Should mobile providers unlock all handsets?

mobile As you know, when your mobile contract runs out, your phone is as good as useless, unless you have an Android and you're a whizz when you get under the bonnet.

Ever thought that, once your contract is done and dusted, mobile providers should automatically unlock your device?

That's what Which!!! are getting at and are putting pressure on phone companies (pressure, in this instance means 'shouting at them') to unlock handsets at the end of monthly contracts and always sell them unlocked in pay-as-you-go deals.

Locking phones of course, restricts customers to a single network and of course, because of that, discourages you from switching provider. And there's no consistency in the market, meaning that there's different rules on unlocking handsets for different providers.

Virgin are charging £15.32 to unlock a phone, while Tesco ask for £20 if you want yours freeing up within the first 12 months of a contract. O2 charge PAYG customers £15, but if you're on a contract, you can get it unlocked for free.

Which!!! said: "We think all mobile phone providers should offer this service for free at the end of a contract and at point of sale for pay as you go phones."

Which!!! executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Mobile phones are an essential part of daily life for many people and consumers shouldn't be locked into contracts that do not suit their usage. We want to send a message to mobile phone companies that they should help customers get a better deal by alerting people that their contracts are about to end and by unlocking handsets for free."

What do you make of all that then?

1 comment

  • jokester4
    Clearly any contract phone should be unlocked from the start (since you are forced to pay the entire contract regardless of if you leave). This article neglects to mention that many iPhones cost somewhere in the region of £120 to unlock (simply because Apple know that the vast majority of their customers have more money than sense)

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