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Does anybody have any experience buying unlocked cell phones on ebay?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by jrthebassguy, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Lately my phone has been on the fritz, out of nowhere it has started randomly dropping calls and not wanting to send out text messages when I want it to. It's been fine for the two years I've owned it, but it seems like it is in its death throws, unfortunately. So it's time to get a new phone, but every phone I look at over with T-Mobile they just want me to extend my contract, which I don't want to do. My contract with them is already long enough as is.

    So, any experience with buying unlocked phones? Do you just swap out the sim card and then everything is as it should be? Will my service provider know I've changed out phones? Have you had any issues surfing the internet or whatever with unlocked phones?

    Also, what phone would you recommend for around the $150 range? Thanks.
  2. I've done it three times; just swapped out the SIM. In fact, the phone I'm using right now is one I got off of ebay. I've only had trouble once (the guy said it was unlocked and it wasn't). The phone was only $20 so no big deal. Besides, there's a guy at the swap meet who will unlock them for $15.

    As far as a particular model, I have no idea. I buy phones on ebay because I need an older phone because phones with cameras aren't allowed where I work.
  3. I bought an unlocked Sony Ericsson phone for my daughter to use on an AT&T account. Here are the pluses and minuses:

    + It works fine as a phone. No compatibility problems at all.
    + The phone was reasonably priced and performs well - as a phone.
    + Text messaging works fine.

    - Because it's not an AT&T phone, it doesn't have all the functions.
    - No emailing pictures.
    - No sending or receiving pictures.
    - No Internet capability

    The Internet capability and ability to send and receive pictures may have been designed into the phone, but because it's not an AT&T phone they do NOT work. I have spent a lot of time trying to download new software and work around these limitations but the required menu options in the phone simply don't exist.

    As a result, I replaced the phone with an AT&T phone - also bought on Ebay. works great.

    So - if all you need is a phone and text messaging, you'll be OK. But if you want Internet access or to be able to send or receive photos - or similar functions - there is NO assurance that an unlocked phone will be able to do that.

    I will not be buying any more unlocked phones unless they came from the wireless vendor I use originally.

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