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Thread: Any ideas for unlocking Iphone 8+ originally activated on Ting (Sprint MVNO)

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    Any ideas for unlocking Iphone 8+ originally activated on Ting (Sprint MVNO)

    Any help appreciated! I’ve been on the phone all day and keeping getting the runaround. I’m trying to move an iphone 8 first activated on a Sprint MVNO (Ting) to Total Wireless (using Verizon).

    Short story: Sprint tells me because I bought an unlocked phone and activated it on MVNO that uses Sprint, that only the activating MVNO can unlock it. The MVNO tells me they neither lock nor unlock phones. Said they’re not even capable of doing so. So now I’m hosed unless anyone knows a workaround or I'm willing to move back to Sprint.

    Long story:
    Bought universal iphone 8+ at Best Buy and paid full price. Activated on Ting (MVNO running Sprint) and used it on Ting for 20 months.
    • Decided to move it to Total Wireless. I used the IMEI checker on their site, and it said I was good to use on their Verizon network.
    • This morning, I ported that number to Total Wireless, but the iphone won’t activate with new SIM card, giving the message:
    The SIM card that you currently have installed in this iPhone is from a carrier that is not supported under the activation policy that is currently assigned by the activation server. This is not a hardware issue with the iPhone. Please insert another SIM card from a supported carrier or request that this iPhone be unlocked by your carrier. Please contact Apple for more information.
    • I used an IMEI service and determined that the phone is locked to Sprint, the blacklist status is clean, and that FED has been met.
    • I’ve talked to Sprint (3 times), Ting (twice), Best Buy, Total Wireless, and Apple Care.
    • In Sprint’s records, they show FED status as “not available.”
    • The most definitive thing I was told was by Sprint. They said that even though I purchased an unlocked phone, when I activated it on Ting, it became locked to the Sprint network and that only Ting could unlock it. I talked to Ting at length, and they’re adamant they don’t lock or unlock phones. They were nice enough to stay on the line and conference with Sprint, but even then, Sprint still won’t unlock it; only Ting can.

    I fiddled around with a few of the unlocking services, but it seems they don’t even offer an option if you select Sprint.

    Any ideas? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    How long ago did you buy the phone ? I think TING would be the only one who could unlock the phone and not Sprint. TING customer support may have to open a technical ticket to resolve the issue.
    Just another day in paradise.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by gh1138 View Post
    Any help appreciated! I’ve been on the phone all day and keeping getting the runaround. I’m trying to move an iphone 8 first activated on a Sprint MVNO (Ting) to Total Wireless (using Verizon). Short story: Sprint tells me because I bought an unlocked phone and activated it on MVNO that uses Sprint, that only the activating MVNO can unlock it. The MVNO tells me they neither lock nor unlock phones. Said they’re not even capable of doing so. So now I’m hosed unless anyone knows a workaround or I'm willing to move back to Sprint. Long story: Bought universal iphone 8+ at Best Buy and paid full price. Activated on Ting (MVNO running Sprint) and used it on Ting for 20 months. • Decided to move it to Total Wireless. I used the IMEI checker on their site, and it said I was good to use on their Verizon network. • This morning, I ported that number to Total Wireless, but the iphone won’t activate with new SIM card, giving the message:
    The SIM card that you currently have installed in this iPhone is from a carrier that is not supported under the activation policy that is currently assigned by the activation server. This is not a hardware issue with the iPhone. Please insert another SIM card from a supported carrier or request that this iPhone be unlocked by your carrier. Please contact Apple for more information.
    • I used an IMEI service and determined that the phone is locked to Sprint, the blacklist status is clean, and that FED has been met. • I’ve talked to Sprint (3 times), Ting (twice), Best Buy, Total Wireless, and Apple Care. • In Sprint’s records, they show FED status as “not available.” • The most definitive thing I was told was by Sprint. They said that even though I purchased an unlocked phone, when I activated it on Ting, it became locked to the Sprint network and that only Ting could unlock it. I talked to Ting at length, and they’re adamant they don’t lock or unlock phones. They were nice enough to stay on the line and conference with Sprint, but even then, Sprint still won’t unlock it; only Ting can. I fiddled around with a few of the unlocking services, but it seems they don’t even offer an option if you select Sprint. Any ideas? Thanks.
    if you bought the phone unlocked at best buy, then the phone shouldn't be locked, sounds like the phone is one of those flex-pay phones that lock to the carrier the first sim is inserted into the phone. see this post - https://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-B...D/td-p/1313746
    Last edited by october262; 07-10-2020 at 07:12 PM.

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    I think this must be the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by october262 View Post
    if you bought the phone unlocked at best buy, then the phone shouldn't be locked, sounds like the phone is one of those flex-pay phones that lock to the carrier the first sim is inserted into the phone. see this post - https://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-B...D/td-p/1313746
    Yes. From the website description when I bought the phone, it said unlocked universal iphone. I feel dumb if I was supposed to know it would lock to the first carrier activation. If that wasn't disclosed, then I feel cheated. But it wouldn't be the first time Best Buy has gotten me.

    I guess two years is a little beyond the return period.

    Caveat emptor, I guess. Thanks for the link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serial Port View Post
    How long ago did you buy the phone ? I think TING would be the only one who could unlock the phone and not Sprint. TING customer support may have to open a technical ticket to resolve the issue.
    I was on the phone with Ting multiple times today. They seemed eager to help me and spent quite a bit of time for a customer that just left their service. Everyone I spoke with there said they never lock or unlock phones and don't have that capability.

    To be honest, I was surprised they didn't have a liaison with Sprint they could consult. Do you have any suggestions as to what I might specifically ask them?

    Thanks.

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    Had to take the phone back to Sprint service.

    Well, I felt stupid for going back to Best Buy since they sold me the "unlocked" phone, but they had a deal through Sprint Kickstarter that I couldn't get at the Sprint store I went to. $30/month for "unlimited" talk, text, and data, and then $25/mo if you sign up for autopay. Still don't get the same reception as the Verizon network in my area, but it's my daughter's phone, and she said she'll probably get a new phone in the next several months. So . . . instead of paying $100 (before fees/taxes) for 4 lines on same network, I'm paying $105 for 4 lines on 2 networks. I'm sure there will be some duplicate fees for each network.

    The guy who signed me up at Best Buy did say they still see these situations, but less frequently than a year or so ago. Assuming he knew what he was talking about, he too said the only way to guarantee an unlocked iphone is to buy straight from Apple. Although he claimed he has seen a couple of times where in a similar situation, Sprint would unlock the phone after being back on their network for a few months. Maybe it just depends on the rep/tech you get.

    Thanks for the replies here.

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