White House: It's Time to Legalize Cellphone Unlocking
MARCH 4, 2013 AT 10:13 AM PT
The White House on Monday came out in support of the rights of consumers to unlock their cellphones once they have fulfilled the terms of the contract.
Responding to a petition on WhiteHouse.gov, the executive branch stated, "The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties."
My own experience with carrier cooperation as regards cell-phone-unlocking:
1) T-Mobile -- has provided me all SIM-subsidy unlock information I ever required, without threat or duress, for each handset requested, provided only that said handset had been in service with T-Mobile for 90 days or more, and that at most two such requests were to be honored in any 30-day interval. Easy enough. At least 4-5 handsets thus unlocked.
2) AT&T -- has provided me SIM-subsidy unlock information for two of the three handsets I ever requested such for. All were Cingular-branded handsets found in cell-phone recycling bins, two fully operable, with data remaining identifying the phone number they had last been assigned, and one inoperable (a 3gs iPhone), hence without accessible last phone number data. For the first two, though I've never been on a Cingular/at&t wireless plan in my life, the wireless CS crew happily gave me the unlock information I needed; for the iPhone, however, they balked when I could not provide the last known phone number under which it had been active.
[No matter, of course: as an inoperable unit, it'd have needed extensive and expensive repairs before I could ever have used it anywhere, anyway.]
3) Non-GSM cellular providers have no SIM-unlocking issue to begin with. And it's easy enough to get a Verizon MVNO like Page Plus to activate a Verizon handset whose IMEI is not on Verizon's stiffed-bill-pay black-list, and similarly (so I hear) for Sprint and Sprint MVNOs: so, non-issue here.
As always, I'm happy to stand corrected if need be :-) . Cheers, -- tlvp