Unlocking Issues (through MetroPCS) warranty replacement

Here's my story - very much related to

I had a ZTE ZMAX Pro unlocked through MetroPCS back in November after 90 days of consecutive service. Everything was fine until about a month ago, I had a warranty repair done on my phone and it was returned to me factory locked again. The Unlocker App displayed that my phone was Permanently Unlocked, but I kept getting an invalid SIM error when I had my other SIM in. After talking with both ZTE and MetroPCS support (of course, they each pointed the finger at each other), I ended up sending my phone back a 2nd time to ZTE and contrary to my instructions, they replaced it with a brand new (still locked) phone. Now that the IMEI number has changed, MetroPCS can't unlock it since that phone never had service with them. Omar from MetroPCS support (ID# 12351) shockingly suggested I use one of the paid unlocking services to get my phone unlocked. Based on Omar's suggestion, I did attempt to use one of these paid services, but my money was immediately refunded, as the service was unable to find the IMEI number of my new phone in their database. I now have a perfectly working wi-fi only phablet.

In hindsight, I think, had I not restored my data to my original phone, I might have been able to use the unlocking app to request a 2nd unlock, but I'm not sure. When I restored data from my old ZTE to the 2nd (new) phone, the Device Unlock app now thinks the device is unlocked and has the history from my first phone there. In other words, my brand new warranty replacement phone thinks it was unlocked prior to its manufacturing date (which is impossible)! I had not given this much thought on my first phone since I figured it had retrieved the unlock history from the MetroPCS server. I did a factory reset on this phone, and got the expected "Device not authorized to unlock" message after clicking on the (now available) "Permanent Unlock" button. So, something with the backup and restore process made both phones think they were unlocked.

If there's any way ZTE can send/trade me back my old phone so I can try the steps above (nobody suggested I factory reset the phone without doing a restore), I would be grateful; otherwise, I fear I'll have to activate this phone with MetroPCS for 90 days in order to get this phone unlocked. I had a friend with an iPhone - same issue, and Apple did a warranty replacement with an unlocked phone. Why can't ZTE do the same when the device being returned is already unlocked through legitimate means (by MetroPCS)?

Comments

  • alanhoustonalanhouston Posts: 659 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    A frustrating problem.  The unlocking app was intended to make life easy.  Only Metro has the ability to unlock a Metro phone.  ZTE is NOT authorized to unlock phones.  The app software SHOULD have been designed to recognize when a phone was a warranty replacement for an oficiallt unlocked phone so the unlocking software is flawed.

    I suggest you activate a $30 per month Metro account.  Then call Metro customer service and request a supervisor.  Insist on a supervisor.  They can access your records and verify you  have a warranty replacement for an officially unlocked phone and  they can unlock it.

    Without a Metro account you likely would encounter problems accessing your Metro records.

  • All MetroPCS was able to do was verify I had an unlocked phone originally. Honestly, they had no way of knowing whether my new phone was truly a warranty replacement or not, and since the IMEI number is new now, all they were able to suggest was to set this phone up for 90 days of service (which I may eventually do if I have to give up my work phone) or try a paid unlocking service, which didn't work (I'm guessing this is due to it never being active on MetroPCS).

    If ZTE, like Apple, handled the unlocking (at the request of the carrier), I think this would really simplify things in the case of warranty replacements. The manufacturer could then determine, based on IMEI, whether a replacement phone should be locked or unlocked.

  • alanhoustonalanhouston Posts: 659 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    In the Apple world, Apple makes all decisions.  In Android world, the network (in this case Metro) makes all of the decisions. 

    Metro records will show if the original phone was used for 90 consecutive days on Metro, qualifying it for unlocking.  If ZTE sends you an email confirming that phone one was replaced by phone two under warranty, that email should convince Metro to unlock phone two.

  • TeetefaTeetefa Posts: 1 ✭✭✭✭

    I am currently having the same exact issue. I have been dealing with ZTE and MetroPCS support team since July 11th it is currently July 16th and I'm now waiting for an response from corporate via MetroPCS. I refuse to activate service through them and I refuse to purchase a new phone from my current provider. I blasted them on Twitter and someone responded, I don't think she can help me. If my issue is not resolved on this coming Monday, I'm going on social media and blast them big time, starting with Twitter.

  • johnny3dd67johnny3dd67 Illinois, USA Chicago areaPosts: 48 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Teetefa said:
    I am currently having the same exact issue. I have been dealing with ZTE and MetroPCS support team since July 11th it is currently July 16th and I'm now waiting for an response from corporate via MetroPCS. I refuse to activate service through them and I refuse to purchase a new phone from my current provider. I blasted them on Twitter and someone responded, I don't think she can help me. If my issue is not resolved on this coming Monday, I'm going on social media and blast them big time, starting with Twitter.

    Hey @Teefefa I had the exact problem only with a different ZTE device. I did the exact same thing with Twitter it got me nowhere. I was switching to T Mobile from METRO PCS and couldn't get anyone at Metro to unlock the replacement device to save my life. If you still haven't had any luck give this guy a try, he fixed my situation ASAP. Kevin Grant MetroPCS Corp HQ custsupport@metropcs.com I had first sent an email to John.Legere@T-Mobile.com CEO of T Mobile and his assistant or whoever reads his emails forwarded my issue to this Kevin Grant guy and he had everything taken care of with the unlock code the same day he contacted me. It took me 6 days until I finally got him to help me, So I know more than anyone how frustratingly messed up it feels to do everything the right way only to get run into a brick wall. Good luck, I hope you get it worked out if you haven't already.

  • jimlloyd40jimlloyd40 Phoenix, AZ Posts: 14,129 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @johnny3dd67 said:

    @Teetefa said:
    I am currently having the same exact issue. I have been dealing with ZTE and MetroPCS support team since July 11th it is currently July 16th and I'm now waiting for an response from corporate via MetroPCS. I refuse to activate service through them and I refuse to purchase a new phone from my current provider. I blasted them on Twitter and someone responded, I don't think she can help me. If my issue is not resolved on this coming Monday, I'm going on social media and blast them big time, starting with Twitter.

    Hey @Teefefa I had the exact problem only with a different ZTE device. I did the exact same thing with Twitter it got me nowhere. I was switching to T Mobile from METRO PCS and couldn't get anyone at Metro to unlock the replacement device to save my life. If you still haven't had any luck give this guy a try, he fixed my situation ASAP. Kevin Grant MetroPCS Corp HQ custsupport@metropcs.com I had first sent an email to John.Legere@T-Mobile.com CEO of T Mobile and his assistant or whoever reads his emails forwarded my issue to this Kevin Grant guy and he had everything taken care of with the unlock code the same day he contacted me. It took me 6 days until I finally got him to help me, So I know more than anyone how frustratingly messed up it feels to do everything the right way only to get run into a brick wall. Good luck, I hope you get it worked out if you haven't already.

    Very impressive. That's great service.

  • coldheat06coldheat06 Fort Worth, Texas Posts: 1,356 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @jeffrose5 unfortunately since this is a carrier device you will have to go back to the carrier regarding having your device unlocked. Don't ease up on the carrier, if your device was previously unlocked by them they will have to supply a way for it to be unlocked again.

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