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Locked or Un-locked

I have an old iPhone 7+ that I purchased from AT&T years ago. I switched service from AT&T a few years ago and went with Consumer Cellular. I have now stopped using this phone and bought a new iPhone [11] , but not from any carrier. I was told, since I paid for the phone at purchase, it would be "unlocked". When I went to settings, it was noted as "locked." I called Consumer Cellular and was told it will remain locked for 6 months. When I asked Consumer Cellular why, they couldn't explain why it would be locked for 6 months except to say "that's just the way it is," or words to that effect. Any suggestions regarding what's going on? I wanted to get an eSIM for it, but if it is locked this is a no go.

Subject Change: As an alternative to the above, I thought I'll just use my old iPhone 7+ [noted above] and purchase a physical pre-paid SIM to use the phone in Europe. I called AT&T, even thought it is no longer the carrier and the phone was paid for long, long ago, and the AT&T representative said t he unlocked the phone--after I gave him the IMEI number. All well and good. But, when i turned the phone "off" waited a while, then turned it back "on" [as the AT&T% rep. suggested] and went to settings, it still indicted the SIM was "locked". So, is it locked or unlocked?

Posted by
1183 posts

If you bought the phone outright, and certainly if the plan is finished, you should be entitled to have it unlocked.

Ask a friend to norrow a sim from a different carrier and see if it works.

Posted by
4029 posts

To unlock my iPhone, after ATT did their things, I have always had to back up, reset to factory settings, then restore.

Posted by
642 posts

Wasn't the 7 unlocked when you switched to Consumer Cellular? Isn't there a CC SIM in there now - and wasn't it installed when you started with CC? So is it a support question for CC?

The first thing I would check is whether iOS can still be upgraded on the 7. If not, then apps may not be able to be installed or upgraded.

It would help to know what your intended use of the phone is, and where you are going. CC has an international roaming plan which can be quite reasonable, and works throughout Europe. I believe I was on T-Mobile in England, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic.

Posted by
737 posts

Can you clarify?
You bought a new phone that was supposedly unlocked. It was not from CC or any carrier, then why could they either lock it or unlock it? Where do they even come into the picture.
I bought my unlocked phone from Amazon. There was no carrier involved.

When you paid for the new phone at purchase, as you say, where was that? Who from?

Nine of this makes sense unless you actually did buy from some provider, or you were scammed on the phone being unlocked. And, why call CC about a phine that was not from them?

Posted by
7504 posts

I agree with one of the posts above, if you used the iPhone7 with Consumer Cellular, after completing your service with ATT, then likely that phone is unlocked, otherwise, the CC SIM would not have worked (unless CC locked it due to you signing up on some contract).

The new phone being locked for 6 months is not uncommon, it was likely stated in the fine print of the sales agreement of your service with consumer cellular, you probably signed up for a "deal" that gave you an attractive rate for a period of time, the 6 months is to assure you do not drop them after a month, and they get some minimum charge for the service.

As someone mentioned, try a friends SIM in your old phone, and take that if no problem.

Posted by
198 posts

Wow, nice company to deal with! I would go buy another phone. A couple of hundred bucks is worth eliminating ever having to converse with that company again..