This is a common question one faces when you traverse the labrynth of stalls in Greenhills. Personally, I’ve never really entertained the thought of having a phone of mine being open-lined, but recent events made me think twice.
I’ve finally gotten my N77 from a local telco and for what its worth, it’s a pretty decent phone. Unfortunately, I’m a plan user of the rival telco and the N77, to my dismay, is network-locked. It does come with a prepaid SIM so I can still use it though I would really love it if it can be used with my own SIM as well.
This led me to find legal ways to unlock the unit. I called up the call center of the telco and initially, they said that it was ok to have it unlocked as long as its a prepaid kit, but they don’t have the resources to do so. They advised to bring to a Nokia Service Center. So, I called up Nokia. They, however, refuted what the representative of the telco said and continued to say that it was illegal to unlock a network-locked phone. So, I gave the telco a ring again and this time around, they back tracked on what they said and agreed with Nokia that it cannot be unlocked.
This has led me to wonder, aren’t they depriving the customers the right to choose? I understand why plan-locked phones cannot be unlocked, but prepaid phone kits should be allowed to be unlocked. Why should telco companies and Nokia force people to seek illegal means to have their phone unlocked when they can simply do it themselves? It seems that telcos are trapping customers with this network-locking scheme so that they would stick with them because of this policy instead of providing qualty service that customers will really enjoy and look for in the long run.
Of course you always have the option of having it unlocked illegaly, but at the same time, you void the warranty of the phone. Why should Nokia allow customers to seek out illegal means when they can do it themselves at a price of course? You’ve paid for that product, why should you be limited to a single network in its usage?