Locked phones and eSIM - Don't make this mistake

  • 12 January 2021
  • 0 replies


I just learned a valuable lesson after over a month of wrangling with T-Mobile I finally got my iPhone 12 Pro unlocked. This should apply to any phone with an eSIM.

I bought the phone through T-Mobile (first mistake) to try and take advantage of an upgrade offer. It slipped my mind the phone would come locked and I needed to use the second SIM so I had to pay off the phone and request an unlock. Here’s where it got messy:

  1. When I received the new phone I transferred from eSIM to eSIM. The physical sim slot was never activated  (critical mistake) 
  2. SEVERAL calls and chats to T-mobile and no one could understand how to unlock the phone. Some reps said I could bypass the 40 day waiting since I had paid, others said it could not be bypassed. I waited the 40 days and STILL all calls to unlock resulted in denial emails from the unlock department and confused reps who just got errors when they tried to unlock
  3. The last customer service rep figured it out: since my physical SIM was never used, and it’s the IMEI of the physical slot that that gets associated to the account, the unlock department and T-Mobile reps were unable to unlock because it was never registered in their systems on my account.

The final solution was to activate the physical slot by inserting a T-mobile sim (moving it off the eSIM) and leaving it for 24 hours. After that, The rep called back and it was instantly unlocked and ready to go.  Brittany from the Boston team was the ONLY one who could figure it out. 

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