by prelim Established Contributor
Established Contributor

eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

I wanted to drop a quick post here to relay a warning to others who might make a similar mistake to me.

 

In September I upgraded to the iPhone XS.  I was originally going to purchase the phone directly from Apple but I happened to be eligible for an upgrade, and after looking at the numbers it seemed a no-brainer buying through EE.

 

No one of the things I was particularly interested in with the XS was the eSIM capability.  I have a SIM linked into an IP telephony service and wanted to experiment with using this in parallel with my EE contract, albeit I understood this would not be possible until Apple released iOS 12.1, which would support eSIM.

 

I was interested to see whether there was any chatter about how EE planned to handle the eSIM process that I discovered a bit of a clanger, namely that I won't be able to unlock my XS until I've been in contract for 6 months...

 

I kind of get where the 6 month idea came from, and I don't particularly feel misled - if anything I feel stupid that I didn't research more thoroughly.  What I would say to EE is that for a phone with an eSIM, and assuming I have an active subscription on the device I purchased from you, why should I be blocked from unlocking the physical SIM slot?  I appreciate the practical answer is probably "because that's our policy", but my question is does that policy actually make sense?..

 

Anyway, there is my tale; I am hoping that this will be indexed on Google and someone might see it and avoid the same mistake as me.  Basically, if you want to use the eSIM functionality of the XS or XS Max, buy the handset from Apple...

 

EE people - the above posting followed a call to small business support in Greenock, who told me there is absolutely no exception to the 6 month policy, I will be more than happy to be told otherwise!

 

16 REPLIES 16
by
EE Community Support Team

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

Hi @prelim,

 

The Business Support Team were correct, the standard unlocking terms still apply to the new iPhone range.

 

Thanks

 

James

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

@prelim  You can use the eSim  functionality but the device will remain locked to EE so you can have 2 EE sims in your phone one for business one personal and only after six months can you apply for an unlock of the device , this has not changed and will not change because of multi sim devices. perhaps in the future EE might change this but as of now this rule has not changed and has been in place for a good number of years now.   Please remember you do not own the device for the first 6 months of the contract as your still purchasing it and that is one of the reasons it will not be unlocked yet.   

by prelim Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

Hi @Chris_B,

 

Thanks for the response.

 

Absolutely understand what you are saying and accept the 6 month limit won't change.  You're right that I could fit another EE SIM in the handset, which I will actually do in any case given that I want to try the eSim function.  Ironically I called yesterday and ordered an eSIM pack and guess what they first question they asked me was?..

 

"Did you realise your handset is locked for 6 months so even if you get an eSIM, you won't be able to fit a non-EE physical SIM in the phone".

 

@James_Bthanks also for confirming; I guess the main point of my message was to alert others who find themselves in a similar position to me back in September; interested in experimenting with eSim but not realising the 6 month limitation will potentially limit their options. 

 

A pragmatic option might be to add a section in the sales script to ask prospective customers if they want to use the eSim feature and if they say yes, give the same warning I was given yesterday.  It was too late for me as I'm way past the 14 day return period...

 

Chris

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

@prelim  You do know you’ll not see any difference between the eSim and a normal sim.  

by prelim Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

@Chris_Bagreed other than I can't see the dual SIM interface unless I use it!

by Wynnema Investigator
Investigator

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

I had the same issue and regret signing up for the XS upgrade, I feel mislead. I’ve been an EE Customer for 10+ years - do they think I’m going to run off without paying the contract to duration - not very impressive Customer support.

 

i live in the UK but travel in Scandinavia regularly and require a Scandinavian cell phone number, I’ve presently two phones to achieve this and when the XS came out I thought my problems were solved - but then the small print...

 

It’s extremely annoying this impasse that exists, I have a hi tech phone that is half useful and unnecessary restricted - I do not get why?  I will show the same loyalty come renewal.

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

@Wynnema  Just because a device that EE now sells can support 2 SIM card it doesn’t mean EE will or has to change their unlock policy, it’s there for a reason. And at no point was it advertise by EE you’ll be able to use two different network Sim cards within the one device. Perhaps finding out if it was possible before you got the device via EE would of been your better choice.  You could of got a unlocked device from Apple.   

 

 

by Wynnema Investigator
Investigator

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

@Chris_B replying to the points you suggest, I discussed with EE my specific requirements when I took the XS, I also read what was available at the time, at no point was it mentioned that I would be restricted with the sim (fact), there was regrettably also little policy advise on the ee website relating to the XS regarding this - hopefully ee  have improved this now (although I couldn’t find it on the xs main page or tech spec disclaimers, features etc)  or the posts that are on this forum as intended will highlight the restriction of functionality so hopefully it’s clear what to expect.

From my perspective I feel I described how I intended to use the phone when I took the contract and discussed the specific requirements of the dual sim but wasn’t notified of this hindrance - if I was I’d have gone to apple directly as you suggest @Chis_B.

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

@Wynnema  After 6 months of ownership you can request the device to be unlocked at a cost of £8,99 while your still in contract.   

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

It doesn't matter if you don't agree or get Why the policybis in place it's there for a reason.

 

And yes people would and do get devices unlocked and then disappear.

 

EE has to protect themselves. These phones are in excess of £1k they need to get their money back.

 

This policy has been in place for a few years. Doesn't matter if the device has a esim or not


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Pie 9.0)
If I have helped please click the THUMB/SOLUTION buttons below
by prelim Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

Hi @BrendonH, I appreciate there have been a mixture of messages here, but I don’t think the point of these messages are that the policy is wrong. 

 

The challenge is that one of the key features of this new phone is the ability to move your contract onto the eSim leaving the slot free. The fact that a long established policy restricts this functionality should be made clearer. 

 

As as mentioned in one of my earlier posts, customer support make this clear when you try to order an eSim, which is fine if you do it within 14 days (not an option for me, as eSim wasn’t available at launch), but adding a small comment to the script for new sales or upgrades would avoid the problem. 

 

 

by Wynnema Investigator
Investigator

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

BrendonH, I agree 100%

Thanks for your post highlighting this anomaly, hopefully others will read it when they search for dual sim and have the benefit of our experience. At the time I took out the contract there were virtually no posts on this subject.

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

@Wynnema   I can say for sure that I made the same sort of comment on or around release day of the Xs. Unfortunately EE isn’t going to change their policy just because of duel sim phones now being sold via EE.  It’s the same rule for single sim devices.  

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

The feature is not redudant.

 

You can have 2 sims inside as long as they are both EE. The restriction is the same if you got a single aim phone.

 

There is no argument here regarding this. It's policy and always have been. It's in their T&Cs which I doubt anyone actually read.


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Pie 9.0)
If I have helped please click the THUMB/SOLUTION buttons below
by prelim Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

Hi @BrendonH, the word I used was restricted, not redundant.  My suggestion is not that they change the policy to remove the 'restriction', just that they communicate it better.

 

I am not saying the policy has to change, just that the communication can be improved.  To be fair on EE, I recognise this was a new feature and can cut them slack that they didn't realise the implication immediately.

 

On your last point (and in case the above two paragraphs and my last couple of messages are not clear) I completely agree with you - I'm not arguing with the policy... 

by Nirant
Visitor

Re: eSIM iPhone XS Unlocking

Thanks so much @prelim for you this post! I am about to upgrade my phone to the XS smart plan. The financials are looking reasonable, but I travel a lot and I wanted to check if the eSim is locked. I couldn't find any information about that on the EE website for eSim, apart from the general information. 
 
I understand the argument of EE wanted to protect their investment locking the phone. I am sure everyone aware EE does a credit check before they give a contract and each contract are tied to individuals. In the UK, we don't have an option for not paying and run away. When I was a student (a decade ago), I had my first EE contract and couldn't able to afford the payment and EE defaulted me and passed my debt to internal collection department then they sold the debt to Lowel finance (yes you can sell the debt for external companies, they buy as a bulk and try to recover money from individual- it's a billion-dollar business). After I graduated and had some money I paid off everything and my default stayed in my account for 6 years from the payment date. In short, EE never lost anything- EE made their money as soon as they sold the bad debts to the other companies. So if EE locks the phone for 6 months, at the moment I can get an XS for £65 and if I stick with EE for 6 months then 6x64=£384 an iPhone XS price is £949 and Apple not gonna sell their device at 60% discount to EE (simply because of supplier and customer demand). Again it doesn't make any sense of recovering their money in 6 months.

Let's looks at few clever tactics-

Unlocking fees:
 So let's do a small calculation. Around 65million iPhone shipped to the UK, let's say 100,000 sold by EE (the figure is much bigger btw) and if 50,000 people unlocked the phones, EE must have made £8.99x£50,000= £449,500 -this is just an iPhone estimation, what about other devices?

Roaming charge:

EE had around 29.56million in March 2018 (PAYG, Contract etc). I don't know what is the figure for 2019, but let's say they have 1 million users with an active mobile contract and out of that if 50% of the people travel outside of the EU for at least once a year and spent at least £1 while they on roaming, EE gets an additional revenue of £500,000. Think about an average person spent £10 a year on roaming and multiplying that by the above number. Just to let you know, I spent around £200 this year.

 

EE makes small money in unlocking fees, but not many people are aware that they can unlock the phone and not many needs unlocking a phone. It's only a pain when you are abroad. Imagine, you are in Germany and you wanted to call a restaurant in Berlin to book a table, you wouldn't go to a payphone and call the restaurant, you will just pick up the phone and call. If you spent 2minutes, then EE makes £2. Imagine you get a phone which is completely unlocked, the first thing you may do is pick up a local sim card at the airport but I I tell you, your phone is locked it will cost you £8.99 and you will need to wait for 72hours then you may don't want to go through this process. You will forget about this until you go on next holiday and repeat.

 

It's not just about locking, it's changing customers behaviour. If you can have a simple policy and if you can make millions as a company, would you not do it? I think a company that thinks about customers wouldn't have such a policy but for EE it's all about numbers, of course, it's owned by BT Group, what else do you expect?

 

It's funny when the customer service person try to explain the "benefit of going with EE vs directly with the vendor. They don't know how tech-savvy this generation is and we understand the law and the finance. So I hope companies don't treat customers as someone who has no clue about things, instead just tell us the truth. I am with EE for around 4 years now and I pay around £75-£140 a month but not a single benefit for being stick with one provider. It's time to move!

 

NJ

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