Unlocked VM phone ported to another carrier then repaired by Apple locked to VM!

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Unlocked VM phone ported to another carrier then repaired by Apple locked to VM!

I had an iPhone 5.  Got it unlocked by VM and the iPhone 5 was successfully ported to another carrier.  

It was then observed the battery was swelling and an Apple Genius did a repair which is the usual phone swap.  

On trying to reactivate the repaired iphone 5 on the other carrier, there are nothing but activation errors as the replacement iPhone is now locked back to VM for 1 year before VM will unlock the phone.  

customer support at VM is giving me the royal runaround and basically refusing to unlock the repaired phone, making it a brick essentially.  

Any suggestions as to how to get this moved forward?


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 Final update.   The iPhone 5 has been sold as scrap. Apple and VM did not get the phone unlocked so I could   move the iPhone  to a third party carrier.  Basically, VM refused to waive the 1 year activation policy on the warranty replacement even though the original iPhone had 3.5 years on VM, been unlocked and working on a 3rd party carrier.   I had two choices, bring the phone back to VM for one year or trash the phone.  It got trashed.  

Again, word of warning.  If Apple does a warranty repair of a VM bought iPhone, Apple WILL reinstate the original activation policy and VM will refuse to undo it.  If your iPhone had been unlocked and moved to a 3rd party carrier, you'll have to leave the current carrier in order to bring  the iPhone back to VM to again satisfy the activation policy that was on the original iPhone before it got replaced under warranty.  

Apple tells me that had I bought my iPhone from them directly and then signed up for Virgin Mobile service, there would have been no activation policy and I would not have encountered this situation with a warranty replacement iPhone.  So, buyer beware and consider your options carefully.  

For any that followed this thread, yes it took over 3 months for Apple to be convinced that the issue was  the activation policy and that VM was refusing to or incapable of resolving the situation.  Definitely not an experience that any customer should ever be exposed to.  

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there is no way around it since u got a replacement phone that replacement need to be active on account for 12month before virgin will unlock it basically u have to put back on virgin for 12 months


It's a repair.  

i did not buy a new phone.

is Vigin Mobile telling its  customers that if Apple repairs your phone, it doesn't matter how long the original prone was on the Virgin Mobile network, the repaired phone must be activated on the virgin mobile network for one year before it can go back to the network that the defective phone was just on?  That's nuts.  

come on, someone use a bit of common sense here.  No one is losing money on the repair except the customer stuck in the middle with a phone that used to work on their chosen network before the 'fix' and now it doesn't. 

Do do the right thing.  Let the phone go.  


Hello Mpenix! The unlock  request has requirements.

  • The device has not been reported as lost or stolen or otherwise flagged as ineligible to be unlocked.
  • The device has been active for at least 12 months on the same account  and a payment has been made within the last 90 days of that 12-month activation anniversary.
    • Warranty replacement phones should inherit eligibility date of original phone.
  • Virgin Custom and Data Share do not have any eligible devices / customers until 2016.

This is an Apple repair for a swollen battery and should inherit the 3.5 years of service the original iPhone had as per your kart point.  

That siad, trying to get customer service to understand that I did NOT purchase a new phone that I want unlocked vs having a repair that I want unlocked is a subtlety that seems to escape the service representitives.   

Today, I gave it another try with customer service and got bumped up to technical support.  The rep gave me the MSL and said the act of requesting that would unlock the phone.  

That was 8 hours ago and the iPhone is still in an infinite activation loop indicating the iPhone still is not unlocked.  

Something obviously didt work and I'll have to call in again.  


Good morning Mpenix and thank you for giving us those important details.

In the effort to find a way around this matter, please send us a private message including the below details:

- The make, model and the MEID from the repaired Apple device.

- The 10-digit mobile number and PIN code from the account that was last associated with that device.

- Your e-mail address.

- A contact number.

- The best time to reach you.

- Your time zone.

Once we gather these details, we'll proceed to escalate this matter to our advanced technical support team. They'll then further work this out.

Looking forward to your reply.

RB-1991 (Robert).


Hmm, I don't see an obvious way to post a private message.



You just need to tab on the rep's name and then select "Send this user a Private Message'.



Signed in  to the browser on my iPad and  found  it quickly.

 Private message sent to RB–1991.



It's been a week since my last post so I figured I'd post an update.  

Unfortunately, the repaired iPhone was never successfully unlocked.  Instead it developed a screen issue where the left third of the screen would not recognize touches.  Back to Apple who gave me a 2nd replacement iPhone. 

Unfortunately, this 2nd iPhone also appears to be locked in some way and remains inactivated despite Apple Geius employees efforts over a couple hours. 

Im still waiting on responses from agents on here after providing them the meid, imei, etc in private messages but in the end we still don't have the iPhone activated.

its been THREE weeks after the initial repair.  It shouldn't be this difficult.