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More iphone unlocking problems

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Teacher

More iphone unlocking problems

I'll keep this short. I was given an iphone 5 for my birthday from a friend who upgraded.

It is paid off, off contract, clear IMEI. I submitted 3 unlock requests to ATT and got 3 different emails of approval, with confirmation codes. Still, when I erase/restore the phone, or whatever, I get no "congratulations your phone is unlocked" screen on itunes. I am trying to use it with Tmobile, which I have had for five years. The T mobile store puts their SIM in it and it is rejected each time. This means that the phone is still locked to ATT.

 

They tell me to call Apple. Apple tells me it's still locked, and that they can do nothing to help me, and that they are very sorry and don't understand why ATT is behaving this way.

I call ATT again. I am very polite. AT&T person tells me 1) re-submit the request

and  2) I am not the original owner therefore I cannot request unlock (then why the approval emails? Why not deny me?).

I contacted the woman who gave me the phone. I hate to bother her, let alone ask her for part of her Soc Sec number so I can fill out another request form. She said she called ATT and they told her I had to get an account with them to use the iphone. (?!). Or, she said, if I don't want to do that, I should call this number (a customer service number) and they would unlock it for me. I recognize the number. I've called it many times. I called it again, and no, they can't/won't unlock it. They said 1) i've probably been doing the itunes restore in the wrong order, and 2) it's actually still on their 'locked' list. (so if I was doing it wrong it wouldn't matter anyway? I think?)

They say to re-submit the request, or better yet, have HER submit the request.

She may think 

this is a simple thing and that I am not mentally equipped to handle this simple task. I've backup/restored this twelve times,

and tried several different SIM cards. All rejected. Except for the ATT SIM. I last tried all of this stuff yesterday, after giving up for a week. I am in no hurry. If I knew that there was a wait time, I would gladly wait (not the 14-day upgrade period, that is long gone).

 

I am giving the phone back to her, because ATT has won. They do not want the phone to go to anyone else. 

Otherwise she would have been told by ATT when she asked....that she needs to go online and fill out a request. Instead, ATT told her that I needed to get an account! Or to give me the customer service number and they 

would help me through the unlock process. Well, we know how that turned out. They said it is still on the 

Locked list. Also they suggested I call Apple. I believe this is becoming a game among ATT

customer service reps..

 

I'm about to give the phone back because it is too stressful to have something nice sitting there

which you are told you cannot use. Why does ATT behave this way? WHy not reject my "unlock request" out-of-hand if I am not the original owner? It would have saved me a lot of time and 

$30 to an Apple technician, to tell me that it's still locked... yes, they charged me $30 to 

troubleshoot, when there was no trouble. Just a locked IMEI.

 

And why is 'non-ATT customer' even an option on the unlock-request form if it is not accepted?

 

I have shortened this story, and have left out a few long calls to ATT, Apple, and Tmobile, all who point to each other.

 

Does anyone have any hints about getting truthful information out of ATT customer service reps? I will bet money that the next one I call will tell me that I don't have to be the original owner to request an unlock. 

 

The phone meets all of the other required criteria.

 

thanks in advance.

steve

iphone5 doorstop

 

[Edited for privacy-please do not post personal or unique information such as but not limited to full names, employee ID numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, etc.]

 

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Message 1 of 43
ACE - Sage

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

To unlock an iPhone (unlike other phones) you must have the original SIM card in the phone.
I am guessing the original owner moved it to her new phone.

This is why it would be best if the original owner processes the unlock.
Once she does that... With the original sim installed, restore to factory as many times as needed to get the "congratulations...."
(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 43
Teacher

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

I believe that the ATT sim card that came with the phone was from ATT,
since that is the plan she had and still has.
It's never had a non-ATT sim card in it. So I don't know what you are
asking here

Message 3 of 43
ACE - Sage

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

I will reword....
She has a sim in her new phone, she can only have one active SIM card with her information, so the one in the phone you have is inactive. Nothing more than a place holder.
The phone can only be unlocked with her active SIM card.
(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 4 of 43
Teacher

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

Ok, well, I am learning here. Her phone number is still in the phone, if
that matters, and when turned on the phone says 'no service.'
But the ATT sim card in it allows it to function at least as a wireless
device (it will not function without a SIM). I do know that she changed
(upgraded) phones and kept her number. Perhaps she held onto the old SIM to
put into her new phone.
But through erase and restore, her old phone number still comes up on the
phone. It doesn't ring of course. Her new phone rings.

I made the assumption that with her getting a brand new expensive iphone
that a new fresh SIM card would come with it.
Why carry over an old SIM card that is a year old or more?
She is not the type to specifically put in a 'placeholder' sim card into it
just to give it to me. Basically she said "Here
is a gift, go unlock it, do what you need to do, you know how to do these
things, the account is paid and the IMEI is clear" so she assumed no
problems.

My best guess is that ATT has been changing some requirements for this
unlock process, and not all their published material is up to date yet. Nor
are their customer service people all on the same page. And my timing was
just poor.

I really did not want to make a problem out of this. I went through the
proper channels. I did not go try to jailbreak it.

But I'm all ears... if I need to get her 'original' nano-SIM to do this
(though how I will get it is unclear.. she may fly in next weekend but it
will be brief)... I sincerely hope ATT joins the 21st Century sometime
soon...

anyway, thanks for your input!
steve

Message 5 of 43
ACE - Sage

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

I get that her sim is in the phone. But it's not active. It has to be unlocked from AT&T and her account with her active sim.
(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 43
Teacher

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

So... the unlock approvals I am getting from ATT simply mean that it's not
unlocked YET, and as soon as I fly
to NY and meet with her and get the old SIM card out of her new phone, then
I can initiate a proper unlock with this phone? I wish, in the 9-10
conversations I have had online and over the phone with ATT, that at least
one person had told me this.

And ATT ca't remotely unlock it,
because why would they?

Well, I get that this will never be my phone, but I was studying the FCC
laws and the Feb 11th deadline, and wondered why ATT
didn't simplify the process a little bit more.. (because they don't have
to?)

Now, according to her talk with ATT, they told her they would walk me
through unlocking it (but they told me they would not).
I will ask her if she carries the original SIM card or if it is in her new
phone, or if she left it with this phone.

I will ask Apple why they have a section in their unlocking instructions
titled " Unlocking If you Don't have the Original SIM Card"
(I'm paraphrasing here)

I am glad that at least I did not purchase this phone from anyone! I guess
that it is now a useless $650 doorstop.
I can't trust any of the unlock services which she has told me to 'just go
to.'

oh well. Thanks for the info. This whole thing makes me really sick.


but thanks, I know you are trying to help
sr

Message 7 of 43
Community Support
Solution
Accepted by Community Support (Community Support)
Accepted by ATTMobilityCare
‎04-20-2016 11:51 AM

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

Hi there @steveroche5

 

I’d be happy to help with your device unlock! Here’s how the iPhone unlock process goes:

 

You can also visit our main Unlock Forum here.

 

  1. Unlock request is submitted to AT&T
  2. Approval for unlock is sent to both Apple and customer
  3. The device is approved for unlock by Apple
  4. Customer performs Apple’s unlock procedure in iTunes
  5. After completing successfully, the iPhone connects to Apple’s activation servers where it receives the unlock approval
  6. The device is successfully unlocked

 

It seems in this case, we’ve gotten to Step 4. but haven’t yet been able to get the process to be completed in iTunes. Please try the following as closely as possible and you should then see the message of congratulations confirming that the device has indeed been unlocked:

 

  • Connect device to iTunes and perform a full backup (File > Devices > Backup)
  • Once backed up, keep the device connected to iTunes and on the phone, head to Settings >General > Reset
  • Choose Erase All Content and Settings
  • The device will restart and display the setup screens
  • Proceed through the device setup, and choose Setup as a new iPhone
  • Device activation will occur, and you should see that the device is now unlocked via a message displayed in iTunes
  • The device is now unlocked, and you can choose Restore from Backup in iTunes to restore your data!

If you are in need of further assistance, please contact us via Private Message.

 

I hope this helps!

Charise

AT&T Customer Care

Need help with an account specific question?  Post a new question here on the forums by clicking the "Ask a Question" button.
For additional support, please visit us at our AT&T services hub.
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*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 8 of 43
ACE - Expert

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

Lizdance, I am pretty sure the original sim does not need to be in the phone but it definitely does not need to be active. All of the iPhone's I have unlocked had a deactivated sim when I did the backup/restore.

To the OP, if Apple is telling you your phone is still locked, that indicates they have not received the approval from ATT to add your phone to the unlock database. Your best bet is to send a private message to ATTCustomerCare with the latest unlock approval and get them to manually resend the unlock approval to Apple.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 9 of 43
Teacher

Re: More iphone unlocking problems

Hi-

I believe I have done just what you have said, many, many times. I can't be sure that I had the phone plugged into iTunes the very last time I "ereased everything on the phone" ... I may have done the backup, restore, set up as new, and then unplugged the phone and went into the phone itself and chose "erase all content"...  perhaps it matters that it is plugged into iTunes while this is happening, perhaps not. I will know if any of this is successful only after I go to the t-mobile store again and they try one of their spare SIM cards in it.

 

steve

Message 10 of 43
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