1. gray2018's Avatar
    Hello all. My mother has a T-Mobile unlocked Galaxy S7 which she uses on AT&T. Recently she said they actually deactivated her device or shut it down. Trying to figure out why though.

    I know I think AT&T has shut down their 3G network, but the phone is a 4G LTE device. Unless its because she lives in a more urban area and is only able to get 3G service. Its not clear.

    Any ideas to why? I had also wondered if it was due to how old the device was. I purchased the device originally in 2017 and it was released in 2016. It was a hand me down device to my mother who basically has no money.
    10-17-2021 05:09 PM
  2. getjeffrey's Avatar
    10-17-2021 05:14 PM
  3. B. Diddy's Avatar
    What's the exact model number? Make sure it's in this list: http://www.att.com/idpassets/images/...TT-Network.pdf
    10-17-2021 05:48 PM
  4. Mooncatt's Avatar
    A carrier can't deactivate a device. Do you mean they blocked her access to the network, or is the phone actually non-functional in some way?
    10-17-2021 06:00 PM
  5. Kizzy Catwoman's Avatar
    More likely to be device failure than AT&T deactivating it, which as Mooncatt says, is not done. Are you saying they have blacklisted the device? They only do that if a phone is reported stolen and to stop other people registering it on a US network. Or if the bill has not been paid and they are shutting down the account.

    Really we need more information from you to be able to help you.
    me just saying likes this.
    10-17-2021 07:03 PM
  6. gray2018's Avatar
    My apologies for lack of info. I am only going off of what I was told lol So evidently, the phone she is using is not the model listed under AT&T's list. So that would make sense.
    But I fail to see if this was supposed to be done by Feb 2022, why would they do something now? Unless they are beginning it now. Her bill has been paid. She said she cannot make calls out. She said whenever she tries to call out, takes her straight to the AT&T customer service line. Hard to say whether she can get data or not as she doesn't get good service in her house and always uses WIFI.

    Not sure what to make of this. I told her probably the best thing to do would be get a new device that is either from AT&T or factory unlocked on that list. Or switch carriers. I might possibly get a factory unlocked Galaxy S10e as I believe it is on that list.

    I am having a hard time with the model numbers though... As the one I can get from Samsung's website is under model SM5G970U and the ones listed under AT&T's website are SM-G970U and SM-G970U1. What the heck is the difference?
    10-18-2021 05:41 AM
  7. Mooncatt's Avatar
    She said she cannot make calls out. She said whenever she tries to call out, takes her straight to the AT&T customer service line.
    If this is the case, it's not a 3G shutdown, otherwise she would get no signal to call out if the phone isn't VoLTE compatible. Since it is transferring her to the customer service line, had she actually spoke to them to ask what the problem is? They would know everything that's going on at the account level, while we can only make shot in the dark suggestions.
    10-18-2021 07:18 AM
  8. gray2018's Avatar
    She says she cannot get ahold of them as she's on hold for hours. Eventually, she will not be able to use this device regardless. But I fail to see what purchasing a new device in the mean time would change.
    10-18-2021 07:29 AM
  9. Mooncatt's Avatar
    She says she cannot get ahold of them as she's on hold for hours. Eventually, she will not be able to use this device regardless. But I fail to see what purchasing a new device in the mean time would change.
    Unfortunately, I think she needs to take care of this herself. Either by calling, going to a local store, email, or even see if there's an online chat option on their website.

    And for future reference, once she is able to get in touch, maybe see if she would be willing to add you as an amount manager (at least that's Verizon's term for it, but they may call it something different) so you can contact AT&T on her behalf and speak with them about the account directly.
    10-18-2021 07:39 AM
  10. gray2018's Avatar
    Yes I agree. I am only advising her on what to do now as that makes zero sense as to why she cannot make calls but can accept them. Nah, I don't wanna be on there so I have to be the one on hold for two hours with customer service.. Lol
    10-18-2021 08:08 AM
  11. gray2018's Avatar
    So this is what I got for a response from the AT&T subreddit.

    "Even though the 3G network is still officially operating, AT&T is rushing upgrades now. So accounts with active phones like this are being configured to call into customer service to force upgrades ahead of the shutdown. They don’t want anyone holding out until the very last minute.

    For all intents and purposes, you should consider the 3G network pretty much unusable, even if it isn’t physically powered down just yet."

    I guess that pretty much says it. Pretty crappy of them though to do this like this.
    J Dubbs and ManiacJoe like this.
    10-18-2021 09:25 AM
  12. Mooncatt's Avatar
    I wouldn't think the phone is incompatible, but it may be because it's not the AT&T specific version. In the U.S, using a non-carrier version of a phone, or getting an unlocked phone can be hit and miss. Non-carrier branded phones may not have all the required radio bands to be fully compatible. Maybe that's what's happening now?
    J Dubbs likes this.
    10-18-2021 09:40 AM
  13. gray2018's Avatar
    I wouldn't think the phone is incompatible, but it may be because it's not the AT&T specific version. In the U.S, using a non-carrier version of a phone, or getting an unlocked phone can be hit and miss. Non-carrier branded phones may not have all the required radio bands to be fully compatible. Maybe that's what's happening now?
    Several people who have commented on my subreddit post evidently have had the same issue.
    mrsmumbles likes this.
    10-18-2021 11:34 AM
  14. Kayza's Avatar
    What's odd about it that they have been sending out replacements, even for people who didn't buy their phones from AT&T - I know because two of the phones on my account got free replacements.
    J Dubbs and mrsmumbles like this.
    10-18-2021 01:23 PM
  15. J Dubbs's Avatar
    Several people who have commented on my subreddit post evidently have had the same issue.
    AT&T's list is a lie, we have 2 factory unlocked phones not on their approved list that work just fine with VoLTE, a Moto G6 and a Moto Z3 play. The list doesn't cover all the phones that work... it's purposely vague to try and get people to buy a new phone. If they insist on not letting your mom's phone work on their network, they will give her a (cheap) replacement phone if she asks, like somebody else mentioned.
    10-19-2021 05:14 AM
  16. swebb's Avatar
    Interesting. Did you have to do anything special to get them activated?
    10-19-2021 10:07 AM
  17. J Dubbs's Avatar
    Interesting. Did you have to do anything special to get them activated?
    No we didn't need to, but unfortunately they're activating phones on a priority system. Because we've been with AT&T since the mid 90's, on a postpaid plan, and were actively using the phones, they enabled VoLTE automatically. They're not activating some VoLTE capable phones for newer or prepaid customers. They're sending out prepaid AT&T budget phones to them instead. If you call them and complain they'll send you another phone.

    They sent a text message to my 2016 pixel, that I was currently using, telling me it wouldn't work after the beginning of next year. But our 2018 Moto phones work fine. To be fair though I don't think the pixel 1 is VoLTE capable.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    10-19-2021 04:15 PM
  18. gray2018's Avatar
    They are sending out a Galaxy S9 for her. Problem solved. At least for now, that is.
    10-25-2021 05:56 AM
  19. mrsmumbles's Avatar
    I'm on cricket and they did the same thing to me. They shut down my sim and it was like they were killing my phone. This was last February. They sent me a free replacement phone which was very underpowered. I just bought a new phone, unlocked, and so far it's working ok on the network. It was listed as a phone compatible with Cricket and ATT.
    11-05-2021 11:33 AM
  20. blueyestm's Avatar
    They are sending out a Galaxy S9 for her. Problem solved. At least for now, that is.
    I think they are sending refurb S9's to everyone still holding out on a 3G/4G phone as I received one too but have never bought an ATT branded phone in my life. I have a Blackberry Keytwo still functional and the ATT rep told me the 3G/4G service will be shut down on Feb 1, 2022. Currently I'm waiting on my Pixel Pro 6 to arrive and trading in their S9 on it lol
    Laura Knotek and J Dubbs like this.
    11-05-2021 12:44 PM

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