Let’s say you’re a customer of Mobile Phone Operator A, and their customer service is just plain terrible. You’re paying more than you’d like to pay for sub-par speed and service, and you’re just plain sick of them. You have a phone that will work on Mobile Phone Operator B’s network, but unless you want to buy a new phone, you’re stuck with Operator A. Or are you? In a deal reached between the four major mobile carriers and the FCC, you are now able to unlock cell phones from one network and take it to a different (but compatible) mobile network – as long as you’ve jumped through the appropriate hoops first.
Starting on February 11th, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are all obligated to unlock your cell phone and allow you to take it to another network. This apples to both prepaid and postpaid accounts, though if you bought your phone on a contract, that contract must have been fulfilled before you’ll be able to ask for the keys to your phone. You’ll also have to actually go to visit the carrier that the phone is locked to, so you can probably expect some resistance for wanting to leave.
The carriers will however be required to unlock your device provided you’ve paid off your contract. They will also be required to let you know when you’re eligible to unlock your device, respond to any unlock requests in a timely manner (within two business days), and also unlock the devices of deployed military personnel.
Can you mark off all of those stipulations? Can you also say that you’ve had no instances of fraudulent activity on your phone? You’re just a conversation with customer service away from getting control of your device, and fleeing the tyranny of Operator A forever! Or at least until they offer the next great deal/device and you’re forced to come crawling back.
Who’s running right out to unlock their devices? Let us know in the comments or on your favorite social media.
Source: Tom’s Guide