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Cell phone carrier won't unlock phone

Lerose

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My son lost his iPhone6. Since he was only 6 months into his contract he had to buy another iPhone at full price. Several months later someone found his phone and was kind enough to return it to him. My son then sold the phone to recoup some of the money he had to shell out to buy another iPhone. My son called our cell phone carrier and asked them to unlock the phone. The carrier keeps giving him excuses, puts him on hold, etc. and won't unlock the phone. Is that legal? Can the carrier refuse to unlock his phone? Does anyone have any suggestions on what he can do yo get his phone unlocked?

Thanks
Linda
 

DeniseM

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I would make an appointment (if possible) and go into the local service center for your carrier with the other person, and the phone.
 
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am1

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I would make an appointment (if possible) and go into the local service center for your carrier with the other person, and the phone.

My experience they are not able to do much. But it is worth a try. Once the contract is up they will unlock the phone but that is not much help now. Is the new phone locked? I guess this could be a way to get a phone unlocked and they are trying to avoid that.

Which company is it? All too often companies try to push their customers around. No one wants to take stand.
 

Passepartout

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Is he still under contract? Did he buy a subsidized phone through the carrier? I think he has to be out of contract and own the phone free and clear before the carrier is bound to unlock it. It is to their advantage to keep him locked to their carrier as long as possible, and the fact is, the ONLY reason for him to unlock the phone is to migrate to another carrier.
 

Helaine

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They usually won't unlock it till it's paid for.

You could sell him the replacement phone. Since it's paid for, they should unlock it. Then you could keep and use the original one.
 

puppymommo

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Yes this was my experience with an iPhone on ATT. My daughter was in Europe and wanted to use her phone with a German simcard. To do this we had to unlock her phone, which required paying off the balance on the iPhone.

After that it was easy.
 

Lerose

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Is the new phone locked?

I'm not sure about the new phone. He paid full price for the new phone. He has a contract with the old phone. I don't see why the cell phone company won't simply swap out the phones since they do have one phone fully paid for.
 

Lerose

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Which company is it? All too often companies try to push their customers around. No one wants to take stand.

Sprint. We've been with them for a very long time. Seems like they're doing everything they can to get rid of their customers. I recently read that they've dropped from 3rd to 4th place carrier.
 
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Bucky

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When you said he had to pay full price for a replacement I automatically assume his first phone was subsidized by the carrier and he is still under contract! I'm also assuming the one he paid full price for is not under contract! If that is in fact the case, why would the carrier unlock it? They would then have two phones out there unlocked and easily taken to another carrier!

I'm not sure but, I don't believe I've ever heard of a cell phone company being able to lock a phone. They come from the maker already locked to whatever provider they are sold to but I've never heard of a provider being able to lock one brought in by a customer. Doesn't mean it can't be done but I've never heard of it being done!

Sprints policy is pretty clear on unlocking:

The device is Domestic SIM Unlock capable

Any associated Service Agreement, Installment Billing Agreement, or Lease Agreement has been fulfilled including payment in full of any applicable early termination fees or end-of-lease purchase options. Because leased devices are not owned by the user, the end of lease purchase option must be exercised and paid in full before the Domestic SIM unlock is completed.

The associated account is in good standing

The device has not been reported as lost or stolen, associated with fraudulent activity, or otherwise flagged as ineligible to be unlocked
 
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Passepartout

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It is also my understanding that Sprint uses CDMI technology, not GSM- which makes the phone incompatible with the vast majority of phone systems- especially those outside the U.S. So it wouldn't do any good to unlock it anyway, as it would only work on Sprint, Verizon, Virgin, and a couple of minor US players.

But then perhaps iPhone is compatible with both. Perhaps one of the Apple fans knows?

Jim
 

yoohoo

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It may be already unlocked for GSM. My son purchased a Verizon iPhone 6+ at BestBuy and took it to t-Mobile. They moved the CIM from his old phone to the 6+. It looks like the 6+ has both GSM and CDMI technology builtin. I would check with somebody like BestBuy to get the scoop your particular iPhone.
 

MichaelColey

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