Help unlocking AT&T Surface Duo?

Search This thread
I got a Surface Duo from the recent Woot deal, and after dealing with AT&T for a week, they've closed my case saying they do not have the unlock code. I used the AT&T unlock website, as well as calling several times after the listed 2 day turn around was missed. I also called MS at one point, and they claim they do not have the unlock code and that AT&T does. So both sides are pointing at each other and I'm not sure who is telling the truth.
Is it really possible they both do not have the sim unlock code and I'm just SOL? Or is there something special I need to say or ask to point them in the right direction to get it?

Conversely, if I were to flash the MS ROM Image, would that unlock it or is it a hardware lock?

Any help would be appreciated as I really don't know what else to do other than just returning it at this point?
 
To add an update to this issue;
I tried another avenue to get a better response from AT&T, and lo and behold I got one. However, the news does not look good. They are saying that MS stopped giving AT&T unlock codes back in February. I am very much inclined to believe this person, which unfortunately means this is absolute confirmation that AT&T does not have any unlock codes for any of the recently sold Surface Duo's from Woot. They are trying one last effort to see if they can get codes and I should have another update in a day or two.

I also mentioned that I am not the only in this situation, so they are aware that there are others in need of their unlock codes as well. Unfortunately it is looking like we will have to hound MS for the codes. I am dubious if their support staff can even get them as I've already been told by MS that they don't have any Phone unlock codes.

Fingers crossed I get some good news in the next few days. but it's not looking great. :-/
 

tevado

Member
Aug 17, 2014
11
0
Is your cellphone a microsoft surface duo does your cellphone ask for unlock code when u insert a sim card from a different carrier?
 
I called MS this morning and the person I spoke to took down the information I gave them and said they would work on escalating the issue, and then call me back today. Seeing as it's ~5pm, it doesn't look like I'm getting a call back today. I'll bother them again tomorrow. But if I don't get any positive results by Thursday, I'm throwing in the towel and returning my Duo.
 
I called MS this morning and the person I spoke to took down the information I gave them and said they would work on escalating the issue, and then call me back today. Seeing as it's ~5pm, it doesn't look like I'm getting a call back today. I'll bother them again tomorrow. But if I don't get any positive results by Thursday, I'm throwing in the towel and returning my Duo.
Again, thank you for all your efforts. Even though I'm in the same boat, I have decided I will not be returning mine. Until the Duo "2" gets released I plan to use mine in WiFi mode only. At that later date I will explore my options to get a reasonable/fair trade-in allowance.
 
So new update with some maybe helpful information.
At this point I am convinced the MS Phone Support does not know that the Surface Duo is a phone and not a PC tablet, and they do not know how to properly transfer calls either. I made several calls to them today, and each time it was clear that none of them understood what I was talking about. None of them asked me for the IMEI # and they all wanted to transfer my call to another department. The later would not have been a problem if it wasn't for the fact that I was hung up on every time they said the call was being transferred.

I eventually changed tactics and started trying other options on the call prompts. Each one getting disconnected when they tried to transfer me to the "Correct department"... One of the options mentioned a website and using the online support instead, so I figured it was worth a shot. I used the online chat, and this time the person asked for my IMEI #. Even better, they gave me a case # as they needed to escalate this issue. Unfortunately, they said it could take 24-72hrs to get an update, and the only way to get an update was to wait for them to e-mail me. :-( I'm not too happy about those options, but this feels like there is at least some movement instead of hitting brick walls.

At this point I would suggest everyone else trying this as if we can get enough people creating tickets with the same issue, maybe MS will notice there is a problem here. As an FYI you will need a MS account *(the free one you used for windows 10 will work)* and you will need to register/link the s/n of the Duo to your account. What I did was:

  1. Goto help.microsoft.com and click on the blue "Contact US" button on the middle right side of the page.
  2. A new window will open up asking you to sign in with your MS account. *(If you have a windows PC/laptop, you should have a MS account)*
  3. Next a series of questions will ask you about what device you are inquiring about, and eventually it will come to a window that will ask you to register the new device. *(This is where you need the s/n)*
  4. You should now be put in a queue to wait to chat with someone.
  5. This is the important part, once you get someone, you will need to tell ALL of the following information.
    1. That you need the sim unlock code for your phone.
    2. AT&T has confirmed that MS stopped giving them the unlock codes. So AT&T does not have the codes at all.
    3. 3rd party vendors are unable to get the unlock code as well.
  6. Hopefully if all goes well, they should ask for your IMEI # and then create a case # for you.

Hopefully if enough people do this, it may help us to get a favorable resolution faster. *Fingers crossed*
 
Followed your advice and just went through the process. It was one of the most satisfying support connections that I've ever experienced anywhere. I was told that I'd have answer back within 24 to 720 hours. The one very interesting thing was the rep said:
"We are receiving reports that AT&T is not been able to unlock it. And I want to give you the best support you deserve. We will need to escalate your case to a higher lever in our end, and they will help us to get a resolution for your case."

Like you: "FINGERS CROSSED!"

Thank you again!
 
Followed your advice and just went through the process. It was one of the most satisfying support connections that I've ever experienced anywhere. I was told that I'd have answer back within 24 to 720 hours. The one very interesting thing was the rep said:
"We are receiving reports that AT&T is not been able to unlock it. And I want to give you the best support you deserve. We will need to escalate your case to a higher lever in our end, and they will help us to get a resolution for your case."

Like you: "FINGERS CROSSED!"

Thank you again!
Your welcome :) One thing to note, I did get a response back a few hours later basically telling me to contact AT&T. However, they did not immediately close my ticket, and I have been pushing back reminding them that AT&T is saying that only MS can help now. I just talked to another person who I have confidence in that they fully understand the problem. Unfortunately they also implied that we may not be able to get the codes. But as long as the case is still open, and someone understands the problem, there is still a chance at getting these unlocked.
 

kuppu

New member
Jul 23, 2009
1
0
Looks like I will be joining you all in this unlock saga... this whole supply chain of Microsoft + ATT / 3rd Party Seller / Woot is quite hindrance. I will post if I am able to enable GoogleFi Sim on this device. I have already submitted the unlock request to AT&T and gotten the standard response of
1623034811019.png


Woot had sent me second phone in a replacement request that also came with AT&T sim and network locked. I tried ATA& Unlock as an existing customer (my friend's) of AT&T for the second device..the response there was prompt stating Surface Duo is not supported by AT&T.


I will now initiate requests with Microsoft next.
 

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 4
    I can confirm that you no longer need to involve AT&T at all to unlock the code.
    1. Call Microsoft Support at (800) 642-7676
    2. Choose Home User
    3. Choose Surface Support
    4. Ask for a Surface Duo specialist
    5. Ask to unlock your Microsoft Surface Duo phone
    6. Provide them with your phone's...
      • IMEI (Settings -> About -> IMEI)
      • Serial number (Settings -> About -> Model & hardware -> Serial number)
    A turnaround time of 4 (business) days was given and I just received my unlock code via email right on schedule this morning (8/11/2021 -> 8/16/2021 = only 3 business days).

    Don't bother with the Unlock your AT&T phone or device page, which has detailed instructions to unlock your specific device (PDF, 572KB). The reason why is that the Microsoft Surface Duo isn't even listed. I was unable to find any official documentation from Microsoft or AT&T on how to complete the unlock process once you receive the code, but it turns out that it's pretty straightforward:
    1. Power off the Duo
    2. Remove the AT&T SIM card
    3. Insert a non-AT&T SIM card
    4. Power on the Duo
    5. Enter your PIN/password to unlock the screen
    6. A giant full-screen form will appear that says "SIM network unlock PIN"
    7. Note that the other screen will not react to taps
    8. Tap on the line and enter the unlock code supplied by Microsoft
    9. Tap Unlock
    10. A message should appear that the phone has been unlocked
    11. If that doesn't work, try replacing the last digit with a different number, then tap Unlock
    I was lucky in that the exact code they provided worked for me the first time.

    On a related note, if you happen to want to use your previously-locked-to-AT&T Duo on Verizon (or any of the offshoots like Xfinity Mobile) you will need to get them to enable the "CDMA-less" option for your line/account. This will require a phone call. I'm still working on getting Xfinity Mobile to understand what I'm asking for. Without it, you won't be able to receive text messages.
    2
    I just called the support number to get my unlock code. The rep seemed to immediately know what was going on, collected the IMEI and SN, and said he'd call me back with the unlock code within 3 days. Did not ask for the ATT Case Number.

    I'll post an update.
    I just wanted to post an update. I just received a phone call from Microsoft with my unlock code. After the call ended, they also sent an email with the code and unlock instructions.

    To recap- I called Microsoft and gave them my IMEI and S/N. No ATT case number was required. I requested my code on the 14th of July and received it on the 21st.
    2
    Great congratulations so there are different hardware on Surface DUO
    Microsoft support called me today and provided me with my unlock code!
    2
    Ok, time for me to jump in here. I got my 256GB Duo (locked to ATT) from Amazon yesterday thru Woot's Amazon store. Got it all set up. Just got off of online support chat with Microsoft where I gave them a very detailed breakdown of needing the phone unlocked, how ATT doesn't have the codes, gave them my ATT case number (I had already been rejected by ATT online unlock request), gave them my Duo IMEI and Serial Number, and gave them HighWing's case number so they could reference that if needed. She escalated the case and sent it to her manager, but the manager was busy at the moment so she is going to send me an email soon to follow up. Hopefully they are able to resolve it and give me an unlock code. I'll post updates as I get them.
    2
    I just called the support number to get my unlock code. The rep seemed to immediately know what was going on, collected the IMEI and SN, and said he'd call me back with the unlock code within 3 days. Did not ask for the ATT Case Number.

    I'll post an update.