Would you like to switch cell carriers but are hesitant to do so because switching would require you to buy a new phone?
Well, starting on Wednesday, February 11 you’ll be able to switch to a new carrier and keep right on using the phone you already own.
One of the most irritating things about owning a mobile phone has always been the way most of them are “locked” to prevent them from working with any carrier except the one they were originally intended to work with. But thankfully that’s about to change.
After the new policy takes effect on Wednesday you’ll be able to call your carrier’s customer service department and ask them to unlock your phone. Once it’s unlocked you’ll be able switch cell carriers and activate your newly unlocked phone on their network.
If you’re currently a customer of the carrier your phone is “locked” to, it won’t cost you anything to have the phone unlocked. However, if you have already changed carriers and closed your account with the old one, you might be required to pay a small service fee.
There is one caveat to the new unlocking policy: In order to have your phone unlocked you’ll need to have it paid off and your account balance paid up to date. If you still owe money on the phone or your cell plan’s payment is past due, you won’t be able to have your phone unlocked until you have resolved those issues.
Bottom line: After this new policy takes affect, your carrier will no longer be able to use your phone as a “hostage” to dissuade you from switching your service to a new carrier.