Unlocking Phones after 90 days

Unlocking Phones after 90 days

Unlocking Phones after 90 days

I'm a Contributor Level 2

Unlocking Phones after 90 days

Why must a service provider charge a fee to unlock the device during or after the term is over?  I understand why the might charge a fee during the term but after it should be free unlock!  Is this really necessary to charge a fee to make money?


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Accepted Solution

Re: Unlocking Phones after 90 days

Solved by Former Moderator FidoMatt

There is a ot involved in the unlocking process both from an administrative and technical standpoint which is why there is a fee. 

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I'm Qualified Level 1

Sorry for double post but somehow missed User3512 post.

Canada used to have no regulations on phone locks before. You could be locked to a company and they would even refuse to unlock your phone even if you paid your contract cancelation. Rogers was the first one to unlock phones for all clients if everything is paid for 50$, THEN bell and other carriers followed it. Thats what customers asked for and for a very long time. Rogers delivered but again who doesn't want more?

I'm not saying anybody is justified to lock phones and charge clients to unlock, but talking on fido forums about it isn't going to help. When rogers decided to unlock phones, it was because of a lot of public pressure and the ''Cell Phone Freedom Act (Bill C-343)''. So unless a lot of people do something with CRTC, Rogers/Fido isn't going to change this.

I'm not defending Fido, I'm an employee and I have my fair share of things I don't agree with. But this thread isn't going to help in any way. Canada is one of the VERY FEW countries who forces to pay to unlock phone bought full price, ofcourse it is wrong. But no carrier will change it just to let customers leave for other carriers. And by experience, there are more who unlock to leave fido than who do to travel

I'm Qualified Level 1

Sorry for triple post, but can't edit last post since did from mobile. Was thinking about it on my way home and came with one justification if thats what people need. This is not Fido, my justification is coming from carriers in general in Canada. Doesn't mean I agree with it either, thats just the way I see it.

The justification is : "Because they can". If that's the answer people seek. Now hear me out.


Your previous example about gaz station, its good but you can't compare it to this situation.

If let's say Petro-Canada  would come to BMW and tell them: "Look, so I buy 10 000 of your cars. I will sell them myself at 0$ and will force people to use only my gaz until they pay it off, but you need to lock car someway so they can't use somewhere else." If we had the technology to do so, then yeah it could be done IF BMW AGREES TO IT.


Now this is what hapend to cellphones. Rogers came to Samsung and said : "Ok so I buy 50 000 of your cells, so you don't have to bother wasting money on staff and such to sell them. In exchange you lock them and I take care of the rest". SAMSUNG, IPHONE etc AGREED. Google however laughed at them and said "dont tell me what to do" and sells only unlocked Nexus phones, cause they can.

The fact that Rogers, Bell etc can buy phones in some huge quantity DOES matter. Videotron, when they just started wireless service couldn't carry iPhones. "Because it is not compatible with our simcards". LOL! They couldn't afford to buy the quantity other providers were buying, so apple just refused. Now they are bigger and can afford, so they carry iPhones. Cell carriers make manufacturers a huge favor buying in bulk, and they can ask whatever they can.


Now ok ok, but other countries carriers buy 50 000 cells too, but they don't make such a big deal about it... Well it is their choice, if they wanted they could. But again, "if everybody does it, doesn't mean you need to do it too" right right?


There is the justification I came up with, again doesn't mean I agree with it. I'm just trying to come with an answer to your question as objective as I can. Just back to the revenue part real quick. When fido made 50$ cap on data overusage, horay right? Well yeah horay for people who can't manage their data...Not for me who now has to pay double my overusage rate since I always use 10Go a month... If they remove the 50$ for unlock fee, something WILL change. And then the cycle continues.

just my 2 cents

I'm Helpful Level 3

Roskov the Bell sues Rogers was only to show that it could be done legally but the reality is that only CRTC can do it as it has done it recently. Anyway, I do agree with what you said in your second response except that this thread isn’t going to help, but that’s just my opinion.


As far as your third response, I could go ahead digging deeper into this with some other examples but then you’ll be right, the thread wouldn’t help anyone, so I’ll just say that the consumer should have a choice regardless of the deals between companies.


As far as usage (you are paying more now with the $50 limit) you are right but this is not news, often when measures are put in place to “protect/help” customers from their own, let’s call them mistakes, then there is a high probability that those paying attention in the first place will pay a higher price or be disadvantaged (we are talking peanuts here, wait until interest rates go up 3-4-5 points).


Also I get your point with the if the $50 would be removed and you are right, no one would be happy to make less than they made in the past so we would all pay for that $$$ loss but the way you presented it, tied it to the $50 limit is not right (different causes having the same effect).


PS. Lock the car someway, If we had the technology? Come on use your imagination, you can tap your credit/debit card that has a chip and you get an Accepted/Denied response from your bank. Would a chip with the car VIN# (instead of Visa/MC #) connected to the car’s main computer and placed near the gas tank do the trick? (reader on the pump/handle, Accepted=start the pump Denied=Press 1 to unlock your car for $50 and add your car’s VIN# to the Big Oil Co database).

I'm a Contributor Level 1

I am also a firm supporter of having phones unlocked for free once the term contract ends. 


All our cellphone companies have become more & more greedy for $$$ .. They will always try chargingus more in every way possible. So to have a win win situation I always go for Google Nexus devices. Cost efficient, reliable, factory unlocked n free of bloatware.




I'm Qualified Level 3



To answer your question Hong Kong doesn't lock phones, even for the new phones such as the iphone6. Here's how their system works, maybe you can sell it to the managers as a innovative idea.


In Hong Kong almost all the newest phones costs '0' dollars under contract. Contracts lasts 18-24 months. The catch is you prepay your monthly plan up to the orginal costs of your phone. Then the wireless company will rebate you your monthly rate at specific months. Say for example you entered a contract for a $700 phone over 24months on a $100/month plan. you pay up the $700 on day 1, the phone is unlocked and yours to keep, no brandware or strings attached.  You will get a $100 credit from the phone company on months 2,3,4,21,22,23,24 (example). You can leave your contract anytime you want, no need for 30days advance notice, on you leave you can immediatly sign to a new contract.


This system is great because the customer paid up front for the phone and is getting a subsity on the plan, not the phone. The customer is happy with a fully paid phone up front, if they are dissatified with the company they can terminate without owing contract fees, they are only giving up the wireless credit at the later months. The wireless company is not on the hook of paying the phone up front.  The system encourage those who consistantly switches phones to actively break their contract, for new phones, as there are no annoying fees when terminating the contract.  I believe Hong Kong is the country with the fastest phone turnaround rate.

I'm Qualified Level 1

@Wufai, the way I see it is just a different way to give a subsidy on a device.

Instead of removing 1/24 of the price per month, they remove half of it during first few months, half during the last few months? Thats what you mean I guess by bill 1,2,3,4 and then  21,22,23,24. It has it's advantages but has its flaws too. Technically you finish half of the subsidy in first few months if I understand correctly, then you won't get the rest of the money until last few months of contract. So from month 4 to 21 you are kinda stuck? If you meant 1,2,3,4,5,6 etc to 24 then it makes more sense to me.

But in both cases, I don't think it affects why they don't lock the phone. Instead of giving you a credit and then if ever you cancel you get charged, they prefer to charge and then give credits if you stay. Probably since collection agencies have trouble running after them if they don't pay haha


In my honest opinion, all countries will sort of prefer to lock phones until gouvernament or like CRTC for us decides to do something. Wikipedia "Sim Lock", countries have different laws on unlocking policies, many countries have subsidy that works same way as in Canada, but at the end of contract the phone must be unlocked free of charge.

Not Canada tho,  June 17 2010,  Bill C-560 wanted to make it mandatory to unlock phone for free if contract ends or bought full price, but it did not become law. New Wireless Code requries to unlock the phone after 90 days or if bought full price, but carrier may charge client for it.

No carrier will suddenly unlock phones for free since it is a waste of revenue, it will only change if CRTC does something about it.


Just to go back to the Hong Kong system, I can see how it can be better, but it just won't work in Canada with the mindset people have. If only 10% of consumers would understand that buying phone full price can save them more money than taking on max, we may have a chance haha, but we are far from there. Everyone will go for 0$ even if they end up paying double in the long run.

I'm Helpful Level 3

Agree with what you said about subsidized phones. Now would you care to share your views regarding unlocking in case the phone is purchased at full price? I mean I made sure that I used “full price” in all paragraphs so someone will not spin this into a subsidized issues.


Unless you have something to add should I suppose that it’s ok with you to buy a locked phone at full price and then pay a fee to unlock it? Also for manufacturers that do not sell directly to customers would appreciate if you could share any info that you may have regarding any arrangement Rogers/Fido might have with phone manufacturers.

The unlocking policy is in compliance with the CRTC's rules.

"The unlocking policy is in compliance with the CRTC's rules."


It is the locking policy that the CRTC should protect consumers from.  In Europe a phone cannot be sold locked.  They actually have a regulator that cares about consumers.  With Fido and their locking policy, there is no reason I can see why anyone would purchase a phone at full price through them.  Would that make a company successful, for making barriers high enough to not choose to purchase with them?


Also, if phone plans are also including the cost of subsidizing a device, I would think Fido should offer more then 10% BYOD discount as that nets me $40 annually for using my own device.  Charge higher price for subsidizing the phones for the consumers who use that option.

I'm Helpful Level 3

SpiltBwater, you’re right. Everybody is talking about unlocking when the issue should be locking.


As far as Europe and locking that’s just a myth and the reality is different. In EU there is no law that forbids locking of a phone, each country has its own way of dealing with this issue (rules, agreements, local laws to unlock subsidized phones) and it depends on the type of the contract (post/prepaid) and the duration. Most carriers in EU are not making a fuss about locking/unlocking, the general rule is that if paid in full phones are not locked and locking is done only for subsidized phone (contract) but customers can request the unlock code either at any time or after a period of time either for a fee or for free (it all depends on the EU country).


Also I believe that the regulator that you are talking about relates to consumer protection laws/bodies and/or pieces of EU legislation that have an impact on telecom companies and phone manufacturers (i.e. same charger for any phone, elimination of roaming rates within EU, …) but all these have no bearing upon cell phone (mobile) locking.

I'm Helpful Level 3

Rachel, I understand your position. There used to be a time when common sense issues didn’t have to be regulated, even more, businesses used to “regulate” themselves, thus there was no need for regulatory bodies.


Businesses in order to achieve their interests are pushing ahead near to or even over what used to be considered common sense and as long as the society accepts it (does not react) it’s ok and when rules are put in place to slow down “their imagination” then we get the standard answer “We are complying with the rules”.


Tie-in sales or bundled sales of unsubsidized products is illegal in many places under many laws (antitrust, competition, fairness) and sooner or later one way (self-regulation) or other (laws/rules) the carriers will have to compete based on the services they provide and not by the phones they sell.


While I could challenge what you said I am not going to, I’m sure your time would be better spent in helping other Fido customers with their problems rather than debating this type of issues.

Former Moderator

There is a ot involved in the unlocking process both from an administrative and technical standpoint which is why there is a fee. 

I'm Helpful Level 2

The phone when bought at full price should never be allowed to be sold locked in the first place.  We already pay Fido an inflated cost for the device, pay a $25 hardware upgrade fee, and then have to pay $50 to have it unlocked.  Simpler to just buy a phone from Google, Apple or Samsung directly.