I used to be an AT&T wireless customer and would like to bring to your notice what really goes on with AT&T customer care. I know its a long post, but I'm giving you every detail so you can judge how unfairly treated I feel.
I had a contract with AT&T through which I also bought a Samsung Galaxy S3. I cancelled this contract in March 2014 because the monthly bill was proving to be too high for me. I actually went into an AT&T store, spoke to a STORE REPRESENTATIVE and cancelled my contract. I asked him there and then what to do about my phone and if I would be able to use my phone with another network now and he said that my phone was now UNLOCKED and ready for use with another network. Hours later, I purchase an H2O wireless sim card and my phone was working fine with it until a week ago.
I moved recently and am switching to T-mobile purely because of better network coverage in the area. When I inserted the T-mobile sim in my AT&T Samsung S3 which was unlocked (as far as I knew), a screen would pop up asking for the 'Network unlock sim code'. Now, if I had even the slightest idea that my phone was not unlocked yet, I would have called AT&T right away and asked them about it. But, as I had been told by a trusted employee of AT&T that it was, I obviously assumed that my phone could be used with any other network. So, I thought it was some kind of pin to unlock the new sim that I had put in. I tried entering my security password for T-mobile, it didn't work. I must have entered that atleast 4 -5 times. The next day I called T-mobile customer care to ask about the matter and they told me that my phone was probably still locked to AT&T.
So, I called At&T customer care which in itself was very difficult because unless you have an AT&T number, the system doesn't allow you to go through to a customer care agent and you get disconnected. I even called AT&T stores and asked if they could pull up my old account or connect me to customer care but they said they could do neither. Finally, someone told me to keep pressing zero and that finally connected me to an agent. The agent told me that I would have to go online and request an unlock code and I would get an email within the next 4-5 days. Now, I was on a time constraint since my phone number was being ported from H2O to T-mobile and unless my phone was unlocked by the next day, I would be basically without a phone for a couple of days. But, the agent said that there is nothing that she could do to expedite the process. So, I figured, I would be without a phone for a couple of days which seemed bearable.
The next day I received my unlock code with instructions which I followed but it still said 'NETWORK UNLOCK UNSUCCESSFUL'. I also read in the email that more than 5 wrong attempts would lock the phone permanently to AT&T. So, I called AT&T customer care again and told them that I thought my phone unlock code did not work and that my phone was probably permanently locked to AT&T now. I also told them about how I was MISINFORMED that my phone was unlocked by one of their employees and how I had entered the a wrong code at least 4-5 times before. And I have told this to every agent of AT&T that has answered my call for the past week and a half, but I was later told by a customer care supervisor that there was no mention of all this anywhere in any of my registered complaints.
So, after the first unlock code request, another request was put in by the agent and I was given a case ID. This took 2 days after which I received an email with the same unlock code and instructions and another one stating that the issue had been resolved. It still didn't work. By this time, my number was deactivated in H2O wireless, so, I had to use an internet app on WIFI and call customer care. The agent again put in another request, registered another case and gave me a new case ID. This too took two days and I received another set of emails with the same information as before and the same result as before. NOTHING WOULD WORK.
I called AT&T customer care again and was told to call SAMSUNG. Samsung told me that AT&T orders some phones that just cannot be unlocked from the network no matter what, even with an unlock code and that I should call AT&T and ask if my phone was one of those. The agent registered another case and put in another request which also took a day and a half to get sorted and I received another set of emails with the same information as before, same unlock code, a thank you , an apologetic statement and confirmation that the issue had been resolved. But it still didn't work.
So, I called Customer care again , through the internet app using WIFI and spoke to an agent about this. I told her that I have been trying to tell everyone that my phone is permanently locked to AT&T and I need someone to do something about it as I was misguided by one of your employees stating that my phone was unlocked in the first place. All she kept saying was that there is nothing AT&T can do about it.
I asked to speak to a supervisor. I did tell her all what had happened and yet she said there is nothing she can do about it. I told her I was misinformed by an employee and that's why my phone is locked. She asked me why I didn't call AT&T the first time I was asked the unlock code and I told her that I HAD NO IDEA MY PHONE WAS STILL LOCKED TO AT&T, with an employee confirming that it was and my phone working fine for the past 4-5 months with H20 wireless (which uses AT&T network). And It asked for a "NETWORK UNLOCK SIM CODE" not a "NETWORK UNLCOK CODE". the word 'SIM' threw me off especially when I was not expecting it to be a network unlocking code because I was specifically told by a trusted employee, a customer care agent at an AT&T store that my phone had been unlocked from AT&T and that it could be used with any other network. Now, the supervisor said that the store employee might have said "UNLOCKABLE" and that I might have heard "UNLOCKED", and I told her that he had answered to a very specific question that I asked him as stated by me earlier here. She then suggested that I could get a new phone with my new network. I said, I surely could, but why should I spend money and get a new phone when I have one that works perfectly, which I have paid money for when I used it with AT&T and then paid off the remainder of the phone when I cancelled my contract so that I can use this phone as my own with any other network. Then, I told her that now I feel all that money spent in this phone is just wasted which is really not fair to me, only because one of your employees was not informed enough to tell me the proper procedure. Then, SHE SUGGESTED THAT I TRY AND SELL MY PHONE ON EBAY.
Now, Please try to understand that
1) I had cancelled my contract and had every right to get the phone unlocked so that I can use it with another network. I have not tried in anyway other that putting in requests to AT&T to get the phone unlocked.
2) I went into an AT&T store and spoke to a store representative about breaking my contract early and paid off whatever I had to pay. You can check my records.
3) I asked the representative specifically about my phone, what I had to do to get it unlocked and if I would be able to use it with another network. He clearly said that MY PHONE WAS UNLOCKED AND NOW READY TO USE WITH ANOTHER NETWORK. I asked specifically because I was getting the new network (H2O Wireless) sim card in the next few hours.
4) My phone was working fine for the past 5 months with H2O wireless so I had no reason to believe that it was still locked to AT&T.
5) I DID NOT HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA THAT A STORE REPRESENTATIVE MIGHT BE WRONG AND THAT I SHOULD CHECK WITH AT&T BEFORE TRYING TO ENTER A "NETWORK UNLOCK SIM CODE" WHICH I THOUGHT AT THE TIME HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH UNLOCKING THE T-MOBILE 'SIM' THAT I HAD INSERTED IN MY PHONE.
6) In every phone call, I had told AT&T customer care after the very first unlock request was unsuccessful that I thought my phone was permanently locked to AT&T now but not one of them had documented it. Only yesterday, i.e. about 10 days after all this started, someone had the decency to tell me that there is nothing they could do about it. They could have just told me that on the very first phone call and not wasted my time.
7)Why should I be suffering when I was misinformed and misguided by one of your employees who was clearly irresponsible with handling the issue at hand.
8) Last but not the least, I was very much taken aback when a supervisor at AT&T customer care suggested that I try and sell my phone on EBAY.
I hope no one else has to go through such a thing.
Reason of review: My phone is permanently locked to AT&T because of an irresponsible employee and AT&T says they can't do anything about it. I paid for the phone in full after cancelling my contract and can't use it with any other network other than AT&T..
Preferred solution: Deliver product or service ordered.