4S behaving as though it's unlocked? (maybe?)

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iGal

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Jul 27, 2007
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#1
Ordered through ATT.

I went through the setup process, and it immediately allowed me to restore from my backup and interact with the device through iTunes. I can use the phone normally except for the lack of network access. iPhone continues to simply say "searching" where my reception readout would be, and in iTunes, it does not show my phone number on the main iPhone screen.

Am I in some sort of limbo, or did I inadvertently mess something up?

For background, in case it's relevant, my ATT account was suspended for the past week following my 3GS being stolen. I went and reactivated my service AFTER having gone through the setup and restore, saw no change. Tried a couple more restores as well as popping out and replacing the sim card, again, no change.

I've been scanning through threads about activation issues here and on macrumors, and seen a couple other people who may be having the same issue. Haven't found a solution/explanation posted elsewhere, though of course I could easily have missed it.

Thanks in advance for any help :)
 

debest74

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May 4, 2007
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#2
Im having the same exact problem. I didn't see an activation screen or anything (probably skipped it by mistake). My account hasn't be cancelled or anything so I don't think thats a factor. :(

Ordered through ATT.

I went through the setup process but was never prompted to activate. It allowed me to restore from my backup and interact with the device through iTunes. I can use it normally except for the lack of network access.

I've tried the activation page on the ATT site a few times, always getting the "iPhone users must connect to iTunes to activate service" error. I'm not prompted on iTunes or my phone to activate, and not sure how to initiate activation using anything other than the ATT activation site. iPhone continues to simply say "searching" where my reception readout would be. In iTunes, it does not show my phone number on the main iPhone screen.

Am I in some sort of limbo, or did I inadvertently mess something up? Am I being dumb and not realizing that the setup process I went through WAS all of activation?

For background, in case it's relevant, my ATT account was suspended for the past week following my 3GS being stolen. I forgot about it until a couple of failed tries to activate, went and reactivated my service, and saw no change. Tried a couple of restores as well as popping out and replacing the sim card, again, no change.

Thanks in advance for any help :)
I've been scanning through threads about activation issues here and on macrumors, and seen a couple other people who may be having the same issue. Haven't found a solution/explanation posted elsewhere, though of course I could easily have missed it.
Watch it be something stupid that I just mindlessly overlooked. Ugh.
 

iGal

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Jul 27, 2007
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#3
Oops, sorry for the post-reply edit! I realized that I was being dumb and that setup/activation (initiation) are the same thing.

Still doesn't change the end resulting problem, that there is no reception and no phone number seems to have been applied to the device.
 

iGal

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Jul 27, 2007
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#5
Apparently being connected to iTunes is a problem. When I mentioned that my phone number didn't show up in iTunes, she said "oh, you have your phone plugged in to the computer? You need to unplug it." Dunno if that's been interfering the whole time, if so, good to know... never would've occurred to me.

Her closing thoughts: "I don't know why it's not getting signal, everything here is updated." She is now transferring me to customer care (that isn't what I called?).
 

debest74

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May 4, 2007
244
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#6
Thanks for updating and letting me know whats going on. Im working right now (at a Verizon store :rolleyes:) and wont be able to stop by the Att store until I get out from work.

Apparently being connected to iTunes is a problem. When I mentioned that my phone number didn't show up in iTunes, she said "oh, you have your phone plugged in to the computer? You need to unplug it." Dunno if that's been interfering the whole time, if so, good to know... never would've occurred to me.

Her closing thoughts: "I don't know why it's not getting signal, everything here is updated." She is now transferring me to customer care (that isn't what I called?).
 

debest74

Member
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May 4, 2007
244
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#7
I was able to get mine activated. I called 1-800- 331-0500. The problem was that I hadn't accepted the terms and conditions. After I accepted my terms and conditions I restarted the phone and everything was working :)
 

AeroCare

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Jul 16, 2009
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#8
Her closing thoughts: "I don't know why it's not getting signal, everything here is updated." She is now transferring me to customer care (that isn't what I called?).
Of course not. You called a low paid trained monkey that has to go through a flow chart to seed out the dumb-dumbs first then they send you to Customer Service who should have a little bit of common sense but not much. After them you get sent to Technical Support and those guys have a clue.

I used to get upset with them but then I realized back when I used to own a communications company I had this client that I'll never forget. She would call many times saying her pager wasn't receiving any calls. After trying to find out if it was our side not activated or her side not programed correctly I asked her a very basic question " what can you read if anything" At that moment I heard the distinctive sound of a pager booting up. I asked her if her pager had been off all this time I had been sending her test messages and she said, and am not exaggerating " I only turn it on to read it, to see if I have any messages. the rest of the time I have it off to save battery". That my friends is why we now have trained monkeys going through a script before you talk with a human.
 

iGal

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#9
So, customer care told me that the "Searching..." in place of reception bars was normal, that that was my phone waiting in line for activation. I kind of wondered if that was the case, so it was good to have it cofirmed.

She said to leave the phone plugged in to the computer and not to touch it until it shows reception bars, at minimum two hours. I'll be coming up on that in the next 20 minutes or so.

Debest74, what was the process you went through? I'm fairly certain I accepted terms & conditions, but just to check... starting from the home screen, you did what?
 

iGal

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Jul 27, 2007
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#10
...

That my friends is why we now have trained monkeys going through a script before you talk with a human.
Yes, of course. It was fairly obvious she was following a script, and I know why they have those folks... it was her wording that threw me, as though I'd called a totally different service than customer care, as opposed to level 1 of customer care.
 

debest74

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May 4, 2007
244
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Palo Alto, CA
#11
I just called the 800 number from my old iPhone. It recognized that "I had just purchased a phone" and it asked me to press 1 if I wanted to activate the new device. It then told me that I needed to have the new device with me, the last 4 of the SS# of the account holder and the billing zip code in the account. After I put in the information it told me to turn of my phone for 5 minutes. I didn't wait the 5 minutes, I just restarted my phone and after the re-boot everything was working! :)
 

iGal

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Jul 27, 2007
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#12
Thanks for getting back! I tried it from the home line (I don't have my old 3GS) and called, but no auto-recognition of a new phone since I was on an unrelated line. I talked to another customer care rep and he said the same as the last, that the state my phone is in is just the limbo between completing activation steps and actually being activated, and that it could take up to 24 hours to go through. "Really?" "Really. If it's not up and running Saturday night, take it to an Apple store on Sunday morning."

He then told me to leave it plugged in and charging at all times, and to not turn it off at any time (no explanation why).

Ah, well.

I've been without a phone for a little over a week, so I guess another day won't hurt.

I'm glad to hear your problem was solved!
 

iGal

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Jul 27, 2007
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#13
Rather than waiting, I popped into the AT&T store to see if actually being able to see and interact with the phone would make a difference to CS.

After a sim card switch and reset, the problem totally baffled her and she sent us to the Apple store across the street. They had an AT&T rep in the store, and he spent about 30 minutes with it, establishing only that the IMEI number was not listed in the settings and that that's weird. He passed us to Apple guy #1 who swapped my sim into his phone (it worked in his), and concluded that there was something wrong with the hardware. He flagged down Apple guy #2, who had some major issues actually switching my account to the other phone, but he didn't give us a play-by-play so I'm not sure what they were.

It worked in the end, we got it activated and the test call went through, so I walked out with 4S #2.

I brought it home to restore from my backup (fingers crossed that this isn't some corruption issue within the backups), and it's currently downloading the latest software update. If I don't post on the subject again, that means this was my solution, for anyone reading with the same problem!