Unable to unlock the eligible device

  • 12 October 2018
  • 60 replies

I had purchased Samsung S8 from T-Mobile. After paying off the amount device was unlocked and have been using with other carrier from last few months. I had to send the device back to Samsung to get it repaired. It came back with T-Mobile lock. I tried unlocking it using 'Device Unlock' app installed on the mobile but getting error message that 'Couldn't recognize the device, please contact customer care.'


Its been 5 days of multiple calling, talking to multiple associates, performing different steps suggested by all their associates/tech experts. However, no luck yet. I also tried with T-mobile as well as other carrier's SIM card to perform these steps. With other T-Mobile active SIM device works.


Samsung has confirmed that device has not been rooted and only T-Mobile can unlock it. Every time I speak to customer care and technical expert they request me to hang up to perform something and/or check something and they assure a call back. Till date, not a single executive has called back as promised.


I'm really frustrated and fed up and I think Legal Battle is the only option to get the issue resolved.

60 replies

Same issue for me. I’ve been with T-Mobile since 2004.  I always pay for my phones outright. I bought my Samsung G S10+ directly from Samsung (paid in full) and have been getting the run around from both T-mobile and Samsung for weeks now.  I am about to try the T-Force after reading these post. If that fails next will be the FCC.  To be continued.

Userlevel 3
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Same problem with me.  I have a Samsung s10 (only 10 months old) with T mobile and paid off fully but the permanent unlocking from phone setting is keep on failing with an error 1019.  

how long ago did you pay it off fully?

Same problem with me.  I have a Samsung s10 (only 10 months old) with T mobile and paid off fully but the permanent unlocking from phone setting is keep on failing with an error 1019.  

I found this thread after doing a Google search for similar problems because I had the same issue with a Galaxy S10 that I bought directly from Samsung last year, and now a Galaxy s20 that I bought directly from Samsung. Both were T-Mobile variants of the phone and I just could not get it unlocked no matter what I tried. Every T-Mobile representative I talked to said they could not unlock it unless I had purchased the phone directly from T-Mobile, which does not make sense. after many frustrating rounds of talking with T-Mobile representatives and Samsung representatives and getting nowhere, I took the advice of the person who said to file an FCC complaint, and within two days of filing that complaint I was called by someone from the executive response team. I explained to the issue and she agreed that I should be able to unlock the phone because it was fully paid off and been on the T-Mobile network for several months. It took her a few phone calls and some escalation but within about an hour she managed to get my phone permanently unlocked for me. she definitely apologized and said that customers should not have to file an FCC complaint just to get their phones unlocked so she was going to look into why this is happening. The but for now it seems to be the only way to get your phone unlocked if no one else will help you.

I know this tread is old but the problem still remain. I got a phone direct from T-mobile store. Cheap one. Called CS a few days later to request an unlock. Has been told to refill $100 more (I'm on prepaid plan) in order to proceed with the unlock. Paid over the phone with the same representative and she told me to try unlock the phone. It's failed. So I've been issued with an unlock request number and  CS told me to wait 72 hours before I could unlock. I've got e-mail  a couple days later that my device is not eligible for unlock. Called again and the another lady told me it was a mistake and the phone will be unlock in 24 hours guaranty. Well, more than 24h has passed and the unlocking has failed again with the same message. So I called to TM. The CS lady told me I have to wait 14 days from the purchase date to unlock the phone and other CS's shouldn't promise me to get the phone unlock before this date.  The CS set up a date to unlock the phone. Today is the date. And guess what?  I still have the same "error 255" about the device is not eligible.

P.S. Thanks, magenta10161016 for the FCC link .I'm going to use it for sure.

Have you contacted the FCC in regards to your issue? I've found that gets swift results.

Update for those that may run into the same problem. I called Samsung support to return the phone with a claim ticket number provided in the chat on their site,  but the agent I spoke with didn't want to allow me to return the phone and here we go again with the same song and dance I've heard from them and t-mobile since this problem came about last Wednesday. I informed the Samsung agent that because the phone came from them 5 months ago and the pre-installed "t-mobile unlock app" doesn't work, I expected them to either fix the phone or provide me with a new phone or I would gladly have a lawyer send a letter of demand on Monday. I was placed on hold and when the agent came back on, it was agreed that we would do a conference call with a T-Mobile rep. The rep basically said everything that I have been told already by other t-mobile reps, e.g. it would take several days to get the phone whitelisted but my response was, since we have Samsung on the call, why can't we resolve this right now? I was placed on hold by Samsung and I kid you not, I tried the unlock app while on hold and although it didn't work 5 minutes previously, the unlock app worked and the phone rebooted and here's the strange thing, all traces of T-Mobile including the splash screen were gone once the phone rebooted. I'm glad this was finally resolved and hopefully t-mobile and samsung get this kink worked out so others don't have to jump through hoops to switch their phone to another carrier.

You can also message John Legere the CEO on Facebook messenger. You will be

contacted by his staff. They can get almost anything done.

Userlevel 7
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Usually Tmobile support on Facebook can get the imei# number put in the system

to generate the unlock request so I suggest contacting them again.

I don't work for Tmobile but have seen this issue quite a bit and T-Force usually get it done.

Hello gramps28. I did purchase the phone directly from Samsung branded for T-Mobile as I was told to get it that way in order for t-mobile wifi calling etc to work. I have spent many hours both on the phone with samsung as well as t-mobile not to mention chats. T-Mobile reps say they cannot unlock the phone and using the app is the only way to do it regardless of me telling them that the unlock app doesn't work or, they state that they can unlock the phone but it must be "whitelisted" by samsung first and they have submitted a request which will take several days but still no word. Each time I have spoken with samsung, they refer me back to t-mobile stating that they have a legal agreement with t-mobile and t-mobile can in fact unlock the phone. I spoke with Samsung again today filing a claim ticket for the phone to be returned to them as I am calling it a problem with the phone and should be addressed under warranty since the pre-installed unlock app that came on the phone does not unlock it. It sucks to pay the that kind of money for a phone and not even get 5 months use out of it because it wont switch carriers due to a "network lock" that should have never been on the phone to begin with. I have had t-mobile  for some time and have never really had any issues to call upon their customer service and the only reason that I switched to Verizon is because in my state, KY, as weird as it sounds, there are areas of the state where only verizon is allowed to use their towers. However, I am very disappointed in both t-mobile and samsung for the run around I have received from them but I will not give up until this issue is resolved.

Userlevel 7
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Did you buy the phone from Tmobile or Samsung?

If you bought it from Samsung the imei# of the phone is probably not in Tmobile's

system for them to unlock it. Sam as if you had warranty work done and the phone was


I have the exact same problem. I switched service to Verizon and had my T-Mobile Galaxy S9 Plus number ported over but the phone will not unlock using the application. I have reached out to T-Mobile on FB and by telephone and am being told that it may take 24 hrs, then 2-3 days and then it is Samsung I need to speak with. I did speak with Samsung and their point is valid, the error message states "Network Lock". My account is in good standing but it seems no one really cares to make the unlock happen and I have therefore also filed a complaint with the FCC to see if that may help and hopefully this gets resolved.

Yes, my eligible phone problem was resolved, phone unlocked by T-mobile, unfortunately not without the push from the FCC. Please see my full course of action below and see if you meet all the necessary requirements.

Did you get your problem solved?

I had the same problem, and tried to unlock my phone last year. After so many phone calls and chat in 2 month, I gave up.

SOLVED!  To anyone having the same issue as described by me above.  After 2 weeks of UNLOCK FAILED, it was finally promptly and professionally resolved after filing a complaint with the FCC.  The IMEI of my refurbished T-mobile phone was verified and unlocked by a competent T-mobile specialist at the Executive Response unit.

Happy to remain a T-mobile customer.

To anyone who is having the same issue as described by me above.  After 2 weeks UNLOCK FAILED message, not being able to use a local carrier abroad on an eligible T-mobile's phone, getting standard empty replies from the regular support and ARSystemNotify, it was finally promptly and professionally resolved after filing a complaint with the FCC.  The IMEI of my refurbished T-mobile phone was verified and unlocked by a competent T-mobile specialist at the *Executive Response* unit.

Happy to remain a T-mobile customer.

Sim2 is dead. doesn't recognize anything except microSD. Will try FB support if need be. Thx.

Userlevel 7
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But if the dual Sim is active in the Tmobile version that means the software has been tampered with.

Have you tried Tmobiles Facebook support team through messenger?

I think we are going in circles, pal. 😉  do you work for Tmobile or just trying to be "helpful"?  one mor time whether it's a DUAL SIM device or not,  it has *NOTHING* to do with tmobile's (as an transnational company) ability to unlock it remotely for any carrier if it is in good standing.  If you think that someone had gone thru all the trouble of purchasing an LG phone, flashing (with a T-mobile fm), put it on t-mobile's band 4 or 71, messing with IMEI just to raise it's "market value" is laughable! 

The highest market value will always be a phone unattached to anything and with less bloatware.  Or as you said One Plus can be flashed or better yet I heard ZTE have phones compatible with tmobile's band out of the box had I known T-mobile's gonna be obtuse about unlocking theirs...

Correct, only the OS wasn't altered. I've checked that T-mobile version of the phone does not support the second SIM in this phone. Anyways the point is not the dual sim but the unlock... 😉

Userlevel 7
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The only other thing I can think why it doesn't show in Tmobile's data base is because it's refurbished and the os was  altered to make the dual Sim work and that might of messed up the imei number.

The LG G6 from Tmobile does come with a Sim card holder for dual Sim but only one can be accessed.

Most refurbs you find online are already unlocked so

Userlevel 6
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The device is not the definition of a T-Mobile device.  It was not old by T-Mobile USA because T-Mobile USA does not sell dual-SIM devices. 

Just about anyone can modify a device.  My Note 9 was purchased in Canada, is an XAC model, but has the exact same firmware that the device sold at the T-Mobile store here has on their devices.  IMEI's and serial numbers can be changed as well.  Clearly, the level of deception the person who tried to make that device look legit wnough to pass off as a T-Mobile device fooled you.  That still doesn't change the fact that it isn't a T-Mobile device. 

The OnePlus 6T is another good example.  You can buy the dual-SIM version of the device and easily flash it to the T-Mo ile firmware.  That would also create a dual-SIM device that will work perfectly with T-Mobile's network, use band 71, carrier aggregatiin, and so on, but that still doesn't make it a device that was purchased from T-Mobile or from an authorized T-Mobile retailer. 

What makes me think?   😊   what makes me think is the fact that it is a T-mobile phone with a T-mobile logo upon booting and a set of apps that came with T-mobile's OS. Whether T-mobile's version of the phone supports dual SIM or not and whether I purchased it directly from T-mobile's "store" or from the original owner is *IRRELEVANT* as long as the original owner's account is in good standing not only because it was confirmed by the vendor who I may or may not chose to trust but because T-mobile checked the IMEI and did not reject my request for unlock and only stated that:

Please be advised that specific requirements will need to be met in order for your device to qualify for a PERMANENT unlock. The unlock requirements can be found at If you are not eligible for PERMANENT unlocking you can temporary unlock your device and are eligible for five temporary unlocks per year, each for a 30 day period.  

  • The device IS a T-Mobile device.
  • The device IS NOT reported as lost, stolen or blocked to T-Mobile.
  • The account associated with the device must IS in good standing.

I'm sorry who are you and what makes you think my situation does not allow even for a Temporary unlock?

Userlevel 6
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What makes you think T-Mobile put anything on it?  Some phones use a firmware where once booted with a SIM in it, the Play Store automatically downloads carrier apps and settings for that device.  You dod not purchase your phone from T-Mobile and it is not a specific model (dual-SIM) sold by T-Mobile.  Did you not read the conditions for T-Mobile to unlock your device?

T-Mobile does not unlock devices that are not sold directly by T-Mobile, the original owner of the device has to request the unlock on the account they purchased it on, the account has to be in good standing, and the device has to be fully paid off.  Your situation does not come close to fitting any of that. 

Userlevel 7
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It probably means it's an international phone from a different European country and Tmobile USA still can't unlock it.