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iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?

gomeromac

I have an iPhone 5S that I bought in Orlando-FL on October 24th. Now I am in Brazil using the device under international roaming. After 40 days with the device active in T-Mo network I've tried to unlock the phone via web chat but it was declined. They said I didn't met the criteria "Must have device usage within the last 7 days by the mobile number requesting the unlock code". Ok, I bought some more credits made some calls and asked for the unlock (denied again for same reason) and now I don't get a reply after escalations. Already escalated my case three times and I've been waiting for an answer and nothing! Can someone please help me????

 

First attempt: Sim Unlock Reference:  6326406 - Declined 05/12

Second attempt: Sim Unlock Reference:  6345047 - Declined 11/12 - Escalated on 11/12, 16/12 and 27/12.

  • 1. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gramps28

    From what I've read is that you have to be on a Tmobile US

    tower to show usage.

  • 2. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gomeromac

    Hope you are wrong, cause it doesn't make sense to be in the US to get a phone unlocked. I am using T-Mo network in roaming and they confirmed that on the web chat support.

  • 3. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gramps28

    In the unlock requirements it does state that usage must be on T-Mobile towers.

  • 4. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gramps28

    Also the Web chat team doesn't have influence on unlock codes that's the unlock team so it depends on what they see as the requirements.

  • 5. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gomeromac

    I didn't see anywhere about towers, but on their network, which I am since I'm able to call all internal T-Mobile numbers and make standard calls when I have credits. I will talk to customer care again or else I will have to buy a code which I don't trust it will work for iPhone.

     

  • 6. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    tmo_sean_l

    Hello gomeromac!  I'm sorry you've had difficulty with getting your phone unlocked.  gramps28 is correct, you must show usage on the T-Mobile USA network.  That means you must be in the United States connected to our network.  Here is the actually policy: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1588.  If you're not coming back to the USA any time soon your best bet would be to have a third party unlock the phone for you, a fee would more than likely be involved.

  • 7. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gomeromac

    There is nothing on that policy that says I must be in the US. I work with telecom so I know I am on T-Mo network even without using their towers, which is just the phisycal layer of the network. And if what you are saying is the final position from Tmo, I should at least receive a formal answer from the unlock team, or should I consider this forum as the final answer from the company?

     

     

     

    Em 03/01/2014, às 18:53, tmo_sean_l <no-reply@t-mobile.com> escreveu:

     

     

    T-Mobile Support Community

    iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?

    created by tmo_sean_l in Apple iPhone 5s - View the full discussion

    Hello gomeromac!  I'm sorry you've had difficulty with getting your phone unlocked.  gramps28 is correct, you must show usage on the T-Mobile USA network.  That means you must be in the United States connected to our network.  Here is the actually policy: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1588.  If you're not coming back to the USA any time soon your best bet would be to have a third party unlock the phone for you, a fee would more than likely be involved.

     

    Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support

    Start a new discussion in Apple iPhone 5s by email or at T-Mobile Support

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  • 8. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gramps28

    If you read the last paragraph of the unlock article they can deny the request for other reasons. Since you used the phone in the US only 2weeks they may think that you're trying to circumvent the unlock rules.

  • 9. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gomeromac

    You're right gramps, the phrase "Additional restrictions may apply" can lead to anything they want and that's ridiculous. Anyway, I will still wait for a final answer from T-Mobile Unlock Team. I've contacted customer care several times and nobody said I couldn't unlock my phone because I'm not in the USA. Thanks for patiently responding to this topic!

  • 10. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gramps28

    In my opinion it shows up as a red flag when someone is trying to unlock a phone

    on a prepaid plan that never showed 40 days of usage in the US so this is why there's

    a lot of post like yours on this forum.

  • 11. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gomeromac

    They confirmed I was 40 days active on their network. The only criteria I didn't met was the usage on the past 7 days which I did it later after adding more $10 to my account. So I've spent $60 and payed the device full price, why they would not unlock my phone so I can use with a local carrier?

     

     

    Em 04/01/2014, às 18:45, gramps28 <no-reply@t-mobile.com> escreveu:

     

     

    T-Mobile Support Community

    iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?

    created by gramps28 in Apple iPhone 5s - View the full discussion

    In my opinion it shows up as a red flag when someone is trying to unlock a phone

     

    on a prepaid plan that never showed 40 days of usage in the US so this is why there's

     

    a lot of post like yours on this forum.

     

    Reply to this message by replying to this email -or- go to the message on T-Mobile Support

    Start a new discussion in Apple iPhone 5s by email or at T-Mobile Support

    Not interested in these emails anymore, or want to change how often they come? Update your email preferences.

     

  • 12. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    kbmaverick

    Sorry you are having problems gomeromac - this is a common problem with tourists coming to the United States.  Salesmen in the T-Mobile stores just don't explain it well, or are misunderstood.  Either way it is a constant topic on this support forum.

     

    I am guessing that Apple makes more money on a phone if they sell it themselves through the Apple Store, where all the phones come unlocked.  Apple lets the carriers sell iPhones, but for their OWN network.  I believe Apple is the one that requires that these phones sold though the carriers to be locked.  This keeps the carrier from just becoming another iPhone store, competing for all iPhone sales with the Apple Store.  

     

    You had said this earlier: "There is nothing on that policy that says I must be in the US. I work with telecom so I know I am on T-Mo network even without using their towers, which is just the phisycal layer of the network." 

     

    Well, I would have to disagree with you.  A cellular or mobile network IS a physical wireless network.  In T-Mobile's case it operates in the 1700 and 1900 MHz spectrum, distributed over land areas called cells, each served by at least one fixed-location transceiver.  I am sure that there are a lot of physical servers involved as well. 

     

    When "roaming" in Brasil you are using either VIVO's physical network, or Claro's physical network.  Those networks are then connected to the PSTN (public switched telephone network), which routes your call to T-Mobile's physical network.  After the breakup of the old phone monopoly in the USA, AT&T actually inherited the physical network that connects South America with the States.  So your calls/texts are routed from VIVO or Claro's "network" to the PSTN, which switches it to AT&T's "South America to USA network" and then back through the PSTN to T-Mobile's US "network".  T-Mobile only has a monetary agreement with VIVO and Claro, which allows a T-Mobile customer to "roam" on their Brasilian networks, with T-Mobile paying the expense. 

     

    Know I now that you want to argue that because you have a T-Mobile SIM card in your phone that it all happens under T-Mobile's "network".  But I think that you will lose that argument.

     

    Also, in case you wonder why you are not receiving 4G LTE in Brasil, the GSM iPhone 5S sold in the USA is the Model A1533 which supports the Band 4 LTE used by T-Mobile and AT&T.  Claro, TIM, Oi and VIVO all use Band 7 LTE which is not supported by the model that you bought.  The Model A1457 is the iPhone 5S sold in Brasil.  It is also sold in Europe and supports Band 7.

     

    And there is another problem that you will encounter shortly.  Because T-Mobile is not in the business of giving away free Gobal Roaming, you are probably going to be cut off after 4 to 5 weeks of roaming without using T-Mobile's US network.  And yes, I did read that in writing somewhere.  We personally will have that problem in the near future, since my wife has been visiting relatives in Brasil for almost 4 weeks now.  Global Roaming is a great feature that we really enjoy.  But obviously, it would not make economic sense for T-Mobile to pay VIVO and Claro for use of their networks, so that you can use data and text for free without ever living in the US.

     

    Best of luck, I hope you come up with a solution.

  • 13. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    gomeromac

    Great answer kbmaverick, I am not a specialist on cellular network but anyway, they can see my usage there. I've used their service and payed for it while in the USA(Great 4G, I know it wont work here because of our different band) and then I've used back here in Brazil under roaming. If the policy states that I must be in the US, that should be clear, or at least I should receive a formal answer from T-Mo saying that I cannot unlock my device unless I go back to the US and use the phone there. That's exactly what I am waiting for with my case opened since December 10th, a simple answer confirming that I cannot be unlocked or the unlock confirmation.

  • 14. Re: iPhone 5S SIM Unlock - T-Mobile simple does not help! Can someone help?
    kbmaverick

    To be honest gomeromac, I don't believe that this support forum gets you to a "decision maker".  The only answer you will get here is to "read the contract".  So, this is how I would try to solve your problem.

     

    First attempt to email them directly at support@t-mobile.com .

     

    Next try calling.  When you first started roaming in Brasil you should have received a text message from T-Mobile.  If it is like the ones I have received in Europe, it will have a free phone number to call for help.  Unfortunately that person is probably in the Philippines, but it is a good place to start.

     

    Next try calling customer care at 877-453-1304 or 800-937-8997 and ask to speak with a supervisor.  These are toll free numbers if called from the USA, and there is a possibility that they cannot be dialed from out of country, Try anyway.  You might initially get a call center in India or the Philippines, but hang in there, that operator can connect you to the correct person eventually.

     

    Skype charges me $0.023/minute to make a phone call to a landline in Brasil using Skype "Pay-As-You-Go" minutes, or $0.13/minute to call a mobile phone.  That is a pretty good rate from the US.  "To" the US the rate is $0.023/minute to landlines and mobiles.  I am not sure what it would cost you in Real.

     

    If all fails you can write to:

     

    T-Mobile Customer Relations

    PO Box 37380

    Albuquerque, NM  87176-7380

    USA

     

    I did look at the sales contract I received when we purchased a Samsung Galaxy S4 recently from the local T-Mobile Store.  Not once in six pages of legal contractual writing did it mention that the phone was "locked", or that it could be "unlocked" only under certain circumstances.  I am guessing that your sales contract is the same.  If so, then I would stress that point in your letter to T-Mobile.

     

    As a side note, we bought T-Mobile's version of the Galaxy S4 to get Wi-Fi calling for the wife (unique only to certain T-Mobile "branded" phones - a great service).  Had to return it right away when we discovered that T-Mobile's version does not support multiple languages - Portuguese in particular.  The Galaxy S4 model i9505 that we bought previously support multiple languages, so we were caught off guard when T-Mobile's version did not.  The wife needs to email in French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and English for her work.

     

    Everyone on this support forum needs to understand that foreign tourists who buy phones while on vacation are not being told by T-Mobile store employees that the phones they buy are locked, and what it take to unlock them.  As I pointed out, it was not in my last sales contract, or the contract describing our new service when we switched plans.

     

    I suggest that T-Mobile needs to come up with a better solution at the store level.  Seems like half the posts on this support forum are about the same "locked phone" problem.

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