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harkelino
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Message 1 of 23
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iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

I am posting this in the hope that other people find the information useful and hopefully it will avoid much frustration and annoyance with virgin mobile.

 

i invested in an iPhone 5s back in March 2014 and bought the handset outright from the carphone warehouse. They advised me that the phone would lock to whichever network I used when first inserting a SIM card. Being wary of this I avoided using the phone until my sim arrived in the post from Virgin Mobile. I was particularly keen on the virgin mobile unlimited data pay monthly tariff because I stream a lot of music.

 

Fast forward six months and I was becoming increasingly frustrated by virgins network. It's very patchy, sometimes non existent and in many buildings I got absolutely no reception so paying for unlimited data was becoming increasingly pointless.

 

i decided to have a look around at other providers and found a similar price tariff on tesco mobile albeit only offering 2 GB per month of data but also offering 4G which to date still doesn't appear to be available on Virgin.

 

so my tesco SIM card arrived in the post and after inserting the card I realised the phone was locked to the original network. What followed was 5 phone calls to Virgin mobile (being cut off twice mid transfer), 2 to carphone warehouse and 2 online chats with Apple tech. Virgin denied having any records of the phone stating that the responsibility for the phone lock lay with carphone warehouse because they held the original IMEI number. Carphone warehouse were adamant they did not unlock phones and it was the responsibility of the network to unlock the phone.

 

in my 2nd online chat with Apple they started suggesting trading in my phone and buying the iPhone 6 which wasn't really the point. Just before I finished the chat with Apple I asked them if they could double check who the phone was locked to. Their response was funny as they said they couldn't but if I guessed they could say yes or no.

 

so.. Is it Virgin mobile

no

is it carphone warehouse 

no

is it orange (taking a punt since I knew Virgin runs on orange)

hmm is that T-Mobile orange or just orange 

erm T-Mobile orange

yes

 

so it turns out my Virgin SIM card has locked my phone to T-Mobile orange aka EE

 

i filled in an online form on the EE website and 2 days later my phone is unlocked!!

 

i hope this helps someone out there but my main concern in all this is what the heck Virgin mobile actually understand about how their technology systems work. I mean this can't be the first time this has happened.

 

Best wishes and hope to have done my good deed for the day in sharing this information.

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Forum Team
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Message 2 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

Hi harkelino

 

Welcome to the community Smiley Happy

 

I'm sorry to hear about the issues you had with the network and getting your handset unlocked.

 

I can confirm we don't lock any iPhone handsets that we supply to our network and we don't have a facility to unlock them. I regret we'd be unable to assist with unlocking any iPhone handsets that have become locked if they were purchased from a third party.

 

It's good to hear you've now been able to get the help you needed with this though Smiley Happy


Please let us know if there's anything else we can help with.

 

Many thanks

Mark Y
Forum Team

Need help changing SIM card? Find out more about activating your 4G ready SIM. 4G SIM Swap Help


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Julius058
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Message 3 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

Hello,

 

Thanks for taking your time to post such a useful info. Am having the same problem right now as I got my phone through someone that purchased it from carphone warehouse. I have rung virginmedia and EE and they told me they can't unlock the phone as it was not directly purchased from them.

 

Am so worried as I really need to get this 5s unlocked. The website you suggested isn't accepting my IMEI number either. What do you suggest?

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Superuser
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Message 4 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse


harkelino wrote:
 

i hope this helps someone out there but my main concern in all this is what the heck Virgin mobile actually understand about how their technology systems work. I mean this can't be the first time this has happened.

 


Virgin Mobile are a MVNO - mobile virtual network operator. TMVNOs rent unused capacity from an MNO (in Virgin's case, EE) and sell this on to customers at a reduced rate.

 

It's unreasonable to expect Virgin to know that phones purchased from third-party companies have locked to the MNO that Virgin use. It may well have happened before - but Virgin won't know about it unless someone has done what you did and post an explanation of what happened.

 

How much extra are you willing to pay for your contract to ensure that Virgin Staff are able to support handsets bought from a competitor?

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Forum Team (Retired) Mat_H
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Message 5 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

HI Julius058,


Welcome to the forums Smiley Happy

 

I'm really sorry that you didn't get the answer you needed for this. I would advise to speak to Apple support regarding this. You can find all of the relevant contact info here.

 

Let me know how you get on.


Thanks,


Mat


Who's who? Find out more about our community members. Good folk to know


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fairplay27
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Message 6 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

Exactly the same scenario with my sim free Iphone 6+ purchased from CPW in May 15 for £619. I will try out your suggestion but this issue remains incredibly frustrating and one that customers choosing Virgin Mobile having purchased a seemingly unlocked iphone from CPW need to be made aware of. My experience to date is that both CPW and Virgin shirk any responsibility and fail to assist in any way shape or form. In fact when I approached my Virgin branch for the second time during the backwards and forwards with CPW the lead assistant was very dismissive up to the point of being rude. The I Store were dismissive also saying I should have purchased from themselves and that my phone was locked and the provider was responsible for unlocking it!

My experience to date - PAC code received swiftly from Virgin but phone remains locked to their network despite their telephone advice for unlocking which was:

1. Remove SIM card 2. Connect phone to computer and I Tunes 3. Sync to Itunes 4. Click Restore I-phone to factory settings - This fails and my new Three Sim remains unusable.

I was made aware at CPW that my sim frre phone would lock to the first network but I assumed there wouldn't be an issue if I chose to leave my preferred provider which in this instance was Virgin whom I use extensively throughout my home and with all our family devices. However I was keen for 4G and the better deal available from Three - hence my decision to change.

Research around this topic suggests that I-Phones from the Three network are unlocked by the company if you wish to change which probably explains their high levels of customer satisfaction.

Will update if I have success but I do feel this issue really needs to be raised with Ofcom. 

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fairplay27
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Message 7 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

Latest update 16th January 2016. I phone 6 plus remains locked - Carphone Warehouse from where it was purchased refuse to help unlock, Virgin to whom the phone is locked and fixed to their EE partner network refuse to help as do Apple.

Today I sold the phone for £240 taking a substantial loss and have purchased another I phone from Three.

I now have 4G on a network that is more reliable than Virgin and a phone that Three have unlocked!

My advice: Never purchase an Apple device from Carphone Warehouse

                  Never connect an Apple device to Virgin

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enlli
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Message 8 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

Read with interest as I was not aware iPhones locked to the first sim inserted. This seems crazy, especially if you want to use a local sim abroad.

My Samsung is unlocked and I can use whatever network I like at the time

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jab1
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Message 9 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

Hi...... I had the same problem and have finally won.

Went via CISAS and Virgin have just paid me the cost of  a new Iphone ( and i get to keep my locked one) and compensation for poor customer service.

Virgin have to do something about this ongoing problem.

 

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sid2016
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Message 10 of 23
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Re: iPhone unlocking when purchased via carphone warehouse

hi there... just have curiousity.
How did you fill the form while your number is virgin not the customer of EE.
I also have the same issue. My Iphone 5s is locked by T mobile Orange while my number is virgin. I don't know why that happens, just confused.

I need to unlock my phone.
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