April 23, 2024
Tim Cook Tells AT&T to Unlock Frustrated Customer's iPhone

Tim Cook Tells AT&T to Unlock Frustrated Customer's iPhone

Posted March 20, 2012 at 5:55pm by iClarified
Tim Cook intervened to help a relocated customer get his AT&T iPhone unlocked, reports 9to5Mac.

One of their readers had been reassigned to Canada for work but wanted to use his iPhone 3GS (finished contract). Of course AT&T refused to unlock the device saying only Apple could. After calling Apple, the customer was told to call AT&T again and request that a supervisor unlock the phone. The AT&T supervisor said they couldn't unlock the phone and advised the customer to jailbreak. Frustrated the customer decided to email Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Cook didn't personally respond but soon after the customer received a response from AT&T Partnership Operations which said they'd received a request from Tim Cook to unlock his device.

Hi Tim,

My family is immersed in the Apple brand. All 4 of my children (aged 2 to 8) have been using iPod touches, iPhones, iPads, and iMacs since they were a year old. Our television is a 27" iMac using eyeTV. My kids talk to their grandmother every second day via video Skype on the iMac. All of our computers are Macs (we have 4 in the house). Apple has touched every aspect of our lives and made it richer!

My company recently moved me to Canada for a work assignment for a few years. My wife's iPhone 3GS had finished its contract with AT&T so I bought her an iPhone 4 the day we moved to Canada. I took her iPhone 3GS and I contacted AT&T to see if I could have it unlocked so that I could use the phone with a Canadian carrier with a "pay as you go" plan for casual use (I'm forced to use a Blackberry for work, but I hate it so I'd like to use the iPhone for phone calls). This is where my problems began.

Basically AT&T told me that they couldn't unlock it, only Apple could. I called Apple (but was routed through Apple Canada) and they told me "ask to talk to a supervisor at AT&T because the customer service rep won't know the process, but AT&T definitely can unlock it". So I called them back and the supervisor was adamant that they couldn't help me. "Just jailbreak your phone" was their advice.

I didn't want to jailbreak my phone, I like Apple's curated experience and I don't want to stray from that. However after several more calls to both AT&T and Apple, I made no progress. So I'm turning to you for a final plea.

I love Apple and will continue to buy your products regardless of what happens with this situation. However, I did pay $600 some odd dollars for this device (even though I bought it on contact and they say its subsidized, I'm basically paying for the device in my monthly payments) and I'd like to be able to use it.

My thanks to the Apple team, keep innovating!

After the phone had been unlocked, the customer received a call from Cook's assistant to make sure AT&T followed through with the request.

Mid day my wife sent me an e-mail at work saying "Um, Tim Cook's special assistant just called and she wants to know if AT&T has unlocked your phone yet??? Why does Tim Cook care about your phone?"

While it's great that this customer was able to get the help he needed, it's sad that he had to contact Apple's CEO in the first place.

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Tim Cook Tells AT&T to Unlock Frustrated Customer's iPhone
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Comments (39)
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Rob D
Rob D - April 6, 2012 at 6:40pm
With 4 kids, I can understand why he can't go buy a $600 phone off contract.
Niranjan Sigdel Sharma
Niranjan Sigdel Sharma - April 4, 2012 at 11:22am
Hi Mr. Cook Did you already started unlock iPhone4 in USA or not at please let me know about that. hope to hear from you very soon, best regards, Niranjan
iPhone Family
iPhone Family - March 23, 2012 at 6:47am
I can confirm this is true. I have sent a similar email and several days later I also received an email directly from AT&T Partnership Operations myself for my families iPhones. I did not receive a phone call from Tim Cooks assistant though. Whether you believe it or not is up to you, but this is in fact true, and it is what is happening. Tim Cook seems to be very appreciative of those loyal Apple users who's families are very determined to continuing their apprecaition for Apple products. I am a perfect example of that. Thank you iClarified. I would have had no idea this was possible unless you had instructed us. For the record, I have the emails to Tim Cook at Apple and also the official email from AT&T Partnership Operations to prove it.
Rob D
Rob D - March 21, 2012 at 5:32pm
No joke, same thing happened to me last year. I got my iPhone 3gs and even 4 unlocked by AT&T by emailing Mr. Cook. Needless to say, I was shocked!
Mark - April 11, 2012 at 7:31pm
How to unlock my iPhone 3GS iPhone 4g Thx for your time I'm not AT
m@ - March 21, 2012 at 4:32pm
True or not, it's a total PR move on someone's part.
Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs - March 21, 2012 at 2:57pm
Stop it! Tim, or I'll come back again!!!
Tim Cook
Tim Cook - March 21, 2012 at 5:38pm
I am sorry Steve, I will stop now :(
asdsfsf - March 21, 2012 at 11:45am
"I didn't want to jailbreak my phone, I like Apple's curated experience " what ?????
Tim Cook
Tim Cook - March 21, 2012 at 8:13am
I am deeply sorry for all the incovinance we have caused to all our loyal Apple customers around the world. I am happy to announce that on the first day of April 2012 all the iPhones 4S in the United States are going to be unlock and the first day of June 2012 we will start unlocking the iPhones worldwide, starting with the UK and France. Best regards, Tim Cook.
Bill Gates
Bill Gates - March 21, 2012 at 11:12am
Tim, please learn to spell.
Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison - March 21, 2012 at 2:06pm
You are sorry for all the "incovinance"? Way to go Timmy! Haha!
Niranjan Sigdel Sharma
Niranjan Sigdel Sharma - March 21, 2012 at 2:53pm
Dear Mr Cook, thank you very much for your kined reply i really greatfull for that. Mr Cook i am here in Doha Qatar now, is that possible could you tell me when can i unluck my iPhone, because i really miss my phone to use, so if you please tell me right times on Qatar when i can unluck my phone i really apprecaited for that. hope to hear from you soom wright way. regards, Niranjan
Niranjan Sigdel Sharma
Niranjan Sigdel Sharma - March 21, 2012 at 7:00am
Hello Mr Cook i am using iPhone4 since 4monts but i tryied to updated new verson it's gose to luck and i am heaving turbo sim called GEVEY, now i don't know what i will do please help me is there way or not to unluck my iPhone, and there is a way please advise to me, if not please let me know whene they are going to officeal unluck, i really greatfull if you give me good advice. thanks and best regards, Niranjan
Tim Cook
Tim Cook - March 21, 2012 at 7:59am
Dear Niranjan, thank you for your fidelity with Apple, I am going to ask you to please be patient and understand that we are doing everything we can to solve the problems with the lock AT
Niranjan Sigdel Sharma
Niranjan Sigdel Sharma - March 21, 2012 at 3:12pm
Hello Mr Cook it's Niranjan again please don't think i am bothering to you but i really want to know when they are going to official unluck that's i, please Mr Cook let me know that only. thanks and best regards. Niranjan
Danny - March 21, 2012 at 6:13am
I don't understand why AT
ECC - March 21, 2012 at 4:00am
I tried to do the same thing with my "old 4" and I was put through the same ringers. We also are an Apple family (2 MBP 15", 1 MB 13", 2 iPod touches, 2 iPads, 2 iPhones (1 3G and 1 4S), and an Apple TV. I have had EVERY iPhone since the very first one and both AT
mmc - March 21, 2012 at 6:42am
Looks like not only my reply was cut off with att. I think its a error in the system no one can write a and symbol from a iPhone or something.
Tim Cook
Tim Cook - March 21, 2012 at 3:41am
After realizing there are more customers that have this same issue, I have put in a call to Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, to unlock all non-contract iPhones that are being used on their network.
ECC - March 21, 2012 at 4:01am
Is this legit? It sounds too good to be true...
Tim Cook
Tim Cook - March 21, 2012 at 4:27am
We make some of the greatest products on Earth and the least we can do is to help our customers. I am working with Apple's executives and hopefully we will be able to unlock all iPhones on AT
Johndoe - March 22, 2012 at 8:51am
Just cuz you're locked in your granny's WW2 shelter don't mean you have to go hitting on tim
William - March 20, 2012 at 8:45pm
I am over in Chile. This year all their phone has to be unlock. They setup a link and all you have to do is enter the IMEI number and email address for identification. They will then send you an email with instruction. I did that with my niece and all you have to do is open iTune and contact the iPhone. Then it done. http://www.movistar.cl/PortalMovistarWeb/appmanager/PortalMovistar/portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=P18802593051326468010132
Brian - March 20, 2012 at 10:35pm
william, me puedes facilitar la informacion? Te pasaria mi IMEI para hacerlo
DRVEBY - March 20, 2012 at 7:48pm
This seems like a media hype thing to be honest i don't understand why they carrier lock phone anyway you buy the phone so you should be able to do everything you can with it. If you bought it on a contract and you decide to go with a different provider you have to pay the early termination fees. So whats the point on carrier locking phones?
phoni - March 20, 2012 at 7:12pm
How about AT&T unlocking all iPhone's out of contract ?
Cim Took
Cim Took - March 21, 2012 at 1:13pm
No problem, I'm on it !
mmc - March 20, 2012 at 6:52pm
Yeah my friend had his 4S unlocked by sprint a few weeks after he bought it I was so angry with AT
Basil - March 20, 2012 at 6:59pm
thomjoad - March 20, 2012 at 6:19pm
qw1987 - March 21, 2012 at 3:51am
If the condom fits, kaka
cheapskate - March 20, 2012 at 6:05pm
Apple is selling Unlocked Iphone4 for $700 or you could've sold your 3GS on ebay for $200 and invest some more $$? People think they can do anything once their contract is over... He could've unlocked it with 6.15 baseband as well. These kind of complains have no sense... Big deal you have 4 IMACS..I have 2 Ipad2 3 iPODS 4 IPHONES4 and 2 iphone4s my son dropped his Iphone4s I had to pay $99 to replace the screen they felt bad since it was only 2 months old didnt have a warranty on,,,They usually charge $199 he said ..
smate333 - March 21, 2012 at 2:09am
After contract expiration a customer should be able to get the unlock code, a subsidized phone gets fully paid for during contract period. At&t is in the wrongs and soon will be forced to provide unlock codes, mark my words.
Fix it
Fix it - March 21, 2012 at 6:27am
Which apple store did you go to?
Fix - March 21, 2012 at 6:28am
Which apple store did your go to to get ur iPhone serviced?
Dave Bannerman
Dave Bannerman - March 20, 2012 at 6:01pm
Nice story, but what about everyone else? Do we need a class action email request?
Sibuyas - March 21, 2012 at 2:18pm
Mr. Tomato is right, unless Apple will issue a "Direct Order" telling AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to go ahead and unlock all the iPhones that have completed their contracts then we can't do anything regardless of how many Apple products we own. BTW, nice avatar kamatis. Alaska boy Wilfred Uytengsu! "Wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska"
ECC - April 7, 2012 at 1:12am
I gave up n ebayed my iPhone4...darned!
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