a small, phone-related rant

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a small, phone-related rant

Post by me_in_japan » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:32 am

bear with me on this - need to vent...

Gah! Fething mobile phone carriers in Japan bug the crap out of me. :evil: So, as I probably mentioned at some point or other, I got a new phone a month or so back. Nice new iPhone 7. I also changed from Softbank (who basically offered me zero incentive to stay) to AU (who at least offered me discounts for being a new customer.) 3 hours of sitting in an AU shop later, and after being told I couldn't pay for my phone by installments in my bill (which is, normal, no?), I pay my 7man and walk out with a nice new phone. Phone works fine.

Cut to now. Here I am, in Scotland, and I'd like to use my phone here. Now, a couple years ago I needed a phone, and ended up borrowing my brother's old one. It was out of contract, but I took it into the O2 shop (network provider), and bought a pre-paid SIM card. Stuck it in, worked fine. I figured I'd do the same this time around.


Apparently, AU have locked my phone so I can only use it with an AU SIM. Much, much research later, it transpires that Japanese phone companies are required BY LAW to sell their phones unlocked at no extra charge. But the customer has to ask for it upon purchase. :shock:

If you want to unlock it subsequently, you can either take it into an AU shop (um, impossible) or (yay!) do it yourself online. Being reasonably competent technically, I was happy enough to do it myself.


Turns out there's a 6 month time limit built in. Apparently this is to stop people buying discounted phones, ditching their contracts, then using it on a different (presumably Japanese) network. Given the whole "legally obliged to unlock at purchase at customer's request" rule, this is clearly bullshit.

Anyway, long story short: I got shafted by AU and now I have no ability to use my phone (other than wifi, obvs). Moral of the story: If you ever get a new phone in Japan, look those fethers in the eye and say "I'd like you to unlock my SIM. Now."

I really hate it when important information is withheld from me for nefarious(=moneymaking) reasons. Bugs the shit out of me, really does.

The end. Rant over. Thanks for reading this far. Carry on. Have a nice day :D
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Re: a small, phone-related rant

Post by YellowStreak » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:17 am

That sucks! Worth a rant and thanks for the heads-up. I knew the law had changed re:unlocked phones, but didn't know you had to ask for it.... :shock:
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