Following protests from current and former customers, Bell has expanded its unlocking policy so that anyone with a cell phone locked to its network can get the device unlocked for free. The only restriction to this is that the device may not be associated with a fraudulent or delinquent account.
In an email, Bell spokesperson Marc Choma said:
“We recently implemented a system of further checks to validate that the device is not linked to a fraudulent or delinquent account.”
Bell’s original policy sparked the criticism because it excluded anyone who never signed up with Bell but acquired a device that happened to be locked to its network.
Toronto telecom analyst Rose Behar said that the original policy from Bell was not in the spirit of the CRTC’s mandate. Behar continued to explain why Bell quickly reverted their approach:
“The other two telecoms — the other two major competitors — were offering second-hand device unlocking for free, which then spurred some customer indignation.”
Bell did not respond to Behar’s claims, but it seems clear that the carrier was definitely motivated to change its policy because of public pressure.
On December 1, the CRTC made it mandatory that all telecoms drop their unlocking fees, which were $50 at the time.
[via CBC News]