How to Remove the Contract or Unpaid Bills Status of AT&T iPhone?

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If you bought a used AT&T iPhone with unpaid bills, can you change the status from unpaid bills (financed) to clean? What if it’s under contract?


Most of us would try to get the best deals online especially when buying a used iPhone but before we get into the solutions for your iPhone, let’s discuss some basic information on the contract that’s setup between AT&T and iPhone.

Editor's note: learn more by reading our ebook on starting your own iPhone repair & unlock business

History of AT&T and Apple iPhone

Since AT&T was the earliest partner for Apple, essentially it was the first carrier to operate on the iPhone. The history goes a long way back since the first iPhone was introduced in 2007.

The partnership between AT&T and Apple hasn’t been smooth. There have been many instances when Apple wasn’t very happy with AT&T’s network infrastructure but meanwhile AT&T felt that there was lack of partnership spirit in terms of solving network problems.

In 2007 after the iPhone was introduced, AT&T was overwhelmed with the data demand on the network. Apple was asked to add data restrictions option on the iOS. AT&T asked to not allow YouTube to be running on 3G data but instead on WiFi, lower quality video and must of a short duration only.

Apple didn’t want that and insisted that AT&T should upgrade their network. It was quite serious up to the point that Steve Jobs was considering to redesign the iPhone to be made compatible on Verizon’s network that’s using CDMA.

In terms of users who travel and need to use the roaming feature had trouble to get their iPhones working overseas. Despite having very high profits, AT&T’s reputation was diminishing.

AT&T Wireless Plans

AT&T has setup two wireless plans which are described below:

Unlimited &More

  • The plans start at $70/month AT&T Unlimited &More
  • $80/mo. for AT&T Unlimited &More Premium
  • AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds when the network is congested.
  • Prices after discount with Autopay and Paper billing.
  • AT&T unlimited plans are perfect for heavy streamers who want to watch their entertainment virtually anywhere. Get unlimited data, talk, and text, and 30+ live and on demand channels at no extra charge.

Mobile Share Flex

  • Plans start at $45/mo for 1 smartphone line with 1GB of Shareable Data.
  • Price includes plan charge of $25/mo. + device access charge.
  • Price is for 1 line after discount with AutoPay and paperless billing
  • A great value for families who mainly talk, surf the web, and text. Plus, eligible AT&T Signature Program members may get additional monthly savings.

Alternatives to 2-year contracts

AT&T no longer offer 2-year contracts for smartphones, tablets, wearables, or basic feature phones so if you’re purchasing a new device or basic phone, you need to choose from the following options:

  • AT&T Next® and AT&T Next Every Year for smartphones
  • Installment plan for tablets, wearables, or basic phone
  • Pay full price of the device

iPhone 8 Bogo

This is a combo offer by AT&T but you need to purchase two iPhones at the same time.

Drawbacks of Contract iPhone

More Costly

Phones that under contract are usually cheaper in the beginning but if you take into monthly payment, it will cost more. For example, getting Verizon’s contract phone with 2GB data will bring the TCO (total cost of ownership) to almost $3000.

Limited Freedom

You are bounded with a contract that will last for two years and in case you terminate it earlier, there will be a fee that you need to pay. Using it at another country will drive the cost of owning it even more.

Limited Phone Options

Some carrier offer very limited choices of phones so in this instance you can only rely on whatever’s being offered by the network provider. Some contract phones can’t be used on other network type such as GSM, for example, an earlier version of Verizon iPhone can only work on Verizon network.

Various Fees

Customers have to deal with many fees such as activation, access and monthly rate fees. It’s something customers have to deal with on a regular basis. Prepaid phones have lesser fees which may be ideal for some people.

Reasons of Network Blocking of iPhone

Due to the drawbacks mentioned above, it can be one of the potential reasons why phones get blocked by the network. Here are also some other reasons why they get blocked:

  • Unpaid bills
  • Lost
  • Stolen
  • Reported missing
  • Insurance claims

Many people buy used AT&T iPhones with the hoping to get it unlocked. It’s really that straightforward because AT&T iPhone with unpaid bills or under contract needs additional cost to unlock it.

Some people don’t really want to get it unlocked; instead they wish the unpaid bills or the in-contract status can be removed. What else can you do with a device that’s blocked on the network? Well, here are some possible options:

  • Unlock the device
  • Sell the device

AT&T Unpaid Bill Unlock

If you choose to unlock the device, as long as it’s not blocked on other network, you can use it on Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile (USA network).

However, if it’s blocked on all network, you can still unlock it but you may not be able to use it in USA.That’s still not the end though, because there are options for you to remove the unpaid bills status and in-contract status remotely.

Fixing the ESN/IMEI remotely would mean “cleaning” it on the network.

Once it has been cleaned, other carriers will update their databases as well which makes it possible for you to use on all network for as long as the device is unlocked as mentioned earlier.

If you wish to consider removing the unpaid bills or in-contract status of your AT&T iPhone, please refer to the service here.

How to Remove the Contract or Unpaid Bills Status of AT&T iPhone? was last modified: August 13th, 2018 by Jonathan

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