Locked Mobile Telephone

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KARL | 12:02 Fri 05th Jul 2013 | Technology
4 Answers
I have with me abroad a UK Vodafone Nokia 2610 (no current Vodafone contract) and in the naive belief that a Vodafone card, any Vodafone card, would work I bought one locally here (abroad). It does not work and a message comes up to the effect that the phone is restricted and asks for a code to be entered. I have located some alpha-numeric code suggestions on the internet but am unable to enter any of them because the keypad only works in numeric mode (no letters) without an option to switch to letters.

Talking to Vodafone here has produced the suggestion that I need to enter the PUK number of the sim card first supplied with the phone - I do not have that. Vodafone here say that Vodafone UK (VUK) will have that, or whatever code is required, filed with/against the IMEI number of the phone but that Vodafone here cannot communicate with VUK over this. I understand that, as still, the original intent was to secure VUK's revenue stream initially against a reduced price for the device - shackling telephone devices to a network is illegal here. Separately, communications with a relative in the UK brought me the advice that VUK cannot be described as co-operative over matters such as this. Indeed, I see that a form VUK offer for applications for the code specifically states that the "can" (read: "are not willing to") supply the code to non-current customers. What I further gather is that then will only apply to a phone device logged/attached to that contract, although I am not certain that is a correct interpretation.

I have called 08700776655 which according to the Vodafone site is where you get the PUK but that is an automated voice which promises a real human if it cannot help. However, I got stuck where/when the machine wants a mobile number - presumably a UK one and moreover a Vodafone one. I do not have that - I bought the phone second hand deliberately to take with me abroad and only for use here. The voice keeps asking the same question over and over and eventually disconnected the call with no default to a human - promise broken.

I would be grateful for advice from anyone who has experience of solving this sort of problem or is otherwise knowledgeable in these matters, including how to approach VUK for actual (as opposed to just promised) assistance (e.g. which telephone number, etc.). Please do not post unless it is both directly relevant and likely to be helpful toward a solution.


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Not overly expert but using a phone abroad will run with a different "home" network than buying it in the UK, so I'm not overly surprised you might have issues. I would imagine/guess that despite the same company name a phone locked to the UK Vodafone network might be seen as non-valid using a foreign Vodafone SIM on a foreign network.

But I could be wrong.

Keypad buttons also have letters normally. Pressing multiple times brings a different character up each time.

You may need to contact Vodafone UK for PUK codes.

Locking a subsidised handset to a network is perfectly legal where the phone was sold. Where you take it isn't going to affect that.

If the local mobile shops can not help I'm unsure what else to suggest, but hope some of the above proves helpful.
The Nokia 2610 is an entry-level phone. You can buy a brand new one or a very similar Samsun,g brand new and not locked to a network (ie SIM free) for around 20 quid.
It seems to me that you should cut your losses and just buy a new phone. After all you could easily rack up more than 20 quid's worth of phone bills, charges and hassles trying to unlock your current one.
I agree with Kevin, I obviously have no idea what country you are in but a basic phone (not locked to a network) is pretty cheap in Europe.
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