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Unlocked iPhone got locked to Bell Canada on activation - any way to not pay ransom?

Views: 627 Replies: 5
I've purchased an iPhone 6S for full price through store and it came unlocked and without a SIM.

I've put in an old Bell Canada SIM to activate the phone and now it is locked to Bell so I can't use it with any other carrier.

To unlock, Bell wants me to find someone who is a Bell customer and pay a $50 unlock fee which is basically a ransom as I've never signed anything with them and never gave my consent to lock my phone to them in the first place.

Bell tells me in Canada your phone will get locked to the first carrier used and it would be the same with e.g. Rogers and by their internal policy they will only unlock phones of their customers. How convenient.

Anyone had a positive experience resolving a similar issue?
Asked: 10:30 17/12/2015
enhancedconcepts 10:30 17/12/2015
Someone at Bell is mistaken or lying. An iPhone purchased directly from Apple as unlocked, should not lock to ANY carrier. Despite the info from Bell, I would contact Apple to be certain that you received exactly what you ordered.
alex 10:30 17/12/2015
That's the thing, the phone was unlocked initially but is now locked to Bell (according to them because this is how it works with any carrier on the first activation). I've spoken to 2 Apple tech support guys and 5 Bell reps to no avail. Pay up or get out. Apple couldn't care less obviously and say they can do nothing and Bell is just a bunch of thugs.
alex 10:30 17/12/2015
I'm sure the community would also appreciate any suggestions on how to avoid this happening in the first place e.g. which carriers in Canada would not lock your phone to them on the first activation
alex 10:30 17/12/2015

So 2 more calls with Bell and a chat with Apple tech support later, I finally got it unlocked. For those who don't care about details, in my situation the solution was to restore the iPhone to factory settings.


All of the Bell reps I spoke to until the last one refused to do anything w/o collecting my personal information (not willing to disclose) and account information (non existent). Finally a Bell rep broke down and checked the phone by IMEI. She confirmed the iPhone was locked to Bell but fed me with "Apple sent you a Bell phone in the first place because we have it listed in our inventory and this wouldn't be the case if the lock happened on activation". I thought this was BS but I did chat to an Apple tech support person who was eventually able to verify the IMEI on their end and tell me the phone was unlocked and it "shows up as next activation policy unlocked". He suggested restore would bring the unlock back. And it did.

Now I don't know if this was Bell finally unlocking it on their end after my rants and demands to speak to their supervisor - they never admitted it on the phone - or it was indeed something that would have worked right away, but the important part is it worked. I wish I tried this earlier without wasting like 8 hours in chats with Apple and Bell.

So I guess the important conclusions to draw from this experience for those who might be in a similar situation:

1) Apple tech can see your iPhone unlocking policy on their end based on the phone IMEI

2) Bell has a way to verify phone status by phone IMEI, but you'd have to be really pushy with them for them to do that

3) Don't touch anything Bell Canada with a 5 ft. pole
mobiques 05:02 18/08/2017
I suggest you can approach and specify the country,locked network of iPhone 5S.Based on the availability you can get the permanent unlock service along with free instructions.

Unlocked iPhone got locked to Bell Canada on activation - any way to not pay ransom?

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