Cell phone unlocking is often thought to be an illegal activity and can cause irreparable damage to your handset, and is the reason many of us shy away from removing the restrictions on our handsets even if we are unhappy with our current network service providers. The reality is none of this is true, and that most of these ideas are brought about by the network service providers in an attempt to deter people from switching their provider.
It is illegal to restructure the IMEI number (or serial number) of a cell phone handset that has been blocked by the network service provider due to it being stolen or lost, or if the contract has not been paid . This is completely different to unlocking a cell phone using an unlock code. This involves entering a correct unlock code in order to remove the restrictions placed on it by the network service provider to prevent you from choosing another network. Once the unlock code is entered, your handset should then be free to work with a SIM from any network service provider inserted.
There are various processes you can use to gain an unlock code and unlock you cell phone. The easiest is to go through your network service provider. Yes they do have to offer you the unlock code, despite them not wanting you to have it. But this doesn’t mean it comes for free, and most providers charge a fee of up £20 for the privilege. You can also use independent high street mobile retailers or repair stores who will most likely charge you less than your network service provider, or find websites that will perform a remote unlock via the internet, who will also charge considerably less in most cases.
Although unlocking, if done correctly, should not cause any damage to your handset, or leave you out of pocket with extortionate charges, you should still be wary of the method you choose for cell phone unlocking. If the incorrect unlock code for you phone is entered, it could simply not work, or worse, it could cause severe damage to your phone’s hardware. The safest way is always to go through your network service provider, as you know they can be trusted, and it is often worth paying a bit extra for the ease and peace of mind. If you do want to opt for a website or independent phone store then do your research beforehand. Look for reviews of the service provided, anything that could indicate a scam or issues with the cell phone unlock. Make sure the service is provided with some kind of money back guarantee to ensure you won’t have to pay if the mobile unlock is unsuccessful.
So that is all you need to know. The networks may try to prevent you from switching providers by creating the idea of phone unlocking being illegal and unsafe, but in reality you have the last laugh, as it is easier and more common than ever before!