My son is a Sprint subscriber, and did not properly arrange getting his iPhone 4S unlocked before a trip to London. He and I established a web chat session and I called Sprint to get it taken care of.
I FAILED MISERABLY, and now have 2 questions; First (and only if the answer is yes), is it true that Sprint will not unlock an iPhone 4S for use in Europe with a Vodaphone SIM? If that supervisor response is not accurate, what is the PROPER procedure to get a phone on an account in good standing unlocked? I had IMEI and MEID, and until the last call, found the CSRs polite, friendly, clearly speaking. I had all account info and authorizations to make THAT PART easy.
I'd like to vent a little; this is what we went through.
On all calls, I responded to the automated prompts to get to International support.
1st; CSR said the account was locked by Apple, she could do no more. I asked for an explanation (it is the Sprint lock on the SIM, we thought) and was POLITELY hung up on.
2nd; CSR said she had to delete the iPhone from the acct, add a dummy phone, then it would be unlocked; she did this, and it didn't unlock the phone (although it did make future calls more confusing)
3rd; CSR said I had to transfer to TECHNICAL support, she did so; they said there is nothing technically wrong, told me to call back to International.
4th; CSR said she could not help since the dummy phone had been put in by earlier CSR, and politely disconnected.
5th; CSR listened politely, said the problem would have been simple originally ... he'd just had training on it ... but since the dummy phone was there, he needed his supervisor to help. His supervisor said that Sprint no longer unlocked iPhones for use with another carrier's SIM, even European. I explained that I understood a SIM from Verizon or ATT was not allowed, but European are supposed to be ... he RUDELY, the only RUDE response I got, said it cannot be done, GOODBYE.
What's the truth in all this?
Thanks for the reply. From it, I gather that you don't know the answer to either of my questions. The suggestion you offered will likely be of use to my son when he returns from his trip later this month, but I'm not getting further into it unless I have a straightforward path, and in particular have an answer to question 1, "is it true that Sprint will not unlock an iPhone 4S for use in Europe with a Vodaphone SIM?" as I was most recently told.
268. May 10, 2012 4:30 AM
269. May 10, 2012 9:05 AMIn response to the original question (as I've currently gone through the same ordeal), YES, you can use a local sim card instead of sprint roaming, DEPENDING on your location-whether sprint provides coverage in the area you are traveling, and whether Sprint will unlock the sim card. This has been a very frustrating process but it possible.
If you know the area you will be traveling isn't covered with Sprint International Roaming, call ahead of time to request your sim unlocked. Explain you're traveling to an out-of-coverage area. And depending on the customer service reps knowledge and (unfortunately) mood at the time of your call, they'll help.
OK guys, as one of the many who has asked the question, I got some answers from Sprint, and some will not like what I have to say.
First, the lock on the iPhone is a request and a condition from Apple, NOT from Sprint. Simple. Apple imposed on Verizon and Sprint ( natural candidates for dual neworks, CDMA and GSM) this condition, and then there are some elegibility criteria- conditions the customer has to fulfill in oder to obtain the unlock.
THis means, those with bad credit, those with poor paying records,etc, basically, those who have some limitations imposed on the account, may not reach the criteria to be eligible for unlock. THere is nothing related with Pre-November 2011 vs Post Nov 2011 to obtain the unlock.
Now how did it work for me?
I called Sprint International, they review my eligibility criteria, all good to go,t hen they issued a code request to Apple. I had to contact them later on ( they said wait for at least 2 hours, but I was busy and took me several days), and, when I got back to Sprint, they checked on their system to find the unlock order has been issued by Apple. Then, I got a set of instructions from Sprint involving the Restoring of the software in the iPhone, when conected with the USB cable to iTunes in my computer.
I issued the restore command from iTunes, ( I did a full back up before that), and it took over 30 minuted to have everything restored back into the iPhone. A call from Sprint later on confirmed my iPhone is now unlocked.
This is all. End of story.
Now, why the unlock? Apart from being contractual conditions, Imagine a situation like your phone, working locally under Sprint or Verizon CDMA network, being stolen, and then some simple clean up of the content, plus a GSM card to activate another local number, from ATT or TMobile, would make it difficult to recover.
I would rarely travel to USA locations with no basic signal, so I can stay with my CDMA network with no inconvenience at all. I need the iPhone fully unlocked for my travels outside the US.
I specifically said to the Sprint officer that I want to hook up local GSM cards in the countries I travel to, and Sprint said it is all ok with this.
So, for me, this is a done deal. I can bring further information when I get back form my next trip.
I find 503ducati's response with the problems interesting ... and wonder if Sprint offers native service in London England ... if so, I understand their not unlocking.
Again, I have a habit of sounding rude when I don't mean to ... SORRY!
And re his WiFi suggestion ... my son wanted mapping (with GPS) for use in a vehicle, and that standby Google ... so it doesn't help MUCH. BUT ... it is appreciated.
Sprint does not maintain any network out of the US, so any use outside of the country would incur international rates.
has your son ever thought about getting a prepaid phone in the countries he is visiting? From what I understand they are quite cheap and worth the expense.