T-Mobile Updates SIM Unlock Policy To Allow Exceptions For International Travelers

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As T-Mobile’s new SIM unlock policy went into affect, a small but vocal minority found the new rules to be less than agreeable. At issue is the ability to unlock your device prior to the device being completely paid off in the need a customer wants to travel internationally. A petition began on Change.org earlier in the month hoping to bring some attention to the issue and allow for T-Mobile to make the necessary changes. As of May 6th, they have and while T-Mobile’s support documents show a change on May 6th, they have yet to write in the new exceptions as of this writing. The new policy allows for existing customers who have not paid for their device in full or completed the 18 month requirement who need their device unlocked for international travel, are eligible if:

Less than two years account tenure:

  • Customer has paid a minimum of two monthly service payments, including EIP payments
  • No more than two international unlock request per year

More than two years account tenure:

  • No more than 2 international unlock requests per year

I’m not sure how T-Mobile will police those customers requesting international travel requests against those who make the same request but intend on leaving the company shortly after receiving the unlock code. At the end of the day, T-Mobile will still collect the full payment of the device one way or another, but I doubt these unlock requests will be based on the honor system.

The current policy had hardened T-Mobile’s stance on unlocking devices before the customer completed a rigid set of requirements when compared to the same policy 60 days ago which was far more lenient:

As of April 12th, device unlocks (before any exceptions) 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

This is good news all around and I’m glad to see T-Mobile listening to customer feedback and making the necessary changes.

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