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Will my Moto G, fully paid for, be unlocked when I get it?


I would like to buy a phone (Moto G) using my (positive) tab balance (I have more than enough to fully pay for the phone). If I do buy it, will it be unlocked when I get it? If not, why not? (After all, I have *paid* for it in full, and I am a stable Koodo customer)

33 replies

Userlevel 7
CRTC rules state that an unsubsidized phone from a carrier has to be provided with the means to unlock it immediately, but it doesn't say anything about price. You *can* get it unlocked right away but it will cost you $50. I would recommend a site like cellunlocker.net or gsmliberty if you don't want to pay Koodo for it.
Userlevel 2
The phone will be locked. The only phone that Koodo sells unlocked is the Nexus 5. It will cost $50 to unlock the phone. Alternatively, if you want an unlocked Moto G, you can purchase directly from Motorola (or I believe amazon.com is also selling it unlocked).
Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock either, eh? Sigh ... oh well, downgrade Koodo from 5 stars to 4 ...
Userlevel 7
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Oh yeah, because Koodo is the only company that does this... It's the same thing across ALL carriers, bud. Carrier A has absolutely nothing to gain from you buying a phone outright and then unlocking it to potentially use with Carrier B so why would they do it for free? Also you're right, the Tab can only be used for phone purchases.
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Don't get your knickers in a twist. This is not about "it's the same thing across all carriers, bud". By the way, my name is not "bud". Secondly, just because "all" carriers do it, does that make it right? No, of course not. This is another example of the second (third?)-rate service we get in this country, and the only way I see it changing is if we, the consumers, apply pressure. If you want to keep paying for things you shouldn't then that's your problem.
Userlevel 4
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Unlocking phones have never been something that was free to do. Even the 3rd party sites charge a fee of some kind. You are given the choice how you want to go about it. This "pressure" you are talking about should be directed at the CRTC to change the Wireless Code further.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

I totally agree with your view. But I think John right here find it not justified to rate it 4-star just because of this since all carriers do this
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

I agree we need to pressure the CRTC, though there is also nothing *stopping* Koodo from just unlocking a fully-paid-for phone for free - then they would be taking a leadership role, as opposed to being a follower. It might be a good marketing strategy. If they choose not to be a leader, then I'm going to feel free to rate them lower for it. I want to reward progressive thinking, not status quo thinking. John should feel free to use different rating criteria, but I do not agree with his "every carrier does it, so it's ok" mentality.
Userlevel 6
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Part of the issue, the way I see it, is this feeling that it is Canadians' basic right to own a cell phone. It is absolutely not a necessity and people would survive quite well, if not better, without it. But once they get a taste, they want everything for free and without any problems. Well, we live in a market driven society and companies can charge whatever the market ca bear. I'm quite sure the company you work for James operates under the same priciple, unless it's a government outfit or a social organization where seeking a profit is not the primary goal.
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Chris, when I pay for the phone outright, I expect it to be unlocked. Would you buy a car if the hood was welded shut and you could only get service for it from the dealer you bought it from? "But once they get a taste, they want everything for free ..." ... what? I'm paying for it. The cost of selling the phone unlocked is no different (or negligibly different, otherwise third-party unlock services couldn't do it so cheaply). They are just trying to charge an exorbitant fee because most people are stupid enough to pay it, or just don't care. Are you either of these? I'm also talking about supply-and-demand economics ... when the demand for locked devices goes down, unlocked devices will become the norm.
Userlevel 2
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

I agree that if you buy a phone outright, it should be unlocked. But I suspect you'll find that if carriers do that, the prices of phones will magically increase by $50. So just consider it part of the "full price".
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

I'm fully in agreement with W. James here. $50 is an insane amount for an unlock on top of the full retail price. It doesn't matter what the other carriers do. Tyler, how can you compare what 3rd parties charge for an unlock? That is their sole business, so of course they'll charge for it (and the fact that they can charge $10-25 per unlock and remain in business should say something about the cost of unlocking). Expecting them to provide the codes for free is like expecting Koodo to provide free access to their network. And the phone prices can "magically increase" by $50 and the sales will slow until they decrease. It doesn't look like the plan prices that were reactionary to the CRTC code are big sellers. I've always been against this devices and services bundle. Imagine buying a car that's partly subsidized by the manufacturer but you're only allowed to fill it up at their gas stations. Imagine the price of fuel then.
Userlevel 4
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

I'm not comparing prices, I was stating that unlocking isn't a free service. Never was as far as I know. I totally agree that $50 is way too much. I sometimes hate saying the price when someone asks me to unlock their phone. There was a person who told me they paid close to $100 to unlock their phone. The cost of unlocking through the provider is crazy.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

The unlocking isn't a free service from 3rd party because they don't have free access to the carriers' unlock algorithms, though there is one clever unlocker providing "free" unlocks with TrialPay (you pay for something else, and then get your unlock code as a.gift - but the offers are US-only). The carriers, on the other hand, do not have to submit such requests (except for iPhones, as their unlock state is determined by Apple's IMEI whitelist) and don't pay for it (except maybe for iPhones).
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

I think part of the reason the providers do this is to discourage people from unlocking their phone (and in that way, they're really acting against the spirit of the CRTC ruling). By placing an expensive, and seemingly difficult barrier in the way, *many* consumers (i.e. consumers who don't do their research) will either pay the fee or give up trying to unlock their phones. I make it a point to educate friends and family about what their options are, and try to encourage them to buy unlocked phones from third parties where possible in order to combat this. I think phone subsidies should be disallowed, and everybody just buys the device (unlocked) outright.
Userlevel 7
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Not everyone can afford that option. A lot of customers are okay with a plan because they can do monthly payments but can't afford the unsubsidized cost all at once. It interrupts their cash flow and potentially their other bills, too.
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

I can appreciate that, but then we can have "phone loans", just like "car loans". This separates out the ownership-issue from the service-issue. That way the hidden costs of subsidised phones won't be pushed onto those who can least afford it (it's well known that when you're locked into a contract, the ultimate cost of the phone is much higher).
Userlevel 7
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Robellus's pricing for their ''shared'' plans with SIM-only discounts is different, but let's just use Koodo since we're all in the family here: Nexus 4 price: $300. Say someone wants the $50 double/double data plan. No Tab option: $300 upfront + $45 plan (assuming BYOD discount) x 24 months = $1,380 Medium Tab option: $0 upfront + $50 plan + $5 Tab charge, which is $55 x 24 = $1,320. They're even eligible to remove the Tab charge and get the same 10% discount at this point. Is it really more expensive in this circumstance?
Userlevel 6
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

You can unlock most phones on your own for $5-$10. The whole locking thing is probably going to change in the next few years. It is a remnant of the old world of phones that were heavily subsidized and of cour cell companies didn't want to lose theirs shirts when they were selling phone below cost and if it was unlocked that customer could easily walk. Interestingly there are locks on DVD players as well, yet we don't scream about that as much. 🙂 I used to buy totally legal movies from Europe only to find out that the region code would not allow them to play it North America. So, these type of things are evident in ohter places as well.
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Obviously you've never heard my thoughts on DVDs 😉 Again, just because it's the status quo, doesn't make it right. And, if we want it to change, we must vote with our pocketbooks. I don't buy e-books, because I prefer to actually own my books. And, unfortunately, I think that preventing customers from walking has allowed most carriers to get really sloppy with their service ... it's just not worth it. Jonathan: I agree, in most Koodo plans the difference isn't that much, and that's why I like Koodo, but in this regard they are not the norm I suspect.
Userlevel 6
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Clearly there isn't enough of you James. 🙂 Voting with ones pocket book is often the suggestion. That said no one stopped buying gas when people were unhappy with prices going up in unison for the wekend. 🙂
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Fair enough Chris ... I guess we *don't* just vote with our pocket books. We also complain to our governments, when they choose to listen ...
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

Jonathan, it's no coincidence that BYOD doesn't save you anything in your example. I loathe that my monthly plan price is helping subsidize other customers' phones. I'm not against subsidizing phones for those that want it, but only 10% the monthly price for unsubsidized? No wonder the carriers are getting away with this. This is still a "gotcha" market where carriers compete to lock you in and then you're stuck. That way they don't actually have to be competitive. I can't exactly blame for-profit corporations for behaving this way as we're allowing them to by paying the asking price.
Userlevel 7
W. James MacLean wrote:

Ugh ... I sort of thought that might happen. Probably cannot use my tab to pay for the unlock eit...

This is why I think it should be 15% for all. I know there's been a bunch of topics for that before. I agree with that; there should be a higher incentive for BYOD.
Userlevel 1
It's only a $5 or $10 nuisance to have a reputable 3rd party unlock it. It is especially important to unlock a Koodo phone as they don't have any reasonable roaming packages outside of Canada so if you do travel outside of Canada it is a must that you unlock the phone and then use it with a SIM card from a local carrier in the country you are in. You can also use one of the many call forwarding services to forward your incoming calls from Canada to overseas at rates that are less then $0.05/minute. The first thing I do with a phone that is locked to a specific carrier is unlock it, nothing more than a simple nuisance.

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