How to unlock your iPhone from O2, Orange, Three, T-Mobile, Vodafone and EE

December 18th, 2013

By unlocking your iPhone, you’ll be able to use it on another mobile network. You can save money with SIM-only deals and you can avoid roaming charges when travelling abroad.

iPhone 5SWhen you buy an iPhone, it’ll normally be locked to a mobile network. Your iPhone will only accept SIM cards from the network it’s locked to (for example an iPhone which is locked to O2 UK will only accept SIM cards from O2′s UK network). Insert a SIM card from any another mobile network and you’ll be told the SIM is “not supported” on your device.

In the UK, almost all iPhones sold are locked to a mobile network. This includes the iPhones sold on a Pay Monthly contract and the iPhones sold on a Pay As You Go tariff. You’ll have to unlock your iPhone before you can use it on another network. This article shows you how to unlock an iPhone from the UK’s major mobile networks.

If you purchased an iPhone directly from Apple, it should already be unlocked. In this case, you won’t need to unlock your iPhone again as it’ll already work on any mobile network. Simply grab a Pay As You Go SIM card (free) or sign up for a SIM Only contract to give it a go.

If you purchased your iPhone from a third-party retailer (e.g. the Carphone Warehouse), it’ll automatically lock itself to the first network used on the phone. You’ll need to contact that network in order to unlock your iPhone.

Why would I want to unlock my iPhone?

There are four main benefits to unlocking your iPhone.

1. Save Money By Switching To A Cheaper SIM Only Deal

Once you’ve completed the first 24 months of your contract, you can switch to a cheaper SIM only deal. By switching, you can normally save around £300 per year whilst keeping the same iPhone and keeping the same phone number. Providing your iPhone is unlocked, simply change the SIM card that’s inside your device.

For iPhone owners, the best value SIM Only deal is Three’s £10/month tariff. You’ll get 600 minutes, all-you-can-eat texts and a generous 1GB of internet. As most people are paying around £35/month on their normal iPhone contract, switching to this £10 deal would shave a massive 70% off your monthly phone bill. Over the course of a year, this equates to a £300 saving. For iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s owners, there’s also the bonus of 4G internet (you’ll need to live in a 4G coverage area).

Please select the type of iPhone you own:

iPhone 5 Family
iPhone 5 Family »With 4G internet in selected areas.
iPhone 4 Family
iPhone 4S & 4 »Ultrafast 3G.
iPhone Older
iPhone 3GS »

For heavy internet users, check out The One Plan for £23/month. With The One Plan, you’ll get all-you-can-eat minutes, all-you-can-eat texts and all-you-can-eat data with no download limits. This is a great choice for anyone who loves to download music and also for anyone who loves watching online videos. Unlimited data is also great for downloading applications. 4GB of tethering is included on the plan so you can share the mobile internet connection with other devices (e.g. your laptop or tablet).

For more information, see our full list of iPhone SIM only deals. We’ve listed the deals from EE, giffgaff, O2, Orange, Three, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

If you’re changing mobile network, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.

2. Save Money When Travelling: Use a Different SIM Card Abroad

An unlocked iPhone means cheaper trips abroad.

Having an unlocked iPhone will allow you to benefit from lower rates abroad.

If you’re travelling abroad with an iPhone, it’s possible to incur huge costs by using the roaming functionality with your UK SIM card inside.

When travelling inside the EU, expect to pay 25p/minute and 8p per text message. You’ll also pay 7p/minute when receiving a phone call. The most substantial costs are for accessing the internet: you’ll pay 46p/MB which is around £4.60/day under typical usage.

When using your phone outside the EU, roaming charges will be even higher. Expect to pay around £1.50/minute for phone calls, 50p per text message and £6/MB for internet access. With data roaming enabled, the average smartphone user could easily run up a bill of £60 per day.

The best way of using your iPhone abroad is to buy a SIM card locally in your country of travel. With a local SIM card, it’ll be much cheaper to call, text and browse. You’ll be able to use the full functionality of your iPhone without needing to worry about the costs of roaming. To use a different SIM card, you’ll first need to unlock your iPhone. This is the case even if you’re using another country’s branch of the same network (e.g. O2 Ireland or Orange France).

N.B. If you’re visiting certain countries (e.g. the USA and Italy), you can roam abroad for free using Three’s Feel At Home service. It’s available on their £10/month deal as well as The One Plan. See the Three website for more information.

3. Second Hand iPhone: Friends & Family can use the network of their choice

If you’re upgrading to a newer device (e.g. the iPhone 5s or Galaxy S5), you might want to pass on your old iPhone to friends or family members. If you’re planning to do this, you should first unlock your iPhone. This will allow your friends and family to use the iPhone on their network of choice. They can also benefit from lower cost SIM only deals.

4. Higher Resale Value When Selling Your iPhone

If you’re selling an old iPhone, unlocking it first will boost its resale value. You’ll also increase the potential market for your device: customers of any network will be able to buy your iPhone. If you don’t unlock your iPhone, you’ll restrict your target market to people on the same network.

Is it legal to unlock an iPhone?

Yes, it is perfectly legal to unlock an iPhone.

Unlock iPhone

Unlocking your iPhone can open up a world of cheaper tariffs at home and abroad.

Mobile phone networks often “lock” your handset as they subsidise the cost. As the iPhone is offered at a reduced price on contract, the locking mechanism stops you from taking a subsidised phone and immediately using it on another network.

Once you’ve owned your iPhone for a certain amount of time (usually 30 days or 3 months), you can ask your network to unlock it. This will allow you to use it on other networks. Although the network is under no obligation to unlock your iPhone, all UK networks happily provide the service. You’ll normally pay a small fee for unlocking (usually no more than £20).

In this guide, I only discuss the official methods of unlocking your iPhone.

Unofficial Methods of Unlocking an iPhone

You may find unofficial methods of unlocking an iPhone on the internet (e.g. using codes, third-party websites or downloadable software). There is no guarantee that these methods work: some of them are scams that will take your money whilst failing to unlock your phone. Others may render your phone unusable. There are also a number of unscrupulous websites which charge you a service fee for filling out a form on your behalf. The only “official” iPhone unlock is through your mobile network.

Some unofficial methods will temporarily unlock your phone by “jailbreaking” it. Apple regularly updates the software on the iPhone and fixes the loopholes that allow it to be jailbroken. Updating the software on your iPhone will return it back to the locked state. Your warranty will be invalidated by unlocking your iPhone in an unauthorised manner. Please do your research very carefully and make sure you understand what you’re doing before jailbreaking your phone.

How much money could I save with an unlocked iPhone?

If you aren’t tied in to a 24-month contract, you can save about £25 per month by unlocking your iPhone and switching to a SIM only deal. The iPhone can be used on any SIM-only tariff that has an inclusive data allowance. The best value deals are generally found on Three:

Unlock savings of £25/month (£300/year) by switching to a SIM Only tariff.

Aside from Three, you can also find SIM only deals on EE, giffgaff, O2 and Vodafone. On Pay As You Go, giffgaff has some great value deals with unlimited internet from £12/month.

Select your mobile network:

When choosing a SIM only tariff, be sure to order the right size of SIM card. For the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c you’ll need to order a “Nano SIM” tariff. For the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, you’ll need to choose the “Micro SIM” option. For older iPhones (e.g. the iPhone 3GS), choose the “Standard SIM” option.

If you’re changing network, you can keep your existing phone number by requesting a PAC Code. Switching mobile networks is a straightforward process and transferring your phone number takes no more than 24 hours.

How do I find the IMEI number on my iPhone?

During the unlocking process, your mobile network will ask you to provide the IMEI number of your iPhone. The IMEI is a serial number which is unique to every device. You’ll need to provide the correct IMEI so that your mobile network will unlock the right device.

IMEI Number on iPhone 5 and newer devices

For the iPhone 5 and later devices, the IMEI number is engraved on the back.

There are four ways of finding the IMEI number on an iPhone:

  • IMEI from Settings Menu. In the iPhone menu, go to Settings > General > About. The IMEI number should be listed as one of the menu items.
  • IMEI from Phone Dialler. Go to your iPhone dialler keypad (as if you’re going to make a call). Enter *#06# (star hash zero six hash). Your iPhone’s IMEI number should appear on the screen.
  • IMEI through iTunes (PC connection required). Connect your iPhone to a computer and open iTunes. On the iPhone information page, click on your phone number. This will cycle through several pieces of information about your iPhone. The IMEI number will be one of these pieces of information.
  • IMEI from back of device (iPhone 5/5s/5c only). The IMEI number is engraved on the back of the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. You’ll find it in the text at the bottom (see picture to right).

Make a careful note of your phone’s IMEI number (it should be 15 digits long). Make sure you provide the correct IMEI number when unlocking your handset – otherwise you could be unlocking someone else’s device!

How do I unlock an iPhone from O2?

Pay Monthly. Your iPhone can be unlocked free of charge at any time. You’ll still need to honour the minimum term of your contract however (you aren’t able to cancel your contract early). It can take up to 72 hours to unlock an iPhone from O2. To begin the unlocking process, fill in the form on the O2 website.

As of April 2014, O2 are unlocking all models of the iPhone. This includes the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. Previously, O2 was refusing unlocking requests for these models in order to “make sure that genuine O2 customers get iPhone 5s and 5c” stock.

Pay As You Go. It costs £15 to unlock your iPhone. This comes from your Pay As You Go balance so you should top-up by at least £15 prior to requesting an unlock. Fill in this form on the O2 website to get started.

Note: If you’re joining giffgaff, you can use an O2-locked iPhone without unlocking it first. For O2 Pay Monthly customers, we’d recommend unlocking your iPhone anyway (it’s free). For O2 Pay As You Go customers, it’s possible to save £15 by foregoing the unlock. To join giffgaff, order a free SIM card here.

How do I unlock an iPhone from Orange?

Pay Monthly & Pay As You Go. Orange will unlock your iPhone for £20.42 providing you’re the original owner of the phone. You’ll need to have had your phone for at least six months. The £20.42 unlocking fee will either be charged to your next Pay Monthly bill or your Pay As You Go airtime balance. You’ll need to be a current Orange customer, so remember to unlock your phone before cancelling the contract or changing mobile network.

You can request an unlock through the EE website.

Many readers have experienced problems when unlocking an iPhone from Orange. However, there have been some success stories too. Please see the comments below for more discussion and information. If you’ve had any experiences with unlocking an iPhone from Orange (good or bad), we’d love to hear from you.

How do I unlock an iPhone from Three?

Pay Monthly & Pay As You Go. Three can unlock your iPhone at any time. To request an unlock, fill out the form on Three’s website. There is no charge for this service. The details you provide on the form must match up exactly with those on your Three account (i.e. you’ll need to provide the details of the bill payer).

If you don’t currently have an active account at Three, you can unlock your iPhone by first ordering a free SIM card. Activate the SIM card before filling out the unlocking form. You don’t need to be the original owner of the device.

How do I unlock an iPhone from T-Mobile?

Pay Monthly & Pay As You Go. T-Mobile will unlock your iPhone providing you’ve been a customer for at least 6 months. There’s an administration charge of £20.42 for the service. You can request an unlock by calling T-Mobile customer services (dial 150 from your handset). Alternatively, fill in this form on the EE website.

How do I unlock an iPhone from Vodafone?

Pay Monthly. For Vodafone Pay Monthly customers, it’s free to unlock an iPhone providing you’ve had it for at least 12 months. If you’ve had the iPhone for less than 12 months, you’ll be charged an unlocking fee of £19.99. The unlocking process should be completed within 7-10 working days. You can make the request through Vodafone’s online form.

Pay As You Go. There’s an administration charge of £19.99 to unlock your iPhone from Vodafone. This charge is taken from your Pay As You Go balance so you should top up by at least £20 prior to unlocking your iPhone. Pay As You Go customers should request an unlock through Vodafone’s online form.

How do I unlock an iPhone from EE?

EEPay Monthly & Pay As You Go. For customers on 4GEE, there’s a charge of £20.42 to unlock your iPhone. For Pay Monthly customers, the unlocking charge will be added to your next bill. For Pay As You Go customers, the charge will be deducted from your airtime balance (you should top up by at least £21 prior to making your request).

In order to qualify for the unlocking service, you must have bought your iPhone from EE and you’ll need to be a customer for at least six months. You should also be up-to-date with any payments. It might take up to 10 working days for your request to be processed. To get started, fill out the unlocking form on EE’s website.

How do I unlock an iPhone from third-party retailers?

If your iPhone was originally purchased from a third-party retailer (e.g. the Carphone Warehouse), it’ll automatically lock itself to the first mobile network used on the phone. This is the case even when your iPhone was sold as a “SIM Free” handset.

To unlock your iPhone, you should contact the network the phone has become locked to. If your iPhone is locked to a mobile network that doesn’t sell the iPhone (e.g. Talkmobile or Virgin), it might be impossible to unlock your device. For more information, see our guide on unlocking a SIM-free iPhone.

If you purchased your iPhone directly from Apple, it should already be unlocked. There is no need to unlock it again.

I’ve made a request to unlock my iPhone. What’s next?

Once you’ve informed your mobile network that you want to unlock your iPhone and once you’ve made the necessary payments, your mobile network will get in touch with Apple. Apple maintains a central list of unlocked iPhone devices and it can take up to 14 days for your iPhone to be added to this list. Once your device has been added to the list, you’ll need to connect it to iTunes to complete the unlocking process. A message should pop-up in iTunes to let you know that your device has been unlocked.

iPhone Unlocking: Congratulations Message in iTunes

You’ll get this message in iTunes once your iPhone has been unlocked.

How can I check to see whether my iPhone has been unlocked?

The easiest way to test whether your iPhone has been successfully unlocked is to insert a SIM card from a different network. All of the UK’s major mobile networks offer a free Pay As You Go SIM card.

If you’ve unlocked your iPhone through the methods discussed on this page, you’ll see a “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked.” message within iTunes once your request has been processed.

What about stores which offer to unlock your iPhone?

Some newsagents and shops may offer to unlock your iPhone. They will usually do this by “jailbreaking” your device. This is not the recommended method of unlocking your phone: it isn’t permanent and you’ll need to jailbreak your device every time Apple releases a software update. Jailbreaking will also invalidate your warranty and could introduce security vulnerabilities.

The only official way of unlocking your iPhone is through your mobile network operator and the methods listed on this page. We strongly recommend paying the small fee to unlock your iPhone officially and legitimately.

Which handsets can I unlock using the methods described on this page?

The methods of unlocking your iPhone described on this page should work with any iPhone device purchased in the UK. This includes:

  • 5th generation: Apple iPhone 5, Apple iPhone 5s & Apple iPhone 5c
  • 4th generation: Apple iPhone 4 & Apple iPhone 4S
  • 3rd generation: Apple iPhone 3G & Apple iPhone 3G S
  • Older Devices: Apple iPhone (original)

As the methods discussed here are officially supported, they will work regardless of the model you have and the version of iOS you’re running on your device. Your iPhone’s warranty is unaffected by unlocking it via your mobile network.

    

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About Ken

Ken Lo

I'm a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005 with the aim of demystifying mobile technology for the rest of us.

Before writing about mobile technology, my background was in space & atmospheric physics. I have also worked in software development. Nowadays, I help companies to explain mobile technology to their customers. Please check out my portfolio or get in touch for more information. I'm also on Google+.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 519 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Fi said:

    Hi Ken, I did a stupid thing by putting an EE sim into an O2 iphone so it is now locked to EE and I cannot use the iphone for my new O2 contract. I bought the phone via mobiles.co.uk and EE won’t budge to unlock it saying their hands are tied and there is nothing they can do unless mobiles.co.uk ask them to. I have asked them to talk to EE but after speaking to 3 very rude Customer Service people they won’t budge or help saying more or less it’s tough! I then searched and found officaliphoneunlocking but after paying £25 to check if it can be unlocked they want a further £109.99 which I can’t affoard. My only option, it seems, is to sell the phone and buy another that’s for O2. Or can you suggest how I can get mobiles.co.uk to help me as I cannot deal with such a rude company. In fairness to EE the girl who I spoke to there was trying her best to help, speaking to O2 and Apple but neither could help. Thanks!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Fi,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m really sorry to hear about the problems you’ve experienced: it is a rather common problem and many people have encountered the same thing (see our guide: When a SIM-free iPhone isn’t unlocked). It’s particularly a problem with you buy an iPhone from a third-party retailer such as the Carphone Warehouse (of which Mobiles.co.uk is now a part of).
      Unfortunately, there’s very little I can suggest to do as there’s no legal requirement for EE to unlock your handset. Their current policy (and in my opinion, a rather misguided policy) is only to unlock iPhones for the original owner and if they bought the iPhone on EE’s network. This means it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to get EE to unlock your iPhone.
      It could be worth checking with Mobiles.co.uk (for instance, they might allow you to replace or return your handset). If not, then the suggested solution of selling your EE-locked iPhone and buying one on O2 could certainly work (though it’s not ideal as this will come with some cost).
      Good luck and very sorry I couldn’t help more,
      Ken

  2. Mary Anne Evans said:

    Unfortunately I had cancelled my contract with T-Mobile without realising the phone was locked. Surely when you contact the provider to cancel the contract they should inform you that you will be unable to get the phone unlocked once it is cancelled.

    I had a very unpleasant and unhelpful conversation with the provider after I had been told I would need to get an pay-as-you-go sim to unlock the phone. Once I had got that I was then told I needed to use that sim for three months! I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told there’s no point, they’ll only say the same, and would I like to top up now?

    Exasperated, I asked to be put through to the complaints department, at which point I was told there was no complaints line, I would have to go online. I put in an online complaint which said I should receive a reply within 72 hours, that was nearly a month ago!

    Customer service? What customer service? Never, ever, ever, again will I use EE or T-Mobile, they are a disgrace.

  3. Ana said:

    Hi ken! I have iphone 3 gs. Contract ended with O2. They unlock it. But it displays no service everytime i will connect to itunes it always says no sim, i tried many non o2 sim. But nothing works. My phone has no remaining balance.,my number ended with the contract i did not ask to convert to pay as you go.

  4. Craig said:

    I have an Apple 5 on the o2 uk network on a monthly contract and I wish to use a o2 pay as you go sim card in the phone. I was told by a friend that this may not be possible because the phone could be locked onto the o2 monthly sim card. Is this true?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Craig,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s not true – your iPhone is locked to the network rather than being locked to a specific SIM card. So you can definitely use an O2 Pay & Go SIM card within your iPhone from an O2 Pay Monthly contract.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. Craig replied:

        Cheers Ken.

  5. umar said:

    requested to unlock my iphone 4s at the end of my cotract with orange. i got charged £20.42 and were told it would be done within 20 days maximum. After 20 days i contacted ee(orange) and was told its already open and i was told i need to syn my phone with itunes which i had no clue about. I said can you send me instruction via email ee told me to go to ant ee store and they would sort it out for me. I went to ee store but they said they cannot assist me with that and i should contact ee.
    I spoke to ee who told me my phone was still unlocked and would be opened in 20 working days which means i have to wait a few days. Not happy at all without having my iphone working and ee have lost a customer permanently. Glad i have left orange.

  6. Cr said:

    Hello Ken
    I am currently traveling to India from the UK
    I am using an iPhone 4
    I had an unlocked phone (original from Tmobile) that I was using on Tesco but when I inverted an Indian sim in it there was no service so I tried to reactivate it & am now stuck as it not activate due to the fact that it may be locked.
    Tesco say that it is unusual & may not be locked
    Apple help say it seems it is locked on O2
    I paid £1 to myimeiunlock.com and it shows next tether policy as Tmobile/orange
    It’s become locked on T mobile. I had updated my software to ios7 but was using Tesco card in it.
    Now am stuck with an unactivated phone in India, not sure wich provider it is locked on.
    My conclusion is to avoid iPhones

  7. Andy said:

    Hi Ken. I read your tips with interest. I am currently switching from one UK provider to another and I have requested authorisation from Apple to unlock my iPhone 4. I wasn’t aware that the process required me to connect to iTunes. I may have a problem, as much as my computer is currently out of action and I can’t use it to access my iTunes account until it is repaired. I don’t own another device with iTunes on it. Is there another way?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Andy,
      Thanks for your comment. To unlock your iPhone after making a request, my understanding is you need to insert your new SIM card into the phone. It may also be necessary to connect your phone to iTunes (if required, you can presumably visit the Apple Store in person as an alternative to doing this).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

      1. Andy replied:

        Hi Ken. It dawned on me that I still had my old laptop stored away, so I booted it up (and had to suffer endless updates) and unlocked my iPhone through iTunes that way. So I didn’t have to go to the Apple Store in the end. Thanks. Andy

  8. Dean said:

    Hi ken, I have bought an iphone 5 locked to EE, is it possible at all to use a EE pay as you go SIM card in it ? I think it may off been blocked ? I’ve tried getting my money back but it’s never happened

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Dean,
      In general, yes – an EE Pay As You Go SIM card will work on an EE iPhone 5 without any problems. The only exception would be if your iPhone was blocked for some reason (e.g. if it was stolen or lost in the past, or if it’s been blacklisted from the network). If this is the case, you’ll need to contact EE to get the handset unblocked.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  9. din said:

    hi,

    I got an iPhone 5 from o2 in uk some time back under the pay & go scheme, now i’ve passed this phone to my friend from Singapore. Now how do i unlock the sim for the phone to be used in singapore.
    I have forgotten the phone number and no longer have the o2 sim. Could you please help to unlock it ?I can provide you the IMEI if you want.
    Thanks

    Din

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Din,
      If you aren’t able to complete O2′s online form, the best thing to do would be to contact O2′s customer services. Dial 4445 from your O2 Pay & Go mobile or 0844 809 0222 from a UK landline. It might be possible for them to retrieve the details of your Pay & Go account. The second option would be to grab yourself a new SIM card from O2. Once the SIM card is active, you can use the new number to request the unlocking of your iPhone.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  10. Debbie Austin said:

    Hi Ken. My partner bought an unlocked iphone 3 gs on ebay, a year later he upgraded to an Iphone 4 and i inherited the 3gs. He was on talk mobile and i am on orange, i put my sim in and no problems.

    Now 18 months on i have upgraded to an iphone 4 and have given my stepson the 3gs, but when he went to put a sim in from o2 has been told the phone has been locked.

    Why has it locked on this latest transfer but not before?

    Many thanks

    Debbie

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for your comment. There’s two reasons why the iPhone might have become locked to a network. The first reason is that some iPhones automatically lock themselves to the first network you use (this is true of SIM-free handsets originally bought from a non-Apple retailer). If your iPhone has become locked this way, please see my article here.

      The other reason why an iPhone may have become locked is if it was originally unlocked in an unauthorised manner. Upgrading the software can cause the iPhone to become locked once again.

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  11. Gerry Bond said:

    I have been requesting an unlock (3GS) from Orange since 18th March. Online and follow-up calls. Each time it is promised to be done within a few days and nothing happens. Just written to the CEO as I believe they have no intention of letting me go.

  12. luk said:

    hi,can not write in English but I can try my problem is ,I bought iphone 5s 32bg from vodafone to first sim card lock unwittingly i put ee card pay you go and lost this card and don,t remember this phone number.I call vodafon to unlock this phone there said i have to call ee ,when i call ee there need accont number this ee card and phone number this ee card.I need help and no one want help me.What can i do to unlocking my phone

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Luk,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s no problem as you can simply order another EE SIM card. Once you have this, you can use the new number to contact EE. For more information on what to do when your iPhone becomes locked to a different mobile network, please see my earlier blog post.
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

      1. luk replied:

        Yes But i have to be with ee six month and phone must be also bought from ee, then i can unlock my iphone.

  13. Guy said:

    Hi there

    I have an old iphone 4 which was on an orange contract about two years ago before i switched to three. I want to unlock so i can use my three sim in it whilst i get my phone repaired.

    Orange UK say they cant help me because i don’t have contract with them anymore.

    Any ideas on what i can do to get it unlocked?

    Thanks

    Guy

  14. kim h said:

    Hi need help my sister gave me her 4s iPhone as her contract was up Vodafone unlocked it so I can use I put my virgin mobile SIM in but it says no service what do I do my sister’s info still in the iTunes so I can’t even get that cancelled

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your comment! It sounds to me as if there isn’t a problem with your iPhone being locked – if it was then you’d see a different message. Instead, it’s likely to be a matter of your iPhone 4s not picking up the Virgin network. I’d recommend looking at this Apple KB – it goes through some common things to investigate. In particular, follow the section for users outside the US (Settings > Carrier > Automatic part).

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  15. Christine said:

    Hi Ken! Great to have found your blog. Hope you can advise on this situation – need your expertise.

    My brother in law has given me his old iphone 4 which he no longer uses after upgrading to the iphone 5. I took it into my local Vodafone store to swap the sim card (my present sim being the normal size rather than micro) however they advised that I should take the iphone 4 to the original providers O2 and ask them to unlock the phone first before they can do anything.
    As I am not the original owner of the phone, will O2 unlock it for me, or would my brother in law need to handle it?

    Many thks for your time.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Christine,

      As far as I’m aware, there’s no need to be the original owner in order to unlock an O2 iPhone. You can simply follow the instructions above. If you don’t currently have an account on O2, you can order a free SIM card here. Top up by £15 or more – it costs £15 for a Pay As You Go customer to unlock an iPhone.

      If possible, however, I’d still suggest asking your brother-in-law to fill in the online form. As a Pay Monthly customer, he’ll be able to request the unlock free of charge. Furthermore, he won’t need physical access to the phone – you simply connect your iPhone to iTunes after the request has been processed.

      Hope this helps!

      Ken

      1. Steve replied:

        Ken, I have the same predicament as Christine.

        The pay monthly form asks for password details and my sister only has a logon password and it specifically suggests this is not the password to use, it should be the one used to talk to customer services.

        My option is to buy a PAYG sim but I am being advised that this needs to be active on the O2 network for 12months before O2 will then process an unlock. Can you confirm this is correct ?

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Steve,

          Thanks for your comment! As far as I’m aware, there’s no need to have your iPhone for 12 months before you’re able to unlock it. You should be able to order a free O2 SIM card and then unlock your handset straight away. If you unlock an O2 PAYG iPhone in the first 12 months, it used to be the case that you’d lose the free Web bolt-on. However, this isn’t applicable for your current situation (your account doesn’t have the bolt on) so there’s no need to worry.

          Hope this helps!

          Ken

  16. Olivia said:

    Hello,

    I recently moved to Paris and I had a third iphone for free which came unlocked, but it is completely and utterly dead to the point where it needs to be binned, its unsaveable. (I have triple checked). So I need to buy a new one, I was going to buy a refurb from CEX in England and have it posted here but I am concerned about it being unlocked. I have been a tmobile customer for about 2yrs maybe more, contract until a month ago then became pay as you go, but will be switching to Lebra pay as you go as its better for international use. I am only here for another 5months so i need flexibility.

    Thanks

  17. Tiggy said:

    Need some advice ….
    Am about to upgrade my iPhone 3GS to an iPhone 4GS with EE as my 24 month contract is nearly up.
    I want to give my old phone to my son living in New Zealand .. he is with vodaphone. What do I do … presume my old phone needs to be unlocked, if so should this be done in the UK or in NZ??
    Any advice would be marvellous!! Thanks.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Tiggy,
      Thanks for the comment! You’ll need to unlock your iPhone 3GS here in the UK – it’ll need to be done through your UK network operator. As a slight aside, even if you’re on Vodafone UK the iPhone 3GS won’t work on Vodafone New Zealand (they’re considered totally separate networks for the purpose of handset locking).
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  18. Misa Velimirovic said:

    A few months ago I bought through eBay IPHONE 4 which seems completely preserved, however, it’s locked to Orange UK.
    The phone I received a certificate – a report that was not stolen, lost, and that is not under contract.
    I wrote a polite, asking them, Orange UK, as the phone is not under contract and is no longer active on their network to reset it, I also wrote that the phone is no longer in their offer considering that the older generation
    There is no answer and I do not see a way to unlock it regularly and that it is acceptable
    After reading your text (because I’m not an active owner in Orange) come to the conclusion that the phone can be purchased to throw in the trash, horrible, unless you somehow we do not help
    IMEI: [removed]
    S / N: [removed]

    Thank you for your understanding,
    Best regards
    Misa Velimirovic Novi Sad SERBIA

  19. Brian said:

    I did not realise that I needed to unlock my iphone before transferring to a new model in November 2013, I then passed the old one on to my wife, she inserted her T mobile sim but it would not work. I have had many fruitless telephone calls to Orange, twice been promised that it would be unlocked within 20 days but it is still locked. Of course it now does not have a phone number attached to it as I transferred it to my new phone. I again went into the EE shop today and their solution was that I should get someone to jail break it! Not a satisfactory solution I feel. I have written to the complaints department but have had not reply and have just sent an email to the EMT proofs department together with the relevant receipts. I now have a useless iphone and a very unhappy wife!

    1. James replied:

      Hi Brian,

      The many complaints I’ve heard about Orange/EE made me want to leave them as soon as possible. But whatever you do, do not jailbreak the phone: as soon as the phone gets an update it will most likely stop working. I was lucky in that my unlock procedure arrived about 20 days after I asked for it, but at the time (December 2013) they did say that Apple were dealing with a huge backlog of unlock requests, so it was taking longer than usual. Perhaps this is happening for you too? You will definitely need the T mobile sim to unlock the phone (via iTunes) in the first place, so hopefully this will happen eventually.

      But again, commiserations. It seems like there are a lot of very disgruntled people on this site!

  20. Alin said:

    Hi there again Ken I wanna ask you a question. I just swapped my phone Xperia Z for a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N900 an international version.

    The phone is unlocked no doesn’t have 4G but that’s ok as I have 3G with my network giffgaff plus 4G is still new but expensive.

    The problems I’m having is that I need to install a Configuration settings from giffgaff but when I click to Full Install it’s asking me to Input a PIN. I’ve no idea what the pin is. The phone as I said is unlocked and doesn’t ask for passport or anything like that as I’ve installed apps and all fine.

    I’m upset that it doesn’t support samsung watchon that lovely remote control feature.

    I’ve email the guy but my emails are no longer sending comes with postmaster failed message so I don’t know what to do. How do I find out what this pin is as no point trying to get the phone unlocked if it ain’t unlocked.

    Please email me when you reply

    1. Alin replied:

      Hi Ken I’ve got one more other problem

      General – About phone – SELinux status

      It says Enforcing what does that mean.

      My IMEI is fine if you need to check let me know

      So this is the main problems I’m having the signal issue weak and sometimes says no signal and drops off and this pin thing I’ve no idea what it is.

      I’ve also messaged Samsung too so waiting for a reply.

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi Alin,
        Thanks for your comment. I’m afraid I don’t know about the PIN – do you know which type of PIN is being required by your handset? Is it a PIN for the handset or SIM card? Or perhaps you got caught by the Note 3′s region lock? If your SM-N900 was imported from outside the EU, it’s quite possible you’ll need to deactivate the region lock.
        With regards to the “Enforcing” status of SELinux, you don’t need to worry about this as it’s quite normal. It’s all to do with the Samsung KNOX feature which creates a secure area within your phone for business users who require BYOD (bring your own device) capabilities.
        Ken

        1. Alin replied:

          Hi Ken do you have an email that I can reply to you with a picture.

          The guy I done the swap with he used Vodafone sim and said it’s unlocked. I’ve inserted my giffgaff and it’s fine also my Romanian orange SIM card and still working. The pin isn’t for the handset or SIM card. It’s a pin that I guess this guy has set up and I can’t get hold of him guess he deleted his email and how will I explain the issue with the signal problems I’m having the signal sometimes goes off and it’s also very weak and drops. So really not happy about it and also wanna mention as it’s the SM-N900 international version doesn’t even have any samsung apps. I’ve downloaded the samsung hub but just crashes so don’t work but nothing like Samsung apps watchon etc. So here’s the example Ken I’ve texted settings to 2020 and giffgaff sent me the internet and mms settings and need to install that and it’s then when I click install when asking me please insert pin. So this is what I wanna sort out. Thank you for the reply and looking forward to hear from you.

          1. Ken Lo
            Ken replied:

            Hi Alin,

            Thanks for the clarification: you’re actually being asked the PIN for the giffgaff settings file. It’s either 5555 or 6666 (give them both a try). If there’s still a problem adding the settings, you can follow the guide on this giffgaff page.

            Hope this helps – feel free to contact me via the address on this page if you’d still like to send over a screenshot!

            Ken

  21. Su said:

    I asked Orange (EE) to unlock my iphone 4s on 12/11/13 and am still waiting….It’s 59 days now, rather more than the 20 days they say it will take. I’ve rung them every day for a week hoping to wear them down but keep being told they have outsourced the unlocking to an external company and all they can do is e-mail them and chase. They refuse to tell me who the external company is for me to call them myself and insist that Orange isn’t to blame despite charging me £20 in my November bill. I am so fed up with this.

  22. Emma said:

    Hi

    I’m hoping someone can help me!

    I purchased an iPhone 4S from a friend in the UK (I live in Jersey) last month.
    He told me that Orange informed him that the phone would be unlocked in 7 days (it actually took just under a month!!).
    However, today I received an email from Orange to say that the phone has been unlocked and it included procedures to follow.

    The problem I have is that when I plugged the phone into my computer, I got a message saying that the phone is set up to my friends apple account and it won’t give me an option to restore so that I can sync it to mine.

    HELP!!!!!

    Obviously, he can’t give me his apple password (I wouldn’t expect him to) how can I get this resolved so that the new phone gets synced to my computer?

    I can’t post the phone back to him due to cost and VAT issues, are there any other ways around this?

    Apple won’t help unless I purchase a payment plan for £25!!!

    Thanks
    Emma

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Emma,
      Thanks for getting in touch! Unfortunately, the unlocking procedure does require you to connect your iPhone to a computer – the computer will need to have iTunes and must be logged in to your friend’s account.
      In your situation, are you seeing an error message such as “Incorrect Apple ID cannot be used to unlock this iPhone”? If so, your friend probably activated the Activation Lock feature. This is an anti-theft measure and there’s no way around it except from logging in to your friend’s Apple ID. One possibility is to ask your friend to change his Apple passport to something temporary. You can log in to unlock your phone and then he can change his password back to something more secure. This will avoid cost & VAT issues but does require a large amount of trust. There are also some data security implications so you’ll need to consider this before sharing a login (normally not recommended).
      Ken

  23. James said:

    Hi all,

    I thought I’d share my own “experiences” with moving over from Orange to O2, with an iPhone 4S. It wasn’t as streamlined or as bad as some people have said in the comments, so I thought I’d share some tips to help other people thinking about doing the same. Just to add one last thing, I went with a sim-only deal with O2.

    1. Request an unlock from Orange BEFORE you request your PAC number. Ideally, do it a month or two before your contract expires so that any delay will not affect you. Even if your phone is locked to orange (which it will be) and you request a PAC number, orange will not tell you that the phone is locked. So request your unlock first!

    2. Don’t get a sim card from your new network provider until about a week before your contract expires. It will take 2-3 business days to post (at least it did with O2) and YOU WILL BE BILLED AS SOON AS YOU REQUEST A SIM. Apologies for the capitalisation but I ended up paying for 2 phone contracts at the same time!

    3. The unlock email you receive from Orange (as provided in Leigh Coleman’s post from 23 Nov 2013) isn’t quite as detailed as it should be. Here’s what I recommend you do:
    A. Sync your phone using your old (i.e. Orange) sim card first
    B. Check that iTunes is up to date; use the update tool in the iTunes menu for this. The unlock will only work with the most up-to-date version and give you a warning that you can’t proceed otherwise
    C. Then, BACK UP YOUR PHONE!!! Otherwise you will lose all of your data and apps
    D. Carry out the procedure as explained in the email. The ‘restore’ option that they talk about should display ‘Restore iPhone’. There were two different ‘restore’ buttons when I tried this – USE THE TOP ONE (the Orange instructions are a bit misleading for this bit). Don’t worry about it asking if you want to restore your iPhone to factory settings, you will get everything back at the end.
    E. When you get the prompt saying your iPhone was successfully unlocked, select ‘Restore your iPhone using a backup’ (or words to that effect) and select the most recent backup from the drop-down menu (which should be that day). Depending on how many apps you have, this may take about 10-15 minutes. So be prepared to spend about 30-45 minutes tops for the whole unlock procedure :(
    F. Ta-da! You’re all done

    4. HOWEVER. All was not ok at this point for me. I still had the dreaded ‘No Service’ message in the top-left hand corner of my phone. Now, this next bit of advice could save you hours (or days, in my case) of frustration. If you get the ‘No Service’ message, CHECK THAT YOUR NEW SIM IS ACTIVATED. Mine wasn’t, and I tried going through the whole process 4 times to see if it helped. Also, don’t bother with the O2 ‘gurus’ on livechat. They mean well, I’m sure, but I spoke to 4 different people and got given 4 different pieces of information as to why it wasn’t working. Therefore, GO IN A (O2) SHOP and they will check your O2 sim for you. In the end, my new O2 sim hadn’t been activated in the first place. The shop supplied me with a new one straight away, which worked as soon as it was put in the phone. If you do have to go in a shop, bring your driving license and O2 phone number with you. You will get your O2 number when you sign up for an online account.

    I know this is a long comment but I hope it helps someone else out there going through the same process!

    Good luck,

    James

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi James,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences of unlocking an iPhone from Orange! You provide some really good advice – readers should definitely make sure they unlock their iPhone in advance of changing mobile provider. There are many cases where people have been tripped up by this (e.g. see the comments below). As Orange will only unlock the iPhone for people still on their network, it’s essential to do things the right way round.

      Ken

  24. Alin said:

    Hi there I’m thinking of getting an iPhone 5S but it’s gonna be locked on Vodafone, O2 or EE (t-Mobile and orange). I’m gonna be buying the item from eBay that’s why as I can’t find any cheap iPhone 5S that’s unlocked. So how much will it cost me to unlock the iPhone from those networks. Please get in touch and let me know thank you. Me being on giffgaff yes it’s cool as I can use it on O2 locked iPhone. But the problem is that I visit family every year in Romania so that’s my main reason for wanting an unlocked iPhone 5S.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Alin,

      Thanks for getting in touch! The easiest thing to do would be to buy an iPhone 5S locked to Three UK. It’s free to unlock an iPhone from Three and you don’t need to be the original owner. Vodafone is another possibility, though there’s a £20 charge for unlocking your handset.

      At present, you can’t unlock the iPhone 5S from O2. This is likely to be true until at least April 2014 (according to O2 it’s so that 5s stock goes to genuine O2 customers). If you aren’t planning to visit Romania in the next couple of months, this could be an option as you’d still be able to use your iPhone on giffgaff UK until the iPhone is unlocked.

      I would strongly recommend against buying an iPhone 5S locked to EE/Orange/T-Mobile. These tend to be much more difficult to unlock and it’s often impossible if you aren’t the original owner of the phone.

      Hope this helps!

      Ken

  25. Chris l said:

    Will my old iPhone 3GS take a payg SIM card now my contract has ended .
    I don’t mind using the same network as long as there is no contracts.
    I was with orange cheers

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Yep, your iPhone 3GS will accept a Pay As You Go SIM Card. You’ll need to order a standard-sized SIM card: the links on this page will allow you to get a free SIM from most of the UK’s major mobile networks.

      If you’re staying on the same network, there’s no need to unlock your iPhone. If you’re switching network, you’ll need to unlock your phone first.

      Hope this helps!

      Ken

  26. saskboy said:

    Have a French iphone 4 on Orange, and updated to iOS 7.0.4 to take advantage of the latest jailbreak (since the old version wasn’t installing apps and the file system wasn’t accessible to easily copy photos anymore).
    Well, it’s now SIM locked, and since there are no other Orange.fr SIMs within a 12 hour plane flight, it looks like this phone is basically bricked.

    Reading this comments, it’s apparent that contacting Orange.fr support for assistance to unlock would take $40 and 3 weeks at a minimum. Apple DRM is such a waste.

  27. scott said:

    My friend let me buy her Orange I phone 4s,she requsted it to be unlocked in October 2013,it is now December and everytime she calls up to Chase she is the situation, told an email has allegedly been sent out to her and is successful.I am still waiting,it is absolutely ridiculous the lack of communication ocurring with Orange and Apple.are Orange delaying and being dishonest? I’m angry…who takes responsibility?

  28. Rameez edakkavil said:

    Hai my name is rameez edakkavil I’m still orange customer I unlock my iPhone 4S I think six months ago I unlock my phone then unfortunately I lost my phone then I got new phone from orange because I have insurance with orange. But they give again locked phone that’s wrong they should give unlock phone because I’m already unlock the phone iPaid £19.99
    I called to orange customer service they can do anything you need wait again six months
    So can do something for me

  29. kart said:

    My iPhone 5 was locked to orange and i requested for an unlock on the 15/11/13 and i received the email with the unlocking instructions today which is the 4/12/13 so about 19 days. I thought it was going to take months but fair enough orange you unlocked it within 20 days!! :)

  30. Lorelle Dooley said:

    I am extremely upset with Orange, as i was their costumer for more than 6 years and requested to unlock my iPhone 4 before changing provider.

    They said they will send an email, which never happened, but they took the payment from my account!
    I called and asked again they apologised and said they will send me that email…never happened.
    I called again, they said they will refund the money…NEVER happened!!
    I am tired of calling and begging like I did something shady and they don’t want to do anything just because i am not their costumer anymore!
    This is absolutely unacceptable and left with a phone which i am unable to use and got ripped off .
    This nightmare is going on for almost a YEAR now!

  31. Leigh Coleman said:

    Hi, I contacted Orange about unlocking my iPhone 4s on 3/11/2013 and was told that it would cost £20.42 to unlock and would take up to 20 days. I would receive an email with instructions on how to unlock the phone. The email arrived on 20/11/2013 and I followed the instructions, and my phone was unlocked. I brought a O2 pay as you go micro sim card for 99p, I did not put any credit on the sim card I just put it in the iPhone and followed the instructions. Very Good service. I attach the email that I received.

    Dear Mr

    MSISDN:

    Please find the process for unlocking your Apple handset:-

    IMEI:

    Before attempting the procedure, please take a moment to read the following information.Please make sure that your iphone is up to date the latest software version. This can be checked by connecting your device to iTunes via a PC/Mac/Laptop.

    Please be aware that if you have used an unauthorised unlock on your Apple device then Orange cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur, as this procedure will not only be unsuccessful, it may damage the device. If you have modified the software please update with the latest Apple approved version.

    Apple devices differ from all other manufacturers in that there is no code required to enter into your device to unlock it. However Orange have requested on your behalf to Apple that your device be prepared for unlock and the procedure below advises how you can complete this process. Only handset’s that have been requested to be unlocked via Orange or other networks can be unlocked this way and the below instruction will not work on other Apple devices.

    Apple Unlock Procedure

    1)Insert a non-Orange 3G SIM card. This must be a network provider who also supplies the iphone/ipad.
    2)Switch ON the handset.
    3)Connect to iTunes using USB cable
    4)Use the “restore” option within iTunes (located at the bottom of iTunes not the top)
    5)The handset may then display: USB cable and iTunes icon.
    6)Disconnect from USB then re-connect
    7)Synchronise device with iTunes
    8)Once synchronised a message will appear on iTunes stating “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked” If using IOS5 this message will not show
    9)Follow on screen set up instructions to enable new carrier settings

    Your handset should now be successfully unlocked

    Should this not show, please keep other network 3G sim in the iphone and restore the iphone via iTunes making sure all data is backed up first.
    You can also get some self help tips, please put the following into Google and search; support.apple.com/kb/TS3198

    Regards
    EM Team
    EE

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Leigh,

      Thanks for sharing the great news about your Orange iPhone unlock! For anyone who wants to follow these instructions, you can grab a free O2 micro-SIM by following this link. Alternatively, you could borrow a SIM card from somebody else or you could use the SIM card on your new PAYG/Pay Monthly tariff.

      Ken

  32. Angrybadger said:

    I’m so annoyed with Orange.

    I ended my contract with them and whilst in my notice period i sent a request to unlock my iphone as i was relocating abroad. At the same time i also tranferred my contract number to a T-Mobile PAYG.

    Whilst i was at the airport i ran out of credit & could not add any more credit or call TMobile customer service so my sister set up and registered the new TMobile account in her name with her payment details so she could add some credit for me.

    Now Orange are saying they cannot unlock my phone due to the account names not being the same. I’m abroad and cannot afford to be calling and talking to Orange as call charges will be expensive.

    Any suggestions and should i just get it unlocked unofficially somewhere?

  33. Veronica said:

    I’ve been trying to unlock my phone for more than a month now!!! Orange is just awful, they now said that it can be unlocked through iTunes… I’m still trying! I’m not giving up either!

  34. Mark Richards said:

    Yet another angry Orange customer, after completing two years contract i decided to change carrier due to poor reception. Now starts the fun!!!
    After 4 phone calls, 2 letters, 8 e-mails and paying £20.42 to have my phone unlocked, I have now been trying to get my phone unlocked since 10th July 2013!!!!

    I have as of today written to CISAS with a complaint about Orange, i am determined that they will not beat me!!!!!

  35. Maeve K said:

    Hi there, I got iphone 3 unlocked from Vodafone but now when I put in a Three(3) sim all I get is “No Service”, any advice !!

  36. Saudamini said:

    Another angry orange customer. No joy unlocking. Orange has taken out my money too hence helpless.
    I pledge never to take any orange contracts for me and my family in the future.

  37. Savas said:

    I am an orange pay monthly customer over 2 years, some time ago my contract was over and I have not got another phone and carried on sim only contract, I bought an iphone 5 from a second hand shop which was also locked to orange, so about 3 months later I filled out a unlocking request form on orange website and i received mail saying that they will do it within 20 days and cost me £21. on the 11th day received email saying that iphone got unlocked.

  38. bex said:

    I can’y belive that this all people have the same problem i have with rubish Orange network here in UK. please every one boycot on Orange company its rubish anddisrespectfull for UK costmers. i have contract with orange net work since 2011 with iphone 4s and still unlocked im so frustrating and nightmare too. can we in touch with BBC Or costmer watch dog please people ?

  39. Bleens said:

    Read about Orange iphone unlocking dis-service on this forum, and now I have experienced it. Numerous phone calls , each time a different excuse, on why it is not unlocked.Final call, person refuse to give his name, says there is a huge backlog of iphones to unlock, blaming Apple for this , as Apple are so busy with Iphone 5s /5c, launch,
    He suggested that EE ( T-mobile / Orange ) in future would not be providing Iphone unlocking, and that I should pay £50 to a high street shop to do it.
    OFCOM should look into this,

  40. Patricia said:

    I am in the same position as most of your readers below and want Orange to unlock an I phone so I can use it with Talk Mobile.after waiting over 3 weeks I feel its impossible to get this done.
    Can anyone tell me that they have been successful in getting an unlock from Orange.

  41. Ian said:

    Hi Ken,good article and well written. I have had no end of trouble recently with Orange/EE with their service despite 10 years loyal custom. Basically,I eventually said “enough’s enough” back in June and bought out the remainder of my contract and took out a new contract with O2 which so far,touch wood,has been fine. I had a new iphone 5 from O2 and my question is about getting my iphone 4s unlocked from Orange so that my girlfriend can have it. I am the original owner of the phone and I have all the paperwork,boxes etc that came with it but I am now no longer an Orange customer so will Orange still unlock my 4s for me if I ring them? Thanks,Ian.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Ian,

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the feedback on this thread is that Orange will only unlock your iPhone whilst you’re a current customer. As you’ve now left Orange, they might refuse to unlock your iPhone. It’s possible that things have improved now that Orange is part of EE. For this reason, I’d give them a call and explain your situation. They might be able to unlock your iPhone for you.

      Ken

      1. Ian replied:

        Hi Ken,thanks very much for your quick reply. I’m going to try and call Orange like you suggest and see what they will do. I will post on here again when and if I get any results in case it is of any use to anyone else who reads this page and has similar issues. I wish now I’d looked at your site whilst in my 30 day notice period but at the time I was just so angry with Orange that I didn’t want to speak to them more than was necessary for fear of losing my temper!

        I appreciate this may not be a field that you would know about but I was wondering,as I paid up the remainder of my Orange contract which includes the cost of the iphone itself in order to leave,I now own the iphone outright. Do you not think that they should be obliged to unlock the phone for me as it belongs to me? After all it now belongs to me and Orange should not be able to dictate what network the phone is used on. If you have any knowledge of this I’d really appreciate it if you could share it as I would like to have a bit of ‘ammunition’ if I get the kind of response that other people on this thread have experienced.

        Many thanks,Ian.

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Ian,

          Sure: morally I think Orange should unlock the phone for you. You’ve paid the full cost of it and you should be entitled to use it as you wish. The flip side is that legally, there isn’t a requirement for Orange to unlock your phone. It just happens that most of the major networks will do this. Also, as Orange are unlikely to have advertised the phone as working on any mobile network, there’s probably no legal basis in advertising standards or trade descriptions. I’m sorry this doesn’t give you any extra ammunition but fingers crossed that Orange Customer Services can handle the request for you. One thing that might be worth investigating: did Orange change your Pay Monthly account into a Pay As You Go account? If so, you may still be registered as a customer on their system and this might make the unlocking request easier.

          Good luck,

          Ken

          1. Mark Richards replied:

            hi Ken, I think you are wrong here!!

            Surely now that Orange has taken a sum of money to unlock the phone they are legally obliged to provide said service????

          2. Ken Lo
            Ken replied:

            Hi Mark,

            I agree: now that Orange have taken your money they should either unlock your phone or they should refund your money if they’re unable to do it. I was simply referring to the fact that there is no legal requirement for operators to unlock a handset. That said, if they’ve taken money to provide a service, they would should fulfil their obligations.

            Ken

  42. Leeds United Fan said:

    I have been waiting over a month for my iPhone 4S to unlock after requesting this from Vodafone. I’m almost certain Vodafone are lying and tell you anything to thob you off rather than dealing with an ex customers request.

  43. Lucy said:

    I have an iphone with Orange that i am trying to change to Tesco.

    I have been told that legally they should unlock it for free as i am out of contract. Is this true?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Lucy,

      Unfortunately there is no legal requirement for Orange to unlock your iPhone. However, they should do this for you if you get in touch with their Customer Services. Your Orange account will still need to be open when you make this request.

      Ken

  44. Inga said:

    Right now reading all these comments I am 100% sure that I will not get anywhere with Orange ! I am going to go with another company. Orange just feeds you with rubbish and nothing happens.

  45. Inga said:

    I have IPhone 4 and it was with Orange. Ended the contract in order to move to giffgaff. The only thing that needs to be done is to unlock the phone. Orange is doing this for 5 weeks now ! The last time they have promised that I will get an email from them was last night. Still waiting. Will call them at 9:00 and will see what song they’ll sing tonday. If no help, will ask £20.00 back and move somewhere else for help.

  46. sridhar said:

    Thanks for this useful page you created. I have now requested orange to unlock my iphone 4 lets see if I get the unlocking instruction in 20 days as promised. Last week I switched to Virgin after staying with Orange for 6 years, my contract with orange is not over as I am yet to get my final bill so thought better get the phone unlocked prior to that.

  47. Seher said:

    I have been trying to get my mum’s iphone 4 unlocked from Orange to use on 3. They said it was after 6 months that the phone could be unlocked and that it would take 21 days. It has now been 23 days and still have not received the unlocking email although they said that they had sent it on the 21st day. My mum called up on day 22 and day 23 and both times they have said give it 24 hours. I think they are bluffing. They dont have a clue as each person is saying something different and after reading all the above reviews I am worried that I will have to wait a few more weeks until this is resolved. Orange, are frustration. Awful customer service and I would certainly not recommend them.

  48. Mandy said:

    Hi,

    My dad is on a business contract and has just had an upgrade on orange. He has given me his previous iphone 4 and I want to use it on giffgaff. He called orange via their business contact and recieved very helpful and positive service saying it will be up to 30 days but likely to be much less. I have until 22 June on my old contract anyway so was happy with this however we rang up on Wednesday 5th to check progress and they said it should be unlocked on the 6th… I have tried and friend connecting it to iTunes and it keeps saying iphone locked to carrier, does anyone know how I should deal with this? As they checked on the system and it said that apple should have unlocked it now? I’m beginning to worry as have already told my provider to cancel my contract as of 22 June.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Mandy,

      I’d check with Orange to make sure they’ve definitely sent the unlocking request to Apple – perhaps you could ask them what date they sent the request on to Apple. Once Orange have made the request, it could take a couple of days for Apple to process it.

      Ken

  49. amanda said:

    hi ken I bought a iphone of someone thay told me it waz on 3 network I have now found out it is on orange,but iam contracted to 3,what can idoto get it unlocked as you have to be the original customer,please help thanks :)

    1. Rache replied:

      Hi Amanda,

      have you had any luck getting your phone unlocked, I am in exactly the same situation that you have described. Any info would be appreciated, thanks.

  50. Paul Ashdown said:

    Hi,i took out an orange contract on an iphone 4 from carphone warehouse but after around 8 months accidentley put it through the washing machine,the phone was unfixable and without insurance decided to take another contract for the same phone which this time was with vodafone. My wife took the vodafone sim for her phone and i put the same orange sim from the first iphone into the new iphone 4 handset.My contract with orange expires on the 24th of june and so decided i would run out the remander of the vodafone contract back to the phone which it came from(the second iphone),however it will not work in the phone saying no service in the top left hand corner.I phoned orange thinking it was locked to them but they said it has nothing to do with them its carphone warehouse,so i went to carphone warehouse and they said it was vodaphone,so i rang vodaphone and they said carephone warehouse so i rang……you get the picture!!!
    Please can you help i have no idea who has locked my phone and am getting really angry mainly as i have honoured my contract paying over £700 for a phone i can not use….

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Paul,

      iPhones that were purchased from Carphone Warehouse behave a little weirdly. They’ll normally lock themselves to the first network that’s used on the device. If you had immediately used your Orange SIM on the new iPhone 4 (without using the Vodafone SIM first), the iPhone 4 will be locked to Orange. It’s possible that Orange will have no record of it on their system, but they’re the people who’ll need to process your unlocking request.

      See: How do I unlock an iPhone from third-party retailers?

      Ken

  51. Alan said:

    Hello, I moved from O2 to Giffgaff just over a year ago and didn’t have my iPhone 4 unlocked. I have now have left Giffgaff and wish to use another provider but my phone is locked to the O2 network. Will O2 still unlock the phone for me? Thanks Alan

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Alan,

      I believe this should still be possible but you’ll need to check with O2. The best way of doing this is filling in their handset unlocking form. It’s possible you’ll need an active account at O2 before unlocking your device. One way of doing this would be to order a free SIM card from O2 and topping it up by at least £15.

      Ken

  52. Kamilla said:

    Having read dozens of comments by disgruntled Orange customers trying to get phones unlocked, my daughter, who is giving me her iPhone after an upgrade, used the experiences of commentators here and elsewhere to devise a plan for contacting Orange which seems to have been successful. We noted that the only person to get really good service was the man who threatened to contact Ofcom. She contacted customer services and immediately asked the person who answered for his name and employee identification number. She said she was sorry to do this, but she’s seen that there is a lot of dissatisfaction on the internet with Orange phone unlocking and she wanted to keep track of the calls. She said that she hoped that she would be able to post a good review of the process. After a half-hearted attempt to persuade her that I should also sign up with Orange (which is, I think, why they delay unlocking when phones are being passed within families in the hope that the family member will get impatient to be using the phone and just go with Orange), she was passed on to another call centre to take the information for the unlock request. She made sure that he read back to her the IMEI number and the e-mail (because we read online that inputting errors are often given as excuses given for unlocks not going through). She was given a £5 discount off the usual price for the unlock. We have been told it will take 20 days (this is because they have to get the code from Apple, and I’ve read they are backlogged, including for police requests to unlock confiscated phones). I will post again when the unlock comes through. Watch this space!

    1. Melissa replied:

      hey Kamilla, I’m looking to do the same thing. I want to use my other halfs’ iPhone 4 which is stuck on the Orange contract he’s had for years but he’s gotten an upgrade, on my new Giffgaff SIM. it’s almost 2 months since you last posted about this (as far as I can see on this site :) ), so how did all that go? Did she manage to get her phone unlocked? Cheers!

  53. mike b said:

    Hi, i’ve just bought an iphone on orange. The phone was being used with a pay and go simcard. Im on a monthly orange contract simcard so will i need to unlock the phone or should it work ok?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Mike B,

      Your iPhone is locked to the Orange network rather than to a specific account. You can use it on an Orange Pay Monthly contract without any problems. The only thing that’s worth being aware of is Orange’s policy of unlocking iPhones for the original account holder only. As your contract isn’t linked to your PAYG account, I’m not sure whether they’ll allow you to unlock the iPhone in the future once the PAYG account has been closed down. If it’s possible that you might use the iPhone on another network in the future, you may find it easier to unlock your iPhone now.
      Ken

  54. Lucuz said:

    Bought an Iphone off a friend who was on orange. The friend has now left the country. Is there anyway i can UNLOCK this phone! get a orange PAYG sim for a few months??

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Lucuz,

      Unfortunately the feedback from other readers is that Orange only provide unlocks to the original owner of the iPhone. Unfortunately this means it might be difficult to unlock your phone. Take a look at some of the comments below for advice from other readers.

      Ken

  55. Anne said:

    I have received an Iphone 4 from a family member. Which I have unlocked however as a Virgin customer I cannot seem to get a service. It says ‘restricted network’ choose a differnt network.

    Does this mean Virgin sicards will never work or am I doing something wrong

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Anne,

      It sounds to me as if your family member used the phone on another network. Your iPhone is probably configured to connect to that network specifically, rather than choosing the appropriate network (Virgin in this case). You can resolve this problem by going to Settings > Carrier. You may have to wait several minutes as your iPhone looks for compatible networks. Once it’s done this, select the “Automatic” option.

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  56. Ian said:

    I bought an iPhone 4 from ebay last october, fully knowing it was locked to TMobile now EE. I purchased a TMobile (EE) Sim only deal for £27 per month and have now decided to to unlock it so I can go to O2. I cannot get EE to unlock this phone no matter what I do unless I can get the guy I bought it from to unlock it. If I can contact him and he is still alive I might be able to do this, however if not I can see myself being locked into this mob for the forseeable. Any advice greatly received

  57. malik said:

    ive found a way around it with orange payg – call customer service & say your going abroad for a few months next month and want your phone unlocked to use over there and when u come back your gonna go back to orange. they put my through to an english person named jim & it was all gravy from there. pay £20 they take it & u wait up to 20 working days

  58. AnnoyedbyTmobile said:

    Help
    I have an Iphone4 which was on contract with T-mobile for 2 years; I left T-Mobile in Dec 2012. I need the phone unlocked and contacted T-mobile who at first said it was no problem to unlock and there would be no charge. Clearly this was wrong and I receive a text a few days later from T-Mobile saying they couldn't action as there had been no payments made. I called them again and t-Mobile re-issued a request to Apple to unlock and advise it would cost me £20.50 and would take 15/20 days to receive the unlocking code. 20 days later I had not received a code, but received a bill for £20.44. I called them again and incredibly they advised they do not unlock phones if the contracted has ended.

    Can anyone shed any hope on how I can securely unlock me phone?
    Thanks

  59. Bentley Robinson said:

    Hi, I'm on O2 Pay monthly, contacted a guru to get my iPhone 4 unlocked. However the phone was exchanged by Apple because it was faulty. O2 said they couldn't unlock the phone. Will Apple unlock the phone or will I be going round in circles?

  60. Rani said:

    OMG help. I have waited 3 months to get my phone unlocked. In my first call 3 months ago I was told to register my number with the phone and after 3 months I can get unlocked. Rang back today after 3 and a half months and told I’m not allowed cos its not original number I bought phone with. I did tell them I bought the phone off ebay the first time I called. I’m fuming…..how can they be allowed to mess you about like this. I have proof of purchase and everything. Worst nightmare ever. Any help and advise welcome…is there no way to get it unlocked.

  61. Martin said:

    I also have been having issues in reject of unlocking my iPhone with, you guessed it, Orange! I requested this on he 5th Feb, and am still awaiting this to happen. I have been billed and paid the £20 for this service. I have rung Orange at least 10 times, and now that my number has now been ported to another provider, means that each call to them is costing me he cost of a mobile call from my landline. I wouldn't mind, but each call averages 20 mins.
    I think I have been told on most occasions that the unlock will take place between 24 and 48 hours.
    I've now had enough of being fobbed off by Orange. I just want the phone unlocked! I guess it's a call to Ofcom as they have taken payment and not provided the service. Thank Orange, I was a loyal csyomer for at least 8 years,
    .

    1. Emma replied:

      I am having exactly the same problem with orange. Requested it to be unlocked on 6th March – 20 days ago now. They've happily taken the unlocking fee but nothing has been done! Have also rung them up numerous times about this. I think you're right about resorting to Ofcom.

      Good luck with it all!

  62. Rachel said:

    Hi…
    I have had an iPhone 4 off my friend, she had the phone on contract with orange, however I am in o2.
    Her contract is obviously up nw and had a new phone which is why I have had her iPhone.
    I want 2 use my o2 sim in it, would orange still unlock the phone and us there anyway I can speak to orange and get it unlocked?

    Thanks x

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for your message! It should be possible for your friend to call Orange Customer Services and to have the iPhone 4 unlocked.

      Hope this helps!

      Ken

  63. Kevin said:

    I’m traveling to Vegas in May and wondered if it was worth unlocking my iPhone 4? I’ve read somewhere that it might not be possible to use a local-SIM in the US due to our phones being on a different band or something, thus rendering the phone unusable in the US, is this true?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Kevin,

      The iPhone 4 works on 3G HSDPA networks at 850MHz, 900MHz, 1900MHz and 2100MHz. It should work fine on AT&T in the US as they use 850MHz and 1900MHz. Also, you might be able to get some basic 2G coverage on T-Mobile USA. SIM cards from Sprint and Verizon won't work as they use CDMA technology. Enjoy your trip to the US!

      Hope this helps!

      Ken

  64. Mateen said:

    heyy i tried the same procedure to unlock my iphone 4 locked on 3 network but they refused and said we want original purchaser of the phone..what do i do help please

  65. haider said:

    Hi,
    I am in the same situation as you were. Did you manage to get it unlocked?

  66. haider khan said:

    Hi,
    just read ur comment. Im in the same situation as you. did you manage to get it unlocked? i

  67. Ray said:

    I’m with O2. Just followed the above instructions speaking to an O2 guru over echat and they did it for me straight away, without charge or any questions

  68. TheSimpZone said:

    My Mum had an iPhone 3GS which recently ran out of contract, so she got an upgrade and gave the old 3GS to me. I decided to change from my old network – Orange to a network with better deals – Three. I ported my number across thinking that Orange would automatically unlock phones out of contract; they don't. I then called Orange for them to unlock it, but they wanted the IMEI number which I was about to get and they decided that they would call back. Two weeks later, they hadn't. Both me and my Mum went through about 20 phone calls, half ending in ORANGE HANGING UP the other half in them saying that it was being processed and would be done in a few days. another 3 weeks later they still haven't done it, my Mum is currently on the phone to ANOTHER Orange customer service representative. Out of the 30 odd different reps we have both spoken to, EACH ONE HAS GIVEN US A DIFFERENT PILE OF BULLS**T. I will never use Orange again in my life.

  69. Sam said:

    Is there any chance?

    I bought an Iphone 4 from ebay almost 20 months ago locked to Orange to operate on my number with T Mobile. Now my wife need this phone but she is on 3 Network and I can't unlock it as I am not the original owner. I tried to contact the ebay seller with no answer.

    I would appreciate any help.

  70. katrinalaw32 said:

    Hi,
    place tell me i have a iPhone 4 and it was factory locked by three,how i can unlocked it with any software or other way place tell me???

  71. Steve said:

    My Sisters iPhone contracted has ended with Orange and we have been told to wait 30 days as Apple's unlock code generator crashed last year and there is a huge backlog. As a professional computer programmer I don't buy this one bit. Has anyone heard this story from Orange? Any advice on getting a genuine unlock code ASAP would be appreciated. I'm tempted to file a complaint with Ofcom.

    Steve

  72. Martjt said:

    I'm in the process of trying to unlock my phone from Orange. They couldn't be much more unhelpful if they tried. They took the money the day after I made the request, I phoned after 14 days to find out what was happening, they told me it would take 20 days from first call. Nothing had happened after 23 days so I phoned again, they promised to email me within 24 hours, nothing happened. 48 hours later I phoned an asked to speak to a supervisor, there were non available, but they promised on would phone the next day which they did. The supervisor kept trying to persuade me that the email must have gone to he spam folder of my email. I told that the email address I was using. I have now threatened them with legal action if the phone is not unlocked by the end of the month

  73. Tmobile said:

    I’ve had this problem with 2 iPhones, on both occasions money was taken and on both occasions, when they confirmed unlock, nothing happened. Called apple and they have confirmed that no request has been logged. Tmobile are absolute ****

  74. Donna said:

    Hi have received email to say I can unlock iPhone 4 but have no sim in there as I upgraded to iPhone 5 and sim changed over to that phone and is smaller
    How can I unlock phone without buying a sim which I understand would have to be active for three months before I can unlock

  75. JIN said:

    RE: officialiphoneunlock.co.uk

    Avoid you will be better of using network unlock officialiphoneunlock is a scam they took my money and when i asked for it back they didnt refund me luckily i used my visa card the bank will get it back for me PEOPLE Dont try to save a fiver or a tenner here and there go to offical network proiveder and they will unlock it for you :) plus you can blag your way round the network for example if you only had the iphone 5 for a month you can say you have had for 3 months as long as you got a old sim you can get it unlocked there and then :} REMEMBER PEOPLE AVOID officialiphoneunlock.CO.UK they are a pure scam

  76. Michael said:

    Am really impressed and I appreciate the information. I will go through the right process to unlock my iphone. Thank you.

  77. Skatz said:

    Hi, my wife and I have both recently upgraded to IPhone 4S on Orange on 24 month contract having been with them for phone, mobile and broadband for about 7 years. However, we’ve now decided we’re moving abroad in the summer. I’ve read some of the disturbing comments about Orange and am a bit worried. I understand I need to unlock both phones after 3 months of the contract and pay £20 per phone. What then happens to our existing 24 month contracts? Are we locked into them or what can we do to avoid having to pay two huge contract cancellation bills?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Skatz,

      Unfortunately you're locked into the 24 month commitment on your contract and ending early involves paying off your contract :( Sorry to share this news – though you can unlock your phone without ending the contract.

      Ken

  78. sandra said:

    i have a iphone 4 it is on three when i phoned them they told me it was on orange first before three ………….so does that mean its open to any network as i want to go with virgan

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Sandra,

      If you've used your iPhone 4 on both Three and Orange before then it's likely it'll already be unlocked! Best way to test it is to grab a free Pay As You Go SIM card from Virgin: if it works then you could consider signing up for the new contract.

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  79. Caren balfour said:

    Just called T mobile to get my phone unlocked. They are talking about it taking 6 – 8 weeks!! How ridiculous is that???

  80. Dave said:

    unlocked with orange no problem £20

  81. kiran kumar said:

    Can anyone suggest me to unlock IPhone 3gs locked to 3nework. i am from india.how to contact 3 network to unlock.

  82. ally said:

    Experience of Three mobile

    i have just spent over an hour on the phone from the UK to Three mobile trying to cancel my mobile contract, get the code to keep my number and unlock the phone to move company, it was THE most frustrating conversation ever and i have never got so angry and frustrated.

    I know they probably have to try and keep customers but they REALLY need to recognize when the customer has made their mind up and just do it!! How many times can you say over and over "please just give me the code and unlock my phone, i am not interested in your offers or staying with you"?

    I have now got the pac code and have filled in the form to unlock my phone, apparently i will get a call from them within 48 hours, I will have to wait and see if this is successful but I do not have confidence….

    My advice, avoid Three mobile unless you plan to stay with them for life as they are a nightmare to leave! good luck to those who do not heed warning and go down this route!

    I now have a glass of wine to help calm down and have changed jumper for vest top, the heat and redness never experienced before is finally now reducing….

  83. Johnboy said:

    T-mobile seem deliberately reluctant to be clear and honest; obviously if you are unlocking your phone, then its because you wish to leave or spend less with them!

    I am in the process of unlocking my iphone 4 and its is not easy. Although more expensive it may be easier to use an online unlock service (there are a few reputable ones). The cost is about £50 so if you discount the £20 Tmobile charge anyway, its not actually that much more and is hassle free. There clearly needs to be better egulation but of course, the mobile phone companies have better access to Government so whilst its something we love to see, it'll never happen. Legalised robbery really.

  84. Alan said:

    What can I do when I’ve been trying to get Orange to unlock my phone for three months?
    It’s a really crazy situation

  85. SPL said:

    I have purchased an iphone 3Gs from some bloke via the Gumtree, which as it turns out is locked to the orange network.

    Let me be clear in saying that there is NO WAY FOR YOU OR ANYONE OTHER THAN THE PERSON/S WHO TOOK THE PHONE ON A CONTRACT WITH ORANGE TO UNLOCK THIS PHONE.

    You can NOT pay someone to do this, and this carrier themselves WILL NOT DO IT FOR YOU.

    I can not trace the original owner as he has now left the country as well.

    Apple WILL NOT unlock this handset for you. They claim to have sold the hardware to orange, ORANGE are the only organisation who are able to remove the lock.

    I guarantee that there is nothing that you, if you have purchased an orange handset from the original pay as you go or contract arrangement owner, can do to unlock this handset yourself. THEY have to do it through orange, and if orange agrees to this, it will cost over £20 to do so.

  86. Jane Taplin said:

    Hi Ken – very good of you to reply to me again, much appreciated. After T-mobile not responding to the original owner of the phone for an absolute age, he managed to get hold of another person at T-mobile who said that the unlock doesn't always work with all sim cards, which sounds like absolute tosh to me! Fair enough if its an unusual phone company in a unusual country, but Bouygues in France is pretty damned normal! I asked the new contact at T-mobile whether she had contacted Apple to check the status of the IMEI but of course, she hasn't got back to me yet….

    I think you're right that has gone wrong somewhere between T-mobile and Apple. I made another attempt at unlocking via i-Tunes last night, still no joy. I'm hoping to be able to see someone at the Apple store on Saturday. In the meantime I'm going to continue pestering T-mobile!

    Thank you so much for your help
    Best wishes
    Jane

  87. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Hi Jane,

    I believe this message occurs because T-Mobile never processed your unlocking request: if they had this message shouldn't appear any more. It's possible that something got lost in the ether between T-Mobile and Apple?

    Ken

  88. nim said:

    went in to vodafone fareham on friday with the orignail recipt had unlock code by wensday no fee that what i call customer service

  89. Jane Taplin said:

    Thanks Ken. The message I ultimately get on itunes is this:

    The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported.

    Only compatible SIM cards from a supported Carrier may be used to activate iPhone. Please insert the SIM card that came with your iPhone or visit a supported Carrier's store to receive a replacement SIM card.

    I did get a new sim from Bouygues (which IS a supported carrier in France) but this didn't help matters, still the same message after connecting the phone and doing the restore.

    Very frustrating!!
    Thanks
    Jane

  90. Jane Taplin said:

    I bought an iphone 4 from my friend in the UK – it was apparently unlocked beforehand (T-Mobile UK say that they have checked it and it is unlocked domestically and internationally) but it will NOT work with my Bouygues (France) sim card. I ordered a new sim to make sure that wasn't the problem, but it still won't work. T-Mobile now say that when an iPhone is unlocked that there is no guarantee that any sim will work. We've only got one friend using a phone with a micro sim, it didn't work with his sim either, and he's on Free (France) which I think uses the SFR network, not that it should matter.

    Does this sound right folks? I'm not sure whether they're spinning us a line to shut us up and get rid! Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jane,

      Did you connect your iPhone to iTunes? Your phone won't be unlocked until you see the Congratulations message, so this should verify whether T-Mobile's request made it through to Apple to unlock your device.

      Many thanks,

      Ken

  91. Zoe Brown said:

    My Dad's friend has got an iPhone 4S and he's selling it to me, but it's locked onto Three. My Dad says that if I buy it and unlock the phone to Orange, the app store on it won't work. Why is this?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Zoe,

      The app store will continue to work even after unlocking. There are no changes to how it will function.

      Ken

  92. pall said:

    I was gifted a IPhone 4s from my friend, which is locked to france orange network.
    please tell me the procedure to unlock it.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Pall,

      Unfortunately Orange France is a separate network from Orange UK so the instructions listed on this page will not work. Sorry!

      Ken

  93. jo smith said:

    Ive found this article very useful but i have one further question…i had an iphone on 3 but have recently moved carriers & on to an androud phone…how can i unlock my iphone now so it will work on any network?? Im no longer a 3 customer..any help/advice would be gratefully received, thank you.

  94. Valerie Franklin said:

    Paid Tmobile UK to unlock my iphone 4 on 21 Oct 2012 its now 4 Dec after several phone calls from USA, and phone cards used I am still waiting!!!
    No phone for six weeks and they still take my money!,
    Valerie Franklin

  95. manisha said:

    i have a iphone 3gs..it has been locked when i tried to update d software…my phone has been locked by at&t..how do i get it unlocked?

  96. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Hi Prashant,

    As far as I'm aware you should be able to unlock a T-Mobile iPhone once you've held it for 30 days. Did they ask you to wait for 3 months from your contract start date?

    Ken

  97. prashant said:

    hii i hv my t mobile connection and i am travelling other country so i request to t mobiles for getting mine pphone unlock they told me that i hv wait for 3 months as i hv pay monthly connection i request them so much but no good response as i will spoil my trip with out my i phone 5

  98. zs1 said:

    Three are ridiculous, taken 2 weeks now for the unlock code and the form you have to fill out is so stupid and doesnt say it has to be precise to the info on the account.

  99. Tom said:

    I thought I'd post here to see if it would help anyone. I had an iPhone 4 that came out of contract with Orange in October. I rang them to get it unlocked and they told me it would take 30 days (this started on October 15th.) and I knew nothing about unlocking so I patiently waited the 30 days. After this, I called them up and asked to speak to a supervisor. He apologised and told me that my previous request had never even been actioned! He then put in a new request and said it would take 7-10 days to unlock my phone.

    …so I wait. Again, for some reason I'm too patient, perhaps I don't like confrontation – but I call on Tuesday 27th Nov (15 days after my last request) as I still hadn't received an unlock code. I complained again and told them that I think they're deliberately stalling in order to keep my bill rolling over and I am taking my case to the CISAS http://www.cisas.org.uk/. This guy then apologised again and said he'd sent a special request to have it unlocked within 72 hours.

    It's taken the full 72 hours but I have got my unlock code at last. I'm now going to try it out.

    Will be posting back here if it doesn't work…

  100. Anula Goonawardana said:

    Very useful information. Once I get my I Phone unlocked will give you a feed back.

  101. Jazz said:

    Every time I phone up T-Mobile I get different instructions. It would be amusing if I didn't want to cry. My aunt upgraded her iPhone 4 to a 5 and seeing as it takes a different sim (micro micro or something), T-Mobile sent her a new sim for it. Now I'm trying to sell her old one, which contains an inactive sim (but it still allows me to activate the phone after a full reset so I'm holding onto it).

    I want to get her old iPhone 4 unlocked so I can sell it, so I went to the T-mobile store in town and they told me that I have to ring Apple apparently, whom will charge £25. I phone Apple, they say they've never heard of this and I have to go back to T-Mobile and get them to do it… ah bureaucracy we meet again!

    Phone up T-Mobile and technically this iPhone 4 doesn't have a phone number any more (just an inactive sim), but the only way to get through to a real person in T-Mobile is by -you guessed it- entering a phone number you want to talk about first. So I entered the old number (which now belongs to the iPhone 5's micro micro sim), and they won't even talk to me unless I'm the owner of the number.

    My aunt lives in London, so next time I go see her I'll phone T-mobile again with her near me and see what story they spout next time I speak to them. Should be amusing. I'll keep you updated.

  102. ed up said:

    Same story as many here. I have come to end of my 2 year contract with orange. Terminated it and asked for iphone 3g to be unlocked. This was at the end of Sept 12 and you can probably guess the rest. Still no unlock and at least 5 phone calls ( wrote down names and what was agreed by orange staff) and I have sent 2 letters to the customers service address. No response from them.
    Just really disappointed ….. They are so wealthy they don't need our £20 – I trying to get all my friends to boycott them! telling them about my unfortunate experience + their prices are not competitive = better off at 02! anywhere ele really.
    Twitter campaign anyone?

  103. PAFoster said:

    Okay guys, bare with me on this one…

    I bought an iPhone 4 on a 24 month contract with Orange.

    I've never had any problems with the Orange service, but now I'm 'out of contract' I've discovered their deals aren't so hot and it was far cheaper for me to move to Three, as indeed this post recommends.

    I went to a Three shop and the guy there made everything easy. I called Orange to cancel my contract and requested a code to transfer my number.

    24 hrs later and my Orange service ceased so I installed my Three SIM card.

    No service. I callThree. They checked everything, then explained that Orange hadn't unlocked my phone.

    Call me stupid, (I have a Mensa qualifying IQ of 156 so I'd like to think I was rather intelligent) but I assumed that if I was ending my contact with orange, having come 'out of contract' and the phone was now legally mine, then asking for and being supplied with a PAC code to transfer my (15 year old ) number, meant that the phone would then work on the 3 network.

    But no, it appears I have to ask Orange to unlock it for me. And judging by the rest of the comments on this post, I can see that is not going to be a pleasant experience.

    The commenters here have mentioned about unlocking their phones while with Orange – sadly I'm not with Orange any longer, so whenever I call a customer service number, it asks me to key in my orange number – and since I don't have an orange number anymore, the system doesn't recognise the number and says 'sorry, we can't help you' and hangs up.

    So I now have an iPhone 4 that I legally own, on a pay monthly sim only tariff with Three having transfered my 15 year old number to them – but I can't make or receive calls or texts any more because the damn thing is locked to Orange.

    After 15 minutes of continuously re-dialing, I finally got through to an Orange phone shop. The guy said it was my fault, and that I should have asked orange for an unlock code. How the eff was I supposed to know? He contacted customer service for me, but they have yet to call me back on my home phone.

    When I have regained some sort of normality I'm going to email ofcom.

    If a mobile phone service provide wishes to lock a phone to their network for the duration of a minimum contract, then that's fine, and if the customer want's to unlock the phone before the end of the minimum contract, that's okay too, provinding the accept the supplier would not be unreasonable in charging a nominal processing fee.

    However….

    WHY IS IT LEGAL FOR A MOBILE PHONE SERVICE PROVIDER TO KEEP A PHONE LOCKED TO IT'S NETWORK AFTER OWNERSHIP OF THE PHONE HAS PASSED TO THE CUSTOMER AT THE END OF THE CONTRACT?

    It's MY iPhone. I paid for it over 24 months. Now I can't effing use it. FU Orange!!

    Thanks for reading. I'll just go and explode now…

    1. Asif replied:

      I know exactly what you mean. I had a similar experiece with Vodafone and its crazy. It's like the phone is mine. I bought it, paid for it and lived with it and so it's mine. I hate it when they say that you have to go to the person you bought the phone off, it's like how am I supposed to do that when I don't even know the guy off ebay. Unlocking a phone should be a simple procedure and companies are getting away with asking customers who buy second hand iphones to get it unlocked by the original person. Ofcom needs to see this website lol.

  104. Tommo said:

    Hi

    Lost my iPhone so bought my mates old one off him. Only trouble is he is orange. How long am I realistically looking at before the phone is unlocked?He has rung them twice already and has been told it could take up to 2 months!!!

  105. tara said:

    hello,
    I have a monthly payment plan with vodaphone and use the iphone 4. however, I just got the new iphone 5, but it turns out it is locked to the network 3. How can i unlock it legally?

  106. Bertie said:

    Just had my old 3GS unlocked by Vodafone for free. I’d been on PAYG for at least 18 months on that phone then changed to an iPhone 4. They originally said they wanted £19.99 but I said to them (exact words)…”I thought that unlocking was free beings that phone’s been on the network for over 12 months”. They agreed and did it for free.

    Hope this helps…

  107. Sponge said:

    I’m thinking of buying a iPhone 4 off eBay but it’s on 3 & I have a Tmobile contract. Seems easier enough to get unlocked but would I be able to ring & do it or would the person who’s phone was originally have to do it?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Sponge,

      The feedback from other people in this thread is that it is easier for the original owner to unlock the iPhone.

      Ken

  108. David said:

    Hi, when my O2 contract ended, I renewed it and got an iPhone 4S from Carphone Warehouse. As the Carphone Warehouse iPhones are not locked till you put a sim in, my plan was to give it to my daughter for her birthday who still has 3 months left on her Orange contract. All went well and it worked well on Orange. The problem came when the Orange contract ended and I rang them up to unlock the iPhone so I could port over to O2.
    Orange said they can’t unlock as the phone was not bought from them.
    O2 said they can’t unlock until they see an O2 sim in it for at least 24 hours. A slight problem as its locked to Orange!
    Apple said I must go back and insist O2 put an unlock request to them via email as it is registered as an O2 phone.
    O2 still refused
    Carphone Warehouse said try someone on eBay.
    Paid an eBay O2 unlocker £40 to unlock it and he said it is locked to Orange. Once I explained my story he said that the Carphone Warehouse have an iPhone database and he can use that to request an unlock to Apple. I paid him a further £20 and two weeks later it was unlocked.

  109. Shakes said:

    Hi,

    I have had to buy an iphone 3gs from a mate after i lost my old one, this one is locked to Vodaphone, how would i go about getting this unlocked so that i can use it with my replacement 3 (three) contract sim card??

  110. Tracy said:

    I am trying to get a TMobile Iphone 4 unlocked, Put in request on 11/10/12 and was told 28 days and charged £15.32. I have contacted them on numerous occasions to check the progress and have been told a different story on all conversations. The 28 days was up on 8/11/12 oh but then I was told 28 working days which is 19/11/12. Today 14/11/12 I have spoken to Apple who say my phone is still Locked. Why does it take so long ???

  111. adam chamberlain said:

    please help ive aplied to have my iphone 4 unlocked with orange and paid the £20 fee they have sent me an email explaining that i should plug my phone into itunes to unlock it ive tried this a number of times and nothing happens it just syncs ????? grrrrrrr please help!!!!

  112. Kiera said:

    I was previously with orange for a 24 month contract and have paid the duration of that contract plus a few months. I have now got a pay monthly sim only deal with three but my new sim is just saying no service when i put it in my iphone4. Would i still have to pay orange to have the phone unlocked even though i have paid off my phone and contract and leaving the company?

    1. PAFoster replied:

      Just wondering how you've got on.

      I did exactly the same thing a couple of days ago – now I can't use my iphone because orange transfered my number to three, but I didn't ask for it to be unlocked – didn't know I had to!

      So my iPhone is locked to orange, but I can't get through to orange customer services because I no longer have an orange phone number!

      It's a nightmare!

  113. Janice Collins said:

    Hi, just wanted to say that I got my iPhone unlocked from 3 without any problems at all. I called them on Monday, a code was sent to me on Tuesday (even though they said it would take three working days), followed the instructions and 'hey presto' it worked perfect.ly. It cost £15.32 and I have had no problems at all with the phone which I used in Turkey and Spain. Would recommend them :)D

  114. Sue said:

    I've just phoned 3 network to get the iPhone 3gs unlocked.
    At first it sounded promising until I gave them the details.
    I bought the phone, 2nd hand but still new and unused from someone else in June 2012.
    I'm unable to unlock this as the original owner had registered the phone. So he is the only person
    who can get it unlocked!!!!
    So now I'll just have to buy another phone. I'm so annoyed!!

  115. Daniel said:

    Good day, pls u need to unlock an iphone 4 which is locked to the 3 network

  116. Ali said:

    I have unlocked o2 successfully 3 times. Its best to use their online chat service than calling them. They ask for your IMEI, current call time balance, what plan you are on and the last number you called. It doesn't matter how long you have had your phone or sim for. I did mine with a brand new o2 sim just make sure you have £15 topped up. The 3rd time I unlocked another iphone usign the same sim, this one had a few issues and each time I called O2 they said it would be done soon there is a system error. 2 weeks passed and I spoke to someone else and he asked for the UCID of the iphone and got it unlocked within the hour! They also did not charge me £15 for the hassle. Great customer service. ORANGE on the other hand I bought iphone second hand off eBay and rang orange to unlock it. They said that the person who i bought the phone off will have to request the phone to be unlocked!! What a joke. How am i supposed to contact the other person to get an iphone unlocked. Orange seems to be the worst of the industry for unlocking iPhones or any phone for that matter.

  117. Kranthi said:

    I purchased an iphone4 with lock to 3netwrok, unfortunately its from ebay…. i paid through paypal… now i went to 3 customer support…surprised to know they don't accept paypal receipt as proof of purchase… and denied to unlock… worst bit is they took 1 month to decide they dont want to do it… would be much better if they were native speakers of english

  118. Martin said:

    I requested an unlock code from Orange for an iPhone 4. I was charged a fee but the phone was still locked more than 30 days later. I called customer services and was repeatedly told to wait up to 30 days for the unlock to happen and to receive my email confirming this. After 30 days I called again and was told the process should have taken no more than 4 days and that the email meant nothing as all I had to do was connect my phone (when unlocked) to iTunes with another network SIM for the unlock to be authorised. I explained that I had done this regularly over the last 30 days and that iTunes was still reporting that the other metwork’s SIM was not compatible. . Another unlocking request has been put through and I’ve been told it should take around 4 days more. Orange also tell me they’re going to refund the unlock fee. So, maybe some good customer service will come of this very poor experience of Orange’s unlocking procedures!

  119. gary said:

    i bought my i phone of a mate and we are waiting for the code to come does anyone know if i will be able to then unlock it in my itunes account or if he has to open it in his itunes account

  120. gokhan said:

    i have an iphone 4. i get this iphone from a friend and he bought it from uk and don't remember his o2 tesco- m phone number. we r trying to get it unlocked desperately. i don't have an valid sim card from uk. all i got is just phones imei number. any change that i can get it unlocked ? please help me with this, thank you

  121. Tyler said:

    So i've been in the US 4 months now. I requested Orange to unlock my phone in July. Still waiting. I've been ringing them everyday for the past week demanding they fix it because quite frankly ive had enough.

    I get a nonsense story of every person I speak to who assures me "this will work".. Absolute bullshit. They must have a picture of me on all of their coffee mugs because thats what i feel like they are treating me like.

    Useless

  122. col said:

    I got T-Mobile to unlock my I phone 4s 2 days after I got it no problem at all Cost £15.32

  123. @undefined said:

    I have just bought an iPhone5 to replace my iPhone4. Asked T-Mobile for the unlock code. Received a text message saying that no can do due to account being open less than 3 months. Immediately rang T-Mobile. Explained situation. Rachel from T-Mobile brought up my account. Confirmed that I had been with T-Mobile since 1999. She emailed dept. dealing with unlocking. So far – nothing! Oh Rachel phoned to say she was waiting for dept. to contact her. What chance do I have, if her own company leaves her hanging?
    Re-Orange – bought my iPad2 via them, over the phone. Clearly told the boy selling it that I did NOT want insurance. Due to it being a direct debit charge, I did not check statements for a fair few months. When I checked, low and behold, the little shit had put yes on my account & I was being charged an extra £15.00 a month. After contacting Orange (via one of their stores) and going through hell, they offered me half the money back because I hadn't contacted them sooner. Their own staff, in the shop, said that Orange were acknowledging liability by offering half. I said not good enough, that I would go to police to report theft. Got my money back straight away. Have to say though, used up my whole lunch break to do this in.

  124. Tim shea said:

    I requested an unlock two months ago from orange I'd left 25 quid I my account
    rang them several times since
    They just say it'll be yours in 20 days or once they said 72 hours
    I'm stuck in perpetual limbo

  125. Globetrotter said:

    Never ever purchase a Phone from Orange. My family of 4 are all with Orange, I have been with them since 1998. My son gave me his Iphone (which has always been pay as you go and which he bought) and it works with my Orange Sim. Now I want to use a different Sim when overseas, and Orange will not unlock unless I take out a 3-month deal and then pay a 20 pound fee, which adds a further 20 days. It has taken Orange 4 weeks to tell me this after promising to unlock. Call centre in India appalling, UK customer service non-existent; promises of supervisors calling back remain unfulfilled. When pointing out our loyalty to Orange since 1998 it made no difference. Spoke to 9 call-centre employees yesterday and 2 supervisors; 5 hours later no resolution aside from sign-up for 3 months etc etc – I already am with Orange but because the (hand me down) Iphone 3gs is paired with my son's number I must do the 3-month route even though we own the iphone.

    Truly appalling when one considers that we own the iphone, and always have done. When I suggested that if Orange could not provide a better solution I would take the whole family to another carrier it made no difference. We are about to move all our accounts to another carrier. Never ever use Orange; they make it all massively difficult to do anything other than stay with them. None of this was made clear when we bought the iphone at an Orange store – we bought it outright and yet now realize it is locked to Orange.

  126. ukfraser said:

    Hi I am thinking of buying a second hand iPhone 4s which was bought from Apple as unlocked. but do iPhones lock to the provider the first time it is used so you have to then unlock them or if unlocked from Apple, is it truely unlocked for all systems and remains so? Many thanks.

  127. mbada said:

    Hi had an iphone 3gs from my sister,but locked to Orange.she pay £20 for unlocking since the first week of September and they said it Wil take two weeks to send the unlock code,but don’t hear from them still.Am using the phone with Orange pay as you go Sim,but if i want to download anything it Wil ask me for my user ID.Is it ok to put my own user ID while my sister is unlocking it in her own name because she is having contract wit Orange.

  128. Pedro said:

    I have an iPhone locked from 3. Now I live in Brazil and tried to unlock officially, but they said I must pay 130 euros. From here it is very hard, cause they don't accept any credit card out of Ireland.
    Can any one help with this?
    Thanks..

  129. saff said:

    hi bought my iphone from ebay its on 3g network id like to unlock it the original owner not responding to my email, ebay and paypal said its been over 45days since u bought it ….i dont know what to do to unlock it…any body can help … could u email me with a solution

  130. Ryan said:

    Hi
    My friend was dew an upgrade but liked the phone he has already so decided to get a iPhone 5 on his upgrade and sell it to me. The problem being its locked to vodafone and I have a contract out with o2, is it possible to get it unlocked by vodafone or do I have to do it the jailbreak way.
    Thanks

  131. a6f46 said:

    good luck… its been 2 months and numerous calls for me. Damn orange.

  132. Heather said:

    I have had an iphone 4 with Three for a year now. I called to unlock it today and unfortunately you do have to pay £15.32 despite having it for over 12 months.

  133. Amy Tweedie said:

    My phone showed up with the message " Only compatible SIM cards from a supported Carrier may be used to activate iPhone. Please insert the SIM card that came with you IPhone or visit a supported Carrier's store to receive a replacement SIM card ", what should I do??

  134. Alex said:

    Hello. I need help. I bought an iPhone 4s with t-mobile lock. I am italian and I want insert an italian SIM. How can i Contact t-mobile. Someone can help me? What information I must comunicate? Please help me

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Alex,

      You can contact T-Mobile from abroad on the phone number +44 7953 966 150. However, it is probable that you'll need to be the original owner of the iPhone in order to unlock it (see other comments in this thread). T-Mobile's full contact details can be found here.

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  135. Pedro said:

    I Have an iPone 4, i was struggling to connect it to the Network, it was showing Invalid SIM, later it worked for 28 days and started to expirience Network problem, there after it just giving SIM failure then I am wondering if this is due to the fact that the phone might not be unlocked. How can i go about unlocking it. Is there any solution ?

    Thanking u in advance

  136. Bryan said:

    Orange Nightmare!

    My wife died and I presented her death certificate to Orange a few months later. I explained that I would want to use the phone for my daughter later in the year. te store said no problem just bring it in to store.

    I tried today at the local orange store. Customer service call center told me I needed to install a new sim. keep it for 3 months and then pay 20odd pounds! I told him in no uncertain terms that is NOT the case. I had to fight to speak to his supervisor who said I could get it unlocked anywhere.

    Off I went. I ws told 50/60 pounds and it could take a week.

    Back to the orange store. spoke with the manger whio put me on to a UK customer rep. I was told they could not deal with the account as its not held by me. I pointed out I am next of kin. they have DC whcih I brought in personally.

    I was told the quickest solution is go to Apple.

    Luckily I did not go but called first. Apple had heard this story before and made it clear they could not help. Only the carrier can do this.

    Daughters birthday in 4 days! Why do orange make this so hard. I will NEVER do business with them again.

    unlocking a phone in the age of online realtime databases does not need to be this hard. a few hours at the worst is all that is needed to get this done and the cost should be directly related to the cost of the phone + admin fee or for out of contract term just admin fee.

  137. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Hi Jordan,

    As far as I'm aware, it will cost the same to unlock your Orange iPhone regardless of when you do it.

    Hope this helps,

    Ken

  138. @jordanmc321 said:

    I have pre ordered my iPhone 5 and I have sold my iPhone 4 to a friend, he want's to use it on Orange but it is locked to Three. I noticed it was said that you can unlock it for £15 within the first 12 months but can you after 24 months and is it cheaper?

    Thanks,

    Jordan

  139. Carl said:

    I have just bought a second hand iPhone 4 which is locked to orange but I would like to unlock it. I know the person well who I bought it off. How do I go about unlocking my new phone?

  140. Nat said:

    Currently going through an unlock with three. I'm afraid to say that apple won't unlock it and you need the person you bought it off to authorize the purchase so the phone then goes into your name and then you can unlock it which takes 2 working days. Three should have a contact number for them though – whether it's a mobile or landline as it's the only way to do it. The only thing I can suggest is taking the phone in with your proof of purchase into a three store to see what they say.

  141. Sukh said:

    Confirmed if your on a contract with three (2@3) uk you can unlock your phone for the free of approx £16.
    Also if your upgrading to iPhone 5! Three told me today they will unlock it straight away the moment I get my new iPhone. Again for the same fee. But to think your phone will be unlocked and you don’t need to buy it outright but just pay it of on contract!!

  142. annette said:

    hi my dad has a iphone 3g and it is now on pay as you go but he wonts to go on to tescos so how can i unlock it from orange to tescos

  143. Dave said:

    3 are terrible to unlock an iPhone, I bought one from someone at work for my daughter who is on 3, they refused to unlock the phone as I was not the original owner, I am now waiting for 3 to contact the seller to give them the instructions to unlock the phone.

    Don't buy one locked to 3 from ebay unless the seller unlocks it or you plan to use it on 3!!

  144. Abed said:

    I had a very bad experience and still unable to get anywhere with unlocking an iphone 4.

    More than 15 calls and many messages communicated with THREE help desk in China and India, I got no where, but learnt few Chinese and Indian words.

    I bought a second hand iphone 4 from a third party. The iphone isocked on Three. I contacted Three requesting an unlock, but said that they need a proof of purchase and that is the company policy (nothing about policy in wrinting, they make it up to keep you with them)

    Anyway, I went to the shop where I bought the iphone and obtained a receipt. I sent the receipt to Three and had to wait fir 48 hours to get a reply that the proof purchase is a hand written receipt and unable to accept it and they need a digital form such as Microsoft Word. Well, I went to the shop again and obtained a word document and emailed to Three. Waited 48 hours only to learn from Three customer service that they cannot open the document because it done in word 2010.
    Well, another copy of proof of purchase was sent to them a week ago, only to learn that it was not accepted because the proof of purchase does not have apple logo. The saga continue….. Now they want me to call from the shop where I bought the iphone.

    My advice is to stay away from THREE network even if it is Free

    thanks for allowing me to share this insight on your forum

  145. Sjparky said:

    Just requested that my iPhone 4 be unlocked from Orange. I seem to have been lucky and got a ca who seemed to know what he was talking about. He said orange have just ( in last 24 hours) brought in new system for unlocking. He filled in a request form which orange send to apple, they then inform orange that the unlock is ready, orange then email me with instructions to log onto iTunes which then unlocks the phone. He says it could take upto 30 days, but since apple are usually on the ball could be less than 7. The ca made a point of making a seperate note on my account of my request for unlocking.
    It will cost me £20 though.
    Now comes the waiting …..I'll post again on how it all went if and when I get that email.

  146. madisonchristinne said:

    Hi, I came across this article and I'd like to ask something: I have an iPhone 4, bought it a year ago on a 2-year pay monthly contract from Orange Romania. I'm moving to the UK in September and I need to unlock my iPhone in order to use it. Orange Romania asks for 100 euros to unlock my iPhone and I find it preposterous , that's why I was shocked that Orange UK asks for only £20. Do you think there is any possibility for Orange UK to unlock my Orange Romania iPhone?

  147. Rich said:

    Shocking customer service. Orange are pathetic. Rang to unlock iPhone after contract expired. Kept on the phone for over 30 minutes, to be told we would be rung back to complete the request and that it would take 30 days to unlock! They never did. Fuming. Never use orange.

  148. Fee said:

    Would have been helpful if you could have copied and pasted from the other related websites exactly what we need to do.. I'm in Australia now trying to unlock an O2 iPhone and am having problems with it.. I can't access any of the O2 website from Australia.. So I'm still stuck :(

  149. Jan said:

    I attempted to change an O2 'sim only' to a T-mobile 'sim only' because T-mobile offered a better deal. The iphone was initially bought with no specific network provider.

    I have been unable to get my iphone unlocked by O2. O2 insist they have unlocked it, Apple say they haven't. Any suggestions?

  150. Jonners said:

    I am outraged that I have to pay and wait 28 days for my OWN phone to be unlocked.

    I paid over £400 ( at an Orange shop) so its never been subsidised by Orange and it never occurred to me that I would have to unlock it and Orange certainly never bothered to tellme or advise when I terminated my Sim only contract and got a PAC Code to move to TMobile.

    I now have a Tmobile Sim card and no phone. Nightmare as I use it for work and personal calls so I am stuck. Orange just keep saying 28 days like robots. If its agreed that you can unlock a phone and you have authority to unlock it it should be done straight away.

    OFCOM need to get involved , no idea why different companies take different lengths of time to unlock.

  151. Rachael said:

    Just rang orange told them I was going travelling and needed phone unlocking? Added the £20 onto my next bill and they done it without any problems. Said it cn take upto 30 days :))

  152. Dran said:

    Orange used to be the best Uk Network for customer services until the turn of the century,I used to be with Orange In the 90s and they were brilliant.They are now so Crap,They dont know if they're coming or going.

  153. Michael THorpe said:

    Orange – No problem…

    Called this morning – £20, could take a week

    Done!

    1. sam replied:

      hey.
      can u do orange for me aswell
      i will pay u but i am in australia and don't knw how to get it unlocked. and problem is i am the second owner of this phone.
      any help u can do

  154. Gavin said:

    I am still waiting for my iPhone 3GS to be unlocked after my initial request in February. I have no faith in customer services & have been fobbed off every time. The last time I called I was told my previous calls had not even been logged. Appalling service, I will never use Orange again. They treat ex-customers with contempt.

  155. ARUSHI said:

    Does O2 still provide factory unlocking services for iphone4 which are on contract basis ??? PLS PLS PLS HELP!!!

  156. Narein said:

    Hi
    I have bought iphone4s from carphone warehouse with the contract of T-mobile. I have inserted vodafone sim while activating my iphone. Now my phone detecting only vodafone sim, not even detecting the T-mobile sim in which I bought my phone for contract.

    Now I need to unlock my phone. Can anyone help me out to find in which network my phone was locked and how to unlock it.

  157. Allan said:

    I just called orange to unlock my iPhone 4S which I've had for 7 months. They said it cost £20 and will take 20-30 days before I get an email with a code and instructions of how to unlock it. Lets see what happens in 30 days…

  158. RIK said:

    I had no problem getting my phone unlocked from orange uk the only problem was I paid £40 to the local mobile shop to request orange to unlock it didn’t know I could have contacted orange directly and saved £20

  159. Jane Russell said:

    Have just rung orange about getting my iphone 4 unlocked – i'm 5 months in to a 24 month contract.
    The lady could not have been more helpful – i know surprising with Orange!
    It will take up to 30days when I will get an email to connect to itunes. Cost is £20.47 much cheaper than the original £50 I was quoted!!
    Happy lady!!!

  160. Erica said:

    I put in a request to t-mobile to unlock my iPhone 4s on 21/06/12 and was told it could take up to 28 days. What they should have said was 28 "working" days. After talking with the support people on twitter last week I was told they were expecting it to come through this week. This morning I had an email from them with the unlock instructions. I plugged my phone into iTunes and was told I would get the "congrats your phone is now unlocked" message but that didn't come up. Maybe because I have my iTunes set to manually manage music/files instead of auto syncing?

    Anyway, I put in a different SIM and everything looks good, it seems to be unlocked. I also checked the status using my IMEI at iPhoneOperatorCheck.com which tells you the details of your SIM. I had been checking over the past week or so (as I am very impatient lol) and after I went through the iTunes process, the website is now showing the SIM is indeed unlocked.

    Pretty straightforward procedure from t-mobile. They charged me £15.32 including VAT. I'm travelling to the US in about 10 days and have a prepaid SIM to use over there (my main reason for unlocking in the first place) so we'll see if it works when I get there :)

  161. Maahi said:

    My sincere advice to all. Avoid using Orange as it gives you pain in bills. They change for the delivery of messages, what the hell. When it comes to iPhone unlock. They are worst. I don’t know why want you keep with them. It’s a consumer right issue to chose the providers.

  162. Shiv azad said:

    Orange is very bad when it comes to unlocking iPhone. You need to push them and call them again and again. They started the process to unlock only after I said them to sue them. Email on, executive.office@orange.co.uk to process it fast and make a complaint.
    Following is the email the orange sent me.

    Mr shiv

    As requested, in our conversation today, I am writing to confirm the points that were discussed.

    I confirm that your account was checked and the IMEI was shown as not paired/registered on the Orange account. However, you state that the phone was registered by yourself. After further intense investigation, I have now found the IMEI number on the account. I have requested an unlocking code to be issued. There is a charge of £20.42 for unlocking the phone and this will be debited to the account once the unlocking code is issued. I have requested the code to be sent to your email address. It can take up to 28 days for the code to be issued. Please accept my sincere apologies for the wrong information that you were given and any inconvenience this may have caused.

    I trust this is a satisfactory resolution to your request.

    Yours sincerely
    CEO orange.

  163. Carol said:

    I have a 3GS which I had on contract. The contract finished, I found a better deal elsewhere but have rang numerous times to get this 3GS unlocked without success. Every time I ring them I am told different stories, now I have been told to buy another sim for the phone, register it and 3 months down the line they will unlock it. Why do I have to spend more money with a company I don’t want to do business with?? Why should I wait 3 months? They have records of me having the phone. The young lady this time told me to take it to a high street shop and get it unlocked, told me there are many places who do it and it will be cheaper be them?? Their own customer services told me to go elsewhere!!!
    We have 5 mobile phone in my household we will never use Orange again

  164. Nick said:

    I bought my phone from Carphone Warehouse on an orange contract. I have reached the end of my 24 month term and asked orange to unlock it. They said they cannot do this as i bought the phone via a 3rd party. I was told i had to get Carphone Warehouse to unlock it, for which I was told I couldn't do it there. So now I am stuck in the middle with a phone I have paid for but with orange still effectively owning the service i can use. I think i need to complain, is this legal?

    1. Chris replied:

      Hi Nick,

      Orange have the responsibility for unlocking your phone not Carphone Warehouse.

      Was it a UK agent you spoke to? I phoned, chose the option for phone faults and then said I wanted my phone unlocking. For me it was as simple as that. I did speak to a UK agent. It seems some of the confusion is with their non UK call centres.

  165. Ugo said:

    I have Nokia C3 that was sent to me from Abroad and i want to use Nigeria network in it but it is writing network restricted and that i should unlock it but i dont know how to unlock it pls help me,at the pack of the phone i saw Orange

  166. Chris said:

    Here’s my positive Orange UK unlock experience.

    I phoned Orange on Sunday to request my iPhone 3GS (from Carphone warehouse) to be unlocked, I dialled customer services and chose the option for phone faults.

    The person I spoke to in a UK call centre, told me there would be a charge for the service (I knew that) and it would take up to 30 days for the unlock to go through the system. He did however say it would normally be less than that and maybe around 7 days.

    After reading some of the problems others have had I called Orange again yesterday to find out if my request was being processed and was told it had been noted on their system.

    Late this afternoon I got an email from Orange and after connecting my iPhone to iTunes it had indeed been unlocked.

    I’m so relieved it all went through OK and feel the frustration of others who are having issues.

    Maybe I was just lucky; finally I can leave Orange after 16 years of being a contract customer. I won’t be going back!

  167. Michael said:

    I have the same problem that all of the Orange user face here. I spent a good 4-5 hours on the phone with them and even visited the store.
    They will give all sort of excuses.
    First, told me that it can be done.
    Told me carphone warehouse can do it too, cheaper and faster without the 20 days wait.
    Some CS told me it's 30 days wait.
    Some CS told me 14 days.
    Some says that because it is purchased from Carphone warehouse, they cannot do it.
    Some CS told me Apple definitely can do it. I called Apple and no such thing.

    I am FED UP with ORANGE UK!! Seriously, if I had the money, I'll sue them for sure.

    I swear I will never go to Orange ever, and hope that they go bankrupt.

  168. Michelle said:

    Help! a couple of months ago I purchased a iphone 3GS phone locked to orange from ebay thinking it would work with a t-mobile sim seens as they are now part of the same company now. However, i thought wrong, I rang and spoke to Orange to arrange for the phone to be unlocked but because i was not the original owner of the phone, they were unable to help. They said the original owner would need to ring in and pay the unlocking fee for this to happen!! is there any other way i can get the phone unlocked as i have since got a new iphone 4s but would like to pass this 3g one onto my brother who is with 3. Any help would be much appreciated!

  169. Vlad said:

    I’ve just phoned them up again demanding why it hasn’t been deducted yet…
    “I’m sorry, we can’t actually unlock your phone because you didn’t buy it from us. We need the original owner of the phone to give permission to unlock it. There’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.”

    Now I’ve got £24 of credit sitting there doing sod all. I’m absolutely raging.
    Now what am I going to do?…

  170. Vlad said:

    I’ve had my iPhone 4, which I bought privately, for a good 5-6 months now and the amount it costs to run Orange is extreme. It’s £5 for 250mb of data for a month, but it actually lasts a few days. I’ve been paying up to about £30 another to run this as I don’t have broadband for wifi…

    Anyways, 3 weeks ago, me and my dad phone them up asking if we could get it unlocked and they said to go through to the nearest Orange shop and they’ll do it there and then. So we did. The nearest shop was 20 mile away (40 mile there and back), and when we got there they said that they shouldn’t have said that because the shop can’t unlock phones. Not sure whether this is Customer Service or the Shops fault…
    When we got back, we phoned up again. This time we got a different guy, and after a good few hours overall – we finally got somewhere. He took down the IMEI number and sent apple an email asking for Unlock Codes to be sent out by post to my house. All he asked was for me to top up by £20 asap – all he asked was for me to topup by £20 asap and it would take up to 2-3 days for it to be deducted and then the codes will be sent off.
    I was happy, believing him, thinking I’d be on GiffGaff in less than a week enjoying unlimited Internet…… It has now just passed 3 week. I’m absolutely raging, and if I could swear on here, then this post would be very explicit.

    I’m about to phone them up now and demand what the hell is going on – I came across this website by accident looking for the Customer Support Number, I’ll definitely check back though.

    Don’t ever go with Orange… Please…

  171. Matt said:

    Orange unlocked my iPhone 4 which was still bound to a contract free of charge. You just need to be firm ;o)

  172. Jia said:

    Hi,

    if I bought a iphone 4S from phone web shop, such as e2save.com, but the phone was locked to 3 network, can I ask three company to unlock the mobile phone?

    Many thanks,

    Jia

  173. Laura said:

    I successfully unlocked my Tmobile phone for a small charge which was added to my bill! It takes 10-28 working days to be unlocked and is confirmed by email! Plug your phone into iTunes and walla all done! Brilliant service and much safer than jail breaking!

  174. Messenger said:

    With 3 network. On a contract, you need to have owned your phone for at least one month and paid your first bill. Just call 333. It costs £15.32 which you will pay by card while on the phone with the operator. In one or two working days you will receive a message that says "your unlocking request has been processed. Please connect your device to iTunes to confirm the unlock". That's it. Easy.

  175. Steven said:

    I have just bought an iphone 4s on 3 uk from ebay. I am trying to get it unlocked. I have been in contact with 3 uk and they have told me i need to get in touch with the person i bought the phone from and tell them to contact 3 uk explaining that they have sold the phone. Once i do this they will unlock the phone for a price of £15.32. The problem is, i have been in touch the the person i bought the phone from and its not registered in is name and he does not know the name of the person he bought it from. So until the registered person contacts 3 uk the phone will remain locked. I found a site, officialiphoneunlock who tell me they can unlock it for £100 but im not sure if they are genuine. Has anyone got any ideas.

  176. Mike said:

    Orange 'Customer Service' is appalling, inefficient and either incompetent or plain dishonest. They are terribly polite and promise you the earth but deliver zilch. I bought an iPhone in February 2012 from a private seller and contacted them to get an unlock code. They paired the IMEI and sim number and told me to wait 3 months which I dutifully did (although I did dispute why as I only had a PAYG sim from them , not a contract and I was the legal owner of the phone and not bound to them in any way).

    I phoned in May when the 3 months was up and applied for an unlock code. They checked the IMEI and sim, lodged the request and told me I would need to wait another month for the code (WHY!!). I topped up the required £20, waited for the code and received – nothing.

    Since that month was up I have been on the phone to 450 almost daily – with each call I have to go through the same routine again and each time I am initially told I have to wait 3 months as I have 'just bought the phone' or 'the IMEI and number don't match'. Each time I force them to check their own records and each time they apologise and say they will 'escalate' my case and I will have the code 'within 24 hours but probably sooner' – each time i appears I have been fed more bilge.

    The latest scam was this evening where I insisted that I received the code immediately; the 'Supervisor' who eventually dealt with my complaint said she would contact 'the unlocking team' straight away and call me back 'within 30 minutes' with the code. I waited and when she didn't return the call in that time phoned 450 again – only to find that they had shut 10 minutes before (no time limits for this service are provided on the Orange website). Worse that this I find I have been charged 50p for each call this evening and not the 25p Orange quote!!!!

    I doubt they will ever unlock it – but one thing is for sure, I would rather drop the phone down the toilet than ever spend another penny on the deliberately useless 'service' offered by these clowns.

  177. Mahendra said:

    hi i mahendra from india, i have iphone4 factory locked with O2 UK, I am unable to use it after up grading ios, since baseband has changed to 12.0.1 i am unable to access local network in india, can any one help regarding this issue or please give me the customer service Numbers of O2 Uk

  178. Becki said:

    Hi all,

    I’ve just had major hassle with my 3GS first of all finding out if it was locked or unlocked!

    I purchased the phone from car phone warehouse and was told it was unlocked when purchased 2 years later I upgraded and sold the phone no problems. Then the customer told me it was locked and their Vodafone sim didn’t work. Rang 150 and they told me the handset was locked and that they couldn’t unlock it so I’d have to go to my local orange store. Went in and they told me in store that they never have and never will unlock phones in store and to contact 150 again and demand they unlock it. In the mean time I called into car phone warehouse and they told me that the guy who sold me the phone had lied as it was on their system as a locked handset but refused to pay the cost of having it unlocked as the guy didn’t work there any more! (great customer service for ya!) then phoned orange back

    Unlock via IMEI code £20.49 (had £15 discount as good will so £5.49 for me)

    But takes 20 days for them to email the code to me

    Luckily my customer is quite happy to wait the 20 days!

    If you buy an iPhone and you’re told it’s unlocked demand proof before purchasing and be careful of the unlocked handset that automatically locks to the network of the Sim you first put in car phone warehouse are currently doing this!!

  179. Goia said:

    hi
    i have orange contract last 5 years. i lost my iphone (contract iphone) and bought second hand one but stilll on orange. when asked orange to ulock it they say no becouse i did not buy it directly from them! spoke with apple and was adivsed to speak to orange cos they have to unlock it cos im paying for it 24 months,however after talking to orange 10 times im feed up, they are just lazy and stiupid people and network.!some people told me that they wont unlock it, some that they got massage from apple that my phone is unlocked and some that i will recive instruction by post, yeah lots of stories!at the end i unlocked from some high street shop for 30£ and never want to see orange again !

  180. Charlotte said:

    Just tried to unlock my iphone 3gs with orange. Told me i would have to wait 30 working days for the unlock code to come through. Leaving the country in 21 days said this to the person on the phone couldnt do anything to help. Does it really take 30 working days or is this something they say to cover themselves.

  181. Sarah said:

    I would advice everyone reading this to stay WELL AWAY from t-mobile & Orange they ARE by far the worst service providers in the UK!!!!

    DO NOT GET INTO A CONTACT WITH EITHER OF THEM!!!!

  182. Chrissy Stevens said:

    I paid my money to 02 but still it won’t accept my orange sim they now say they won’t refund my money as there is a fault with my iPhoney orange sim is working I

  183. Lee said:

    Rook ur advice on unlocking from 3, you where spot on with ur info with price was told it will take 48 hours to process then a tx sent to me confirming unlock then all I have to do is sync phone and hey presto. Hope this helps.

  184. Wendy stockham said:

    I am also having a nightmare with unlocking a code for my 32gs which I gave to my daughter . I upgraded to a 4s and they decided to unlock that one!!! Now been waiting 6 weeks for code! When you go into an orange shop they and you a phone to say ring the same people you can call from 150?.. So what's the point of the shop if they cannot help! When I first call orange I speak to an English lady but then she puts me through to someone who does not have a clue. I have had so many lies from orange it's unbelievable!!! If I do not get a code this week and certainly after reading all these complaints I may just go public! Never ever would I use orange again!

  185. shamsudin said:

    i have a iphone from three of london
    i want to unlock it
    if u can so mail about that and about its rate.

  186. Rob said:

    Hi

    I have recently bought an iPhone 4S from a friend of mine in the UK but I am based in Australia. The handset is locked to Orange, and he sold it to me after only 3 weeks of owning it, do I need to wait the next 2 months before he can get it unlocked for me to used with other networks? Is there a quicker way?

  187. @comedyrogueshow said:

    Orange are a disgrace. Plain and simple. Requested an unlock over a month ago, called after two weeks and was told yep, everything is going through ok. Phoned again after the month and was told that they had no record of an unlock request on my account! Am going through it again and they're knocking £5 off of the £20. Well that makes up for the extra £38 they'll be taking off me in the meantime, doesn't it? Having been an Orange customer for 7 years, very much doubt I'll be going back again.

  188. lindssy said:

    Having been quoted over £100 to unlock my iphone from the 3 network at local shops (supposedly this was a genuine unlock and not a jailbreak) , I searched the internet and found this site. I followed the instructions and called 3; paid the £15.32 and was told Iwould get a text in max 72 hours telling me all i needed to do was link up to itune s to complete the unlock process. 48 hrs later got the text and hooked up to itunes, did 'restore'to set it back to factory settings. Unplugged it – put new network SIM in phone and reconnected to itunes then restored all my contacts and data back onto phone. Phone now unlocked, and I'm chuffed to bits!!!

  189. katie said:

    Hi

    I have bought the 3gs from someone private and asked three to unlock it, they said they needed the original persons permission, i can no longer get hold of him and i cant use the phone how can i get round this? i need to use the phone on orange but its locked to three

  190. Justine said:

    Okay so here’s my predicament:
    I just bought this iPhone 4 which is locked to 3 UK. Upon reading the comments above, I understand how the unlocking works. Dial 333 blah blah blah, I even have the IMEI for this phone. The problem is: I’m nowhere near the UK cause I’m in Asia (Philippines, to be exact). How do I get 3 to unlock this phone? :(

  191. Adrian said:

    At Three – 3
    If you brought an iPhone at Three (3) in UK, you can unlocked it after one month.
    Call 333 on your mobile phone ask to speck with someone at customer service (it applies like that call 333 and then 1 – because you want to talk about your phone you are in contract – than 4, tham 4 again and wait for the operator), than tell she/him you want to unlock your iPhone, You have to be prepared to give them the IMEI number (you easily can connect it at iTunes and you can be see the IMEI) than you have to pay 15£.
    In between 2 to 6 days you will receive an sms saying that you have to connect to iTunes to confirm the unlocking.
    It works for me. After 5 months contract and I am able to use with any sim card.
    Adrian

  192. John said:

    I have a new iphone that i think is registered to vodaphone, i bought it pivately, i want to use it on tesco mobile, how will I go about getting it unlocked, if i contact vodaphone will they unlock it for fee ?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi John,

      You'll need to ask the original owner of the phone to contact Vodafone and to ask them to unlock it.

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  193. dennis said:

    5 weeks and same story as others on here that ill call you back ect ect just spoke to superviser and told them i want my money back been told i can have my money back and they will have it unlocked in 48 hrs
    we will see

  194. SPB said:

    Thank you!

  195. SPB said:

    I'm a little confused. I have got my sister's old iPhone after she upgraded and I need to unlock it, do we contact orange (who she is with) or O2 (who I am with)? Thanks

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi SPB,

      You need to contact the network that the iPhone was originally purchased from, and the original owner will need to talk to them in order for them to process the unlock. This means your sister will need to contact Orange and ask them to unlock the iPhone.

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  196. Andy said:

    It is something like SAM unlock which has been recently released by unknown Chinese hacker

  197. Mark Tewkesbury said:

    Unlocked my 3 network 3GS without any issues, £15.32 taken as up front payment by the rubbish call centre which was frankly the best and easiest experience I’ve had with them!

  198. Django said:

    Orange supplied me with a PAC code after a month of trying by many means to make leaving challenging/difficult and then tried to tell me that they had delays and couldn't get my unlocking code till a further month had passed and if I didn't want to pay for this month then that was my look-out etc etc I felt like I was play blind-man's-buff with a dip of pickpockets to be honest and it was only when I started to ramp my real anger and irritation that they finally agreed to do the apparently extraordinarily challenging thing of releasing me from my contract at the end point, having been given additionally OVER a month's notice that this would be the case, and release the handset to be used on another network . . .
    CRIKEY!! Retentions Team eh? I'm ill inclined to swim with those chomping piranha again and to think I just wanted to use the handset with a cheap monthly sim only deal till the new iphone 5 came out then I was thinking of taking out another Orange contract until they tried juicing me like a cheap . . . well, like a cheap orange . . .
    Anyways, their email in today seems to suggest that anyone can unlock a 3G from Orange without needing a code – appended below:
    Please find the process for unlocking your Apple handset:-

    ****Please note there is no code required to unlock your iphone/ipad****
    1) Insert a non-Orange 3G SIM card. This must be a network provider who also supplies the iphone/ipad.
    2) Switch ON the handset.
    3) Connect to iTunes using USB cable
    4) Use the “restore” option within iTunes (located at the bottom of iTunes not the top)
    5) The handset may then display: USB cable and iTunes icon.
    6) Disconnect from USB then re-connect
    7) Synchronise device with iTunes
    8) Once synchronised a message will appear on iTunes stating “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked” If using IOS5 this message will not show
    9) Follow on screen set up instructions to enable new carrier settings
    Your handset should now be successfully unlocked.

    In fact, if I pop the giffgaff sim into the handset without doing anything, keeping the handset switched on, it offers me the option to just download the new network settings – so after all this kerfuffle (and presumably Orange have charged me for this inaccurate and misleading email instructiuon tab??) I could have just done it by cutting to the chase it seems. Anyways, the drama isn't over yet – my number is supposed to migrate on the 23rd whereupon everything has to tick through nicely or I will be electronically excommunicated with my work number defunct . . . I will certainly post more if it goes wrong for any reason . . .

    this set of Orange customer service horror stories rings clangingly true alongside my experience – they want to keep you, if permanentlly isn't possible they'll try for just short of permanently, i.e. another 12-24 months, if that looks unlikely they'll angle for one of their expensive monthly deals, then, if they sense that's not possible either because you've informed yourself of the lie of the land in the marketplace and know they are overpriced, they go for their last tactic, which is to see how much flesh they can rip off your flank while you desperately try and get out of the hostile maze of their retentions/disconnections process. It is a disgrace. I would like to see the head of Ofcom publicly flogged and then salted for allowing this to even settle out as acceptable behaviour in the sector.

    1. Anon replied:

      "Anyways, their email in today seems to suggest that anyone can unlock a 3G from Orange without needing a code – appended below"

      You do not need any unlock 'code' to unlock the iPhone, as it is all done remotely and something appears to be pushed to your phone to make it unlocked in the software. Hence the reason why they ask you to plug it into itunes and no need for a code.

      It's Orange's policy to make this as difficult as possible and to charge for the privilege! ;)

  199. faffy said:

    It was good reading your advice. I live in Nigeria. A friend bought me an iphone 3G (used) from London that is locked to a network i do not know. The question is how do i know the network so i can pay to unlock because i do not want to jail break. Thanks

  200. MrJ said:

    Ive just spoken to T-Mobile and they said they can unlock iPhones for 15£ but it would up to 28days because they have to send it off to apple to be done. i will try it within the next few weeks.

  201. becky said:

    I agree with #dave. I have been trying for 4 months and everyone i have spoken to have said they will do it and its still not happened.

    I am abroad and it is costing me a fortune trying to deal with orange, they used to be so good at customer service but i think they have outsourced and intead of speaking to a friendly Geordie who can sort my problem straight away I get a muppet who cant say my name properly and who cant do anything without a supercvisor who then cant help either!

    AVIOD USING ORANGE AT ALL COSTS

  202. Pat - Ireland said:

    Just contacted 3 with regard to unlocking an iPhone 3GS after getting a gift of an iPhone 4. 380euro to unlock the phone. I would have to buy out the remaining 8 months of my 24 month contract and still honor the remaining 8 months of the contract….. My entire experience with 3 mobile has been nightmarish…. no signal in my own home and I have been informed by them that there is no problem.

  203. Dave said:

    I'm 2 days into a 24 month "The One Plan" contract with Three. I just had my request to unlock my iPhone 4S placed on their system for a cost of £15.32. They said it would take up to 48 "working hours" to complete the request, at which point I'd receive a text alerting me.

  204. @LukeAGardiner said:

    I just got my iPhone 4S unlocked by Three. It cost £15.32 and they said it would take 48-72 hours. I am currently on a 24month contract (the one plan) at £35/month. Just call 333.

    I had previously unlocked my iPhone 3GS under an O2 contract free of charge and without issue.

  205. Hannah said:

    I got iphone 4s with o2 and sent the request unlock form online! 3 days later, i received text to said that my iphone was unlock. And it was for free!!! I love o2 !!!!

  206. Yasmin said:

    I have recently bought an iphone 4s but it is locked to tmobile does anyone know how to unlock it? as i do not have the original tmobile sim card just the phone.

    thanks :)

  207. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Hi Adam,

    Thanks for your comment. I'm really sorry to hear about your situation and I hope that Orange can resolve to cancel your iPhone 4S after you've held it for several months. The legislation as it current stands is that there is no legal obligation to unlock the phone I'm afraid.

    Ken

  208. Toby said:

    Got my new iphone 4s this morning from 3 and started the unlock process this afternoon. Really easy, charged £15.32 to my next bill.

  209. Lindsay Smith said:

    Just been speaking to orange and they said they only unlock the phone that was originally registered to you on your original contract…so if i've broken my phone or whatever and have to buy a second hand one, even if that phone has been with them for 3 months as their website says (it doesn't mention anything about the phone having to be linked to the customers account) they won't unlock it…they are absolute arses. i've been with them for years and years and my contract finishes in 1 month and i will NEVER be going with them again…even though i was considering getting my sim only contract with them i won't now. Why are they so scared of me going elsewhere if they are so great.

  210. dave said:

    Orange will lie to yo and say they will unlick your phone, it will never happen. You will be frustrated by endless phone calls to them and promises they will phone you back , uncok it next day , etc. Honestly if they say 30 days then it won't happen, we hve been told that 3 times.

  211. S.M. said:

    £20 – upto 30 days to unlock for ORANGE. No problems.

  212. Mark said:

    26 hr later I got a text from 3 saying unlock complete, and to connect iPhone 4s to iTunes!
    I did this and nothing happened, what I didn’t do was put a different network sim in, when I did this I got a message come up saying Reuters activation!
    I connected it to iTunes and within 5 seconds it was activated and full bars showing on orange and 3G
    Tried a couple of other aim cards nd they all worked, so definatley unlocked all networks
    Was very easy to do through 3 network

  213. Mark said:

    Had my new iPhone 4s just under 2 weeks, phoned up 3 network this morning and asked for the phone to be unlocked as I want to use it in the E.U and don’t want to use my 3 micro sim due to roaming charges abroad and will use a local micro sim, they said no problem and I would be billed £15.31 on my next bill due to apple taking a chunk of it for unlocking.
    Was told within 48hrs phone would be done and I will get a text explaining what to do which is basically just hook it up to iTunes with a different micro network sim and should get a congratulations your phone is now unlocked message
    Will let you know when it is complete

  214. Vixson said:

    Hi my boyfriend has just had an upgrade to the iPhone 4s on t.mobile. He did have an iPhone 3GS which he bought 2nd hand. He’s gave me the 3GS to save me buying a new one from apple. My Samsung galaxy s is broken so I jumped at the chance when he offerd me his old phone. I’m on O2 so I needed to get the phone unlocked. After speaking to customer services two people told him to connect the iPhone to iTunes then it would be unlocked, we tried thus but ur did not work we then phoned t.mobile again and spoke to someone else. They took his e,mail address and name and said they would need to contact apple for a code, then they said they would e,mail him within 7 to 10 working days. It’s now been 3 weeks as if tomorrow I am still useing the broken galaxy which us nearly on its last legs. Does anyone know how long it takes? I am giving it until next week to be unlocked if not then I will have to go and buy a new iPhone which will cost me 429£. We have rang t.mobile and they said its in process but this was a week ago.

  215. zee said:

    i've bought a second hand phone from a friend, was told that it was going to be unlocked in 30 days, its now been 2 months and after numerous phone calls they keep bouncing to different departments, who tells me different stories each time and try to blame me for it not being unlocked. given this experience id stay away from them, and recommend everyone to stay away from them.

  216. iphonefangirl said:

    i just phoned 3 yesterday to have it unlocked. only spoke to 1 operator was asked for the imei and after 30 hours i received the text ‘it has been processed’. only had the iphone 4s for 3 months im travelling to asia in 6 weeks. gotta love 3.

  217. naomi said:

    Really need some help! I have bought a phone on three but have not been able to unlock it…….. i called them as I had the old owners sim card in it but they say the phone isn't registered in my name…….. I bought the phone from Cash Converters and supply them with the relevant proof… Do you think it will help to go in store……. The sim card was left in the phone and I have now registered me as the phone numbers owner (its pay as you go) adding all my details for security purposes. Will the phone now be registered to me or have i bought an expensive brick!!

  218. @OnRadioAaron said:

    Have you tried any other sims, so that it is unlocked no matter what or does the lock simply move to t-mobile?

  219. Mark said:

    Just a quick note to those who are buying second hand iPhones buy them on vodafone if you can once the phone is 12 months old they will do it for free so all 3G and 3GS will be done. Takes about 5 days. £20 if not 12 months old.

  220. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Hi Ian,

    If it's been unlocked through the official method, you should just have to put in a O2 SIM card and then plug your iPhone into iTunes. This should cause it to unlock the phone again.

    Ken

  221. Ian Booth said:

    My daughter was given an old G3 iphone by her godmother (she's now an iphone 4 user) and we had it unlocked cheaply so we could use O2 sim card. Daughter forgot pass code and locked it up so had to reload software from itunes. Problem – gone back to orange. how do i get it unlocked for o2 again, ideally for free?

  222. Artur said:

    iPone 4s on Vodafone Pay Montly unlocked for free in 4 days!

  223. No idea said:

    Hi, Hoping someone can advise me whether I'm doing the right thing or not. My wife's contract (which is in my name) is up for renewal. So I decide to order a 4s from 3, but I am thinging of using the phone for myself on a pay month sim with vodafone. Being a bit nieve I automatically thought it would be easy to unlock the phone and put my vodafone simm in and away I go. Should I cancel and just get a iphone 4s which is already unlocked or can this be done baring in mind I haven't even started on my contract yet? Thanks In advance for any advice/responses..

  224. Vijendra said:

    Hi i have an iPhone with Orange Israel "smart and happy student 2010" plan, now only 3 month left out of 18 month contract. Just now i called to company, asking to unlock phone for other company, to use in other country they said it will be unlocked in next 24 hr just i have to synchronize my phone with itunes, that to be free of cost. enjoy!!!!!!

  225. Lewis said:

    I just read this post, really helpful information, i was on 3 for my iphone 4 (which my dad gave me beause he was upgrading to an iphone 4s) and i previously had a blackberry curve 8520 on the network orange, and i wanted to keep my number because i had lots of friends and family's numbers, i had been to 2-3 different phone unlocking shops and the prices to unlock my iphone where shocking (£85-£90), and i read the part on the 3 section on this post about just simply phoning customer services and requesting an unlock. so i did, it was very simple, just call 333, select "your number" and then select "talk about leaving" and your forwarded on to the customer services line, ofcourse they try pursuade you to stay on 3 but if you insist on leaving (like i did) i suppose they had no choice in which to do so, now i am happily unlock on my iphone 4 on orange. i wouldnt advise going out to a shop and getting your phone unlocked before you try call your customer services first and request an unlock, im glad i never paid the £85-£90

  226. Matt said:

    Hi David,

    Yes, this sounds like Orange. Unfortunately, the French customer services team seem to make it up as they go along. I have even been told by Orange customer services to jail break my iphone in order to unlock the software, which of course gives you the access you require, but it shouldn't be advised by Orange because it invalidates your warranty and makes your iphone's software unstable, and moreover, they have the ability to do it remotely and properly.

    The problem all mobile phone companies have is that there are very few employees told how the software is locked and unlocked and therefore the average customer services team member cannot advise you properly. This is because the topic is highly sensitive as it is a practice that is being concealed until customers realise they cannot use their phones with other networks, at which point they are usually asked to pay more money and wait long periods for the phones to be unlocked.

    Keep on trying with Orange, if you have no luck, log a complaint with Ofcom regarding your matter. Although Orange seem to have useless customer service, they do actually have a good system in place when a complaint is made to Ofcom, which I will not divulge but you will find out yourself.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  227. Matt said:

    Hi Amo,

    You need to find out exactly who has locked your iphone4. Vodaphone should tell you if they have locked the software, but beware they may want you to pass security questions on the original sim card used in the phone; if you can't do this you have to escalate the matter either with Vodaphone or Ofcom. Not knowing information about the original sim card is not a good enough reason for a mobile company to prevent the use of a proprietors £500 iphone4, so other information you hold should be adequate, such as your current use with the phone which they will hold on record, the IMEI, serial number etc.

    If you do not have proof of purchase, you could organise to meet a manager at a Vodaphone store where you could take the phone and photo ID (passport / drivers licence) and ask them to approve your identification and take records (so they are covered if anything goes wrong, i.e. you are not the real owner). You could also go to a Commissioner of Oaths (usually a solicitor) and pay for them to draw up a statutory declaration which will give all details of you and the phone saying you are the owner (note the penalty for being untruthful when doing this can be severe, also this could be pricey). Aswell, there is the possibility of recording your IMEI with the police and this can be used as proof that, at least, you are serious about your ownership of the phone.

    If you are still struggling after you have tried everything, call Ofcom and make a complaint. Ofcom cannot help you directly but they can advise you what steps to take next and provide you with a case reference number against the mobile company.

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks.

    Matt

  228. Shaun said:

    I am on a 3 contract Iphone 4 deal and need the pone unloocked as im off to New York and need the phone active and cheap across there. Rang them Wednesday lunch and cost me £15.60ish on my bill to have it unlocked. Said id need to put the new none 3 sim in the phone or back it up after a text message states phone unloceked within 48 hours, which came this morning (Friday). Am now just backing up phone and restting it and then resore and all should be done ready for my new sim in New York.

    Very easy and helpful staff at 3 too.

  229. Sue said:

    Help please!!
    So I have got an email from Orange to say the phone is unlocked and I have the new SIM card, I now need to use the restore option within itunes, is this itunes on my pc or on the iphone? Sorry I am not a bit techie

    1. @OnRadioAaron replied:

      On your itunes, you click the iphone. then click the summary tab scroll down and its the buttom under search for updates .. hope this helps :)

  230. Lucy Williams said:

    Hi guys, I desperately need some help! I bought my husband an iPhone 3GS after I broke his iPhone 4. The iPhone 3GS I have purchased is locked to orange and I need to get it unlocked so I can put his 3sim card in it…..he needs it working ASAP can someone please help x

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Lucy,

      We have some unlocking instructions for Orange above, though if it doesn't work you could try the unofficial and unsanctioned method of unlocking (sorry I can't advise on this though!).

      Ken

  231. gordon said:

    i have an iphone 4 on three and it cost £15.32 to get it unlocked ive had the phone on contract for 14 months it took two days for it to be unlocked on iso 5.01 was jailbrocken before the unlock and is sill jailbroken now.

  232. Deniz said:

    Hello together,

    I bought an used iPhone 4 from a guy.

    Iam from Germany and the iPhone is SimLocked

    by orange UK. How can i unlock it?

    Any idea?

    Thanks a Lot

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Deniz,

      Unfortunately you'll have to get it locked by Orange UK, which is tricky if you're in Germany. An unsupported method would be to jailbreak your phone – I can't advise on how to do it (you could brick your phone if done incorrectly)… also please check local laws & regulations to ensure jailbreaking is allowed.

      Ken

  233. Karim254 said:

    Had a new iPhone 4 unlocked successfully with O2. That part was easy, Using it with another sim gives me network problems…. Searches for the network for ages and finally 'no Service' keeps propping up for other carriers here in Kenya. Worked once or twice, but briefly before 'searching' for network again. Really frustrating. I'm I the only 1? Help!

  234. Raj said:

    I've been having such problems getting my Iphone4 unkocked from Orange. The first time I tried I was told the request was made, but in fact it wasnt. I've since sent two emails to them about this, they've just ignored me, SO – my next email will be to olaf.swantee@orange.co.uk – CEO of Everything Everywhere, parent company of Orange. If he gets a lot of angry emails, perhaps he'll do something about this problem

  235. Tim said:

    thank you sir, you just saved me a packet!!

  236. Dave said:

    Hi, I have recently been given an iphone 4 which was contracted to orange. How do I get it unlocked from orange without a sim card being in the phone?

  237. Kerry said:

    Ive just joined Orange and I’m on
    A 24 month contract with a 4S

    By right in reading Orange won’t or will
    Unlock a iPhone?

    I got my deal with Phones4u

    Although I’m not bothered at the moment
    With unlocking but once contracts up I may wish to go back to my previous network Vodafone

    So I’m hoping unlocking is 100%

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Kerry,

      Orange should unlock their iPhones – see the heading under Orange for details of how to do it :)

      Ken

  238. craig c said:

    I have had the email from Orange but even after following their instructions it does not recognise that there is a sim included, its annoying the hell out of me!

  239. Sergio said:

    I spoke to orange on 30 December 2010. I had to call 10-12 times as they keeps saying the Iphone 4 has not been purchased on line or in an orange shop but in an other stop and they were not able to unlock! At last, I spoke to some1 that some how charged £20 and sent the unlocking. I did call again just to double check if the unlocking form was sent. They told me to wait 7-14 days. Lets hope but from what I read above I feel like to leave orange and go to O2 !

  240. Gabor said:

    i have an Iphone 3gs from o2.
    i file the form on the o2 website to unlock it.
    5 days later i got a text message that i have to connect my phone to the itunes whit the other sim.
    sync and done.
    and it was free.
    I like o2.

  241. Nick R said:

    For info, decided to try unlocking my iPhone from Three yesterday. I rang them, they told me they could do it immediately (despite me being less than 18 months into a 24 month contract) and it would cost £15.30 which they would add to my next bill. I said fine, I was put on hold for less than a minute, then told the process was complete. All I needed to do, they said, was to put a non-Three SIM into the phone and connect it to iTunes. I didn't have a non-Three micro SIM so went out and bought a T-Mobile one today, connected to iTunes and got a 'congratulations your iPhone is unlocked' message. Great service! Can't wait to use the internet cheaply abroad this summer!!

    Does anyone know which network in Spain would be good to get a pre-pay micro SIM on, by any chance? :)

  242. Chigga said:

    Hi, did your iphone 4s on t-mobile seriously only take one day to unlock, have been waiting for mine for over 10days. How does it work, they give you a unlocking code or something?!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Chigga,

      Your iPhone 4S will be unlocked through iTunes once you've requested T-Mobile unlock it.

      Hope this helps!

      Ken

  243. paul said:

    I have purchased a second hand IPHONE 3GS which is locked to O2. I wish to get this unlocked but was unaware that if you do this then it cannot be updated from the 4.0 software for the rest of its life? I i require to get it unlocked properly its £70. I only wish to place a tesco SIM into the iphone. O2 sim only contracts are alot higher than all the other competetors and thats the reason im simply not getting an O2 SIM.

    Any ideas?

    Cheers

    Paul.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Paul,

      If you unlock it from O2 officially, you should be able to get all of the iOS updates. For jailbreaking, you cannot always update to the latest version of iOS as it will cancel the jailbreak (and jailbreak is only available for some versions of iOS). However, you may be able to use a Tesco SIM in an O2-locked phone without locking it first… definitely worth a go as it works for many people.

      Ken

  244. Chula said:

    I did try calling Tmobile and I was told that tmobile only unlocks their phones no iPhone but I’m glad I gave it a try thank you Happy Holidays!

  245. Wayne said:

    Asked for 3GS to be unlocked on 15th got an email on 22nd saying to do the iTunes thing. Got a congratulations it’s unlocked but still won’t work. Phoned today and orange says it now takes 7 to 14 days for security checks. Is this right????

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Wayne,

      If you've had a "Congratulations" message the unlock should have occured so it's really strange that it hasn't yet been unlocked. I presume you've tried with a SIM card from a different UK network and it still doesn't work? (double check the SIM is definitely active). If you've had the "Congratulations" message but still have problems using a different network, I think this is probably an issue to take up with Apple.

      Ken

    2. wayne replied:

      thanks for the reply Ken.
      yeah had the the congratulations when did with itunes but just says no service, just been up to a local unlock shop and he says sounds like its been blocked??? tried both o2 and a vodaphone sim in it and still no joy.
      guy in shop says should work too if you have had a congratulations.

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        I'm afraid I'm at a loss to provide an explanation, very sorry Wayne. Your best bet would be to talk to Apple or your mobile network – maybe there was an issue with the unlock process which they may be able to diagnose. Do let me know how you get on and if you manage to resolve your issues.

        Sorry not to have the answers!

        Ken

  246. Patrick said:

    I’m wondering if you can help I do have IPhone 4 and is Locked to AT&T Us

    1. john replied:

      AT&T do not unlock there phones at all.any phone on a usa network provider do not unlock there phones ever.

  247. e33 said:

    unlocked my iphone 3gs which was with o2 and now want to use with a three monthly contract but it will not connect to the three network. does anyone have any experience of this or advice to get working with three mobile, any help would be greatly appreciated. e33

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hey e33,

      Does it accept your SIM card and allow phone calls & texts, but just not work with the internet? If so, see this guide on configuring the APN settings for your phone.

      Ken

  248. junaid said:

    hey there, i purchased an iPhone 4S sim free from carphone warehouse but somehow it has become locked to the 1st sim card that i inserted…which is O2…anyone has any idea what i should do now ?? i want to switch my network

    1. sozeib replied:

      junaid: if you purchased the iphone sim free from carphone warehouse, then you should take it back and demand an explanation, and for the phone to be unlocked free of charge… by the way i have had two Tmobile iphone handsets so far… first one took a week or so for them to unlock and the second one which is a 4s that i bought a day ago was unlocked within a day… all i did was call customer service and asked… they said they will charge 15 pounds on the next bill..

  249. Matt said:

    Legally, Orange (they seem to have most complaints) and other networks must unlock your phone if you are the owner of the phone, that is, you are not under contract. No mobile phone company has any right to prevent use of your phone as soon as you are the owner of the property. The only possible way this could be done is by the companies making any prevention of your phone an explicit term of your contract and making you very aware of it with a big red hand, which of course is not the case. O2 are a great company and have it all sorted in the UK; they know the law (they dont prevent use of phones out of contract) and they know their customers (their call centres are UK based with British employees). If you have trouble with Orange, call their customer services complaints team and they’ll waive the fee. If they don’t, your next call is to Ofcom.
    Good luck guys
    Matt

    1. David replied:

      Tried going into the Orange store – they say they can't unlock their phones, apple store will be able to help. Apple store say they can't unlock orange phones – ring Orange customer services. Rang Orange customer services, they say it will take 14 days and cost £20, but Orange stores can do it for £5 within 5 days! Of course I queried this and their operator said he would confirm with his supervisor. After holding for 15 mins the phone cut off!

    2. Amo replied:

      Hi Matt,

      I am a VODAFONE pay as you go customer, my gf has brought me a iPhone4 however I want to unlock it to o2 as I want a contract with them. I requested the phone to be unlocked over 3 weeks ago & still has not been done. what can I do ? I do not have proof of purchase as its a present.

      Any help will do,

      thanks

      Amo

    3. Martin replied:

      Been trying since October 2011 to unlock my deceased brothers phone from Orange, three trips to the local Orange store and numerous phone calls, the first time I had to produce my brothers death certificate and top up his pay as you go phone so there was £20 on it to pay for the unlocking code which would take 45 days. Just called the Orange helpline tonight and spoke to a couple of people in India and was told that the IMEI number on the phone did not match their records ?? asked why this wasn't told to me in October last year and was told I would have to wait another 30 dayswith this new IMEI number, got so frustrated that I hung up before I became abusive, I am at the end of my tether with this.

    4. charlie replied:

      hi matt i got an iphone 4 on contract with orange, then sold it for the iphone 4s which i paid for myself from carphone warehouse… orange want to charge me to unlock it, even though i cancelled my contract with them and paid off the money to cancel it…. can they do this? thanks

    5. guest replied:

      Hmm – I disagree about the British employees bit. I have had disagreements twice with O2 as they disconnect your payg number if you dont use your phone for 6 months ( i keep one as a spare in case Orange fails as it did once). All my email communications with O2 on this to get reconnected were obviously from an offshore team. Not good!

    6. Liamkw replied:

      How did you get their customer complaints team phone number. The advice which I have been given by their customer service advisor is that I need to get the person who I purchased the phone from (it is out of contract) to call them and have the cost of unlocking added to their upgraded contract. You couldn't make it up!

    7. Adam replied:

      Calling Ofcom doesn't help. I know, I tried it today.
      I bought a brand new iPhone 4S, which was an unused and unwanted upgrade.
      After 2 calls to Orange where they quoted the rulebook (you have to have used the phone on the orange network for 90 days, then apply for an unlock, which takes around 14 days) I asked for escalation, twice. And both times I did not get the promised callback.
      I called Ofcom. They gave me a case number. They informed me that there is nothing in the regulations that obliges a carrier to unlock a phone, period. Ofcom DID give me a special number that Orange do not advertise. You have to have an Ofcom case number before they will listen to you. I made the case that I legally own the phone, and that I have no contract with Orange. After "careful consideration" they called back to tell me they wouldn't bend the rules for me.
      Quite simply, I will make sure I never deal with this network again. I'd advise the same to anyone.

    8. Keef replied:

      My contract finished with Orange in April (thank God – they were rubbish!) and i have sim card for 3 to out into MY 3GS. I bought it from Carphone warehouse and when I asked them if it was locked they said "No". So I suspected that for 2 years i had owned an unlocked phone. So when I tried to put the 3 sim card in in April 2012, I discovered it was locked to Orange. On 20th April 2012, I requested the unlock which they said would take "up to 30 days". Today, 11 days in, it is still locked to Orange and I have spent Lord alone knows how long on the phone to both Orange and Apple trying to solve the fact that I have a locked phone and a contract SIM that i can't use in it. (To add insult to injury, Orange have cut of my service and are still charging me because, when I ended my contract after the final date, I didn't give them 30 days notice!)
      Anyhow, Orange are blaming Apple, saying that Apple need to send them an "unlock code", something which Apple denies exists.
      I hate to back up Apple but their position makes more sense ie Orange locked it so Orange should unlock it.
      But everyone I speak to at Orange trots out the same line that Apple must unlock it.
      Who is correct? And what is the maximum time that the network has, legally, to unlock it?

    9. Mark Steele replied:

      Hi Matt,
      My 24 month contract with Orange officially ends today but as I only asked for a PAC code on 15th May, I have to wait until 13th June, but only if I activate my PAC code with another operator within this time. I contacted Orange today to ask them to unlock my phone so I can use it with another provider but was told by customer service adviser that Orange wouldn't do it as the phone is not registered to me (I bought it on ebay as un unwanted upgrade locked to Orange). What else can I do?
      Regards
      Mark

    10. Dave replied:

      Unrelated to Orange but still important, I am a 3 Pay Monthly Customer and I can confirm that 3 do offer an official unlock at a one off charge of £15.32. After you have made payment, there is a 72 hour wait whilst the unlock request is processed, and once it is done, they will send you a text telling you to connect to iTunes to confirm the unlock. I do not know if there are different conditions for PAYG, but I would've thought it was still possible. An official unlock is well worth the wait and money in my opinion as there are so many unreliable methods of unlocking out there.

    11. William Adams replied:

      Yeh sure! o2 are a great company that's why I removed 3 mobile accounts from them this month after being a customer since they were formed. To get an unblocking code from them is one of failed promises, missed deadlines a couple of hours waiting for customer service (what in my experience must be the worlds worse) and still my iPhone is locked. They cover 99% of the UK for calls and data (according to their website) forget it no 3G no 2g, how about no g and very weak signal. Great British employees I admit, courteous but less than half of what is needed to operate a viable customer service experience.

    12. John replied:

      I just called Orange on 150 to unlock my I Phone 4 after upgrading to the I Phone 5 and was told that I would have to contact Apple to unlock it, Orange couldn't help.

    13. Bas Vlug replied:

      Matt, could you give me some advice? I'm Dutch and bought my iPhone5 on eBay from a British guy (top reseller on eBay, high ratings). I just received the phone, it's brand new but locked on Orange, what he could tell me. It's not on a contract, there has been no phone number, he got it as a present and therefor no invoice or whatsoever. What can I do to get this phone working? Waiting for 3 months or more is no option and I don't have any proof of purchase. The guy on eBay says he cannot help me….So I paid more than 600 Euros for a phone which isn't working…Thanks for any reply!

    14. Sue Cooper replied:

      I've got an iPhone 5 locked to T Mobile that I purchased on eBay 4 months ago. My 2yr contract ended this month and I rung them to ask them to unlock it. At first they tell me via Twitter the phone isn't registered to my account so to unlock it they have to register it and I have to wait 6 months. Then on the phone I'm told its not registered to me so it can't be unlocked for me. Asked again on Twitter and told no we won't unlock it but if you put a PAYG sim in it for 6mths + we will!!! This is so frustrating I feel like I'm going round in circles and they keep moving the goal posts! I'm basically being held hostage.

  250. webdev said:

    I have unlocked my iphone from three by calling 333 and talking to the operator. I paid 15 quid something which was added to my next monthly bill. It was unlocked immediately

  251. Brett said:

    I thought i'd blog my experience with Three in the uk, I called them when i was due to go on holiday asking them if my phone would work with a DU simcard in for when i'm in the emirates, the person on the other end of the phone said it wouldn't be a problem. Obviously when i got there it was a problem, i emailed them asking them to unlock it and i never got a response. Spent the whole time i was there without a phone. i've since asked them to unlock it via email and again no response. If you want a reply from three you have to call them. I must say, hats off to o2 for making the process so easy, infact its a matter of filling in an online form and them doing the rest of the work

  252. Abdul said:

    If you buy an unlocked iPhone straight from apple retail store it remains unlocked no matter which sim you put in it.

  253. @life_nerd said:

    I just tried to unlock my old 3GS that I bought through Orange. I bought my phone aprt way through an Orange contract, so I had to buy a PAYG sim at the time. Orange refused to unlock my 3GS as I didn't know the PAYG number (even though I registered it at the time). therefore I've had to bring it to a local shop that advertises that it unlocks phones. They "hope" they can do it. Who knows… Not feeling overly positive.

  254. Andy J said:

    I bought an iphone 4s from apple, it was unlocked and i opted to use a 3 payg sim with it. Will the 3 payg sim lock it to the network or will the phone remain unlocked since the phone hasn't been subsidised by 3. If it is locked how do i unlock it should i wish to change networks

  255. Hussain said:

    Hello #Ryan, I bought my Iphone from Dubai and it was unlocked somehow when they sold it. but it did came with an o2 sim. without knowing it might be an unlocked phone i upgraded the software and ended up with a brick. now i am using it with a Gevey Sim (It is legal here in Maldives as 112 is not an emergency number). After reading this article i filled up the form, but i didnt have any numbers to put as recently called so i put 112 there. I got a reply within 24 hrs saying they can unlock the phone but i need to send them the ICCID number of the sim as it might be disconnected due to inactivity and they will try to connect it but if they fail they would send me a new sim to a UK address and i have to reload it with 15 pounds which they will deduct before unlocking. just hoping this is going to work.

  256. Colin said:

    I have an iPhone 3GS which has been unlocked by Vodafone but now I'm abroad I can't get local sim to work all web research says to perform a software reset by connecting to iTunes but who has there computer with them abroad! Is there any way to make iPhone see local network without connecting to iTunes?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Colin,

      Unfortunately you'll need to sync your iPhone to your iTunes account – so you'll need a a computer with iTunes and the iPhone USB cable.

      Ken

  257. Ryan said:

    Hi. Just bought iPhone 4 on eBay but locked to O2. Is it possible to use my friends O2 contract sim and put it in my phone then contact 02 to unlock for free (maybe best for my friend to ring them) . Would this work?

  258. @iEgoWarrior said:

    4 weeks and 4 phone calls to Orange no money taken yet! Getting pissed off with this unlock process…

  259. Thomtom said:

    My Orange contract ends soon. Just called them and put through a request, been told that it takes 2-4 weeks. Cost £20, hope it all goes well.

    As someone above has mentioned I plan to move across to GiffGaff.

  260. Harun Rashid said:

    I have a iPhone 4 on o2 which I bought 2 weeks ago. I had 2 iPhone 3G which I managed to unlock myself by jailbreaking but I never knew that O2 do official unlocks. I have read a lot about the unlock and I am now convinced that I rather pay £15 to o2 and have a factory unlock iPhone. This will save me having to re-jailbreak ever time there is a new iOS update.

    I have completed the request form yesterday. Hope I get the text soon :)

  261. Anita Johnson said:

    I've an iPhone 3GS coming shortly out of contract with Orange. I eventually cancelled with one months notice (46 mins on phone). Told that if I wanted to port my number I'd have 30 days to do so or contract would revert to Orange and notice would again be needed. (So if I ported my number I'd be back at beginning again!!). Asked about unlocking and was told it would cost £20 and take a month (Is everything a month at Orange?) I was then transferred to the unlocking department, hung on for 11 mins, and was told that since Apple had carried out a warranty repair by a "swap out" I'd need to contact them to unlock. I called in on my Apple store and was told quite clearly that they relock to the original network when swapping out. Invariably. They checked and confirmed the phone was correctly locked to Orange. Apple suggested that the Orange shop might helpfully deal with it as Orange had mislead me, Called at Orange shop and was told I'd need to go to Apple. When challenged then told to contact Orange customer services directly as they couldn't. (another Orange employee gave me contact details of a local jailbreak firm – said it'd be quicker!). Sent email of complaint to Orange and received a garbled and cut off Voicemail. I think I've been told to contact Customer Services! If anyone knows how to pin these people down perhaps they'll advise me.

  262. me. said:

    i got the same issue… orange sucks!

  263. Dan Barnett said:

    price for three unlock is correct around 17 sterling. only thing is you have to be a customer. purchased second hand iphone 4 and they will not unlock for me as i am not with them. PLEEASE REPLY AS TO HOW TO UNLOCK MY PHONE???? will apple do it for a fee if i send it to them?????????????

    1. Andy replied:

      Did you find out how to get it unlocked with 3 as I'm stuck too. Bought iPhone off eBay did checkmend test which said it wasn't barred but it now won't work. 3 customer services say original owner must give okay but couldn't contact them. eBay seller turned into an a*se about it but even though payment went out of my PayPal account he didn't mark it paid. eBay system won't let you open a case if it isn't marked paid, PayPal said wasn't their problem..got nowhere until it's timed out now both saying tough!! Only way now seems to be try again with 3

  264. Scoprio11 said:

    Hi, would like to know if I can pass on my iphone (once it's unlocked) to my sister in Germany for her to use permantly over there? Thanks!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Scoprio11,

      Yep, you can do! Germany uses the same GSM mobile technology here as in the UK so an unlocked iPhone purchased in the UK will work in Germany too!

      Ken

  265. MAD said:

    Hi

    I bought my iphone in August 2011 , this is a used iphone 3gs. I got the Orange SIM card. The first time I was in contact with Orange was August 22, 2011, where they told me if I should have to unlocked my iPhone 3G I should pay over £ 20 to my simcard , I did. This should take 7-20 days, nothing happend. I contacted them again. Were then told that I had to wait 3 months before They Can unlocked the phone. Today 11/22/2011 I was in contact with them again, got another message that the phone was first registered on me the 10/11/2011, and that I now have to wait until February 2012. I only ask, what kind of service is this. I can only say, NEVER NEVER use Orange as a mobile provider.Please put this on Facbook, twitter +++, every one should know what kind of service they give.

    1. Emma replied:

      I agree, Orange customer service is shocking!!! I would never go back to them. The have the audacity to stop me from using a phone that I own and paid for over an 18 month contract (which actually went on for 21 months). In addition to the practice of Orange obstructing the unlocking process being extremely autocratic, I can't believe it's legal. I appreciate that they lock the phone as it's subsidised, but what's their excuse once the contract has come to the end?? Ironic really, I want to leave them because of the poor Orange customer service, but I can't leave the because of their poor customer service. Orange customer service is appalling.

  266. Shu said:

    I had a similar issue. I had an iPhone 4 from Apple (unlocked), it became faulty and so got it replaced by Apple but they replaced it with a phone locked to O2. I called O2 and they unlocked it.

  267. Jason Treeby said:

    I wanted an iPhone 3GS when they first came out but was under contract and was told that through orange it would cost me over £800, but was advised that I could get one as PAYT from orange for cheaper, and then just change tariff to an iphone tarriff as this would be cheaper. I have since moved to GiffGaff – £10 per month, 250 Free minutes, unlimted texts and unlimted data – great for an iphone . I contacted Orange and they said – will take 2 weeks, they will email me when done will cost £20. 1 month on i didnt hear, and they advised that the phone wasnt purchased with the wifes number. I advised that I knew that – and told the story above. I have 2 friends that work for Orange and they both said its madness and the stories they near internally are not great. I keep being promised it will be done… however I am still paying a high monthly cost for my wifes monthly account as they cannot match GiffGaff.

  268. Ameen said:

    I bout a iPhone from my friend. It was on 3network. My friend have bout it from a high street shop. Soon after I got the phone there was some thing wrong in the phone and I took it to apple store. They replace a new one. It also locked to 3. And I was trying nearly 3months to unlock it with 3 but they telling they have no any details about this phone. And they can’t unlock it at all. I send a letter from apple store that telling this is a 3 network phone . But still it is lock to 3 . Is there any solution for this ????

  269. Damian said:

    Hi Ken,

    I have a question, about 6 weeks ago I paid the 20 pounds to Orange to have my phone unlocked, they said it would take 30 days for the process to be complete, I still haven't received an email from Orange with details to complete the process, I have plugged the iPhone into iTunes and no mention about the phone being unlocked comes. What should I do next?

    Thanks,
    Very frustrated

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Damian,

      The best thing to do would be to contact Orange and to enquire as to the status of your unlocking. I'm sorry I can't be any more helpful!

      Ken

  270. charley said:

    I went into orange today to get in unlocked and they told me that only apple stores can unlock phones and no other shops can! and i have no apple store near me? so confussed as everyone on here is saying you can why did orange lie to me?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Charley,

      Orange Customer Services will handle your unlock request – however they simply ask Apple to unlock your iPhone for you through iTunes. The best thing to do is to call them up rather than going into a store!

      Hope this helps,

      Ken

  271. Jake said:

    What Orange are doing, charging for iPhone unlock codes is daylight robbery! I’m out of contract in three weeks, phoned customer service and was told I have to pay them £20.42 to unlock my phone. This is a disgrace, the phone is rightfully mine after the contract period has expired so why should I pay them for the privilege to continue to use my phone. I’m really disgusted that this kind of fleecing is allowed by Ofcom, and that Orange are obviously a corporation putting shareholder profit before anything else, including customer retention.

  272. Jan said:

    Hi,
    i just bought used iPhone 4 from guy who just came from the uk. iPhone is locked to Orange and he was using gevey… shouldn't do that, i knew I'm gonna have some troubles… but still… i ended up with updated iPod touch since the gevey stopped working after the firmware update…. so now I'm looking to unlock the phone officially …
    a) as I read this… i have no chance to go thru the orange obstructions…
    b) is there somebody to help me out?… for example rebel micro sim web site… they offer official unlock…

    … or I'm screwed with nice and shiny brick :c)

  273. Ray said:

    Some promising Orange news.
    My mum upgraded to a 4s, and gave me her 3GS on Orange(I’m on O2). Two days after she asked for the unlock code I got the email telling me to plug into iTunes.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Great to hear that the unlocking process on Orange worked so smoothly for you!

      Ken

  274. Michael Ferris said:

    Hi I was given a i phone 4 by a friend of mine who upgraded to a 4os and im now travelling and tried a voda phone sim but its comes up invalid sim i spoke to people out here and they said it was locked to o2 but when i spoke to her and asked her to ring o2 they said it had been replaced by apple so it shouldnt be locked. any ideas what the problem could be. thanks mike

  275. Dan said:

    i am on vodafone, my old phone has broken and i have been given an old iphone 3 but its locked to o2 do i need to give vodafone my imei number and they will unlock this for me? thanks

  276. lonewolf said:

    Why the hell are you people dealing with Orange !

    Here is an example:
    A new iPhone 4S over a 36 month contract will cost you about £2,500 for the phone!
    Never mind the fact that is still locked and tethering will cost extra !

    I bought from APPLE with O2 sim PAY & GO . Unlocked in 24 hours and picked up "All you can eat " data and call plan on 3. On a ONE MONTH rolling contract. So I have absolutely no tie in to any carrier and the phone was just bought for a basic price. Not a rip off carrier contract price.

    The moral of the story is mobile phone companies will try to screw you over unless you can play them against each other.

  277. Naz said:

    Requested orange to unlock my iphone 3gs on orange on 4th nov they said they will pass the request on so im just waiting, did ring back to make sure request was made and it had been. They say they will email me once its confirmed and deduct £20 from my credit

  278. Richard said:

    Hi Ken, Can you help me. I have just bought on ebay a second hand Apple iphone 3gs, which the owner had on an 18month contract with 02, (now expired). I am with a sim only contract with tmobile. How do I unlock the iphone? Kind regards, Richard.

    1. Tony replied:

      Get a free Pay and Go sim from O2, then top it up with £20. Make a few calls and a couple of texts then go into O2's web site and elect to chat online to one of their advisors. Tell them you would like to unlock your iPhone and they'll ask you a few questions such as when you last topped up and the IMEI number etc.
      They will debit your account by £15 and your phone should be unlocked within 14 days. This is exactly what happened to me, so hope it helps.

  279. @TheLynnLegend said:

    my girlfriend has had the same problem and we are still waiting for orange to fullfil this, and her contract n number run out in a few days and we need to send her pac code off!

  280. @zemogle said:

    Orange have totally screwed me over the unlocking. I was initially told it would take 7 days to unlock my phone, so I ported my number and thought by the time that went through the phone would be unlocked. 10 days later, I called Orange who said it would take between 15 -30 days to complete the unlock.

    Orange claim they are waiting for approval from Apple. Apple say they play no part in the process. Who is right?

    I'm paying for a contract with O2 on a phone I can't use. Just waiting.

    One thing is definite. I'll never trust Orange again.

    1. JMC replied:

      I'm in a similar situation – been done over by both Orange and subsequently O2 (who have at least given me a loan phone to use until I can use the O2 Sim in my currently locked iPhone).

      Talking to Apple, there is absolutely no 'approval' process by them. They simple change their iTunes reference for your phone from "Orange" to "unlocked" when asked to by Orange. Clearly there's some paperwork that's done to authorise this on both sides – but that's what Apple support told me. And TBH I believe them, rather than Orange – who I will not use again.

  281. Richard said:

    Really helpful. Am looking to give my old iPhone to my wife and this has helped me through the process. Just called Orange having recently upgraded and they will send through confirmation of when I can attach my 'old' phone to iTunes to finish the unlocking. Been advised up to 30 days and a fee of £20. Thanks for the help

  282. steve said:

    Just got off the phone from Orange, who said that I would still receive a code via email (up to a month to unlock, used to be 2 weeks but they're very busy) The code isn't necessarily something you use, just follow the instructions in iTunes. I'll keep you posted.

  283. steve said:

    You don't get a code from any of the phone companies to unlock an iPhone. They take you IMEI number and give it to apple (or a central server) and within a few days (on O2 it was 2 days) you connect you iphone to iTunes and it tells you that it's unlocked.
    If a customer service rep at Orange or any other company tells you to wait for a code to be sent to you, tell them they are wrong!

  284. Betty said:

    Just upgraded Iphone with Orange and wanted to give phone to my daughter. Called to ask Orange to unlock Sim and they told me that the phone was too old now for them to do so would have to go to a high street shop. I called one of the shops who told me it was no problem but would cost £55!!! I called Orange back and asked them to explain again why they could not unlock the phone, this time I was told that it was never an Orange iphone!!! I was told that as I signed up for 24 month contract on line the phone was not anything to do with Orange!! I asked the operator why this was the case when he could see all the bills for the past 24 months and also see when and where the phone was sent to…….he hung up!!!!!! I called back and got a very helpful girl who put in request to unlock with no problems…I was feeling quite smug until I have read all the other posts and now dont believe I will get the code within the promised 7 days!!!

  285. Martin said:

    After several phone calls and finally told to visit an Orange shop and produce my brothers death certificate to get his Iphone4 unlocked from Orange so I can use it with another provider, it cost £20 and will take 45 days, yes 45 days, abysmal service from Orange and would never recommend them to anybody.

  286. Lorna said:

    Im being giving an i phone from a family member and i hav a contract sim on t-mobile, will this work?!

  287. amr said:

    I've been requesting orange to unlock my iPhone 4 since the beginning of August. The first time I called they said it would take 14 working days to receive the unlocking code via email. Obviously, that did not happen. I think I've called 3 times, so far without any luck. And now I've sent them a formal complaint to which they responded they will do it as soon as possible.

  288. Blackhankster said:

    Had an iPhone 3GS on Orange for more than one year on PAYG. Decided to switch network due to POOR Orange customer services (Had been with orange for more then 8 yrs) Requested unlock & was told it will cost £20 & will take 2 weeks. Then got another call after 10mins to say it will actually take 1month as the advisor was a trainee. Waited one month, no unlocking code. Called customer services on 5 separate occasions since then , same reply that the request is being processed & will take 48 hours. Many 48 hrs have passed, still no unlocking code. Am now making a formal complaint ( I know it's useless to make a complaint — but still)
    Beware! Orange customer services has deteriorated alot. Really POOR customer service.

  289. tris said:

    I just sweet talked Orange into waiving the £20 unlocking fee. I recently upgraded from a 3gs on Orange to a 4s on orange so kept moaning about the unlocking charge until they gave in.

    1. Lass replied:

      Ooooo what did you say to them? I've also just upgraded from 3gs to 4s….want to unlock 3gs to give to my Dad (on Vodafone)….waiving the fee would be great!

  290. bolocks said:

    I waited 3 months to have my phone unlocked officially and legally by Orange, Yep, I waited from July 2011 until October 2011, they emailed an unlock code… I tried it and It DID NOT WORK, so much for waiting for 3 months what a waste of time…. I am now the owner of a phone who transferred from one company to another & I do not have an operable phone. Result is I am paying my new suppler for a service I am unable to use…. Yes my legal and legitimate phone is still locked. Going to send Orange some more emails who know I may at some point in the next 10 years get a working code.

  291. Chip said:

    Just rung orange on 150. Got through after 2 minutes to an American based I Philippines. Very helpful and clear. Im on iPhone 3GS. He said charges were £20 and it takes 30days. Date today is 7 oct 2011. Watch this space.

  292. Will said:

    Just a question: I have Iphone 3G on O2 network, with an O2 monthly contract. After I have unlocked my Iphone, Can I use the same SIM (or mobile number) to unlock another O2 locked Iphone, because it is free of charge? Can you unlock multiple O2 Iphones using the same O2 SIM card? Thanks.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Will,

      No – you'll need to unlock each iPhone individually and pay a fee for each one. The phone itself is locked rather than the SIM card.

      Hope this answers your question!

      Ken

  293. bob said:

    I must say the girl i spoke to from orange a few days ago was very very helpful as i bought the iphone 3gs off a guy on gumtree she had to get me to give her his no as the phone was still in his name so i asked her to call back in half an hour so i could call the guy and explain the situation to him.she did call back and was on phone to both of us at same time as i obviously had to pay the£20.42 (42p made me laugh a bit)after this was all sorted she said it could take 30 days to receive the unlock code which i would receive through e-mail.Howerer i would never ever consider using orange as a service provider as the signal is total terribe and as nice as this girl was i spoke to two others first,one had no idea what i was talking about then after being on hold for five minutes(supposidly asking supervisor about it)just cut me off and the other could hardly speak english at all!just hope i never ever have to call this joke of a company again!!!just a waiting game now.

  294. Lin said:

    I have been trying to get an unlock code since 05 August. I have phoned them 4 times and been told different things each time. I was told it would take 14 days, then it would take 14 working days, then no-one had processed request ,then another 14 working days
    I was also told I would get a code in an email, and then that I didn`t need a code I should just put non orange sim in and connect to itunes – guess what it didn`t work
    I still haven`t had the code

    1. JMC replied:

      Exactly the same here Lin – just so you know, I spoke to Apple Support and they said there is NO WAY that just connecting to iTunes could ever work (their words) – to unlock a phone.

      Awesome Orange, eh?

  295. Aged Granny said:

    I use my phone rarely and still have an EQ Virgin tariff from 9 years ago which direct debits for any calls I do make and is great for me but my ageing phone needs replacing. If I buy a sim free unlocked phone and put in my Orange sim card from my ancient Nokia 3330 will it work at the same tariff on the new phone?

    1. Sue replied:

      Yes my husband was on the same tariff and he bought sim free unlocked phones and the sim continued to work. We even asked orange for a replacement sim when it got water damaged and they gladly sent it to him on the same tariff

  296. Dave said:

    I phoned last evening and was told they were looking into it and would phone me back (very sure) needless to say, they did`nt. I just phoned now (5.30pm) , a woman supervisor informed me that because I only made the unlocking request last evening that I would have to wait at least 14 days, on telling her that I made the request on the 12th sept, my words fell on deaf ears, she practically ignored what I had just told her, I am not going to give up, but am very angry. Some one mentioned the "California Hotel" that just about sums it up. What a crappy Company is orange.

    1. pamela georgiou replied:

      Why do all of the people on here complaining about ORANGE not send your emails to WATCHDOG and get Anne Robinson to sort it out then Orange will lose customers?
      pamela

  297. Dave said:

    Three weeks on and I am getting one hell of a run-a-round by Orange asian call center, they still hav`nt taken the £20 off my credit, phone still locked and no email. the lies I`ve been told is quite unbelievable, twice I`ve been told that the supervisor will phone me back, more lies, no phone call. The best one of all, a twerp calling himself Vic, told me that owing to the massive backlog of people wanting their phones unlocked, Apple have enforced a 30 day wait, total B.S. I belong to the Apple forum, and when I put this up, the guys burst out laughing. still waiting.

  298. Dave said:

    Got through again to orange C.S and was told by fella called Atik that unlocking request was no problem he said he had to fill a form in and asked for all my details, he then said I had to put £20 on my iphone within 4 hours and that my phone will be unlocked in 7 to 14 days, and that I should phone him back as soon as I put the £20 on, shops near by, so within 20 mins I was back on the phone to him, woman answered, told me Atik was on a break but she could handle it from now on. She asked me to confirm my imei number, and then told me the unlock would take 14 days, I told her that I was informed 7 to 14 days but she was positive it was 14. We`ll have to wait and see, at present orange have not taken the £20…Been there since tues.

  299. Dave said:

    Hi , I want to unlock my iphone 3gs from orange on payg sim, so, taking advise, I phoned orange C.S and was put through to their Indian office and spoke to a bloke there and after putting me on hold for quit a while, he told me that due to technical problems that I should call back in 48hrs. Seemed very strange. Now having read all the posts about orange, it was probably a delaying tactic, although I might have put him off his stroke as I did say I was " seriously" considering moving to orange for my broadband.. a bit of bull on my part but never mind…let all know in 48hrs

  300. Parks said:

    Requested my unlock code 2 months ago from orange as now out of my 18month contract. Orig 14 days quoted, then told it hadn't gone through, then 30 days, and last call they were unable to give me a date and blamed apple for having a backlog. I did get moved onto a sim only tariff so saving money but am still stuck with orange. Can't even threaten to leave as it will be impossible to get it unlocked then.

  301. tori said:

    I've been wanting to unlock my iphone from Orange since I bought it. I spoke to 'customer services' at Orange about it, told them I'd bought it second hand. They gave me the load of rubbish of 'be with us for 3 months, then we'll unlock it' blah blah blah, so I did. Only problem is, when I called them 3 months later and asked about getting it unlocked, they told me I couldn't because I wasn't the original purchaser. Doesn't matter that I told them in the original conversation that it was second hand. As far as I see it, they strung me along to keep me as an Orange customer, knowing full well I wasn't going to be able to unlock with them.
    They promised to have a supervisor call me back to discuss it. That was over a month ago. I phoned them a few times since, and each time I have to go through the whole scenerio as no one has logged the issue. And everytime I'm asked why I don't want to remain with Orange lol.
    How about because of rubbish service such as this? I miss O2 :'(

  302. Yusuf Virmani said:

    Orange are bloody ridiculous!!! Im still waiting on a bloody unlock from them for my iphone4. Rang up on the 8th July asking for unlock, went through their full process and advised me 14 working days for unlock, 15 working days later i ring up and they say i have nothing in my notes to say that an unlock request has been sent, MANOJ the adviser who talked to me said will put it through for me and get a team leader to ring me about the complaint i want to make. and guess what, no phone call for complaint escalation and still no f**king unlock code!!!
    then i decide to email and the only reply i get is they can not deal with my query via email, i have to ring 150.
    Bloody retards they are!
    if you ever talk to a Manoj, first of all dont listen to his lies as he dont know what the f**k he's doing, secondly when you ring the customer service on orange, make sure you get their name and make sure you record the call and tell them that you are recording the call and if the query is not dealt with, i believe you can email their HR and complain and also tell them that your threatening to put the recorded call on youtube and all over facebook to ruin their reputation and dont forget to mention it to offcom.
    I had to buy a new unlocked iphone4 to use in canada with a canadian sim only cuz some prick cant to the job right after 3 phone calls and an email. A lesson for everyone, if you ever thinking of unlocking a handset make sure you buy it sim free and not locked. Im already slowly saving up for iphone5 release for next year, im gonna buy it straight from apple!

  303. Orange hater said:

    I am currently about 5 days into the 30 day wait that Orange have advised it takes to unlock my 3GS (which shouldn't have been locked in the first place – but that's a separate issue with Apple). I have no confidence that they will ever unlock my phone. If you are reading this, do the following:

    1. Never, ever use Orange again.
    2. Complain to every possible contact that you have within Orange. If they write or email you, complain about their lock/unlock policy.
    3. Complain to Apple and make it clear that Orange have f***** you up a treat. That way, they might pull their fat greedy corporate finger out and start addressing a huge PR disaster wrt Orange and Apple.
    4. If all else fails, you will have to jailbreak it and then never take your phone within 50 metres of a live itunes console ever again.

    1. The Real Napster replied:

      Obviously know jack about jailbreaking done loads of i phones from 3g 3gs 4 and even 4s and they are all still connected to i tunes to use the only thing you can't do is to update the software on said iphone through i tunes otherwise you lose your jailbreak/unlock but then again why would you if its working fine once jailbroken and unlocked you have to restore or upgrade using custom firmware downloadable anywhere again not a problem if you know what your doing so people who comment on things they dont have a clue about really get my back up…..hence why i don't leave comments about open heart surgery on the net ( because i know nothing about how it works ) i'm outta here The Real Napster

  304. LondonDave said:

    Spoke to Orange customer services on 4th August. Asked for my (contract, pay monthly) iPhone 3GS to be unlocked. Appeared to not be a problem, the bloke stated a £20 fee and a 15 day wait. Supplied my email address to which they said they would send unlocking instructions.

    Unfortunately, the 16 years I have spent with Orange has taught me one thing — they are incompetent in every regard.

    So, predictably enough, the stated 15 day period has elapsed. No email with unlocking instructions. Phone still locked. I am yet to determine whether they have charged me the £20.

    Useless, lying idiots.

    1. LondonDave replied:

      Update…

      27 days after my unlocking request to Orange (who had a stated "15 day waiting period"), nothing had happened. My iPhone 3GS is still locked, no email received, no £20 unlocking fee charged.

      I phoned back today (15 minutes on hold) and asked for an explanation. The Orange C.S. lady stated that there was no record of my conversation on 4th August, or the unlocking request that I made. Despite this error (which she apologised for), I would have to resubmit my request, and wait another "7-14 working days" (interestingly, a different waiting period this time).

      There seemed little alternative, so I asked her to put the unlocking request through (again). To her credit, she seemed more engaged and competent than the previous bloke I spoke to, and she made a point of assuring me that my request would go through this time.

      So, we'll see. I hold out little hope, if I'm honest. Who wants to bet that I'll be phoning up Orange again on the 21st September?

      1. LondonDave replied:

        Well it looks as if Orange *might* have delivered, in my case.

        Several days after my second request for my iPhone 3GS to be unlocked, I finally received the promised email. It read:

        "Please find the process for unlocking your Apple handset:-

        ****Please note there is no code required to unlock your iphone/ipad****

        1) Insert a non-Orange UK 3G SIM card.
        2) Switch ON the handset.
        3) The handset should display: USB cable and iTunes icon.
        4) Synchronise device with iTunes
        5) Once synchronised a message will appear on iTunes stating “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked”
        6) Follow on screen set up instructions to enable new carrier settings

        Your handset should now be successfully unlocked.

        Should this not show, please keep other network 3G sim in the iphone and restore the iphone via iTunes making sure all data is backed up first."

        I followed the instructions (using a free Vodafone PAYG SIM), but no matter how many power cycles, iTunes syncs or restores I performed, I received no “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked” message.

        However, I do receive a Vodafone 3G signal on my iPhone when using this new SIM, and I do seem to be able to receive calls on it. (I can't make calls as I haven't added any credit to it.)

        So, despite the lack of unlocking message from iTunes, it doesn look as if my iPhone is probably unlocked now. Either that, or it was never locked in the first place and I've wasted £20 and a load of time!

        1. LondonDave replied:

          Final update from me (hopefully), in case this is useful for anyone…

          After posting my last comment, I *did* finally manage to get the elusive "Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked" message from iTunes. The key seemed to be to do a *full factory restore* using iTunes (i.e. the big 'Restore' button, not the 'Restore from a previous backup' menu option). This seemed to completely replace the firmware and all settings on my iPhone 3GS to its factory state, before iTunes spotted that a new operator's SIM was in the phone, and gave me the unlocking message. (iTunes then gave the option to revert to a recent backup, so I didn't lose anything.)

          It's a lengthy procedure, but it does seem to work.

          1. dannymassive replied:

            Touch wood this process will go smoothly for me too. I must admit I was a little worried after I had finished my conversation with the customer adviser, as to if I would ever see any email at all. Your experiance gives me a little glimmer of hope!

  305. RL said:

    Requested unlock friday. Thursday today still no unlock. Told me 7 days. Phoned again to ensure unlock requested, they then told me up to 30 days?? What are chances of unlock coming in?

    Orange cs are bad

  306. andy said:

    Good website

    Im having so much hassle with these clowns paid 40 quid to get my iphone and a old mobile phone (Sony errircson w580i) unlocked still waiting with the same (it will be sent withinn 7 days rubbish) desperate to get them unlocked to move onto vodafone

    Aviod ORANGE worst companies ever

  307. Karli said:

    I was bought a sim-free iPhone 3GS locked to Orange from the Carphone Warehouse. Will it still work if I register a PAYG sim with Orange and wait the 3 months and pay £20 or am I gonna have trouble getting it unlocked?

    1. waq replied:

      i guess you have to be on a contract if you want to get your iphone unlocked with orange.

  308. Anthony Williams said:

    T Williams.

    same old story put in request for an unlocking code £20 cost they said 7-14 days this was on 21 may 2011 8 phonecalls later still no joy they said to-day they have had no responce from unlocking team in Manila and have up to date put in 8 requests promised to look into it wont hold my breath bought my iphone 3gs on pay as you go in dec10 orange customer service must be worst in the world got a 3 sim on 12 month contract and cant use the bloody thing.

  309. G Webb said:

    Orange really are hopeless. Phoned on 30th April to cancel my account and asked to have my iphone unlocked, was told I would receive an email within 14 days with unlock instructions. 14 days passed, no email received, rang them up and was told that it's '14 working days'. Waited until the 14 working days were up, rang again as there was still no email. The guy started the unlock process again and told me it would only take 48 hours after they request it from Apple (why then is it 14 days in the first place?). Nothing after 48 hours, another phone call, they send the info off to Apple again and someone from Orange will ring me the next day, needless to say they didn't and no email came through. Eventually discovered they had taken down the wrong email address so they changed that and sent it off again. After 48 hours still nothing, rang them again, they hadn't changed the bloody email address!!!.

    1. G Webb replied:

      They have sent it off again but as of yesterday my contract with them expired and I have no phone, they did offer to knock a tenner off the unlock price but I don't think they'll ever get it unlocked. They really are the worst customer service team I've ever dealt with, you feel like you can't trust a word any of them say.

    2. G Webb replied:

      I have been waiting over a month for Orange to unlock my iphone 3gs. I cancelled my contract on the same day as asking for the unlock, now my 30 days notice is up, my contract has expired and they have left me with no usable phone. Had to jailbreak and unlock the phone to get another sim to work in it as I phoned Orange last night and they said it was going to take another 14 days!! They also said I could get it unlocked at an Apple Store which doesn't sound right to me, I thought only the carrier could do it.

    3. G Webb replied:

      I'm sorry to see I'm not the only one having problems. I have now been waiting two months for Orange to unlock my iphone 3GS, my contract expired a month ago, after my last conversation with them three weeks ago they were supposed to send the unlocking information in the post rather than through email. Turns out the idiots have still been trying to email me and have been trying to ring my mobile and send me sms messages on the number that expired a month ago. Up until leaving them I had no issues with Orange but I'll never be back after this. It's just so frustrating, I had to jailbreak my phone to get another sim working in it and now the gps doesn't work, I'll be sending Orange the bill for a new handset.

      1. Yuki replied:

        The issue with the GPS will be resolved if you update to IOS 5 on its release, albeit at the cost of your unofficial unlock. (IOS 5 contains a baseband with a higher version number than the iPad one you installed to unlock)

    4. Alex replied:

      I have had a similar situation with Orange. It's extremely annoying that after fulfilling an expensive 18 month contract, you are beholden to this terrible company. They have messed me around again and again. I am paying a sim only contract with another company and am not able to use my phone and on top of that, I am having to use a Pay As You Go phone with the extra costs that that incurrs. I am so angry. ANYONE THINKING OF GOING WITH ORANGE…….DON'T.

    5. G Webb replied:

      3 1/2 months on they still haven't managed to unlock my iphone. Wish I could speak to someone at Orange who was a native English speaker. Anyone know an another number to contact them on?

  310. Tony said:

    I have bought a iphone from a friend and he advised that he phoned Orange three days ago and asked them to unlock it. I have put an O2 micro sim in it but it says it does not suppoert it. Does the original Orane sim card need to be in the phone to recieve instrutions to unlock the phone or will it simply start working eventually?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Tony,
      I believe the unlock is received through iTunes.
      Ken

      1. Tony replied:

        My phone unlocked through itunes and syncronised today when I connected and I now have an active O2 sim card and delighted with my iphone. It appears it will now take any micro sim.

  311. Sophie said:

    I phoned the other day to get my unlock code, I bought my iphone on the 28th of febuary 2010, on orange. I got sick of their crappy customer services and so went and got a 12 month sim only from vodafone. I then rung orange to ask them to unlock my phone (this was yesterday 15 since I bought my phone) and their reply was, you only bought your phone in febuary, you have to wait three months. Fuming.

  312. David said:

    Thought I'd share my (very short) experience with Orange.

    I picked up a new iPhone 4 on Orange (it was on PAYG). Phoned customer services to unlock it, and they said that you have to be registered with Orange for 3 months first before they can unlock it. This confirms the quote in this article that you need to be registered with them for 3 months.

    Incidentally, one interesting thing that came out of it was that if you are on contract, apparently the phone has to have been purchased with Orange for it to be unlocked. If you acquired the phone from elsewhere, then apparently they won't unlock it.

  313. Julie said:

    Hello, I purchased an iphone 3GS from Orange about 18 months ago, paid the full price and used an orange sim I had. I ported my number over to 3 yesterday but the new sim will not work as my phone is locked to orange even though I had assumed that as I purchased the handset originally without any kind of contract that I would not have a locked phone. Anyway, have called Orange who have told me that I have to port my number back to them and wait 3 months for an unlock code. However, I am now tied into a 3 contract! Not really sure what to do now, can anyone help? Thank you

  314. Chris said:

    Orange couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery even if they tried. I'm glad to hear that it's not just me that's been experiencing such problems in getting my iphone unlocked. My tale of woe started last week when I rang orange on my 3 month 'anniversary' of having to have the phone on the orange network when I asked for an unlock code and said it would arrive in 7-14 days. Guy in India said they'd do it, £20 charge and so on, i was happy to leave… coverage isn't great, and the customer service (haha!!!!) centre abroad is appalling.

    I'd be ashamed if I was the MD and the customer service was this shoddy.Fast forward to today and I ring up and ask about my unlock code to see how they're progressing with it, as I'd heard nothing since then and it turns out it's not been requested and that there's no record of my phonecall last week. I'm promised that it will be escalated etc, and I receive a text saying that the process has been processed, with the same 7-14 unlocking day wait for a code to be sent to my email.

    Whether it arrives in the next 7-14 days, we'll see. But i really am not holding out much hope.

    Orange is like the Hotel California … you can never f**king leave …

    1. Chris replied:

      Thought I'd update all of you. To my surprise, yesterday I received my unlock instructions from Orange's handset unlocking department. 5 minute job, and my iphone was unlocked, and so ending weeks/months or so of hassle to unlock the phone.

      If you are trying to unlock the iphone with Orange then the sim card will need to have been active in the phone and registered to your account for a min. of 3 months. They're very strict on this, be warned.

  315. Kevin said:

    Sharing my experience: My cousin bought an iphone 4 on contract in november..sold it to me a bit cheap in december..was unused and sealed. he never used it on his contract sim ever..i bought a PAYG sim in december and started using since then (24/12/2010). I called Orange in Jan to unlock phone..they said wait for 3 months before unlocking can be done.I said ok, fair enough. I call 25 March..to unlock it …they said top-up by 20quid..nothing happened after i topped up….i got busy last 2 weeks…So i called Orange today again to check what happened…Today i get told that my IMEI number isnt registered with orange..and that he did it over the phone now but cannot unlock as i will have to wait another 3 months since the IMEI is registered on the network..really pissed at this..as im leaving to NZ in May.. Didnt want to leave without getting this unlocked..

    dint want to risk it doing in a shop to void warranty and ive heard if its jailbroken the update on the firmware causes issues..
    Also the orange rep told me that one of his customer said they unlocked it at the apple store for 5 quid..what a moron.. as if a customer would specially ring them to give them that good news. Orange screw you !

    So please make sure you register your IMEI with Orange before requesting unlocking.

  316. The General (aka: Mommy) said:

    Hi everyone-

    Can someone tell me if I can switch to an Orange PAYG sim as my monthly contract has been cut off by Orange?

    (Backstory- I bought a new phone for my son for his 13th birthday and added it to my account. Guess I didn't read the fine print as when he soared over his minutes in the first 3 months and I couldn't pay the whole bill off at once, they shut off BOTH our phones. They only gave me three months to pay the whole amount in installments and when I couldn't, they removed me from the network, or whatever they call it. I only have a little left to pay but I can't imagine they'll turn my service back on afterwards, so I'm trying to figure out how to get the phone back on. Can I just put a Orange PAYG sim in and use that? Or is the phone blacklisted from the network completely? I'm not trying to get out of paying,just want to get my phone back on, as well. Maybe I should just call Orange, but I'm really not up to their bullshit. (I was checking my sons minutes like a hawk, and everything was fine, then I got the bill and freaked, called them and they said it had happened a month before. Why the F**k wasnt it on the damn website when I checked his minutes then?!)

    Anyway, if anyone knows, I'd be grateful. I've been with Orange for over five years, and I agree they are absolutely useless.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear about your situation. I'm afraid I can't say much on your situation apart from to wish you the best of luck sorting things out with Orange – contacting them really is the best way to resolve this issue. Make sure you take down details of everybody you speak to on the phone!

      With regards to your question, it should be possible to use an Orange PAYG sim in the phone. If it's an iPhone/smartphone, make sure you choose a tariff with an inclusive internet allowance.

      Ken

  317. Kellyt said:

    Just got my iPhone 4 unlocked. Contacted the orange customer service 4weeks ago. They told me to wait for 7-14days, an email will be sent to me. Unfortunately I didn't get any after 2 weeks and then I decided to call again. This time the guy in the customer service dept told me that the email address that i have given was wrong and requested a new one from me (was quite disappointed that they didn't make an effort to contact me even when they knew they got a wrong address). He told me to wait for another week and they will send an email again. Till now I didn't get any email. Got frustrated and I decided to put another simcard into my iPhone n plug into the iTunes. There I got my iPhone unlocked. But I am really disappointed with orange. I still haven't got any email to date.

  318. Barbara said:

    Yes, 02 are brilliiant at unlocking iPhones – very easy, very straightforward. I complete the form and 48 hours later I got a text message. I too have an Orange iPhone been given Orange's Asian runaround – and then some. One person even told me she didn't know what I was talking about when I said I wanted my handset unlocked!! I am still waiting for Orange to unlock my phone – three weeks and counting…. That doesn't include all the rubbish I had to listen to three months ago. Just as if anyone would want to stay with a company who is so totally useless!!

  319. Dan said:

    Got my iPhone 4 about 2 weeks ago on PAYG as i still have a sim only contract with 4 months remaining and i decided i wanted to get it unlocked in case i ever needed a sim swap if i went abroad. When i purchased the phone the guy said i would have to pay £15 fee as i am purchasing the iPhone as PAYG even though they know i have a contract with them. Anyways, 2 weeks later, i got bored and decided to call them and get my iPhone unlocked and surprisingly the man on the phone said i could do it for free, he filled out the forms for me and sent a request stating that it can take upto 14 days to get a reply, within 2 days i got a reply by text telling me to put another sim and sync with iTunes and now i have a permanently unlocked iPhone 4 =D. I've been with O2 for about 2.5 years and only had one minor problem regarding maintenance on telephone mast meaning i had no signal in my house for 2 days but apart from that theyve been fab! cant see myself moving from them. I have wanted to go to 3 but as they have amazingly cheap sim free contracts but their signal issues in urban areas is appalling which makes it out of the question, but O2 for me has been 8.5/10 =]

    1. Fred replied:

      Dan, I´d like to know whom/how you contacted O2 as I also have an Iphone (3GS) pAYG which i´d like to have unlocked.
      I´m living abroad and my I own this Iphone already 12+ months

    2. jon replied:

      can u swop different network sims back and for, or does it lock to the different network sim each time

      1. Ken Lo
        Ken replied:

        Hi Jon,

        If your phone is unlocked then you can swap SIMs to your heart's content :)

        Ken

  320. katie said:

    Orange customer services are absolutely disgraceful.

    I have had my contract for about 4 years, had an Iphone 3gs then got an Iphone 4 in July. I am currently in the US for a year on business, so i called Orange on the 4th January to request an unlock code (well over my 3 months and still an active contrcat). Getting through to an asian call centre, it took me 20 minutes (and a £30 phone call from the states) to get across i just wanted an unlock code and didnt want any of the packages they were intent on selling me. They told me it would arrive in 7 – 14 days.

    Now, nearly a month later i have still not had an unlock code, i have sent numerous emails to complain, only to be told i have to call (which i obviously don't want to do due to the cost from abroad), eventually got a response in writing saying they would apply a credit to my acocunt but alas still no unlock code!

    Great customer services orange….can't wait till i'm out of my contract!

    1. claire replied:

      i am in the exact same situation except I am in Australia.. Numerous phonecalls and emails and still no code!! They are a disgrace!!

  321. C k said:

    In my experience with 02 there most willing to unlock there iPhones if your on pay monthly then it's free!!!payngo costs £15 quite reasonable.

    Orange on the other hand although they say that they'll unlock there iPhones from speaking with them they will only do so if your the original owner reg on there systems.been with them for more then 3months and even then there most unwilling to do it and say takes around 10days but unless you chance then you never get your unlock even if you get them to agree !!!

    Vodaphone are much the same :0(

  322. Thomas said:

    Wow, Orange are completely useless.

    So I bought my iPhone 4 from my local Orange shop – paid the full £500 retail for the 16 gig handset.
    Originally I wanted a PAYG agreement, so I wasn't able to spend more than I was willing. The sales rep explained (rather rudely, I might add) that there was no PAYG sim for the iPhone 4 – the cheapest option was a £25 sim only rolling contract. Was not too pleased with that, but agreed nonetheless.
    So I had 4 months or so of the contract, then was hit with a £100 bill for using extra minutes (but definately not £75 worth).
    Needless to say, I was no longer interested in Orange – and wanted to move to O2. I bought a PAYG sim from O2, not realizing I had to unlock my iPhone. I figured that if I had paid the full retail price then I would own the phone outright. I was immensely angered by this, but set out to unlocking it with a patient, open mind.

    My first phone call resulted in the asian call centre person telling me I would recieve an email explaining how to unlock within 7-14 days.
    Never happened.
    Rang up after 17 days (today) explaining the situation.
    Was on hold initially for 20 minutes, then was put on hold again several times during the call. They told me they would send me another code. I told them no, I was not happy. It was at that moment she suddenly realized they (Orange) could not unlock the phone – I would have to go directly to Apple. I had my doubts about this, after reading about other people's dealings with Apple. I explained these doubts, but she tried to reassure me. She then gave me Apple's customer service number, which I contacted. As I expected, he politely told me that Apple could not help with my situation, it was entirely done by Orange.
    I believe the problem to be that I no longer have an active account with Orange (like it matters, I've been with them for a few years on pay monthly contracts) – and will now have to get ANOTHER contract with them for 3 months and try to unlock during the time my account is active.
    I'll never go with Orange again for anything, and will advise others against it too.
    If anyone else has the same problem, you may wish to contact the customer complaints. If enough of us do it, it may save countless other people the same problem we had.

    Contact them at the below address:
    Correspondences Department
    PO BOX 10
    Patchway
    Bristal
    BS32 4BQ

    1. Tom replied:

      Thomas:

      Orange PAYG sims come with the iPhone 4 when you buy it. You should go back to the shop to complain as well. Plus you can actually buy a PAYG sim for the iPhone 4 from Orange Retail stores for £15 plus a £5 top up. Therefore the assistant was just plain lying. Have you managed to get it unlocked as yet?

  323. mjc said:

    06/12/2010 Rang and asked for my iPhone 3GS to be unlocked. Gave my IMEI, was advised of £20 charge and told I would receive an email within 3 working days.
    13/12/2010 Nothing, still locked, confirmed this by ringing Apple, who told me all the provider has to do is record on their system that this is unlocked.
    22/12/2010 Initially said no details available, then said they were on a different section because the request had been sent.
    This time told it could be 7-14 working days (so, the following day) and that a letter with a code will have been posted "and with the adverse weather conditions…"
    28/01/2011 (Today) My records show only the 22/12 as date I requested, but told no record of request actually being sent!
    This person – Anne (patient and helpful) – said she was pulling up the unlock request tool, filled out the details to send to the "security handset unlocking department", then said I would first get an email confirmation from orange that a request has been sent, then a second email from apple that would describe the unlocking steps.

    Am I confident? No. Not at all.

    I asked whom to speak to to register a formal complain, was told her supervisor was unavailable, but will ring back within 30 minutes.
    Again, I'm not brimming with confidence on that one, especially as have been waiting over 45 minutes for the call back.

    I had 8 years of good service with Orange, this has utterly undone all of that. I can tolerate bureaucracy, long hold times, suspect charges, but I not being lied to and Orange have repeatedly lied to me.

    Oh, did I mention the £1700 roaming charge I've incurred in a single month in Australia as a result of not being able to put the £20 local sim in? (Caveat Emptor there – I knew it would be expensive, but £8 per MB… ouch! :-(*)

    1. sunboy replied:

      1700?? you could have bought a cheap smartphone on a different network and put you sim in surely?

  324. mark iliff said:

    Hi, I have just part-ex a Nokia 6303c for a Samsung Tocco Ultra GT-S3800 on Orange but has no sim in, the samsung was on a contract to the previous owner and I’m not sure if I will be able to get the phone unlocked if the contract has not expired, and I am not the original buyer?. Have I made a mistake buying the Samsung or will I just be able to take it to a shop or send of for a code to get it unlocked?. Also I sent off for an unlock code that cost me £3.99 and was through paypal, the money was taken out right away, not sure if I have been ripped off yet as the price seems to cheap to me?, I guess I will have to wait and see!. The code was from unlockingdirect.net, has anybody used this company?. Any advice/help much appreciated, many thanks.

  325. callum said:

    i have just emailed orange to see if they can unlock my iphone 3gs which is on orange. ill let you know how i get on…

  326. Phil said:

    I tried to unlock my iphone 4 PAYG. Spent about 20mins with their Indian call centre. Initially said it wasn;t possible then said ok when I challenged on the 3month unlock agreement in T&C and said will go ahead and unlock. now it's been almost 2months and nothing has happened… speaking to their call centre is like drawing blood from stone… either no idea or fob you off. And everytime they end the call with "Is there anything else I can help you with?" … as if they helped me in the first place! if you're deciding to ultimately get the iphone unlocked then either go O2 which did it all online (unlocked my old iphone 3G completely online.. no useless call centres) or just buy it Sim Free from Apple (works out much cheaper esp with a seperate sim only deal like Tescos etc)

  327. macrules said:

    Hi,

    Thanks for this post.
    I have an Orange locked iPhone and a PAYG card. I called Orange to register the IMEI of the phone to the PAYG.
    They told me I can call next month to unlock the phone.
    Now to find a UK voucher here in NL :)….

  328. SteveB said:

    There seems to be a common problem here – appalling customer experience for those who try to get their phones unlocked by Orange. I've been trying since October 9th. I've made countless calls and every time I call it's like Groundhog Day. No one seems willing to take responsibility and to be pro-active. If you ask to talk to a supervisor, you invariably get through to a condescending person who assures you they will look into your case personally and call you back. They never do. I am totally exasperated and frustrated by the experience. I am wanting to move from Orange because the reception is bad in my home. They have already taken £20 from my pay as you go account for the privilige of unlocking.. I am reluctant to get it unlocked unofficially. Why then do they leave me in this limbo land. Once I am free, I will never have anything to do with Orange again.

  329. @JulianSandiford said:

    Just had my Orange UK iPhone 4 unlocked. Rang them up when I had it for exactly 3-months (27/11) and asked them to unlock it and simply had to register the SIM card, give them the IMEI number and top up by £20. Today (01/12) they took the £20 from my balance and unlocked my iPhone. Didn't receive any emails or unlock codes, just had to plug into iTunes and got a message on-screen saying iPhone is now unlocked. Very easy process, could not be happier! Just a shame you have to wait 3-months to have it done but at least they stick to there word.

    1. SI THU replied:

      I called to orange to unlock my iphone4. They took 20 pounds to top up. I did not use more than 10 pounds in last 3 months since i bought iphone payg. Will they unlock for me? How much did you top up b4 u request unlock code?? thanks

  330. Craig Whelan said:

    Just got off the phone from Orange, £20 charge still applies to get the phone unlocked. Been an Orange customer for a number of years now, took an iPhone 3GS as soon as Orange were made a network partner in the UK, have had no end of problems with unhelpful customer service due to unbelievably rigid internal process and decision

    I wanted an iPhone 4 on release, and expressed interest with Orange when Apple announced in, so early did I call Orange infact, they weren't aware of the iPhone 4! Happy to pay the full retail cost of the handset, I never got one…the reason…Orange didn't know how to 'upgrade' me from my 3GS to a 4…so I got left behind.

    And again today, Orange prove themselves to be quite honestly the worst telephony company I've ever had the misfortune to deal with

    Over £400 to cancel my contract – so I'm stuck, for now.

  331. @muarrif said:

    I purchased my iphone from Apple over a year ago with an orange SIM. My contract is complete with orange so I called them to unlock my phone and I was told the cost would be £20 but to my surprise the agen handeling my call told me that they are unable to unlock my phone as I did not purchase the phone from them. I was advised to contact Apple and so I did. Apple advised me that they do not unlock phones and its up to the carrier to unlock the phone which is what I understood too. I then called Orrange again and a different agent advised me that I am better off going to High Street shop to get it unlocked (yes I know that I didn't need Orange to tell me that). I am now very annoyed with Orange for not being helpfull and I will never go back to them. I am sharing my pain and the address for Orange Customer Complaints Department.

    I will be writing to Customer Complaints Department at the following address:
    Correspondences Department
    PO BOX 10
    Patchway
    Bristal
    BS32 4BQ

    1. bob dylan replied:

      send by recorded delivery to get looked at quicker.

    2. Mike replied:

      Thats pretty much what i have been told over an over again! I bought the phone 1 week before xmas hoping o ghet it unlocked for xmas for my g/f! i bought the phone off ebay only to find it was bought originally in august 2010 so luckily it reaches its 3 months period.I rang up on the 22nd but got told i wasnt the original owner so i had to register it (even tho i am an orange customer) so then the code got processed,i rang again on the 27th bear in mind i was on the phone 1 hour! to be told they couldnt do it because the phone hasnt been registered in my name for 3 months! I was going mad seriously! I then rang up on the 29th and this guy said its being dealt with,soon as we have the code you will have an email telling you to ring up and to pay the £20 fee before we release the email with the code so i thought cool.I rang up today 31st only to be told the code hasnt been requested because i havnt paid the £20 fee and they wont send for it until i pay it! i hung up as im sinck of going round in circles! i havnt used my sim so im not putting 20 on my sim only for them to say i cant get the code,cos then ill have £20 sat on a sim card im not using!! ARRRGGGHHH!

    3. PhilC replied:

      yes time and time again Orange customer service is appalling and the call centre staff have no idea and waste endless time trying sort anything out! my HTC Desire had real issues and it took 4 weeks of backwards and forwards and things only happened when I told them I logged everyone of the staffs names and call times and will file a complaint.

  332. Stelian said:

    HI, please can u explain to me how did u unlock your iphone via itunes? Thank you

  333. Jaz said:

    I requested for an unlocking code for my iPhone from Orange in May, bought the phone in January and until today 2 November, 2010 I have not been provided with an unlocking code. Have made over 100 phone calls which Orange customer service can see on my profile but according to them no request has been made. I have never in my life experiences so unprofessional employees as in Orange. Orange Shop assistants giving me an oral agreement of me being able to open my iPhone and Orange customer service lying to me on each occasion I call.

  334. Mark said:

    @Annette Gillibrand
    If you’re on O2 pay monthly contract, you can get your iphone unlocked free of charge as of November 2009. All you have to do is visit the unlocking form on the O2 site and they’ll do it for you.

    I requested a couple of hours ago and mine is now unlocked! Rather than waste money and time by going to “experts” contacting the network is the best option.

    1. Paz replied:

      Mark – thanks for your post… I'm with O2 & have just upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S2, leaving me with an iphone 3GS locked to O2. I'd really like to give it as a gift to my 13yr old nephew, but didn't know how to get it unlocked… I've just logged on to the O2 website by following your link and began filling out the online form, when one of those 'online chat-help' window thingys came up… I answered all the questions (phone number, parts of the security question, imei number) and that was it! The phone will be unlocked in 72hrs – just put a SIM in and connect to iTunes! That part needs to be done, but all seems ok!
      There seems to a lot od 'guff' talked about 'jailbreaking' and different 'unlocking services' – usually on a market stall or one of those phone shops that come and go along the high street… "go to your provider is my advice. Paz

  335. Annette Gillibrand said:

    I bought an iPhone 3g from a seller on Amazon who didn't get the phone unlocked before selling it. It has been a huge nightmare wasting hours of time speaking to 02. The seller is doing her best to help but gets conflicting information. She complete a form on line as instructed to unlock the phone and was told to expect confirmation by email within 24 hours. Nearly 3 days later she received an email saying they couldn't unlock the phone but when she rang them they claimed they had unlocked it and all that was needed now was for me to log into iTunes with my own SIM card and all would be fine. Well it's not FINE at all. I will never buy a second hand phone again. Meanwhile I have sold my Blackberry on ebay (having made sure it was unlocked and working) so now have no phone until I can sort the problem aaaaahhhhhh…..

    1. jenny replied:

      yes you can solve problem now.

  336. biggie said:

    I have just spoken to orange, im off round the world for 6 months and i am 7 months into an 18month i phone contract, they have said that they would unlock my phone for £20 and my contract could be put on hold for 6 months while I am away but will resume when I return. sweet

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Great to hear that Orange are happy for you to take a payment holiday!

  337. Jack Simmons said:

    I have a contract on orange, i am interested in buying an iphone 3g that is on 02, will it be possible to unlock it so it works on orange?

  338. Dean said:

    Very useful article Ken thank you. Have contacted Orange today to request an unlock code. £20 charge and told I should receive the code in 7 to 10 days by email. Looking good so far.

  339. mark said:

    I have just bought a phone from Ebay which I have found is locked to 02. I want to use a vodafone sim in it. Can I go to 02 and have it unlocked?
    I had it jailbraked at a shop however when I uploaded the new software it reverted to it's original settings. I don't want this happening every time there are software updates. Can anyone suggest something??

    1. rob replied:

      did you get this sorted because i have the same problem.iphone locked on o2.

      1. Fat Dave replied:

        The problem with this is they will demand written confirmation from the original owner that the phone was sold on to you before certain operators will decide to unlock the fone especially one that was purchased from Ebay.

  340. George Flower said:

    Rang 450(pay as you go #)
    Very helpful guy @ Orange said no problem unlocking I-phone as I had been registered for over 3 months. The fee would be £20 to be deducted from my phone credit.
    The unlock would take about a week as Orange had to first inform Apple what my phone I.D. was after which the unlocking process will take place via I-tunes on my pc.

  341. Nickie2506 said:

    Hi – I have the same problem with Orange I have iphone 3gs and having it unlocked as finding Orange pants, my friend has hers with Vodafone and her signal is excellent and bloody quick. I have taken my phone into phone specialist and cost me £85.00 to have it unlocked, (as my friend owns it) he requested unlock and been advised that most of Orange customers are having their iphones unlocked and there are a backlog of customers waiting for the codes to come through. Its has been nearly 3 weeks now, But what annoys me once they have the code its 3 min job. Never known anything take so long. Would never recommend Orange.

  342. @Durfun said:

    iPhone 3GS on Orange pay monthly. I requested by unlock code on 9th July. They said they would post it and it would be with me within 10-14 working days. I called them on Thursday 29th July as I still hadn't received it: "oh", the guy said "they usually take between 20 and 21 actual days, please wait another day". Phoned again on Tuesday 3rd August, said I'd been waiting almost a month and why were they deliberately delaying sending my unlock code. They said they would email me by 6pm the following day (Wedmesday 4th). "If", she said "you haven't received it by 6pm, please call us back". It is now 3.53pm and I've had nothing from Orange.____Orange = a total waste of space.

    1. @Benyboy10 replied:

      I fully agree with Durfun…. dont unlock your phone with Orange.

      I requested Orange to send me the unlock code on the 12th June 2012 and they said it would cost £15 and I would have to wait 15 days (15 normal days, not working days… i checked) and so I waited. Along came 27th June 2012 and still no unlock code in the post….. I rang orange up to ask what the delay was….

      They told me they had received no request for an unlocking code and that if I would want to unlock my code it would cost £20 and I would have to wait another 14 to 21 days….. I refused and went to the local phone shop and got it unlocked from there.

      ORANGE ARE A WASTE OF SPACE.

  343. javed said:

    well i am with orange for past 3 years , i bought pay as you go 3gs and rung straight way to orange and played a trick , and they unlocked my handset within 24 hours its really great to have unlock iphone so that i can use any sim anytime,

    loving it

  344. Ilja said:

    Can somebody please tell me whether it is possible to unlock french iphones 4 from orange. How long does it take and how expenisve is it?

  345. dale said:

    when i spoke to orange about unlocking mine they said i need to provide details of the original owner, i dont know who this is so how can i get round it?

    1. James replied:

      I sort of had the same problem, Orange said my phone was registered to someone else, I asked them how that was possible when I had bought a PAYG phone from them and this is the number assigned. The fella from orange changed the owners details on his systems and then put the request for the unlock through. £20.00 – and it takes 7-14 days (ish)

  346. Albert said:

    it needs to be 3 months that ur iphone was sold from orange then u can put any pay as you go sim and they will unlocked it for £20, thats how i done mine just a week ago.

  347. stephen said:

    hi all.

    i have 3gs pay-as-u-go on o2.

    i will be going abroad for 2 years – work.

    i had update the IOS.

    Can i still unlock the iphone with O2 AFTER i had did the update?

  348. Rob said:

    How did u get itunes to unlock your phone ?

  349. anthony said:

    i was honestly suprised at how fast itunes unlocks the phone, it doesnt take 5 minutes to tell you that its unlocked. but one question? ive unlocked the phone, but when i updated it to 4.0, will it go back to orange

    1. HG30 replied:

      I have unlocked my iphone via itunes from orange & now using o2 &was thinking the exact same thing

    2. kakay replied:

      hi i bought iphone 4 from US but its locked in O2..can it be possible to be unlocked in itunes so that i can use it here in philippines..

  350. Hank said:

    Hi guys,

    Am very disappointed. Basically, I bought a 3gS iPhone and have been using it on an Orange pay-as-you go contract (£25 monthly SIM contract for iPhone) for 3-months. I called orange Customer service (150) to request the unlocking of my phone and after being on hold for 30-minutes, I was told that since I registered my SIM only with orange, they have no record of my iPhone. In fact, their record show that I am using an unknown iPhone!

    I was told to re-register the other SIM I was given with my iPhone(i had to pay £10 for it along with my iPhone) and then wait another 3-months!! In spite of me reasoning that my bill shows- I bought an iPhone from an Orange store and orange has records of my Bills- iPhone £25 SIM only monthly contract, it is baffling how Orange claims that I have an unregistered phone or that can’t see I have been with them for 3-months !
    This is highway robbery…Short term Orange might be the winner, but am sure never-ever going to have an Orange deal again!

  351. Medina said:

    hello guys

    have got orange

    so now to unlock iphone do i have to go to apples office or there is like call and then kinda distance unlocking (via itunes)? please reply asap

    1. David replied:

      Hi there,

      I have a iPHone 3Gs on a 24 month contract with Orange. I have just spoken to them on 150 and as I have had the contract for 3 months they will unlock for £20, which will be billed to my account. I gave the IMEI number and my email address and was advised that I would receive an email with instructions in 7 – 14 days. They have also told me that the unlock is permanent and won't be affected by restoring or upgrading the firmware. Hope this helps :)

  352. rh said:

    hi there…. i bought a second hand i phone from orang and i dont have any idea about the duration of using and i dont know the number that was used for registering the phone, now i want to unlock it but i have no idea how to do so

  353. Sebrina said:

    Hey There. How long does the unlocking process by o2 takes?? i Plugged into Itunes and it seems to take ages to process the unlocking or does it depend on the speed of the internet?? Im using the slow plug and play modem.

  354. Kerome said:

    Had my iPhone unlocked by O2 a few days ago, no problems at all. You fill in a web form, and within 7 days it was done. You need acces to the customers-only part of their website, so do it before your contract terminates. The contract carries on as normal afterwards.

    1. mel replied:

      hiya i'm so confused and annoyed …I've boughtan iphone from a friend as mine was stolen and she was on 02 she has been through to 02 several times and they have assured her that it is unlocked and open to any network as I want to use my 3 sim in it…I done all the itunes stuff but its still not giving me any service cant make a call or receive a text with my 3 sim in it…what do i do now?

  355. Simon said:

    On Orange PAYG had phone for 3 months contacted orange on 450 four days later Orange unlocked my phone via itunes

    1. Robin replied:

      HI,
      How does that work, Orange have been giving me the run around for 2 weeks..

  356. Andrew said:

    Orange will only unlock non business iphones !!!

    this is official !

    1. Max replied:

      Orange unlocked my business iphone. Official!

      1. Anand replied:

        Orange will unlock business Iphones once the user is out of contract.
        P.S- 7 days today I requested my iphone on Orange to be unlocked. Request put in, still waiting for email

  357. Joon said:

    Hi.
    I may get an iphone on orange if it is possible to unlock.
    I am on voda and have htc desire.
    The thing is this.
    I am thinking of swapping desire for iphone and we are on different networks.
    If I have warranty and proof of purchasing the phone, do you think I can unlock it from orange. I am asking the person and he says it is my business to unlock it.
    I do not want jailbreak or illegal unlocking.
    What do you think?
    thanks.

    1. charlie replied:

      dont do it, orange suck… i cant express how much they suck…. they have the WORST customer services ever…. I just sold my iphone 4 to cancel my contract with them….. O2 on the other hand were fantastic…. cant rate them enough!

      1. Connor Milligan replied:

        Really? because I used to to have O2, very unhelpful, poor service.Got NO Signal when i moved house and they told me it was my fault and would have to pay £300 to cancel the contract! Even when I did get a signal the speeds were poor as the network is over populated.

        I have since moved to 3 and get over 7mbps download speed, pay less and get unlimited everything, even tethering to my iPad

    2. joe replied:

      Don't!
      Orange are a bloody nightmare. I have an Orange Iphone 5 and tried to migrate to EE. they disconnected my Orange account and cant see to unlock the phone so that i can use it on EE. i have spoken to in excess of 20 muppets who do nothing but try to pacify you until the end of their shift.
      if you go with Orange, these words will soon came back to haunt you. Mark them!!

  358. nucleus888 said:

    "Unlock via iTunes within (upto) 7 days"

    1. nick replied:

      how do you unlock via itunes? And can it work for an orange locked phone?

    2. ARNOLD replied:

      don’t get your i phone from orange i have had a very very bad experience with them

  359. wyuen1 said:

    hi, does orange text or send you a letter prior to unlcoking your phone? i requested to get my girlfriends iphone unlocked and its been a couple of days and i heard nothing from them yet. o2 unlocked my iphone in 3 days txting me to plug in the iphone to itunes few seconds later it was unlocked.

  360. Enlightened said:

    How much did it take to unlock in your case? Does it take a week, or it may likely be unlocked earlier?

  361. nucleus888 said:

    Yup … it’s confirmed. Minimum 3 months into your contract and you can request an official unlock from Orange/Apple … Cost £20.00. Unlock via iTunes within 7 days.

    Couldn’t be arsed waiting for the 3.1.3 jailbreak/unlock … could be 3-5 months from now (original date of post – April 2010)

  362. aikaterine said:

    Just had Orange unlock my iPhone in preparation for a trip to the States. I am 4 months into an 18 month contract. Customer Service at '150' completed it with no problems. The charge was £20.

    1. kim replied:

      how did u do this i bought my i phone of my cousin and she sent me the email to un lock it but im not understanding the instructions?

    2. Leah replied:

      did you have to await further instruction from apple? i'm currently in UAE and have only just called to get my phone unlocked. i was wondering if the instructions from apple were specific to each phone or if i could find out what they are and get the process finished a bit quicker>?

  363. Adam M said:

    the easiest way to unlock is by the rebel sim and it dosent validate your warranty,btw im not a salesmen for rebel sim just really like the product

    1. Martin replied:

      Hi – Had a look at their site but no mention of an iPhone 4 unlock tool. Did I miss it? Regards, MW

      1. Max replied:

        Rebel sim card is a fraud. I'm currently claiming a refund from paypal for the micro-sim card.

    2. jay replied:

      i got a iphone an when i try 2 call any1 its just sayin call failed how do i unblock it

  364. Sergio said:

    I have an Orange SIM only contract. I tried to get an iPhone on the 18 or 24 months contract on Orange, on condition that the iPhone is unlocked. I extensively tried with both Orange directly, by contacting the 150 customer service number, and the Apple Store. Eventually, I complained in writing to Orange about their obscure policies on unlocking iPhones. This their written answer:

    “If you purchase an iPhone from an Apple Store and the carrier is Orange, to get the iPhone unlocked, you would have to register an Orange Pay As You Go (PAYG) SIM card against the iPhone. This is because we do not unlock phones on SIM only accounts. Once the PAYG SIM has been registered, you will then have to wait 3 months before the iPhone can be unlocked. This is as per our normal business rules regarding the unlocking of phones”

    Unlocking a phone with Orange costs £20.00

    I am still unsure of whether Orange allows unlocking an iPhone on a 18 or 24 months contract. Clearly the payments for the duration of the contract must be fulfilled.

    1. Guest replied:

      I have justt tried Orange Customer Services to request to unlock my 3GS which I upgraded to a Samsung with them nearly a year ago.. Even though this phone is now mine and I am still tied to them for over 12 months on my current contract they still want the £20+ claiming its an admin fee !!

  365. Carl replied:

    Did you get the unlock? Cheers

  366. john replied:

    WRONG! there is no law in the UK that states that orange or anyother network provider HAVE to unlock your phone,that is the discretion of the service provider.even out of contract.

  367. Mike replied:

    Hi, I have a more worrying problem in the fact I have stupidly used a PAC code to transfer my number from Orange to GiffGaff. The number has transported so how do I go about unlocking that. Giff Gaff say Orange cant do that now. Can you help me?
    Mike

  368. Sharon replied:

    I've had real problems with Orange and unlocking a 3GS that I bought from my nephew, we've been waiting since 21 October to get the code!! Is this a record? Orange customer services stinks!!!

  369. Steve replied:

    My friend recently gave me her old iphone 3gs as her contract ran out and she upgraded, it is locked on o2 and i want to put my vodafone sim card in it. Is there any chance if i rang o2 they would unlock it for me, or would they not due to me not being the first owner of the phone?

  370. Luke replied:

    Matt do you know any particular legal jargon or references so I can go to orange well equipped?

  371. sam replied:

    there call centers are NOT UK BASED. It is outsourced to india… a friend of mine worked there.

  372. Matt replied:

    Hi John,

    I'll try to write as coloquially as possible for all to understand.
    There is a vast amount of regulatory legislation that protects consumers and their property. This area of law is commercial law, in essence, contract law. In contract law, a company will struggle to argue in a civil court that it has the right to prevent an individual from using their property for the pupose it was purchased after expiry of contract unless there was some sort of breach of contract or the contract was super explicit on whatever it is preventing. If for example a normal regulated mobile phone network company wanted to keep a consumer's mobile phone software locked after their contract had expired, at the time of signing the contract, the consumer would have to be 100% clear with whatever will happen after their contract expires; and written on the contract it should be clear, with a big red hand if necessary pointing to the section that explains that after the expiry of a 12 month contract, they would no longer be able to use their mobile handset. This is basic contract law principle in the UK. As a consumer, when I go into a mobile phone shop and sign a 12 month contract for a phone, my attention is not drawn to anything that might prevent me from using my phone after the contract expires; and the reason for this is because the contract is not trying to enforce this kind of action (or inaction) because the networks will allways unlock our phones (usually for a cheeky fee and a lot of arguing) and if they fail to do so, legally, they cannot rely on any contractual argument. The answer is, therefore, it would not be legal for a company to say no to a reasonable request to unlock a phone as long as there is no breach of contract. I hope this helps when you are shouting down the phone to our friends across the channel. I'm starting to feel sorry for them now because they lost in the the rugby world cup final and the six nations!

    Matt

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