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.