Lebanese iPhone Users: How To Get AT&T To Unlock It

This works for any iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and original iPhone purchased for full-retail price from the US and it’s locked to AT&T, using hacks to make it work in Lebanon.

I currently have the iPhone 4S, which I got factory unlocked. However, I went through every iPhone update except the 3G so the first one I got, the original iPhone, was locked to AT&T and I managed to get an unlock process opened for it today going through the following route.

1 – Write down the phone’s IMEI number.

2 – Download the application “Vonage” on any smartphone that has it. This is an app that will allow you to call US numbers for free. You can get the iOS version here.

3 – Call the following AT&T number using Vonage: +18003310500 – wait for the operator to finish talking then press 1. When it starts talking again, press 0 immediately so you don’t go through the whole list and it will connect you to a customer care representative. Your waiting time shouldn’t be long. For me, it was less than a minute.

4 – The first thing the representative will ask of you is for your AT&T number. Tell them you don’t have have an AT&T contract and that you heard about the iPhone unlocks and would like to unlock your contract-free iPhone, which you bought for full retail price.

5 – At that point, they will take your name, last name, email address and ask you for a phone number. Let them know that you are currently outside of the United States so you prefer to be contacted via email, and make sure they spell out the email for you. However, they’re going to require a phone number to open a case for you so give them your Lebanese phone number in the following format: 961xxxxxxx .

6 – Then they will ask you for the IMEI number. Make sure you have it on you and read it to them. They will repeat it for you. Make sure they have it correctly. A one digit difference can mess things up.

7 – Soon after, they will put you on hold for a few minutes as they check the information you gave them. If all checks out, which it should, they will give you a case number. Make sure you have a paper and pen at your disposal to write it down. Then read it back to them to make sure you have it correctly.

8 – You’re done. Once you’re given a case number, it means your request has to go through the motions of reaching Apple and them sending you the unlock code. I was given a delay till April 17th but I expect to have my original iPhone unlocked sooner.

The whole process took about 20 minutes to finish. It’s pretty streamlined and straightforward. Don’t panic about your English – the customer care representative I spoke to was not American and my English was better than him. Make sure you have all the info you need prepped and you’re good to go.

Just an extra hint, American customer service is actually quite awesome. They care about their customers’ well-being, unlike many Lebanese companies. So be truthful, meaning don’t go all Lebanese-7arboo2 on them, and they’ll be more than glad to help you.

Hope this was of help.

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147 thoughts on “Lebanese iPhone Users: How To Get AT&T To Unlock It

  1. I called to make sure you gave them my email address. And the call was disconnected so did you give the my email? And guys don’t worry the representative told me it’s less than 3 days by max. Keep checking your email!!!!

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    • No you don’t. Tell her that you don’t have a contract with an AT&T and that you purchased the phone as an off-contract iPhone.
      Or call again and you’ll find someone who will help you.

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  2. Hey, last night I called and told the rep I had no wireless number and that I was living outside the US. I gave her my email and IMEI number and then waited 3 minutes. She then told me it all checked out and I should wait 15 minutes – 48 hours for a email from apple verifying my unlock. I wasn’t questioned or given a case number. Btw, I still haven’t received an email from apple and it has been about 20 hours. Does anyone know if this is normal or if she lied to me?

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  3. UPDATE: Well guys, it turns out the first woman that helped me create my “case” didn’t actually help me at all. I called back today and it turns out I had no case in the system. This means either the rep lied to me or she was clueless. The rep I spoke to today set up a new case for me and gave me the number along with a confirmed date. So when you guys call and make your case make sure the rep gives you a case number along with a confirmed date Apple will email you on. My unlock is expected to be on April 19th. Best of luck everyone!

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  4. Hello all,

    Where is this web page to enter the serial number for proof of purchase? Please help.

    Then do I enter my serial number and print off that page from the website and then fax it to them?

    Thanks for any help.

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  5. Ok, they are asking for proof of purchase where I have to have the person I bought it from write down their iPhone Model and imei number and then we both sign and fax it in. Nothing mentioned about faxing the serial number page from that website…

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  6. I actually have 2 iphones that I bought on Craigslist. But I don’t live in the same city anymore that I bought it from. How can I achieve this?

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  7. No, I give them cash and then I get the phone. I’m not sure if I still have the email..I will try to find it. But that will be good enough for at&t? Do they need the phone number it was used on?

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    • They haven’t sent me a reply email yet. I suppose it should be either today or tomorrow.
      I bought my original iPhone from AT&T for full price, not contract.

      My other iPhones were bought from Apple Stores outside the US so they’re factory unlocked.

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  8. Ok is there anyway you could email me and tell me what you said when you called? I provided my email. Please respond through there. I will greatly appreciate it.

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  9. Just letting you guys know I got my email last night πŸ™‚ Took 3 days to get my unlock from when I called on Wednesday. It is strange though they never asked me for proof of purchase. Best of luck everyone.

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  10. it’s very funny that for a bit, it’s like i am the one who wrote this blog post! I have done the EXACT same step mentioned in your post! and they gave me the 17th as expected resolution date. Till now I haven’t heard from them yet, I hope they will fix it!

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  11. Yeah I have access to an account. Logging in now and it says “if you are requesting to unlock an iphone, you must be able to provide proof of purchase.”

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    • Congrats! I’m still waiting for mine. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll call them tomorrow.
      But I’m not dying for it. I rarely use by 2G to begin with. Called them to test out the process. It’s my brother’s iPhone that I’m interested in unlocking so we’ll see how that goes.

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  12. Ok so for some cases, they will not tell you that you need to provide proof of purchase. I’ve made more than one case. I’ve called back in to check in on it and they said, “Oh, “they”(case department) is asking for proof of purchase. So if you haven’t heard anything just call in and they might be asking for proof of purchase. You also only have 48 hours to provide the proof otherwise the case will be closed and you will have to call back in and make another one :s.

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  13. i case my files on april 9th and after being postponed 2 weeks they sent me an e-mail requesting a proof of purchase! I bought it cash from a person i don’t have any proof or any e-mail confirming that i bought it from him and i paid full price?? any suggestions ??

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  14. If you have eBay/PayPal, go to your transactions and open up any transaction. then take a screenshot of it and edit it in paint. change the price and put iphone 4s, 4… It works like a charm. But some people still get unlocked without the Proof Of Purchase so good luck.

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    • Hello I’ve got a problem a friend bought an iphone 4s from a “cellular world” store in the US as an upgrade and sold me the iphone locked to AT&T I have the receipt I think that’s the proof of purchase but I don’t know what do I have to edit it says:

      Name and Address of my friend

      Sales Code: UPGRADE – Upgrade From Cingular
      Rate Plan: iPhone-EarlyUpgrade-2yr – iPhoneEarlyUpgrad
      Features: MS Unltd_SMS-MMS-M2AM

      Charges:
      Part# Description Category Ser.No.
      P-APL-IPH4S-32GB- *AMA* Apple iPhone 4S 32GB BLACK GSM/BT/W DP 15 digits
      ZA Upgrade Discount ZA
      P-SIM-COE Sim Card – Customer Owned Equipment FE 20 digits

      this goes next to the left

      Qty Unit Pr Ext Pr
      1 749.99 749.99
      1 -200.00 -200.00
      1 0.0 0.0

      this goes below

      Payments: Subtotal: $549.99
      AMEX $595.36 Tax: $45.37
      Shipping:
      Total Sale: $595.36

      AT&T Deposit: $0.0
      Total Due: $595.36

      Total Paid: $595.36
      Balance Due: $0.0

      below the rest of the page is full of return and exchange policy
      and another page of Apple Hardware

      please I need an option or how I can factory or IMEI unlock it

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  15. called them again and made a new case
    it seems my 1st case wasn’t avialble on their data so I made another one
    till the 30th of april

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  16. I called them and it worked well. She was so nice and gave me a case number.
    Its been 4days and i ddnt get any email yet. How long its gonna take? And hoefully they wont ask for a proof because i dnt have a paper or bill..

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  17. My email was sent yesterday
    downlaoded the 5.1 and it’s not unlocked, restored it and everything back as new
    good luck everybody

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  18. nic what are you providing as proof of purchase for the ten iPhones you unlocked? Because its impossible that by coincidence they did not ask for a proof for all of them πŸ˜›

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  19. at&t is slacking on their emails that states your iPhone has been unlocked. I used this website to see that one of my iPhones was unlocked but they never emailed me. http://www.imei.info.
    I am not affiliated with this website. It’s just very useful.

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        • General Eligibility Requirements for Unlocking iPhone
          AT&T will unlock an iPhone under the following circumstances:
          The person requesting the unlock is: (i) a current AT&T customer; or
          (ii) a former AT&T customer who can provide the phone number or account
          number for the account.
          The iPhone was designed for use on AT&T’s network;
          All contract obligations, including any term commitment, associated
          with the device to be unlocked have been fully satisfied; and
          The iPhone has not been reported lost or stolen.

          Current customers will be allowed five (5) unlocks per account, per
          year, so long as their account is in good standing with no past-due
          amount or unpaid balance and has been active for at least sixty (60)
          days.
          Former customers will be allowed five (5) unlocks per former account so
          long as they owe AT&T no Early Termination Fee or other unpaid balance.

          In addition, AT&T will unlock an iPhone for: (i) an active and deployed
          member of the military who is a current AT&T customer in good standing
          and is able to provide AT&T with deployment verification; and (ii) a
          person who purchased the iPhone from an authorized location at the “no
          commitment” price and can provide proof of purchase.

          AT&T reserves the right to deny any unlock request that it concludes
          would result in an abuse of this policy or is part of an effort to
          defraud AT&T or its customers. AT&T further reserves the right to alter
          this unlocking policy at its discretion without advance notice.

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    • My iPhone 4S is unlocked :p No clue what’s happening with the original iPhone though. I’ll just ask my brother to submit it under his name today and we’ll see.

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  20. they just replied with:

    Thank you for contacting AT&T Customer Care about unlocking your iPhone.
    We are unable to complete your request at this time due to the following reason:
    The service commitment for this iPhone has not been completed.

    i have no idea what this means…

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  21. Guys the imei.info states that my iPhone is unlocked where AT&T rejected unlocking my iPhone twice in two different cases. So is it unlocked or what?

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  22. Hey elie…my uncle lives in america we tried to unlock my 4S but sadly after 3 weeks this was their reply
    We are unable to complete your request at this time due to the following
    reason:
    – No valid current or former mobile/account number associated with request.
    What should i do? Please help me

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    • Talk to them and let them know that your request was put in before the updated TOS.
      If that doesn’t work, let your uncle buy you a prepaid line from AT&T. Then you’ll have an account so you can ask to get it unlocked. The prepaid line is very cheap.

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      • Well i talked to them and they said that even if i get an at&t number i won’t be able to unlock my iphone because i did not pay full price for it. They said thw only way is if I assigned the number that came with this iphone with the request…don’t know what to do now:(

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  23. Can someone help me? Im stuck, I send the email and the there were two automatic replys, not at the same time, but one following the other, and here they are:

    NOTE: This is an automated reply from a system mailbox. Please do not
    reply to this email.

    Thank you for contacting AT&T.

    We appreciate your business and know that your time is valuable. An AT&T
    Online Specialist has been assigned to your case and will respond to
    your concern within 24 hours. We will do our best to exceed your
    expectations.

    Do you know about the free, fast and easy way to check your minutes or
    balance, or to make a payment from your wireless phone? It’s available
    24 hours a day 7 days a week. If not, go to http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/basics/choosing-features-services/starservices.jsp

    And here’s the second one:

    AT&T will unlock an iPhone under the following circumstances:

    ?the individual requesting the unlock is a current AT&T customer or a
    former AT&T customer who can provide the phone number or account number
    for the account;
    ?the iPhone was designed for use on AT&T?s network;
    ?all contract obligations, including any term commitment, associated
    with the device to be unlocked have been fully satisfied;
    ?the iPhone has not been reported lost or stolen

    In addition, current customer accounts must be in good standing with no
    past-due amount or unpaid balance and has been active for at least sixty
    (60) days. Former customer account may be eligible for unlocking as long
    as they do not owe AT&T an Early Termination Fee or other unpaid
    balance.

    AT&T will also unlock an iPhone for an active and deployed member of the
    military who is a current AT&T customer in good standing and is able to
    provide AT&T with deployment verification; and a person who purchased
    the iPhone from an authorized location at the ‘no commitment’ price and
    can provide proof of purchase.

    You may read the unlock requirements for iPhones. If you qualify you can
    submit your request at http://www.att.com/deviceunlock.

    So at this point I dont know if Im going to receive a response from someone at ATT or it’s just a guide to do it over the ATT site where I already been asked to send a receipt or proof of purchase.

    Can someone give me a hint of what to do to get the phone unlocked??

    Thank in advance,

    Jorge

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  24. I have jailbrocken iphone 3g and im sure its not factory unlocked, how do i make sure if its at&t? Im willing to this steps soon. Thanks

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