(Updated) Ask TmoNews: What Is T-Mobile’s New Device Unlock Policy?

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 8.13.46 PM

Update: See below. 

There seems to be a lot of questions on T-Mobile’s new device unlock policy so I’m hoping to clear the air with the above image. As of April 12th, T-Mobile has enacted new requirements for device unlocks, which differ sharply from the previous unlock policy.

As of April 12th, device unlocks on T-Mobile require:

  • Devices must be paid in full (Value Plans)
  • 40 days of active service + and paid in full (Simple Choice and Value Plans)
  • Classic/Subsidy Tenure must be 18 months
  • General eligibility criteria – includes up to date on all payments, no late payments etc

It’s all pretty simple really, and goes back to the conversation T-Mobile’s CEO had that the carrier would unlock iPhone devices for customers after they were paid off in full. With that in mind, the unlock can happen inside of 2 months or 24 months depending on how long it takes to pay off the device. The one lingering question I have is what happens when someone purchases a phone outright up front, will T-Mobile unlock right from the get go or still require a 40 day wait? Anyone with an answer to this question should post in the comments I’ll update the post!

T-Mobile has updated their own support page with a complete breakdown of their unlocked policy: 

Devices with Postpaid Plans

If you have a Postpaid Plan on an eligible device, T-Mobile will provide the SIM unlock code upon request as long as:

  • Your T-Mobile account is in good standing;
  • You have a minimum of 40 consecutive days of active service with T-Mobile;
  • You did not request an unlock code in the last 90 days (except in connection with a device exchange or upgrade);
  • The device has not been reported as lost or stolen;
  • T-Mobile has verified usage of the IMEI applicable to the device; and
  • The device has been completely paid for.
    • Exception: Classic plan devices must exceed 18 months since activation.

Devices with Prepaid Plans or Pay In Advance

If you have a Prepaid Plan or Pay In Advance on an eligible device:

  • T-Mobile will provide the SIM unlock code upon request as long as:
    • Your T-Mobile account is in good standing;
    • You have a minimum of 60 consecutive days of active service with T-Mobile;
    • You have either an account balance of at least $50.00 or a prior refill within the last 30 days;
    • The device has not been reported as lost or stolen;
    • T-Mobile has verified usage of the IMEI applicable to the device; and
    • The device has been completely paid for.
  • Unless purchased at a T-Mobile-branded store or from a T-Mobile national retailer, for up to 180 days after activation, devices will only work on the T-Mobile network with the SIMs included at activation.

Devices Purchased at Full Retail Price

If you paid full retail price for an eligible device:

  • T-Mobile will provide the SIM unlock code as long as:
    • Your T-Mobile account is in good standing; and
    • The device has been completely paid for (you must fax the proof of purchase to T-Mobile).
  • If you have a Prepaid Plan or Pay In Advance, unless purchased at a T-Mobile-branded store or from a T-Mobile national retailer, for up to 180 days after activation, devices will only work on the T-Mobile network with the SIMs included at activation.

Former Customers

T-Mobile will provide the SIM Unlock Code upon request to former customers with eligible devices as long as:

  • Your T-Mobile account is in good standing
  • T-Mobile has such code or can obtain it from the manufacturer;
  • You have not ported any associated line within T-Mobile’s Buyer’s Remorse period; and
  • The device has been completely paid for.

Military Personnel: Following the applicable T-Mobile Buyer’s Remorse period, T-Mobile will unlock any device for any active or deployed member of the United States military as set forth above, except that the minimum number of days of active service is not required.

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  • Zacamandapio

    No problem.
    I qualify to unlock them before I walk of the store.
    Thank you David for the info.

  • steez12

    they will unlock it. It takes about 24 to 48 hours for them to e-mail the unlock code.

    • Will

      There is not an unlock code with the iPhone. iPhones are unlocked during the activation phase in iTunes (or XCode). If your phone is unlocked, iTunes will present you with a “Congratulations, your phone is unlocked” message the first time you activate it in iTunes. If you do not receive this message and the phone is still locked (but should be unlocked, you can restore the phone in iTunes which will trigger the activation process and unlock it (as long as it is supposed to be unlocked).

      • the2000guy

        That way doesnt work anymore…. They change that with the new law of unlocking phones. I ask about because I was having issues with an unlocked iphone 5 from att that indicated in itunes that message that it was unlocked but it wasnt working on tmobile. Only was working in other carrier not registered in US.

        • Will

          You should take your phone to an Apple store since this is incorrect. I just did this 3 days ago with an iPhone 5. This was an iPhone 5 purchased from an Apple corporate store (full price). I wanted to remove the carrier update. If the phone was not unlocked, you would not be able to use it with another carrier outside the U.S. Try doing a restore in XCode (if you ware a developer) or in iTunes. Or take it to an Apple store and let one of their techs fix it for you.

  • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    That’s cool that they are doing this.

  • Dion Mac

    I haven’t worked at T-Mobile since Nov of 2011, but if its paid in full and you have a receipt, they’ll would unlock within 24 to 48 hours. Not sure if its changed tho.

    I think it would be easier in a store tho, b/c otherwise I think you would have to email a copy of the receipt.

    • the2000guy

      That is reasonable… 24-48 hrs after you paid full price at the moment.

    • iPhone5man

      I just called tmobile you are correct that are sending me my unlock code for my new iPhone 4 in 24-48 hours.

  • mreveryphone

    ACE! Going to get my note 2 unlocked so it will be ready to offboard for the note 3!

  • MaseW

    I don’t think there would be a problem having an iPhone unlocked immediately. However, there is a distinct difference in getting an iPhone unlocked, compared to other GSM phones.

    T-Mobile itself, just like AT&T, cannot unlock an iPhone. They send a request to Apple, and Apple unlocks the phone. You can even submit the unlock request on Apple’s website yourself, without T-Mobile being involved at all. Apple will then check with whomever the carrier of record for the phone is, verify that the device is “clean”, then they’ll unlock it. This small difference only comes up with GSM iPhones, because the CDMA versions don’t have a subsidy lock on the GSM functionality, so they don’t have to be unlocked.

    That being said, if you pay full price for an iPhone at a T-Mobile store, there won’t be any reason for T-Mobile to either not submit the request to Apple, or to object to a request coming from Apple.

    *I learned all of this getting an AT&T iPhone 4S unlocked to use on T-Mobile last year.

    • Andromedo

      Despite being paid in full, they said they would not submit for unlock for 40 days.

      • eanfoso

        bs man, I just called our dealer (employee) line and they confirmed that paying it in full overthrows the 40 day wait

        • Andromedo

          I am on the phone with Customer Service “Lisa” right now. She is saying “since this line hasn’t been active for 40 days, we cannot subsidy unlock, even though it is paid in full. It is not something I can physically do. Call back on May 6th.”

          That is two CS reps who have told me the same thing.

        • tmorep

          did you pay the $580 or the full standard retail of $649?

  • ChitChatCat

    I imagine that the difference is did you pay (for example) $649.99 for the iPhone (immediate with receipt) or $580 (the discounted “with service” price, 40 days of active service).

    • Paul Lange

      Apple has confirmed that if I were to buy the T-Mobile version from them that it is still locked to T-Mobile. So at $649.99 it’s still locked to T-Mobile.

      • ChitChatCat

        Every phone tmo sells is locked (except the Nexus). The question is will tmo unlock it.

    • conservative_motorcyclist

      I am an exsiting customer. I bought the iPhone 5 for $579 on launch day for my fiancée who has AT&T. After I faxed in the receipt Saturday, I received an email last night night with unlock instructions! Unfortunately they said I need to wait 72 hrs from yesterday before it will activate. I tried it last night and this morning and still no luck. Oh well. My biggest gripe is that you cannot directly talk to the SIM unlock department anymore. All the communication is via customer care. They only know what was sent to you in the form emails.

  • impasse

    if i could ask, does anyone know what the upgrade pricing policy is for legacy/grandfathered plans now? if i could pay the same up-front that uncarrier folks get and keep on paying my $20/mo android preferred web as my subsidy instead (like for the high-end devices), i’d be pretty okay with that..

    • TechHog

      You can’t. You either have to buy from a third-party retailer (in fact, you may not even have that option if you want to keep that old plan), switch to the new plans, or pay for your device in full. Are you sure that switching would increase your bill?

      • impasse

        hm, well i’m currently on a $50 600min pref family time (which is plenty of minutes for us)+$10 fam texting+$10×3 additional lines+$10 data+$20×3 data (only one out of contract)+1xtmo@home-15% corp discount+taxes/fees = roughly $150/mo.

        under the new plans, $80 unlimited family+$10×3 additional lines+$20×2 unlimited data (two don’t need more than the base 500MB, they only have data for using the upgrades then using the phones on the other lines)-no corp discount?=$150+taxes/fees.

        so, what we have now is still cheaper? i haven’t called to see if i can drop the data to the $5 bridge to value, though..which would make it even less expensive (because three lines aren’t ooc until next year, and one in early 2015). but if there’s still a corporate discount on uncarrier then it would definitely be cheaper! other than that though, unless anyone sees anything i might be missing..

    • http://profiles.google.com/mrice.hill Mr. Hill

      You could probably save money by switching over to the uncarrier plans, or at least come out around what you are paying right now. Unlimited data on uncarrier is $20 as well and doesn’t carry the 5GB throttling soft cap that the old Android preferred web plan had. You should probably go into a T-Mobile store and see how the pricing compares.
      Other than that so far the only way for those who do not want to switch to Uncarrier have to get the new iPhone 5 is to just pay full price for it. No pricing has been announced for old plans at the third-party retailers yet. I’m guessing it will be something ridiculously high like $250 though. Probably not worth holding onto the plan.

  • Andromedo

    I am a new (well, returning after a 15-month hiatus) customer of T-Mobile.

    Bought iPhone on Friday, paid full price at a T-Mobile store. Signed up for 3 total lines (two SIM-only in addition to the iPhone) on the “Simple Choice” plan.

    Was told by the store agent, just call in and they would unlock because I paid full price. I plan to travel abroad and a locked phone does me little good.

    Called CS Saturday, and asked for it to be unlocked.

    Was informed that they would not submit the request for 40 days, I was stuck until then.

    I’ve heard all of the “reasoning” around this policy, but it would have been nice if this was communicated up front so that I could have done something different.

    • ssl48

      I really don’t like this policy. If you paid in full up front it should be unlocked out of the box. They appear to be just like the other carriers with their sneaky policies.

      • Chris

        If you’re paying the $580 price, t mobile is giving you a discount because they expect at least 40 days of service with the phone. If you purchase the phone without ANY plan (or with the $30 prepaid plan) you will pay $650 for the phone and you WILL be able to unlock it immediately. Nothing sneaky about that.

    • http://twitter.com/gallifrey Craig Campbell

      Just to let you know, if you buy the unlocked iPhone from Apple – even the one they sell specifically as T-Mobile, it is unlocked out of the box. I bought one on Friday from an Apple store, have been using it fine with T-Mobile (I just popped in my current T-Mobile SIM after cutting it down to nano size). I have a couple of international (UK) SIM cards. I popped them in tonight, got service (roaming with AT&T or T-Mo) and made a couple of test calls. Worked fine, did not have to be unlocked via iTunes or anything.
      the downside is that Apple charges $70 more than T-Mobile for full-retail.
      I utterly agree though, if you are buying full-retail from T-Mobile, they should waive the 40-day requirement.

  • eanfoso

    40 day wait david lol buyers remorse man

  • WB

    Apple does not unlock any iPhone. The unlocking process is always a carrier matter and not a manufacturer one.
    Show me where to send a request to Apple because it does not make sense.

    • the2000guy

      Right my friend. Even if apple unlock it… If the carrier indicate that you have debt pending ( in othr words you left the carrier and didnt pay the EIP) or was stolen automatically goes to blacklist and you cant use it on other carrier registered in the same system to blacklisted.

  • Sidekicker89

    OMG NEW COVERAGE MAP Tomorrow! I’ve been waiting so long for this!!! :)

    • the2000guy

      Where is it? David hasnt mention this yet on the blog.

      • http://profiles.google.com/mrice.hill Mr. Hill

        I believe it comes next week. 23rd or 24th can’t remember exactly. It’s the coverage map for refarmed 1900mhz 3G.

        • Mark

          I actually think it’s up now. There’s a feature where, if you zoom all the way in, you can click on a 3G/4G blob and a popup appears that tells you whether it’s 3G or 4G. I’m not sure what, specifically, they’re calling 4G, though; I think it’s the same definition they were using pre-LTE when they were “America’s Largest 4G Network,” but I don’t know what the lowest level of HSPA+ is that they’re considering 4G.

        • coolio93

          That isn’t new. It’s been like that for a while.

        • Trevnerdio

          Yeah…unfortunately, that’s been around for awhile. I am stuck with 3G at my house -_- we have an extender and boy is it slow as dirt.

        • coolio93

          Hey mr. Hill,

          How do you know it is coming next week? I’ve been looking for the new coverage maps and haven’t found them yet.

    • Julian C. Taborda

      Yeah man whats your source!! :o

    • Sidekicker89

      Look at the bottom of the picture posted! :)

  • shawn

    Ive actually had trouble getting them to send me the unlock code for my last phone. I used a g2x for 2 years with tmo and its paid for and last month got a nexus 4 and they refuse to send me the unlock code for my g2x because I am not currently using it. Im not happy about it at all.

    • the2000guy

      Just used it and when they noticed in their system that you are in fact using it then they will unlock it.

  • PLTM

    I purchased 2 BlackBerry Z10s. 1 I paid full price and the other I paid $99.00 and bill the rest to the account. I inquired on when I can unlock the one I bought outright and first the guy said 40 days, then he looked at his computer and it said 14 days since I already paid for it. The reason for the 2 week wait is the customer remorse period have to expire. I am passed my 2 week period and will be contacting T-Mo to get the phone unlocked. Will update on the outcome.

    • superg05

      thanks

    • Sean

      14 days us for military personnel on deployment

  • Paul Lange

    T-Mobile will make you wait no matter what even if you paid FULL RETAIL price. This is BS because your paying for the device without a subsidy. So I decided to buy the unlocked version from apple and in the technical specifications it had the 1700/2100 (AWS) bands but I got it and before I put my SIM in I noticed those bands were NOT on the box. Okay so figured I’d try it anyway and surprise surprise EDGE only. So I called apple and it reminded me of talking to T-Mobile as they had no idea what I was talking about. They said I could return it or do a return and get a replacement. At this point I just said I’d return it. So I called the apple store closest to me and they didn’t know what I meant by the T-Mobile version and unlocked but after a while they came back and said even if I bought the T-Mobile version with AWS it would still be locked to T-Mobile. Seriously Apple and T-Mobile you are selling a $650 phone that’s locked to a network? Originally I pre ordered from T-Mobile and still no information on that and I ordered about 10 minutes after midnight on the 5th of April and it was the week after I decided to go to a T-Mobile store and just buy it outright. So I did that and they would not let me cancel the online order they said I had to refuse delivery and then wait up to 30 days for the amount to be credited back. I am not one that has 600 dollars laying around so now I’ll have to deal with that. I have never dealt with such a mess and after 20 calls that got no where on T-Mobile and maybe 5 that got no where with apple I’ll be returning the one I bought at the store and not accepting shipment of the pre order that said right on the website it would ship on the 11th of April. Time to go back and buy the Nexus 4 for $349 unlocked and it works on any GSM HSPDA+.

    • tmorep

      your situation seems to indicate that the device had a already been processed for shipment. Once that happens it cannot be cancelled and you would need to refuse delivery and have it sent back. its that simple. If it hadn’t been sent for shipment you would have been able to cancel.

      • Paul Lange

        That parts fine I have the T-Mobile one I got at the store and should get the one I bought online this week. I am more upset at the point that they will not unlock it even though I paid full retail price. What’s more disturbing is that if you buy it from apple for 649 it’s still locked to T-Mobile.

        • loopyduck

          Unlocking any iPhone requires hooking it up to iTunes on a Mac or PC. If you buy it from Apple, you would still need to do that step with the old A1428. They do not come unlocked out of the box because they’re simply using A1428 stock, which up until now was for AT&T only in terms of carriers. Blame Apple.

        • AJ

          Actually if you purchase the unlocked iPhone 5 (A1428) from apple, it truly is unlocked and comes unlocked out of the box. It can be referred to sometimes as the officially unlocked AT&T iphone5 but it does not require iTunes/computer hookup. I purchased mine this way and walked straight from the apple store over to the t-mobile store and got it working. If you purchase the 2013 t-mobile version from apple, my understanding is it will be locked but you can have it unlocked after 40 days of continual service. Personally I think apple should not sell the t-mobile version since theirs is still the $649 price. They should just sell an unlocked phone period (not mess with any of the carrier stuff). And if they have an updated iPhone 5 with AWS, great, just sell that one as the new and improved iPhone 5.

        • http://twitter.com/gallifrey Craig Campbell

          I purchased an unlocked white 32GB iPhone 5 from an apple store on Friday. I reserved it on the apple store website and specifically chose the one classified as “unlocked” but listed as including a T-Mobile SIM. I picked it up at the store, there was indeed a T-Mobile nano-SIM in the box, and 1700/2100 AWS HSPA was listed on the box. I didn’t use the included T-Mobile SIM, but instead popped in my existing T-Mobile SIM (I had pre-cut it to nano size). It got service quickly and I was able to make a couple of test calls and check HSPA+ data while still in the apple store. Today, I put in a couple of United Kingdom SIM cards I have (Three and Virgin Mobile). The iPhone recognised the SIM card and searched for a found networks immediately. I’m in the US so it was roaming on AT&T or T-Mobile respectively, but I was able to make a couple of test calls and SMSs. I plugged the iPhone into iTunes with the foreign SIM, but no message about it being successfully unlocked or anything (as used to happen) – it simply WAS unlocked. Out of the box. Completely. Moral of the story, if you want unlocked, buy from Apple. Down side – they charge $70 more full-retail than T-Mobile.

    • anonymous

      You created all these problems to yourself. This is what happens if you do not research and make compulsive decisions. You really know how to compound a problem.

      • Paul Lange

        Hey anonymous, you have no clue what your talking about. How can you research something when T-Mobile and Apple both give false information.

  • NIKKI

    Correct Answer!! If the phone is paid in full at the time of purchase and you want to get it unlocked you will need to submit a proof of purchase, which is the complete receipt showing the full details of the purchase. Customer Care will submit the sim subsidy unlock request and simultaneously provide a fax# to send in the receipt. Your unlock code request won’t be processed until full proof of ownership is verified

    • Paul Lange

      Wrong, I did that and paid in full and they still won’t do it for 40 days or 60 or 14. Not sure what is right as those are the answers I got.

      • NIKKI

        Again my answer is correct. I’m reading the policy verbatim as I sit at my desk. You should try again.

        • Paul Lange

          You have no idea what I have put up with on this. I bought mine last Friday and paid full retail price. Later that day I faxed into T-Mobiles SIM unlocked team a copy of my receipt showing I paid in full and they denied it today. So it doesn’t matter if you pay in full or not they won’t unlock it right away. I have an email from the SIM Unlock team showing them denying it and I of course still have my receipt the same one I faxed them.

        • superg05

          that’s to stop people from getting over the phones have no markup so they make on money off them it depletes there inventory which is meant for there real customers policies like these are to protect themselves and discourage people and behavior like you from skipping off into the sunset for free minus the device of course

        • Paul Lange

          For free? I don’t know where your getting this free stuff because even if you walk in and sign up for T-Mobile and pay 580 for the phone you still have to pay 50 dollars for 30 days of service and 10 for the SIM card. My total for both with tax came to $693. So you think T-Mobile would lose money? Yes that was my total and have my receipt that shows all 3 items.

        • superg05

          you could always return it or them and get your money back now and buy else where like an actual retail store at markup

        • Paul Lange

          If you read my other posts even if you buy it from Apple at 650 it’s still locked to T-Mobile. I have confirmed this with several Apple reps and the closest local store. So what’s the actual retail price, $999 perhaps?

        • http://twitter.com/gallifrey Craig Campbell

          If you buy it from Apple it is NOT locked to T-Mobile. Read my posts above. I bought one from an Apple Store on Friday. Labeled as T-Mobile. T-Mobile SIM in the box. 1700/2100 AWS HSPA written on the box. Paid $749 (white, 32GB). It is absolutely completely unlocked straight out of the box. I have used United Kingdom SIM cards and they work perfectly.

        • Paul Lange

          I can’t confirm it but this is what 2 different apple reps have told me. I’ll find out soon though and I hope your right

  • philyew

    Sadly, I have to conclude that this is a disgraceful deviation from their current policy.

    The main reason that the Librarian of the Library of Congress refused to allow an exemption for mobile phone unlocking from the DMCA provisions was the very clear argument from the industry advocates that all the main carriers had very liberal unlocking policies. They even used the example of T-Mobile’s policy as a justification for reasserting the letter of the law after 6 years of exemptions.

    Now all that is turned upside down. I said at the time that the decision was handed down that it wasn’t as bad as many people feared…as long as the carriers maintained their current policies. Now we need to make Congress and the Librarian know that they have been played for a sucker by the industry.

    • tmoguy44

      The old policy required a longer wait time so how is this worse? it has acutally come down from a 90 day wait period.

      • philyew

        That isn’t true. It was 90 days since the last request, but 40 days of active service. TM have already updated DOC-1588 but I managed to find this copy-and-pasted from DOC-1588 last year over in the XDA forum:

        ” For information on the SIM Unlock Code, refer to the following:
        If you purchased a device from T-Mobile, it has been programmed with a SIM lock which will prevent the phone from operating with other compatible wireless telephone carrier’s services. If you wish to use the phone with the service of another wireless telephone carrier, you must enter a numeric SIM Unlock Code to unlock the phone.
        If you have a Postpaid Plan, T-Mobile will provide the SIM Unlock Code upon request to eligible customers, provided the requesting customer has a minimum of 40 days of active service with T-Mobile and did not request a Subsidy unlock code in the last 90 days.
        For customers with a Prepaid Plan, T-Mobile will provide the SIM Unlock Code upon request to eligible customers, provided the requesting customer has a minimum of 60 days of active service with T-Mobile and either a Prepaid Plan account balance of at least $10.00 or a prior refill within the last 30 days.
        T-Mobile will provide the SIM Unlock Code upon request to eligible former customers, provided that T-Mobile has such code or can obtain it from the manufacturer.
        If you paid full retail price for a device, you qualify to have the SIM subsidy unlock code providedif you meet the following requirements:
        The device must have been purchased at a T-Mobile retail store or authorized T-Mobile retailer.
        The device must be paid for completely. You must be able to fax the proof of purchase to T-Mobile.”

        The point is that the previous policy for Classic plan members was 40 days active service. Now people who entered a Classic plan for the first time in the last year, and are actually subject to ETF conditions, must wait 18 months before unlocking eligibility.

        I never wanted to unlock to take the phone to another domestic carrier, but I found it a huge saving to use a local SIM when overseas, instead of being gouged @ $10/mb for TM’s data roaming costs.

        • http://twitter.com/gallifrey Craig Campbell

          Absolutely. This new policy is a disgrace. Actually in some cases it’s now worse than even AT&T’s policy, if you are traveling overseas. Overseas travelers, avoid T-Mobile unless you are happy paying for the whole phone up-front. So very disappointed.

  • BrainChild

    If purchased full price a copy of the receipt proving the purchase must be faxed into customer service within 7 days to get the device unlocked.

    • Paul Lange

      You’d think. I should find a way to scan in what I faxed to T-Mobile and also the reply email from them denying my unlock even though I paid full price.

  • Lwin Maung

    This is the policy from T-Mo: http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1588

    • Paul Lange

      That’s obviously the old policy. Here is what I got back after I faxed in a copy of my receipt showing I paid full price. So who really knows what it is, I was told 14 days a few times and 40 days a few times and then I get this email.

      T-Mobile Sim Unlock Request
      Sim
      Unlock Reference: xxxxxxx
      IMEI: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Thank you for taking the time to
      contact T-Mobile. We have received your SIM Unlock Request. Unfortunately, we
      are unable to process your request at this time. The account must meet the
      following criteria:

      1. 60 days of active usage.
      2. Must have $50.00
      accumulative refill since activation.

      Please submit a new SIM Unlock
      Request once the subscriber has met the Eligibility criteria.

      Thank You,

      Sim Unlock Department
      T-Mobile USA,
      Inc.

  • http://twitter.com/autumnwanderer Andrew J

    What does the 18-month classic/subsidy tenure mean?
    EDIT: Does it mean that for classic plans you need to have a plan that lasts for 18+ months or do you need to have had your plan for 18 months before you can unlock?

  • http://profiles.google.com/mrice.hill Mr. Hill

    It seems that they have changed to 40 days in order to prevent people from getting a $70 discounted iPhone and flipping it overseas and then just canceling the service. By making people wait 40 days it ensures that they will have to pay at least 2 bills to T-Mobile and effectively makes flipping the devices worthless. Sucks for honest customers but these corporations have to protect themselves.

    • http://twitter.com/autumnwanderer Andrew J

      maybe at that point tmo (and other carriers) won’t lose money, but you can still flip and sell overseas for a handsome profit, as prices abroad are usually massively marked up. Until recently, the Brazilian iPhone cost 3x as much as a full-priced iPhone here.

  • cardi dark

    Fuck em it will be other companies to unlock it for you might cost u a lil cash but it can and will get done just like my htc one s is unlocked and not fully paid for

  • cardi dark

    I bet by next month there will be plenty t mobile i phone fives on craigslist for sale

  • superg05

    T-mobile isn’t an electronics store they offer financing or no marked up pricing and get nothing in return if they just let you unlock it and not use the service unlike a store with a mark up these have none so they make nothing off it whats to stop someone , a large group or some people working for a company from going to a store and buying up all the inventory that’s meant for T-mobile customer getting them unlocked immediately and sell them online with a markup having to tell your paying customers your phones are out of stock cause someones trying to get over so i have no problem with this policy if you want a unlocked phone now go to frys go to amazon and stay away from t-mobile

    • Paul Lange

      So you have no problem with T-Mobile charging 580 for a locked device and Apple charging 650 for this same device that is also locked to T-Mobile? Keep in mind you can buy a 16GB Nexus 4 from Google for 350 and it’s unlocked with similar specs. I can understand making customers wait if it’s not paid off or they are under a contract but not when they pay full retail price.

      • superg05

        t-mobile gives you that iphone discount at a loss

        • Paul Lange

          Does apple give me a discount also when they sell it locked to T-Mobile at 650?

        • http://profiles.google.com/mrice.hill Mr. Hill

          I bought mine from Apple (the one that came with the T-Mobile sim) and it was already unlocked.

  • mark ortiz

    im 100% sure this is fake. T-mobile uses the same font, colours and styles as the current media messaging that you see in stores when they send out communications/PDFs. Someone obviously made this at home on Microsoft publisher. Look at the black outline lol! is this a camera picture of the computer? Im pretty sure that monitor is sooooo dirty

  • turb0wned

    So I can get my HTC One and can get it unlocked from day 1 since I’m active duty?

  • Paul Lange

    Paid a total with tax of $693 dollars and requested an unlock and faxed in a copy of my receipt showing I paid full retail and here’s what I got back today. I submitted the request Friday late afternoon and that’s when I faxed in the required information.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/67680092/screenshot.jpg

    • anonymous

      It’s because you’re using prepaid, the terms are different between pre and post

  • http://twitter.com/gallifrey Craig Campbell

    This change in policy is just TERRIBLE for those of us who travel internationally. It basically rules out the EIP as an option for us, and forces us to pay outright for the device before traveling. Just paid a ton booking fllghts and hotels for your overseas vacation? Running a bit low on funds now? Too bad! Better pony up the remaining $500 or whatever on your phone if you want to use it with a local SIM card overseas! This is the worst policy decision T-Mobile has made in a long time. I hope they re-introduce exceptions for overseas travel. I have absolutely no problem with these kinds of restrictions when it comes to switching carriers – but then, T-Mobile immediately bills any remaining cost of the phone ANYWAY when switching – so really this policy makes little difference to switchers. Actually, international travelers are really the only ones punished here. Very disappointing behavior for a so-called “uncarrier.”

  • Sean

    T-Mobile also has a policy of you buy the phone outright with no service you can get it instantly unlocked, there is no waiting period

  • http://www.facebook.com/unfazedrebel Jé Be (Here but Gone)

    Just keep them unlocked to begin with why the hassle

  • RedGeminiPA

    If you buy the iPhone direct from Apple, either unlocked or for T-Mobile, they’re already unlocked. Note T-Mobile is listed with the unlocked version, not with the other 3 main carriers.

    http://store.apple.com/us/buy/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone5

    • http://twitter.com/gallifrey Craig Campbell

      I can confirm this. I reserved and picked up a white 32GB iPhone 5 from an Apple store in Illinois on Friday. T-Mobile SIM in the box. iPhone completely unlocked – I tested it with 2 United Kingdom SIMs. Do not even need to sync with iTunes to get the “successfully unlocked” message – it’s already unlocked.

  • Jay Holm

    There shouldn’t be any length of service requirements, at ANY TIME device is paid in full at that very instant it should be able to be unlocked, simple as that!