Asurion Refurbished AT&T Phones Unable to Unlock Due to Cross Linking Old Account Holders

Lightening strikes twice. I received a replacement S7 this April, 2017 under the Asurion replacement program.When I tried to unlock the phone on the AT&T unlock website it refused to unlock saying I owed a subsidy. Red flag. Last year I spent 40 hours trying to resolve the issue going all the way to the Office of the President and was final connected to a very capable customer service rep who was able to identify the problem and unlock the device. Here’s the scoop. I was either extremely unlucky and both times my account and IMEI were linked to another account owing money. I believe this happens now on a larger scale when someone returns a phone it is refurbished and sent to the new owner under the Asurion replacement. In both cases, the former account holder who still owed money was crosslinked to my account. Inside AT&T, agents scrambled to help me. Many ran into system catch-22 which appeared to cancel the ticket and returned the message.

Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your AT&T Mobile device:
CASE: CMXXXXXX_XXXXXXXX
IMEI: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your device.

We cannot complete your request for one of the following reasons:
• You have not completed all the payments for your device according to your AT&T Next service agreement.

Great! I had no service agreement and owned all my phones. So it was apparent that someone else was also connected to my account.

After two yours and three agents, warranty service was able to figure it out and provide an unlock code. If you get a refurbished phone that wont unlock now you know the hassle you’re in for.  I wish I could tell you that it will be easy to solve but it isn’t. It depends on the luck of the draw. AT&T customer support are often ill trained. It may take 20 hours of persistence. Last year, one agent apparently didn’t know a device could be locked. She said, after all your talking to me. Oy.

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