outbackjon

    So, back in December 2016, I purchased a refurbished, unlocked LG G4 from woot.com.  Worked fine initially on my AT&T service, but eventually I got the dreaded G4 bootloop.  LG repaired the phone under warranty, but when I got it back, it was carrier locked back to Tmobile.

     

    Now Tmobile is telling me that I should pay for 40 days of service before they will unlock my completely paid for phone, that was already unlocked previously?  That seems absurd, as this phone was obviously eligible to be unlocked in the past.

      All replies

      • tmo_chris

        Oh man! Do you know if LG repaired the phone or if they just sent you a different device? If the phone was unlocked when you sent it to LG and they locked it somehow by fixing it, I would recommend that you reach out to LG and inform them that they send you a SIM locked phone.

          • tidbits

            The repair requires a new logic board or send a refurbished unit. This changing the IMEI and locking the device.

              • outbackjon

                LG apparently replaced the motherboard, but the phone has the same IMEI and serial numbers as when I sent it to them.  So, as far as the network goes, it's the same phone.  LG doesn't do carrier unlocks and Tmobile tells me to pay for 40 days of service to make it eligible to unlock.

                 

                I was considering changing providers (from AT&T) when my current contract is up.  Not happening now with Tmobile's policies.

                  • tidbits

                    outbackjon wrote:

                     

                    LG apparently replaced the motherboard, but the phone has the same IMEI and serial numbers as when I sent it to them.  So, as far as the network goes, it's the same phone.  LG doesn't do carrier unlocks and Tmobile tells me to pay for 40 days of service to make it eligible to unlock.

                     

                    I was considering changing providers (from AT&T) when my current contract is up.  Not happening now with Tmobile's policies.

                    If it locked and all they did was repair it. Something tells me the phone was "hacked" to be unlocked and not actually unlocked.  What does this say?

                     

                    IMEI Status Check | See if Your Phone Works on T-Mobile 4G Network

                      • outbackjon

                        tidbits wrote:

                         

                        If it locked and all they did was repair it. Something tells me the phone was "hacked" to be unlocked and not actually unlocked.  What does this say?

                        I would say it sounds like you're accusing me of something.

                         

                        The IMEI comes back clean from Tmobile.  And woot.com is wholly owned and operated by Amazon, so I don't think they're selling "hacked" phones. 

                         

                        What it says to me is that LG replaced the board and flashed the phone with the latest Tmobile OS image, which likely is created by Tmobile in a locked state.  (Why would they create an unlocked image?) 

                          • tidbits

                            Yes you can purchased hacked phones from Amazon. You can even purchase knockoff iPhones or even stolen iPhones, but they are not marked as such. Not everything sold from Woot or even Amazon goes through Amazon hands tested, and have their own policies. You'd be surprised how much I have spent on Amazon and how many products I have purchased since their inception. The last 6 months would make some people cringe(it's a sickness I know).

                             

                            You may assume I was pointing at you, but you sorry you assumed wrong. If they repaired the phone and it has the same IMEI then that screams the phone was hacked to be unlocked. Once a phone is unlocked it is unlocked you can even flash a radio firmware and it will still be unlocked. They would have to replace the whole logic board and in turn the IMEI would have changed. If they redid the leads(which is more time consuming), and they re flashed the firmware the phone would still be unlocked as it is a separate partition altogether and would need Qualcomm tools to change it. LG techs would never touch those tools unless there was something wrong with the radio itself.

                             

                            The reason why I asked for you to check the IMEI was to ensure you didn't get a bad phone from Woot and give you some leverage to get your money back or a replacement phone.

                              • outbackjon

                                So, I decided to try an end-run and pay for an unlocking through a third party.  After a few days, they refunded my money, saying they couldn't do the unlock.  For the heck of it, I ran the Tmobile unlock app, and it said that the unlock failed, but also said that my device is permanently unlocked.

                                 

                                So, I now have a working, unlocked G4.  Weird, but I'm happy to have a working phone again.  My old Galaxy S4 was really feeling small and slow.

                      • outbackjon

                        Tmobile says I have to activate the phone for 40 days on their network before they'll unlock it.  LG says they don't unlock phones and I have to talk to Tmobile. 

                          • tmo_chris

                            I am very sorry outbackjon There are specific requirements that must be met for us to unlock phones. I know you did not purchase this phone unlocked from us but it was unlocked when you sent it to LG. If activating an account with us and meeting the requirements is not something you are able to do (which you should not have to do), contacting LG and informing them that they sent you a SIM locked phone when you sent them an unlocked phone should get their attention and they should have some sort of policy/procedure regarding the status of SIM locks when doing repairs.