cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Mobile Phone Locking

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,345
Thanks: 609
Registered: 23-09-2010

Mobile Phone Locking

Maybe I'm wrong but it seems to me that the practice of locking mobiles is in some cases not right.
I'm thinking of course about EE.
Who hasn't got an old phone at home locked to T-Mobile or Orange that you would like to use again.
That is rendered useless because when you try to get a SIM for them you just get sent an EE one.
It can't be just me that's thinking these companies should be forced to freely unlock them or at the very least convert them to EE.
Yes I do know that some orange and t-mobile phones will work on EE but mine doesn't.
And things can only get more convoluted if BT take over EE.
21 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,848
Thanks: 1,135
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

I bought "our" payg phones from Tesco, about 7 or 8 years ago... one for me... and one for the missus.... at that time we were aligned to T-Mobile....  I have a card to swipe to top up payments, with T-mobile on it... MY phone ( recently upgraded via carphone warehouse for £2.99)  shows T-mobile on the screen.... Howver, my missus phone... (also recently upgraded at the same time and place as mine) has been showing EE on her screen for the last couple of years, ( I think )... and when she goes in to get a top up for her phone,... she asks for a T-mobile top up.... 
Make of that what you will......  Undecided
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,345
Thanks: 609
Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

Yes things are screwy and getting worse.
I just think it's a crying shame that because of this some good old phones are being rendered scrap because "forced" unlocking would cost more that the phone is worth.
rongtw
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,336
Thanks: 1,155
Fixes: 11
Registered: 01-12-2010

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

around where i live there is plenty of phone shops who for a £5 will unlock most phones , to be able to take any sim
Asus ROG Hero Vii Z97 , Intel i5 4690k ,ROG Asus Strix 1070,
samsung 850evo 250gig , WD black 2 TB . Asus Phoebus sound ,
16 gig Avexir ram 2400 , water cooling Corsair H100i gtx ,
Corsair 750HXI Psu , Phanteks Enthoo pro case .
nanotm
Pro
Posts: 5,674
Thanks: 109
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

payg handsets have always been network locked unless you paid full price for them in store as factory unlocked models, having said that the EU courts ruled it was not legal for companies to network lock contract phones back in 2012 and so far all the handsets I've had via 3 are unlocked (although they all have the 3 logo on boot).
with respect to the unlocking service, orange did back at the time they announced the migration to EE offer all customers to get their phone unlocked for free and then proceeded to bury the online application form in a hidden URL on their website...... PAYG handsets can be unlocked for a fee of not more than £20 by the network they are purchased on but contact handset unlocking is meant to be free after the initial contract period has been completed
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,547
Thanks: 193
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

I've never had a problem with O2. I've had phones from them on contract and towards the end of the contract I've asked for a code and it's always been supplied without charge Smiley
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16,562
Thanks: 1,801
Fixes: 125
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

I agree about O2.
They unlocked my wife's iPhone a couple of years ago so she could use it abroad although it did take several attempts to sort it.
Her latest contract has just come to an end and she's decided to go SIM only contract and the best offer was with EE as I already have an account with them. I contacted O2 by online chat as I have authority but they did need to speak to SWMBO as the contract was with her. The agent rang back immediately and the account was cancelled having told him that she was moving to EE. In order to close the account the same day as the contract ended (Sunday, only 3 days notice) without charge he changed the account to a free PAYG account and sent a SIM card. We had wondered about getting the phone unlocked but when she put the EE SIM card in it was good to go. I can only assume that the agent unlocked it at the same time as closing the account - unless it was never locked in the first place Undecided

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Community Veteran
Posts: 2,556
Thanks: 171
Fixes: 2
Registered: 27-05-2011

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

I bought an unlocked Samsung from Argos and a sim from Giffgaff. The main reason for this is when I work in Pakistan or Saudi I can obtain a local SIM an seamlessly continue with service. The point is that IIRC Giffgaff is some sort of mutual with good service but PAYG.  Smiley
/edit I also was afraid that some SIMs lock your phone just by inserting them
To do is to be - Neitzsche
To be is to do - Kant
do be do be do - Sinatra
PowerLee
Rising Star
Posts: 543
Thanks: 12
Registered: 12-03-2013

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

Nearly all Carphone warehouse phones are unlocked.
Be warned that Apple I Phone's will lock to the network of the first sim that is inserted unless you buy the handset fully unlocked direct from Apple.
My mother upgraded her Orange PAYG handeset the other week via a Carphone warehouse special offer, a sim free factory unlocked phone with generic UK firmware was provided  Cheesy
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,345
Thanks: 609
Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

Here's another very recent personal example.
Just dug out another phone, this one being a not so old Nokia C1-01. Nice compact phone, still looks like new so I thought I would start using it again as an emergency / spare.
It's an Asda phone, so some of you must know what's coming, only a few years old.
Started up fine with the old Asda SIM in it but the SIM had expired so no service / connection.
I ordered a new SIM which arrived a couple of days ago.
On starting the phone comes up with SIM rejected phone restricted enter code.
What did Asda have to say about this.
Basically Alexandra of Asda says I need to unlock my Asda phone so I can use my Asda SIM. All written with no apology, sense of shame, or recognition of the absurdity of statement.
As I said in my gist of my first post. How do these mobile companies get away with these deliberate restrictive business practices.
There has been a few threads here about what is an acceptable product lifespan beyond the initial guarantee. How is this any different from a bearing in a washing machine breaking after a few years. This is surely worse as the product has failed because of a cold and deliberate decision by the company that sold it.

itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

Never had a problem, if I'm switching I make sure that the phone is unlocked before moving. One phone I could not unlock myself so took it to the local Vodafone shop and as it was out of contract it only took the sales guy a minute to unlock.
At that time Vodafone had a policy of supplying unlocked phones except for the more expensive ones but would unlock them free of charge when out of minimum contract time.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,586
Thanks: 206
Fixes: 14
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

Quote from: billnotben
What did Asda have to say about this.
Basically Alexandra of Asda says I need to unlock my Asda phone so I can use my Asda SIM. All written with no apology, sense of shame, or recognition of the absurdity of statement.

Well I would ask them for a FREE unlock code so you can use your Asda sim in your Adsa phone ;-)
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 1
Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

I don't know whether it is still true but a few years ago it was reported that even after paying the full up front price iPhones became locked to the first network that they were connected to.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,547
Thanks: 193
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

I'm with O2 and have been for a few years. In that time I've had a number of phones unlocked. An email to O2 has always resulted in a reply giving me the unlock code.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 25,786
Thanks: 1,133
Fixes: 47
Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Mobile Phone Locking

I was reading about EE's policy on unlocking.
Quote
You will be charged £8.99 (incl VAT) for unlocking your device, this will be charged to your account. The IMEI of the device to be unlocked must be registered on the account and not blacklisted.
The amount of time it takes to unlock your phone depends on the device type and is as follows:
    Apple iPhone / iPad: up to seven days
    Any other device type up to ten days

10 days Shocked
I had a company iPhone in 2010.
When I left I took the phone with me.
The manager responsible for the company phones made a quick call to O2 and the phone was unlocked.
I then set it up on a monthly T-Mobile contract.
Customer and Forum Moderator.
Product of the Tyrell Corporation