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Unlock or Unblock, or Both?

Post 4 of 4

This is the difference between an Blocked Phone, and a Locked Phone…

Some of you may have bought a phone from someone, tried to make a call and heard the recording “.. This phone has been blocked by the Telstra / Optus / Vodafone Network…”  and others may only be able to use your phone on a single phone network.

Blocked: You can not use your phone on any network in a certain geographic area

Locked: You can only use your phone on a specific phone network.

In some cases, your phone will be both Blocked and Locked.

Locked Phone

When mobile phones are sold on plans, they are typically locked into a specific network provider. This is so you can not use the phone you got from them on another network. It is their way of locking you into their network.

The main reasons why people want to unlock their phone are;

  1. Change to another network
  2. Going overseas and want to use your phone overseas
  3. Purchased a phone and it is locked to a network

My Phone is Locked, how do I Unlock it?

An unlock is a simple procedure, that only requires you to select your phone network, and type in your IMEI number. Pay a minimal fee, and we will unlock your phone for you. It will be unlocked forever.

Blocked Phone

If your phone is blocked, any time you make a phone call you will probably hear a voice recording that explains that your phone has been Blocked by the network. Something similar to

 .. This phone has been blocked by the Telstra / Optus / Vodafone Network…

When you have a blocked phone you may sometimes access the network other times you won’t. It is very inconsistent and sometimes you may even be able to;

  • Access Data
  • Send Text Messages
  • Make short phone calls

However you will find that it is not at all reliable, and your phone is essentially useless.

To find out if your phone is blocked, you can enter in your IMEI number at AMTA Webpage.

Phones can be blocked by the network for several reasons. The most common reasons are;

  • Phone has been Lost, or reported as stolen
  • The network has blocked your phone due to unpaid bills

Can It Be Unblocked?

If you are the original owner of the phone, you can reverse an unblock by calling up the phone network, and explaining your situation   However you will need to hold an account with them, and have all bills paid. Often when you report a phone as lost, they will automatically block the phone. If you find it again you can have this reversed.

It is also possible that if you bought a phone off an eBay seller, gumtree, or someone else that the phone they are selling you is blocked. You can check this by getting the IMEI from them and running a few checks. The first is the AMTA webpage, and the second is our network check tool. It will tell you if the phone is blocked, it will also tell you if the phone is  locked to a network, and what network it is locked to.

It can be purchased for $4.95 and you will receive $4.95 credit to your account to be used when purchasing an unlock from our webpage.

iPhone Network Check Service will tell you what network your iPhone is locked to, and if it is blocked by the network.

If you are not the original owner of the phone, unfortunately there is not much you can do. However would recommend the following;

  1. Check that the phone is Blocked using our service above
  2. Contact the network to find out why the phone was blocked in the first place
  3. If you purchased your phone from eBay, you should try to contact the seller for a refund
  4. File a dispute with eBay or PayPal if you purchased it using Paypal or via eBay
  5. Contact us, include your IMEI number in the email, as well as the network who has blocked it

We will sometimes buy phones for scrap, but contact us and we can try to provide you with some other advice.

If you do have a blocked phone, it is typically not useful as anything other than an iPod Touch.


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This article was written by Christopher