Pre-order the New Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 & Galaxy Z Fold4 and, for a limited time, get twice the storage and a free case!
TheAlmightysSon's profile

New Member

 • 

3 Messages

Fri, Apr 15, 2022 11:06 PM

Unlock an old 3G phone to avoid it being just a paper weight

I currently live as a missionary in Guatemala but grew up in the US and have many friends and family there. My cousin in the US gave his brother here in Guatemala an old Pantech P8000 which is a 3G (not 4G) phone. It was a used phone when he bought it but it still works....

But not in the US anymore because of 3G sunset.

So I am trying to unlock it for my cousin to use in Guatemala. But I get the message:

"Before you can unlock this device, the owner must remove it from their account.

If this is your account, call 800.331.0500 or 611 from your wireless phone to confirm, and then submit a new request."

Apparently the original owner never properly removed it from their account. But my cousin in the States used it for several years, I understand, without problems on the H20 network.

There is no way anymore to track down the original owner. Calling the two numbers listed is also impossible because this phone cannot place a call at all in the US with an AT&T SIM card.

Is there any way to save this from the landfill or from being a paper weight?

It would seem like AT&T could set a policy to automatically approve any unlock request for a 3G phone, no questions asked, unless they they own stocks in landfills :).

Accepted Solution

New Member

 • 

3 Messages

4分前

Thank you for your replies and help. I guess, honestly, I am still skeptical that AT&T actually doesn't have the unlock code available. But I can understand that it's probably not financially worthwhile to them to make it available through their automated system on such an old phone.

I did manage to unlock the phone through a third party―Magic Unlock. Their service was super slow―5 days―but the code worked.

I would (semi-)recommend them to anybody who cannot get help from AT&T.

Official Solution

ACE - Sage

 • 

98.6K Messages

4分前

AT&T cannot provide an unlock code for a phone it has not supported in many many years.

That would that would include, Panasonic, HTC, Sony, Pantech, and many others it hasn't sold in ages.

New Member

 • 

3 Messages

4分前

I have successfully unlocked a Rugby 3 with AT&T's automated system. It is only a year and a half newer (December 2012) than the Pantech P8000 (June 2011).

I don't think it would be difficult for AT&T to program their servers to work that way if they would be willing to. An unlock code isn't the same as providing tech support. It is simply a release switch to let someone seek his own tech support.

It would be a green move to reduce tech junk.

Constructive

Employee

 • 

28.6K Messages

4分前

AT&T does not have the unlock code for that phone. Toss it in a landfill recycle it or use it to hold a door open. 

ACE - Sage

 • 

98.6K Messages

4分前

At&t sold Rugby phones long after it stopped selling Pantech.  

And no, it's not a "release switch".  It's an actual code, provided by the manufacturer to AT&T so that they could pass it on. There is one unlock code for each  IMEI.

Phones that have not been supported in years have been purged from the database, along with all their imei and unlock codes. 

Even smart phones like iPhone 4S and older, the Amazon Fire Phone, the Razer 2 phone, and the red hydrogen one are not supported by the manufacturer and no unlock code is available.   

There are means to recycle electronics, so that it's not trash. 

ATTHelp

Community Support

 • 

195.7K Messages

4分前

Thank you for sharing your experience about your device unlock request with the community, !

 

You and our ACEs are correct. The error message you're receiving means the device was not unlocked by the original owner and removed from their account. They would have to submit a request on your behalf. Given the phone is no longer supported on AT&T's network, the phone can't be unlocked because there isn't a unlock code available for it. You've provided great suggestions so we forwarded your feedback for review and to help improve the device unlock process. 

 

If you have additional questions, please come back and let us know.

 

Thank you for visiting the AT&T Community Forums!

 

Jonye, AT&T Community Specialist

Need help?
Fix, replace or check device delivery
New to AT&T Community?
New to the AT&T Community? Start by visiting the Community How-To.
New to the AT&T Community?
Visit the Community How-To.