Apple says it's a t-mobile phone, but t-mobile IMEI status check says it's not.


    I bought this brand new iphone 7 from amazon, as a t-mobile phone.


    Checked with Apple. They confirm it's a t-mobile phone.


    But the t-mobile IMEA status check tool does not recognize it.


    I'm going on vacation this Friday, and I need to use the local SIM on this phone.


    Apple says that since this is a t-mobile phone, only t-mobile can unlock it.


    I had connected via a phone conference t-mobile and apple, and t-mobile said they will correct their records to reflect the fact that this is a t-mobile phone, but apparently, they never did.


    Without this I can't seem to convince t-mobile to unlock it.


    And according to the t-mobile requirements this phone is fully qualified for the unlock (it is a pre-paid phone, which has more than 100 USD in re-fills, excluding the initial payment).


    What are my actions?




      All replies

      • drnewcomb2

        Is it locked or unlocked?

          • eight_io

            drnewcomb2 Yeah, it is locked.

              • drnewcomb2

                I bought a nominally prepaid T-Mobile-flagged Samsung phone on Amazon and had no trouble getting it unlocked on my postpaid account. Was this directly from Amazon or an Amazon partner?

                  • eight_io

                    Amazon partner.

                    • eight_io


                      Did you have to have $100 refills, and wait for 40 days before they unlocked it?


                        • drnewcomb2

                          No. I have a postpaid account. It's just that buying the Samsung prepaid phone kit from Amazon was cheaper than buying the same phone from T-Mobile. I just activated it (online SIM swap) on my postpaid account and used the T-Mobile Unlock app to request the unlock for the phone.


                          Have you contacted the seller about the phone's indeterminate status?

                            • eight_io

                              Seller points me to t-mobile, and this is an Iphone, they don't have an app for that.


                              t-mobile points me back to seller.


                              seller replies: get t-mobile and apple on the same line and confirm, which I did.


                              still IMEI is not recognized by t-mobile.


                              In addition, t-mobile said I need $100 in refills. I added $100 into refill.


                              Now t-mobile says I need to use it for forty days before they will unlock it. The 40 days requirement is for the monthly plans though, not for pre-paid.


                              It seems t-mobile try to torpedo the unlock process in any way they can, by loosing track of previous requests all the time, referring me back to seller and apple over and over again, at the same time inventing new requirements such as 40 days for prepaid phones.

                                • drnewcomb2

                                  Well, T-Mobile's policies have been clearly published for a long time. So, they're not trying to slip in something new on you. It seems that T-Mobile admits it's their phone, at least as far as unlocking it. I don't really know any more or have any special ability to help you with your problem. The unlock should work even overseas. You can call T-Mobile to request the unlock using WiFi Calling.

                                    • eight_io

                                      t-mobile wants me to meet both of those two requirements for monthly and prepaid plans -- I call it inventing new requirements just to make my life hard.


                                      today they told me to go to a t-mobile store to ask there to unlock the phone, knowing perfectly well, that at the store they don't handle the unlock requests.


                                      they also suggested to go to apple and ask them to unlock it, knowing perfectly well, that apple cannot unlock t-mobile phone.


                                      I brought this up again that apple confirmed that this is a t-mobile phone and the agent said that since I am denying all the "resolutions" she was offering she was going to hang up, which she did.


                                      this drags on for a week now, the most frustrating experience with any tele company i ever had.


                                      I had to buy a cheap att phone off amazon to go to europe, which att unlocked with no requirements on the spot with no questions asked. verizon has the same policy.


                                      horrible experience

                                        • drnewcomb2

                                          Do you have a monthly postpaid account? T-Mobile has always just unlocked any phone I've used  my SIM in, on request. The limit for a postpaid customer is 2  per year per line. I once got a new phone and had not yet put my SIM in it and the rep said she couldn't see that I had used that phone. I said, "hold on a minute", swapped the SIM and powered up the new phone and she processed the unlock request.


                                          They are pickier with prepaids and don't normally unlock phones on EIPs.

                                            • eight_io

                                              I have pay-as-you-go account. I never had t-mobile phone before, and never had them unlocked any phone.


                                              I called t-mobile again (for the 6th time) and the agent herself called apple, and apple again confirmed this was a t-mobile locked phone.


                                              However,  one thing was discovered. By some reason, t-mobile replaces the last digit in the IMEA number by a "0". The agent on the previous calls said that was the t-mobile way to do things, and that last digit really did not matter.


                                              So Apple tried this t-mobile modified IMEA number, and said they could not locate it in their system.


                                              When I gave them the true last digit taken from the settings of my phone, apple immediately confirmed that the phone is a t-mobile phone.


                                              It seems that the t-mobile agent took note of that last digit issue, and assured me that the unlock will happen this time in 72 hours.


                                              I hope that digit mingling done by t-mobile was the reason for this hassle, and finally gets resolved.


                                              However, as a general note, I should say that, rather than looking closely into the details of the issue, t-mobile simply wanted to brush me off as an annoying fly, into the all kinds of false directions.

                                                • tmo_mike_c

                                                  Oh boy, this isn't the the experience we wanted you to have at all. Sorry it took some time to get the IMEI squared away. I wanted to check and ask, has your phone been unlocked?

                                                    • eight_io



                                                      LOL: No. Although the last agent said it'd take 72 hours to unlock, it's more than a week now, and I haven't gotten the confirmation email.


                                                      I am on vacation now, so I don't want to spoil it by calling t-mobile to enquire about the business of unlocking the phones.

                                                        • eight_io

                                                          So, a week after my last unlock request (which was supposed to go through in 72 hours after it was placed), I decided to check upon its status.


                                                          And (surprise!), t-mobile again says it is not a t-mobile device. This time the agent literally said, that although it is not a t-mobile device, she is going to tell me the sure way of how to unlock it. She sends me instructions of how to do a "hard reset". I tell her, I already did a hard reset, she still insists that I tried it. I follow the instructions, put a local SIM card, get the same old message that this SIM card cannot be used on this device and requires a carrier unlock.


                                                          This is getting ridiculous. I go to on-line IMEI check service, pay 2 bucks, and get this report:



                                                          Serial Number: F2ХХХХХХХХХ

                                                          Initial Activation Policy ID: 2136

                                                          MEID: Activation Policy Description: US T-Mobile Locked Activation Policy

                                                          IMEI: 35ХХХХХХХХХХХХХ

                                                          Applied Activation Policy ID: 2136

                                                          Part Description: iPhone 7 Plus

                                                          Applied Activation Policy Description: US T-Mobile Locked

                                                          Activation Policy Product Version: 10.2.1

                                                          Next Tether Policy ID: 2136

                                                          Last Restore Date: Next Tether

                                                          Activation Policy Description: US T-Mobile Locked Activation Policy

                                                          Bluetooth MAC Address:

                                                          First Unbrick Date: 03/21/17

                                                          Last Unbrick Date:


                                                          Unlocked: false

                                                          Unlock Date:

                                                          Find My iPhone: ON

                                                          How on earth an external service (let alone Apple) sees this as a t-mobile phone, yet t-mobile refuses it???

                                                          I wrote to the seller about this issue, and they got back to me saying that t-mobile database has "glitches". How can I get t-mobile to fix the "glitch", without sending me off to all kinds of wrong directions?

                                                            • tmo_mike_c

                                                              Geez, this is gone on for way longer than normal. I can't speak for that site, but I know our folks on our T-Force team can check on this to see if there's something going on with this unlock. I know you've called quite a bit, but the only Care folks with account access can look at this further and escalate an unlock for you if everything with the device checks out. If you have Facebook or Twitter, you should definitely run this by our T-Force team through the social links on our Contact Us page. There's a good chance they can help and shine some light on this for you.

                                    • tidbits

                                      Seems like you are caught up on Apples policy. They have a policy first sim in it locks to that carrier. This causes problems because Apple doesn't give IMEIs of these devices to carriers and often they don't know if it's theirs to unlock or the person trying to get an unlock pull a fast one.


                                      Apple needs to adjust this policy really bad. It's happening more and more

                                        • eight_io

                                          tidbits Are you trying to put a blame on Apple? I wrote a few times in this thread that Apple confirmed at least two times to t-mobile that this is a t-mobile phone. It is a t-mobile that needs to stop ignoring what Apple tells them and fix t-mobile database, but they won't because the their workflow process obviously is broken.

                                            • tidbits

                                              Yes it is Apples fault.  If Apple doesn't give IMEI's to carriers how are they going to know they can unlock it?  Think very hard for a minute about it.  Also ANYONE can claim to work for Apple when calling in so that doesn't hold a lot of clout.


                                              Here's what I am talking about ok.  Read up on it, and then verify it with those Apple reps.  It's call

                                              US Reseller Flex Policy


                                              I promise you will be disappointed.  Under this policy carriers DON'T get these IMEI's from Apple so they don't know who it belongs to and THIS IS WHERE YOU ARE.  T-Mobile has nothing in their database of the device being tied to T-Mobile.  T-Mobile not having the IMEI in their system believes someone could pull a fast one or it's not theirs.  Apple needs to change this policy OR have a system to where carriers would get said IMEI if it does get locked to them.


                                              US Reseller Flex Policy |Official Apple Support Communities

                                                • eight_io

                                                  tidbits: As I wrote before in this thread, every time I mention Apple, t-mobile themselves called apple, who'd immediately verify this phone as t-mobile's, by checking the IMEI. T-mobile at that point would say they would put the said IMEI into their database.


                                                  Moreover, the seller of the phone said that this process (having t-mobile verify IMEI with Apple) has always worked in the past.


                                                  I don't see how this can be Apple's fault.

                                                  Also, the Flex policy you refer to, is not applicable in this case. As my IMEI third-party check suggests, this is a

                                                  Activation Policy Description: US T-Mobile Locked Activation Policy

                                                  This phone does not have FLEX policy, so I don't have to put  the t-mobile sim card to get it assigned to t-mobile. This phone came with a t-mobile sim card, which I activated at the t-mobile store, and am using on t-mobile network ever since.

                                                    • tidbits

                                                      The third party check only checks Apple servers, and not the servers that matter.  You will find anything on flex on carrier like you have their IMEI missing in their system which you have the symptoms of.

                                                      You win, and good luck with that.  I am trying to help you, and people in the future.  The seller doesn't want to bother with it and would rather keep your money. 

                                                        • eight_io

                                                          tidbits : Thanks! The question still remains if anybody can find out that this IMEI is t-mobile's, why t-mobile can't do that.

                                                            • tidbits

                                                              I already gave you the answer.  The device was on a Flex policy and the IMEI will not be on any carrier.  Apple themselves would have to go through the proper channels they have to give said IMEI to the carrier to have a carrier being able to unlock it.  low level reps on both sides can't do this, and requires different departments. 

                                                                • eight_io

                                                                  tidbits I think you are writing into a wrong thread. I already showed you that this is not a FLEX policy, and you agreed with it. Now you are back to FLEX argument all of a sudden. Please stop.

                                                                    • tidbits

                                                                      You can search this forums and people will tell you that they had the same problem were all the same.

                                                                      It is and always will be.  Answer this question then, or have Apple answer this question. 


                                                                      Why does T-Mobile not have the IMEI in their system?


                                                                      On a Flex policy device this ALWAYS happens.  Apple systems will show it's locked to a specific carrier while that carrier will have no knowledge of the IMEI in their system 100% of the time.


                                                                      Can you share the link of the device you purchased from Amazon, and you put in a T-Mobile sim correct?  Amazon is not an authorized reseller and these small resllers within Amazon are not as well.  They often jump on deals in build turn around and resell them from places like Target, WalMart, and BestBuy which are all Flex policy devices.  These companies will say they are T-Mobile devices to save the problem if someone assumed they purchased on unlocked iPhone and suddenly it was locked.

                                                                        • tidbits

                                                                          I want to add to tell if you have a device within the flex policy you would need to check it BEFORE you activate it with a sim in it.  Once the phone is locked it will no longer say flex policy and lock to the specific sim carrier you put in.  Since Apple doesn't give these IMEI's to carriers phones are locked with no way to unlock them as Apple unlock system goes like this.


                                                                          User request unlock

                                                                          Carrier checks IMEI and requirements are met.

                                                                          Carrier sends unlock Ok to Apple

                                                                          Apple put an unlock flag on the IMEI

                                                                          User resets phone and device phones home

                                                                          Device unlocks

                                                                          restore from backup and be on your way


                                                                          Since the iPhone was locked using Flex carrier checks IMEI and it's not there.  That's the biggest problem with Flex policy. 

                                                                            • eight_io

                                                                              tidbits This phone did not have a FLEX policy. When I received it, I put a verizon sim card from my other phone, and got a message about invalid sim card. The t-mobile sim card, however, worked from the very beginning. Why this IMEA is not in t-mobile database, although it is in the Apple database marked with T-Mobile policy beats me. Why, after Apple confirmed to t-mobile this is a t-mobile phone, t-mobile refuses to reflect that in t-mobile database is beyond me. The only reason I might think of is that t-mobile gains nothing from unlocking my phone, however, it may get something if the phone is kept locked to t-mobile.

                                                          • magenta3245249

                                                            I'm in this exact same situation although difference device...I have an alcatel onetouch fierce xl. Clearly this is a T-Mobile device since it's the only carrier that ever sold this phone. When I try to unlock I'm told the device is not in the system. T-Mobile reps will always assume the device is on another carrier and push customers off. I'm not hopeful this will ever get resolved. I don't need a response I just want to let others out there know who come to this thread that T-Mobile has no resolution for this so you're basically SOL.