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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It's been a couple of weeks since my last post so I figured I'd provide an update.  

My original iPhone repair replacement was on May 5th.  I still do NOT have a working iPhone  over 6 weeks later. 

I'm currently escalated up fairly high in both Apple and Virgin Mobile support and they are still actively working on the issue so there is still hope in getting this resolved. 

It shouldn't be this difficult or take this much time to repair a simple swollen battery.   The repair program is obviously broken.   I hope Virgin Mobile and Apple get together and address the issue head on so other customers don't have to go through this.  

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It's been 2 weeks since my last update.  There's good news and there's bad news.  

First the bad news, I am still NOT activated on my non Virgin Mobile carrier almost 2 months after my replacement repair iPhone 5 from Apple.  I'm still receiving errors that state that the activation servers are unavailable, try again later.  Apple is still working on this.  

The good old news is that lady week, Virgin Mobile finally unlocked the replacement iPhone 5.  At least they were able to give me an MSL code.  Unfortunately, as per above, something is still amiss and the iPhone is not activating.  

For those looking to unlock a Virgin Mobile iPhone and take it to a 3rd party carrier, please note that the Apple repair replacement policy will reinstate your iPhones original activation policy.  That will require you to get Virgin Mobile to unlock your repaired iPhone even if it is no longer on their network.  This situation has been a nearly 2 month bag of hurt that still is not resolved.  

i would caution anyone looking to buy an iPhone from VM with the intent to eventually move the device to another carrier to strongly consider buying the iPhone direct from Apple and activating on VM thus avoiding any repair activation problems in the future.  

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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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@Mpenix. I understand your concern. PM us so we can follow up? - E.J.

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PM sent. 


@VMU_Ejay wrote:

@Mpenix. I understand your concern. PM us so we can follow up? - E.J.


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This doesn't seem right or how we want this situation handled.  Can you please send me a private message here with both your phone number, IMEI and first/last name?  I will make sure your device is unlocked.  This seems to be a unique situation that occured.  

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This doesn't seem right or how we want this situation handled.  Can you please send me a private message here with both your phone number, IMEI and first/last name?  I will make sure your device is unlocked.  This seems to be a unique situation that occured.  

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I'm in agreement that this isn't how it should have been handled.  

PM being sent shortly.  

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I totally agree that once the phone was unlocked it had satisfied all requirements of unlocking and the warranty should NOT have triggered a new 12 mo. lock! That is insane not to mention unfair to the buyer.

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FWIW, I've made a ton of noise with Apple to modify their warranty replacement policy that gives the customer a phone that matches the replacement phone as it was new as opposed to matching the phone as it currently exists.  That would mean no activation policy would have been triggered in the first place. 

Ive also been after zvirgin Mobile for refusing to or being incapable of removing the activation lock even though they say the lock should come off.  

After  3.5 months or so, I gave up the good fight and moved on.  It was at that point that Apple support gave up on assisting me with Virgin Mobile customer service in getting the activation lock removed. Virgin Mobile told the Apple customer service rep that they would not remove the activation lock.  Apple then told me it was an obvious VM issue and they could do no more for me as it obviously wasn't a hardware issue.   

VM and Apple need to get their warranty repair polices straightened out.  Either Apple shouldn't put that policy on replacement iPhones or VM should be more cooperative in removing that policy when warranted as in this case.