Why Do Carriers Lock Their Cell Phones? (Explained)

Cell phone networks are under some scrutiny right now. 

And if you want to move to a new network but your phone won’t accept a new SIM you might be wondering why do Carriers Lock Their Cell Phones?

The number of consumers questioning the network’s locking of cell phones to force them to only use their services is increasing day by day.

So why do Carriers Lock Their Cell Phones?

Browsing the Internet, you will see a lot of posts criticizing networks for this strategy and encouraging consumers to use unlock codes.

Cell phone network service providers tend to avoid the topic, and they are very hesitant to bow to consumer demands of open access with their cellular phones.  They have some good reasons.

Locking Cell Phones Means Biding by Service Provider Contract

Generally, network customers know very well what they are signing when they enter into a cell phone contract. 

But they want that great phone at that great price but it comes with a contract, so they willingly sign it. 

However, the great deal on the phone comes with the price of being locked into the provider’s network. 

While they may not make any money selling the phone, they will make plenty of money over the next 2-3 years while you are locked into using their services.

It goes without saying that customers willingly submit to the terms and conditions when they sign the contract. 

Providers think their customers should stick to the agreement.

Locking Cell Phones Recoups Short Term Expenses

Cell phone network providers have agreements with cell phone manufacturers that may be a loss leader when they provide phones to customers at big discounts. 

Plus, the service provider has an investment in time and money to set up accounts, initiate services, and so on.

Locking a customer in over the long haul means they can recoup those up-front and short-term expenses.    

If services are wide open, they may never cover these expenses and even lose money. 

While no one wants to be gouged, everyone understands that a business has to be able to make money or it won’t be around long

Locking Cell Phones to Keep Customers

People are creatures of habit. 

If a network provider locks you into using their network services early, chances are you will remain a customer mostly out of habit. 

Most people tend to stick with doing what is the easiest, and that is staying with their current provider as long as they are even remotely satisfied. 

It usually takes some negative incident to motivate people to change.

Locking someone into using a provider’s services for the first few years of their cell phone use could mean a lifetime customer.

Locking Cell Phones for Profit

The longer and more frequently someone uses a provider’s services, the more money they will make. 

The longer a customer stays with one network the more profitable they become. 

Providers have a huge investment in infrastructure and frequency fees, and locking customers into their network, right or wrong, is their attempt to stay profitable over the long term. 

Does that mean customers shouldn’t have a choice once they sign a contract? 

The struggle continues…

So thats why do Carriers Lock Their Cell Phones?