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Author Topic: Haaallpp! Have U.S. Android Phone, Want to Unlock & Use W/Chinese SIM Card  (Read 1955 times)

anderguyil

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Hi Saloongoers,

Got to Haikou on Sept. 7 and was handed a phone to use for a bit. Had to give it back to the owner this week. I had planned to use my Samsung Exhibit II 4G phone from the U.S. here in China.  bjbjbjbjbj I had T-Mobile as my provider there. A Chinese coworker accompanied me to deal with a SIM card and phone options a couple of days ago. He recommended China Telecom because he said it was cheaper and good service. The CT people looked at my opened-phone & U.S. SIM and said only Chins Mobile could be used. We went to the CM store and got me a Chinese SIM card. The Chinese card was inserted, phone turned on, and saw a screen prompt asking for my SIM Unlock Code.

On other China expat boards (Lost Laowai, Middle Kingdom Life, prob. somewhere in the Saloon too) I read that if you have a GSM quad-band phone (which this is), the nice people at the Chinese phone stores will unlock it for you. The gist of the convo at CM was that they needed me to provide the code. Attempting to figure out how to locate the code involved spending a good 45-60 min. putting the American SIM back in, looking through all the various settings, the manual (which I had brought with me) and making some educated guesses. All of which were unsuccessful.  llllllllll I had my laptop with me and asked for the logon so I could use their wifi to contact T-Mobile.

Now comes the fun part: After logging into my T-Mobile account, I couldn't find anything that seemed to answer my question. Info. about how to set up a PW for the SIM, taking it out, putting it in, etc. I saw an option for chatting with a rep and within a couple of minutes was pouring out my tale of woe. After going through the various account/self ID hoops "Ralph" informed me that I was indeed eligible to receive my SIM Unlock Code. (Yay!)  bhbhbhbhbh

This gets even better: He could submit my request for the code and I'd receive a response by email up to 14 days later!!!! Say wha??  bibibibibi He did say i might receive it as soon as 24 hours later, but there was no way no how to get it that moment. I wasn't keen on the idea of buying a cheap Chinese phone to use in the interim; the store didn't have anything cheap/used they could loan or sell me for a few RMB. Luckily my coworker had an extra phone with him that we could put my Chinese SIM into until I got the phone sitch resolved. (no idea why he had 2).

Ladies & gentlemen of the jury, er Saloon, why the fuck isn't any of this mentioned under the topic of using your Laowai phone in China?!  qqqqqqqqqq Had I known I needed to wait a few days/couple of weeks to get my hands on the Code, of course I would've taken care of it before I left the U.S., or right after I got here!

The email arrived this morning, Unlock Code denied. Why? "Unfortunately, this subscriber is not eligible to receive the unlock code at this time. In order to be eligible, the subscriber must have used the device within the last 7 days of the request being filed. Please submit a new request once this requirement is met."  bababababa So, what T-Mobile told me is that because I didn't use the phone in the last week, they can't give me the code. Of course I can't use the phone until I go back to the U.S. Conundrum, party of one?
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So, fellow China tipplers, is there a secret word, magic password, cheap bribe that will allow any phone place in Haikou to divine the SIM Unlock Code? My Samsung is two years old, which makes it decrepit by smartphone standards, but it does have U.S. Android, and thus Google Play. I don't care about tweeting, FB updates and LinkedIn since I can do that on my laptop courtesy of my Vicious Pecan Nutcracker. But I really need an English/Chinese translator snd map with the ability to display China directions in English.

Thanks for getting this far. Please let me know if you can help.  yyyyyyyyyy

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Haaallpp! Have U.S. Android Phone, Want to Unlock & Use W/Chinese SIM Card
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 05:42:01 AM »
There would seem to be several online services that will provide codes if you pay them money. Google "how to unlock my [phone name here]" and you'll find them. It might be better to query the non-eligibility. The seven days policy thing presumably is for people who get their phones stolen and sold somewhere other than where they live , so if you keep asking via email, they might eventually work out you're not a stolen phones dealer. (The online services might be stymied by the seven days thing too.)

» now with New and Endlessly Improving CV 4U  ٩( ᐛ )و

Stil

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Re: Haaallpp! Have U.S. Android Phone, Want to Unlock & Use W/Chinese SIM Card
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 05:43:56 AM »
Could you use your American SIM card to make an international call, then apply for the code?

Calach Pfeffer

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Re: Haaallpp! Have U.S. Android Phone, Want to Unlock & Use W/Chinese SIM Card
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 05:45:00 AM »
^ good idea.

» now with New and Endlessly Improving CV 4U  ٩( ᐛ )و

anderguyil

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Re: Haaallpp! Have U.S. Android Phone, Want to Unlock & Use W/Chinese SIM Card
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 09:06:06 AM »
I did let my U.S. plan change from $50 prepaid (unlimited stuff) to pay-as-you-go per minute (to keep my US number active--I plan to visit home for Spring Festival). I thought calling U.S. without having arranged Intl. usage was considered a very bad idea b/c of the high cost?

teacheraus

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Re: Haaallpp! Have U.S. Android Phone, Want to Unlock & Use W/Chinese SIM Card
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 10:04:06 AM »
Your call does not need to be very long... so will not cost much... It sounds like you just need a call, not necessarily a long call.
Sometimes it seems things go by too quickly. We are so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take the time to enjoy where we are. (Calvin and Hobbs)