IMEI registered under a different name -I am unable to unlock the phone
1) In September 2017, I transferred my number from Sprint to AT&T. I purchased a Galaxy Note 8 through Best Buy and they set me up as an AT&T customer with an AT&T SIM card.
2) In August 2019, I purchased a replacement LOCKED AT&T Galaxy Note 8 through Best Buy as the screen on my original phone cracked. I transferred the SIM card to this phone.
3) The phone has been locked the entire time of my ownership. I tried to unlock it in May 2023 and again today 6/3/23 and this is where the fun begins...
4) I was told the phone cannot be unlocked because the person who owned the phone originally (and to who the phone's IMEI is tied back to in AT&T's system) has an outstanding balance of $300+ owed against it. ONLY the original owner can request that the phone be unlocked.
5) Here is my concern - I want to switch to an AT&T PREPAID plan as clearly I cannot go elsewhere. Is this going to be an issue for me to change to PREPAID?
I also have a NEW UNLOCKED Galaxy 23+ arriving tomorrow. Do I wait to transfer the SIM card to that phone and then switch to PREPAID? Will AT&T lock me into another 30-60 days of POSTPAID if I do that?
I use less than 10GB data per month and am tired of overpaying for a postpaid plan. I also do not want to risk losing my phone number. Any ideas/suggestions? Thank you!
Yes, I was ignorant, but shame on Best Buy for not vetting the phone prior to reselling it. Lesson learned. Never buy a locked phone.