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Cell Phone use in Europe - At and T locked them

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Aug 12th, 2018, 09:56 AM
  #1
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Cell Phone use in Europe - At and T locked them

Hello we are traveling to Europe soon (Germany and France) in a couple days

I called our Cell phone plan carrier and they said that it is $10 per line per day to use our phone as in the states which equals to about $500 for 3 phones. I know I saw some people say they switch sim cards in Europe, but At and T informed me that their phones are locked and unless we pay about $1000 per phone to buy it out, we can not unlock them. I would really appreciate any advice help from anyone as soon as possible. Thank you so much.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 11:06 AM
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Purchase a cheap on via Cragslist, fleabay, etc. New or secondhand. Or wait until you are in the country you land and purchase a cheap phone and SIM
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Aug 12th, 2018, 11:50 AM
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You can google and go online and find out how to unlock any phone free of charge.

Or buy a cheap phone and SIM when you land.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 12:22 PM
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In any little phone shop in Paris, it costs 5 euros to unlock a phone.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 02:44 PM
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Aside from that, you can buy a cheap unlockedf phone from Best Buy or wherever, I bought one for less than $50. I don't know why you have to have 3 phones, I would obviously question why you need more than one. I know you said you were traveling with your son, but obviously he's in a wheelchair and can't be going off by himself, I presume.

Why do you think you need to use a phone so much in Europe,, anyway? Because I know that AT&T plan is $10 a day for the days you actually use it, not every day. A friend of mine used that plan as it was easy and she just wanted to make sure she had a phone for emergencies, that's all. So she only used it a couple times to check or change reservations or something like that. I just don't know why you would need to use a phone so much, last time I was there I only used mine once and that wasn't really totally necessary. I did have an Android tablet I used for making hotel or train or restaurant reservations, cancelling some car rentals or hotels, etc., but that costs me nothing as it works off Wifi.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 04:08 PM
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Have you already owned your ATT phone for more than 6 months? If you do, ATT should be able to remotely unlock your phone for you.

Go online to att.com/deviceunlock , enter all the info required to request unlocking an ATT phone. Three separate requests if you need to unlock 3 phones. You should receive a status via email in a few hours for each request.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 07:09 PM
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Readings54 --- tY so much, I got so excited bc we got all 3 phones in December.
way more than 6 months but once i put my info in, it says looks like you have not paid off your device so you can not unlock your phone.

((

our plan when on this trip is not all together, so yes we do all need th phones.
$10 a day is nothing but it adds up to about $500 for all phones, however i didn't know it's for days used.
thank you...

My son plays video games on his phone for down time, he hasn't had the time to play much this month so we promised him during travel time or when waiting in lines he could play -- it eats up data.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 07:09 PM
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Kerouac even in At and T says it's not possible until you paid off your phone ?
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Aug 12th, 2018, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lilly2016 View Post
Kerouac even in At and T says it's not possible until you paid off your phone ?
What make/model phone? Some phones are easy to unlock; others are impossible to unlock except for a lot of money.

I've bought unlock codes for a few phones on eBay in the last year. They all worked. But, they all cost only a few dollars. Some phones may be unlockable but not for cheap. One particular prepaid Verizon phone used to be easy (and cheap) to unlock; now eBay vendors say they can't do it, because Verizon fixed the loophole that allowed such easy unlocking.

Every locked phone has a unique code that can unlock it. All you need is to know how to generate this code. AT&T can generate it; sometimes, so can these hackers who have found ways to do it for individual phones. When you say "unlock a phone," what you mean is find out that unique unlock code. It's like a long password that is specific to each individual phone.

I would check eBay for the make/model of your phone and "unlock." But if it's an expensive phone, I'd guess unlocking it will not be cheap or easy.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 07:38 PM
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I agree with the other suggestions to buy cheap travel phones. I'm currently using a 5" Moto E4 Android phone - a really nice budget phone. I paid just over $100 new, but the phone is now being closed out - it is last year's phone. You can find them on eBay for well under $100. However, I recommend getting a fully unlocked phone - the model number is XT1768 (so search for that). I see one vendor who has them for $79.99 as "new - other" (no retail packaging). B&H Photo Video still has them new for $129.99, but they will probably be out of stock soon as they get rid of last year's models. If you need three, getting a cheaper one on eBay might work. Maybe buy one and try it out (it will work with your AT&T SIM at home) and if you think it's OK, buy two more.

Maybe there are better/cheaper budget phones than this one, but I can confirm at least that the XT1768 works in Portugal and Spain. It has only one LTE band (band 7) used in Europe, though so it may be a 3G phone much of the time. I actually found 3G plenty fast enough when I didn't have LTE reception.
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Aug 13th, 2018, 04:56 AM
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By the price tag of "close to $1000", I guess you have 3 iPhone X.

What do you plan to use the phones for while in Germany and France?

1) If for internet browsing and checking email and text messages, then connect to free WIFI in your hotel and restaurants. (Remember to turn the 3rd party roaming OFF first, and then turn your cellular data OFF. This way you will only use WIFI when available and nothing else.) If your phone rings, look at the caller ID to decide if you want to pick it up. No charge if you don't answer it.

2) If you must call to talk to some one, then do all the calling from the same phone within a 24-hour period so that they all fall within a $10 charge.

3) If your old smartphone (prior to last December) was an ATT phone, you can still request ATT to have it unlocked via att.com/deviceunlock , only the process will take about a day for turn around since the phone is no longer active. Then bring this unlocked old phone to Europe to buy a local SIM card so that your son may use it to play video games.

Last edited by Reading54; Aug 13th, 2018 at 05:54 AM.
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Aug 13th, 2018, 02:23 PM
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2 options, as others are saying - either get a cheap smartphone, or look whether the model you've got actually has a lock - what model is it?
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Aug 13th, 2018, 05:15 PM
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I use ATT and have an iphoneX and since ATT no longer discounts phones for a 2 year contract I paid for my phone and it came unlocked. Your phones must be older and you have time remaining on your contract?
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Aug 13th, 2018, 06:57 PM
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Would AT&T passport for a month not be cheaper? You can get it for as low as $60 so Minimum of $180 instead of $500. Maybe it doesnít work for your situation but thatís usually what I always end up doing.
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Aug 13th, 2018, 07:14 PM
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Andrew omg really ? we have an iPhone 10 (x) and two iPhone 8's ..
Please lmk ... that would be great.... I hate At and T
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Aug 13th, 2018, 07:17 PM
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Readings - no we have one iPhone 10 (mine) their phones are iPhone 8's
which is why I do not understand the $1000 price to pay them off for At and T to unlock them. In addition my son did not own a phone prior to December. It is his first phone, reason we got it is bc of surgery he was having and bc it was buy one get one free... which also does not make sense with the paying it off they are requesting.
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Aug 13th, 2018, 07:18 PM
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No we got all phones in December -- they are pretty new... iPhone X and two iPhone 8s ...
they put us on an installment plan which is monthly added to your phone bill.... so they say it takes 2 years to pay them off... unless i walk in and pay $3000 for all three phones and ask them to unlock. it. Based on this experience, I will be paying upfront for future phones... they really locked us in
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Aug 13th, 2018, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Lilly2016 View Post
Andrew omg really ? we have an iPhone 10 (x) and two iPhone 8's ..
Please lmk ... that would be great.... I hate At and T
Not sure exactly what you were responding to that I wrote above. Can you go back above and respond again but click "Quote instead instead so it will quote the text I wrote in your reply? Thanks!
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Aug 14th, 2018, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Lilly2016 View Post
No we got all phones in December -- they are pretty new... iPhone X and two iPhone 8s ...
they put us on an installment plan which is monthly added to your phone bill.... so they say it takes 2 years to pay them off... unless i walk in and pay $3000 for all three phones and ask them to unlock. it. Based on this experience, I will be paying upfront for future phones... they really locked us in
Havent you been making installment payments on the phones?

it should be less than $3000 to pay them off unless you got models with a lot of storage, like not just the base 64 GB models but say the 256GB models.

Even if you paid them off (which would be similar in cost to paying upfront) youíd get European phone numbers for each French SIM card you get.. Do you need to call each other or just iMessage and FaceTime each other? If you need to call, you will have to learn new numbers for each other.

if you donít need to make voice calls to each other, you can get something like a mifi device to share a data connection. So it would be like using personal hotspot to get cellular data but you would all have to be around each other to use the same data.

First decide if youíre going to try to get all your phones unlocked, then youíll have to look into which SIM cards to get.

If you canít get the phones unlocked, you can look into buying a mifi device, which will create a WiFi network that all your iPhones can connect to. That will also need a SIM card. I use an iPad as all iPads with cellular modems are unlocked so it can take any SIM.
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Aug 14th, 2018, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
if you donít need to make voice calls to each other, you can get something like a mifi device to share a data connection. So it would be like using personal hotspot to get cellular data but you would all have to be around each other to use the same data.
This is one of the few times I think one of those overpriced "MiFi" devices might actually be worth getting, when you have three locked phones that can't be unlocked. You are still limited to all three of you being together to use it, but at least one person can navigate (Google Maps) with it walking around. I might be tempted to buy a cheap Android phone anyway and buy a SIM for it and use it as a hotspot just like a MiFi (which is just an phone with a SIM, basically, and a hotspot). Buying your own cheap phone to use as a hotspot and then buying a SIM might wind up being cheaper than renting a MiFi.
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