Cell Phones

Getting Bell to unlock an iPhone

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  • Oct 29th, 2015 6:16 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 7, 2009
780 posts
11 upvotes

Getting Bell to unlock an iPhone

I have a 3g iphone that I got from Bell. I paid off my contract so I now own the phone free and clear. I opened an account with Petro Canada mobility using a Samsumg phone I bought in the US. The Samsung is not working very well, it seems to drop calls often and I am just not happy with it. I want to get my iphone unlocked so I can us it with Petro canada mobility. I have tried taking it to a store that unlocks phone and I was advised that there is not a good unlock for the phone and it might freeze up if they tried to unlock it. I was not to crazy about the idea of a software unlock anways, I would rather have it done ligitimately.

So what I would like to do is try to force Bell to unlock the phone. I have called customer service and spoken with a manager and he said they will not unlock iphones. I have escalated the complaint to Kevin Crulls office. I have also sent a compliant to the CCTS without waiting for a response from Kevin Crull as I do not believe they will resolve it.
-any ideas about who else I can complain to? Does the CCTS deal with this sort of thing.
-any other tactic I can take to force Bell? I cant believe that a company can sell a product and then not let you use it with another company. Imagine if Home Depot sold a screw driver and said you can only use Home Depot screws with it? I realize that telecomications is relatively new and the laws have not caught up with the technology but there has to be some laws dealing with consumer protect that can be creatively interpreted to cover this situation? I read someone mention the Sale of Goods or Trade Descriptions Act?

My approach will be to either get Bell to unlock the phone, get them to buy it back from me or ask for a credit towards a phone that they will unlock.

Ideas please?
92 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2004
2928 posts
145 upvotes
I'd just soft unlock it. Jailbreak and install Ultrasnow via Cydia.

If you want a true unlock, get Bell or Apple to do it. It will cost you $50 or so. They won't do it for free...
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 7, 2009
780 posts
11 upvotes
So after a quick search of Canadian laws I found this in the "Competition Act"

Competition Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-34)

Abuse of Dominant Position

78. (1) For the purposes of section 79, “anti-competitive act”, without restricting the generality of the term, includes any of the following acts:

(b) acquisition by a supplier of a customer who would otherwise be available to a competitor of the supplier, or acquisition by a customer of a supplier who would otherwise be available to a competitor of the customer, for the purpose of impeding or preventing the competitor’s entry into, or eliminating the competitor from, a market;


This is exactly what they are doing by not unlocking my phone. They are making me unavilable to a competitor by locking my phone. It is very expensive for me to switch to a competitor. Bell is breaking the Competition Act.

Also I could argue that Bell has placed a lien on my phone by not unlocking it

"Liens

A lien is a legal claim or a "hold" on some type of property, usually due to it being used to secure a loan or services. Always check for liens against a product, especially when buying higher value items such as a car or boat from a private individual. Generally, ownership of a property with a lien cannot be transferred until the debt is paid."

Or from the Competition Act again

"Exclusive Dealing, Tied Selling and Market Restriction

“tied selling” means

(a) any practice whereby a supplier of a product, as a condition of supplying the product (the "tying" product) to a customer, requires that customer to

(ii) refrain from using or distributing, in conjunction with the tying product, another product that is not of a brand or manufacture designated by the supplier or the nominee,"
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 7, 2009
780 posts
11 upvotes
tmpz wrote:
Oct 12th, 2012 11:33 pm
I'd just soft unlock it. Jailbreak and install Ultrasnow via Cydia.

If you want a true unlock, get Bell or Apple to do it. It will cost you $50 or so. They won't do it for free...
I have tried to figure out how to do that and I have not been able to. As I mentioned, I took it to a store that unlocks phones which was reccommended by a friend, and they said because I had recently updated my software there is no software unlock for the phone. I would begrudgingly pay Bell $50 to unlock it but they say that they do not unlock iphones.
Deal Addict
Nov 27, 2004
2928 posts
145 upvotes
3G should unlockable on version 4.2.1

Try this guide/wizard:
http://iclarified.com/wizards/index.php

Edit: Looking at the guide, there are some basebands not unlockable. I think there is a way to "downgrade" the baseband so that you can unlock it.

Edit2: I think you have to jailbreak it, install iPad baseband (this will break your GPS), downgrade the basedband and then install Ultrasnow for unlock. See: http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-downgr ... rking-gps/
Deal Addict
Sep 17, 2011
3119 posts
322 upvotes
Bell does NOT unlock Iphones.... You can complan all ya want I doubt its going to do any good...
Sell the phone and purchase something that can be unlocked... All providers except Bell unlock Iphones
Member
Aug 25, 2002
369 posts
72 upvotes
Montreal
There is a discussion thread over at Howard Forums in the Bell section that says that Bell will start to offer to unlock their phone before the end of the year. Two different contributors says it will happen.

Hope it's true.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 7, 2009
780 posts
11 upvotes
tmpz wrote:
Oct 12th, 2012 11:42 pm
3G should unlockable on version 4.2.1

Try this guide/wizard:
http://iclarified.com/wizards/index.php

Edit: Looking at the guide, there are some basebands not unlockable. I think there is a way to "downgrade" the baseband so that you can unlock it.

Edit2: I think you have to jailbreak it, install iPad baseband (this will break your GPS), downgrade the basedband and then install Ultrasnow for unlock. See: http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-downgr ... rking-gps/
I am willing to try this because I just want to use the phone with as little hassle as possible, but I have no experience doing this kind of thing. I tried following the instructions and I could not get this to work. I paid those frackers at Bell good money for this stupid phone and it is crazy that they wont let me use it. I am pissed off, and I can complain very well. Give me a couple of weeks and we'll see where I can get with Bell.

Still lookong for good ideas to use to force Bell

Thanks

Peter
Deal Addict
Sep 5, 2003
2438 posts
56 upvotes
Right now Bell doesn't have access to unlock iPhones. To do so, carriers require access to an Apple database which then triggers an unlock through iTunes. Even if you can 'force' them, they cannot get access to do so.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Oct 13, 2009
10599 posts
1606 upvotes
Iqaluit, NU
mlerner wrote:
Oct 13th, 2012 9:05 am
Right now Bell doesn't have access to unlock iPhones. To do so, carriers require access to an Apple database which then triggers an unlock through iTunes. Even if you can 'force' them, they cannot get access to do so.
True story. Carriers send the phones IMEI through to the apple database which changes the phones status from locked to unlocked.
Deal Addict
Sep 17, 2011
3119 posts
322 upvotes
Not sure if you can use a gevey sim with old Iphone...
Moderator
User avatar
Jun 15, 2011
37823 posts
5441 upvotes
Richmond Hill
I also can vouch that Bell does not provide any iPhone unlocking service such as their competitors Rogers/Fido and Telus/Koodo.

However for non iPhone customers, they provide unlocking services for other phones provided its bought from Bell. Its a $75 + taxes fee which I think its an utter rip off.
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Newbie
Aug 15, 2010
1 posts
That lame excuse doesn't quite fly anymore now that they're the only provider in Canada that doesn't offer it. They expect us to believe that Apple singled them out and denied them access to said database, and they're not doing anything about it?
Jr. Member
Aug 22, 2011
123 posts
13 upvotes
QU
I used their online chat like 2 days ago to get some information to end my service.

you: I have an iPhone 4s 32 GBS, currently with a month by month plan. I'll probably sell my iphone soon and buy a iPhone 5. (From another carrier, as Bell never allow iPhone unlockage...)
you: To end my plan, how will it work?

Greg: To end your plan, you just have to call our client care department and ask for retention, and tell them you would like to cancel. They will put a notice on your account and it will be canceled after 30 days.
Greg: Just for your information, Bell is working on being able to unlock Iphones, we are hoping to have that service by the end of this year.

Weirdly, one of my friend went to a Bell store to get informations to end her contract, and she mentioned that she wouldn't get her phone there since they won't unlock it.
The employee told her that they did offer unlocks since a week...?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 7, 2009
780 posts
11 upvotes
Well it looks like I may not need to continue with this effort, but I sent in a complaint to the executive office. They called me back on saturday morning but I missed the call. They also sent me an email. I responded with this

""without prejudice"


HI Gina

Thank you for the quick response.

I actually prefer email in a situation like this because everything is in writing and it is easy to refer back to the issue and to where both sides stand.

My problem is that I have an iPhone 3gs that is off contract. I own the phone, having bought out my contract earlier this year. I need to use my iPhone with another provider but that is not possible because the phone is "tied" to Bell. I believe this is a contravention of the Competition Act. I have been preparing a letter outlining my concerns, I will paste part of it here.

"It is my belief that Bell Canada Enterprises is in contravention of the Competition Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-34) with their policy of not unlocking Apple Inc.’s iPhone series of mobile phones that are no longer under contract.
Specifically,
Section 77, Exclusive Dealing, Tied Selling and Market Restriction And Section 78, Abuse of Dominant Position


Section 77 (1) states
“tied selling” means

(a) any practice whereby a supplier of a product, as a condition of supplying the product (the "tying" product) to a customer, requires that customer to

(i) acquire any other product from the supplier or the supplier’s nominee, or

(ii) refrain from using or distributing, in conjunction with the tying product, another product that is not of a brand or manufacture designated by the supplier or the nominee, and

Clearly, Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) policy of not unlocking iPhones “ties” a customer to BCE by not allowing customers to use their iPhone with other wireless service providers. Please note that section 2 (1) of the act states, ““product” includes an article and a service”.

Section 78 (1)(b)states
For the purposes of section 79, “anti-competitive act”, without restricting the generality of the term, includes any of the following acts:
(b) acquisition by a supplier of a customer who would otherwise be available to a competitor of the supplier, or acquisition by a customer of a supplier who would otherwise be available to a competitor of the customer, for the purpose of impeding or preventing the competitor’s entry into, or eliminating the competitor from, a market;

Section 78 is the corollary of section 77. BCE has in effect acquired iPhone owners through their policy of not unlocking them and not making these customers available to a competitor.

Furthermore, the two other major wireless service providers in Canada, Rogers Communications Inc. and TELUS, will unlock all their mobile phones, including iPhones. Thus it is technically possible to unlock the iPhone."


Gina, I simply need to be able use my phone which I bought from Bell at great expense. I need the phone for business, which means I need a phone with a stable operating system and a phone that can be updated. I can't afford to have a phone with a dubious software patch that will be unstable and without support. I politely request that Bell either unlocks my phone, buys my phone back, or gives me a credit towards the purchase of a new unlocked phone from Bell. I believe these are perfectly reasonable requests.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter and I look for to a swift and amicable resolution.

With Kind regards
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