VZW won't let me unlock my out-of-contract iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SHNXX, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. SHNXX macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #1
    Hello folks

    I bought the iPhone 5 ages ago and the thing is nearly a piece of junk (battery life sucks and it freezes up occasionally).

    Because I'm not in the country, I had someone call VZW to cancel my phone account and ask them to unlock it.
    Unfortunately, she was told that they cannot unlock it:

    "They told me that it can't be used with another carrier unless it's outside of the US and then you'd have to talk to that carrier"

    What the ****???
    How is it possible that they won't unlock my iPhone that is now out of contract and I was with them for two years?
     
  2. Cozmosis macrumors member

    Cozmosis

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #2
    The iPhone 5 is already unlocked from Verizon.
     
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
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    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #3
    Congrats.
    Your iPhone is fully unlocked from the 1st day you bought it.
    I'm surprised you didn't try sticking a sim inside to check for yourself before calling.
     
  4. Sparkeze macrumors 6502a

    Sparkeze

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    Location:
    Indiana
    #4
    Yeah, you don't have to do anything. I switched to tmobile in January and they activated it at the store and ported my number, then Verizon sent ETF bill a couple weeks later so I wasn't even out of contract at the time.
     
  5. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #5
    oh wow that is great.

    so I guess I should be able to use this phone in china?
     
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Location:
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    #6
    On any gsm carrier in the world.
    Not sure if all bands are compatible and supported by your specific carrier in China but should be easy to find out.
     
  7. Sparkeze macrumors 6502a

    Sparkeze

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    #7
    Just FYI, using a Verizon 5 sucks on tmobile and Verizon is cdma and tmobile gsm so...you might want to check that out
     
  8. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Location:
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    #8
    The Verizon iPhone 5 is fully unlocked for gsm use so it works.
    It does not make a difference wether Verizon is cdma.
     
  9. Sparkeze macrumors 6502a

    Sparkeze

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    #9
    I know it works, but I would not call edge speeds all the time working fine.
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #10
    True, that part does suck#
    Hope he gets 3G at least with his Chinese carrier.
     
  11. Sparkeze macrumors 6502a

    Sparkeze

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    #11
    It's basically worthless off wifi. Luckily I'm almost always on wifi. I knew it wouldn't get LTE on tmobile but I did not expect E all the time. I think there's a way to check via model number which iPhones will work with what carrier internationally
     
  12. anonymous82 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    #12
    I was able to use my Verizon iPhone 5 in Vietnam 2 years ago, so I guess you can use it in China with any GSM carrier. Verizon iPhone since the 5 are factory unlocked by default. It can be used with other carrier in the US, except Sprint. Just check Apple website under the iPhone section and you will see the specs of all iPhone models.
     
  13. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #13
    china has multiple carriers.

    which bands does this verizon iPhone 5 have?
    For that matter, if I buy the iPhone 6 from T-Mobile, which band does that one have for use in China?
     
  14. Sparkeze macrumors 6502a

    Sparkeze

    Joined:
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    Indiana
    #14
    I have no idea, but I know there's a way to figure out both of your questions on the apple website.
     
  15. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #15
    You just need to find a carrier that uses GSM and sells SIM cards. Unfortunately it looks like the major Chinese carriers like China Mobile use CDMA which is the part of Verizon iPhone 5's that are locked. There should be no reason why they wouldn't unlock it if your contract is up, and you're going abroad. I'd escalate to someone higher up.
     
  16. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16

    So the only way to unlock CDMA is through verizon?
     
  17. Sparkeze macrumors 6502a

    Sparkeze

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    #17

    But you're using it outside the U.S. so does it matter if it's unlocked?
     
  18. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #18
    They don't unlock CDMA but I'm not actually sure if it's even locked in the first place. Theoretically, you can use SIM with CDMA, too. It's just that Verizon and Sprint didn't use it until recently. I've heard reports of folks being able to use Verizon phones on Sprint with easygoing service reps who add the device's ESN to Sprint's whitelist so I don't think the phones are actually locked. I think it was just a matter of Sprint and Verizon not allowing "foreign" devices on their networks and it's not like their old CDMA phones could work on AT&T's or T-Mobile's GSM networks.
     
  19. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #19

    I thought u can't use the phone with foreign carriers' SIM if the phone is locked?

    sorry I don't really know how the locking to carriers works.

    ----------

    This is actually important for iPhone 6 too because I will be buying 4 iphone 6 to use in China as soon as I'm back in the US but I don't want to do that if I cannot use the 4G (China has some weird TD LTE standard... Government bs regulation)
     
  20. Sparkeze macrumors 6502a

    Sparkeze

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    Indiana
    #20
    Well this forum is full of people complaining that Chinese people are scalping iphone 6's and sending them back to China...so I'm guessing they work there
     
  21. SHNXX thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    #21

    That's probably true but apparently people here still use 3G for the most part...
    Chinese internet really really ****ing blows.
     
  22. Sparkeze macrumors 6502a

    Sparkeze

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    Location:
    Indiana
    #22

    If you're already there just take your 5 to a carrier and try to get it set up. And while you're there, ask if a US iphone 6 gets LTE through them.
     
  23. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    #23
    Verizon plain sucks. Did you know that they can and will cancel your service without warning if you swear while on the phone with them? Yeah....if you swear. It's happened to two friends of mine. They act like they control you. I actually just switched to Verizon one week ago and have been contemplating leaving already due to horribly rude and arrogant customer service agents.
     
  24. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #24
    The currently available ATT/VZW/TMO iPhones don't support the TD-LTE bands. The Sprint version does but good luck getting Sprint to unlock that.
     
  25. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
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    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #25
    Lol#
    Really?
    Just by swearing at a customer service rep?
     

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