AT&T restrictions on unlocking

bmac4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 14, 2013
4,112
1,290
Atlanta Ga
So I bought an iPhone 5S at full price about a week ago. I am still on contract, so that is why I bought at full price. I just went to the AT&T unlock request page, and when I put in the IMEI number it said "currently, this phone cannot be unlocked". I can't even submit a request for it.

My question is why are they doing this? I bought the phone outright. It is mine right? The phone that was under contract is an HTC One that I sold. I know technically they can do whatever they want, but since the iPhone 5S is mine, and not under contract what right do they have to deny unlocking it? I mean if I want to I can do whatever with the phone since I own it. The only thing they have me on is the 2 year contract of service.
 
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solo118

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2011
1,217
114
So I bought an iPhone 5S at full price about a week ago. I am still on contract, so that is why I bought at full price. I just went to the AT&T unlock request page, and when I put in the IMEI number it said "currently, this phone cannot be unlocked". I can't even submit a request for it.

My question is why are they doing this? I bought the phone outright. It is mine right? The phone that was under contract is an HTC One that I sold. I know technology they can do whatever they want, but since the iPhone 5S is mine, and not under contract what right do they have to deny unlocking it? I mean if I want to I can do whatever with the phone since I own it. The only thing they have me on is the 2 year contract of service.
If it was bought at an Apple store, it should already be unlocked. Did you check an IMEI unlock checker?
 

solo118

macrumors 65816
May 16, 2011
1,217
114
I bought it at AT&T. And yes I have already check it.
Luckily you can still return it, and go ahead and buy one from Apple. Or you can just say you are returning the phone unless an unlock is issued.

IMHO- It would be worth the hassle because these days the unlock for a 5S is $100 plus! Just make sure at&t doesn't charge you a restocking fee.
 

JayLenochiniMac

macrumors G5
Nov 7, 2007
12,815
2,354
New Sanfrakota
Call at&t and have them unlock it from their end. The online service works best if you already have an iPhone on the account for a while as at&t tracks the IMEI of all phones associated with its accounts but it may not recognize a new IMEI (especially if it's been only a week).

FYI: If you upgrade a line, the old iPhone becomes eligible for unlock after 14 days, which is the return period of new phones.
 

bmac4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 14, 2013
4,112
1,290
Atlanta Ga
Luckily you can still return it, and go ahead and buy one from Apple. Or you can just say you are returning the phone unless an unlock is issued.



IMHO- It would be worth the hassle because these days the unlock for a 5S is $100 plus! Just make sure at&t doesn't charge you a restocking fee.

Yeah I may keep the one I have, and try and call AT&T. Thanks for the help.

----------

Call at&t and have them unlock it from their end. The online service works best if you already have an iPhone on the account for a while as at&t tracks the IMEI of all phones associated with its accounts but it may not recognize a new IMEI (especially if it's been only a week).



FYI: If you upgrade a line, the old iPhone becomes eligible for unlock after 14 days, which is the return period of new phones.

Thanks for the advice. I am in no hurry because I am loving the phone, and have no need to sell it. I just thought I would have no issue at all unlocking. I just wanted to make sure that I should be able to unlock since I bought it at full price. I should have just had them unlock it for me the day I bought it.

Would going to the AT&T store work just the same as calling? I should have every right to do this correct?
 

JayLenochiniMac

macrumors G5
Nov 7, 2007
12,815
2,354
New Sanfrakota
Would going to the AT&T store work just the same as calling? I should have every right to do this correct?
Yes. If they attempt to re-direct you to the online unlock request, tell them you've already tried it to no avail and for them to unlock it from their end.

I've had a couple of no-go from the online request and had to call at&t, but they involved unconventional set ups (e.g., device swap and at&t didn't yet update the IMEIs). I had no problem with the online request upon upgrading to the 5s once my contract was actually up.
 

blarivee

macrumors 6502
Jun 29, 2009
370
1
US
So I bought an iPhone 5S at full price about a week ago. I am still on contract, so that is why I bought at full price. I just went to the AT&T unlock request page, and when I put in the IMEI number it said "currently, this phone cannot be unlocked". I can't even submit a request for it.

My question is why are they doing this? I bought the phone outright. It is mine right? The phone that was under contract is an HTC One that I sold. I know technically they can do whatever they want, but since the iPhone 5S is mine, and not under contract what right do they have to deny unlocking it? I mean if I want to I can do whatever with the phone since I own it. The only thing they have me on is the 2 year contract of service.
The system is probably messed up. I noticed that recently AT&T systems scans the IMEI of the phone more frequently and updates the online account info. I swapped my iPhone 5S SIM into a iPhone 4S temporarily and when I log into my online account the next day, it already registered the phone as 4S. When I swap it back to 5S, a few days later I see my online account showing the phone as 5S.

So AT&T systems probably just sees your new phone and see that you still have a contract and denies your unlock request. You will have to do it over the phone and it would help if you have the receipt or order number handy so they can verify that you paid unsubsidized price. I do not think the corporate stores do unlock requests.
 

LaynieGorilla

macrumors 6502
Jan 1, 2011
473
27
PA
I was in the same situation as you. I called them and twice and was unsuccessful both times. I think they go off of your contract, regardless of whether you bought the phone outright or not.
 

Appl3FTW

macrumors 603
Nov 15, 2012
5,383
1,017
I was in the same situation as you. I called them and twice and was unsuccessful both times. I think they go off of your contract, regardless of whether you bought the phone outright or not.
that doesn't make sense.. why would it be "unlocked" and pay full price then?
 

SoAnyway

macrumors 6502
May 10, 2011
476
179
Return that iPhone to AT&T and get a new one at Apple, one that all ready comes unlocked.
 

sixrom

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2013
707
1
AT&T has always provided great customer service each time I've called.

Especially quick to unlock my iPhone's, however it's important to remember that you may have to ask for a supervisor if they say no. Not all employees understand the process if they're new hires.

AT&T continues to grow rapidly.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,987
192
The whole reason people pay full price is that they get an unlocked phone from the get go. Paying full$ for a locked phone is kinda odd.
 

bmac4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 14, 2013
4,112
1,290
Atlanta Ga
Why on earth would you buy a full price iphone locked at Att? Common sense would be lets go to an Apple store or apple.com and order my full price iphone.

Because I was trading in my iPhone 4S and they were giving me what I paid for the 4S $200. Apple refused to let me trade the 4S in unless I was upgrading a line of service. I could not upgrade, so Apple told me I could not trade my iPhone 4S in. I saw AT&T would give me $200 for it. I went for it.
 

aziatiklover

macrumors 68030
Jul 12, 2011
2,661
94
8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
Because I was trading in my iPhone 4S and they were giving me what I paid for the 4S $200. Apple refused to let me trade the 4S in unless I was upgrading a line of service. I could not upgrade, so Apple told me I could not trade my iPhone 4S in. I saw AT&T would give me $200 for it. I went for it.
Seems to me you did not pay full price since you used att credit. That is why your iphone is still locked and not even in the activation system for them to recognize it.
 

bmac4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 14, 2013
4,112
1,290
Atlanta Ga
Seems to me you did not pay full price since you used att credit. That is why your iphone is still locked and not even in the activation system for them to recognize it.

Nope not right at all. I use my iPhone 4S as money. I don't have credit with AT&T. When I bought the phone he said you are buying this phone contract free. I did not have to pay an activation fee or anything like that. I bought the iPhone 5S outright. It is mine, and has nothing to do with my contract. Yes it has my sim in it, but they don't have that phone as part of my contract.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,864
1,480
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
So I bought an iPhone 5S at full price about a week ago. I am still on contract, so that is why I bought at full price. I just went to the AT&T unlock request page, and when I put in the IMEI number it said "currently, this phone cannot be unlocked". I can't even submit a request for it.
It's already unlocked. Full price means, no lock on AT&T devices.
 

bmac4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Feb 14, 2013
4,112
1,290
Atlanta Ga
AT&T restrictions on unlocking

It's already unlocked. Full price means, no lock on AT&T devices.

Even if I bought it at the AT&T store? When I checked one the unlock site it said it was still lock with AT&T
 

Frost17

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2011
138
4
ATT will unlock any phone for you that you purchase full-price at an Apple Store. You'll need to call ATT and they will place you on hold and call the Apple Store for confirmation. After that, the representative will ask you for the serial code on your store receipt. Well... at least that's what I had to go through.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,974
815
I was in the same situation as you. I called them and twice and was unsuccessful both times. I think they go off of your contract, regardless of whether you bought the phone outright or not.

Nope. I bought my htc one full price while still under contract. I called and they unlocked it. Also, I bought my 5s on launch day at full price from AT&T and when i got home found out it was locked. Had to pay $3 on eBay to have it unlocked as the AT&T route would have taken longer.