I have unfortunately landed in the same scenario as you did. Similarly, I have spent the same number of hours as you did and called numerous parties including Carphone warehouse and Apple.
What I would like to know is whether you manage to resolve this issue and how did you do it?
This is why Orange consistantly come bottom in Customer Sats surveys
As Roaminggnome says only Orange can unlock no one else
CPW are just a reseller in this case not a carrier and can do nothing to help
You could try going to an Apple retail store genius bar as the iPhone was replaced
by them and get them to check the database
On replacement the new iPhone should have taken exactly
the same status as the old iPhone
Something may have gone wrong in that process and
Orange cannot see the IMEI on their system unlikely but
you will at least know whether the iPhone is locked to Orange or not
I just read the posts above, i know your posts are bit old. Incase you guyz are still struggling with the same issue, here is the detail:
1) when you got your iphone replaced by Apple, you new iphone has a different seriel number as compared to the handset which you originally bought from Carphonewarehouse/Orange
2) Apple: when they replace a handset, they link your new handset with your original profile (the profile on which original iphone was issued), hence nothing can go wrong at Apple's end
3) Now when you call Stupid Orange, they cannot find your IMEI details on their system. Because you give them new IMEI number which they never got updated on their system. Therefore the work around is; call orange and explain you got it replaced. Then give them your old IMEI number (of the phone you got replaced), if you do not remember then Apple can provide you with this number, and also give them new IMEI number. And then ask them to speak to Unlocking team or any technical person so they can advise those DUMB help representators that how to unlock such phones. Thats it.
I have got my iphone unlocked but it took me so long to figure out why these stupids cannot unlock my phone but I finally figured it out myself and then explained the whole story to those Orange Puppets
Hope it helps, if you need further assistance let me know.
I have found you have got a solution for unlocking your iphone. its different carrier. i have contacted with so many people and waste lots of money. well m locked to AT&T. and i could not figure out how to unlock this. the last person send me a link by saying its unlocked. so when i go there in the link and enter my IME it says its not locked to AT&T. still i could not activate it to the network of the country m living right now. so please. i would like you to assist me wit this issue. if you could contact me on my email or reply my post that would be great.