It goes almost without saying that the ‘phone contract’ concept is getting popular by the day at an alarming rate. It is easy to understand why – you purchase a phone with a contract and just like that, you benefit from an initial discount for a few months as a first time customer. Carriers do that to lock clients into plan contracts. There is nothing one can do once he signs the contract. Breaking the contract early may mean that you will be liable for an early termination fee, otherwise referred to as ETF. The EFT, as you will later find out, is a means to help carriers recoup the cost of subsidies after a client breaks a contract before its time. To that point, it is easy to conclude that one can find himself or herself in an awkward situation, with a phone contract that is costly. It therefore makes perfect sense to know how to unlock a contract phone or simply find someone who can get the job done. Read on to learn more.
First off, unlocking your phone is not illegal. That means you can switch between networks as soon as your contract is over or even before it ends. The notion that unlocking a contract phone is illegal is therefore farfetched and as far from the truth as the word far can be.
What you will need
You will need the following before unlocking your contract phone:
- Your phone number
- Your phone’s IMEI number
- Your social security number
- Your name
- A finished contract
Your phone’s carrier
Different carriers use different technological concepts to lock phones. Your best bet is to therefore learn how to unlock a contract phone on different carriers. This may take time but it is certainly doable.
First off, it is important to note that Verizon uses CDMA SIM cards instead of the usual GSM SIM cards. According to the carriers, all its 4G LTE devices are not locked. Therefore, if you wish to switch carriers, there is no code whatsoever needed for purposes of programing the phone to accept a different carrier. It should however be noted that despite the fact that some SIM equipped Verizon handsets can work on T-Mobile, AT&T and several other GSM carriers, you will still need roaming GSM radios so as to make calls and even send text messages. Note too that you can always call the customer service line and request for unlocking your phone.
AT&T phones are a little bit more complicated than Verizon. The phone in question should be from a former or current subscriber. The subscriber must then have verification by way of an account number or a phone number. Additionally, the phone must not have been reported as lost or stolen. The subscriber is also required to have paid for the phone service in full. Then note AT&T subscribers are only allowed a maximum of 5 unlocks per year. There is some good news though. Unlike Verizon, AT&T allows its customers to fill an online request form as long as one has the IMEI number. You can therefore request for an unlock either online or by calling AT&T’s customer care.
Your will need to keep in mind four vital factors before unlocking your T-Mobile.
- The device must be T-Mobile
- It must have an account with a ‘clean record’
- You are only allowed two unlocks a year
- The device must not have been reported as lost or stolen
The above mentioned requirements are just basic. There are other requirements that one must meet. You must for instance, have made at least $100 in refills so as to unlock a prepaid T-Mobile Smartphone. One good thing with unlocking a T-Mobile on contract is the fact that you can do it via an online chat with one of their customer representatives.
Unlocking a Sprint phone is not as easy as is the case with all the aforementioned carriers. You must have an active account with Sprint as you may have already guessed. There is also the fact that the account in question must have a ‘good standing’ record. It should also be clean. That is, it must not have been reported previously as either stolen or lost. The same requirements apply to Army members who wish to unlock their Sprint phones.
The huge blow comes with the fact that Sprint iPhones cannot be unlocked. There is a reason for this. All Sprint branded iPhones feature codes that make it hard or rather impossible for one to unlock them. This seems to be the case with Sprint iPhones only. Other phone brands can be unlocked via an online chat or by calling Sprint’s customer service. There is some good news though as far as unlocking Sprint branded iPhones is concerned. Unlocking may be possible before the end of this year.