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Thread: Should I Buy An Unlocked Phone?

  1. #16
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    It was just an example.
    I will be Judged on how I helped the poor, sick & others in need; strangers & loved ones alike.

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  2. #17
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    Another factor regarding more expensive phones is how long they last. Google and Samsung (for their higher end phones) guarantee 4 and 5 years of updates respectively. Apple doesn't specify, but for the last several years their phones have gotten at least 6 years of updates, I believe. So you can end up with a much better phone that isn't necessarily much more expensive on a cost per year basis.

    That being said, outside of our current phones (Pixel 6 and iPhone XR) we'd never bought a phone for more than $150.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Guy View Post
    Can you expand on this a bit? Do you have any particular mainstream sellers in mind? What's an IMEI? Official backup?
    I'm too lazy to look up what the letters IMEI stand for, but it's the serial number of the handset. You can find it in one of the menus, and also in the battery compartment of a flip phone. The first several numbers represent the manufacturer/model and the last several numbers are more a serial number.

    The IMEI is used to identify the handset and the sim serial number identifies your account details. Either IMEI or sim number can affect your service. The whole package has to pass inspection before your call will work.

    I was just mentioning that some marketplaces like eBay and PayPal offer buyer protection (backup) if a transaction is faulty/"bad seller".

    If you put an IMEI into a checker such as https://www.imei24.com/ it will tell you the manufacturer/model/whether it is reported stolen/blacklisted/useless for whatever reason/unpaid bills. Or if the IMEI is fine/clean.

    Mainstream would be like actual Amazon, Best Buy, B&H. Not the third-party sellers. They tend to buy pallets of junk at consolidator auctions and don't know/care what they are selling.

    We have had members here who have had issues with this because the seller wasn't good with details.

  4. #19
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    HSN/QVC delivers you the Tracfone package, but Tracfone takes it from there.

    Tracfone can be a pain in the butt just like any service, but we have the good phone numbers to use for problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    I was just mentioning that some marketplaces like eBay and PayPal offer buyer protection (backup) if a transaction is faulty/"bad seller".
    I bought the RedPocket SIM on eBay, paying with PayPal. It looks like RedPocket will probably fight me on a refund, so I'll be testing the eBay and Paypal guarantees soon most likely. Will report what I learn here. Paypal pays via our credit card, so I can request help there too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    If you put an IMEI into a checker such as https://www.imei24.com/ it will tell you the manufacturer/model/whether it is reported stolen/blacklisted/useless for whatever reason/unpaid bills. Or if the IMEI is fine/clean.
    Ah, thank you for this. Educational. Saved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    Mainstream would be like actual Amazon, Best Buy, B&H. Not the third-party sellers. They tend to buy pallets of junk at consolidator auctions and don't know/care what they are selling.
    Ok, got it, thanks.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    HSN/QVC delivers you the Tracfone package, but Tracfone takes it from there. Tracfone can be a pain in the butt just like any service, but we have the good phone numbers to use for problems.
    Thank you. Yea, part of this problem is I have limited patience with pain in the butt companies. I'll patiently work through technical problems with any company, but once I detect they've made a decision to blow me off, the end is near.

    If I put up with being treated like a sap I actually feel guilty, because I know that by doing that I'm training the company to treat the next person the same way. Many of these problems are really caused by we the customers. We put up with too much.

  7. #22
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    The main key to finding a factory unlocked vs carrier unlocked is the model number, not the model name. But as hpham mentioned, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a factory unlocked basic flip phone. Basic flips are generally band crippled to only the bands of the network they're meant to run on.

  8. #23
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    If you want to support multiple networks (verizon/tmobile/ATT), it is best to limit yourself to models on the ATT list https://www.att.com/idpassets/images...TT-Network.pdf
    As others have mentioned, factory unlocked is preferred. A model is more likely to be on this list if sold factory unlocked than if sold for a carrier, then unlocked.

    If it has B71, it will likely work on T-Mobile too.

    Verizon doesn't require CDMA support anymore, but they still have their requirements. They may support a phone, but not for activation purposes.

    Tracfones were mentioned. I have one, it was sold as being compatible with all 3 networks TF uses. And maybe it is if used with a Tracfone SIM. But the specific model number isn't on ATT's list so isn't usable on the ATT network through anyone else.
    iPhone 12 Pro is my current phone I carry.

  9. #24
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    The Tracfone Alcatel MyFlip 2 (A046DL) is on This AT&T Whitelist . Buy it, activate it with TF/Verizon and after 60 days of service it will be unlocked. After that, you can use it with other AT&T providers besides Tracfone. Should work with T-mo providers too after unlocked.

  10. #25
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    Ebay has a pretty good refund policy. Just pursue it through them.

    But for the trouble you are going through, I think you would be better served in the long run by just keeping and utilizing the service through red pocket. They really are just a reseller of service with very limited tech support. Many hfers are using red pocket service without alot of issues.

    If course your best bet would be to use a standard Android or iPhone. Trying to get an old flip phone to work probably falls out of line with their capabilities.

    So as I suggested , just buy a Motorola unlocked phone on Amazon or something else in that line, 30 day return period and you'll probably be up and running fairly quickly and painlessly. You might save your self in $$$ not dealing with aggravation.

    Sent from my S3_Pro Umidigi using HoFo mobile app

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Guy View Post
    Thank you. Yes, I'm looking in to this.

    Who would provide support for this phone if needed? For example, if I need assistance with activation. TracFone? Are they any good?
    Tracfone would be where you would activate it, either using their website online activation, or online chat, or call Customer Service. Ongoing support would be Tracfone customer service. You could request unlocking after 60 days of service with Tracfone. At that point you could decide whether to stay on Tracfone or not.

    Also, you have 30 days during which you can return it to HSN for a refund.

  12. #27
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    I have had two universal unlocked Motorola phones and I liked both of them. For unlocked lower price smartphones that work on all carriers Motorola is pretty good.

    Do you want an unlocked smartphone or dumb phone or either?

    I think an unlocked phone is not necessarily that important because most people don't change carriers that often. Sometimes you can get a good deal on a locked phone.

    I think picking a carrier and plan is the most important thing. For example, do you want a budget plan or unlimited hotspot, etc. and which carriers work good in your area.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShredFred View Post
    I think you would be better served in the long run by just keeping and utilizing the service through red pocket.
    If RedPocket had simply acknowledged their unintentional mistake, and then offered me solution options, I would have worked with that. Here's what would have worked...

    REDPOCKET: Oh dear, we're sorry, we didn't mean to give you incorrect information prior to sale, we just weren't aware of that particular incompatibility. We can't obtain the 4G SIM your phone requires, but we could sell you a phone we know will work, or if you prefer we can provide a full refund.
    Instead, they keep pretending over and over that there isn't a problem, take no responsibility for the false info they provided prior to sale, completely ignore the ATT and Alactel contact links which prove there is an incompatibility, and are currently dodging my repeated requests for a refund, having as yet said neither yes nor no. Given this pattern of behavior, there's really little reason for me or anyone else to have any confidence that they will provide a reliable service.

    It's actually good that this problem arose right from the start, because it's given me an inside look at how they think at RedPocket. I really don't think they're scammers. They're just not very bright, not capable of calculating what's in RedPocket's own self interest. Here's an example...

    While they keep delaying a refund, I'm still here on a major cell phone forum typing about RedPocket. If even a single person decides not to use RedPocket as a result of these posts, that will cost RedPocket hundreds of dollars or more in lost sales, WAY more than the $60 they are hoping they can weasel me out of. If I have to take this to eBay, that will not help RedPocket's relationship with that market. The longer this goes on, the worse it gets for RedPocket.

    It would have been far smarter for them to give me a refund the first time I asked, get rid of me, shut me up, cover their tracks, and bring the bad story to a prompt end. Here's why....

    Because they're going to have to give me the refund anyway.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by millept View Post
    Tracfone would be where you would activate it, either using their website online activation, or online chat, or call Customer Service. Ongoing support would be Tracfone customer service. You could request unlocking after 60 days of service with Tracfone. At that point you could decide whether to stay on Tracfone or not.
    Also, you have 30 days during which you can return it to HSN for a refund.
    Thank you for the ongoing guidance. I'm going to go ahead and give this a go and see what happens. Doing so will further my education, and there's not that much at risk. And who knows, I might even get a working phone out of it! :-)

    While I'm setting up the Tracfone account, I'll keep learning about factory unlocked phones. It sounds like finding a factory unlocked flip phone is not likely, but I'll dig in to it and see what I can learn anyway.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Guy View Post
    It sounds like finding a factory unlocked flip phone is not likely, but I'll dig in to it and see what I can learn anyway.
    You can use this Phone Finder function , put in your preferred parameters (year, 4G, form factor flip up/flip down, price, etc) and see the list of candidates.

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