May 14th, 2013 Filed under: Unlocking Cell Phones — Cell Phone Author
You guys might also have this question so I’m posting it here with a good answer too. It comes from ‘missourigrl’ who asks:
My cell phone contract is up in May. Can I buy a cell phone online (that Cingular carries) say on ebay and use that phone with my plan? Will I have to have Cingular activate the phone or will I just be able to put my sim card in it and it will work? Where does the “unlocked” cell phone come in to play here or does it?Is there a place other than ebay to buy cell phones online without having to purchase a plan?
Answer: If you buy another Cingular GSM phone on eBay, you can just pop in your SIM card and go, provided the handset isn’t stolen and the IMEI is barred If you have your doubts, ask the seller for the IMEI, then call Cingular and ask them to check it to see if it’s barred. Check the seller’s feedback. If you buy a phone which is NOT a Cingular phone, this is where Unlocked comes into play. If the phone is Unlocked, you will be okay, however you might need to configure web browsing and picture messaging yourself. Cingular shops may be willing to do it and they might not. It’s something to consider. If the phone is NOT Cingular and NOT unlocked, you’ll either have to get it unlocked or try unlocking it yourself. This can be complicated depending on the model phone and if you’re not tech savvy or don’t want to pay about $20 for some online place to unlock it then best stick to just finding Cingular phones.Other than eBay, you can go to the service providers themselves and buy phones outright. Even Cingular will sell you a phone without a contract, but you will pay a premium price for it, probably at least $250. If you go to another provider and buy a phone outright, make sure they unlock it for you. Cingular should unlock theirs for you too if you pay the full unsubsidized price for it. Probably what would be a better idea would be to purchase a Cingular GoPhone. These are more expensive than phones with a contract, but they’re a lot cheaper than buying a phone outright. You will get another phone number and some starter airtime, but you just use up all the airtime and then put in your contract SIM into the phone and voila! Since GoPhones are prepaid, there’s no contract. Don’t tell thim this is what you plan on doing though. They aren’t too keen on people doing this as they’d rather you renew your contract or pay full price. You can purchase these directly from Cingular’s website. They start at $20 with free shipping for a cheap Nokia refurb and go up from there. There offerings differ from time to time so check back often. If you go to http://www.dealking.com they will give you a $20 discount so basically you can get another phone (the refurb Nokia 6061) for free plus some free prepaid time, all without signing a contract! Dealking will send you a check for $20 after about 3 months so net to you is $0. I did this with t-mobile and it worked great! Other than that, just Google “unlocked cell phones” and you’ll find plenty of online stores who will sell you an unlocked phone. Just make sure it works on at least 850/1900MHz for Cingular.
Tagged:Cell Phones & Plans