Free mobile phone ‘unlocking’

Recently we renewed our contract with the evil telephone overlords (AT&T), mostly because our old phones were falling apart. They gave us “free” phones as long as we agreed to a two-year contract. Carol got a Sync and I got a Blackberry 8310. I may be going back overseas, so I thought the Blackberry would be cool since I can get an international data package and use it for internet and as a GPS device. Well, the phone is locked for AT&T sim cards, which is to be expected, so I started looking into how to unlock it in case I needed to use a non-AT&T card somewhere. After a lot of perusing the internet forums I was resigned to having to pay someone 19 to 24 USD to get the unlock code. There were scores of posts praising these guys for their prompt and helpful service. But the more I thought about it I wondered just how these guys could offer such a service. Was there some special software, maybe? So I searched a little more and started finding a few posts by a few crusaders who wanted to expose the plot. They are emphatically trying to let people know that all you have to do is call your carrier and politely ask for the code. They may wish to know why – “I’m going to be traveling outside the country” – but generally will give you the code if you act informed and polite. Some may say they can’t do this, or it will take a day, but if you, nicely, persist, you will find they can do it in just a few minutes. Some people reported that they were even given the unlock code for their device by a carrier they did not do business with.

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