Need some advice at&t won't unlock my phone

amyangel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2012
133
37
So I own my iphone 6 which I purchased for $600 from Walmart.com as a refurbished phone back in 2015/June.

I have had this phone on the At&t network on a non contract plan since then. Fast forward to now when I need to travel and I requested to have it unlocked so I can do so. The message on the At&t website was that it was under contract and cannot be unlocked.

I called the mobility line the last 3 days they said they couldn't do it for me and to go to the store. We went to a corporate store by my house today and the rep there said they couldn't do anything but they called for us to AT&T and the girl in training on the phone said it was unlocked after waiting 30 minutes. I went home and looked online again and it still said locked i called back and they sent me to tech support who wanted me to fax in copies of my receipt from 2015, even though my account clearly shows I've been using this phone and it is not on contract and I own it.


Not a single person can help me. I faxed in the paperwork today and they called back and said they want Walmart to give me proof with imei printed on paperwork. I argued it doesn't matter because clearly i have no contract and I own this phone. They finally opened a ticket but said not sure if they can unlock for me and I have to wait another 3 days.

can anyone advise a reputable 3rd party service that can unlock at&t phones?
I have been through several managers, techs, and even mobility specialists at at&t and they all agree with me but can't or won't do it.

The exact message on my unlock from their website says that I am under contract when I am not.

Thanks for the advises in advance.
 

LoliS

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2017
172
71
So I own my iphone 6 which I purchased for $600 from Walmart.com as a refurbished phone back in 2015/June.
Sounds like the original owner's line is still on contract.

Next time pay $1 for a GSX report off of ebay when you buy a used iPhone - that will tell you if the phone is locked or not.

Also, try asking for an unlock as a non-AT&T customer here:

https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/#/
[doublepost=1489814738][/doublepost]
I argued it doesn't matter because clearly i have no contract and I own this phone.
Right but the original owner's line is still on contract and that is what matters. I know this sucks but Walmart sells "refurbs" but they are just returns a lot of times, not refurbs. If they are returns, they will follow the unlocking policy of the original owner's line.

Next time either buy your refurbs through apple directly or buy a Verizon used phone that is unlocked. Always pay the $1 for the GSX report.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,493
34,583
Nothing much you can do.
Moral of the story, don't buy "refurbished" Apple products from other places other than Apple.
I would agree with this. And AT&T will likely put the OP through a series of hoops if they will even assist at all in this situation.
 

bopajuice

Suspended
Mar 22, 2016
1,571
4,348
Dark side of the moon
So I own my iphone 6 which I purchased for $600 from Walmart.com as a refurbished phone back in 2015/June.

I have had this phone on the At&t network on a non contract plan since then. Fast forward to now when I need to travel and I requested to have it unlocked so I can do so. The message on the At&t website was that it was under contract and cannot be unlocked.

I called the mobility line the last 3 days they said they couldn't do it for me and to go to the store. We went to a corporate store by my house today and the rep there said they couldn't do anything but they called for us to AT&T and the girl in training on the phone said it was unlocked after waiting 30 minutes. I went home and looked online again and it still said locked i called back and they sent me to tech support who wanted me to fax in copies of my receipt from 2015, even though my account clearly shows I've been using this phone and it is not on contract and I own it.


Not a single person can help me. I faxed in the paperwork today and they called back and said they want Walmart to give me proof with imei printed on paperwork. I argued it doesn't matter because clearly i have no contract and I own this phone. They finally opened a ticket but said not sure if they can unlock for me and I have to wait another 3 days.

can anyone advise a reputable 3rd party service that can unlock at&t phones?
I have been through several managers, techs, and even mobility specialists at at&t and they all agree with me but can't or won't do it.

The exact message on my unlock from their website says that I am under contract when I am not.

Thanks for the advises in advance.
When they say they can't help you what reason do they give?

I have dealt with corporate customer service in the past, and could not get my issue resolved. I ended up filing a small claims lawsuit. Was contacted in less then a week and everything was resolved. Might be your only hope. Sue 'em for the price of the phone. It will get their attention.
 

EDH667

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
996
234
Northern California
I called the mobility line the last 3 days they said they couldn't do it for me and to go to the store. We went to a corporate store by my house today and the rep there said they couldn't do anything but they called for us to AT&T and the girl in training on the phone said it was unlocked after waiting 30 minutes. I went home and looked online again and it still said locked i called back and they sent me to tech support who wanted me to fax in copies of my receipt from 2015, even though my account clearly shows I've been using this phone and it is not on contract and I own it.
Have you actually tried a different SIM card like T-Mobile to see if it may already be unlocked?
 

amyangel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2012
133
37
Have you actually tried a different SIM card like T-Mobile to see if it may already be unlocked?
Yeps I have a tmobile sim which is active and it won't work.
[doublepost=1489899313][/doublepost]
They will give you the run around for weeks and drive you nuts.
Stop calling or contacting AT&T.
File a formal complaint with the bbb and the FCC.
AT&T corporate will then contact you and resolve it.
That's a great idea. I will actually start that process, thank you for the advice
[doublepost=1489899447][/doublepost]
When they say they can't help you what reason do they give?

I have dealt with corporate customer service in the past, and could not get my issue resolved. I ended up filing a small claims lawsuit. Was contacted in less then a week and everything was resolved. Might be your only hope. Sue 'em for the price of the phone. It will get their attention.
The reps I talk in pretty much all departments say they don't see anything on my account that shows I am on contract but they are unable to help me unlock the imei which i have used on their network the last 2 years. Even the mobility division which unlocks say they don't have access and can only use the website like I am doing which I call BS because there has to be some internal system.
 
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POLBOSS

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2008
75
6
This is what you need to do...
put your AT&T SIM in another phone...
Use it for a couple of minutes...
On your unlock request choose, not a costumer...
Your phone will immediately get unlocked...
If not try again 3 or 4 times more...
This always work
 
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Reactions: LoliS

LoliS

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2017
172
71
This is what you need to do...
put your AT&T SIM in another phone...
Use it for a couple of minutes...
On your unlock request choose, not a costumer...
Your phone will immediately get unlocked...
If not try again 3 or 4 times more...
This always work
yep.
 

Statusnone88

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2010
1,530
767
Yeps I have a tmobile sim which is active and it won't work.
[doublepost=1489899313][/doublepost]

That's a great idea. I will actually start that process, thank you for the advice
[doublepost=1489899447][/doublepost]

The reps I talk in pretty much all departments say they don't see anything on my account that shows I am on contract but they are unable to help me unlock the imei which i have used on their network the last 2 years. Even the mobility division which unlocks say they don't have access and can only use the website like I am doing which I call BS because there has to be some internal system.
AT&T exclusively uses their website to unlock devices. There's certain things AT&T locks the stores and customer service reps out of on purpose so we cannot do. As an AT&T store manager, you could put a gun to my head and threaten my life if I don't unlock your phone, and there's literally nothing I could do and you'd have to pull the trigger, because neither I, nor the highest customer service Rep manager could do.

My guess is the original owners line is under contract. The system is very black and white. My advice is submit the unlock request under a non-customer. Use an alternative email address that AT&T doesn't have on file for you. Don't use your phone number either.

Worst case scenario, very calmly explain to a retentions rep over the phone that you'd like to submit a ticket to the back office department and see if it's something they can help you with. If they can't, it's not because they don't want to. It's literally because they can't.

People need to understand that if we say we can't help with something, it's because AT&T has either told us we can't, or has locked us out of that intentionally.

Good luck with your unlock request. I know it must be extremely frustrating but I guarantee that everyone you've spoken to has wanted to help you 1000%. We're not as heartless as everyone makes us out to be. :)
 

amyangel

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2012
133
37
This is what you need to do...
put your AT&T SIM in another phone...
Use it for a couple of minutes...
On your unlock request choose, not a costumer...
Your phone will immediately get unlocked...
If not try again 3 or 4 times more...
This always work
Thank you!
[doublepost=1489943451][/doublepost]
AT&T exclusively uses their website to unlock devices. There's certain things AT&T locks the stores and customer service reps out of on purpose so we cannot do. As an AT&T store manager, you could put a gun to my head and threaten my life if I don't unlock your phone, and there's literally nothing I could do and you'd have to pull the trigger, because neither I, nor the highest customer service Rep manager could do.

My guess is the original owners line is under contract. The system is very black and white. My advice is submit the unlock request under a non-customer. Use an alternative email address that AT&T doesn't have on file for you. Don't use your phone number either.

Worst case scenario, very calmly explain to a retentions rep over the phone that you'd like to submit a ticket to the back office department and see if it's something they can help you with. If they can't, it's not because they don't want to. It's literally because they can't.

People need to understand that if we say we can't help with something, it's because AT&T has either told us we can't, or has locked us out of that intentionally.

Good luck with your unlock request. I know it must be extremely frustrating but I guarantee that everyone you've spoken to has wanted to help you 1000%. We're not as heartless as everyone makes us out to be. :)
I completely agree with you and have told each and every rep my frustration is with the company and not directly the staff or people. But I will try your suggestion of using a different email address etc. I appreciate your input and feedback. I have already initiated a ticket with them through my latest call in as of Friday. Unfortunately, the lady who was trying to help me said there was no guarantee.
 

Statusnone88

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2010
1,530
767
Thank you!
[doublepost=1489943451][/doublepost]

I completely agree with you and have told each and every rep my frustration is with the company and not directly the staff or people. But I will try your suggestion of using a different email address etc. I appreciate your input and feedback. I have already initiated a ticket with them through my latest call in as of Friday. Unfortunately, the lady who was trying to help me said there was no guarantee.
Please PM me if all else fails. Not making any promises, but maybe I can guide you to a different route if the above doesn't work.

Good luck!
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,989
194
U.S. Law have changed so forget 3rd party. If AT&T won't do it, ur S.O.L.

Similar experience with my last phone, thinking I can unlock it later. NOPE. Major hassle. This time went with brand new unlocked. The saving ain't worth the hassle.
 

AttilaTheHun

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2010
1,148
166
USA
So I own my iphone 6 which I purchased for $600 from Walmart.com as a refurbished phone back in 2015/June.

I have had this phone on the At&t network on a non contract plan since then. Fast forward to now when I need to travel and I requested to have it unlocked so I can do so. The message on the At&t website was that it was under contract and cannot be unlocked.

I called the mobility line the last 3 days they said they couldn't do it for me and to go to the store. We went to a corporate store by my house today and the rep there said they couldn't do anything but they called for us to AT&T and the girl in training on the phone said it was unlocked after waiting 30 minutes. I went home and looked online again and it still said locked i called back and they sent me to tech support who wanted me to fax in copies of my receipt from 2015, even though my account clearly shows I've been using this phone and it is not on contract and I own it.


Not a single person can help me. I faxed in the paperwork today and they called back and said they want Walmart to give me proof with imei printed on paperwork. I argued it doesn't matter because clearly i have no contract and I own this phone. They finally opened a ticket but said not sure if they can unlock for me and I have to wait another 3 days.

can anyone advise a reputable 3rd party service that can unlock at&t phones?
I have been through several managers, techs, and even mobility specialists at at&t and they all agree with me but can't or won't do it.

The exact message on my unlock from their website says that I am under contract when I am not.

Thanks for the advises in advance.
My advice to you is, ATT will unlock iPhone after two years, I had this problem with them all the time, one time i call and the CS yelled at me, since then I buy my iPhones from Apple store factory unlocked, you can also buy them used unlocked.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
U.S. Law have changed so forget 3rd party. If AT&T won't do it, ur S.O.L.

Similar experience with my last phone, thinking I can unlock it later. NOPE. Major hassle. This time went with brand new unlocked. The saving ain't worth the hassle.
There's still available 3rd party unlock options for all carriers.
Not sure about how legal it is as far as law is concerned but they do get the job done if you pay them.
 

Knight^mare

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2011
13
5
I was in the same boat a few weeks ago getting a run around AT&T customer support. I spent over a week trying for hours every day on the phone arguing with rep after rep. All they would do would be to submit a new request and it would always be rejected even though I paid off my ETF. No rep could do anything but that. Asking to talk with a manager or their superior had the same effect. Nobody could help because the unlock department was in a separate group.

I finally got fed up and filed a report with the BBB. The very next morning I had a manager call me from the Office of the President. They looked into my case while I was on the phone and immediately submitted the unlock request.

Truly a frustrating process, but I got immediate response by using the BBB to file a complaint. Hope this helps!
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
I was in the same boat a few weeks ago getting a run around AT&T customer support. I spent over a week trying for hours every day on the phone arguing with rep after rep. All they would do would be to submit a new request and it would always be rejected even though I paid off my ETF. No rep could do anything but that. Asking to talk with a manager or their superior had the same effect. Nobody could help because the unlock department was in a separate group.

I finally got fed up and filed a report with the BBB. The very next morning I had a manager call me from the Office of the President. They looked into my case while I was on the phone and immediately submitted the unlock request.

Truly a frustrating process, but I got immediate response by using the BBB to file a complaint. Hope this helps!

Exactly what I did after getting the same run around for weeks and losing my mind and patience with them.
Its pretty sad to have to resort to getting a government agency to go after your wireless carrier in order to get something simple and legal done such as unlocking your device.
AT&T customer service sucks and its part of the reason they keep bleeding subscribers each fiscal quarter.
 
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