08-18-2019 06:17 PM
I purchased my iPhone Xs in January of this year. The sales associate informed me that I was buying an unlocked iPhone Xs, free from any carrier or contract, and that I would be able to use it with any carrier of my choosing. He also said I would be able to switch between carriers at will because the device is paid in-full.
Fast forward to today, when I attempted to switch to Verizon, only to learn that my cell phone is "Apple carrier locked". While at the Verizon store, I called T-Mobile and was told because my device was purchased from a third party, and is not therefore a "T-Mobile device," that they are actually unable to put a carrier lock on my device. They said they would attept to put in an unlock request (even though it doesn't show as being locked on their end), and would reach out to Apple on my behalf in order to see what means of recourse I have. Next, I call Apple in order to avoid the middle man and to perhaps expedite the process. They informed me that Apple neither locks devices, nor has the ability to unlock devices. They suggested I return to the carrier or to the store ffrom which I originally purchased the device. I called T-Mobile again to inform them of this new information. They escalated my case to a manager. She again reassured me that my phone is not locked by T-Mobile, and there is no record of any sort of lock on their end. She said there is nothing they can do to unlock the phone because according to them it is not locked. Then, they suggested I return to the original place of purchase.
Anyways, I finally made it to Best Buy, and in the midst of explaining my situation to the Specialty Sales Manager of Connections, he literally asked me, "Are you finished yet?". It was absolutely condescending. Customer facing positions require sympathy and patience; he exhibited neither. The salesman then proceed to explain to me how iPhones sold at Best Buy are universal and become locked to the carrier of the SIM that is first installed on the device. After that brief interaction, I decided to never return to a Best Buy location. I called a Customer Support Rep from Bestbuy.com after leaving the store. Mitsy was great, and she further explained the "universal iPhone" concept. She also suggested I return to the original store for a possible refund, despite the fact that I'm outside of the 45-day window (or however long I'm supposed to get as a Best Buy Elite Plus member).
Back in January, the sales associate never gave me any of this information. T-Mobile has assured me there is no lock on my device, and there is absolutely nothing they can do because they didn't lock the device in the first place. Apple told me they neither lock nor unlock phones and cannot help. Both suggested I go to Best Buy. Best Buy then claimed they can't lock or unlock devices. At any rate, I've got three companies with a total market capitalization of 1.017 TRILLION dollars, all pointing the finger at each other. The only company that seems culpable for anything of note is Best Buy for failing to tell me that my device is not in-fact unlocked. If I leave T-Mobile, my device is literally unusable. Resale value is non-existant. I am now out $1,000. Please help.
08-18-2019 07:08 PM
08-18-2019 07:16 PM
Thanks for info Nick. My case at Apple was escalated to a manager, who confirmed her employees claim that Apple neither locks nor unlocks devices, and that locks are performed at the carrier level. Then, she sent me an email with my case # and another with her contact info if I wanted to reach back out. Not sure how much more help she will be.
08-18-2019 07:25 PM
Thanks again for the suggestion to read through the other threads Nick. To make this whole situation even worse, now I have learned that my phone is not usable outside the US!!! Best Buy, please help!
08-20-2019 12:30 PM
Thank you for connecting with us here on the Best Buy Forums. I use my phone regularly, so I can fully understand wanting to be able to use yours as you had originally intended. Based on what you’ve said thus far, it seems like the information you’ve been given is correct, although I wish this had been explained differently when you visited the store. As this purchase was made in January, we would not be able to guarantee a different outcome would be available. Devices like this are limited to a 14-day return period, regardless of My Best Buy membership level status. We’d be glad to review the transaction with you, in effort to have a better understanding.
To proceed, we’d want to determine exactly what you purchased. If you would please send a private message, we can locate the receipt in our system. Please select the darker blue box next to my name below to get started. Your full name, email address, and telephone number would be required.
We look forward to hearing from you.