1. Brandon Sergent's Avatar
    This might not be news to everyone but I figured I'd share my experiences.

    Long story short, the AT&T store cannot unlock a phone or tell you if a phone is stolen or not.

    Because I ordered the phone from an eBay reseller, it's impossible to unlock because I don't know the "account number" or the original phone number.

    I find this incredible since third party unlock services want 30$ to unlock it, and I assume they are capable.

    I mean the store people seemed willing, but unable.

    The phone people told me to a goto the store for a "cable unlock" but the store people acted like I was asking for a blue lobster.

    The webpage tells me the imei isn't in their system, yet the phone has at&t branded software.

    The store people could not confirm or deny ANYTHING about the phone. They couldn't even say for sure if it was an AT&T phone.

    Should I just sell this damn thing and look for an unlocked one?

    The only thing I can think of is to maybe try to activate it on go phone, wait the six months and try to unlock it with those details. But that would cost 100$ for the year of go phone service. Of course I could always just resell the gophone sim on eBay. Also of course that's 6 months.

    What good is the new unlock law if phone companies aren't required to unlock phones?
    08-19-2014 10:51 AM
  2. UJ95x's Avatar
    I believe the law still required that you had owned that device for a certain period of time. If you bought it from someone else and were not able to give them the account info, it's possible that they thought you stole the device. If you can, I'd return the device to the seller.
    08-19-2014 07:25 PM
  3. Brandon Sergent's Avatar
    But I handed it to them and asked them if it was stolen, they couldn't tell me. What good is the entire system of theft tracking and imei blocking if they can't even tell?

    I think what I'll end up doing is watching eBay for a go phone sim with a lot of time left on it but not many minutes. Since the community has a proven track record of completely ignoring phones outside the bar of soap variety. (It's still impossible to rom flash a pantech pocket for example.)

    I found this experience very informative. If I ever become homeless I'll becoming a phone thief, since there's about as much actual tracking ability there as tracking stolen french fries lol.
    08-20-2014 02:37 AM
  4. dpham00's Avatar
    Sorry for your troubles though not entirely surprising. I had acquired an att Windows phone directly from the Microsoft Store. This phone was never on contract, and obviously I am the original owner. When I called in, att said that the imei wasn't in their database, so they couldn't give me an unlock code.

    They did give me an unlock code for another phone, acquired without contract though.

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    08-20-2014 11:16 AM
  5. Rukbat's Avatar
    The law requires that the phone is paid for, which AT&T can tell you. (IOW, it's not still on a plan that hasn't expired.) If you have a reason for unlocking it other than going to another carrier (like going overseas), AT&T will usually unlock it after you've owned it for a few months, even if it's not paid for. (The law doesn't prohibit a carrier from unlocking any phone, even one you just bought on contract, it just requires them to unlock phones that have been paid for.) As far as the IMEI, they should verify that over the phone. If they won't, the easy way to verify it is to activate it as a GoPhone. If the IMEI is reported, they won't activate the phone.

    Take it to an AT&T Device Support Center (ask your local store where the nearest one is), take it to the support center (usually at the back of the store) and see if they'll help you.

    If not (and see if you can get the name of the person refusing to help you), call tech support and tell them that you did level one support at a DSC, so you need a level 2 supervisor to handle the problem. (The people at the DSCs are good, but not everyone is as good as everyone else, and someone could just be having a bad day.)
    UJ95x likes this.
    08-20-2014 11:30 AM
  6. Brandon Sergent's Avatar
    Hmm I guess I'll get a cheapy gophone sim. Interesting side point, I have reason not to. If the phone is stolen, and I confirm this with a gophone activation I can't in good conscience resell it or return it. Funny how these competition squashing measures encourage unethical behavior. There isn't going to be a device support place anywhere near me.
    08-20-2014 12:23 PM
  7. Dominika Quinones's Avatar
    Did you call the company and tell them you are traveling abroad and need the phone to be unlocked for a foreign sim card? That worked for me.
    10-22-2014 04:34 PM

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