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New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-04-2021

iPhone 11 universal locked to sim and unable to unlock and use

Hello,

 

I purchased an iPhone 11 64GB universal on 3/4/2020 and the phone is locked to the original sim and can no longer be used with any other sim or provider. I contacted my service provider, Total Wireless, and they said that the phone is not locked to them and it is a local sim lock for the iPhone. I then called Apple, they told me that they are unable to help me in any way because this is a type of lock that is proprietary to Best Buy.

 

I found this out the hard way when I tried to sell the device which cost me $93 in shipping and other fees to reverse the sale. The salespeople, at Best Buy in Buford, Ga, told me that the device can be used at different service providers and would never lock to one, and is the same as an unlocked device.

 

I am stuck with a "bricked" iPhone 11, still under the manufacturer's warranty and nobody can use it due to the sim being locked on the phone.

 

Please help!

 

Joshua

Posts: 5,838
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Registered: ‎08-21-2017

Re: iPhone 11 universal locked to sim and unable to unlock and use

Good afternoon, joshuap41,

 

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us here on our community forums. While I haven't needed one for a while, I know how useful it can be to have an unlocked phone, especially if you travel a lot. I appreciate you reaching out and would be glad to help you explore what options I may have to assist you.

 

To my knowledge, only cell phone carriers are able to add or remove a lock on a cell phone or sim card. Additionally, we offer a 14-day Return & Exchange Promise for cell phones and devices that can be activated. 

 

While I can't guarantee what options I may have available, I would like to take a closer look into this purchase. I will need a bit more information in order to do so. Can you please send me a private message that includes your:

 

Full name

Email address

Phone number

 

You can send me a private message by clicking on the blue button at the bottom of this post. I'll keep an eye out for your message. 

AndrewB|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,237
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: iPhone 11 universal locked to sim and unable to unlock and use

A "universal" phone will lock to the first us sim card inserted until that carrier unlocks it. (Generally ment for major carriers) It is not the same as an "unlocked phone".
Posts: 9,565
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Registered: ‎11-10-2008

Re: iPhone 11 universal locked to sim and unable to unlock and use

On Total Wireless it's Verizon. You need a Verizon based sim from Tracfone and then activate your phone on TW. Once you activate it, you then stick Verizon based sim from TW into the sim card slot and your service should be active.

***Please keep in mind that I am not employed by Best Buy and are just a regular forums Super User and an everyday shopper like you. If you find my posting helpful, please add kudos to it. Remember to mark answered questions as solved if something helped you to speed up the answer queue for other customers***
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-31-2021

Re: iPhone 11 universal locked to sim and unable to unlock and use

This is unbelievable!  Same issue is happening to me.  I paid full retail for a phone specifically to use where I wish now I have to spend time tracking down where its locked to becase best buy said the phone was unlocked.  Never again best buy, never again.

Best Buy Employee
Posts: 2,275
Registered: ‎01-09-2015

Re: iPhone 11 universal locked to sim and unable to unlock and use

If you bought a Universal phone, it will lock.  If you buy an unlocked phone, it remains unlocked.  These are different things. Paying full price does not make a Universal Phone unlocked.

I am a Best Buy Employee, but the views that I post are my own and not that of Best Buy.
***Know that I am not able to issue official responses and that my posts are only here to help before an official response is offered by a Best Buy Social Media Specialist***
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-31-2021

Re: iPhone 11 universal locked to sim and unable to unlock and use

Perhaps you should make that clear when a customer comes in and asks for an unlocked phone and is provided a universal phone instead.  Who in their right mind would pay full retail for a phone that isn't unlocked?  I now have a 2 year old phone that I paid $800 for that can't be used becuase the only 2 carriers I've ever used it on say its not them that has it locked.  No way to find out.