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Registered: ‎01-03-2013

Cell Phones Bought for International Use at Best Buy

Purchasing a phone is always exciting! If you travel a lot, you are also likely looking to ensure your devices work with an overseas carrier. With phones though, it can be a bit tricky due to network compatibility issues and devices being locked to particular carriers. Thus, phones don’t always work as anticipated in other countries. Below is some information you should keep in mind when shopping for a phone with Best Buy that you intend to use in another country.

Most cell phones fall under Best Buy’s 14 day Return & Exchange Promise regardless of your My Best Buy membership tier. Furthermore, many returns or exchanges for cell phones will incur a $35 restocking fee. Should you find the need to return a phone to Best Buy but are already outside of the United States, please know that we are unable to accept international return shipments. You would either need to personally return to the US to return the phone with a receipt, or ship it to a friend/family member in the US with the receipt to return on your behalf.


Please also keep in mind the information mentioned on our International Orders page applies to store purchases as well, including that we assume devices purchased with Best Buy will be used within the United States.


For information on unlocked and universal unlocked phones, check out our page here.

Tasha|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-23-2016

unlock operator iphone

[ Edited ]

Hello, I bought an iphone 7 plus 128g model A1661 unlocked for $969,99 order number {removed per forum guidelines} 11-04-2016 for use in Brazil, arriving here the device doesn´t work, it is blocked by the operator, how can I unblock it?

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-24-2016

Can best buy help with locked iphone 7?

I bought the full priced "Verizon" version iPhone 7 from Best Buy. Since Verizon doesn't lock any of their LTE phones, I expect this phone to be unlocked. To verify it, I put in a Tracfone Sim card in it, and as expected, it worked. But that was a $800 mistake, the phone got automatically locked to Tracfone, without a single word of warning! I only found out about it when I traveled oversea and tried a local sim. The iPhone can't be used with any other carrier any more, including Verizon and all oversea ones. I went to Best Buy for help (after the 14 day return period because I was out to the country for 2 weeks). But they told me to go to Apple. I went to a local Apple store, they told me about the auto locking policy and told me Best Buy sales person should have known about it and made it clear to me at the time of sales. There's nothing they can do at Apple end since I didn't buy the phone from them. I went back to Best Buy again, but they still refused to do anything. Now I'm stuck with a locked phone that can't even work on Verizon! Tracfone can't unlock it either since it's not in their IMEI database. I'm very disappointed by Best Buy. They should not have marketed this phone as Verizon. They should have stated clearly that it will lock to the first carrier it connects to. The sales person even asked me which carrier I was using at the time I picked up the phone. I told him Tracfone. That would have been a good time for him to inform me about the locking policy. But he didn't say a word about locking and put in some random phone number in their system, presumably required to complete the sale.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 2,137
Registered: ‎12-01-2014

Re: Can best buy help with locked iphone 7?

Unlocked phones will lock to whatever sim carrier you insert into it. Best buy has no way of unlocking the phone. You would need to work with the carrier in this case TracFone to unlock it. But keep In mind not all carriers unlock phones. Some will for a fee. But as mentioned best buy can't unlock it. And since it's past the return policy, they can't accept it for return either.
New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-26-2016

I bought iphone unlocked and they sold me blocked

Good Morning. I bought an iphone with you, and I asked many times what I wanted unlocked to use in Brazil. And now it's blocked and I'm not able to unlock, I want a solution to this problem that was created by you. I expect a quick solution since the error is yours, I paid $ 642.00 for the device UNLOCKED. I hope you are honest with me and solve the problem.

New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-28-2016

Re: Cell Phones Bought for International Use at Best Buy

You have tried using a Verizon sim card since you entered your tracFone? Your phone should not be locked to any one carrier if you did not sign a installment billing of two year contract.

However the iPhones Best Buy carries for the 7's is UNIVERSAL, not unlocked. In other words, the phone is compatible with the six current cellular companies that are part of apples FLEXX program.

Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, US-Cellular, and tracFone.

Unless the best buy associate marked the incorrect box when checking you out then there should be no problem switching the sim card out to any of those carriers.

As long as they did not choose 24month or other typical plans associated with a service contract tied to your phone you should not be experiencing these issues. Your universal iPhone will not work overseas.

You are incorrect in believing you purchased a Verizon iPhone 7 since there is no carrier specific model for sale.

You are mistaking the universal sim iPhone using apples flex program with the iPhone 6/6S Verizon iPhone which was indeed factory unlocked. If you told the customer representative that you wanted the Verizon version you may have misinformed him/her into thinking you would be using it for Verizon which led them to clicking the box marked Verizon instead of exiting out of the screen that pops up.

I don't believe this is the case although it is a slight possibility. There is no option to mark the phone for use at the point of sale.

You can see if it is possible for a customer service specialist to do a no receipt return while exchanging it for the same device but following the proper procedure of not selecting any carrier when the UPC is scanned and the carrier window pops up. Following proper procedure or exchanging it for a Verizon specific 64 GB 6S will make sure it is unlocked for the participating carriers. The Verizon 64GB 6S will be internationally unlocked, but remember the 7 will only have guaranteed functionality on those 6 carriers.

Qualifications - Apple Mobility Master of Mobile @ Best Buy.

Good luck.
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-28-2016

Re: Cell Phones Bought for International Use at Best Buy

"I don't believe this is the case although it is a slight possibility. There is no option to mark the phone for use at the point of sale."

I meant to say there is not option to mark the iPhone for tracFone. So it should not be locked to tracFone unless you have an account that is not in good standing. And even if it wasn't, tracFone has no right to lock your device because you did not purchase or finance the phone through them. So it is illegal for them to be doing that.
New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-14-2016

Re: Cell Phones Bought for International Use at Best Buy

I wrote I private message to Mariah social media specialist a week ago and I didn,t have any answer how long you take to response????
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-24-2017

Re: I bought iphone unlocked and they sold me blocked

Hi. Did you obtain a solution? I have the same problem in Peru.
New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-06-2017

Re: Cell Phones Bought for International Use at Best Buy

I am so mad withe Best Buy! I asked 3 TIMES wiill this iPhone 7 work in my country, 3 time they said "yes"!!!!!


Now they tell me I SHOULD KNOW they only sell for U.S. carriers. I feel they stold from me.


They decieved me!


And they say "it's simple" just return the phone within 14 days! It's obviuos they really don't care about customers. They don't have any idea how hard it is to ship (almost impossble) things to the U.S.


Shame on you Best Buy! How can you treat customers this way!