Purchased an iPhone 4 from a 3rd Part (Carphone Warehouse in the UK), over 2 years ago. It was instantly locked to Orange on purchase. My 18 month contract came to an end a while back and I've been on a month-to-month rolling contract as I was happy with the reception / service.
-- Here I should mention my iPhone was replaced by Apple about 6 months ago, after some Network issues ("Searching..." / Network lost). I got a replacement iPhone which I plugged the Orange SIM into, and continued with my Orange contract.
After researching alternative networks (GiffGaff anyone?) I decided to switch networks and called Orange to arrange Unlocking my 'out of contract' iPhone. Was told this would cost £20 and take 30 days. 30 days later I call Orange to ask how things are going; bad news- my iPhone was purchased from a 3rd Party-- I should talk to them about unlocking. Orange can't unlock their iPhones. Bizarre.
A month goes by- I talk to Carphone Warehouse who direct me right back to Orange, who point me back to Carphone Warehouse then to a shady guy down the street, to their complaints department, to a supervisor who tells me "the request wasn't actually made... no, no... it was, hold on... [line goes dead]" etc.
Finally Orange tell me unequivellantly they can't do anything- it is entirely down to Carphone Warehouse. I talk to a manager at my local Carphone Warehouse store who offers to place a call to Orange on my behalf, he reads them 'The Book' (tells them that the carrier is the only person who can unlock an iPhone) to which Orange responds "tell the customer they have to talk to the manufacturer, Call Apple". The manager at Carphone Warehouse asks the Orange rep to repeat this to me, passes me the handset and the line goes dead!
Superb. So, the manager at Carphone Warehouse was lost- he's never heard of this happening. But tells me to keep harrassing Orange (I've spent 5+ hours talking to their call centres, written complaint letters and waited patiently for call backs).
Should I bother Apple? This really is Orange's issue?
Anyone heard of this nonsense occuring?