Unsolved Mystery with iPhone 4S unlock via AT&T. Desperate for help!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Kflik, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Kflik macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #1
    Hello,

    I have spent HOURS after work on the phone with AT&T and they seem to be unable to help which has put me in a pretty big bind.

    A month ago I contacted AT&T customer service to UNLOCK my two year old iPhone 4S. I went through the proper channels and I received a text message that stated my unlock was approved and the iPhone 4S was officially unlocked. To activate the unlock they said to contact Apple.com. Instead I just contacted AT&T asking what to do next. The lady told me on AT&T's end the iPhone is unlocked and everything is taken care of

    I sold the iPhone 4S on eBay and the person that purchased it claims the iPhone does not work with his SIM card. He is claiming to use the LIFE:) carrier in the Ukraine. He says he took the phone to his carrier and they said it is still locked.

    I spoke with AT&T again just now for over 1 hour and 40 minutes. They confirmed 4 separate times that the iPhone 4S is in fact unlocked but he must go through the final stages of the process to unlock it. I believe they said he can contact APPLE or go to an APPLE STORE to help with the process. Or just RESTORE the phone in iTunes (not from backup) and it will activate the unlock.

    The guy claims to have done the process with the carrier (LIFE:)) several times and that it STILL will not work. On my end AT&T was able to give me an e-mail that states the iPhone was unlocked, the case #, the date of the unlock, and everything like that so I am covered. BUT I really do not understand why this would not work and I want to help the buyer out.

    ANY IDEAS OUT THERE?? Everyone seems to be stumped. If he takes the iPhone to an APPLE STORE will they help him with the process (maybe he is doing it incorrectly?)

    Thank you in advance!!
     
  2. ugcop macrumors 6502a

    ugcop

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Location:
    Traveling @ Warp Speed ...... USA
    #2
    Truthfully all I ever did was turn the phone off. Pull the sim and put in another sim. Mine have all switched over without connecting to iTunes.

    Did you not confirm the unlock before shipping?
     
  3. bookwormsy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #3
    Arent you supposed to restore it in itunes? Try having your buyer do that.
     
  4. blarivee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Location:
    US
    #4
    I also believe you need to restore the device as new from iTunes. When you do, you'll get a message saying the phone is unlocked. When I restore as new I always get this message on iTunes.
     
  5. Kflik thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #5
    Thank you guys for all of your responses.

    @ugcop - Yes I confirmed with AT&T over the phone that the iPhone was 100% unlocked (their exact words) before shipping it out.

    @bookwormsy - I was told yes to RESTORE it in iTunes. He claims he has done that.

    @blarivee - The iPhone was wiped and restored to factory settings before I unlocked and shipped it over. So he would had to of restored the device as new when he did his restore correct?

    This is why this is pretty hard to figure out. He claims he event went to his carrier (LIFE :)) and that they said it is locked. BUT AT&T has told me on four separate phone conversations and has given me 2 text messages and 1 e-mail confirmation that the iPhone is 100% unlocked on their part.

    Any other ideas of what might be going on here? Thanks!!
     
  6. CellTalent macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    #6
    Hey,
    If you like I can help you. If you can post the IMEI of the phone and I will check to see if it truly is unlocked and if it has been updated and restored as it does not make any sense why it would not work if it is unlocked after a restore.
     
  7. ParishM macrumors regular

    ParishM

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
  8. CellTalent macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    #8
    yup you can do that to see the unlock status but if it shows unlocked then I can check the records to see if it has been attempted to activate on apple sever or if it has been restored recently. If it shows locked then there is your answer :apple:
     
  9. blarivee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Location:
    US
    #9
    Wipe and restore on the phone (all it does is restore to factory settings) is different from restore in iTunes. You have to plug into your computer, then iTunes and click on the "restore" button. After it is all done, it will say "Congratulations your iPhone is unlocked" in iTunes. My guess, the phone has to be reactivated via iTunes activation server to get the unlock status. I can't find the email that AT&T sent me when they approved my unlock, but I am 90% sure the restore in iTunes is part of the step.
     
  10. Kflik thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #10
    Ok we can try this. I will PM you the IMEI number is that ok?

    As for everyone else offering advice: I appreciate it very much but the problem still seems to be going on.

    I received a message from the buyer stating he went to an Apple store and that they said the phone is LOCKED with AT&T. He claims they have done the process over and over and that the phone is still LOCKED.

    However, as I stated before I have spoke with AT&T four separate times regarding this matter. The most recent time I was on the phone with them for one hour and forty minutes. They even sent me an official AT&T e-mail stating the phone is 100% UNLOCKED. They even spoke with an official supervisor in the matter who stated my phone was unlocked by them as well.

    So at this moment it seems AT&T is saying it is unlocked on their end but it still needs to go through the process on the user's end. Apple is saying it is unlocked (well at least the guy at the store). Very confusing here.

    Any other thoughts on the matter? Thanks again for any help or insight!!
     
  11. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #11
    Interesting as there are no Apple Stores in Russia or the Ukraine. I suspect you're being defrauded and the buyer will pretend to send the phone back to you then demand a refund.
     
  12. 6thDAY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #12
    you can just check the imei yourself it is really unlocked

    I've always relied on this site:

    iphoneimei.info
     
  13. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #13
    It's not 100% reliable. Several members have reported it shows the correct status for some unlocked iPhones but not others. Actually getting the "Congrats, your iPhone has been unlocked" in iTunes would be better but it appears the OP didn't do this hence why he's here.
     
  14. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #14
    The OP never made sure the phone was actually unlocked before shipping. Big Mistake. Bigger mistake was shipping abroad. Its not the buyers fault.
     
  15. Kflik thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #15
    Hey. I appreciate all feedback. However as I stated, I did make sure it was unlocked. I contacted AT&T myself after I received their "unlock successful" text message and they confirmed over the phone that the iPhone was officially unlocked and that I was all set. I had never done this before and so I asked what else I had to do and they told me I was all set. Also, I did not ship the phone abroad as I do not do that on eBay - it appears that the buyer received the phone where I shipped it and went abroad afterward.
     
  16. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #16
    Unfortunately, you can't just rely on their word and you should have seen the "Congrats, your iPhone has been unlocked" with your own eyes in iTunes but it appears that you didn't get a competent representative who would have told you to restore in iTunes and expect such a message.
     
  17. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #17

    You did not check to see if it was unlocked yourself. I sell phones on ebay and would have put a tmobile sim in it to confirm it was unlocked, this way I could be sure the buyer was telling a fib. Since you didn't do this, you can't be sure it was unlocked and working.
     
  18. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    I'm surprised you didn't confirm it was unlocked before actually selling it.

    As you don't know for sure, your best course of action is to get the phone back to check yourself.

    1) Offer the buyer a refund if the phone is indeed locked. Reimburse their shipping.
    2) If it's indeed unlocked, then do not reimburse their shipping, and deduct your shipping from the refund. Make this clear to the buyer.
    3) Alternatively, offer to ship it out again.
     
  19. 6thDAY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #19
    Really, hmmmm, that's interesting..

    I've always had good luck with checking it after buying a couple of iphones.
     
  20. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #20
    One reason not to ship electronics overseas. Russian (or in this case, Ukrainian) scammers are abundant.

    Edit: Nevermind, just read the OP didn't ship abroad.
     
  21. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #21

    Would have been the same issue if it was shipped locally. OP failed to make sure it was unlocked.
     
  22. radiologyman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #22
    Asking buyer to ship it back to you introduces big risk you will not get your iphone. iPhone is a big ticket item and they get "lost" in ukrainian mail all the time. Let your buyer do itunes restore and if not unlocked go through Att unlock website. If still not unlocked you can offer buyer money to get unlock locally. Do independent verification of unlock status to make sure buyer is not trying to scam you.
     
  23. Kflik thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #23
    Again I appreciate everyone's responses! Thank you all for your input. However I believe the main question at hand has become a bit clouded.

    From a sellers standpoint contacting AT&T and factory unlocking my phone is the most responsible way to go about the process. AT&T has sent me proof that my phone is 100% unlocked. I did not fail at making sure my phone was unlocked what so ever. I got verbal and written proof that the phone is UNLOCKED. This is verified by the source (AT&T) not some third party website.

    It seems that I am either being scammed OR there is another unknown scenario out there that no one has experience with. A lot of unknown variables are making this question's answer pretty elusive. I was just hoping by throwing this out there that someone might have been in a similar situation.

    Side note: Would it be possible to restart the process again while they have the phone? Basically, calling again - unlocking the phone through AT&T and having the other party do the 'restore' process?

    Thanks for any and all help/input!
     
  24. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #24
    If you didn't restore in iTunes and get the "Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked" message, it's not necessarily unlocked regardless of what correspondences you get from AT&T.
     
  25. 617aircav Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #25

    Sometimes things go wrong. And of you didn't restore or test it, you can't be 100 percent sure.
     

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