Update: Rogers will allow customers to unlock phones after 90 days, still costs $50

Ian Hardy

February 8, 2013 2:12 pm


The CRTC will holding hearings next week for their draft of the potential Wireless Code – one of the key points will be device unlocking. Many carriers offer this service, but is only available many months into a contract period and usually at a high cost.

If you’re one of 9 million Rogers customers and wanted your device unlocked you previously had to complete your full term contract, then pay upward of $50 (customers who purchased their wireless device at full price were able to unlock their phones at any time).

Today Rogers, in a surprise move, has just announced they’ll be changing up their unlocking policy effective March 2013. According to a post on their corporate blog they noted that “we’ll be changing our policy so that you no longer have to wait until you complete your full term commitment – you can unlock 90 days after activating your device on the Rogers network. We’re also making it even easier for you to have your phone unlocked by bringing it to any of our Rogers retail stores.”

No word on the exact date in March, but the cost has not changed at $50.

Update: Rogers sent us a note that the unlocking policy change is also for Fido and Chatr Wireless customers.

Source: Rogers

  • Robbers

    Meh. Not a big deal if you are LOCKED on a 3 year contract.

    • Jim Balsillie

      No…it simply means that it allows you the freedom to use the phone internationally, whether you’re in the US or overseas.

    • Kevin

      You’re not “locked” in a contract. If you want to get out of your contract you just pay off your phone subsidy.

    • Nexus

      Or buy an unlock code from ebay for $2.
      Blackberry unlocking is always free.
      Or buy a NEXUS!

    • Tom

      Have you heard of something called travelling internationally?

    • Dave

      Only iphone that worth the $50 unlock, the rest of others phone you could get it unlock from $10 to $30 max. Another example that Robber find their way to ripoff their royal custommers. You go … Robber!

  • screamer

    Cool. So I can remove all these stupid apps from rogers

    • Joe

      Unlocking your phone does not debrand it…

    • freestaterocker

      You can if it’s a Windows Phone.

    • Tom

      @freestaterocker: I don’t know if this applies to WP8, but on WP7 you can’t actually delete those carrier branded apps without using an interop unlock (similar to rooting Android or jailbreaking iOS). Your “delete” just removes the shortcuts from view, but doesn’t free any system memory.

    • villain

      @Tom… actually your completely wrong… WP7 and WP8 have always allowed to delete carrier apps. no exceptions

  • Still Getting a Nexus

    ..And I’m still getting a Nexus!

    -CRTC: Can you get over with the “talks” and “hearings from Canadians” and TAKE ACTION NOW! and BAN 3 yr contracts????

    After, that and only AFTER Banning 3yr contracts, could you take a look into the “unlocking fiasco”??
    Thanks CTRC!!

    • Eduardo

      So you’d rather have “deals” like the ones Fido has?
      S3 – $400 on 2 years
      Z10 – $350 on 2 years

    • Sean

      Or the Razr HD at $50 on a two year +data contract.

      OR Telus who has a One S on a two year no data contract for free ($350 subsidy)

    • crimsona

      Or Motorola RAZR HD for $50 on a 2 year contract… oh wait, that was actually a good deal, especially when the PC Mobile Shop gave up to $200 in gift cards on top.

    • Eduardo

      The RAZR is a good deal, the One S is a 10 month old phone that was the middle child from the beginning; decent phone but not comparable to the S3, One X, etc.

      I don’t like 3 year contracts any more than anyone here, but like some people say, if you don’t want 3 years, pay the full price, get a Nexus from the Play store. If ever the CRTC bans 3 year contracts and gives the phone companies free will for 2 year contracts, all we’ll see will be rebates like that… or higher monthly fees. Just check the S3 on AT&T it’s $200 plus a monthly plan of at least $70

  • tardis

    Nobody’s locking anyone into anything for 3 years. I don’t get all these ‘LOCKED into’ comments. You are free to leave any time.

    • thatshipislonggone

      really ?

      here let me tie you to this pole. there is no way to untie urself. heyy you are free to leave anytime. you just have to chop of ur arm.

    • pandap

      of course you have the freedom to leave anytime, just pay the $400(or is it still $400 nowadays?) Early Cancellation Fee plus the cost for the a new phone since your current phone is LOCKED to the network you just left and HENCE unusable in other networks

    • Quinn

      And buying a phone at $600 ISN’T costing an arm and a leg? What exactly are you losing by signing a contract with the provider you’re going to have service with anyways? If you cancel after a few months it would still be LESS than if you bought the phone outright. Clearly you anti-contract fanatics have no clue how to play the system.

    • Carlo

      I’m amazed at how many people still b?tch and moan about the old early cancellation fees not realizing that all the carriers brought in new cancellation fees are equal to what the balance of the phone subsidy was plus an admin fee (think it’s something like $12).

      Whether pricing almost all phones at $650+ is reasonable is a different story altogether.

  • DH

    I wonder if all retail stores will be able to do this or just Rogers Plus locations. Also methods of payment in-store or if it will just be billed to the next invoice. What about accounts which are not active or suspended. Maybe business rules will be the same but how to enforce them across all locations. It just seems like a liability to have stores doing this unless streamlined.

    • jack

      all unlocking are done over the phone with customer service. u do need an active account for them to charge you the 50$. they will not unlock for you if u dont have an account or you already cancelled. so if you want to unlcok, do it before you close your account.

      im not sure if you can borrow someone’s account to do the unlocking though, i think the phone has to be registered on the account.

  • brad

    Tardis…WRONG!

    • Carlo

      Actually he’s not wrong. Pay your balance and leave whenever you like. But then again, I guess it’s easier for someone like you to stay ign0rant and just post whatever you think it right. :-p

  • Peter.1

    TELUS has been offering any phone to be unlocked after 90 days by only charging $35 for a while now… Rogers late to the game and still more expensive…

    • huh

      Yes Telus has been doing this from the start and the unlock fee is only $35…
      Rogers you blow!

    • Rogers_Chris

      We’ve been unlocking devices since Dec 2010 though. #justsayin

    • Huh

      @Rogers_Chris I don’t care if you guys have been unlocking them from 1980 you guys need to stop with this Rogers were first bull because you screw people with the biggest poll you can find.

      How about you be the first to offer fair pricing policies.
      Just wait till the crtc drops the hammer this week.
      I hope you guys get sued back to the 80′s once they actually impose a conduct which will show Canadians how big of a scam you guys really are.

      Can’t wait for Rogers to be knocked of their high horse.
      Again you guys blow just sayin!

  • Happyboy

    And Rogers still sucks I’m so glad I’m not with Rogers anymore there network is horrible

  • Sweet

    A marginal improvement. It’s a far cry from what the draft Wireless Code and the Competition Bureau are proposing.

    The Competition Bureau wants the contracts split into two contracts: one is a service contract and one is a phone subsidy contract that would act like a loan and would thus persist as long as you have a balance on that subsidy, whether you’re still using the carrier’s service or not. I’ve been proposing this idea for a while because it’s really the most logical and fairest way of handling subsidies.

    And banning 3-year contracts is a fool’s quest. It will result in either higher initial purchase price for phones and/or higher monthly fees since the carrier will simply amortize the subsidy amount over 2 years or less.

    • DN

      This benefits the iphone users. Imagine having to wait 3 years before being able to unlock a subsidized iphone. At least for $50 and after 90 days, you can use a foreign sim when you go out of the country.
      Also until contracts drop to 2years, you can remember you can pay off your phone subsidy anytime, so stay for 2 year on your current rate plan, and pay of the remainder of your subsidy after that.
      As mentioned, going to 2years will likely just result in higher cost monthly rate plans to cover the subsidy.

    • deltatux

      What’s wrong with paying more initially for a phone? I rather do that than be forced to be locked into 3 years of service with them. 3 years is a death trap.

      People especially in North America really need to get rid of the notion that cell phones are either free or only $99. In reality, they cost more and the 3 years is what covers those costs but it’ll cost you more in the long run since you lose the flexibility to jump when there’s a better offer.

      I don’t mind paying $199 if that means the lock is only 2 years and many wouldn’t mind, only first time buyers would not like this idea.

    • John_hates_blackberry

      The Americans manage just fine with 2 year contacts.

  • oldschool

    What phones are still even worth $50 at the end of a 3 year term? Nice of Rogers to finally catch up with the real world and offer something a little more reasonable for all the iSheep who can’t get their phones unlocked from ebay for a few bucks.

  • JV

    Ummm you could just unlock your Android phone all on your own, when ever you want in less then 5 min doesn’t matter what carrier your with. lol Been doing it for years. lol Came in handy when i traveled to Europe.

    • T

      I had a huge argument with the CSR over unlocking an iPhone 4. In the end, I sold my phone and left Rogers.

      This policy came too late, too too late.

  • hoo dat

    The last 3 phones I unlocked cost me $3 each and that was even voluntary and I didn’t wait 90 days to do it.

    $50? What a rip-off!

    • Gary

      How’d you do that! That’s awesome! Could you let me in on the secret? Heading to Europe and the West Indies in the next several months.

    • hoo dat

      Freemyblackberry(dot)com

      They also unlock LG and HTC

    • Rogers_Chris

      The fee covers technical and administrative costs associated with providing this value-added service to our customers.

    • Glory

      And that costs $50, Chris? Come on, how dumb do you think people are? Telus offers it for $35, and Wind for $10 – something does not compute here…

    • jack

      lmao chris ahaha, the customer service rep needs like 2 minutes to unlock a phone and you’re telling me that costs $50?

  • Donald

    Yeah, use online unlocking services. Way cheaper than $50.

  • Ken

    Just pay the full cash price for your phone and forget about any contract. As for your phone plan pay monthly. Outside locking services are a lot cheaper than using your carrier for unlocking services. In the end you can move to any carrier you want that will give the best plan price wise. I know I did. To many BS rules in favor of the carriers.

    • seroevo

      The problem there is paying out $600-700 instead of $100.

      You’d have to be able to get savings or rebate of $15/month (on a comparable plan) on a month-to-month plan over 3 years in order to offset the $500 difference in cost of phone.

      You can always find cheaper plans, sure, but if the specs of the plan are not comparable – be it data limits, speed, coverage, etc – the cost is irrelevant.

      And either way, if the phone is damaged/lost/stolen you’re out the same cost to replace it.

  • MapleHamwich

    Lame. So even though you’d have to pay out your contract, which means you’ve fully paid for the phone, you still have to wait for 3 months before you could unlock your phone. Canadian telecoms are the worst. There really needs to be a major shakeup in this industry.

    • READ!!

      You should read before posting a comment:

      “you can unlock 90 days after activating your device on the Rogers network”

    • MapleHamwich

      90 days, 30 days a month, 3 months. You should take math.

    • READ!!

      You don’t have to pay out your contract… it can be done after three months/90 days after activating; not at the end of your contract and then wait 3 months

    • MapleHamwich

      I get that. But who is going to pay for two cell phone services at the same time. So unlock your phone 90 days after activation, then you’re still paying for your contract for the duration of your service contract. So unless you want to pay two service contracts (maybe leaving the country breifly), you will be buying out your contract to switch carriers.

    • READ!!

      They don’t care if you wanna switch carriers, it’s for people who travel that want to use their phone temporarily with another carrier. Either way, since you can unlock 90 days into your contract, it means that you can unlock it right at the end…

      It’s stu%!d anyway since you can do it online for way cheaper at any point

  • Brian

    Does Fido offer this. Am looking at buying an unlocked iPhone from Apple, but I have a couple hundred $ in Fido bucks. So buy an zero contract phone from Fido, pay the 50$ fee, and still be a ~150$ ahead.

  • emc

    You think Telus is bad at $35, or Rogers at $50. Try Bell, they charge $75. I ended up getting an unlock code off eBay for $2. And I highly doubt the CRTC will do anything to fix this given the care more about feeding coporate profits then protecting consumers. All this crap about a “Wireless Code”, all smoke and mirrors. Just watch and see how badly the consumers gets screwed…again

  • Kain

    This is somewhat improvement at least for iphone users as there isn’t a reliable 3rd party unlock from what I have seen. Everyone else can get unlocks for 2 bucks or so on eBay and the like, no waiting.
    It’s crazy though that you have to pay for an unlock. If you break contract and pay the fee, you still have to pay for unlock. If you buy phone outright, why should you pay for unlock? Phones should be sold unlocked only. Early termination fees make up for subsidy anyway!

    • unlocking

      Unlocking an iphone is really easy; you can do it yourself and you don’t have to pay anyone. You can buy the iphone unlocked from Apple… what are you complaining about?

  • DDDDDDDDDDDDD

    Does’t the warranty get voided if you unlock using a third party company?

    • Rogers_Chris

      Unlocking with us means manufacturers’ warranties will not be impacted.

    • sevenseven

      And unlocking through a 3rd party would mean I can buy lunch and coffee for 3 days with the money I save. The warranty is not voided either.

  • narci

    Why not just have the phones unlocked in the first place?

  • meh

    The stupid part is if we sign a 3-year contract and the phone subsidiary works like a tab now, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE LOCKED PHONES?

    If I leave, I pay for the difference, that’s like I am buying the phone already. So if I am buying the device with no subsidiary, why the F am I still locked?

    Thankfully in Toronto, you can easily get unlocked devices and unlocking services for way before $50. Or buy an Android that can be software unlocked. Haven’t kept up with iPhones, does Ultrasn0w or something like that work on the new iPhone 5?

    • Eduardo

      It’s called Evasi0n now.

  • Tom

    For all those saying how getting unlock codes online is dirt cheap or free – yes, the younger tech savvy generation is fully aware of that. Some models don’t even need codes to be unlocked – just pure software hacks (i.e. older iPhones and the HTC Desire Z) due to the hardware structure that makes the locking mechanism vulnerable to exploit.

    However, there are lots of tech-unsavvy people (usually older generation) and people who are just plain paranoid about online credit card/paypal transactions (I know far too many of these luddites) and Rogers is targeting THEM, not us. As the saying goes, “A fool and his money are soon parted”.

    My own mother almost paid $50 to get Fido to unlock a phone before I stopped her in time :/

    • Tom

      In comparison, parts of Europe and Asia (Singapore confirmed) now BAN the sale of carrier locked phones, and require carriers to unlock locked phones they previously sold if the customer requests it, at no charge.

      Even the carriers that do lock phones (i.e. Orange UK) give you the code for FREE after 90 days in good standing. I believe T-Mobile USA does it too.

  • johnmalone

    great work Rogers it’s about time, TELUS has been doing this the last 2 years for ONLY 35$

  • ile2010

    Don’t care for this as I haven’t been a Rogers customer in a long time and don’t plan on returning anytime soon.

    When they give me an option on buying the device outright and having it unlocked without requiring me to pay for a month of service, then I may care. Really Rogers, $50 to unlock and I still have to pay for a month and wait until the end of that month to have it unlocked?

  • obliviscor

    Got a lumia 920 from work, paid rogers $50 to unlock, then the phone went defective a few weeks later. Got my phone exchanged and tried to get rogers to unlock the phone again and they told me that it voids the warranty on the phone. absolutely ridiculous. I just went online and did it with someone else.

  • Jim R

    What’s the rationale for the 90 day wait? Exactly *what* changes on day 90 that makes it OK for Rogers to unlock the phone, whereas it’s not OK on day 89?

    The 90 day wait is BS. It’s also BS that the phone is sold locked in the first place. A locked phone is a crippled phone and it should be illegal to sell one.

  • Rogers_Chris

    No, this applies to all devices. Customers currently under a term commitment now have the option to have their device unlocked as long as the current device has been on their Rogers/Fido/Chatr account for a minimum of 90 days and the account is in good standing.

  • Miknitro

    It should have never been locked in first place, especially if it’s on a contract.

    Cash grab.

    • Rogers_Chris

      Our devices are optimized to work on the network for which they were purchased.

    • Jassica

      Chris, just stop posting. How do you sleep at night after lying to people day in and day out?

  • Tyrone

    I always have this debate with my bro I always buy my phone outright according to him it’s better if I go into a contract. I tell him your wasting more in the 3 years than paying it outright on the spot.

    50 dollars is a lot when you can go to Pacific Mall get your phone unlocked for 15-20 dollars in 15 mins.

  • Nathen

    That’s why i purchased 2 Nexus 4. 1 for ME and 1 for Wife.

    We loving it. No Carrier APPS, No Junk,No pay $5o to unlock.
    No BS whatsoever !

    Yes people….. FREE YOUR MIND!

    Nexus , its the only way to go. 8GB $309 16GB 349
    ….Contract FREE

  • Nathen

    YOU can not use any phone on ANY Carrier !!

    Be aware that a phone purchased on Rogers will not work on WIND , Mobilicity,T-Mobile, ect…. and Vice Versa .

    There are only a Few phones that will do that such as the Google NEXUS Brand of phone.
    Most people seem to think you can go to any Carrier once you unlock you phone. Simply NOT TRUE.

    Do your RESEARCH !

  • Nathen

    ” Our devices are optimized to work on the network for which they were purchased.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    Posted by Rogers_Chris | February 8, 2013, 5:43 pm ”

    Listen to this Rogers wanna be sales dude.

    L M A O !! So basically what he is saying is that if you currently own your Own phone you cant use Rogers because your device will not be optimized to work on there network!

    L M A O…..

  • Mojo

    @Rogers Chris
    What administration cost? You mean providing a code costs you money?
    The code should be given out for free because first of all it costs you nothing, second of all the person owns the phone and has either paid for it or will pay for it eventually.

  • Mojo

    I would say only iphone users would need to do this. every other phone user can ulock their phones for free or very cheap from ebay. Or let robbers rip you off.

  • KM16

    It’s good to know that in addition to trolling Howard forums, Rogers_Chris is trolling mobilesyrup as well.

  • Huh

    Rogers_Chris lives at home with his mom!

  • cheenachatze

    Why is it locked to begin with? It’s not like we get the phones for free with no strings attached. The CRTC should ban locking altogether. It serves no purpose whatsoever, other than squeezing the customers for more money, on equipment that they pay for several times over..