Have I been ripped off? iPhone Unlock

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Chaos Reigns, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Chaos Reigns macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2012
    I travel to India(family) a lot and so having an unlocked phone is vital. I live in the US but am in India visiting family.

    I recently purchased an iPhone 5c in the US from a man that claimed it is unlocked and I would be able to use it on GSM networks in India.
    Model: A1532
    When I arrived in India and popped in my Docomo SIM, which I did verify as a GSM network, I was prompted with the error message:
    SIM Not Valid

    The SIM card that you currently have installed in this iPhone is from a carrier that is not supported under the activation policy that is currently assigned by the activation server. This is not a hardware issue. Please insert another SIM card from a supported carrier or request that this iPhone be unlocked by your carrier. Contact Apple for more info.
    I called up the man and he said he used a website called Hammer Unlock, http://hammerunlocks.com/
    to unlock the iPhone, and that he knows it works because for his other phones he uses the same site and when he travels to Russia, his phones work fine with Russian GSM networks.

    I asked him what carrier was the phone on originally and he said AT&T, and so I go to their website and submit an online unlock request:

    AT&T's response was:

    Device Unlock Status - Denied
    Unfortunately, your unlock request was denied because you haven't fulfilled your service contract.
    You can submit a new request once you complete your service contract.

    A bit confused, I call up the man who sold me the phone and tell him that AT&T won't unlock the phone because they are saying the phone is still in a contract with them.
    His exact reply was: "That doesn't matter, it is unlocked for all American GSM networks."
    I told him he first said I could use it on GSM Indian networks and his reply was, "Yes, what is likely happening is you are putting in a SIM that is not on a GSM network."
    I ask then simply, How do I use it in India??? I know my network is GSM, especially since I called them to verify.
    He replies, "You'll have to get it internationally unlocked by using some service, I use Hammer Unlocks and it works, there's thousands of services online."

    He says he can't do anything more for me and hangs up.
    He owns a small electronics shop so I doubt he will be running away with my money.
    I am very frustrated and confused with this whole thing.


    I have some questions.

    1. As per the AT&T reply, it seems I am locked to AT&T and cannot unlock for international use until I complete this "service contract" that I have no idea about. Is this correct?

    2. He said he used Hammer Unlock to unlock the iPhone for American GSM networks but then later suggested I use online services like Hammer Unlock to internationally unlock.
    Is international unlock and American unlock two different things/services?

    3. Have I been cheated out of my money? If yes, what do I do?

    4. What do I need to do to use this iPhone in India on my GSM network?


    Please help, thanks!
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The phone is locked because it's under contract with AT&T. Many 3rd party unlocks are not working because AT&T has taken legal action against the people who were performing the service while employed by AT&T. You should return the phone.
  3. Chaos Reigns thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2012
    If I wait til the contract expires then request an unlock from AT&T, would that not work?

    Also, how do I figure out when it expires since it is not my contract.
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    It could be a year or more, but if the contract is never paid and then goes to collections, there's a possibility that AT&T won't ever unlock it.
  5. planetf1 macrumors 6502


    Aug 8, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    You've been cheated.if unlocked it would work. Did you buy via a site such as Ebay where you can raise a complaint?

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4 November 14, 2015