Question

Mobile Device Unlock


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Ok they don’t explicitly refuse, however let me tell you the story:

 

My life circumstances dictates such that I may spend more than two consecutive billing cycles in Canada, and thus my roaming data has been turned off (as annoying as that is, I’ve made my peace with it). Now I’ve decided to take advantage of my phone’s capability of holding more than one active plan and purchased a prepaid Canadian line, however despite my phone being fully paid off and completely owned by me, it is still SIM locked.

 

So I call the helpful team of “experts” on a Thursday, and ask for it to be unlocked, after a bit of a back and forth, the agent informed me that he submitted a request, and I should receive an email with instructions within 24 hours. At this point I’m content with how the matter has been handled.

 

Fast forward to 26 hours after the first call, I still haven’t received any communications from the T-Mobile, so I decide to reach out through the messaging service they offer on their app. After I explain the situation, the “expert” expressed her empathy and proceeded to submit another request, this time she quoted me 48-72 hours for the unlock procedure to continue.

 

The 72 hours pass with absolutely no news regarding the unlock, so I call again, this time I express my frustration to the lovely “expert” over the phone and she gives me her personal guarantee that the issue will be solved and she said she would follow up with me within 1-2 hours to see whether I’ve received any correspondence from T-Mobile. She then said she will email me with a description of what we talked about and her name and employee number. And then said she submitted yet another request, this time to her manager for the issue to be resolved. Needless to say, I never received her email detailing our call, nor her name or employee number.

 

Another 24 hours pass, and at this point I’m getting quite frustrated with how this seemingly mundane and routine issue is being handled; so I call again, and this time request to speak with a supervisor. After explaining the situation to a primary response “expert” I get connected to a supervisor who much like everyone else thus far expressed his empathy and informed me that he PERSONALLY submitted yet another request, after briefly talking with Apple Support. Furthermore he quoted me 24 hours and said he would call back and follow up in 24 hours.

 

You should be able to guess by now what happened, no call, no email, phone still locked, and someone who always advocated for t-mobile to friends and acquaintances is seriously considering a change of carrier.

 

The staff are friendly and personable, however this many consecutive empty promises, and the hostage taking of a paid off phone isn’t something that should ever happen with such a big company.

 

I’m going to call again tomorrow, and probably will force the “expert” to stay on the line with me for however long it takes for the unlock to go through. I’m fed up with this fiasco.


11 replies

Userlevel 5
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what device and where did you buy it from.  From what I remember T-Mobile does not sell any dual sim devices.  Are you talking about esim, and sim.  Depending on device there should be an unlock app.

If it’s an iphone then it may complicate things from where you buy it from.

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Thank you for the response, it’s not an actual dual SIM, it’s an iPhone XS, and my tmobile line is currently an eSIM. 
 

The device was purchased through T-Mobile about 2.5 years ago, and has been fully paid off.

 

I should mention the iPhone had a weird issue with its microphone so I replaced it through warranty within the first week through T-Mobile.

Userlevel 5
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Thank you for the response, it’s not an actual dual SIM, it’s an iPhone XS, and my tmobile line is currently an eSIM. 
 

The device was purchased through T-Mobile about 2.5 years ago, and has been fully paid off.

 

I should mention the iPhone had a weird issue with its microphone so I replaced it through warranty within the first week through T-Mobile.

Did they give you a new device or one shipped to you?  You may want to contact T-Force on Facebook or twitter and they’ll do a better job investigating things.  

Often on exchanges sometimes the IMEI doesn’t transfer over.  For iphones when I unlocked them I have never gotten an email from a carrier.  Usually in 2-3 days I insert my T-Mobile sim, and factory reset the device.  If the unlock went through Apple servers will unlock the device.  If it didn’t go through then it’s hard to pinpoint where the disconnect is.  If the exchanged device is from a Flex policy line then T-Mobile even though you go it from “them” Apple didn’t give them the IMEI as “theirs”  So any carrier who has one will not know it is locked to them or it even exists in their system.  It’s convoluted system.

 

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It sounds like a much bigger problem than I thought!! I’m gonna try and reach out over both twitter and facebook tomorrow, and call them to double check my device’s IMEI is on their side of things too. I know when I log into the website and go under account>devices>unlock status, it shows the correct IMEI along with a big LOCKED icon.

 

By the way, the device was exchanged in-person, at a t-mobile store, and was not shipped. 
 

I’m completely unfamiliar with the Flex Policy, I’ll have to read into that a bit too, maybe the disconnect lies there

Userlevel 5
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It sounds like a much bigger problem than I thought!! I’m gonna try and reach out over both twitter and facebook tomorrow, and call them to double check my device’s IMEI is on their side of things too. I know when I log into the website and go under account>devices>unlock status, it shows the correct IMEI along with a big LOCKED icon.

 

By the way, the device was exchanged in-person, at a t-mobile store, and was not shipped. 
 

I’m completely unfamiliar with the Flex Policy, I’ll have to read into that a bit too, maybe the disconnect lies there

Apple makes it difficult because things have to be unlocked through them and only them.  Only the carrier can request an unlock.  A lot of other manufacturers just have carriers send a certain packet to unlock the device.

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It sounds like a much bigger problem than I thought!! I’m gonna try and reach out over both twitter and facebook tomorrow, and call them to double check my device’s IMEI is on their side of things too. I know when I log into the website and go under account>devices>unlock status, it shows the correct IMEI along with a big LOCKED icon.

 

By the way, the device was exchanged in-person, at a t-mobile store, and was not shipped. 
 

I’m completely unfamiliar with the Flex Policy, I’ll have to read into that a bit too, maybe the disconnect lies there

Apple makes it difficult because things have to be unlocked through them and only them.  Only the carrier can request an unlock.  A lot of other manufacturers just have carriers send a certain packet to unlock the device.

Yeah so I’ve heard, and It’s all for “security and privacy”

Userlevel 6
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Your experience may vary, but I haven’t had any issues with extended roaming in Canada.  It is obviously advisable to use WiFi when possible, but I have spent more than a few months straight in Canada in the past roaming.  I’m not sure if the COVID situation is why I was never flagged, but The Canadian and US cellular network is so intertwined, I don’t think should be an issue.  T-Mobile will not just cancel your service either.  You will get an excessive roaming option.  Also remember, some plans limit your data usage while roaming.  I believe mine is limited to 5GB per month when up in Canada.  

As mentioned, reaching out to the T-Force Team is a good option.  Because it’s an Apple device though, it won’t be a quick turn around and the replacement just complicates that a lot more.  Depending on where you are up on Canada, you might be able to trade in your device on a prepaid service, like Freedom Mobile for a newer device.  All smartphones sold in Canada by Canadian carriers are SIM unlocked out of the box.  Whether or not it will have all of the bands for T-Mobile though, is another question, but the Bell/Telus network is the current roaming partner for T-Mobile.  

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Your experience may vary, but I haven’t had any issues with extended roaming in Canada.  It is obviously advisable to use WiFi when possible, but I have spent more than a few months straight in Canada in the past roaming.  I’m not sure if the COVID situation is why I was never flagged, but The Canadian and US cellular network is so intertwined, I don’t think should be an issue.  T-Mobile will not just cancel your service either.  You will get an excessive roaming option.  Also remember, some plans limit your data usage while roaming.  I believe mine is limited to 5GB per month when up in Canada.  

As mentioned, reaching out to the T-Force Team is a good option.  Because it’s an Apple device though, it won’t be a quick turn around and the replacement just complicates that a lot more.  Depending on where you are up on Canada, you might be able to trade in your device on a prepaid service, like Freedom Mobile for a newer device.  All smartphones sold in Canada by Canadian carriers are SIM unlocked out of the box.  Whether or not it will have all of the bands for T-Mobile though, is another question, but the Bell/Telus network is the current roaming partner for T-Mobile.  


Thank you for the response, it seems like they have a vendetta towards me then, I spent 2 consecutive months in Alberta last summer, and when I returned to the States I received a text informing me that my roaming data had been turned off due to a violation of their policy. I contacted t-mobile immediately and at that time, they informed me that the issue would be solved and they would remove the restriction. Later in the winter when I went back to Canada I realized not only was it not resolved, a decision was made to not restore my data by someone “higher up than the supervisor” and there was nothing further that could be done. I was never given the option to extend my roaming, or purchase additional data in any way, just … removed my data while roaming.

 

Other than data I have no problem with cellular connections and I’m always connected to Bell/Telus. I can also freely make phone calls and send text messages including iMessage, however anything beyond that and there’s no data. I’ll be reaching out to T-Force as soon as possible. Thank you again

Userlevel 6
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WOW!  If T-Mobile ever did something like that to me.  I would be taking my business else where in a heartbeat.  A couple of months isn’t that long, at least in my opinion.  Even if you go twice in a year, that’s still only 4 months, which still leaves plenty of time to meet the 6+ months on the T-Mobile network.  The plan I am on, is T-Mobile One.  I hope T-Force can get that escalated and resolved for you.  

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So I ended up reaching out to T-Force on facebook, and the issue was fixed within minutes.

 

I think they fact that I’m on an eSIM was throwing the entirety of the T-Mobile team of experts off and they were unable to fix the issue.

 

I’m happy to report that my phone has been unlocked and the new SIM works perfectly fine

Userlevel 5
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congrats.  T-Force is always my option to go to whenever I have problems that regular CC can do.  They have higher permissions than low level CC reps do.

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