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

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

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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.

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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!
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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

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 - 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 - 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.
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