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Unlocking iPhone 5s? I thought Verizon's policy was that 4G phones are unlocked already....
nicoles
Newbie
I am absolutely disappointed with Verizon. My husband and I have had AT&T since returning overseas. However, we were unable to have a family plan with two different area codes for numbers. So, we researched Verizon to see what we could do there. We talked to representatives in the corporate stores, looked on Verizon's website, and asked a ton of questions. We got a lot of made up information. When asked what features we'd lose on our iphones, we were told that the only difference would be the ability to talk and surf. We found out later that iMessages or text messages were data and could not be done simultaneously with talking. Call waiting features were different, as well as conference calls. Also, we had NO service in our home or work locations.

After calling nearly everyday for months, Verizon finally sent the request for the engineers to check the tower/service. On November 30, Verizon released us from our contract and said the engineers could not correct the issues with the towers. They waived the ETF and disconnected our service. I asked about the phones that we'd purchased and they replied that "All of Verizon's 4G/LTE phones are unlocked per company policy." They said that we could go anywhere with our phones; we had to do "reset network connections" to remove the Verizon configuration. In addition, AppleCare specialists confirmed that iPhone 5s phones could be used on all networks, as long as they were unlocked. Full functionality, though, would not be possible on Sprint and Verizon as they are CDMA networks.

We went to T-mobile, a GSM network. We did all of the resets and even did a phone restore. Still, the Verizon configuration remained. So, I called T-Mobile, who suggested that I trade in my $849 phone for a new phone, they would give me $250 for the trade-in.. Um, no... It just needs the Verizon code. I called Verizon back. They said," yeah, well our phones are unlocked. There's nothing we can do for you." So, after weeks of back and forth run around nonsense, I went to the Apple Store. They searched my phone's serial number and found that it was not unlocked-Verizon Wireless showed as the current and future policy slots. The Apple Store manager told me to take the phone to a corporate Verizon store and request the phone be unlocked. He stated it was a simple code and that Verizon could do it remotely or walk me through the process.

I did just as advised. The "greeter" in the Verizon store was less than pleasant as she directed me to call the 1800 number for Verizon. When I called them, the response was that Verizon's policy for unlocking the phone is that "You have to be in contract with Verizon and going overseas for an extended period of time for us to unlock it. We do not unlock phones for customers go to another carrier." Over and over I got this information from Verizon. When I mentioned that the policy I was told was that the phone should already be unlocked, the representative just apologized for the misinformation and again suggested that I trade-in my phone for an unlocked phone. So, I called the next day with all of my paperwork in hand. I spoke to the representative who refused to listen. Every time I said anything, he cut me off and repeated the policy to unlock for overseas only. I asked to speak to a manager or supervisor. Juan answered and was completely disrespectful. He repeated the previous representative's words, nearly verbatim. When I asked why Verizon wouldn't take back our phones since the issue had been theirs, not ours, he repeated the policy. I asked why I should have to pay $1200 out of pocket for phones exactly like the ones I already paid several hundred dollars for, he repeated the policy. When I asked to speak with his supervisor, he told me no. And then threatened to lock my phone so that I couldn't use it on T Mobile at all. He said he could render the phone completely useless. Further, he noted my account that I'd been explained the policy several times so that "no other representatives will have to waste their time explaining a clear policy" to me. I mentioned the voluntary commitment that all four carriers agreed to in Dec 13, he referred me back to my customer agreement. So I asked him where in the agreement I should look to find the answers, because I hadn't seen anything that said any of the stuff he was saying {that he had the right to make my phone inoperable or that if Verizon cannot provide service, we are out of luck with our phones}. His reply:"I'm sorry you believe that is what the contract says, I know what it says, it's my job." He said "Thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless" and hung up.

All I want is for my investment in a new phone (for the two of us) not to have been a waste because Verizon is unwilling to be reasonable. I am not sure why the phone cannot be unlocked or a refund of the purchase price given since Verizon had to terminate the contract because of their inability to provide service. Now, I am faced with initiating a dispute with Verizon and getting AAA and BBB involved per the consumer contract, a process much more costly to Verizon than simply unlocking our phones. Is their ANY other recourse I can take before initiating the dispute?

I am aware that unlocking my phone outside of Verizon Wireless would render my warranty null and void. I also know that Apple, if they learn that it has been illegally unlocked (jailbreaking), they could disable my device permanently.

ONLY REAL ANSWERS FROM VERIZON REPRESENTATIVES PLEASE.

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Re: Unlocking iPhone 5s? I thought Verizon's policy was that 4G phones are unlocked already....
boxermansr
Contributor

The 5s with Verizon is indeed already unlocked. I myself have used mine with T-Mobile twice in the past month. As far as carrier settings (at least for me), once I've powered down, removed my Verizon SIM, put the T-Mobile one in, and powered back up, the T-Mobile settings are already there. I'd suggest if your device isn't getting the right carrier settings, visiting Apple, as they'd be the best source to help you, as Verizon won't if you're no longer one of their customers. Either way, if the device is defective, and it's certainly not a year old, Apple will replace it (I imagine with the same model you have now, so asking for a T-Mobile one won't work, and you don't want a T-Mobile one anyhow as from what I understand those are locked to T-Mobile). Good luck.

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Re: Unlocking iPhone 5s? I thought Verizon's policy was that 4G phones are unlocked already....
vzw_customer_support
Customer Support

nicoles,

Right off the bat, we're terribly sorry to learn you've left but we understand completely that you need to do what's best for you and your family when it comes to service in your area. Regarding your inquiry, it's true that our devices work on our network only and are not transferrable to other domestic networks, and vice versa.

EvanO_VZW

Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: Unlocking iPhone 5s? I thought Verizon's policy was that 4G phones are unlocked already....
TPC99
Newbie

They would work if Verizon would unlock them.

I contacted HTC and I have some old Thunderbolts I was going to give to some less than fortunate people at The Salvation Army- They are on T Mobile. Verizon refused to unlock the phones- I have an active Verizon account with IPhones 5 and only wanted to donate  old phones, not leave Verizon

Verizon is building a great reputation

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Re: Unlocking iPhone 5s? I thought Verizon's policy was that 4G phones are unlocked already....
ttipgem
Master

I didn't read the whole OP because WOW, way too long.  And it's from a few weeks ago so the issue has probably already been solved, however, for those reading later, the iPhone 5s from Verizon is, in fact, already completely unlocked.

Anyone from TMobile or anywhere else saying that it still has a "Verizon configuration" doesn't know what they are talking about.

The Verizon iPhone 5 is also unlocked out of the box.

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Re: Unlocking iPhone 5s? I thought Verizon's policy was that 4G phones are unlocked already....
boxermansr
Contributor

The 5s with Verizon is indeed already unlocked. I myself have used mine with T-Mobile twice in the past month. As far as carrier settings (at least for me), once I've powered down, removed my Verizon SIM, put the T-Mobile one in, and powered back up, the T-Mobile settings are already there. I'd suggest if your device isn't getting the right carrier settings, visiting Apple, as they'd be the best source to help you, as Verizon won't if you're no longer one of their customers. Either way, if the device is defective, and it's certainly not a year old, Apple will replace it (I imagine with the same model you have now, so asking for a T-Mobile one won't work, and you don't want a T-Mobile one anyhow as from what I understand those are locked to T-Mobile). Good luck.

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