Here’s everything you need to know about Canada’s unlocking fee ban

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The ban on locking fees was, without a doubt, the most significant change to Canada's Wireless Code announced this June.

The fee, currently $50 CAD at Rogers, Bell and Telus, was labeled "toxic revenue" by Freedom Mobile during the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) review of the Wireless Code in March, and was denounced by consumer advocacy groups, including the Public Interest Advocacy Group (PIAC) and National Pensioners Federation.

On June 15th, the CRTC came out with its Wireless Code revisions and officially ruled that there would be no more carrier-locked phones as of December 1st, 2017. Specifically, the CRTC ruled that customers who own locked devices would be entitled to free unlocking upon request beginning on that date, while all newly purchased devices would have to be be sold unlocked.

At the time, the CRTC's then Chairman, Jean-Pierre Blais, said that his only regret was not making the decision sooner.

“Frankly, that’s one case where I think my gut was telling me we probably should’ve forced unlocking,” said Blais, in an interview with the Financial Post. “It would’ve helped three years sooner, a more dynamic marketplace.”

Now that we're approaching the day the ban comes into effect, MobileSyrup has reached out to stakeholders from the Canadian wireless industry -- from carriers to industry activists and analysts -- to nail down key details.

Which carriers will actually sell all devices unlocked and which will sell locked devices with instructions? How will the unlocking process work for the various carriers? What does this mean for roaming? What might this do for wireless competition in Canada?

Read on to find the answers.

   The breakdown

  • A new ban on unlocking fees is coming into force on December 1st in Canada

  • Canada's telecom commission mandated all new phones must be sold unlocked, and all locked phones must be unlocked at no charge 

  • Previously, carriers locked phones to their networks

  • If customers wanted to switch to another carrier's network, they had to pay a fee of around $50

  • Canada's telecom commission mandated the ban to encourage competition

  • It also allows for Canadians to more easily purchase and use roaming SIMs or SIMs from international carriers

  • Some carriers are still selling out stock of locked phones, but will provide instructions for free unlocking at point of purchase

Carrier unlocking processes and opinions

MobileSyrup sought comment from all major Canadian carriers on the subject of the unlocking fee ban, requesting information on customer awareness methods, the unlocking process and whether all devices will be sold unlocked.

All carriers espoused confidence that their services were robust enough to guard against customer or roaming fee loss and Freedom Mobile -- one of the main instigators of the change -- indicated it was anticipating some new activations from current customers, stating: "Our customers now benefit from being able to bring their unlocked phones to our network."

It should be noted, however, that Freedom Mobile's LTE network is still largely comprised of Band 66 LTE spectrum, which isn't compatible with most devices released in North America before 2016. The carrier is working on adding more broadly-supported LTE spectrum to its network, with the Greater Toronto Area expected to be fully upgraded by Spring 2018. 

Find details on the unlocking process and communication strategies from the various carriers below.

Note: Since publication, readers have asked if they can still get their phones unlocked if they are no longer a customer with a particular carrier. MobileSyrup has reached out to carriers for response.

So far, Bell has responded, stating: "We will unlock Bell devices for current and former customers with accounts in good standing. The device cannot have been reported as lost or stolen."

The information is echoed on its new unlocking support page. 

Telus' support page states devices eligible for unlocking are locked to the Telus network and not flagged as lost or stolen. 

Rogers' page says it can only unlock devices "directly purchased from Rogers."

Rogers

Customer awareness: "Customers will be notified of the change through a bill message (which will include a link to the CRTC Consumer checklist) and updates will be made to the Rogers, Fido and Chatr websites."

Unlocking process: "Customers who have any questions about the changes to the Wireless Code or who currently have a device they would like unlocked can feel free to contact us directly."

Will all devices be sold unlocked? "For devices in our inventory that remain locked, we will provide a sticker on boxes with instructions on how to unlock the device, including the code."

Fido

See Rogers' response.

 

Chatr

See Rogers' response.

Telus

Unlocking process: "If customers have a locked TELUS or Koodo device, they can call us to have it unlocked at no charge; if they are visiting one of our stores, a TELUS team member will provide them with instructions on how to have their devices unlocked."

Will all devices be sold unlocked? "Since early November, the majority of the devices we have sold have been unlocked, including the Essential Phone, Google Pixel 2, iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X."

Koodo

See Telus' response.

Public Mobile

Public Mobile doesn't sell devices anymore, but for older devices, refer to Telus' response.

Bell

Unlocking process: "As of December 1, Bell customers can request to have their device unlocked for free through the MyBell app or by contacting Client Care. Customers will be provided with an unlocking code and instructions specific to their device, generally within a couple of hours."

Will all devices be sold unlocked? "All new devices sold by Bell will be unlocked or come with unlocking instructions."

Virgin Mobile

See Bell's response.

 

Freedom Mobile

Will all devices be sold unlocked? "We began selling a variety of unlocked devices to customers in September."

Vidéotron

Customer awareness: "We will continue to communicate with our clients in the same way as we currently do: through social media, web, and our customer service agents."

Unlocking process: "It’s the same process as today. The customer can reach us by phone via our customer service or visit any of our retail outlets."

Will all devices be sold unlocked? "We are aligned to meet the CRTC’s December 1st deadline. Upon this date, all devices will be sold unlocked."

BellMTS

See Bell's response.

SaskTel

Customer awareness: "SaskTel is taking a proactive approach to educate our customers on the changes to the Wireless Code. In December, all wireless customers will receive either an email or letter from SaskTel describing the upcoming Wireless Code changes. Bill messages and bill inserts will also be included with all December wireless bills. In addition, we have information about the changes to the Wireless Code on our website at www.sasktel.com/wirelesscode."

Unlocking process: "As of November 28, customers who have already purchased locked devices from SaskTel can request their unlock code at any SaskTel Store or Authorized Dealer, by calling 1-800-SASKTEL or online, via our SaskTel Support chat, free of charge."

Will all devices be sold unlocked? "Beginning November 28, all SaskTel devices sold will either be unlocked out of the box or SaskTel will provide the customer the means to unlock the device at time of purchase."

A whole new roaming landscape

While the unlocking fee ban was put in place largely in hopes of stimulating more competition in the Canadian wireless market, it also gives consumers easy and inexpensive access to more roaming options. With an unlocked device, customers of Canadian telecoms can purchase prepaid or tourist plans from foreign telecoms when travelling, or use a dedicated roaming SIM, like the ones sold by KnowRoaming or Wraptel, among others.

The two roaming companies mentioned above are Canadian, and both told MobileSyrup they're excited about the change.

"I'm looking forward to when all Canadians can take advantage of the benefits of unlocked phones," said Wraptel CEO Pat DiNunno. "It's long overdue."

KnowRoaming CEO Gregory Gundelfinger echoed that sentiment, adding that there's some confusion over what unlocking means among most consumers currently.

"I get asked all the time if this breaks your device, or voids some sort of warranty—the answer is no," says Gundelfinger.

"Telcos simply request the device manufacturer to lock the phone with software to ensure the phone the telco sells can only be used on their network, unlocking brings the device back to its original state. Locking phones has always been an effective way for carriers to reduce churn and keep mobile costs high. Globally, locking phones has been deemed as an anti-competitive practice. Canada and the USA have been behind the rest of the world in enforcing this pro-consumer policy."

Comment from the consumer groups

Interestingly enough, consumer groups aren’t immediately concerned about the implementation of the updates on the part of the carriers.

Cynthia Khoo acts as counsel for digital rights advocacy group OpenMedia. She also served as counsel for the Forum for Research and Policy in Communications -- one of the groups that lobbied the CRTC to revise the Wireless Code in the first place.

Not only does Khoo believe that the Wireless Code revisions are great news for consumers, she’s also not terribly worried about carrier implementation.

“It seems like it’s excellent news for consumers,” said Khoo, in a phone interview with MobileSyrup. “This is something that has been a thorn in consumers’ sides for a long time.”

Granted, Khoo does have some reservations about customers recognizing that “not all service providers’ networks are created equal.”

“This is something that has been a thorn in consumers’ sides for a long time.”

Cynthia Khoo, OpenMedia

“If you’re with Provider A and you have a certain device and you decide you want to leave Provider A to go to Provider B, I certainly recommend you speak to Provider B before you a make a move and tell them what kind of device you have and make sure it’s compatible with the new provider’s network," said Khoo.

Howard Maker is the head of the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS). It’s the federal agency that serves as the CRTC’s complaints department. Canadians can submit formal complaints to the CCTS in the event that Canadians telecom service providers have infringed on existing laws, have failed to adequately explain services to customers, or have simply made a mistake that needs rectifying.

Even Maker doesn’t expect the Wireless Code updates to generate a deluge of complaints.

“I think the new requirements under the Wireless Code as of December 1st are pretty clear,” said Maker, in a phone interview with MobileSyrup. “I haven’t seen any indication that the service providers don’t understand them."

However, Maker did state that “any new requirement is subject to interpretation,” suggesting that a potential issue with the implementation of the new Wireless Code will come down to a matter of adhering to the letter of the new regulations versus acknowledging the spirit of the new rules.

“We know that some of these wireless providers are huge businesses and so the regulatory guys look at it and pass along information to the business unit and the business unit passes informaiton down the food change to the frontline agents, and sometimes messages get mixed or blurred from the top of the house to the bottom,” said Maker.

John Lawford, a representative for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), has his own reservations. While he thinks the Wireless Code update is ultimately a good thing for customers, he’s not convinced that carriers will fully uphold their end of the bargain.

“There will for sure be problems,” said Lawford, in an interview with MobileSyrup. “I’m very doubtful that it’s going to be a smooth experience.”

"There will for sure be problems. I'm very doubtful that it's going to be a smooth experience."

John Lawford, PIAC

Lawford is concerned that carrier customer service representatives will not be able to handle the influx of customers looking to unlock their devices on December 1st, 2017. He’s also concerned that carriers will enforce their own unlocking policies.

“Like, well we don’t unlock that [phone] or you gotta talk to the [original equipment manufacturer], you gotta... come down to the actual office in the shopping mall and we’ll unlock it there," said Lawford. "Something inconvenient, rather than just doing it on the phone or over the internet like you should be able to.”

There’s also the issue of the roughly $37 million that carriers are expected to lose now that they won’t be able to charge unlocking fees. Lawford, Khoo and Maker all emphasized that they weren’t prepared to speculate on how precisely carriers will recoup those losses.

“The answer is I don’t know,” said Maker. “Each wireless provider is their own business, has its own business model, [and] will feel the impact of this lost revenue in different amounts. There’s no way that I can predict what any particular provider would do. I wouldn’t even guess.”

Lawford specified that the $37 million is not an especially large sum for Canada’s carriers.

“I don’t know if the revenue lost is so terribly big that they’ll try to make it up elsewhere,” said Lawford. “Most of the revenue comes from overage fees, that’s why you see Telus and Rogers resisting changing their billing practices... I think unlocking was $37 million, that’s chicken feed for the Big Three.”

More than just unlocking fees

The unlocking fee ban news is certainly exciting, but the upcoming Wireless Code update is about more than just unlocking fees.

Carriers have also been tasked with making sure that consumers have a better understanding -- and greater control -- over their data buckets. Canadians with certain accessibility needs will also be allowed to use up their full voice, text and data allotments during an extended 30-day trial period. Additionally, all Canadians will have access to half of their wireless plans talk, text and data buckets during an initial 15-days trial period.

However, two carriers -- Rogers and Telus -- have already submitted extension applications to the CRTC in order to have more time to implement the CRTC’s data overage rulings. The CRTC has yet to rule for or against the extension, which means that there remains a possibility that neither Rogers nor Telus will be able to fully implement the Wireless Code updates on December 1st.

MobileSyrup asked the CRTC for comment on the updated Wireless Code. The commission said that carriers are expected to implement the updates by the predetermined date.

On the subject of the Rogers and Telus extension, the CRTC said that it is not prepared to comment on ongoing discussions.

For most consumers, however, December 1st can’t come quickly enough. After all, the CRTC’s decision is perhaps one of the most pro-consumer stances taken by the commission under former CRTC chairperson Jean-Pierre Blais.

At the very least, it’s a sign that Canada’s telecom market can shift in a way that works for consumers.

Other Wireless Code changes

  • The account holder must — by default — be the one who consents to data overage and data roaming beyond the established caps of $50 for data overage and $100 for roaming

  • Data overage and roaming caps apply on a per account basis, regardless of the number devices on the account

  • All Canadians have access to half of their plan's talk, text and data buckets during 15-day trial period

  • Canadians with accessibility needs have access to full voice, text and data buckets for 30-day trial

Comments

  • About time for this to happen.

    I never understand why locking is needed in the first place other than fattening up the wallet of the big three.

    Now that Freedom is selling the iPhone, re-farming Band 4 in the progress and deploy band 7, the days where the big three locked you in a contract and strained you with the locked phone is gone.

    • John Lofwire

      you dont understand how business want to make profit?

      That is very strange lol.

      As much as i agree about having unlocked device as i also prefere that there is more than just this info to take into account.

      Higher quality network and internet speed is something you pay for.. i tried freedom mobile and after 1 week i just put the prepaid sim card in the garbage voice call quality was lower and internet speed was a joke.

      but for someone who dont want to spend much and can live with this its a good option.

      Its like cars you can pay for more features and quality or go for the cheap brand.

    • Turbojugend

      And Freedom which has the coverage of a baseball field……………

    • Brandon Arneson

      All of their new plans have free canada roaming included except for the Home Plans so there shouldnt be any complaints about their coverage because you can roam for free off the big3. I am on their best plan the Everywhere50 plan and i enjoy it a lot. My data just gets throttled when roaming after i pass the full speed allotment of data just like it does in the home zones

  • Sandro

    There is something I understand it is in a gray zone. I have an iPhone in my drawers (that I use to iOS development). It used to belong to a friend, and it is locked to Bell. I’m not a Bell customer. Can I request anyway an unlock code?

    • John Lofwire

      No you cannot you need to be a customer of the carrier sorry.

    • David

      This seems absolutely ridiculous that I have to try to track down the original owner of the iPhone I bought to have it unlocked! Why does it matter who originally bought the phone? All phones are allowed to be unlocked as of Dec 1st. The phone warranty travels with the phone, why are they making us jump thru hoops for something they are being ordered to do? I hate the big 3.

    • John Lofwire

      Go read the full decision of the CRTC they are the one who worded it that way to as usual let a loophole..

    • Waqqas Khokhar

      Just find a friend who is with Bell (or used to be). They just have to call in, give any of their current or past Bell cell phone numbers, after which they will be asked for the IMEI and emailed the unlock code with a link to instructions. “That’s it.”

  • DixonDiaz

    Sadly, the Big 3 will just find a new way to make up the lost revenue and present it as “listening to our customers needs and provide value blah blah blah”

    • John Lofwire

      Its called running a business based on making profit..
      Even if there is nothing like this happening the goal is still to make more every years.

    • DixonDiaz

      Of course they need to increase revenues to satisfy shareholders but why not do it through value propositions instead of being sneaky and shady? Why not try to increase subscription based with truly competitive plans and services to earn that revenue or……is that too much to ask?

    • John Lofwire

      More data usage = more load on the network and slower overall speed unless you upgrade everything from transport line ( fiber optic between servers and antenna ) the servers that handle everything ect.

      So if they give more data they will have to also spend more * wich is not something any corporations want *

      Increased value always cost something at some point the goal is to make more with less that how corporation always worked and always will.

      So its the corporate greed that need to disapear and its wont because those elite control everything even politician.

    • aaron

      No, its called monopoly because the big 3 destroy/buyout the “new kid” on the block. When there is no competition they can charge whatever they want

    • John Lofwire

      It’s called life that how the lovely capitalist world work.

      Lots of Monopoly in each country.

      It’s the law of life as well the strong survive the weak die out.

    • aaron

      Sadly, that’s how it goes

  • Ryan

    Eastlink has been my carrier for a while and I have 0 complaints

  • danakin

    At its base this is a welcome step forward.
    The cynic in me, however, can’t help but envision Canadian carrier decision makers huddled together, marginally annoyed, looking to find multiple ways to recoup any lost revenue.
    I’ve been on unlocked devices since 2012 and hope everyone will soon enjoy the same benefits without carrier counterpoint.

    • John Lofwire

      That is wishfull thinking.

      Any corporation goal is to increase profit year over year.

    • danakin

      You’re right on both counts.

    • Turbojugend

      Device costs are about to go up $50. You think carriers will eat the $34 million dollar loss?

    • danakin

      Nope. They have shareholders to answer to.

    • Russ

      Anyone could have chosen unlocked devices long ago (as you and I did), if they were willing and able to pay the full price up front. I think a lot of the headaches would have been avoided if carriers marketed phones as “$800 spread over 24 months with no interest” instead of “$200 on a two-year contract”. All this has done is encourage people to sign long-term contracts to save money up front, and then complain that they can’t get out of their contracts without incurring penalties.

      I guess I wish that carriers would communicate the “real” cost of a two-year plan, and that consumers would put in a little more effort to understand what they’re agreeing to before signing on the dotted line.

    • danakin

      I agree that carriers could and should make the costs/payment structures more simplistic. At the same time consumers bear some of the responsibility for not doing their due diligence. Too many people who could afford to buy unlocked, up front, chose to be lured by the siren song of a “low” device cost.

    • Russ

      I miss the days when a 10% sale was a great deal, and Boxing Day was a one-day event. I feel like we all had a much better appreciation for the real value of services and products, and we were happier with fewer possessions. Now, everything is about getting the best possible deal, and I admit that I’m not immune to it.

      I’m pretty neutral on Steve Jobs, but I like that he established the value of Apple products and didn’t allow them to go on massive discounts. I personally won’t pay those prices, but I appreciate why others are willing to do so.

      I also liked when Elon Musk put out a memo to dealerships stating that there are no discounts on Teslas, because the sticker prices reflect the actual values of the cars. He was basically saying that you shouldn’t have to get a discount to justify buying a Tesla, and if you don’t want to buy it at full price, someone else will. I respect that mentality.

  • Bill Patrick

    “”Since early November, the majority of the devices we have sold have been unlocked, including the Essential Phone, Google Pixel 2, iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X.”

    LOL! Pixel phones and Nexus phones have always been sold unlocked.

    • John Lofwire

      Those are examples. mostly 90% of all device sold at Telus since november are unlocked out of the box.

    • Corey Proulx

      Samsung phones say “NU” (network unlocked) on the label, and LG devices will say “unlocked”. All Apple devices are currently already unlocked and the ‘examples used have always been unlocked.

    • monkeymo

      Actually the 6P was locked to the carrier it was sold through

  • John Lofwire

    Just to give an update.

    Phone currently on bigger account ( 16 lines and more based on the wireless code ) signed under 3 years agreements are not included in this and wont be unlocked for free. ( yes 3 years agreements are still allowed for bigger business and corporate account )

    New device sold no matter if no term , 2 years or 3 years will all be sold unlocked started 1 of december.

  • basesloadedwalk

    I’m wondering what happens if you have a Telus branded locked phone and are using it on Public mobile. Will Telus need to unlock this phone? What about people with locked phones whom are no longer customers of the carrier it is locked to. Do the carriers have to unlock those non-customer’s phones as well?

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      My exact question also.

    • David

      I keep being told you have to have an account with them (Rogers) and be the original owner. So for all who have bought used phones from kijiji, you better hope you still have the number of the person you bought it from and hope they are willing to sit and wait on hold for who knows how many hours to unlock your phone. This is completely unacceptable. Any news on the rumour that Apple was going to push the unlock to all iPhones in Canada thru the air? That would avoid this problem for iPhone users.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      Basically just trying to make the process more difficult. I guess if Apple did a wholesale unlock would be great as it’s mostly iPhones that are problematic to unlock. Android phones I’ve always been able to get cheap unlock codes off eBay.

    • Gary R

      This is a good question that mobilesyrup should comment on. A lot of people have bought a used phone off someone else. Can owner B or C contact the wireless carrier and ask them to unlock the phone not being a customer of theirs?

    • basesloadedwalk

      I second that, MobileSyrup, can you look into this answer for us?

    • Waqqas Khokhar

      I would say yes, as I called in and had 8 phones unlocked, all of which were acquired second-hand.

    • dunk_man

      Same situation, I have a Telus locked Iphone 6s bought on Kijiji and it
      is locked but I am using it on Public Mobile but can I get that
      unlocked? Can you check @Mobilesyrup ? Thanks.

    • Rose

      Following up, thanks for the suggestion!

    • David

      As your chatting with your contacts, please ask them what people who have bought used phones or have ended their contracts are suppose to do if they can’t contact the original owner of the phone? Are we just never going to be allowed to have our phones unlocked because of a stupid technicality? I mean these companies were paid for these phones…that’s why they are locked to them. They are not doing us some favour, they have made there money from the phones, unlock them all please!

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      Just PM a mod on the Public Mobile forums, they’lll unlock it for you. They have been unlocking Telus and Koodo phones for quite some time.

  • Can’t Fix Stupid

    So let’s get this straight. Rogers blows $100 mln on that Vice slop but a few bucks from unlocking fees has them all up in arms? Whatever their cut of the $37 mln is.

  • Jahtawi Holness

    I agree, there should be a website where you can get the process done (i.e. provide IMEI and when they get the green light, you get the unlock). Should not matter if you were the original owner or are still with the Carrier… Next step: getting a ruling that forces them to push all Android OS/ firmware updates to the devices in a timely manner

  • Jordan Hughes

    So what if you have a phone that is half way through the contract. Are you still able to go to the carrier and say that you want it unlocked?

    • lusky3

      Yes.

  • Tim3Tripp3r

    Mobile Syrup, What about tablets – as in tablets with SIM cards? Lots of tablets sold (both iOS & Android) by Robellus, I haven’t seen any mention of the implications of the new code on these devices.

    • Rose

      The same rules apply to tablets that are locked to Canadian carrier networks!

  • They’ll find ways to make that money back like boosting up the phone prices…i noticed that bell sells the iphone x at 1350$ and on apples site its 1320

  • Ipse

    Excellent comprehensive article. Thank you.

  • Captraider

    So can people who bought phones second hand call original carrier and have it unlocked? Will carriers unlock it without checking to see if it was stolen or not?

    • Corey Proulx

      you’ll need a proof of purchase. I can guarantee they will look to see if it’s blacklisted beforehand

    • Laer

      Honestly, if it’s blacklisted it doesn’t matter if it’s locked or not. It will end up on the CTIA global blacklist. I’m not sure how many countries that is but it’s all major NA countries, the EU, and others.

      The only people successfully stealing phones will be international crime syndicates.

  • heynow00

    I heard iPhones are just getting an update sent to them to unlock them, is this correct?

    • Word

      I also read this somewhere and was wondering if anyone can confirm this

  • Buddie Lee

    I just got my iPhone se unlock with

    Public Mobile.
    Purchased year ago on Kijiji.

    • Russ

      Ditto for my used Samsung S8 purchased earlier this year. Just had to send a private message with my IMEI to the Moderator Team in the PM Community, and they sent me back an unlock code after verifying my account.

    • David

      Which company was your iPhone SE locked to?

    • Buddie Lee

      Koodo

  • beyond

    Why would anyone want their phone unlocked? Thats a recipe for a security disaster, leaves your phone vulnerable to hackers. No thanks I’ll keep mine safe and locked.

    • PT

      Are you pretent to be stupid or are you really born stupid?

    • AMB_07

      Unlocking a phone means being able to use it on any carrier you like. It’s not something akin to jailbreaking or rooting your phone by bypassing or exploiting security flaws in the phone’s software so it doesn’t open up your phone to hackers

      In other words: 100% safe and risk-free.

    • Goldfinch

      imagine you pay $40K for a new car but the back seat is inaccessible because the doors are welded and there is a barrier inside the car that prevents you from getting there. The dealer tells you, you have to pay me $10K to unlock the doors and remove the barrier. How about that?

  • Fox Milton

    Al sounds really nice. But Freedom Mobile. Can you tell to the general public about your “monkey business” selling Sony XPeria, defective phones? I was a Freedom Mobile customer, I always paid my bill on time and the day when I asked for help about the two defective units, (Yes, because I have one line for my wife and the other for my personal use), nobody helped me, I needed a replacement unit, due to the nature of my job, a cell phone was essential, but Freedom Mobile just said NO. When I refused to pay the bill until the situation was solved, they just sent me to collections. Who cares, it is just a customer!!! But the worse part is they kept selling these phones knowing they had many problems with the touch screen and the software. I wonder how many other customers are having problem with Sony XPeria from Freedom Mobile!!

    • Cody Williams

      Do you think Freedom Mobile will respond to you here? Do you think they read this particular news piece?

  • basesloadedwalk

    Happy Phone Independence Day everyone!! It’s finally here! My phones are already unlocked, but for the people attempting to get theirs unlocked today or in the next few days, let us all know about your experience and share your story here with us.

  • D.C.

    Need clarification…..

    So if i have a few phones sitting around “locked” to bell, can i just take them in and get the unlocked at no cost?

    • Tim

      Yes you can.

    • D.C.

      sweet. thanks.

      cant imagine what the lines up will be today, and this weekend

    • Stephen_81

      I would wager you can’t just go in and ask them to be unlocked, you’ll be directed to a phone service almost certainly.

  • O-Time

    I wonder if this will lead to carriers providing VoLTE or Wi-Fi Calling for all devices not just ones purchased directly from them??

  • Cody Williams

    I feel horrible for the telecoms who are forced to let people choose what to do with their own phone. Poor guys… /s

  • Stephen_81

    ““I don’t know if the revenue lost is so terribly big that they’ll try to make it up elsewhere,” said Lawford. “Most of the revenue comes from overage fees, that’s why you see Telus and Rogers resisting changing their billing practices… I think unlocking was $37 million, that’s chicken feed for the Big Three.” I would love to see the numbers backing this statement that overage fees make up [most of the carrier revenue], I would expect that yes it makes up more than the 37 million of unlocking, but is it significant enough to say it is a major part of their revenue and strategy?

  • Rockwell Hudson

    I have iPhones with both Telus and Rogers, I just called them and gave them the IMEI numbers, and a few seconds later they were unlocked. No hassles, no problems… the way it should have always been.

    • Cody Williams

      technically, “the way it should have been” is actually no lock at all…

  • C3xxx

    Hey guys,
    Total n00b here wrt cellphone unlocking. I bought my iPhone SE brand new SIB off eBay locked to Telus.
    How does one know if the unlocking process is successful; short of inserting a SIM from another company? I’ve had the phone for over a years now and planning to switch to Videotron or possibly Koodo; Telus won’t match the plan.

    • basesloadedwalk

      If you switch to Koodo, you won’t have to unlock because Koodo is Telus. As for checking if the phone is unlocked, putting in a different sim card is the only way I know of.

  • Danny Adornato

    I wonder if this will ultimately drive the big carriers to move away from multi year schemes and just sell phones outright. Not sure they will be comfortable letting people out the door with $1300 unlocked iphones with a pledge to stay on-board with them for 2 years. Some people may simply jump from carrier to carrier and not pay their bills.

  • Cody Williams

    December 2nd 2017 story: unlocked an old iphone 4s this morning on telus. I called and told the rep i wanted to unlock an old 4s i bought used. He said “do you have an account?” I said no. He said they need an account to bill the unlock charge to.” I said “what? I don’t have an account, i thought they changed all this by law”. He said “sorry you need an account with us”. I asked “if you can’t help me unlock this phone that was changed BY LAW, can you get me someone higher up that can?” he said sure “let me get someone”. Couple mins go by and he comes back and says “well good news, I guess you can unlock now for free without having an account”.

    WTF??!! don’t they even tell their support people about this stuff??!!!

    • They do, but based on my early working days as an ISP support rep, that info isn’t always communicated clearly. It doesn’t help that many support reps are both inexperienced and frequently overwhelmed with a lot of info that would be hard for many people to remember off-hand.

  • Cody Williams

    December 3rd… just called bell to unlock a phone that son got his GF for a upcoming xmas present. Bell refuses to unlock unless you have an account with them. Just an FYI to never get bell.

    • Kasey C

      I just unlocked a Virgin Mobile phone from 6 years ago on Bell’s website. Rogers on the other hand couldn’t find my phone’s IMEI from a year ago. No unlock option on their (Rogers) website thast I could find and still awaiting a reply via email……. Bell’s website was easy, peasy, 30 seconds and two phones unlocked.

    • Cody Williams

      odd, the help line guy never said anything about the website. Like my other story, sounds like the telecoms didn’t even update their employees.

  • Geoff Carberry

    Great News, now let’s start the ban phone sales/imports that cannot replace battery conversation. In the meantime, all reviews should highlight phones that can.

  • TBMT

    Rogers says they can and are still charging $50 to unlock a phone on a corporate account…is this true?