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s810434's profile

New Member

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6 Messages

Sunday, August 7th, 2022 4:18 AM

AT&T locked my phone that I purchased by myself (not from AT&T)

I purchased a new iPhone12 by myself (my company paid for that) on May 2022. NOT from AT&T.

Then I switched my AT&T plan to prepaid plan sometime in June, and started to use my new phone with the prepaid plan.
The reason is because I planned to travel to Japan in June 2022, and I want to keep my US number with a lowest rate, in order to just receive SMS in Japan.

FWIW, my old phone was from AT&T and I have used AT&T non-prepaid plan for years with my old phone, and my old phone has been unlocked before I purchased my new phone.

After I arrived Japan in June, I got a Japan number. I planed to use my new phone with the Japan number, and use my old phone with the AT&T number.

However! I realized that AT&T has locked my new phone.


I tried https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/, but it keeps saying “The information you have entered is incorrect. Please update and try again.”

I called AT&T for 3 times from June to August. Every time I had to spend quite some time and energy to explain my situation, and the representatives would finally agree that my phone is eligible to be unlocked and my phone was locked by mistake due to technical limitation.

The first representative said that due to the technical limitation, I have to wait for 2 months to call back and start a case.

The 2nd representative said unfortunately I may need to visit AT&T stores with the phone physically to unlock, which I can’t do since I wont go back to US for at least 1 year.

The 3rd representative helped me to create a case. 

Few days ago, I got an email about the case update. It says:

A device must be used for a minimum of 180 days on the network to be eligible for unlocking. Go to att.com/deviceunlock for eligibility.

Whats going on here??? My device is not from AT&T, so shouldn’t AT&T not lock my device at the first place!!??

Also how can I track the case online? I really don’t want to call AT&T again. I am in a totally different timezone now, so I either need to wake up very early or very late to make the stupid phone call.

The whole experience is ridiculous and terrible. This thing has been wasting me so much time and energy.

AT&T should unlock my device immediate and even compensate me for my time and energy!!!!!!!!!!!

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

ACE - Sage

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113.3K Messages

1 year ago

Your phone was locked according to Apples US Flex activation policy. This activation policy will lock any iPhone other than the Sim free version purchased directly from Apple to the first carrier whose SIM card you insert.

If you did purchase a Sim free phone from Apple, have not had it replaced under insurance or warranty, then the mistake is apples from day one they sold you the wrong phone.   If Apple sold you the wrong phone you should be complaining to them not to AT&T.

If you purchased the iPhone anywhere else, it was locked to AT&T as soon as an AT&T SIM card was inserted under the business plan way before you switch to AT&T prepaid. 

Former Employee

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32.9K Messages

1 year ago

You won’t be compensated for any time lost. Where did you buy the phone ?

New Member

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6 Messages

1 year ago

Thank you both. I will ask my company where they purchased the phone and whether that is a SIM free phone.


If it is NOT a sim free phone, then how long it can be unlocked? Is it 6 months?

Thank you!

ACE - Expert

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64.7K Messages

1 year ago

I will ask my company where they purchased the phone and whether that is a SIM free phone.

Don’t bother. If the phone were bought SIM free from Apple, it would already be unlocked. The fact that it is locked means it wasn’t bought SIM free from Apple. Since you have been using on prepaid, the requirement to unlock is 6 months of usage on prepaid. If the phone was paid for in full when purchased and initially used on an ATT postpaid plan, it is possible the phone is eligible now to unlock but since it is being used on prepaid, the unlock portal still imposes the 6 month requirement. You may be able to get it unlocked by filing an FCC complaint.

New Member

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6 Messages

1 year ago

Thank you. I wonder what is FCC complaint and how can I file one?

ACE - Expert

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64.7K Messages

1 year ago

Google it.

New Member

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6 Messages

1 year ago

Thanks. Googled and understood.

I read your previous comment more carefully again - you said that if the phone was paid for in full when purchased and initially used on an ATT postpaid plan, it is possible the phone is eligible now to unlock.


I actually used the new phone with my ATT postpaid plan for 2 weeks before I switched to the prepaid plan. 


In that case, I wonder how long does it take to become eligible?

New Member

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1 Message

9 months ago

I have the same issue EXCEPT

Former Employee

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32.9K Messages

9 months ago

6 months

5 months ago

Brother they did me too.... Same here....outright bought this phone not knowing a dang sim card could temp lock an unlocked phone....Dude I was irate.....if the phone is unlocked like you say....take out the sim....put in a sim card that's Not Activated yet....get one from Walmart cheapest you can....but Not Activated yet... Sorry had to make sure it's known......lol..... Your phone will override their options at this point...... Next....I had to factory reset mine quite a few times and quite a few ways thru options thru recovery thru adb and fastboot to get mine where I wanted it......wifi Only and get updates from ur company...... After updates root and custom recovery the phone.... Then go in options and block all ota and fota updates..... Then take out that sim and and put ur prepaid back in and service will come back thru updates will definitely be trying to follow so be aware of that and mine they will look like a factory update but it's prepaid having to come thru and overlay ur phone company uses to let that phone be used by many different carriers......hint unlocked part.....so don't allow it thru...... I even asked a beast of an app manager..... Nothing thinks about moving without my knowing now.....That's how I beat it dude because they did same crap to me then wouldn't give me the code to unlock my own phone......so I dropped em after a year and half.....the whole reason we bought unlocked is to stay unlocked right.....I feel ya main......My Phone My Stuff....if I wanted their crap imposed I'd just paid cheaper and went to them to get the dang phone....all I want is prepay service not ur crap on.....MY PHONE......hit me up if you need help

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