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Thread: Automatic unlock of Go Phones?

  1. #1
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    Automatic unlock of Go Phones?

    I bought an Avail GoPhone a few months ago, but never activated it on a service plan. I just use it with Wifi only. Now I want to put an overseas SIM card in it while travelling, so I must unlock it.

    AT&T's international support told me that normally I must be a paying customer for 3 months to get it unlocked, but the rep was nice enough to make an exception for me - BUT then she said that my model Z990 was "not eligible" for unlock because the manufacturer had not given AT&T the code! (Looking at some of the web sites for paid unlocking services, it kind of looks like the unlock codes for the Z990 are indeed unavailable.)

    I called the manufacturer (ZTE) and their foreign office insisted that they couldn't help me and that AT&T should handle it. I called back to AT&T and they researched it. Finally AT&T said that when you sign up for a pre-paid GoPhone plan the GoPhone automatically unlocks. (The guy said that they try not to let the public know this.)

    So It sounds like I'm hearing different stories: The first AT&T rep said she would unlock it but they don't have the code. The second AT&T rep said it will unlock itself if I buy a pre-paid plan.

    Why is it so hard to get a straight answer? Why are these companies selling these items to people all over the world if the comapnies don't even know how they work?

  2. #2
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    I have an Avail that was on GoPhone and that did NOT unlock it. I know from research that very few unlocking web sites list the Avail. I did find one, but I haven't used it so don't know anything about it.
    www.unlockallcellular.com Rather pricey if it does work. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gplantam View Post
    Why is it so hard to get a straight answer?
    They are a telco and telcos are liars. I think your "automatic unlock" rep got his story from a place where sun don't shine. Cost you $15 to get a refill and call him on it. Good luck finding him. I can hear it now:

    "I apologise but there is nothing I can do."
    Prepaid Rocks!

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    Oops. Deleted.
    Last edited by tszefr; 05-18-2012 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Duplicate / redundant

  5. #5
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    I got a ZTE (different model) from Gophone last year and had to wait 7 months for the phone to become eligible to be unlocked.
    I would call ATT and ask them when your Avail will be eligible to be unlocked. Hopefully it is soon.

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    I called AT&T again and explained my story. This time I got someone who consulted a mgr and said that they would unlock my phone, but first they would have to get me a new SIM (for free) since the old SIM # had expired because it was never activated. He said to call back after that and ask to be unlocked. The local AT&T gave me a new free SIM (per the notes on my acct) and activated it for $25 on the $2/day plan.

    I called AT&T to unlock it. The woman seemed very unsure and I told her to read the notes on my acct. She gave me a confirmation # and said I would receive an email in 10 days for the unlock code.

    We'll see what happens.

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    I called AT&T again for about the 12th time and asked for a supervisor. This time they said that any GoPhone labeled for AT&T is not intended to be unlockable, and the manfacturer does not provide an unlock code. I asked why I should believe AT&T this time when I keep getting conflicting stories every time I call them. This time they said that the previous confusion stems from a CSR noting incorrectly that my phone is an iphone instead of a GoPhone.

    Every time, I have told them the model is a Z990! How can AT&T not know it's a GoPhone? Especially when it has the AT&T label on it?

    The supervisor apologized (which doesn't do anything about the money I spent on the phone and service) and said there's nothing she can do. I asked if an third party company could unlock it. She said it may be possible, but of course AT&T can't advise on that.

    I don't have a lot of money. The reason I got this phone was so I lower my phone bill a bit. Instead I have lost about $200 on this whole deal (and a lot of time), because nobody wants to take responsibility for their communications products and services these days. Thanks a lot, AT&T.

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    What a lame story, but then they are a telco and they are liars. They get whatever they order from the manufacturer.

    Recently I called for an unlock on a W518a that I bought as a refurb go phone. They looked up the code and gave it to me right over the phone. First time I ever had that happen. My W518a is even a W508 because I nuked it. No problem getting the unlock as an enterprise postpaid customer.

    Since that worked, you might try finding a postpaid customer to ask for your unlock code. And next time just don't mess with AT&T when you purchase. I use an unlocked Xperia X8 that I bought from newegg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gplantam View Post
    I called AT&T again for about the 12th time and asked for a supervisor. This time they said that any GoPhone labeled for AT&T is not intended to be unlockable, and the manfacturer does not provide an unlock code. I asked why I should believe AT&T this time when I keep getting conflicting stories every time I call them. This time they said that the previous confusion stems from a CSR noting incorrectly that my phone is an iphone instead of a GoPhone.

    Every time, I have told them the model is a Z990! How can AT&T not know it's a GoPhone? Especially when it has the AT&T label on it?

    The supervisor apologized (which doesn't do anything about the money I spent on the phone and service) and said there's nothing she can do. I asked if an third party company could unlock it. She said it may be possible, but of course AT&T can't advise on that.

    I don't have a lot of money. The reason I got this phone was so I lower my phone bill a bit. Instead I have lost about $200 on this whole deal (and a lot of time), because nobody wants to take responsibility for their communications products and services these days. Thanks a lot, AT&T.
    Why do you need your zte phone unlocked since it is compatible with All AT&T Mvno 's ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by lisaco1 View Post
    Why do you need your zte phone unlocked since it is compatible with All AT&T Mvno 's ??
    Did you even read the first paragraph of the first post in this thread?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gplantam View Post
    1. I bought an Avail GoPhone ... (and) ... I want to put an overseas SIM card in it while travelling.
    2. ... Finally AT&T said that when you sign up for a pre-paid GoPhone plan the GoPhone automatically unlocks. (The guy said that they try not to let the public know this.)
    Okeh ..
    1. Good.
    2. Have you tried this? If you were my neighbor, I'd get out my collection of SIM cards and we'd find out. Between my US and UK SIM cards ... active and inactive ... we'd know. Is this ZTE only?
    Regards, FJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by lisaco1 View Post
    Why do you need your zte phone unlocked since it is compatible with All AT&T Mvno 's ??
    I wanted to use my phone while travelling overseas, by putting in a SIM card from another country. It is my understanding that I cannot put a foreign SIM card in a smartphone without first unlocking it. Are you trying to tell me that AT&T has SIM cards for other countries which I can put in my phone without unlocking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontierjustice View Post
    Okeh ..
    1. Good.
    2. Have you tried this? If you were my neighbor, I'd get out my collection of SIM cards and we'd find out. Between my US and UK SIM cards ... active and inactive ... we'd know. Is this ZTE only?
    Regards, FJ
    I don't know if the previous AT&T rep was talking about ZTE only. It appears that he was thinking about iphones. The CSR I spoke to most recently agreed with what I've heard on the web: ZTE will not tell anyone the unlock code (if one exists) for their AT&T-branded GoPhones. I am too sick of dealing with this for weeks to experiment.

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