You might be aware, but in Canada, the only two carriers that are authorized to unlock iPhones in Canada are Rogers and Fido. As the story goes, unlocking is $50 and requires a full restore of the phone. The requirements are what were tricky to me, since I was not a Fido customer, did not have a Fido account and was not actively using any services with Fido. Would they unlock the phone? Would I be turned away like so many people are when dealing with these behemoth companies? Let’s see.
Briefly: Join me as I encounter Fido support and request they unlock an iPhone 4S, even though I’m not a customer.
I thought I start off by calling just to see if this was possible. I waited on hold for about 10 minutes and needed to transfer to a department called “Fido Answers”. Once there, I spoke to the woman about unlocking and explained I was not a customer, but I did have a Fido SIM card. She requested the SIM card number to verify it was active (or in use). Well, as I switched to the about screen to get details on the SIM, Siri activated on the phone and killed my Dell Voice call. Until next time, Fido.
So, I called back using alternate telephone (so I could keep the phone I wanted to unlock free to work with). Once I connected to the agent, I explained again what I was after and so started the dialog.
“You can’t unlock a phone if you aren’t an active customer”
“Let me give you the SIM card number, and check that. I bought it from Fido, so that makes me a customer – the number is…”
“I’m sorry sir, that SIM card is not active”
“How about if I give you the IMEI number? – here it is…”
She waits and looks up some information and returns with “Sir, you are not on record for this phone, who is the previous phone owner?”
I proceed to tell her that I did not own the phone and I bought it from someone I don’t know anything about it. I further explained that if she checked, she’d be able to see that this phone was not under contract.
What happened next was nothing new considering the horrible state of our idiotic incumbent phone companies. Here’s another reason why horrible customer service and brutal red tape rules in companies such as this
The agent says “Sir, you are not authorized to access the previous account, so I can’t tell if the phone is under contract, so I can’t unlock it”
“But, I don’t need” I say, growing weary “to know about the previous owner, I’m sure you can read it.”
“If you aren’t authorized and can’t find me a previous owner, I can’t determine if this phone is under contract or not. And can’t unlock it. Further, you need to be an active customer for 30 days before we can unlock it”
Getting frustrated, I say “Listen, I don’t have a list of previous owners, it’s not my responsibility to keep that. I simply want to unlock my phone and am willing to pay the $50 to do so. This should be simple”
I asked in multiple different ways, but what was consistent was the circles the conversation went in. The phone stays unlocked and Fido raises the blood pressure of another unsuspecting sap (namely me) by having to go through phone support hell. Right now, the GEVEY SIM unlock is looking really good.