A little while back the CRTC changed the rules for unlocking cellular phone (s). Note that this is only happening on December 1st 2017, until then what is happening.
I have commented on this before, but I decided to have a close look at my Bell contract (you should look at yours as well). Here is what my current Bell Contract says on the subject (reproduced without Bell’s permission):
“Can I unlock my Device and is there a Fee? When you purchase a Device from Bell it will be locked and can only be used on the Bell network. If your Device was provided at a discount as part of this Agreement and your account is in good standing and your Device is eligible, you can unlock your Device after a minimum of 90 calendar days, if you pay an unlocking Fee (plus applicable taxes) of $50, or $150 if your account carries a security deposit or is subject to a credit limit. If your Device was purchased from Bell at full retail price or you brought your own Device (originally purchased from Bell), your Device can be unlocked upon request and payment of an unlocking Fee of $50, plus applicable taxes. If your account is past due, your Device will not be unlocked until your account balance is paid in full using a credit card. Visit bell.ca/onetimefees for details.”
Let’s unwrap some of the zingers in this unlocking cellular phone clause.
- This will cost me $50 until December 1st 2017. I am not sure if I called and talked to their customer retention team, I might get it for free, but maybe not.
- If I don’t have good credit or have a credit limit, this will cost me $150.
- There is an HST charge for the service.
- I better have my account payments up to date, or they will not do this unless I pay all outstanding costs with a credit card.
- If I got a new iPhone N (where N is the next great iPhone that just came out), I have to wait at least 90 days to have it unlocked.
My Opinion on Current Unlocking Phone Policy
I am disappointed that Bell hasn’t just declared an amnesty on unlocking, and doing it (for existing customers) for free. Given all phones will be unlock-able (and sold unlocked) in a few months, it seems, vindictive to keep charging for this service (especially to existing customers).
I will be waiting until December 1st to get my phone unlocked (I assume that it will take a while). The battery on my iPhone 5, was replaced for $50 so I will be keeping it for a while. Most likely I will be getting a new iPhone some time soon, however, I will try to find the cheapest price possible.