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Thread: The Best Place to Buy Unlocked Phones

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    The Best Place to Buy Unlocked Phones

    Just wondering if Amazon.com is a good place to buy unlocked phones. I noticed they sell alot of phones without warranty. Can't figure how someone would buy a $700 phone without warranty. Checked some Canadian companies like Tigerdirect, they seem doggy as well. There was also mobile 604, as well as tim tecchs. I haven't bought an unlocked phone but was planning to soon. Just trying to keep my options open. Thanks.

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    Where ever you get a good deal and feel comfortable, thats the best place. there is no such place is a best place, it comes down to you.


    What is best for me might not be best for you. I might find the best place to buy unlocked phones from thieves but that might not be the best place for you. Not that I buy phones from thieves, I am just giving you an example
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    You can always use unlock services from websites after buying a phone from a retail store.

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    Kinda shocking to see this thread title on Bell's forum :-) , so not used to it.

    Avoid Tigerdirect unless it's so cheap that you don't care. At one time friend and I bought 2 refurb Blackberry 7100 from TigerDirect.ca, that came with 3 month warranty. My unit had a keyboard problem (at first I wasn't sure what the problem was, but later found out that one whole row of keys in the middle would not function properly), but that is not all. Both our units were heavily scratched and worn (so the refurbishing didn't include new cases even though they were so worn?), and had the original owners' personal info on it: contact info, emails, photos, I can basically know where this person works, her contacts etc, etc.

    So when my friend phoned TigerDirect.ca about my problem (it's on his order), TigerDirect's rep told him to call Research In Motion for the warranty issue. So he opened a case with RIM's Customer Service, which was excellent sevice, BTW. I then phoned in to give them the PIN (my friend didn't have it at the time), and while we were talking, he had a problem finding out about the warranty status. I told him then that the device was bought at TigerDirect, and he responded that they did not have a business relationship with TigerDirect and could not offer warranty on these devices!

    Then why did TigerDirect send us there in the first place? What a waste of time! So we phoned TigerDirect back and demanded a solution, and then they said they would send us a replacement as they still had stock. They also said they would pay for the shipment for the return unit, by cheque.

    The return was working better, still scratched nonetheless. The reimbursement cheque was finally received, but it was about $8. less than the amount I paid (which was faxed to them). Not a big deal so I didn't pursue it.

    But you can see why. My friend and I were big TigerDirect customers, used to order lots of stuff from them before that. Now? No more from me. My friend still does from time to time though.

    Your mileage might vary. Caveat Emptor. Batteries Not Included. Slippery When Wet.
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    If you need higher end or smartphones, you might want to try Expansys.ca ; it is based in the U.K., but has global websites including Canada and US. For Canada, they ship from the US, but covers the Customs entry, and charges both taxes. I bought my HTC Advantage from them.

    Their price fluctuates based on exchange rate, except their US site, which has its own pricing. Sometimes it is cheaper to order in the US, but they won't ship to Canada, so you need to get someone to do the order for you.

    I only had ordered 2 phones from them, one directly, and one via the US store. I do not have other relationships besides being a customer (somewhat satisfied) with them.

    There are also PureMobile.ca which seems to be quite ok too. I ordered my Jawbone 2 from them. But they don't seem to have as big a selection than Expansys.

    One thing to watch out for Expansys is since they are global, some phones might not work in Canada, or doesn't cover the 3G bands in Canada. They used to have some bad info on the specs, but have since cleaned them out a bit. But still one should do his research before ordering. Returning is not an easy process especially crossing border.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortissimo
    Kinda shocking to see this thread title on Bell's forum :-) , so not used to it.

    Avoid Tigerdirect unless it's so cheap that you don't care. At one time friend and I bought 2 refurb Blackberry 7100 from TigerDirect.ca, that came with 3 month warranty. My unit had a keyboard problem (at first I wasn't sure what the problem was, but later found out that one whole row of keys in the middle would not function properly), but that is not all. Both our units were heavily scratched and worn (so the refurbishing didn't include new cases even though they were so worn?), and had the original owners' personal info on it: contact info, emails, photos, I can basically know where this person works, her contacts etc, etc.

    So when my friend phoned TigerDirect.ca about my problem (it's on his order), TigerDirect's rep told him to call Research In Motion for the warranty issue. So he opened a case with RIM's Customer Service, which was excellent sevice, BTW. I then phoned in to give them the PIN (my friend didn't have it at the time), and while we were talking, he had a problem finding out about the warranty status. I told him then that the device was bought at TigerDirect, and he responded that they did not have a business relationship with TigerDirect and could not offer warranty on these devices!

    Then why did TigerDirect send us there in the first place? What a waste of time! So we phoned TigerDirect back and demanded a solution, and then they said they would send us a replacement as they still had stock. They also said they would pay for the shipment for the return unit, by cheque.

    The return was working better, still scratched nonetheless. The reimbursement cheque was finally received, but it was about $8. less than the amount I paid (which was faxed to them). Not a big deal so I didn't pursue it.

    But you can see why. My friend and I were big TigerDirect customers, used to order lots of stuff from them before that. Now? No more from me. My friend still does from time to time though.

    Your mileage might vary. Caveat Emptor. Batteries Not Included. Slippery When Wet.
    Yeah I shud have probably looked for a different section to post this thread on, at the same time i'm sure there are many in here who probably can share some info regarding this, as alot of u probably may have at some point purchased an unlocked phone instead of getting it from a service carrier. Thanks..

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    Quote Originally Posted by psgill2873
    Where ever you get a good deal and feel comfortable, thats the best place. there is no such place is a best place, it comes down to you.


    What is best for me might not be best for you. I might find the best place to buy unlocked phones from thieves but that might not be the best place for you. Not that I buy phones from thieves, I am just giving you an example
    Oh well we can all buy phones from thieves if we wanted to, there are plenty out there on the streets, and please don't ask me for any contacts either .... The point which i was trying to inquire about was which may be the best company to buy unlocked phones from. I believe there may be a phone that is $500, and they may be selling it for $200 without warranty or whatever, and then u never get the phone, I don't have time for that. There are companies which are selling phones without a warranty, yeah it may be cheaper but is it worth it. Since I'm looking to buy one, I'd like to know of a reliable source where I can purchase a phone from. Maybe some of u have had great experiences with certain companies that may be of help to me. Thanks..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortissimo
    Kinda shocking to see this thread title on Bell's forum :-) , so not used to it.

    Avoid Tigerdirect unless it's so cheap that you don't care. At one time friend and I bought 2 refurb Blackberry 7100 from TigerDirect.ca, that came with 3 month warranty. My unit had a keyboard problem (at first I wasn't sure what the problem was, but later found out that one whole row of keys in the middle would not function properly), but that is not all. Both our units were heavily scratched and worn (so the refurbishing didn't include new cases even though they were so worn?), and had the original owners' personal info on it: contact info, emails, photos, I can basically know where this person works, her contacts etc, etc.

    So when my friend phoned TigerDirect.ca about my problem (it's on his order), TigerDirect's rep told him to call Research In Motion for the warranty issue. So he opened a case with RIM's Customer Service, which was excellent sevice, BTW. I then phoned in to give them the PIN (my friend didn't have it at the time), and while we were talking, he had a problem finding out about the warranty status. I told him then that the device was bought at TigerDirect, and he responded that they did not have a business relationship with TigerDirect and could not offer warranty on these devices!

    Then why did TigerDirect send us there in the first place? What a waste of time! So we phoned TigerDirect back and demanded a solution, and then they said they would send us a replacement as they still had stock. They also said they would pay for the shipment for the return unit, by cheque.

    The return was working better, still scratched nonetheless. The reimbursement cheque was finally received, but it was about $8. less than the amount I paid (which was faxed to them). Not a big deal so I didn't pursue it.

    But you can see why. My friend and I were big TigerDirect customers, used to order lots of stuff from them before that. Now? No more from me. My friend still does from time to time though.

    Your mileage might vary. Caveat Emptor. Batteries Not Included. Slippery When Wet.
    Why are you hating on TD, they paid for your return shipment and honored your warranty. Sounds like you just got a penis on the phone the first time.
    I have used TD and they have bent over backwards for me, I bought a PDA from them years ago and because the product originated from the US I had no warranty from Toshiba. So TD let me return the device, paid return shipping and refunded my purchase price + the original shipping. Sounds fair to me.

    I agree that it sucks getting a scratched up device and I wouldn't expect that either, but remember you are buying it 'refurbished.'

    TD is fine to order from, if you want it new buy it 'new'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfpreach
    Why are you hating on TD, they paid for your return shipment and honored your warranty. Sounds like you just got a penis on the phone the first time.
    I have used TD and they have bent over backwards for me, I bought a PDA from them years ago and because the product originated from the US I had no warranty from Toshiba. So TD let me return the device, paid return shipping and refunded my purchase price + the original shipping. Sounds fair to me.

    I agree that it sucks getting a scratched up device and I wouldn't expect that either, but remember you are buying it 'refurbished.'

    TD is fine to order from, if you want it new buy it 'new'.
    I do not hate TD, but I dislike TD's business practice. It is not the first time that they have poor quality products on their refurbished units.

    No, they did not honour their warranty in the initial request. Did you even read my post? TigerDirect Customer Service sent my friend to request the warranty claim from Research In Motion!! We spent 20 minutes each (40 minutes total) to RIM, in order to find out that they would not honour the warranty. That is very irresponsible, to get us off from them, and hopefully if our claim would just so happen to slip through RIM, and then they won't have to do anything about it.

    They finally honoured the warranty only after I complained how it all went. It took more than 1 hour of phone time in total at that stage. Do you have 1 hour of your time to give back to my friend and I?

    Thirdly, they gave back the shipping cost, but only partially, not completely as promised, missing about $8. and change.

    No, the phone did not come with a penis, but it came with prior owner's contact info and everything. Do you call that a properly refurbished unit, with all customers' private data intact and all?

    I did not complain because it was scratched. I had no choice but to claim warranty because the middle row of keys, namely, the row comprises of 4,5,6 etc (there are more because it is a hybrid QWERTY keyboard, b/c it is a 7100) totally died.

    New is fine then? Let me tell you yet another story of TD purchase.

    My friend ordered a brand new (not refurb) Motorola Razr V3 from TigerDirect.ca . The picture shows all the accessories including CD-ROM, USB cable, leather pouch, charger etc. When it came, it had only the AC charger and missing the rest of it. Some other buyers found the same and posted on their review board about it. Turned out that earlier buyers did get all the accessories, but later buyers did not, including my friend.

    However, on the picture, the title was (they since have changed those description) "What is in the box" and showed a complete layout profile of all the accessories, etc, manual etc, and the box in one picture (like a group picture). So you would think that you will get that in the box as told?

    Wrong, there was also a smaller print at the bottom of that picture, saying that the product shipped might have different content than shown on the picture, so basically it contradicted what the title line said. My friend read that and didn't bother to pursue it, but for $120., and supposed to be brand new, they should get all the accessories!

    Some of us stopped buying from them, because of exactly this kind of tactics. It'll show you a picture of "What is in the box" and then there will be this fine line below saying a disclaimer of that might not be the same as show here. How the hell we'd know what would be in the box with this disclaimer then? It's basically a total BS.

    And about paying for shipping back? No, it's not always the case. My friend (the one who ordered the Blackberry together) ordered about 8 to 10 UPS from TigerDirect.ca (I forgot the total quantity). They were shipped via UPS as usual. More than half of them were damaged inside, with the main PCB (circuit board) cracked, or broken in half, etc. They were making this beeping sound while being delivered by the UPS guy, who were totally puzzled about what's in the box! (UPS alarm when detecting fault, the batteries were not disconnected prior to shipment). When my friend requested replacements, TigerDirect would not pay for return shipping. I helped him calculated the cost of shipping them back and it's over $100. on the ones that were defective. Eventually, he fixed one or two of them, and ate the cost.

    How many times have you bought from them? I bet you don't have the vast experience as we have done over 100 orders in total w/ TigerDirect, and were pretty good customers. They actually assigned a sale rep for my friend so he can phone in directly to negotiate deal, that's how much we buy from them! So don't come here and knock me as if I'm only pissed off because of one off incident.

    You can go to ResellerReviews etc and check for yourself their reputation. Don't have to take my anecdotes if you don't want to. But all the above stories are true, my personal reputation on it.

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    cellworldco.com vancouver based shop. I buy locally from them.

    Best prices around here and usually better then most online sites i notice.

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    Cellworldco.com website is very poorly designed. For the phones I looked they don’t mention the 3G/UMTS/HSPA frequencies (850/1900/2100, etc), they only mention GSM bands. There is no way of telling if they are selling a NAM version or a European/Asian version and for Telus/Bell HSPA customers this is very important when buying an unlocked phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by claudiu_corbea
    Cellworldco.com website is very poorly designed. For the phones I looked they don’t mention the 3G/UMTS/HSPA frequencies (850/1900/2100, etc), they only mention GSM bands. There is no way of telling if they are selling a NAM version or a European/Asian version and for Telus/Bell HSPA customers this is very important when buying an unlocked phone.
    There area few listed phones which show the 3G/UMTS/etc., frequencies. In all cases, the listed frequencies were 900/1800/(sometimes)2100 Mhz. No good for N. America. I suspect that the majority of phones sold by Cellworldco.com are the European/Asian version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theplayground
    Just wondering if Amazon.com is a good place to buy unlocked phones. I noticed they sell alot of phones without warranty. Can't figure how someone would buy a $700 phone without warranty. Checked some Canadian companies like Tigerdirect, they seem doggy as well. There was also mobile 604, as well as tim tecchs. I haven't bought an unlocked phone but was planning to soon. Just trying to keep my options open. Thanks.
    Pacific Mall

    Tim Tech Depot is *really* shady IMO

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    Try pacific mall playground, theres a ton of shops, offering a myriad of units.

    And as a bonus,my fav reason for going there, bubble tea and noodle soup when im in the mood for a snack after haggling prices lol

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    The thing is that unlocked phone is a very recent phenomenon in Bell and Telus forums, so the members might not have as much experiences as those on Fido or Rogers forums, just to give a comparison. However, I meant when I am not "used to" the title, it only points to the recent changes because of the openness of the HSPA networks on both Telus and Bell, not because of you.

    All the resellers I posted only from those I have personal purchased from. I would not mention any that I do not have personal experience from. You can get the bigger picture from ResellerReviews website (I hope that is right).

    I would say in general you get more choices via mail order, but then some mail order stores might not be as reputable. I have done mail order, but rarely from local grey market sources.

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