Unlocking phone


    Most phones on Verizon are sold unlocked.  Try buying from a third party to ensure you buy a phone that is already unlocked.  The hassle of trying to unlock a tmobile phone is larger than a few days. 


    I first tried to unlock the phone via unlock app.  The app said that it was not eligible.   Based on the criteria here, T-Mobile Device Unlock app , I knew it was.  I contacted online chat as Tmobiles coverage at my residential area is terrible, even with the extender.


    Online chat confirmed that I was eligible, and that it would be up to 3 days for an email, and up to 2 days once the instructions on email were complete to finalize an unlock.  This is contrary to the previously referenced article of 48 hours.


    In 24 hours I received an email saying that my device did not have a code from the manufacturer and I would need to use the app.  Of course this email was a do not reply email.


    I contacted chat again and was advised to clear the cache of the unlock app.  I did so, and received a new message, unlock failed and device is permanently unlocked.  I did not know what this meant, and the chat advisor did not comment on it, other than to confirm that it was unlocked I needed to try a different provider's app.


    In the account settings on the tmobile site, you can check the unlock status on devices by entering the imei.  I did so and was advised that the device was unlocked.  I ended the chat advising I would wait to get a different sim card to test it.


    Upon testing a different sim card, it says that I am not connected to a network.


    Why is it so difficult to unlock a phone that is eligible.  This is ridiculous.  Community recommends contacting the force team.  I don't use social media and I dont want to create one to troubleshoot an issue that I am having with my phone provider?  I am reconsidering choosing tmobile over verizon to save maybe $200 a year on a 5 family plan if I need to spend at least 4 hours over the course of 2 days in order to unlock 1 phone. 

      All replies

      • snn555

        Re: Unlocking phone

        Not sure why you're having an issue with this. I can get a phone unlocked within 5 minutes of contacting t Force. Only an iPhone takes up to 48 hours.

          • magenta8125090

            Re: Unlocking phone

            Your post is not helpful.


            Is tforce the social media garbage I mentioned in my post?  Not sure how this community works, are you a tmobile rep or a customer like me?


            Online messages are hard to read, I am not attempting to be mean.


            I honestly don't find your post helpful.  I saw mentions of tforce on the community responses, but I should not have to create a social media account in order to get tech support.  And I cant distinguish if you are just posting to provide your anecdotal experience, or are you providing information as a representative of tmobile, i.e. the iphone comment. 

          • magenta8125090

            Re: Unlocking phone

            Not sure how to edit the original post -


            Update ***

            Edit *** Failed to mention I had scheduled a call back for the next morning when I will not be at my residence.  Ironically, it is not ironic that in order to talk to my cell phone provider, I need to not be at home, i.e. mobile, as TMOBILE does not have reliable indoor connection in most of 48302. 


            Just got done with about an hour chat.  Nothing was made clear until the end.


            TLDR -


            I was advised that when I use the Device Unlock app and receive the following response, "Unlock Failed, Unlock Approved : Mobile device is permanently unlocked.", while requesting permanent unlock, means the request to unlock device has gone through, and that is processing.


            After my original post, I was able to reach another representative.  There was a constant back and forth of, the time of 24-72 hours had not elapsed since the request so just wait (from the rep), and there was no request and/or an email with instructions were sent but that the instructions could not be completed so the request is in limbo (me).


            Eventually, we were able to get a place where the rep advised that the response from the Device Unlock app of failing meant the unlock request was processing.  While I find it hard to believe, if it is true, the app should really include a change to the output to say that.  I would expect a reasonable person getting an error message or message saying unlock failed, unlock approved, would assume that the unlock failed but the unlock was approved, which means nothing if it is not a unambiguous message.  This unclear message coupled with previous advice from a previous representative that the only way to see if a device was unlocked was to use a different providers sim card.  When I was presented with that opportunity, it did not work.


            Looking forward to spending more time to unlock a phone that is eligible.


            My advice, make sure you buy a phone that is unlocked.  If that means not buying from T-Mobile, you won't have the bloatware that comes with it, it can be moved to another provider (if its compatible).  That gives you more power in choosing a service provider that works for you, and not one that has you trapped.

              • gramps28

                Re: Unlocking phone

                Out of curiosity are you a new Tmobile customer?


                It takes 40 days of usage on a postpaid plan or $100 in refills for a prepaid plan be eligible to receive

                an unlock code from Tmobile.

                  • magenta8125090

                    Re: Unlocking phone

                    I appreciate the comment, but my original post stated that the rep advised I was eligible.  Double checking never hurt though.


                    I have been a customer for 10 plus years. 


                    I meet the criteria on Unlock your mobile wireless device .  I have yet to meet a rep, out of the 3 online reps so far, who said otherwise.  Which might not mean much as I the reps I have spoken to seem unaware of the "check unlock status" webpage in the account settings on the t-mobile site.  Maybe they don't have access to that information and were just taking me at my word.  They were able to call me out by name however without me personally providing it so I had assumed they had access to my account.


                    Finding more disheartening information on the forums.  Apparently I am not the only one who has encountered issues with Tmobile and unlocking devices.  Also from what I am reading, even bringing a unlocked phone to T-Mobile results in T-mobile carrier locking the phone during required network updates.  So even if I brought an unlocked phone to tmobile, tmobile would still lock it.  And then present me with the option to unlock it by creating a social media account to talk with the force team or whatever it is called.

                      • gramps28

                        Re: Unlocking phone

                        This is just a guess but that the phone that you bought was a refurb and the imei# isn't in the Tmobile system so you're

                        going to need assistance from T-Force to get the the imei# into Tmobile's system even though you don't like using social media

                        which I understand.

                          • magenta8125090

                            Re: Unlocking phone

                            It was advertised as new when I purchased it from t-mobile.  If it was refurb, it was without my knowledge.


                            Why are you guessing it is refurb?  Tmobile reps verified that it was eligible.  Do you have knowledge of how they check IMEI?

                            If it was refurb, why would Tmobile rep verify it was eligible if they did not have the IMEI in their records?  Your guesses seem contradictory to my lay understanding.


                            My posts stated that tmobile reps verified it was eligible, and the tmobile unlock device status advised it was unlocked.  Why would you then wager a guess that the imei is not in tmobiles system?


                            I feel like you are trying to paint this instance as an anomaly versus not an anomaly.  Searching "unlock device" in the community forum returns numerous results.  This is not an anomaly.


                            In about an hour I am expecting a callback from the "advanced tech support" scheduled by the third rep I chatted with.


                            Based on what I am reading, unlocking a phone purchased and eligible for unlock from t-mobile is not as easy as using an app or connecting support via traditional methods (chat on tmobile acct, or phone calls.)  Bringing an unlocked phone to tmobile results in a forced carrier lock during forced network software updates.


                            The solution the community has been heavily leaning towards is to talk to the t-force.  I'm not trying to fight the tide, and if that is the only solution I will use it to get what I want to work. 


                            Having to connect via social media in order to resolve a tech issue with a paid for service is terrible.  If it was an option, as opposed to the only way, that wouldnt be a big deal.  Not sure how you guys are ok with this.  I am not disputing if this is the way to solve it.  I am communicating that if this is the only way to solve it, I feel it is a terrible system.

                              • gramps28

                                Re: Unlocking phone

                                The reason I said it might be a refurb is because if you had to do a warranty exchange the imei# of the refurb is usually not

                                in Tmobile's data base.

                                • tmo_mike_c

                                  Re: Unlocking phone

                                  Were you able to get the phone unlocked? I agree that checking that IMEI in our internal systems might be the key to what's causing the trouble. It's a little tougher to help with this issue here on the forum. I understand if you don't have social media, but our T-Force folks are super helpful with issues like this.

                        • snn555

                          Re: Unlocking phone

                          BYOD phones do not lock to a carrier, and also don't get carrier updates.


                          Social media is T Force, based in the US.

                          Support through the site or app is regional, like Team of Experts.

                          Calling after hours usually leads to support outside the US.  In-person at a local store is...local.