Beginning the day after Valentines Day, Telus wireless customers will have the option of unlocking their mobile phones.
Unlocking a device enables a phone to work on other wireless networks. So if you were travelling, for example, you could take out your Telus SIM card and insert one prepaid and local to your destination, thus saving on costs. You could also pass on the phone onto somebody else at the end of your contract and it could be usable on any network.
Indeed, it’s a handy little service. But what’s it worth?
Telus is charging $50 for this service, employable after 90 days of signing your contract. This may sound fair to you; if it does, you’ve obviously never researched unlocking services. Ebay and numerous reputable websites offer a legitimate unlock for $10 (or less, in many instances). It’s perfectly legal and the exact same service.
Telus will soon unveil a list of all eligible devices, which should be basically everything except for the iPhone (postpaid devices only). It will also reveal a list of instructions on how to unlock your phone (so that you need not go to a retail store), although such information is widely available online already. Note that unlocking a device does NOT unbind you from your long-term contract.
All in all, a thorough ripoff—but what else would you expect from a Canadian telco?