Rogers to Unlock Cellphones 90 Days After Activation in March [Update]

Rogers has announced today it will be changing its unlocking policy. Starting in March, they will unlock devices 90 days after activation; previously customers had to wait until the end of their contracts to do so.

For those that purchase smartphones at full price they will unlock devices immediately. Both scenarios will cost customers $50 plus taxes.

When you purchase a wireless device on a new or existing Rogers account at full price, you are eligible to unlock it immediately.

For those customers who are under a term commitment, we have made some changes to our device unlocking policy to give you more flexibility in the way you use your wireless device. In March 2013, we’ll be changing our policy so that you no longer have to wait until you complete your full term commitment – you can unlock 90 days after activating your device on the Rogers network. We’re also making it even easier for you to have your phone unlocked by bringing it to any of our Rogers retail stores.

Customers will also be able to bring handsets to any Rogers retail store to get unlocking service. TELUS currently unlocks iPhones for $35 after 90 days activation while Bell and Virgin will unlock phones for $75.

The CRTC recently asked the public to comment on their first draft wireless code, which has early on been dominated by three year contract term discussion. Just two days ago the Competition Bureau stressed the draft wireless code should implement a ban on locked phones.

Update: Rogers informs us this policy also applies to Fido and Chatr as well.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Does this new Rogers policy affect Fido customers?

  • tim

    It better. So ridiculous, I bought my iphone outright, but since there were no unlocked versions at the time I ended up with one locked to Fido. Since the phone is not subsidized, I find it ludicrous that they would make me finish my contract to unlock it.

  • Simon B

    The policy change is certainly commendable and definitely long overdue but to implement a fee is still a way to discourage people from doing so. It’s a disingenuous act that comes after public’s discontentment of the oligopolistic market and a possible total overhaul of the carrier industry by the CRTC. If we purchased the device without any term agreement, the device should come unlocked and we should be free to choose whichever carrier we want without having to pay an extra fee for it. Furthermore, they want to charge $50 for a simple procedure that could be done over the phone and they wonder why so many people are turning to jailbreaking and unofficial software unlocking of their devices that usually comes at no cost at all. The carrier market in Canada really needs a more significant change in order to benefit the consumers by establishing free market system and real competitions to drive the prices down as well as to improve services.

  • Yes, and also applies to Chatr too.

  • Nick

    So basically there’s no point in buying outright anymore just to have an unlocked phone if you can wait 3 months before you need it on another carrier? The only real advantage of buying outright now is to avoid the contract?

  • If that iPhone is not subsidized, you can unlock it. (Maybe) you need to find friend who uses Fido on month to month and ask that person to unlock for you.
    Fido will check the IMEI of the phone. If it not subsidized, they will transfer your friend to Unlock Team who speak only English to do it with 50$ fee.

  • K3

    WHY? WHY?WHY?WHY?WHY?WHY?WHY?

    -Why charge a fee of that amount when it’s simply someone on the other end of the phone pushing a few buttons that essentially connect to information on an Apple server service? If I’m not mistaken that sounds close to a similar daily activity here….

    Dear Canadian wireless providers please charge more for such excellent appreciation of your customers.

    -If someone has completed a 3 year contract one would assume the initial subsidy has been recovered in excess allowing for profit to the service provider?

    Why now pay a $50 fee just to actually own something you own????? ???? (Apple has an emoji for Rogers)

  • The fee covers technical and administrative costs associated with providing this
    value-added service to our customers.

  • When you purchase a wireless device on a new or existing Rogers account at full price, you are eligible to unlock it immediately.

  • gtasscarlo

    But you still gotta pay $50 to unlock it. Why can’t Rogers not have devices locked or give you the unlock code for free. Rogers already marks them up 150%

  • gtasscarlo

    Telus charges $35, how is it costing you $15 more.

  • We don’t comment on competitors.

  • We don’t sell unlocked devices. Our devices are optimized to work on the network for which they were purchased.

  • gtasscarlo

    Well, either it’s bad business practice. Or Rogers just likes to squeeze every cent.

  • K3

    Value added service? If given an option I’m betting this exact value added service could be carried out by the average consumer on there own time and with very little effort.

    Additionally it would be safe to say that you receive enough “technical and administrative cost recovery” over the term of a completed contract. If inaccurate please provide proof.

  • Francois

    Am happy to hear this!!

  • K3

    Would assume that Apples devices would be optimized to work on any network for which the built in hardware is designed for. Apple has also been known for that hardware/software working well thingie over the years unless that’s a different company.

    So in theory the device is “dumbed down” in order to charge this additional fee?

    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • crosseyed_mofo

    technical and administrative costs? its typing in a fucking IMEI number on your end while the customer does the heavy lifting by restoring their phones

  • crosseyed_mofo

    please elaborate how they are optimized chris? were not idiots we know how things work so lets see if you do

    explain optimization with a locked phone please

  • crosseyed_mofo

    no you only collude with them

  • DoctorT

    This should be FREE!!!!
    We’re already tied into a THREE year contract at some of the highest prices in the world and now we have to pay $50 more to unlock our phones?!!
    This is insane!!

  • teknosnob

    Really, you’re going to come to a tech blog and say that?

  • All our devices are thoroughly tested to ensure optimal performance on our network. Unlocking a device may change the features on a device and affects its performance on our network. Furthermore, not all settings will work outside the carrier that certified the device.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    which features?

    which settings?

    and what part of the unlocking process does the changing and why?

  • gtasscarlo

    It;s a standard bullshit excuse. It doesn’t cost them anything. All they gotta do is copy and paste a imei number into a database. It doesn’t costs $50 for a rep to do that.

  • gtasscarlo

    Do you really believe that Chris…

  • All of that would depend on the device.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    your on iphone in canada . ca braniac

    more posturing, were not little old ladies at a kiosque, we know our shit

    so on an IPHONE which features?

    which settings?

    and what part of the unlocking process does the changing and why?

  • crosseyed_mofo

    anyways chris, its in the news that the crtc is set to abolish phone locking ENTIRELY, you may want to go to them with your concerns that this will affect “optimization”

    its so obvious your trying to gouge while you still can

  • crosseyed_mofo

    anywhoo, everyone, ignore what chris from rogers is saying

    “The bureau took aim at the process of “locking” cellphones, whereby carriers make devices unable to function on rival networks, further ensuring a customer is less likely to leave.

    “The bureau believes that device locking should be prohibited in the marketplace, and that service providers should be required to unlock any previously locked devices free of charge,” the submission said.”

    id link the cbc article but iphoneincanada puts posts with links into mod mode

    rogers is trying to gouge us before it becomes illegal to do so

  • 1His_Nibs1

    LOL…..nice

  • 1His_Nibs1

    So Chris……what flavour was the KoolAid and how did it taste?

  • 1His_Nibs1

    See above comment

  • hub2

    Could be worse. Like, being with Bell/Virgin where they charge over *twice* what Telus does, *and* you can’t unlock til you’re done the 3-year contract.

  • Fluxuated

    Keep the comments flowing. I’m enjoying people Owning Chris @ Rogers. Hahaha

  • crosseyed_mofo

    that will be free soon, at leat they arent grasping at straws like rogers

  • Anon

    They aren’t nicked named “Robbers” for nothing. They need to make money off you somehow, and charging a $50 premium for a few mins of work – according to them is a “value added service”. LOL

  • amir

    Actually, it does cost significantly. The rep sitting on the other end is getting paid regardless of someone calling in to unlock or not, for 8 hours a day. So if $50 is too much then you shouldn’t be able to afford a smartphone to begin with.

  • K3

    How many times a day can this be executed if the entire process is carried out in under ten minutes?
    The company with out any doubt also has many other revenues that cover the expense of paying employees.
    Last you might want to consider how much they make off of your three year commitment, that $50 fee is more than payed for.

  • cUn1t

    With all due respect, you are an idiot for hounding the Rogers dude. If you guys are such big iPhone experts, why would you buy an iPhone full priced from Rogers when you can buy it unlocked from Apple?

  • crosseyed_mofo

    i have never purchased a phone from rogers and only buy unlocked from apple, i appreciate the insult however

    as for “hounding” the rogers dude, he was the one who decided to post here, im simply calling him out on lying through his fucking teeth

  • Mkdonald

    This is absolute garbage.. F all of these carriers with their extra charge bs

  • cUn1t

    He isn’t lying about locked devices being tested and optimized though. You asked what settings can be affected, APN settings are the first thing that come to mind. I used to do tech support for Apple when I was in school and I saw it all the time where iPhones were not picking up the carrier settings after being unlocked.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    well personally ive never had to input or edit apn settings using an unlocked phone on rogers, t-mobile, digicel and orange

    also i noticed you no longer have access to apn settings in ios 6, i swapped sims to my global NG sim to see if it was a carrier profile issue (this had me roaming on bell, nothing)

  • gtasscarlo

    I can afford $50, it’s not that. It’s crazy charges that people like you accept as normal. We already pay the highest rate in the DEVELOPED WORLD. You say oh it’s only $50, in addition to an average $70 a month bill. If this is a free market then why can’t there be more foreign capital, and new entrants. You’re okay with three telecoms having monopolies. And your excuse is if you can’t afford there fees don’t have a phone. Are you an idiot.

  • Anon

    Do the math. $50 for what, 5 mins of work? Reps make around $14-16 an hour. Robbers pockets at least $32+ easy, per unlock.

  • Anonymous Guy

    Actually, that’s more like Rogers pockets $48 per unlock, or more, depending on how many unlocks are done per hour.

  • Anon

    Not to mention, Rogers sometimes screws up on the bills, and mistakenly ‘over-chargers’ their customers – especially on long distance charges, and daytime minutes (google Whiterock roaming charges). Multiply those mistakes by tens/hundreds of thousands of customers, and those that don’t report those mistakes on their bills – Rogers easily make millions on that alone.

  • David Lee

    “Administrative costs” is Rogers code for “Cha-ching $$$ Chash-grab!”

  • Anon

    Admin costs, Monthly SAF (System Access Fee), Setup Fee + random unknown fee’s. Yup, Robbers cash grab at it’s finest.

  • Anon

    That would be crazy to buy a locked Rogers phone a full price, when you can get a carrier unlocked phone directly from Apple.

  • Jon

    But you can buy te unlocked phone without paying 50$. Just buy it at the apple store or online through 3rd parties.

  • Jon

    First if all, unlocking a phone does NOTHING to the Os of a phone, so no, features DO NOT change. Secondly, optimization from a carrier is done via carrier updates which are done directly by the carrier and applied independently if the OS. So. You have yet to prove your statement!

  • DPK

    Hope someone from Rogers can answer this question: If I purchased and activated the iPhone in December1, will I be able to unlock it in March, since it would have been 90 days? I’m just wondering whether this new program only starts on the March 1st (or whenever it officially comes into effect), the earliest date for unlocking of the device being June 1 or we can do it retroactively . Thanks for your help!

  • Simon B

    That might be true but as we saw with the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple Store decided not to sell unlocked version of the phone on the initial launch period and the only way to buy it was through their online store. Most people had to wait weeks after launch before they got their orders as the result of high demand. And due to the limited alternatives to obtaining unlocked versions, 3rd parties that managed to get their hands on some stock jacked the prices up 30-40%. I agree that part of the problem is consumer behavior. We want the newest, the best, the most popular and we want to be the first ones to have them thus allowing businesses the opportunity to take advantage of this consumer mindset. If you already uses Rogers’ service and are happy with it, then shouldn’t Rogers do their best to keep you as a customer. The problem is that they want to keep you locked in with a 3-yr agreement and then they do not have to worry about you leaving because they put a sort of “exit tax” on you; and this is what this fee is all about – preventing people from choosing a different carrier through fees and not through service and incentives.

  • Salvador

    Phones paid at full price should come unlocked or be “free” to be unlocked. They should not charge a fee to unlock a phone that was paid at full price.

  • guest

    I just got off the phone with them and she told me that its 90 days from the time you purchased/activated. In my case its september so she said I could.

  • james

    how to contact you unlock my rogers phone

  • james

    or any online solution

  • james

    how to unlock my device

  • multii

    How do I get 4 phones Factory Unlock iPohone

  • ptheroux

    Your a loser and sound like a fool .. people have paid more than enough as soon as they sign up and in their contract period so please learn to have some respect for a part of society that is clearly educated & smarter than you Chris !

  • ptheroux

    Chris please stop you need to learn in your case .. it is best to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt !

  • ptheroux

    hard to believe your heart and lungs have enough mind matter to function don’t waste what little is left .

  • ocdhd

    When is this Non sense going to end? How can we get CRTC and the Canadian Government to END this? Is someone in Political Power listening to us? Hearing us?

    1) Chris, Please explain to me how Network Locking affects the “Quality” of Service? It is utter bull from an Engineering perspective if you understand how Radio technology works. But this is not a geek speak time or place. Let me make this VERY Simple. If you understood how Radio technology works, you would not be spewing this nonsense. When you Lock your computer, does it make it faster? Download Faster? When you Lock your Car, does it automatically turn it into a Sports Car?

    2) Canadian cell phone companies want us LOCKED to their Network so we don’t jump ship to ANOTHER Provider? This is nonsense in so many ways so let me try to make sense of this.
    A) You provide phones based on a Monthly Cost of the Contract.This Monthly cost covers the Price of the Phone, AND the Service. After this Contact is Fulfilled and the Manufacturer/Service Provider WARRANTY Period is OVER, should I not be able to do as I please with my Property?

    B) Rogers, Fido, Bell, Telus, Do you REALLY Think people will Sign up for a contract with you for $80+ a month, then Jump Ship after 90 days and Connect their Phone to ANOTHER Service provider and Pay for a Contract with the other provider too? NONSENSE! You cannot get a Smart phone from one of these companies WITHOUT signing up for a Contract unless you Pay full price for the phone! Shouldn’t that full Priced phone be Unlocked? And shouldn’t it be Unlocked Free of Charge when the Contract is OVER?

    C) There are 3 things Customers NEED to know. 1) These phones are Network Locked from the provider everyone knows this. That’s not all. 2) They have what is called a BOOTLOADER LOCK. Making it impossible to remove crap like Facebook, Twitter, Bloatware, unwanted Advertisements etc. 3) These phones are under a Contract. HOW many more restrictions will be in place for us to actually OWN what we pay for?

    There is NO Sense to this. People KNOW this. The younger generation KNOWS this. The problem is not that people are willing to put up with it, it’s ALL we have. There is no CHOICE and average citizens can only choose. How would you like to get hurt in the balls? A Punch? A Kick? No matter what, you will STILL get hurt. You think you are fooling us? You have designed a system that is heading to a dangerous path. Citizens do not like these policies.

    Example. I have a Phone which is network Locked. I do not intend to use it on ANY network to make phone calls. I intend to use it as a mini computer without bloatware. for music, movies, remote control, etc. To unlock its Bootloader so I can remove bloatware and install my own programs, I need to have it Network Unlocked which allows access to the Bootloader unlocking function. And for this I have to pay Rogers, Bell, Telus? WTF?! Why?!

    Anyone who is technically inclined and has spoken to Tech Support and Customer Service KNOWS what it is like to be the Ball in a Tennis match between the Manufacturer and the Service Provider.

    It is a Shame that we in the developed world continue to allow such immoral and unethical practices while the rest of the world is continuing to move forward. Canada, we need to stop these guys. Phone Unlocking for Fulfilled Contracts and Warranties should be FREE! Absolutely no question about it! There should not be ANY Charge. A simple website, enter your Information, and Done! You want me to pay $50 for this? No thank you. This is the reason you guys are hated. People are angry. And we are finding solutions to go around your nonsense and unethical behaviors. I have already unlocked a few phones. Takes 10 minutes. Easier with a Network Unlock key. It is not worth a penny.

  • Joe joe

    Be aware that under Canadian law, in parliament that Bill C-343 was passed whereby no phone company has the right to charge any customer for unlocking phones that are locked to particular companies. For example: if you request Rogers to unlock a phone they must do so free of charge because of this recent law that was passed.

  • Figures Rogers is the most expensive. Everything about Rogers is one big GIANT RIP OFF.

  • Bill

    I shouldn’t have MY cell phone locked in the first place, it’s MINE, I bought it, I PAID for it! That’s an anticompetitive act.

  • Bill

    It shouldn’t be locked in the first place!

  • Megan

    It is getting even worse !!!I completed my two year contract and recently switched to a new carrier and called Rogers to unlock the phone and they are saying I need to have an account with them otherwise they will Not Unlock my old iPhone which I fully paid off during my 2 year contract!!!!! “Robbers suites them better”