Many twists and many urban legends exist about the issue of whether mobile operators offer their customers a terminal are required or not to provide ways to eliminate this often incorporate anchor for that can only be used by the operator that supplies.

But there seems to be unclear on this issue, there are many who say that operators are required to release the phone while others say it only at the end of the stay, we will try to shed light in this article, for which we have the views of several of the operators involved.

The topic turned it up when FACUA echoed a report by the National Consumer Institute in which the public body crossed out practice to anchor the terminal operator abusive, but that decision is not binding and without the lock is literally illegal.

No such obligation exists, CMT

Mobile Operators 1

How many times have we heard that those mobile operators are required to liberate our terminals purchased from them once a year after your purchase or permanence finished? Well this is a belief that is simply erroneous.

Sometimes when someone has stated that this obligation is based on the words contained in a report of the CMT dating from 1999:

From the perspective of ensuring fair competition and consumer protection, it is necessary that the terminal can be unlocked free; the time necessary for the terminal subsidized amount has been recovered by telephone or consumption concept in otherwise, by paying the amount of the grant pending recovery.

But as we said these words are contained in a single report, this being the opinion of the CMT but nothing more than that, a review of a public body that have never been embodied in a law, so that operators are not required releasing the customer terminals.

It may be more or less ethical operators to provide anchored devices used only to them personally am against and now with the low level of subsidies that exist, but that said, they are not obliged to, finished or not our residence time.

Here you can read the article from the blog of the CMT which always refer when asked about this matter, still valid despite being drafted in 2009.

What the protagonists, operators

Mobile Operators 2

Once the CMT makes clear that mobile operators are not required to release the customer terminals, being free to do so and therefore to demand payment for the interesting this is to go to the operators to get their opinion, having given both Movistar, Orange and Telstra to respond to our request.

The first to respond to our questions, what is your policy on terminal anchoring and release was Movistar, which is important to remember that their president spoke about a possible change of strategy:

Currently Movistar unlock does not charge as long as the customer does not have debts with Movistar and does not have a stay pending.

The procedure is relatively simple and immediate; through 1004 data is checked and client phone should have the unlock information, is provided to the customer. If the 1004 does not have the code (codes are not available, etc…) Or this is not the valid for the customer (not work etc.), is referred to PDV where they would manage aftermarket.

From Telstra who followed was somewhat wet, justifying the terminals they provide to their clients is anchored:

Our customers are not required to buy from the terminal. If they do, we inform you that it is locked and therefore can only be used with our service during the dwell time.

Once you finish your stay, and in deference, we send the code if you meet a few simple conditions: be a customer of the contract, have completed a client retention and at the time of order and receive the code. (…) The delivery of the Customer codes depends on the model and manufacturer of the terminal, but not usually take longer than 4-6 weeks later send.

The most succinct of all, we simply referred to the FAQ section of their website was Orange:

In order to unlock your mobile phone, you need to get in touch with the number 2286, Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 22:00 h. with access from Orange mobile numbers.

The cost of the call is 50 cents regardless of the time of call (excluding indirect tax).

Remember that you have your IMEI number of your phone. You can get it on your phone by pressing the sequence * # 06 #.

The cost of this service is 9 € if your line is in contract and € 5 if your line is prepaid, once your commitment to stay.

Vodafone has not cooperated in this article but from the customer support section of their website we can find how to get the unlock code they acquired a terminal, and cost conditions:

To get the code or unlock code unlocking your phone must remain Vodafone customer. If you card customer cannot get the unlocking, unless you request for a terminal client you acquired being contract.

You must meet these conditions:

1. being current Vodafone customer and be aware of all your bills paid.

2. That associated with the terminal line is not tied to any term contract. You may have other permanence, but the terminal you want free not have to have any kind of permanence.

If you meet the two conditions above to get the unlocking have to call 123.

Be prepared the IMEI, the make and model of the agent terminal to provide them wait on you. To know the IMEI of your phone dial * # 06 # and receive immediately. Remember that this data can be found via the “My Mobile” in your private area My Vodafone.

Order the unlocking code is charged management fees 6 € (taxes not included).

Conclusion: no hope of short-term changes

Given that the operators are not the work of changing its policy to anchor terminal environment, although we found differences between those who demand payment for the release and no, the matter is likely to change little in the short term.

With CMT report dated in 1999, 14 years have passed since, in which the body that regulates the telecommunications sector in Spain was pronounced against this practice without however having been changes in legislation seems that blocking terminal by different operators who apply it is far from going down in history.

In the air is the question that serves to block the mobile operators or other devices that provide their customers, subsidized or not, as if they are not there are many other forms of release, whether payment.