I’m taking one of these phones to a nearby repair shop, and trying my luck today. If I can’t get it done, they’re going on eBay because apparently nobody can get the Device Unlock phones done. Nope -_-… AT&T is forcing their hand even on 3rd party unlocking. I’m done with AT&T phones; just as bad as T-Mobile locked phones now.
If this is their new scam, I’m done with these carrier devices. This issue is only going to get worse, especially with the fact you’re now going to have to wait 3.5 years(!!!) to unlock them if that's a condition of the installments. At least with AT&T postpaid, the only advantage is they’re blocked immediately unless someone pays the balance off but you’re at the whim of the previous owner for that and their eligibility, which is now handled by computers and a human no longer looks at your request. I used to do this to save a few bucks on phones, but I had to cut T-Mobile out after the Un-carrier phase because of the app and refusal to help non-customers - they also don’t block the phone’s IMEI# right away so for all you know on day 61 it's shot and you have no recourse if it was financed. Because AT&T says pay or get blacklisted, they got a save there. Now with the Device Unlock app, they’re just as bad as T-Mobile without the side issue of having a brick 60-90 days in. You finally win carriers - can you just admit you hate unlocking phones for once and stop acting like the CTIA agreement is your "agreement" to do it when you go out of your way to make it as awful as possible?
My issue with all of this nonsense is I’m old school - I pay outright to own my phone, and I will never accept a subsidy lock if I have to pay full price, even if I need to put $1,000+ down all at once to say it's not locked and I own it! Seeing as the current post “Un-carrier” model is a pay now, or pay $XX/24-36 months, I'm done with these phones -- I'm going to buy the thing from Best Buy (or Apple for iPhones, the others are "universal" phones which lock to the initial carrier even if you pay upfront) and tell the carrier to put it on my plan.
By no means am I asking for a free unlock here - I just wish AT&T let me buy the code/unlock option on the remotely unlocked phones for a reasonable price even if I had to go to a store and pay right there. The phone clearly isn't 100% there but to not try and help out with a PAID unlock even if it costs more than becoming eligible the "normal way"? That's completely unreasonable. I get it they make their money on wireless and recover subsidies, but to charge a reasonable price (at least the subsidy they absorb) to get it done is a very fair compromise. I will pay for convenience to rip the band-aid off!
At least I know the older phones are still viable, even with the Device Unlock app but even with how old the Phoenix 5 is, it SOMEHOW still doesn’t qualify. Good riddance, AT&T. When I get my discounted iPhone 12, I’m starting out with a phone that was never SIM-locked. However, I'm not happy because the network sunsets will begin to "EOL" the code phones which aren't designed to be a PITA. Ugh.