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Thread: Prepaid Service Phones locked to providers?

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    Prepaid Service Phones locked to providers?

    I apologize in advance if this question has already been asked here but I was wondering if you buy a phone from a particular service like H20, Cricket, etc are these phones locked to these service providers once they have been activated on their service? For example if I buy a phone from either Cricket or H20 then activate the service on those phones, in the future if I am unhappy with the service will I be able to take that phone to another service provider? If I purchased a phone from H20 wireless, use it on their service 3 months, then decide that I want to move to Cricket wireless with that same phone, can I do that? Please help an old noob understand how that process might work if it is doable...

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    They are locked and will unlock them till you meet their service requirements


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Cricket terms indicate 6 months of service.
    https://www.cricketwireless.com/supp...ce-unlock.html

    I didn't see anything relevant on the H2O website, so you might have to contact them.

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    Thanks! Didn't know that there was a webpage listed with that info on each providers website. I am learning as I go.. Been with Page Plus and Tracfone so long I am like a fish out of water here..All this is a new world opening up to me, lol. Didnt know that you could have them unlocked under certain requirements. Now I have to ask... Has anyone ever had any issues with a provider NOT providing an unlock code?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alluringreality View Post
    Cricket terms indicate 6 months of service.
    https://www.cricketwireless.com/supp...ce-unlock.html

    I didn't see anything relevant on the H2O website, so you might have to contact them.
    Cricket was easy. I bought the iPhone, signed up for unlimited, unlocked, changed to $30/month after that and so I have test coverage for 2 months. Phone is unlocked, and was given as a gift to sister on T-Mobile. I moved the Cricket SIM to another phone until I use up my credit.

    I got another GoPhone iPhone for another relative whose iPhone 5 was acting up (swollen battery). With GoPhone, 6 months service till unlock. We just moved her to GoPhone from ATT Postpaid so she saves $22/month and she doesn't need it unlocked.
    I now have the 7+, continuing my pattern of buying every other iPhone generation.

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    I know GoPhones will work on Cricket and Tracfone (AT&T) without needing to be unlocked.

    Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think GoPhones will work on any AT&T MVNO, including H2O, without needing to be unlocked.

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    GoPhones are basically Prepaid phone on the AT&T service/network, correct? So I I found one of these for sale on Ebay that met my requirements, I should be able to use it on the Cricket service as long as it has been unlocked from them? We are currently on Page Plus which works okay but we get much better service with AT&T in our area so I am basically looking at unlocked phones that will work with any carrier in case we need to come back to another CDMA service provider in the future. GSM and CDMA are the best networks in my area as Sprint and T-Mobile are spotty/unreliable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taurus2313 View Post
    GoPhones are basically Prepaid phone on the AT&T service/network, correct? So I I found one of these for sale on Ebay that met my requirements, I should be able to use it on the Cricket service as long as it has been unlocked from them? We are currently on Page Plus which works okay but we get much better service with AT&T in our area so I am basically looking at unlocked phones that will work with any carrier in case we need to come back to another CDMA service provider in the future. GSM and CDMA are the best networks in my area as Sprint and T-Mobile are spotty/unreliable.
    Att prepaid should still in fact work on Cricket regardless if it's unlocked or not.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Taurus2313 View Post
    GoPhones are basically Prepaid phone on the AT&T service/network, correct? So I I found one of these for sale on Ebay that met my requirements, I should be able to use it on the Cricket service as long as it has been unlocked from them? We are currently on Page Plus which works okay but we get much better service with AT&T in our area so I am basically looking at unlocked phones that will work with any carrier in case we need to come back to another CDMA service provider in the future. GSM and CDMA are the best networks in my area as Sprint and T-Mobile are spotty/unreliable.
    I said GoPhones can be used on any AT&T MVNO WITHOUT unlocking.

    Regarding the most flexibility and the ability to use any of the 4 major US networks and if your budget is $200, then the universal phones I listed in your other thread at http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...-phone-upgrade are probably what you should be considering.

    Just to clarify, Vzw and Sprint use CDMA technology, and AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM technology. Roughly. Some will argue that even that is not fully correct with recent changes and coming changes, but that is the traditional understanding/description of those carriers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taurus2313 View Post
    Thanks! Didn't know that there was a webpage listed with that info on each providers website. I am learning as I go.. Been with Page Plus and Tracfone so long I am like a fish out of water here..All this is a new world opening up to me, lol. Didnt know that you could have them unlocked under certain requirements. Now I have to ask... Has anyone ever had any issues with a provider NOT providing an unlock code?
    Just adding to what has already been said. I've unlocked two phones with Cricket in the last two months. One was a Galaxy S7 that was continuously in service for six months and an iPhone SE that was on the unlimited plan for one day. Both were unlocked without hassle per the unlocking policy.

    Also, as mentioned, GoPhones (AT&T phones) can be used on AT&T MVNOs without unlocking. I have personally used locked GoPhones on H2O, Airvoice, PureTalk, and Cricket at various points over the last three years.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S7 using HoFo mobile app

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    Another thing to be aware of - many carrier locked phones can be unlocked by purchasing the unlock code from a third party. For example, I bought 2 cheap GoPhones last black friday to throw into gloveboxes. AT&T wouldn't unlock them but I was able to get unlock codes on eBay for a couple bucks each.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orionwolfpack View Post
    Another thing to be aware of - many carrier locked phones can be unlocked by purchasing the unlock code from a third party. For example, I bought 2 cheap GoPhones last black friday to throw into gloveboxes. AT&T wouldn't unlock them but I was able to get unlock codes on eBay for a couple bucks each.
    There are some recent reports that the mechanism some eBay people were using to unlock GoPhones have been closed. YMMV.

    I bought a GoPhone iPhone a week ago. The non-customer website didn't unlock it, as reported over the last couple months. But the phone worked with a Cricket SIM I tested with (as expected), and ATT postpaid. We just ported an ATT Postpaid number over to GoPhone for it to save $22/month, and it can be unlocked in 6 months if desired. The person I gave the phone to wouldn't want the hassle of trying to port it to a MVNO, and I'm not sure how easy it would be to port an ATT account (19 year old business account) to the MVNO. It took a rep at a corporate store to port it to GoPhone, which involved temporarily moving the account to a local personal account.

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    If you plan on staying on att network it's best to buy a Gophone. If you will need the phone unlocked it is now best to buy cricket phone, switch to unlimited plan for a day and get it unlocked. It's hard now to unlock gophones to use off att network.
    Make cheap national and int'l telephone calls with a calling card! Click here!

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    I needed a new phone so I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini free with H2O's $60 plan. I used it one month on H2O and then went back to my $10/month Red Pocket Essential plan. I imagine it would work with any AT&T MVNO.
    My smartphone is a lot smarter than I am.

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    Great information everyone! Thanks so much. I decided to go with the Motorola Moto G5 Plus 64GB, 4GB RAM and plan on going to purchase it tomorrow at the local Best Buy. I think to start out we will put it on Cricket so I guess we will be going by there and letting them set it up and port the number over. We are currently on the Page Plus $30.00 monthly plan on autopay. It renews on 7-8-17 so do I cancel the autopay before the port? Or will it be okay to port the number then cancel the autopay afterwards?

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