Question

Why is my previously unlocked device now sim locked?

  • 15 December 2021
  • 5 replies
  • 2030 views

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I had an account with T-Mobile a couple years ago. I had a line on the account for my mom. After her device (IPhone 8) was paid off, we went through the entire process of having the device unlocked. For several years since, she has used the unlocked device with a different SIM on a prepaid Walmart plan through Total Wireless. Recently, she switched service to Verizon. Her device showed as compatible, so she was sent a new SIM and had her prepaid service shut off. The new SIM however gives the message that the "sim is not supported". Verizon support says that her device is still locked by T-Mobile, and her settings do say it is sim locked.

I know the device was legitimately unlocked before, as she has been able to use it on a different carrier this whole time. I thought it was impossible to relock a phone?

When I left T-Mobile myself, they sent me a bill after my service was supposedly shut off. The billing cycle was after I had terminated service, so I refused to pay it. Obviously, this left my closed account in bad standing with them. I know this would impact getting a device unlocked now, but again, her device was paid off, unlocked, and used on another service years ago, long before I even left T-Mobile. Is there any way this could still somehow be the reason it is locked again?

I would really like to know if anyone else has had experience with a device that was definitely unlocked and used elsewhere, then shows as sim locked again, as even tech support told me they'd never heard of that happening. 


5 replies

I had an account with T-Mobile a couple years ago. I had a line on the account for my mom. After her device (IPhone 8) was paid off, we went through the entire process of having the device unlocked. For several years since, she has used the unlocked device with a different SIM on a prepaid Walmart plan through Total Wireless. Recently, she switched service to Verizon. Her device showed as compatible, so she was sent a new SIM and had her prepaid service shut off. The new SIM however gives the message that the "sim is not supported". Verizon support says that her device is still locked by T-Mobile, and her settings do say it is sim locked.

I know the device was legitimately unlocked before, as she has been able to use it on a different carrier this whole time. I thought it was impossible to relock a phone?

When I left T-Mobile myself, they sent me a bill after my service was supposedly shut off. The billing cycle was after I had terminated service, so I refused to pay it. Obviously, this left my closed account in bad standing with them. I know this would impact getting a device unlocked now, but again, her device was paid off, unlocked, and used on another service years ago, long before I even left T-Mobile. Is there any way this could still somehow be the reason it is locked again?

I would really like to know if anyone else has had experience with a device that was definitely unlocked and used elsewhere, then shows as sim locked again, as even tech support told me they'd never heard of that happening. 

I'm going thru something similar. I put a textnow sim card in my unlocked Galaxy S10 and T-Mobile locked it. I can't seem to connect with the unlock device app that was installed on my phone. I'm not happy at all

I had an account with T-Mobile a couple years ago. I had a line on the account for my mom. After her device (IPhone 8) was paid off, we went through the entire process of having the device unlocked. For several years since, she has used the unlocked device with a different SIM on a prepaid Walmart plan through Total Wireless. Recently, she switched service to Verizon. Her device showed as compatible, so she was sent a new SIM and had her prepaid service shut off. The new SIM however gives the message that the "sim is not supported". Verizon support says that her device is still locked by T-Mobile, and her settings do say it is sim locked.

I know the device was legitimately unlocked before, as she has been able to use it on a different carrier this whole time. I thought it was impossible to relock a phone?

When I left T-Mobile myself, they sent me a bill after my service was supposedly shut off. The billing cycle was after I had terminated service, so I refused to pay it. Obviously, this left my closed account in bad standing with them. I know this would impact getting a device unlocked now, but again, her device was paid off, unlocked, and used on another service years ago, long before I even left T-Mobile. Is there any way this could still somehow be the reason it is locked again?

I would really like to know if anyone else has had experience with a device that was definitely unlocked and used elsewhere, then shows as sim locked again, as even tech support told me they'd never heard of that happening. 

I'm going thru something similar. I put a textnow sim card in my unlocked Galaxy S10 and T-Mobile locked it. I can't seem to connect with the unlock device app that was installed on my phone. I'm not happy at all. T-Mobile also locked the phone I use qlink wireless with.

 

Userlevel 7
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Apple can technically relock the device.  Even when unlocking it through a request to T-Mobile, Apple processes that unlock at T-Mobile’s request.  

Even though it says, SIM not supported.  Can you make a call with the Verizon SIM in the device?  Lately, Verizon has been using these sneaky and deceptive tricks to try and get customers to not use their devices on other carriers and doing the same with devices brought in from other carriers because they want you to buy a device from them and stay with them.  

Userlevel 4
Badge +10

According to Total Wireless, a phone can become locked to their network even if it were unlocked before: 

https://support.totalwireless.com/expresshelp/policies-and-procedures/my-iphone-is-not-from-your-company-so-why-is-it-locked-by-your-company

 

So aside from Verizon saying it was locked to T-Mobile, is there any other evidence?  Have you tried putting a Total Wireless or T-Mobile SIM back in the device?  I realize it might be difficult to lay hands on another carrier’s SIM but that would be the best way to determine who locked the phone.  Alternatively, have you already tried performing a factory reset with the Verizon SIM inserted?

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Thank you guys for all the input, definitely helping me put the pieces together. I will try to get my hands on a SIM from one of the other carriers, her old SIM from total wireless still allows us to use the phone, obviously not actual service but can connect to mobile data, etc, while the Verizon sim won't even allow you to get past the setup screen, so it makes sense that it could be locked to Total Wireless. I'm having her backup the device everything so we can factory reset it with the Verizon sim in as well. I am going to reach out to total wireless today and see how that goes! 

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