Cingular SIM Unlock: We’re almost there

So, the last few days I’ve been posting about my lack of success in getting my phone SIM unlocked so I can use it while traveling internationally. Well, as of yesterday, I’ve made a fair amount of progress. Let me back up for a moment.

When I started all of this, I had an Audiovox SMT5600. After I made [the original call](http://www.marius.org/2007/01/03/cingular_sim_unlock.php) to Cingular to request an unlock code for it, I started shopping for a new phone. The phone I was interested in (Cingular 8525) was back-ordered for quite some time, or so I was told, so I wasn’t worried about it. Well, the Cingular store got one in just a few days after my original request, and I went and picked one up. I expected, since the SIM request process was already underway, that the SIM unlock would be for my old phone — this is what I wanted anyway. Who wants to lug a brand-new expensive phone while traveling when you can tote around the old beater that works?

So, fast-forward a few days to where I had to [re-request the SIM unlock code](http://www.marius.org/2007/01/10/cingular_sim_unlock_the_story_continues.php). By this point, I had my new phone, Cingular’s records had my new IMEI number, and I was curious what would happen. I assumed (and we all know what happens when you do that) that the Customer Service Rep would basically re-submit my old request, which I assumed (there’s that word again) had my old phones IMEI number.

You can probably see where this is going.

I got an email from Cingular’s system today with the unlock code. For my new phone. So, I’m now the proud owner of a week-old and unlocked Cingular 8525. I want the 5600 unlocked, so I’m going to go down to the local Cingular store, explain my situation, and see if the guys there can help.

Oh well. This is progress!

Cingular SIM Unlock: the story continues

So, I got a text message about 9:45am this morning from Cingular, asking me to call them as my unlock code I had [previously requested](http://www.marius.org/2007/01/03/cingular_sim_unlock.php) was ready. Woohoo!

So I call them.

> M: Hi, I got a text message asking me to call you to get my device unlock code.
> C: [puts me on hold; comes back 4 mins later] The code should have been in the text message.
> M: It wasn’t. It said to call you.
> C: [puts me on hold; comes back 3 mins later] The person should’ve taken your e-mail address, cause that’s how the codes come out.
> M: [wha? Didn’t you just say they come out by Text Message?!] So, tell me what the code is.
> C: [Gives me a code]
> M: Where do I type it in?
> C: Just type in the number and hit send.
> M: It tried to make a phone call.
> C: Hold on, let me call my technical support.
> … 5 minutes later
> C: Here’s another code. Just type it in and hit send.
> M: It tried to make a phone call again, back at the home screen.
> C: I’ll fill out the form again and put the request back in. It’ll take up to 5 business days for them to get back to you. I’ll need to get manager approval since you’ve requested another unlock code within the past 90 days.

*sigh* I had a feeling this wouldn’t be easy. She asked me to remove the battery and the SIM card. I figured she wanted the IMEI code off the phone. Then she asked me to wait 15 seconds, re-insert them, and boot up the phone to see if that made a difference. … As you can guess, it didn’t.

I loved the last bit of manager approval. As if it was my fault that they don’t have their ducks in a row.

Cingular SIM Unlock

No, this isn’t some sort of spam blog entry. 🙂

I decided today to call Cingular to get my cell phone unlocked, in light of recent [Copyright Office rulings](http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2006/11/23/copyright-office-rules-that-consumers-can-legally-unlock-cellpho).

I don’t know what experiences others are having with this, but here’s how my call to 866-CINGULAR1 went:

> Marius: Hi, I’d like to get my phone unlocked.
> Cingular: Did you lock yourself out of it?
> M: No, I just want to use a different SIM card in it while I’m travelling internationally.
> C: When do you want to do that?
> M: Soon?
> C: Have you been a Cingular customer for at least 90 days? Have you requested a SIM
unlock code within the last 3 months?
> M: No.
> C: I’ll put you on hold for 5-10 mins while I get the paperwork.
> M: (Thinking.. Paperwork? Uhh, whatever)
> C: Ok, can I get a land line or email address we can get back to you at?
> M: (Assuming it’s some way to verify I am who I say I am..) Sure. (Provides work phone number)
> C: Ok, we’ll call you back within 5 business days to give you the unlock code.

And that’s that. I guess I’ll post again in a few days to give the results. My initial translation:

> C: I’ll put you on hold for 5-10 mins while I get the paperwork.

“I need to find my supervisor.”

> C: Ok, we’ll call you back within 5 business days to give you the unlock code.

“My supervisor is out and about, so we’ll get back to you. Sometime.”

new toy!

As the more astute readers will notice, there's now a little picture over there on the right hand side of the blog. Well, that's because I've joined in on the moblog bandwagon. What is a moblog, you ask? Wikipedia defines it for us:

Moblog is a portmanteau of mobile and weblog. A mobile weblog, or moblog, consists of content posted to the Internet from a mobile or portable device, such as a cellular phone or PDA. Much of the earliest development of moblogs occurred among foreigners residing in Japan, among the first countries in the world where camera phones (portable phones with built-in cameras) were widely commercially available.

According to Joi Ito's History of Moblogs, the first post to the web was from Steve Mann in 1995. He used a wearable computer, a more elaborate predecessor to modern moblogging devices. The first post to the Internet from a mobile device was by Stuart Woodward, in January 2001; the term “moblogging” itself was coined by Adam Greenfield to describe the practice in 2002. The term is sometimes pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable – MOBlog – out of affinity with the ideas about social self-organization developed in Howard Rheingold's “Smart Mobs”.

It's scary how much info Wikipedia has about the most random subjects. Anyway, this is all made possible by my new toy: the Nokia 6620. Don't let the “Coming Soon” link on symbian.com fool you, the phone has been out for a whopping two weeks now. All in all it's a really cool phone. A bit wider than my old Samsung A500, but still small.

Another note about this… All you people out there with Sprint phones that call me for free can't anymore. I ported my number over to AT&T Wireless. On the bright side, all you AT&T Wireless people out there can now call me for free. And I have real SMS capabilities finally! Yay!