UK - Do not buy Sim Free from John Lewis or Carphone if you want Unlocked iPhone!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Pat too, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Pat too macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2012
    #1
    Now that Department Store, John Lewis have started selling the new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, I'm sure many buyers will be tempted to purchase one of their Sim Free models from there with offers of 2 year guarantee and free Click & Collect. But if you think 'Sim Free' means Unlocked then you gonna get a nasty surprise when you try to switch the sim card to a different network! From the small print in the iPhone specs:

    "Please note: iPhone will lock itself to the network of the first SIM card that is used in the phone. Subsequently attempting to use it on any other network, for example by replacing the SIM card, may mean it becomes permanently unusable. SIM free iPhones can only be used with a UK-network SIM card, and will not accept foreign SIM cards."

    Yes, this is exactly the same situation as Sim Free iPhones purchased from Carphone Warehouse which has infuriated so many buyers who have tried (many unsuccessfully) to unlock their phones. The retailers argue that the term 'Sim Free' simply means that the phone is sold without a sim card. But since pre-Smart phone days, most people have associated the term with 'off contract', hence unlocked. So, why on earth are Apple advising/allowing these retailers to sell these iPhones as 'Sim Free' ( which are the same price as fully unlocked Sim Free handsets from Apple themselves) causing so much confusion and disappointment?
     
  2. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

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    #2
    interesting post, surprised no one has replied, thanks for the info (although I'm sticking with my 12 month old 6 till next Sept)
     
  3. daijholt macrumors 6502a

    daijholt

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    #3
    This has nothing to do with John Lewis or Carphone. It's a network agreement that they lock their iPhones upon activation.

    The only issue you'll ever get is if you lock your iPhone to a network that has since died, I.e. T-Mobile or orange. You can't unlock these because those networks no longer exist, and EE use a wildly different system to what they used to which isn't compatible with the old baseband codes.

    Also, neither Carphone nor John Lewis possess the backend systems nor the legal permission under UK or EU law to unlock any handset, irrespective of where it was bought, so don't waste your time kicking off at them to do it because it's physically impossible for them to do so.

    Either way, this is why you should buy in store and not online; if you buy in store they'll tell you all this information at point of sale. If they don't, then you have the right to kick off.
     
  4. deaglecat macrumors 6502

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    #4
    why on earth would JLP agree to that ? CPW I can understand....
     
  5. d123, Sep 28, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015

    d123 macrumors 68000

    d123

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    #5
    There is a lot wrong in your post, it's just as easy to unlock an Orange locked or T-Mobile locked handset (in fact EE use the same MCC+MNC for locking as the old T-Mobile did). All 3 brands can be unlocked via the same unlocking form on the EE website.

    Also, the networks have nothing to do with why CPW lock their sim free handsets to first sim, it isn't a network issue (as no network is actually involved) and it isn't an Apple requirement as Apple allow Giffgaff to sell properly unlocked sim free iPhones and Three sell properly unlocked iPhones full price on PAYG and subsidised on contract.

    As a matter of interest, what EU or UK law do you think would prevent CPW from unlocking phones? It's entirely up to the companies involved who requests unlocking, and currently Apple has decided the networks need to do so, there is no law that mandates that.
     
  6. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

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    #6
    I thought you had _less consumer rights_ of cancellation etc if you signed up / bought instore in UK. Due to the 'distant selling act' / The Consumer Contracts Regulations (JLP have always been good to me with their 'no quibble' 28 day return and I trust them). Even though they did sell me an 'accidental cover' when they knew it was for business use. (Cover is for personal use only with their 'accidental mac cover') they were okay and refunded no problem. So information at point of sale at JLP is not always 100% explained correctly.

    They are my favourite retailer though by quite a margin, apple second (amazon for online).

    I do find the OP post very interesting though.
     
  7. unclemax macrumors regular

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    Sep 25, 2015
    #7
    I’ve lived in the UK for 8 years and haven’t heard about this practice. That is appalling! I have just checked John Lewis website and the iPhone 6s (16GB) price is the same as from Apple (£539)! This makes zero sense to me, why would anyone buy an essentially locked phones for a full price?
    I wonder who comes up with these policies? I can see how carriers have their phones locked so that they don’t carry two models, one for those who buy with contract, the others buying full price (still doesn’t excuse them from having complicated unlocking policies for such buyers). I can marginally see why CW would have such mechanism in place, since they offer contracts from all major carriers, and again, they can stock just one type of iPhone. But John Lewis does not sell carrier contracts, what moron decided to sell iPhones that lock when activated? And I used to shop at Waitrose every day for almost a year…
     
  8. deany macrumors 68020

    deany

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    #8
    John Lewis are such a good company they would probably change there policy if they read a post like this. As you probably know the big attraction of JLP is:

    Staff are lovely & well trained due to being 'partners' they are well paid with excellent Christmas bonus
    Fabulous shops
    28 day 'no quibble' return
    Will price match (except online)
    2 year guarantee instead of usual 12 month
    They were offering a FREE 3 year guarantee on macs iPads etc when I got my Retina MacBook Pro a few weeks ago.(this offer has recently expired)

    Its like some supplier has 'hoodwinked' JLP to offer such a ridiculous deal on the new iPhones. No idea who that could be?
     
  9. d123 macrumors 68000

    d123

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    #9
    Maybe the JL supplier is CarPhone...

    I've actually emailed JL and asked them to explain it, let's see if they answer.
     
  10. Pat too thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2012
    #10
    You can get yourself in a tricky situation if the sim card you use to activate is from a MVNO that goes under, like the infamous OVIVO Mobile. They operated on the Vodafone network, but since Vodafone did not sell you the phone and have no record of the IMEI on their database, why should they even bother to let you get it unlocked...Well, we don't even need to talk about the trouble with unlocking a phone on 'zombie' networks when operators like EE will try to fob you off and refuse to unlock for as long as possible.
     
  11. Azzin macrumors 68040

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    London, England.
    #11
    Someone in the main UK release thread was convinced by someone he/she phoned at JL, that it was a "website error" and the phones don't actually lock.

    I'm not convinced and won't be until I see it in writing from JL...
     
  12. Pat too thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
  13. d123 macrumors 68000

    d123

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    #13
    I asked the question to JL yesterday, other than an automated response they haven't bothered to answer yet.
     
  14. d123 macrumors 68000

    d123

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    #14

    So I've had a reply from John Lewis and it's not good news, they say it will lock to the first sim.

     
  15. coffeemadmanUK macrumors 6502a

    coffeemadmanUK

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    #15
    That's pretty poor really. I am not a fan of this policy.
     
  16. d123 macrumors 68000

    d123

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    #16

    Agreed, from the time CarPhoneWarehouse started doing it I thought it was sneaky and almost cheating the customer.

    You pay full price there should be no strings attached.
     
  17. Azzin macrumors 68040

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    London, England.
    #17
    This locking policy gives me rage, even though it doesn't affect me.

    IMO, there is no need for ANY phone locking in this day and age.

    Even if I get on phone on a contract, it shouldn't be locked. I take the phone on the premise that I will pay x amount of £s each month to the network provider.

    It's NONE of their business what I choose to do with my phone.

    If I decide to blend it, submerge it etc they should have no interest as long as I keep paying them the x amount of £s I agreed to on day 1.

    If I stop paying, then they'll still come after me legally, locking the phone won't change anything.

    It's an idiotic policy that is stuck in the dark ages and is just being done "because that's what we've always done".
     
  18. Pat too thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2012
    #18
    Yep, definitely very sneaky.

    So, I've just checked the John Lewis iPhone 6s listings (at 3.40pm) and the "Please note: iPhone will lock itself..." warning seems to have disappeared!??
     
  19. d123 macrumors 68000

    d123

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    #19
    I saw that posted in another thread, I've emailed JL back and asked the guy who responded this morning to please explain further, because if his email this morning was correct they are being even more sneaky by removing the warning and if they aren't locking the phones why did he email me with the wrong info.

    Let's see if he replies what he says.

    Ar*e from elbow springs to mind...
     
  20. Dan! macrumors member

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    Jan 23, 2011
    #20
    I put a three SIM in mine just in case it did lock (as it's easiest to get them to unlock) and after filling out their unlock form, I got a text saying my phone was already unlocked. I phoned them up to double check, and they confirmed that my phone was unlocked. Popped in my giffgaff SIM and it's working perfectly! Someone else also found this to be the case: https://www.avforums.com/threads/iphones-from-john-lewis-sim-free-or-not-tested.1983374/
     
  21. Azzin macrumors 68040

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    London, England.
    #21
    That's really good to know. I'm actually a little tempted to return my Apple one and get one from JL, purely so I can tell the next owner in September next year that it still has a 1 year JL warranty.
     
  22. Pat too thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2012
    #22
    Hmm, I get the impression that John Lewis rectified the situation at the last minute, if all their iPhones are now unlocked. They were allocated 'Carrier-type' iPhones just like those at CPW that lock to the first sim card inserted and so put a clear warning on their iPhone listings. After receiving thousands of inquiries from customers concerned about the situation, John Lewis probably decided that their reputation would suffer if they carried on selling a locked iPhone at full price and then later receive complaints from irate customers. So they negotiated with Apple to get their 'Carrier-type' iPhones whitelisted and unlocked. Anyway, that's just a wild guess from yours truly...

    Now, what John Lewis needs to do is to take a leaf from Currys' book (I'd never thought I would ever say that...) and put the word "unlocked" clearly in their iPhone listings. Currys.co.uk have listed iPhone 6s with, "Genuine Sim Free & Unlocked - No Network Branding"!
    http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/phones...-iphone-6s-64-gb-space-grey-10138626-pdt.html

    Okay Carphone Warehouse, if your sister company can sell fully unlocked iPhones, don't you think it's about time you put a stop to this sneaky Sim-Free shenanigans!?
     

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