster and formerlyknownas what you are saying is not true. The only way to get an unlocked device is not through the manufacturer. There are plenty of other ways to buy u locked iPhones, aka target and a couple others that are unlocked models not carrier. AT&T system is wack because i bought an unlocked iPhone from apple and used it on Verizon and then activated it on AT&T and AT&T locked my device for 0 reason whatsoever. 

3 Messages

5 months ago

so there are a couple commenters on here that I want to challenge what they’re saying because it’s not true. Sandblaster and formerlyknownas. You can buy sim free unlocked iPhones from other places besides Apple. I do it every year except this year I had this issue. But the device was unlocked. I bought an unlocked 15 pro max and used it on Verizon then I activated it with AT&T and they sim locked it to their service. I’ve had apple calling them telling them the device is unlocked model and they can’t lock the device like they did and they need to unlock it then AT&T says their system says it can’t because it’s not AT&T but yet they are the ones that locked it in first place. So what’s the truth and how in the world does this get resolved? It should not be this difficult. AT&T has confirmed this isn’t from AT&T and they don’t know why it locked and should be unlocked but yet they keep saying they can’t unlock it and apple says they don’t unlock devices only the carrier that lock it can unlock it. 

ACE - Master

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9.9K Messages

5 months ago

Target, Best Buy, and Walmart don’t sell actual unlocked phones.  They sell phones that are sold under Apple’s Flex Reseller Policy.  They are not locked to a carrier and don’t come with a SIM, so that they can be used with any provider.  However, the software on the the phone is designed so that it locks to the carrier of the first SIM installed in the phone.  At that point, it become subject to the unlocking policy of the carrier.

If you buy the phone from Apple and pay Apple (I.e. don’t finance through a carrier), the phone is factory unlocked.  Apple factory unlocked phones can’t be locked to a carrier, or by a carrier.  Neither AT&T, nor any carrier, has the capability to lock or unlock phones.  Only Apple has the technical ability to do that. Even when you unlock a phone through AT&T, what actually happens is that AT&T requests that Apple perform the unlock.  The Felx Reseller Policy phones have already been explained.  The locking is done by software on the phone responding to the first SIM installed.  AT&T doesn’t have a switch that sends a signal to lock an Apple phone.

3 Messages

5 months ago

Dwill05 that is not correct. I bought my iPhone from best buy activated it on Verizon for days then switched to at&t then at&t Locked it. 

ACE - Scholar

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933 Messages

5 months ago

@dwill05 Note that Best Buy started selling some unlocked iPhones this year.  But older models, such as the iPhone 13 generation.

@Levi7897 What model did you buy?  And when?  If this year, was it one that Best Buy sold explicitly as unlocked?  If not, I can't explain the glitch about why it didn't lock to Verizon.   Note, for the flex retailer locked phones, it isn't ATT or Verizon that submits a request to Apple to lock it.  It is the firmware that is supposed to lock to the first SIM activated with.

For the true sold unlocked models, then support at Apple should be contacted.

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