Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

Contributor

Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

[ Edited ]

Let's put it this way...you buy an iPhone on contract with AT&T, and either pay them for it, or agree to a term of time before it is yours.  Once you fulfill the term of the contract, you are no longer obligated, and as long as your bill is paid up to date, the phone is now - officially - your asset.  You take it off-line with AT&T, and it sits for two + years.  You now want to sell it, and have buyers, but they want it "unlocked".  You apply for unlocking, but this now must be done through the Internet.  Agents can no longer do this over the phone.  AT&T says it will take "48 hours" to get your response - but up to "5 days".  A week later, you call AT&T to find out why you don't have any response yet.  They say it may be because your current billing (completely unrelated to the old, out-of-service-for-two-years iPhone) is 2 days overdue.  They open a case that will take up to 10 days to settle.  I lose the buyer because he can't wait.  This is exactly what happened to me.

 

Now, let's take a close look at what really happened here:

 

  1. I own the phone - fully paid off, with no outstanding bill when its service was disconnected more than 2 years ago.
  2.  The phone is an asset that belongs to me, and it has significant value.
  3.  AT&T has seized my asset, and is holding it hostage over a completely unrelated phone number and account.  This, folkes, is criminal - plain and simple.  By refusing to unlock it, AT&T has electronically stolen my personal property - knowingly and purposefully

No matter how you look at this - it is, what it is...theivery, which is not a civil matter.  It is criminal - period. It is no different than stealing someone's watch, their bicycle, or their car.  It is just electronic - as opposed to physical.  But the results are the same, aren't they?  At best, it is a hostage situation, which is also criminal.  And don't let them off the hook because they are "protecting against stolen phones".  Anyone can go on the Internet and access a database of stolen phones to check if it is - instantly.  And for AT&T, the stolen phone record can be at any and all employee's fingertips.  Sure, make them wait 48 hours to be sure...but hold the phone hostage??

 

[Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

 

 

This message will probably be wiped out by AT&T in a hurry, so act now.  I have copied it and will blast it out on the Internet is they do.  Good luck!

Message 1 of 13 (1,441 Views)

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

[ Edited ]

If it is criminal, you should be able to file a complaint {edited to comply with guidelines}.  If it is a civil matter, {edited to comply with guidelines}.  If it is just plain irritating (which I certainly believe it is), about all you can do is vent, and take your business elsewhere. 

 

I personally didn't buy my first smartphone until last month, because I refused to buy a phone that was in any sense "locked", even with promises of eventually being able to unlock it.  I'm sorry for you in your present situation, but doubt there's much you can do.

Message 2 of 13 (1,416 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

Phone unlocking isn't an instant process. AT&T has to contact Apple, Apple has to update their servers and contact AT&T and advise that the unlock is complete. It is not just a request and done process.
This is a user to user forum. I am a user, just like almost everyone else on the site.
*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 3 of 13 (1,404 Views)
Employee

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

Hi sgsolomon, 

 

The iPhone has a different process to go though for unlocking of the device. As it has been posted, AT&T proceeses the request and then has to send the unlock on to Apple to perform. When you activate your iPhone, it talks to Apple's activation server and gives the lock/unlocked status. 

 

We have tools to tell us if the device has been reported as Stolen, but the process goes though Apple for the iPhone unlock. 

Employee Contributor*
*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 4 of 13 (1,400 Views)
Master

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

Please keep in mind that unless it says so, we are all customers of ATT.  Anyone who is an employee of ATT here is not going to be able to address your accusations.

 

What you need to do is reach out to customer care here on the forums and work with them to get through the process.  No one is stealing anything from you but you need to work the process and sometimes things get stuck.  ATT customer care here can help.  Here is a link to send them a private message: https://forums.att.com/t5/notes/privatenotespage/tab/compose/note-to-user-id/192773#.UtxFe3n0Ayk

 

 

 

 

_____________________

For service or support questions including existing order status, call:
Customer Support: 1-800-331-0500

Information on iPhone unlocking can be found here by copying this link into your browser:
https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/
Message 5 of 13 (1,397 Views)
Master

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

Your OP mentions that your phone is fully paid off. This being the case, you should be able to follow the instructions in this link to get AT&T to unlock your phone for you. https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/

Message 6 of 13 (1,362 Views)

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

I bet the reason for the delay in unlocking is that the OP said he is late on their current bill: "They say it may be because your current billing (completely unrelated to the old, out-of-service-for-two-years iPhone) is 2 days overdue".

 

 

 

 

Message 7 of 13 (1,342 Views)
Scholar

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?


brainwaver wrote:

I bet the reason for the delay in unlocking is that the OP said he is late on their current bill: "They say it may be because your current billing (completely unrelated to the old, out-of-service-for-two-years iPhone) is 2 days overdue".

 

 

 

 


To OP--is the above indeed the case?  If so, then it would seem that you don't have much of an argument since even though you've fulfilled the obligations associated with your old phone, the fact (again, if true) that your bill is overdue and by your own words you stated that one of the requirements for AT&T to unlock a phone is that your bill is current and paid up.  If you expect AT&T to follow the terms of the agreement, then certainly you need to completely fulfill your end of it as well...no?

Message 8 of 13 (1,236 Views)
Employee

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

[ Edited ]

A company reserving the right to provide service until after you got caught up on your bill?

What a concept.

I used to work for a satellite tv company that stopped you from ordering Pay-per-views while you were behind.

 

It's an annoyance, It's not permanent. You probably shouldn't have tried to sell it before you finished the unlocking process. Like the previous users had said, it's a process that can easily take a week or more anyways, even if you did meet the requirements.

 

-Alex

Employee Contributor*
*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 9 of 13 (1,212 Views)
Master

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?


loganic wrote:

A company reserving the right to provide service until after you got caught up on your bill?

What a concept.

I used to work for a satellite tv company that stopped you from ordering Pay-per-views while you were behind.

 

-Alex


Depends on the service that is being provided. Some of the electric companies will continue to provide service if only a few payments are missing. Being that cellular service isn't a necessity, wireless companies do not have to continue to provide service to their customers with an outstanding account. 

Message 10 of 13 (1,200 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

I would suggest that, in the future, you submit an unlock request the second your committment has elapsed.  Then you are free to do with your phone whatever you want as soon as you want to.  Waiting until you have a buyer on the hook may not be prudent.

 

*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 11 of 13 (1,069 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?


JefferMC wrote:

I would suggest that, in the future, you submit an unlock request the second your committment has elapsed.  Then you are free to do with your phone whatever you want as soon as you want to.  Waiting until you have a buyer on the hook may not be prudent.

 


Great (and simple) advice.

*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 12 of 13 (1,040 Views)
Highlighted
Master

Re: Can someone explain the locked contract iphone reasoning/ethics?

 
_____________________

For service or support questions including existing order status, call:
Customer Support: 1-800-331-0500

Information on iPhone unlocking can be found here by copying this link into your browser:
https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/
Message 13 of 13 (1,031 Views)
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