64 percent of MobileSyrup readers feel smartphones should be unlocked for free


  • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

    There’s one glaring missing option in the poll: Phone should not be locked in the first place.

    And what “cost” they need to cover? Therapeutic sessions on the stress of dealing with the 33 million they collected, just for getting a code from a database?

    • TomsDisqusted

      Absolutely correct. If a user switches carriers and doesn’t pay then they should go after that user the same way they do for anyone who who doesn’t pay their bills – this is not a unique situation at all. The only thing that is unique is using dead-beats as an excuse to hose everyone.

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      On top of that the carriers are already (ab)using the national blacklists for delinquent accounts, even though there is a rule that say they can’t. They just call everything “fraudulent” .

    • It’s Me

      Exactly. There is not one legitimate reason lock phones ever. Their reason is to extort more money that isn’t covered by the contract, such as out of country usages and using multiple carriers.

    • Mr Dog

      I agree that if you buy a phone outright from a carrier it should be unlocked for free.

      But when people buy their phones on contract, carriers usually do some amount of checking to make sure the device they are unlocking was not gotten for free on contract and then stopped paying after the 1st month.

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      That’s what the pre-sale credit check is for. And like TomDisqusted said below, this should be no different than any other delinquent account. You take it to collections.

      Locking serves no purpose other than gauging people for unlock fees and exorbitant roaming charges.

    • It’s Me

      They should do that checking. And that isn’t related to nor a valid excuse for locking phones ever.

    • Omis

      How’s locking the phones going to prevent that? It costs like $20 to unlock it from a third party. If they want to steal the phone, having to pay $20 to unlock it isn’t going to deter them.

      Locking the phones is just a final way to kick customers who switch carriers in the balls.

    • Laer

      Actually those phones are blacklisted, I am going to guess fairly quickly. And yes, buying a phone on contract and then selling it off for a quick cash grab on kijiji or something is a common scam.

      I am going to say so common that locking a phone offers no deterrent to these scammers.

    • Alex

      ya, the poll was kinda pointless in the end. Bad poll leads to misleading clickbait title. i’m sure with the right poll, it be at least 95% of MS readers believe phones should be sold UNLOCKED.

      “64% of MS Readers feel smartphones should be unlocked for free” makes it seem like 36% people think it shouldn’t.

  • Garrett Cooper

    58 people need to go home, they’re drunk.

    • It’s Me

      58 carrier employees. They aren’t drunk, just not very bright.

    • Jonathan Yorkowich

      I agree with you

  • Ben

    I’m sorry but how are locked phone still a thing in 2017? You either pay full price for the device up front, or through subsidy over 2 years … Why should it be locked to that carrier?

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      Sweet, sweet unlocking fees and roaming charges. Oh wait no, waiting for the carriers to come up with some BS excuse saying it’s locked for “consumer protection”.

    • grantdude

      I believe the official line is usually “to better serve our customers”

  • Captain Henry Morgan

    If you sign a 2 or 3 years deal with the provider, it makes sense that they should give the phone to you unlocked. It is just a money making scheme for them since you have to end up paying the penalty if you break the contract before it ends.

    And also, I would like to know what those 58 participants were smoking and voted NO. Unless they were executives from these mobile provider companies.

  • clee666

    Only cheap prepaid phones should be locked. There is no reason to lock a phone that we are paying full price or subsidized the full price over 2-3 years.

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      There is no subsidy at all on prepaid phones, which makes it even a less compelling justification to lock.

  • Bill___A

    I think they should not be locked in the first place. I try to make sure my phones are unlocked.

  • KiwiBri

    and the 36% remainder, work for the carriers

  • fred

    They should not be unlocked for free. It should be illegal to lock them, period.

    • colea

      Amen, brother.

  • Do Do

    LOL and 36% aren’t smart enough to understand or are shills

  • Xanth

    You BUY a phone, eventually pay it off completely… and yet they STILL hold power over it.
    They might as well just call a phone what it really is then… a mortgage / property tax setup.

    • fred

      When you finance a car, is it locked to a particular gas station brand? No? That would be as stupid as locking a phone to a carrier on the excuse that it is not paid in full.

    • formulaphone

      If you buy it outright yes. Once it’s paid off and actually yours, yes unlock it for free.

  • Raj Singh

    When subsidized, the phone company has paid for and owns the phone yet people want thousand dollar phones for 99 dollars and then act like they own them. That’s just not the case. But if you’ve paid for the phone and own it, it should be unlocked for free. It’s a cash grab for the company to charge the owner of the phone 50 dollars (or whatever) to unlock something their customer now owns.

    • colea

      When subsidized, I made a contract that I will pay my monthly plan for 24 months (for example). So then why lock it? It is very inconvenient for situations when you go to a country where roaming is not available or very expensive, and it’s much cheaper to use a local sim for 2 weeks. In that time I still pay my monthly, right?

    • formulaphone

      Yes. This. This right here.
      Until the phone is paid off, we don’t fully own it. Pretending we do is silly.
      But the option is ours, we can go buy them for full price and unlocked elsewhere if people really wanted unlocked devices.
      But what they actually want is cheap devices. And they come locked.

  • Jonathan Yorkowich

    I think after your contracts up your phone should be automatically unlock so you can use any provider of your choice