Question about a non-AT&T customer unlocking my iPhone 6, completely paid off, but blacklisted.
I seriously need some help figuring out what I need to do. I really didn’t want this post to get too personal, but I am in such a bad situation right now, both financially and mentally, it really doesn’t even make a difference to me at this point.
I have been struggling with AT&T for the past couple weeks. I have an iPhone 6S, which I paid off myself, and it was on my mom’s plan. I used this phone from 2015 to 2017 I believe.
At this time I lived with my mother, but I completely paid for my part of the phone bill. It was under her name, her account, but I paid for this thing with my own money.
I worked very hard to get this phone paid off.
Finally, after I got it paid off, I was told that I could upgrade to an iPhone X, as long as I paid for all of my part of the bill, once again.
My mother never, ever makes wise choices. This is why I moved out of her house immediately after I was able to get on my feet. At this point I believe my iPhone X (which again was in her name on her account, but I was paying for it) was nearly paid off, or at least half way paid off.
I was never shown a bill, I just knew she had me pay $120 a month for my phone, plus my part of the phone plan (an additional line per month). That’s what she told me anyway.
When I moved out, I still continued to pay for my phone. I have absolutely no credit whatsoever, so I just assumed that AT&T wouldn’t even allow me to get on my own plan, even though at that time I was making decent money and could afford it. Now I’m definitely not.
During this time my grandma became extremely ill, and I was really the only person in my family who could (or would) take care of her, so I did without hesitation, after only a couple years prior to this losing my grandpa put a huge strain on her.
All I knew was that one day, regardless of me paying my mother the $120 that month, I was constantly getting calls and texts from AT&T saying that the payment was late, and that if I was responsible for the account to contact AT&T.
I had absolutely no control over this. I trusted my mother, which was a stupid decision because she definitely isn’t the most responsible individual.
A couple weeks or so later I was told, very bluntly, that she wouldn’t be paying for the phones anymore, and I was told that I had no choice other than to give her my iPhone X, or she said she would report it stolen and get me in trouble for holding ‘stolen property’.
Yes, I know this may be difficult to believe for some people, but that’s my mom.
Even though I paid my part for my iPhone X, and it was either halfway paid off, or at least close to being paid off, it still didn’t matter.
I had no way to fight this either, so I just cut my losses and gave her my iPhone X.
But this whole time I have been living at my grandma’s house, taking care of her while working and struggling to help her pay bills.
I know that this sounds like I’m fishing for sympathy here, and I’m seriously not. I am just in such a hole right now, this is my last shot. I don’t know what else to do, where else to turn, and I have nobody I can go to for help.
On August 10th my grandma died, literally while I was on the phone with 911 she died while I was trying to do CPR on her.
To say this situation was extremely difficult and scarring would be an understatement.
I’m in the worst possible place in my life right now than I have ever been. My aunt and I were responsible for taking care of her funeral arrangements, I’m now responsible for taking care of everything else now that she’s gone, and I can barely afford food for myself, let alone a new phone.
But I have my old iPhone 6 which I paid for years ago. Now I’m being told that because of my mother’s horrible choices, I can’t even unlock this thing. Even though I paid for this phone.
I seriously can’t afford to go purchase another phone. My current girlfriend offered to help me pay for my phone bill, but she is on Verizon, and there’s no way I could afford AT&T, I couldn’t even afford Verizon if it wasn’t for her paying for an extra line and helping me.
Is there absolutely any way I could somehow get this old iPhone 6 unlocked so I can at least have a phone I can use?
I know my mom’s account is not in good standing, but this has been years. This phone has been sitting in it’s box since I switched to the iPhone X, which I was forced to give back to her, and it turns out that she never even turned the iPhone X that I was paying for back in to AT&T like she claimed she was going to do.
If someone could please help me with this, I would be forever grateful. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore, and this iPhone 6 is the only phone I have that still works.
I have no way to call anybody, nobody can contact me in case of an emergency (besides dialing 911, I need to be able to contact people. Not having a phone also makes it impossible for me to contact my ex-wife, who I share custody of my daughter, she isn’t going to continue letting me get my daughter unless I have some way to keep in contact in case of an emergency. This is seriously effecting my whole life right now.
I could understand if the phone wasn’t paid off, but I worked hard to pay for this thing to make sure it was paid off, now I can’t even use it.
If anyone has any suggestions at all as to how I can just get my phone working where I can get it set up on my girlfriend’s line, that would help me out so much.
I can’t even keep appointments because I have no way to call anybody, I’ve been sitting at my house with nothing. No internet, no phone.
And there’s no way my mom will ever comply. We haven’t been on speaking terms in over a year now, going on 2 years. She knows she owes AT&T money, she did me wrong, and that’s just how she is. I can’t talk her into paying her bill (that’s what a couple customer service representatives suggested I do, and that just isn’t possible). I have nothing to do with her or her bills, or her decision to pay her bills. She really doesn’t even care if I’m alive or what, let alone answer my calls. On top of all that I don’t even have her phone number. I know where she lives, that’s about it.
And if she did this to her own kid, it’s really no surprise that she would do this to anybody else.
Thank you for reading my long question. I just need a break so I can try to somehow move past everything and at least attempt to get my life together, or keep it from crumbling any further. If anybody can please, please, please help me, it would mean so much. I’m more than willing to fill out anything that AT&T wants me to fill out. I still have the box and everything that the phone came with. I always keep everything just in case I need it later.
If anybody needs proof of anything I mentioned above, I can provide it.
ACE - Expert
3 years ago
Sorry for all your troubles but also sorry to say there is nothing ATT can or will do to help you with the iPhone X. It sounds like your only recourse is legal action against your mother. As for the old iPhone 6, if it was not being used on her account, try submitting an unlock request as a non customer. If it is still tied to her account, sorry, ATT won’t unlock it until the account is paid.
ACE - Sage
3 years ago
You can put the working phone on prepaid with a new number.
If she blacklisted the iPhone X, only she can un-blacklist it.
I realize you felt the need to vent, but your personal story wasn’t required. You could have boiled it down to a paragraph. I’m still not sure where the iPhone X is, or if she actually blacklisted it.
BTW, $120 for a line and phone on a shared account was total rip off. You were paying most of the bill.
Brand new iPhone XR are $600. Check out Walmart’s prepaid deal for new phone and line.
3 years ago
The iPhone X is probably long gone, I don’t intend on ever receiving that, or even being compensated for the money I lost.
And I assumed I was being ripped off, like I mentioned above, my mother is pretty heartless.
So basically even though I paid for this phone, I will never be able to unlock it because of AT&T’s issue with my mom?
She owes them $5,000+
That’s the whole problem. It’s just really sad that even though this phone is paid off I can’t use it now.
They really need to update their policy. The phone hasn’t been used in years.
I guess when I do finally get everything sorted out, I’ll know to avoid AT&T in the future.
Thanks for the information anyway.
3 years ago
As mentioned earlier, if the phone wasn't on your mother's account, you should be able to request a device unlock through att.com/deviceunlock as a non-customer. If not, then it's still tied to the defaulted account and there's no way AT&T will unlock it. That policy won't change any time soon because locking the phone is AT&T's only hope of recovering the debt. AT&T doesn't know who paid for the phone and doesn't care because your mother is the one responsible for the debt and all the phones are connected to her account. It's your mother's fault this happened, not AT&T. The same thing would happen if this was a Verizon or Sprint or T-Mobile account-they do the same thing.
2 years ago
Omg. I feel so sorry for you. I can relate. But I must ask this because it makes sense: if not having a working phone is preventing you from everyday life, why don’t you simply buy a prepaid phone for 30-50 bucks or apply for a government phone since you have financial issues? I mean, you don’t need nothing fancy... the main factor is to DIAL AND SPEAK right. I’m just sayin..a phone is a phone..
2 years ago
Your story is so unfortunate and I can relate. But words of advise, a PHONE shouldn’t be stopping your way of life when they have FREE government phones available to people with financial issues such as yourself. Free text, free talk..period! This would allow you to communicate! If you prefer something more fancy, Walmart,etc sells prepaid cheap phones for little of nothing. Communication issues are resolved. Thank me later. (Too many people are addicted to iphones... it’s not that deep)