Orange UK Contract Up - Free To Unlock?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by kolax, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #1
    So my iPhone contract has just finished with Orange UK, and I want to unlock it. Orange seem to charge you £20 to do so.

    I'm sure it was free when I did it with O2 a couple of years ago. I've seen through the contract, so they should be legally obligated to unlock it for free, seeing as I now fully own the phone?
     
  2. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #2
    That's correct. O2 doesn't charge pay monthly customers to unlock. They're unique in the UK for doing that though.

    No. There's absolutely no legal obligation that requires them to unlock the phone - you should be thankful that you can do it for just £20.42

    No.

    You've owned the phone from the moment you took out the contract. The contract only covers the service, not the phone itself.

    All of this is down to policy. Orange chooses to let customers unlock their phone, but they can also choose the terms under which that can happen.
     
  3. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #3
    The iPhone was subsidised though, so I didn't fully own it, though I was in a contract and would be paying out the amount regardless.

    It should be a legal obligation once customers have seen their contacts through. I own a device, yet my ex network provider still controls what network I can use it on.

    I've fired an email off to the Orange CEO - their customer relations team will reply no doubt saying "that's the way it is", but I've let them know I find it insulting to be charged after seeing the contract through (they won't care) and that I'll switch to O2 when the new iPhone comes out (they might care).
     
  4. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #4
    This is a very common misconception. They effectively give you the phone as a gift when you take the contract out. It's yours from that point onwards.

    That means that you can sell it, give it away, throw it off a cliff - whatever you want.

    That also means that if you lose it or break it, then the network is in no way responsible and that your contract will still continue (because it's for the service, not the phone).

    If they were to link the phone's ownership directly to the contract, then you would be able to argue in a court that you couldn't possibly keep up your end of the contract if the phone had been lost, stolen, damaged or had developed a fault.
     
  5. hobsgrg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #5
    Vodafone also unlock pay monthly customers for free. They unlocked my iPhone 4S for free just a couple days after I bought it.
     
  6. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #6
    Ah yes, so they do.

    Orange: £20.42 (Pay Monthly and PAYG)
    T-Mobile: £15.32 (Pay Monthly and PAYG)
    Vodafone: they say that they charge £19.99 for anyone in-contract and PAYG
    Three: £15.32 (Pay Monthly and PAYG)
    O2: £15 (PAYG), Free (Pay Monthly)
     
  7. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #7
    I don't really see why they need to lock contract phones anyway. PAYG makes sense, but with a contract, they make their money regardless.

    I'll probably just have to suck up and pay the £20, but I'll see what their customer relations team does. Probably give me free cinema tickets or something useless.
     
  8. hobsgrg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #8
    Where does that £19.99 charge for Vodafone come from?

    http://help.vodafone.co.uk/system/s...DISPLAY=SUBTOPICARTICLES&HANDLERMODE=NOJSPAGE

    It's free for contract customers and PAYG customers after 12 months of buying phone, doesn't say price for PAYG in first year though.
     
  9. reclusive46 macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    Regarding the iPhone, it seems like Apple makes them lock it, as Vodafone and O2 don't lock any of their other pay monthly phones and don't have any problem unlocking it the second you get the phone.
     
  10. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #10
    Why would Apple care?
     
  11. Azzin, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012

    Azzin macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #11
    Maybe Apple just offer the locking facility (as they hold the "whitelist" of unlocked phones) and Orange take them up on it?
     
  12. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #12
    Apple does not make them lock the phone.

    They all do it for commercial reasons.

    ----------

    People that have called Vodafone.
     
  13. Azzin macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #13
    The thing is, Apple don't care whether your phone is locked or unlocked, so why should the network operators?

    If you get one on a contract (with Orange as an example), then you will be paying Orange x amount of £s/$s each month for 12/18/24 months, so they have your money coming in regardless.

    Even if you lost the phone, you would still be liable for the remaining line rental, so they don't need to, nor should they lock contract phones or PAYG phones IMO.
     
  14. Matteoso macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    #14
    I am on Vodafone and have approx 1 year on contract. I phoned them and asked if they would unlock my 4s and they did, no problem and no cost. To be honest I was surprised, took a few days but they did it.
     

Share This Page