1 2 Previous Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Sep 9, 2013 8:30 AM by KiltedTim
JustinGN Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

Let me try this again...

 

I have an iPhone 5 purchased before the Library of Congress ban on smartphone unlocking w/o carrier consent.  It's a US iPhone, locked to UNASSIGNED FACTORY DEFAULT.  Due to this, nobody is able to unlock it, including AT&T.  I'm willing (and offered, on multiple occasions) to pay the ETF, provided I am guaranteed an unlock of the device and no interruption of service.  AT&T has given up on unlocking it entirely, claiming it's impossible.  For what it's worth, the original intention of unlocking my iPhone was to use it with an overseas carrier while on holiday.

 

What are my options at this juncture?  If you don't have something helpful to contribute, please keep it to yourself.


iPhone 5, iOS 6, Black, AT&T, Unlimited Data
  • 1. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,765 points)

    Let's start with some basic information. From where or whom did you buy this iPhone? From an Apple Store, online or retail? From AT&T directly? From an AT&T reseller? Or who, exactly? And was it sold to you as being locked to AT&T, being unlocked, or what?

  • 2. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    JustinGN Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    In no particular order...

     

    1. Day 1 of release, Burlington Mall Apple Store, Burlington, MA
    2. It was sold as locked to AT&T, as full-price/unlocked phones were not available at launch (last time I buy a locked device...)
    3. Purchased directly from the Apple Store.  I reviewed all documentation before signing.
  • 3. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    FelipeV Level 5 Level 5 (4,490 points)

    Then what you are saying is that the phone is faulty, if ATT is not able to legitimately unlock it. Have you tried taking it back to an Apple Store? If you did, any response?

  • 4. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    JustinGN Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    FelipeV:

     

    Not for this reason, no, but I did have it swapped on return from holiday due to dust in the lens casing.  Both phones have had the same lock status, UNASSIGNED FACTORY DEFAULT, with identical unlocking results.

  • 5. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    FelipeV Level 5 Level 5 (4,490 points)

    I suggest you take it in to Apple Store and specifically point out this problem. Do you have evidence that ATT tried to unlock the phone but was unable to do so. ? if you do take it with you to the store.

  • 6. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,765 points)

    I concur with Felipe; take it to the Apple Store and discuss this issue with them directly. From what I've been able to glean, these units should not have been on the market but may have been inadvertenly sent out in the original rush. They apparently lock to the carrier of the first SIM installed and cannot be unlocked. So this is something that can probably only be addressed by Apple replacing the iPhone.


    Regards.

  • 7. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    deggie Level 8 Level 8 (46,545 points)

    His first rant was deleted, it is not a technical problem that is keeping his iPhone from unlocking. He is under contract with AT&T and apparently was willing to use their international plan so he wanted to unlock it. In a long conversation with them AT&T gave them the standard alternatives to him that included paying the EFT, cancelling the contract, waiting until the billing cycle cleared that showed the payment and then processing the unlock. He didn't want to do this as he did not want to give up his phone number and unlimited data plan. He then tried a gray-market unlock which failed. He also mentioned he was going to move to T-Mobile.

     

    He also has contacted the BBB, the state Attorney General, he thinks that there is a law that requires AT&T to unlock his iPhone and he wants someone to tell him how to get it unlocked without AT&T being involved or forcing them to do so.

     

    I did provide him with an option that AT&T has used and he apparently didn't like it.

     

    No one here can solve his issue.

  • 8. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    FelipeV Level 5 Level 5 (4,490 points)

    Thanks deggie for the clarification. Makes sense now.

  • 9. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,765 points)

    deggie wrote:

     

    He then tried a gray-market unlock which failed.

     

     

    Thanks, deggie. Much becomes clear now. Not only can no one here solve his problem, no one at Apple can either this being the situation.

  • 10. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    deggie Level 8 Level 8 (46,545 points)

    Not a problem, didn't know how long they would let this one go (I didn't report the other one) so I thought I might save some cross posting.

  • 11. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,765 points)

    I guessed from his "lets try this again" that there had been a previous post, but there was nothing relating to this issue when I look at his list, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Obviously he didn't include all the rest of that information or we wouldn't all have had to waste our time.

     

    Cheers.

  • 12. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    JustinGN Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Au contraire, neither you nor Felipe wasted your time, as both of you provided an answer to my original question, one which Deggie ignored in favor of calling me a criminal in the original post

     

    Now that I know such a lock status wasn't meant to be field-issued at launch, I do have an option to get this resolved to my satisfaction. I'll be booking the Genius appointment tomorrow to get this sorted out (hopefully) once and for all, and I've learned my lesson on buying locked phones (never, ever again). I was aware swap units had this status, but with the small mountain of documentation I've acquired over the past few months, I should be able to finally put this behind me.

     

    If I hadn't marked this as a discussion instead of a question, I'd gladly give varjack and Felipe points for genuinely trying to assist me in this matter.  Thanks again you two for the clarification and assistance nobody else was willing to provide!

  • 13. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    JustinGN Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    I should add (darn double post!) that said gray market unlocks were not only legal when attempted, but were performed only after I'd exhausted my avenues with AT&T regarding this issue. The UNASSIGNED FACTORY DEFAULT status had been on my phone since purchase, not as a result of a "failed unlock". That point deserves clarification, as I'm not the only one with such a status (it's rare, but frustrating since others are getting the same leper treatment when they bring it up).

     

    Seriously, thanks to varjack & Felipe with their input. This gives me the answer I've wanted all along.

  • 14. Re: iPhone 5 non-unlockable
    deggie Level 8 Level 8 (46,545 points)

    No, they didn't "help" you with anything, you just left out a lot of facts in your post.

     

    There is no technical issue or anything else that will get you a swapped out phone at Apple.

     

    You purchased a subsidized, LOCKED, iPhone at the Apple Store, one that was locked with AT&T. In your original post you did not say when you purchased it and I said it was now an illegal act to unlock one by hacking the iPhone. Since you purchased it before the deadline all you did was break your warranty.

     

    Although they tried to help you nothing in their posts will do so. Only AT&T can initiate the unlocking of your iPhone and according to you they are now unwilling to proceed on any basis.

     

    I did reply to you that if you call back AT&T and ask for an executive in the Customer Service office they may be willing to come to an accomodation with you to cancel your account, have you pay the ETF and all current charges, AT&T reimburses you for the iPhone and you return it to them. Then everyone walks away.

     

    At that point you might want to consider a Sprint iPhone if you are truly interested in an unlimited data plan since AT&T throttles at 3GB per month while Sprint does not. You can also as a Sprint customer (not sure if there is a time limit) request that the GSM side be unlocked for use with foreign cell carriers. The LTE bands used by Sprint (and Verizon) match many of those used, or about to be used, in Europe. You can also go with Verizon and do the same thing and the GSM side of their phone is already unlocked. They do not offer unlimited data however. Or you can buy an unlocked A1428 GSM phone from Apple and use it with T-Mobile here. It will also work in Europe but not on LTE.

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