by andyrew_th Investigator
Investigator

Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

Hello,

 

I recently purchased a new and sealed locked iPhone from Ebay which I've now realised is 'with contract' on EE. It's been dispatched and I will receive it soon. I was planning to unlock it in the future as I am personally not with EE and mainly bought it locked because it was significantly cheaper. I've also realised that this phone possibly is a contract/pay monthly phone. I am planning to take it to my local EE shop to ask for advice. Is there any possibility they will unlock it or at least tell me the status of the contract or is this something I won't be able to find out? I've read the unlocking articles on the EE website and understand that I might have to wait up to 6 months. I've ordered a free PAYG EE sim to use with the phone in the meantime. Any advice would be appreciated, and yes I understand that I might have made a poor choice in buying the phone however I would like to keep it if possible.

1 SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
by Grand Master
Grand Master
Solution

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

EE cannot tell you anything about the original owner or the status of their contract. They will not unlock it for you until it it at least 6 months old. It could even be blacklisted.

 

To unlock a 2nd-hand phone you need to call Customer Services on +44 800 956 6000 (option 2, option 4) to put you in touch with the Unlocking Team to request an Unlock Code. You will be asked for your email addy. They will take payment (of £8.99) from any valid UK bank card.

 

Once the process has been started you will receive an email from the Unlocking Team to process the unlock. It can take up to 10 days to complete the unlock.

 

But even so beware that EE could still refuse to unlock it. Many phones sold 2nd-hand have been reported lost or stolen, have been sold by the original owner when under 6 months old without EE's permission or have money owing on them.

 

If that is the case your only remedy is against whoever you got the phone from.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
12 REPLIES 12
by Grand Master
Grand Master
Solution

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

EE cannot tell you anything about the original owner or the status of their contract. They will not unlock it for you until it it at least 6 months old. It could even be blacklisted.

 

To unlock a 2nd-hand phone you need to call Customer Services on +44 800 956 6000 (option 2, option 4) to put you in touch with the Unlocking Team to request an Unlock Code. You will be asked for your email addy. They will take payment (of £8.99) from any valid UK bank card.

 

Once the process has been started you will receive an email from the Unlocking Team to process the unlock. It can take up to 10 days to complete the unlock.

 

But even so beware that EE could still refuse to unlock it. Many phones sold 2nd-hand have been reported lost or stolen, have been sold by the original owner when under 6 months old without EE's permission or have money owing on them.

 

If that is the case your only remedy is against whoever you got the phone from.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by andyrew_th Investigator
Investigator

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

Thanks for replying, @XRaySpeX.

 

Will EE immediately blacklist or block the phone if I attempt to take it to the store and they realise it might be on contract? I would be willing to switch to EE until the 6 months is up but I don't know when that would be. I will check the IMEI when I receive it to make sure it isn't reported as lost or stolen.

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

They won't blacklist it just cuz you now own it even if it is still on a contract. Only if the original owner stops paying for that contract. 

 

You'll be wasting your time taking it to an EE shop  They can't do anything about it other than supply you with a PAYG SIM for it. 

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by andyrew_th Investigator
Investigator

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

Thanks again @XRaySpeX.

 

I will just use the PAYG Sim I've ordered and not go to the store. If they were to, would EE blacklist the contract sim card alone or the IMEI too?

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

You don't have the original contract SIM do you? If they blacklist the phone they'll block its number.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by andyrew_th Investigator
Investigator

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

@XRaySpeX I don't have the phone yet but it is new and sealed so I'm assuming that it will come with the contract sim inside. I will not be using the contract sim card and will be using my own EE PAYG Sim card inside the phone until I'm able to unlock it. I've been in contact with the eBay seller and he states he gets phones from a 'trader' and has done so for years. He said he will be willing to work with me if problems arise as well as offering a 6 month refund period as well as stating that no one has had issues before.

 

I was wondering whether EE would block only the contract sim card (its number) or blacklist the handset itself (IMEI) if there were problems with the contract and whether they can do this after the 6 months? I appreciate your help.

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

They can blacklist anytime the contract is live, presumably 2 years.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

@andyrew_th you’ll not get the contract sim with the device as that would be a separate item.  Plus it’ll be registered to to someone else.  The only issue you have is if the original owner reports it lost/stolen or stops paying the bill, EE will if the device is reported lost/stolen blacklist the device and you yourself will not be able to get that blacklist removed.  If the original owner stops paying the bill EE will blacklist the device and the blacklist will not be removed until the original owner pays the bill.   

 

If the device is blacklisted then you have to take this up with the seller or if through eBay with them.  

by andyrew_th Investigator
Investigator

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

Thanks @Chris_B for the extra info.

 

If the person who owns the contract continues to pay after 6 months, will the phone then 'belong' to them (so basically me) meaning if they default on payments after this time I won't be affected?

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

As I've told you it'll be blacklisted at any time if at any time during the life of the contract the original owner stops paying the contract. Thus you can be affected at anytime by not being able to use that phone & there's nowt you can do about it.

 

By buying 2nd-had you've put yourself at the mercy & whims of the original owner at any time.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by andyrew_th Investigator
Investigator

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

I'd like to thank you both @XRaySpeX@Chris_B.

 

I've decided that I will return the phone when I receive it as I'd rather not take the risk for a couple hundred quid and ending up with a paperweight. I will be buying from SmartFoneStore instead. Cheers!

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Unlocking a second-hand 'contract' iPhone?

Thanks! You're welcome :)! Glad I could be of assistance.

 

Of course I've warned you of what can go wrong. OTOH there are buyers of 2nd-hand phones who've gone on to get them unlocked by EE & continued to use them OK. Personally I wouldn't touch a BNIB 2nd-hand phone as the seller has already breached his contract with EE.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
Let's get started

Join the EE Community to ask, answer, learn and share.

Recent solutions