Our Community Forum will be shutting down on June 27, 2024. Please visit att.com/support for all your support needs.
Need help understanding your bill?
Stephen888's profile

New Member

 • 

6 Messages

Saturday, June 3rd, 2023 5:26 PM

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.

SM

New Member

 • 

6 Messages

1 year ago

Note: The replacement phone I bought through Best Buy in Sept 2019 was a "refurbished" phone.

ACE - Expert

 • 

64.7K Messages

1 year ago

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? 

It doesn’t matter whether you move your sim to the new phone or not but you might not be allowed to activate the Note 8 on prepaid because of that debt. When you switch to prepaid, do it with the new phone.

Will AT&T lock me into another 30-60 days of POSTPAID if I do that?

No. Be aware you can only switch to prepaid in store, preferably a corporate store. Also, since you’ll have an unlocked phone, you don’t have to stay with ATT. You can port your number to a different carrier, if you want.

Community Support

 • 

232.9K Messages

1 year ago

It's important to be able to use your phone as you intend, Stephen888, especially since you've owned it for a while. Let's look into what you can do to unlock your phone.

 

First, since the replacement Samsung AT&T Galaxy Note 8 has an outstanding balance then the previous owner will need to pay any remaining balance that's due before the phone can be unlocked. In this instance, you will need to consult the seller about the device.

 

You can find similar details and more under Personal device requirements when you visit Get info about device unlock eligibility. There is additional information beneath eBay & Non-AT&T Purchases at AT&T Device Unlock Help - Solutions & FAQs.

 

Next, since you're interested in an AT&T PREPAID account you will need to visit your nearest AT&T Store to convert your phone number from AT&T Postpaid to AT&T PREPAID before slipping your current SIM card into your new unlocked Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

 

The best place to begin the conversion is at an AT&T Corporate Store. Once you've visited our AT&T Store Locator choose FILTER followed by Company Owned Store to get started.

 

We hope this information helps. Let us know if you need any other assistance with AT&T products and services.

 

Thank you for reaching out to AT&T Community Forums.

 

Lar, AT&T Community Specialist

New Member

 • 

6 Messages

1 year ago

ATTHelp - thank you for the reply.  Unfortunately, I do not know the previous owner of the replacement phone.  I purchased as a "refurbished" phone through BestBuy four years ago.  It is unlikely that this phone will ever be unlocked.  I'll just continue to use it as a camera or backup mini-computer device once I switch my new phone over as you have suggested.  Thank you for telling me that I need to convert my phine number first before inserting the SIM.  I appreciate that tip!

sandblaster - thank you!  Corporate store - noted.  Yes, I purchased the unlocked phone for the very reason to give myself options as you have wisely pointed out.  I may go with ATT prepaid, I may not.  The beauty of an unlocked phone!

Community Support

 • 

232.9K Messages

1 year ago

Happy to help Stephen888.

 

Let us know if you need any other assistance with AT&T products and services.

 

Thank you for reaching out to AT&T Community Forums.

 

Lar, AT&T Community Specialist

Not finding what you're looking for?
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.