I am just back from my hour-long appointment at the EE shop. To be very fair to the staff, two guys spent the full sixty minutes trying their hardest to sort out the locked passcode issue.
You would think that you could send the manufacturer an email, and do a passcode reset. But no. They tried that, and were directed to a tech support page. That offered the option to reset the phone to factory basics, which I agreed to. But when they tried to do that, it wanted the (locked) passcode entered before it would allow it. They started to see why I was so frustrated.
After all their efforts, they were instructed by the tech support people to return the phone to the manufacturer, for a ‘factory reset’. They took my SIM card out and gave it to me, as that may save some of the contact details that I would otherwise lose. Paperwork was completed, and the phone packed up for courier collection tomorrow. Turn around time is estimated at up to fourteen days, hopefully less.
After over an hour sitting behind a large screen wearing a mask, I was relieved to get out of there. I still don’t have a working phone until it comes back, but then it wasn’t working anyway, so no real difference. EE cannot suspend or refund my contract money, as the fault is not theirs. The manufacturer cannot refund me any money, as I cannot prove I didn’t enter the wrong passcode. That’s what passes for extended customer care these days, apparently. Both companies blamed that issue on too many scammers messing around with stolen phones.
On the plus side, two youngish men who work with phones for a living were unable to get to the root of the problem.
So it wasn’t just me being a hopeless old git then.