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jas-2018's profile

Tutor

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3 Messages

Tue, Jan 30, 2018 9:31 AM

AT&T is not unlocking my phone - Business account to Personal account

I am having problems unlocking my iPhone X and most of the AT&T staff I have spoken to on the phone don't seem to fully understand the problem and cannot give proper assistance.  Some background is:

 

  • I am currently in the US and have a mobile number which has always been with AT&T.  The number was on a business account (covered by my employer) for a few years.  My current phone is the iPhone X which I upgraded to when it was released.  I paid for the phone myself so the device is mine and not the employer's.  They just paid the monthly bills.

 

  • I left my employer a few weeks ago (on 12th Jan 2018) and submitted a transfer out request just before leaving as instructed by them.  This request was been completed by my employer which means they have paid the final January bill and any Early Termination Fee (ETF) and hence, the phone is out of contract.

 

  • As this was happening, I called AT&T on 9th Jan and spoke to an agent requesting my phone be unlocked.  This was because I wanted the option of having a personal plan with another provider (e.g. T-Mobile, Verizon, etc...) if I found a cheaper monthly plan.  Also, I will be going abroad in a few months to work and want the phone unlocked so I can use a local sim card when abroad.  The agent submitted the unlock request but it was denied.  When I called back on 11th Jan to find out why, the agent I spoke to didn't know the denial reason but said he would submit an expedited unlock request.

 

  • The 2nd unlock request was also denied and when I called back on 15th Jan, the agent said the reason for this was the phone was still under the business contract and the transfer out hadn't been completed at the time of the unlock requests (9th and 11th Jan).  The agent told me I needed to change to any AT&T personal plan (pre-paid or post-paid) and then submit the unlock request which would work.

 

  • I went to my local AT&T store on 15th Jan and chose a personal plan (it is a pre-paid plan since this is sufficient for my usage needs).  My number remains the same.  On 17th Jan I submitted an unlock request via the AT&T device unlock site.  On 19th Jan I checked the unlock status on the site and was surprised to see the status was denied with the reason being:-

 

We can't unlock this device because it hasn't been active for at least six months of paid service.

 

  • Whilst my number is new on a pre-paid personal contract, it was previously on a business contract which has all been paid up, including the ETF, so my phone should be unlocked.  Also, the agent I spoke to on 15th Jan never said there would be any unlock restrictions by having a pre-paid plan.

 

  • So it seems the device unlock site may have some limitations as you cannot explain the full details.  So I spoke to an agent on 28th Jan who agreed with all the information I gave and said they would submit another unlock request which should work.  She said if, in case the request was denied, then I could perhaps post on this forum for added assistance.

 

  • However, I got an email yesterday (29th Jan) saying the request was denied with the same "6 months of service needed" reason given.

 

Having spoken to others, I know that AT&T can submit 'exception unlock requests' (which always work) in cases where the normal criteria are not met.  Given that I was not given proper guidance originally (during my call on 15th Jan - where the possible issues of unlocking with a pre-paid account were not highlighted), I feel that my case should be escalated and an 'exception unlock request' be submitted.

 

I look forward to this being looked into promptly.

 

Kind regards

 

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

 • 

22.3K Messages

4 y ago


@jas-2018 wrote:

I am having problems unlocking my iPhone X and most of the AT&T staff I have spoken to on the phone don't seem to fully understand the problem and cannot give proper assistance.  Some background is:

 

  • I am currently in the US and have a mobile number which has always been with AT&T.  The number was on a business account (covered by my employer) for a few years.  My current phone is the iPhone X which I upgraded to when it was released.  I paid for the phone myself so the device is mine and not the employer's.  They just paid the monthly bills.

 

  • I left my employer a few weeks ago (on 12th Jan 2018) and submitted a transfer out request just before leaving as instructed by them.  This request was been completed by my employer which means they have paid the final January bill and any Early Termination Fee (ETF) and hence, the phone is out of contract.

 

  • As this was happening, I called AT&T on 9th Jan and spoke to an agent requesting my phone be unlocked.  This was because I wanted the option of having a personal plan with another provider (e.g. T-Mobile, Verizon, etc...) if I found a cheaper monthly plan.  Also, I will be going abroad in a few months to work and want the phone unlocked so I can use a local sim card when abroad.  The agent submitted the unlock request but it was denied.  When I called back on 11th Jan to find out why, the agent I spoke to didn't know the denial reason but said he would submit an expedited unlock request.

 

  • The 2nd unlock request was also denied and when I called back on 15th Jan, the agent said the reason for this was the phone was still under the business contract and the transfer out hadn't been completed at the time of the unlock requests (9th and 11th Jan).  The agent told me I needed to change to any AT&T personal plan (pre-paid or post-paid) and then submit the unlock request which would work.

 

  • I went to my local AT&T store on 15th Jan and chose a personal plan (it is a pre-paid plan since this is sufficient for my usage needs).  My number remains the same.  On 17th Jan I submitted an unlock request via the AT&T device unlock site.  On 19th Jan I checked the unlock status on the site and was surprised to see the status was denied with the reason being:-

 

We can't unlock this device because it hasn't been active for at least six months of paid service.

 

  • Whilst my number is new on a pre-paid personal contract, it was previously on a business contract which has all been paid up, including the ETF, so my phone should be unlocked.  Also, the agent I spoke to on 15th Jan never said there would be any unlock restrictions by having a pre-paid plan.

 

  • So it seems the device unlock site may have some limitations as you cannot explain the full details.  So I spoke to an agent on 28th Jan who agreed with all the information I gave and said they would submit another unlock request which should work.  She said if, in case the request was denied, then I could perhaps post on this forum for added assistance.

 

  • However, I got an email yesterday (29th Jan) saying the request was denied with the same "6 months of service needed" reason given.

 

Having spoken to others, I know that AT&T can submit 'exception unlock requests' (which always work) in cases where the normal criteria are not met.  Given that I was not given proper guidance originally (during my call on 15th Jan - where the possible issues of unlocking with a pre-paid account were not highlighted), I feel that my case should be escalated and an 'exception unlock request' be submitted.

 

I look forward to this being looked into promptly.

 

Kind regards

 


Just so you know that your x wont work on verizon sprint or USCC....  ATT iPhones this year and last are GSM carrier only...

 

I suggest you send a message to @ATTMobilityCare for them to request the unlock exception for you.  It could be up to a week before they respond.

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

 • 

10.3K Messages

4 y ago


@jas-2018 wrote:

Having spoken to others, I know that AT&T can submit 'exception unlock requests' (which always work) in cases where the normal criteria are not met.  Given that I was not given proper guidance originally (during my call on 15th Jan - where the possible issues of unlocking with a pre-paid account were not highlighted), I feel that my case should be escalated and an 'exception unlock request' be submitted.

 


I wouldn't count on getting an exception. Wrong information aside, technically, you don't meet the requirements for an unlock. If you were under a contract on your business account, you might have a stronger case for an exception, since you couldn't unlock until the ETF was paid, and the ETF couldn't be paid until you no longer qualified, so it would be kind of a catch-22. If there wasn't a contract, then AT&T is totally within their rights to say you should have unlocked before you were removed from the business account. 

 

You can certainly request an exception by contacting @ATTCares, (and I think you should get one) but you should also consider switching to a post paid account, since those only  require 60 days of service before an unlock will be done. 

Tutor

 • 

3 Messages

4 y ago


@MicCheck wrote:

@jas-2018 wrote:

Having spoken to others, I know that AT&T can submit 'exception unlock requests' (which always work) in cases where the normal criteria are not met.  Given that I was not given proper guidance originally (during my call on 15th Jan - where the possible issues of unlocking with a pre-paid account were not highlighted), I feel that my case should be escalated and an 'exception unlock request' be submitted.

 


I wouldn't count on getting an exception. Wrong information aside, technically, you don't meet the requirements for an unlock. If you were under a contract on your business account, you might have a stronger case for an exception, since you couldn't unlock until the ETF was paid, and the ETF couldn't be paid until you no longer qualified, so it would be kind of a catch-22. If there wasn't a contract, then AT&T is totally within their rights to say you should have unlocked before you were removed from the business account. 

 

You can certainly request an exception by contacting @ATTCares, (and I think you should get one) but you should also consider switching to a post paid account, since those only  require 60 days of service before an unlock will be done. 



Thanks GlimmerMan and MicCheck for the info.  I will only look into T-Mobile plans then if I want to change provider while in the US.  I checked and think I can use my iPhone X (when unlocked) on the EE provider when in the UK.

 

I have sent a message to ATT and hope my issue gets resolved!

Tutor

 • 

3 Messages

4 y ago

Hi all,

 

I wanted to update you that I got my 'exception unlock request' issue resolved!

 

I had sent a private message on 30th Jan to @ATTCares with my full query and it was dealt with by Fiona.  She was extremely helpful and after some back and forth messages, she got my 'exception unlock request' approved by her manager and on 11th Feb, my iPhone X was unlocked.

 

I know I have had some tough experiences with AT&T staff on some calls, but I can only praise the level of service I received from Fiona.  If only all staff could be like her!

 

Thanks to @GLIMMERMAN76 and @MicCheck for their assistance.

 

Kind regards

 

MicCheck

ACE - Expert

 • 

10.3K Messages

4 y ago

Thanks for the update!

Contributor

 • 

1 Message

3 y ago

How did you speak with Fiona? There appears to no be any chat anywhere. I'm in the same situation. I have always owned my iPhone 7. Unbeknownst to me and not disclosed when I came back to the US (I had been living in Thailand) that they automatically lock your phone for 6 months with prepaid servi. This is preposterous!!! I own my phone and always have!!! Meanwhile I moved back to Thailand and cannot use my Thai provider'a sim because AT&T locked my phone. I have been in they phone with their "custome service" and they've told me, no matter with whom I speak that they cannot unlock my phone until it's been 6 month and regardless. Meanwhile I have an unusable phone and no guarantee that they will unlock my phone. I must have my mobile phone over here!!!

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