After 2 weeks of nonsense from ATT I was finally able to unlock the phone. You will hear a lot of myths from them but non of it is true. Here are the most common ones:
1. We don't have an unlock code, please contact Nokia - Big fat lie, I have an email from Nokia stating that ATT has the code
2. We can't unlock it unless it was activated at some point - I got the code and my phone wasn't on ATT network for a second
3. You have to meet certain requirements (i.e. 2 months/ 6 months for go phone ATT customer) Got the code, not an ATT customer and will never be
4. Miscellaneous: contact the seller, return the phone, join ATT (barf
I realized one thing, ATT intentionally won't unlock the phone, their primitive strategy (which is effective) is to make your experience miserable, so won't have any desire to do it again or even try to return/get rig of the phone. Here are the steps that you need to follow:
1. Make sure that you have a receipt stating that the phone was purchased for full price. If it's from craiglist or ebay, this may be complicating as they use another excuse: ATT fights black market of stolen phones, not true but at least it's a logical excuse. So if it's from BestBuy, Microsoft, ATT, etc, you should be good.
2. Call ATT 800 301 0500, they will open a case for you, tell them that you can provide a proof of payment. You should receive an email from ATT stating that you need to fax proof of payment as well IMEI code and other stuff to this fax number 214 782 6442. First time I was told that I need to email the receipt at email@example.com
, yeah, I called them 6 times, about 20 emails and 2 faxes, horrible experience...
You may receive another email stating that the request was rejected because you are not an ATT customer. Regardless, this will not unlock your phone but you have to follow these steps in order to file a complaint. I also emailed firstname.lastname@example.org
and explained everything, wanted to have something in writing. They used all of the above excuses, so I felt it was time to file a complaint with BBB, there is a link on ATT site. Explain everything in your complaint, that you paid full price, didn't do anything wrong and had reasonable expectation that the phone will be unlocked. After, you should be contacted by ATT, in my case I got the code, which was more like a "just stop ********". I also filed complaints with FCC and bureau of consumer protection. BBB is the best, but I just felt that it wont hurt letting everyone know that ATT is simply tying their service to the phone.
It's funny but FCC and White house wants phone unlocking, you can google it. White house petitioned FCC to make the phone unlocking easy, and FCC's position is the same: FCC to wireless carriers: agree on phone unlocking policy or face rules | Reuters
If you are not in US, it's very unfortunate, but I would recommend to ask your US friend(s) to follow these steps and act as (s)he bought the phone. Let them know in advance that it will be frustrating, but it's possible. As for the Nokia lumia 1520, it's so awesome, 20mbps on T-Mobile, great device!