Ask a question
Search in Wireless Forums

Wireless Forum

Reply
Highlighted
Posted Aug 30, 2014
6:34:02 PM
View profile
AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

Just spoke with a customer service representative about disabling the SIM lock on my phone so that I can use it while traveling abroad and was told that the only way I can do that is if I pay an early termination fee.

 

I said I don't want to terminate my contract, in fact, I'm going to still be paying for phone service (that I won't be using) while out of the country.  She was very nice about it, but said it was their policy and that she wouldn't be able to unlock it unless I had completed my contract.

 

Is there a way around this?

 

I would really like to use my existing phone.  It has my apps on it, my music and photos on it, etc.

Just spoke with a customer service representative about disabling the SIM lock on my phone so that I can use it while traveling abroad and was told that the only way I can do that is if I pay an early termination fee.

 

I said I don't want to terminate my contract, in fact, I'm going to still be paying for phone service (that I won't be using) while out of the country.  She was very nice about it, but said it was their policy and that she wouldn't be able to unlock it unless I had completed my contract.

 

Is there a way around this?

 

I would really like to use my existing phone.  It has my apps on it, my music and photos on it, etc.

AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

5,111 views
7 replies
(0) Me too
(0) Me too
Reply
View all replies
(7)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 30, 2014 8:20:55 PM
0
(0)
Scholar

It would have been nice for them to unlock it for you, but technically, since you are still under contract they don't have to povide the unlock code. They gave me the unlock code for my old Blackberry Torch years ago, but I was not under contract at the time. I don't know your financial st\ituation, but you can get either a Moto E or a Moto G unlocked directly from Motorola free from any contract. I have a Moto G LTE that is my daily device. It replaced my AT&T Galaxy S3. You can get the Moto E really cheap. Ebay is also an option for an unlocked phone. Just be careful and do your research if you go that route. Also, I believe you can now legally go to a third party and get the unlock code if AT&T won't provide it to you. You said you would prefer your own device, so I would get a third party to unlock it if that is the case.

It would have been nice for them to unlock it for you, but technically, since you are still under contract they don't have to povide the unlock code. They gave me the unlock code for my old Blackberry Torch years ago, but I was not under contract at the time. I don't know your financial st\ituation, but you can get either a Moto E or a Moto G unlocked directly from Motorola free from any contract. I have a Moto G LTE that is my daily device. It replaced my AT&T Galaxy S3. You can get the Moto E really cheap. Ebay is also an option for an unlocked phone. Just be careful and do your research if you go that route. Also, I believe you can now legally go to a third party and get the unlock code if AT&T won't provide it to you. You said you would prefer your own device, so I would get a third party to unlock it if that is the case.

Re: AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

2 of 8 (1,618 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 30, 2014 9:03:08 PM
0
(0)
Explorer

You're right, "technically" they can do anything they want because it was somewhere in the fine print of the contract I signed.

 

The solution is that AT&T could make exceptions for reasonable circumstances, such as when a customer is going to be travelling internationally.

 

Instead, their staff wasted hours with me, I'm now a dissatisfied customer, and I'm wasting my time writing on this forum.  It would have saved them money and kept me a satisfied customer to just give me the unlock code.

 

Policies that inconvenience your customers arbitrarily is not a good way to keep them.  

 

Everyone with Google knows that I can pay one of numerous shady sites a few bucks for an unlock code.  So now I have to figure out whether I would rather deal with a shady site or carry another phone when I travel internationally.  So, I guess the policy also creates a bit of an ethical dilemma.  ;-)

You're right, "technically" they can do anything they want because it was somewhere in the fine print of the contract I signed.

 

The solution is that AT&T could make exceptions for reasonable circumstances, such as when a customer is going to be travelling internationally.

 

Instead, their staff wasted hours with me, I'm now a dissatisfied customer, and I'm wasting my time writing on this forum.  It would have saved them money and kept me a satisfied customer to just give me the unlock code.

 

Policies that inconvenience your customers arbitrarily is not a good way to keep them.  

 

Everyone with Google knows that I can pay one of numerous shady sites a few bucks for an unlock code.  So now I have to figure out whether I would rather deal with a shady site or carry another phone when I travel internationally.  So, I guess the policy also creates a bit of an ethical dilemma.  ;-)

Re: AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

3 of 8 (1,610 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 30, 2014 11:54:53 PM
0
(0)
Scholar

Yeah, I'm with you. They should have just given you the code. That said, there is nothing shady or unethical about getting an unlock code from a third party, as it is perfectly legal. I am currently using four devices on AT&T. All of them are unlocked. One I unlocked myself, one I got directly from the manufacturer unlocked, and the other two I bought unlocked on Ebay. As a matter of fact, only my Galaxy S3 is still locked to AT&T. As it's my backup device, I just haven't gotten around to unlocking it yet. I don't know the device you are using, but I can't say enough good things about my unlocked Moto G LTE that I got directly from Motorola contract free. It also works perfectly on AT&T's network. 

Yeah, I'm with you. They should have just given you the code. That said, there is nothing shady or unethical about getting an unlock code from a third party, as it is perfectly legal. I am currently using four devices on AT&T. All of them are unlocked. One I unlocked myself, one I got directly from the manufacturer unlocked, and the other two I bought unlocked on Ebay. As a matter of fact, only my Galaxy S3 is still locked to AT&T. As it's my backup device, I just haven't gotten around to unlocking it yet. I don't know the device you are using, but I can't say enough good things about my unlocked Moto G LTE that I got directly from Motorola contract free. It also works perfectly on AT&T's network. 

Re: AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

4 of 8 (1,583 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 31, 2014 3:43:40 AM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor

FiFo wrote:

You're right, "technically" they can do anything they want because it was somewhere in the fine print of the contract I signed.

 

The solution is that AT&T could make exceptions for reasonable circumstances, such as when a customer is going to be travelling internationally.

 

Instead, their staff wasted hours with me, I'm now a dissatisfied customer, and I'm wasting my time writing on this forum.  It would have saved them money and kept me a satisfied customer to just give me the unlock code.

 

Policies that inconvenience your customers arbitrarily is not a good way to keep them.  

 

Everyone with Google knows that I can pay one of numerous shady sites a few bucks for an unlock code.  So now I have to figure out whether I would rather deal with a shady site or carry another phone when I travel internationally.  So, I guess the policy also creates a bit of an ethical dilemma.  ;-)


What constitutes a "reasonable circumstance"?

 

How does AT&T prove the "reasonable circumstance" exists?


FiFo wrote:

You're right, "technically" they can do anything they want because it was somewhere in the fine print of the contract I signed.

 

The solution is that AT&T could make exceptions for reasonable circumstances, such as when a customer is going to be travelling internationally.

 

Instead, their staff wasted hours with me, I'm now a dissatisfied customer, and I'm wasting my time writing on this forum.  It would have saved them money and kept me a satisfied customer to just give me the unlock code.

 

Policies that inconvenience your customers arbitrarily is not a good way to keep them.  

 

Everyone with Google knows that I can pay one of numerous shady sites a few bucks for an unlock code.  So now I have to figure out whether I would rather deal with a shady site or carry another phone when I travel internationally.  So, I guess the policy also creates a bit of an ethical dilemma.  ;-)


What constitutes a "reasonable circumstance"?

 

How does AT&T prove the "reasonable circumstance" exists?

*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.

Re: AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

5 of 8 (1,567 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 31, 2014 3:46:00 AM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor

Rdechiara wrote:

Yeah, I'm with you. They should have just given you the code. That said, there is nothing shady or unethical about getting an unlock code from a third party, as it is perfectly legal. I am currently using four devices on AT&T. All of them are unlocked. One I unlocked myself, one I got directly from the manufacturer unlocked, and the other two I bought unlocked on Ebay. As a matter of fact, only my Galaxy S3 is still locked to AT&T. As it's my backup device, I just haven't gotten around to unlocking it yet. I don't know the device you are using, but I can't say enough good things about my unlocked Moto G LTE that I got directly from Motorola contract free. It also works perfectly on AT&T's network. 


FYI, the law states customers have the right to unlock their device if the contract has expired. http://www.fcc.gov/device-unlocking-faq


Rdechiara wrote:

Yeah, I'm with you. They should have just given you the code. That said, there is nothing shady or unethical about getting an unlock code from a third party, as it is perfectly legal. I am currently using four devices on AT&T. All of them are unlocked. One I unlocked myself, one I got directly from the manufacturer unlocked, and the other two I bought unlocked on Ebay. As a matter of fact, only my Galaxy S3 is still locked to AT&T. As it's my backup device, I just haven't gotten around to unlocking it yet. I don't know the device you are using, but I can't say enough good things about my unlocked Moto G LTE that I got directly from Motorola contract free. It also works perfectly on AT&T's network. 


FYI, the law states customers have the right to unlock their device if the contract has expired. http://www.fcc.gov/device-unlocking-faq

*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.

Re: AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

6 of 8 (1,566 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 31, 2014 7:17:19 AM
0
(0)
Explorer

Why would AT&T need to prove anything?  This is an arbitrary limitation in the policy that they created.  It does nothing but inconvenience their customers and cause their support staff to waste time (money) explaining it to people like me.

 

There is zero business value in this limitation:  In my opinion, this appears to simply be a shortsighted, ill-conceived, contract stipulation that some lawyer (or accountant) who was lacking in technical knowledge thought would prevent people from bailing on their contract early and using their subsidized phone with another carrier.

 

Unless I'm missing something, the only things this limitation does is 1) inconvenience people like me who want to use a different carrier temporarily in another country and 2) promote a market for buying SIM unlock codes from other parties.

 

Worse:  Again, this limitation has created a dissatisfied customer in me!  (And several others from what I've seen on this and other forums!)

Why would AT&T need to prove anything?  This is an arbitrary limitation in the policy that they created.  It does nothing but inconvenience their customers and cause their support staff to waste time (money) explaining it to people like me.

 

There is zero business value in this limitation:  In my opinion, this appears to simply be a shortsighted, ill-conceived, contract stipulation that some lawyer (or accountant) who was lacking in technical knowledge thought would prevent people from bailing on their contract early and using their subsidized phone with another carrier.

 

Unless I'm missing something, the only things this limitation does is 1) inconvenience people like me who want to use a different carrier temporarily in another country and 2) promote a market for buying SIM unlock codes from other parties.

 

Worse:  Again, this limitation has created a dissatisfied customer in me!  (And several others from what I've seen on this and other forums!)

Re: AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

7 of 8 (1,539 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 31, 2014 10:50:34 AM
0
(0)
Scholar

The thing is, AT&T isn't alone on that policy. About three years ago when T-Mobile was still doing two year contracts, my friend was going to The Bahamas and was under contract with them. They wouldn't unlock it for him because he was still under contract. I just let him borrow one of the unlocked devices I had that I wasn't using. Like was said here before, you can get it unlocked esewhere and it's perfectly legal. I don't like that they won't unlock it for you either, but that's just how it is. Smiley Sad

 

The thing is, AT&T isn't alone on that policy. About three years ago when T-Mobile was still doing two year contracts, my friend was going to The Bahamas and was under contract with them. They wouldn't unlock it for him because he was still under contract. I just let him borrow one of the unlocked devices I had that I wasn't using. Like was said here before, you can get it unlocked esewhere and it's perfectly legal. I don't like that they won't unlock it for you either, but that's just how it is. Smiley Sad

 

Re: AT&T won't unlock the network for international travel?

8 of 8 (1,509 Views)
Advanced
You must be signed in to add attachments
Share this post
Share this post