T-Mobile will not unlock iPhone 5 immediately, even if you pay full price

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by fronesis, May 6, 2013.

  1. fronesis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    #1
    There had been a lot of talk about Tmobile's new SIM unlock policy, now that they have gotten rid of service contracts and phone subsidies, and now that they are selling the iPhone.

    They have a new policy that their own message board CS reps are linking to: here it is.

    If you read it like an intelligent adult it would appear to suggest that their unlock policy depends on whether you are postpaid or prepaid customer, and whether you bought your phone at full retail price. There is a separate Bold section heading for people who pay full price, and under that heading the only requirements are to be in good standing and to fax the a copy of the receipt.

    Unfortunately, that is NOT how Tmobile themselves are interpreting their own policy. They insist that you must wait either 40 days (postpaid) or 60 days (prepaid) before they will unlock the phone. In discussions with them (hours long discussions) it becomes clear that the third section heading on Full price phones is irrelevant. They admitted to me on the phone that they should delete it from the unlock document because it is misleading.

    It is, at best, misleading; at worst it is an outright lie. Their policy document says they will unlock full price phones, but they will not. Honestly, if they had told me this before I signed up, I wouldn't have been that bothered. But I read the document and talked to the Rep in a Tmobile corporate store before buying, and it was clear that their policy was to unlock phones bought up front at full price.

    But now that I'm signed up with them, they refuse to give the unlock code. I will now wait the needed 40 days, but I thought others might benefit from the clarification.
     
  2. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #2
    If you are financing the phone I think those terms are fair compared to the other carriers.
     
  3. nitemare macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    #3
    there is no unlock code. TMo has to submit ur IMEI info b4 the phone can be unlocked. once the info is inputted and approved for unlock, U as the USER finish the unlock process by restoring the phone through iTunes. again the USER will not receive an unlock code
     
  4. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    #4
    I AM NOT FINANCING THE PHONE. I paid $580 + tax for it.

    And yes, I've been a longtime iphone user, so I understand that it is an IMEI unlock on their end of things, and that you then restore through iTunes. I did that with an ATT iPhone that was out of contract.

    But my point here was just to let people know that despite their stated policy, tmobile will not unlock an iPhone 5 that a customer pays full price for.
     
  5. GrandMstrBud macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    #5
    T-Mobile is a joke, I also paid full and they keep giving me BS reasons to deny the unlock.
     
  6. coolio93 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #6
    I understand your frustration, however I don't believe that the policy is unfair. T-Mobile gave you the phone for 70 dollars cheaper than full price and keeping you as a customer for 40 days is their way of getting that 70 bucks back. Otherwise they eat that fee and lose money.

    Should they be more clear about that? Absolutely and you are right to be frustrated. HOWEVER, there is NO carrier that I have been with where CSR are fully aware of the situation and are able to provide accurate information. Most of them are misleading. It is on the customer to peruse the policies and figure out the fine details.
     
  7. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #7
    I agree. For those who need an immediately unlocked phone, the Apple store sells them unlocked out of the box. That's why they're $650. You have to determine whether saving $70 is worth waiting 40 days.
     
  8. fronesis, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013

    fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    #8
    I agree: $580 is a better deal than $650, and if I had known about the actual policy I might have gone ahead and purchased from Tmobile and then waited the 40 days.

    The policy isn't at all terrible; it makes sense to make people wait a bit if you are selling the phone for less than Apple.

    But their utter misrepresentation of the policy is horrendous.
    They publish a document online that says one thing, and then they implement a policy in DIRECT contradition of their own policy document.

    This is what I'm upset about.

    And I'm posting about it here, not sheerly to rant (although I admit I'm doing that too), but so that others will know how this works, because Tmobile is ONLY telling people the truth after you've bought the phone.

    Someone who might be travelling this summer might prefer to pay more to Apple and not have to deal with this hassle. And if Tmobile had told the truth, I wouldn't have wasted 2 hours with customer service today. I would have just waited.

    I switched to tmobile for a reason (I like their plans and I thought I liked their approach) but this is no way to treat customers.
     
  9. GrandMstrBud macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    #9
    The policy is very misleading and untrue. Every rep I have spoken to says I qualify for the unlock but when the so called "SIM Unlock Team" gets the request they have denied it for about 3 or 4 different reasons. They have no contact information either so they can't explain themselves. My guess is T-Mobile doesn't even know how to get them unlocked. Keep calling maybe you'll get $10 off your plan that's what I got so far. If I was told when paying FULL PRICE at the store that I would have had to wait 40 days I would have spent the extra 70 but of course they lied along with T-Mobile themselves. I guess we'll find out in 5 days if they know how but I'm sure 40 days will turn into 60 then because it's a different excuse every time. Just 2 hours? I think I wasted a good 8 hours or more total dealing with their worthless lies.
     
  10. coolio93 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 15, 2013
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    Houston, TX
    #10
    You right. But again: Sadly, this is just how the majority of the corporate world works.
     
  11. Satnam1989 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    they want to make sure that they get their $70 from you which you saved at beginning vs going to apple store....one way or another by making you go into second month.....as we all know carrier's dont make much money on prepaid plans...explains why prepaid policy is 60 days vs post paid...
     
  12. GrandMstrBud macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    #12
    I don't think it would be as bad if they had 1 story and stuck to it. For example having the reps at the store tell you straight up that I'd have to wait 40 days and then about 3 different reps in retention all saying yes I qualify for an unlock and then waiting days and days to have it come back denied. Like I said I'd have gladly paid the extra 70 if I would have known and as soon as I get the unlock I'm gone. If they would have done it from the get go I'd be staying but the entire experience from the pre order to this has been a complete nightmare.
     
  13. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    So the phone is $580. They want you to use two months of service ($100 - I say two months because 40 days would technically get you into being charged for two months at the point, whther you intend to use those additional 20 days you paid for or not). That brings the phone up to at least $680 for all intents and purposes. I see what you did there TMO. ;)
     
  14. shanmugam macrumors 68020

    shanmugam

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    Blazer town!
  15. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #15
    If we count the months of wireless service along with the price of the device my iPhone will cost me over $3000:)
     
  16. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 1, 2012
    #16
    Standard Tmobile iPhone 5, ME486LL/A
     
  17. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #17
    Well, that's not what I am doing though. I can buy a phone from AT&T full price, they will unlock it for me day one without any requirement to stay on their network at all. What TMO seems to be doing is giving a slight retail discount while requiring two months of paid service.
     
  18. dotyfbp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    #18
    TMo has to submit ur IMEI info b4 the phone can be unlocked
     
  19. Tork macrumors regular

    Tork

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    #19
    http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-2624

    You have 30 days to return the phone to T-Mo and buy an unlocked one from Apple if you need it unlocked immediately. Yes, it'll be $70 more, but it seems completely fair to require you to stay with them for 40 days in exchange for what is essentially a free $70, like CEmajr said. They should be clearer about the unlock waiting period, but they're not screwing anyone over here. The policy is totally fair. Literally nobody else is selling it at a discount like this (that I know of). Unless you bought the thing 31-39 days ago and need it unlocked rightthisminute, either return it or you've met the 40-day requirement and you're good to go for an unlock. But as of right now, the T-Mo iPhone came out less than 30 days ago, so anyone facing this particular issue (not many, I would imagine) can just take it back and buy it from the Apple Store instead :)
     
  20. Akack macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    Sucks that most people are having issues with getting t mobile to unlock their phones.

    I bought my 5 for 580 + tax and paid in full at t mobile, submitted the request to unlock it over the phone, and was unlocked about one week later.

    I confirmed it's indeed unlocked via iTunes and plugging a coworkers AT&T nano sim.

    Maybe try calling and speaking with another CSR?
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #21
    Forgive my ignorance, but what will unlocking the CDMA phone give you? I mean most of the world is on GSM so you have only verizon here in the US (not sure what CDMA carriers there are in Canada). So what is the advantage of doing this for CDMA phones?
     
  22. GrandMstrBud macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    #22
    I have talked to maybe 6 or more CSR's and all say I should but when it comes to the brilliant "SIM Unlock Team" that's another story. Sucks to pay full retail and not be able to use it on another carrier. While I did plan on staying with T-Mobile but now I will not be. Just tired of the lies and different stories.
     
  23. emoore macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2003
    #23
    What CDMA phone? Tmobile is GSM.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #24
    D'oh - you're right talk about a total brain fart. Well disregard my post :eek:
     
  25. fronesis thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    #25
    I don't mean to be rude, but WHY are you posting this and WHO are you talking to?? Everyone in this thread including me, the OP, understands how iPhone unlocking works. The discussion is not about HOW Tmobile unlocks iPhones; it's about their refusal to do so despite their stated policy.

    This is true, but Tmobile charges a $50 restocking fee on iPhones as well. So there is no way to correct your mistake once they've tricked you into thinking you will save the $70 and still get the phone unlocked.


    Wow, good for you. Seriously. I think maybe you must have had good timing, because everyone I talked to yesterday was clear that they will NOT unlock until 40 days.

    Yep, this is my experience as well.

    Everyone who keeps saying the policy is fair doesn't seem to understand what people like you and me are upset about. We are not saying TMO's policy is unfair, we are saying we were treated unfairly because we were lied to as a condition to sign up for service with them.
     

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