Can AT&T unlock an in-contract locked iPhone 4S?

jent

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 31, 2010
703
148
I remember in other threads people sharing their experiences after AT&T started allowing iPhone unlocking in April of this year. Some people said AT&T agreed to unlock in-contract iPhone 4Ses, and the three reps I spoke to today all told me that it isn't even possible to make an exception to the policy and that if AT&T sends Apple an IMEI that is still under contract, the computer system rejects it and there's nothing that can be done.

Does anyone have tips to get an in-contract phone unlocked? Thanks!
 

nitemare

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2009
169
0
yes they can and yes they will BUT they are only making the exception for military that are deploying. they unlocked my on contract 4S right before i deployed over seas.
 

Lammercy

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2012
232
1
You just have to find the right cs representative to speak with. They unlocked my in contract iPhone 4!
 

trife

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2012
452
466
They've unlocked many iPhones under contract. Just look in the official unlock thread.
 

thewitt

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2011
2,102
1,522
AT&T's unlock policy is not open to customer service rep interpretation. Unlocking requires one of their conditions to met.

I don't believe anyone is getting random unlocks simply by calling a friendly customer service representative.

Here is their official policy statement:
----------------------------------------------------
General Eligibility Requirements for Unlocking iPhone

AT&T will unlock an iPhone under the following circumstances:

The person requesting the unlock is: (i) a current AT&T customer; or (ii) a former AT&T customer who can provide the phone number or account number for the account.

The iPhone was designed for use on AT&T's network;

All contract obligations, including any term commitment, associated with the device to be unlocked have been fully satisfied; and

The iPhone has not been reported lost or stolen.

Current customers will be allowed five (5) unlocks per account, per year, so long as their account is in good standing with no past-due amount or unpaid balance and has been active for at least sixty (60) days.

Former customers will be allowed five (5) unlocks per former account so long as they owe AT&T no Early Termination Fee or other unpaid balance.

In addition, AT&T will unlock an iPhone for: (i) an active and deployed member of the military who is a current AT&T customer in good standing and is able to provide AT&T with deployment verification; and (ii) a person who purchased the iPhone from an authorized location at the "no commitment" price and can provide proof of purchase.

AT&T reserves the right to deny any unlock request that it concludes would result in an abuse of this policy or is part of an effort to defraud AT&T or its customers. AT&T further reserves the right to alter this unlocking policy at its discretion without advance notice.
 

Ay_Zimmy

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2010
272
1
Long Island, NY
AT&T's unlock policy is not open to customer service rep interpretation. Unlocking requires one of their conditions to met.

I don't believe anyone is getting random unlocks simply by calling a friendly customer service representative.

Here is their official policy statement:
----------------------------------------------------
General Eligibility Requirements for Unlocking iPhone

AT&T will unlock an iPhone under the following circumstances:

The person requesting the unlock is: (i) a current AT&T customer; or (ii) a former AT&T customer who can provide the phone number or account number for the account.

The iPhone was designed for use on AT&T's network;

All contract obligations, including any term commitment, associated with the device to be unlocked have been fully satisfied; and

The iPhone has not been reported lost or stolen.

Current customers will be allowed five (5) unlocks per account, per year, so long as their account is in good standing with no past-due amount or unpaid balance and has been active for at least sixty (60) days.

Former customers will be allowed five (5) unlocks per former account so long as they owe AT&T no Early Termination Fee or other unpaid balance.

In addition, AT&T will unlock an iPhone for: (i) an active and deployed member of the military who is a current AT&T customer in good standing and is able to provide AT&T with deployment verification; and (ii) a person who purchased the iPhone from an authorized location at the "no commitment" price and can provide proof of purchase.

AT&T reserves the right to deny any unlock request that it concludes would result in an abuse of this policy or is part of an effort to defraud AT&T or its customers. AT&T further reserves the right to alter this unlocking policy at its discretion without advance notice.
That's a pretty easy policy..
 

trife

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2012
452
466
AT&T's unlock policy is not open to customer service rep interpretation. Unlocking requires one of their conditions to met.

I don't believe anyone is getting random unlocks simply by calling a friendly customer service representative.

Here is their official policy statement:
----------------------------------------------------
General Eligibility Requirements for Unlocking iPhone

AT&T will unlock an iPhone under the following circumstances:

The person requesting the unlock is: (i) a current AT&T customer; or (ii) a former AT&T customer who can provide the phone number or account number for the account.

The iPhone was designed for use on AT&T's network;

All contract obligations, including any term commitment, associated with the device to be unlocked have been fully satisfied; and

The iPhone has not been reported lost or stolen.

Current customers will be allowed five (5) unlocks per account, per year, so long as their account is in good standing with no past-due amount or unpaid balance and has been active for at least sixty (60) days.

Former customers will be allowed five (5) unlocks per former account so long as they owe AT&T no Early Termination Fee or other unpaid balance.

In addition, AT&T will unlock an iPhone for: (i) an active and deployed member of the military who is a current AT&T customer in good standing and is able to provide AT&T with deployment verification; and (ii) a person who purchased the iPhone from an authorized location at the "no commitment" price and can provide proof of purchase.

AT&T reserves the right to deny any unlock request that it concludes would result in an abuse of this policy or is part of an effort to defraud AT&T or its customers. AT&T further reserves the right to alter this unlocking policy at its discretion without advance notice.
You couldn't be more wrong about people getting random unlocks by calling up customer service. The policy sounds great and isn't open to interpretation, however when you get a rep that simply isn't doing their job, you can easily get an unlock even while still under contract.

I've unlocked 2 that were bought from Craigslist, which clearly isn't an authorized location. And I even disclosed that I bought them from there. A week later they were both unlocked and no mention was made about proof of purchase, paying the no commitment price, etc.

I guess my point is that it CAN happen simply by calling, even if you don't meet all of the criteria.
 

Ay_Zimmy

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2010
272
1
Long Island, NY
They want you to use the iPhone. Why miss out on a customer who could be a potential buyer of music, apps etc.. Plus, I'm sure they can't bare to see a poor iPhone get no attention and go unused.
 

thewitt

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2011
2,102
1,522
You couldn't be more wrong about people getting random unlocks by calling up customer service. The policy sounds great and isn't open to interpretation, however when you get a rep that simply isn't doing their job, you can easily get an unlock even while still under contract.

I've unlocked 2 that were bought from Craigslist, which clearly isn't an authorized location. And I even disclosed that I bought them from there. A week later they were both unlocked and no mention was made about proof of purchase, paying the no commitment price, etc.

I guess my point is that it CAN happen simply by calling, even if you don't meet all of the criteria.
You will have to excuse my skepticism that the rep you speak with has any leeway in making these decisions.
 

albertxp06

macrumors regular
Oct 11, 2011
157
0
California
You can always try. They unlocked my in-contract (by 7 months) iPhone 4. Worst they can do is say no, which they should do to in-contract phones.
 

trife

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2012
452
466
You will have to excuse my skepticism that the rep you speak with has any leeway in making these decisions.
Dude, go read the official unlock thread. For my unlocks it took calling a few different reps to get one that would even submit the request due to the iphones being purchased on Craigslist.

So yes, it appears that they're using their judgment, or lack thereof, when it comes to who gets submitted and who doesn't. And whether it be the reps or someone else making the decision, clearly they're not strictly adhering to the policy.
 

thewitt

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2011
2,102
1,522
Dude, go read the official unlock thread. For my unlocks it took calling a few different reps to get one that would even submit the request due to the iphones being purchased on Craigslist.

So yes, it appears that they're using their judgment, or lack thereof, when it comes to who gets submitted and who doesn't. And whether it be the reps or someone else making the decision, clearly they're not strictly adhering to the policy.
Your Craigslist units fit the policy.

No contract. Not stolen.

I would expect them to be unlocked.
 

trife

macrumors 6502
Apr 16, 2012
452
466
Your Craigslist units fit the policy.

No contract. Not stolen.

I would expect them to be unlocked.
Actually the iPhone 4 I bought was still under contract. How do I know? Because I specifically asked the seller. Also, my initial request was denied because it came up as under contract! And it was still unlocked after submitting another request with a different rep.

I'd also like to note that when I told the second rep that I bought it from Craigslist, she told me that she was going to note that I paid full price for it. Go figure.

So yes, it can be as simple as calling. I'm not sure why you're hellbent on defending the service reps, but a quick browse of the unlock thread on here will show you that they aren't strictly adhering to the policy. But that's cool....keep believing what you'd like lol.
 

Globug

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2012
431
72
Brisbane Australia
I got my in contract 4s unlocked. All i did was ask, and didn't even hint that it was a 4S. Just gave them a IMEI number and figured it was their business to know what is what.

Maybe just call them and give them a IMEI number and dont' saywhatphone it is?
 
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