Question Bought an "unlocked" phone, it was network locked, is there any way to unlock it?

Chwoka

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I bought a used Samsung Xforce 6 Pro on Amazon. It was listed as unlocked, but it has a Verizon splash screen, and when I put in my T-Mobile SIM card, it throws up the following error:

"Change carrier
Sorry, your device can't be activated on another carrier's network right now. For help, contact Verizon at (800) 922-0204 or (888) 294-6805 (prepaid plans)"

I've since spoken to at least 5 different customer service representatives at Verizon. The first said that it was showing as already unlocked on their end, then a different representative said it was actually some kind of business phone in its prior life, and so its account can't be closed out unless I have... I think its phone number? Someone else told me to try some malarkey with the eSIM that I don't understand, doesn't seem to be possible on this phone, and would probably jeopardize my T-Mobile account. Likewise, a high-ranking rep with Verizon suggested I might buy a cheap prepaid Verizon plan to open an account so that I could then close it, which seems like an awful suspicious and unlikely and expensive course of action. The latest rep told me to go the physical Verizon store, where the store person of course told me they couldn't do anything to help. I tried contacting the seller to ask them to get in touch with Verizon, figuring they'd have the info on its prior life that I would not. First they told me they already tested it, then they told me Verizon said they can't unlock it, which suggests to me that they lied the first time, though I am eligible for a full refund so I'm not sure what the heck their angle is. But I'd rather have the phone work than refund money, because it's not like I'd have the money to buy a second phone while waiting for the refund to come into effect.

This is very frustrating. This does not seem like it should be impossible to resolve!

Is there anything else I could do to solve this? I'm open to rooting the dang thing at this point, but I don't even know if that'd do the trick.
 
Solution
My only suggestion is to return the phone and get a refund. It's was obviously not as described, so it should be easy... if it was a legitimate seller (assuming it was a seller just going though Amazon).

My experience is with AT&T which is really hard-nosed about this stuff. If you aren't the original owner of the phone, they flat won't help you. Although, you can use AT&T's unlock portal, and use the IMEI method of getting the unlock code. But, the phone has to have been paid off, and the account holder has to be in good standing as far as bill paying is concerned. Meaning, whoever had the phone originally (until it's unlocked) can't be late on their payments, or... the horror... just stopped paying altogether.

From what I hear...

joeldf

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My only suggestion is to return the phone and get a refund. It's was obviously not as described, so it should be easy... if it was a legitimate seller (assuming it was a seller just going though Amazon).

My experience is with AT&T which is really hard-nosed about this stuff. If you aren't the original owner of the phone, they flat won't help you. Although, you can use AT&T's unlock portal, and use the IMEI method of getting the unlock code. But, the phone has to have been paid off, and the account holder has to be in good standing as far as bill paying is concerned. Meaning, whoever had the phone originally (until it's unlocked) can't be late on their payments, or... the horror... just stopped paying altogether.

From what I hear, Verizon can be just as bad, if not worse in some cases. I'm surprised anyone talked to you at all, not being the original owner.

In the end, I just don't think it'll be worth it. Looking up that phone, it was only sold to business customers by Verizon. Never for individuals. That's probably what has it tied up - still on a business account somewhere.
 
Solution

VidJunky

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Welcome to Android Central forums.

With Verizon they carrier lock a device until the device is paid off or until the device has reached 90 days on plan/contract. They usually automatically unlock but if not they can usually unlock it upon request. They may require some account information to do this to ensure the device wasn't lost or stolen.

In the meantime, have you gone to a T-Mo store? I haven't known one yet that will not make all of the needed calls and contacts to activate a device. They want your money so they will try try try until they get it. Back in the day carriers used to flash their (insert carrier name here) firmware to devices, changing the branding and updating the software to match their offerings. I don't think many if any do that anymore. Even so it still may not be as simple as just installing the SIM card. I would at least try going to T-Mo or contacting them before attempting a return. In this way you will know everything you need to know if you have to attempt a return.
 

VidJunky

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Had some extra time this morning so I gave the T-mobile store a shot. No dice. Thanks though!
That's surprising. What did they tell you? I guess it wouldn't be if they told you the device was still locked to Big Red's network.

Well it seems the seller is forcing your hand. Either they do something to confirm the device is unlocked, get it unlocked so it can be activated, or take the return. IMHO.
 
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Chwoka

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I explained my problem, and the shop assistant explained that they couldn't help unlock my phone there, and I should try a Verizon store. I've already been approved for a refund, and in the meantime I've gone and bought an unlocked phone direct from the manufacturer, with financing because it's not like I can afford two new phones in a single month before I actually get that refund. (Fun digression: First I tried to buy it from T-Mobile directly, but even though it was listed on their website as in-stock, their website would not let me buy it and told me I needed to be "invited to the Account Hub" after logging in, and the phone clerks couldn't figure out how to sell one to me. Guess they don't want my money!)
 
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VidJunky

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Yeah it sounds like they don't want your money. When I switched to another carrier there was some sort of snag in the activation or in moving my number, whichever, but they spent 20 minutes or more trying to work things out. Like they weren't going to let me walk out without being on their network. And that seems to be my experience anytime I've switched, well just about anything.

At least you'll be able to get a refund since you're probably paying more for the financed device. Wish things had worked out differently for you but maybe this will be better.

Best wishes
 

Chwoka

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Last update just to close out the narrative arc for you all reading along. Insult to injury: The reason I desperately needed the phone sooner rather than later is I needed it to perform my essential job duties. I returned to my job today, with a borrowed phone in hand, only to be told that I had been "laid off" for missing too many days of work. Thanks, Amazon seller GreenWireless!
 

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