12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2013 4:39 AM by wegras
Callum Alden Level 1 Level 1

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?


- Callum.

iPhone 4, iOS 5.1.1, from Carphone Warehouse on OrangeUK
Reply by roaminggnome on Jun 17, 2012 2:01 PM Helpful
Apple has nothng to do with it. ONLY the carrier to which it is locked can do this.  No one else at all.  Not Apple, not the place you purchased, ONLY Orange. Very sorry, but you will have to work it out with them.

All replies

  • roaminggnome Level 10 Level 10

    Apple has nothng to do with it.


    ONLY the carrier to which it is locked can do this.  No one else at all.  Not Apple, not the place you purchased, ONLY Orange.


    Very sorry, but you will have to work it out with them.

  • lovehate56 Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Callum,


    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?



  • Rugbynut Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Callum,


    I too find myself in this position.


    Did you manage to sort anything out?





  • wegras Level 6 Level 6

    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

  • MatYANa Level 1 Level 1

    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.

  • RifDma Level 1 Level 1

    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.




  • imobl Level 5 Level 5

    If your iPhone is locked to AT&T, start here:


    unlocking AT&T iPhones (thanks to wjosten for the link)


  • Riyad Sarwar Level 1 Level 1

    Hello Dear,


    I buy the I-Phone 4. That's lock by Orange UK. How to unlock "orange uk" in Bangladesh. Pls, help me.

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10

    As was said several times in this thread, only Orange can unlock your iPhone. You will need to contact Orange UK.



  • wegras Level 6 Level 6

    Orange will only unlock an iPhone if it is currently in contract ,monthly or PAYG with Orange and the

    iPhone is active IN the UK on the Orange UK network

    You appear to to meet this criteria do you

    What a waste of money

  • Riyad Sarwar Level 1 Level 1

    I allready try to contract Orange UK. But, this server is block in Bangladesh. How can i do? Pls, Suggest me u have any option.

  • wegras Level 6 Level 6

    Why waste your time

    Read my post above   YOU DO NOT QUALIFY to have the iPhone unlocked from Orange UK

    Sell iPhone