Jacob was traveling to Austria with an unlocked iPhone X on T-Mobile, but the SIM card he bought there for it didn't work. Phones can be locked to a carrier, but Jacob is saying it's not carrier locked. At least it wasn't when he bought it. It turned out that T-Mobile locked it after the fact. Leo says the FCC used to enforce this, and the phone companies would have to unlock phones after a reasonable time period. This all started when the phones were subsidized by the companies. Since Jacob paid for the phone in full, the companies shouldn't be locking it. There's no justification for it.
Nick has an iPhone 6S that he uses as a backup phone. He wants to unlock it for a trip to Europe, but neither T-Mobile nor Apple can unlock it. What can he do? Leo says that T-Mobile should be able to unlock it. It's their carrier lock. Leo recommends tweeting John Legere of T-Mobile (@JohnLegere). He pays attention to his Twitter feed and Leo bets he'll get back to him with someone to talk to.
Leo says he could also go to an independent cell phone store. They have great talent to unlock phones and could solve it.
Mike got an iPhone X on T-Mobile from the Apple Store. He took it to T-Mobile to activate it, but found out that T-Mobile won't insure it. Leo says that's because Mike bought it from Apple, not T-Mobile. So Apple Care applies. Leo tends to self-insure because extended warranties are profit centers for the seller. But the iPhone X is very expensive to repair or replace. So he does make an exception with Apple Care, but he'll want to get Apple Care Plus. If he breaks it once, it's probably going to pay for itself.
Ernesto needs a new cell phone for his father. He doesn't do any smart things like apps or texting. He just talks. He wants one that will work between the US and Mexico. Leo says that a "feature phone" is an easy and inexpensive purchase. Alcatel is one brand that works in both places. He should go to T-Mobile and he can probably get one for free on a pay as you go plan. They also offer free international data and cheap international calls. It'll also work in 190 other countries as well. The chatroom says that AT&T is best in Mexico.
Joe is having trouble with his ZTE Z988 phone and hotspotting. He keeps turning it on and after a minute, it drops. Leo says to call T-Mobile and let them know his hotspot feature isn't working, because it sounds like they haven't activated it. But it's also possible that it's not available with that phone and his new carrier. There can be some hardware limitations too. But if he's getting data anyway, then that's not it. It probably just needs activation.
Karen is thinking of moving over to T-Mobile from Google Fi. They have a good deal for people 55 and over. It should be about the same in quality, right? Rich says that Google Fi uses three different carriers, automatically switching to whichever one is best. It can be pricey for an unlimited user. If she doesn't use a lot of data, then Google Fi is a great 'pay as you go' plan. But T-Mobile has a great plan for those age 55 and over — 2 lines for $60. It's hard to beat that.
Jeffrey has a Samsung S4 that doesn't recognize the SIM card frequently, and asks him to constantly restart. Leo thinks he likely has a loose SIM card and recommends re-inserting it. SIM cards can also get damaged, though Jeffrey should at least have the option to take it to the T-mobile store and ask for a fix.
Bill is having trouble dialing phone numbers with T-Mobile where he lives, but he can still receive calls. Leo says that because Bill lives in Mexico, it's likely that he has to add the country code, known as 11 digit calling, in order for the call to be properly routed. Otherwise, it won't work.
Gloria wants to know about the cheap T-Mobile $30 plan. Leo says it's available, if she can find it. It's buried deep in T-Mobile's website under the prepaid plans. The easiest way to get to it is to google T-Mobile and $30 plan.
Alan has had a bad experience with several cell providers and he doesn't know who to trust. T-Mobile shut down GSM, so he couldn't use his phone. He went to AT&T, and they gave him a data only contract, leaving him without the ability to call or get text messages. He also can't afford to buy a smartphone.