How do I know if my iPhone is Clean and Out of Contract?
Yes if you want to unlock your AT&T iPhone and it’s “clean and out of contract,” and you are a customer in good standing with AT&T, then they will likely give it to you for free. YES! Woohoo! Here’s the link.
However, if you bought a used AT&T iPhone that was absolutely clean and you wanted it unlocked to use with them or any other GSM service, then AT&T policy says that they will not unlock it, even though it’s clean and completely free of contract. It appears that they are essentially willing to help their customers, and only those who are completely and appropriately paid up. This is their right, as it takes their time and resources to process unlocks and could potentially be a huge expense.
The clean unlock for iPhone for ReleaseMyCode.com is a lower price than premium (100%) unlocks and this is because the expense of fulfillment is lower, and because it’s primarily only useful for people who are not customers of AT&T.
How do I know if my iPhone is Blacklisted?
You can check to see if your phone’s IMEI is blacklisted by dialing *#06# and entering this IMEI at http://www.swappa.com/esn/
Can you unlock a blacklisted iPhone?
Unlike some service ReleaseMyCode.com does NOT process unlock orders for ANY blacklisted phones. If the phone is reported lost or stolen, or blacklisted due to financial obligation we will not process it.
WHY NOT? Consumers do not always understand that their phone WILL NOT WORK on any cellular phone carrier for ANY reason within the United States or Canada, simply because of the US & Canada legislation regulating the shared blacklist.
This is 100% completely unrelated to an unlock, but when it fails to work, consumers often blame us, get mad, demand a refund, or process a charge back. It just isn’t worth our financial risk to accept these orders.
Unfortunately most consumers with blacklisted IMEI’s didn’t even know their phone was blacklisted when they bought it off of a stranger or off of Craigslist. This is why we recommend buying and selling through a 3rd party like Ebay or Amazon (both are still risky) where you can attempt to challenge the transaction.
Your best bet is to buy and sell through a site like Swappa that also requires that the phone is not blacklisted before they will list it.
What if my phone is blacklisted? Am I stuck?
Unfortunately you were “ripped off.” But there are some potential remedies.
- Try to RETURN THE PHONE immediately. Especially if you paid by Debit / Credit Card or Paypal. You should contact them first and try to work it out. If they refuse, then you need to contact your bank, credit company or Paypal and request to dispute the charge as “Not As Described.” But please… ALWAYS attempt to work it out directly first. It’s just the right thing to do, and who knows, maybe they didn’t realize it was blacklisted.If you did purchase a phone with cash because of a listing on Craigslist, Facebook, or some other market app (woah, really?), then it’s going to be rough. You’ll have to mention (risk) exposing them publicly, and that could have legal and (even illegal and dangerous) unexpected consequences. They did sell you a blacklisted phone after all. (Whether they knew it or not.)
- You could attempt to root / crack / hack your phone which may not only unlock it, but allow you to spoof your IMEI number (Note: This is extremely likely to be completely ILLEGAL wherever you are). But yeah, it’s potentially illegal (we’re not lawyers) so why would you want to resort to this? We do not recommend this, nor do we provide any support, ideas, links or resources explaining how it could be done.
- If you’re not able to return the phone, and you’re not going to just toss it (that would be sad) then consider recycling. Most likely the other parts such as the screen, battery, antennae, the copper in it, etc… has SOME value to someone. So give it away (with a full disclosure of what’s wrong) or sell the parts. You could attempt to sell your phone for parts at a cellular phone repair shop, but just keep in mind that the added risk of potentially bunk parts, and potentially unneeded inventory brings the value of your phone way down… likely to 10% or less of what believe it’s worth.
- Some companies do process orders to unlock blacklisted phones, but they’re usually working with international phone brokers who are sending hundreds or even thousands of devices specifically intended for use outside the US. If you find a wholesaler or broker and you can sell them your phone, keep in mind that it may not be worth much to them because there are multiple layers of companies and people between them and the person who ultimately buys the phone somewhere outside the U.S. & Canada.