The cost of mobile phone unlocking
If you want to switch networks, you may have to unlock your mobile phone. But this can be surprisingly complicated and expensive, as Sue Hayward found. Considering mobile phone companies are in the business of communication, you'd think they would be pretty good at it. But when it comes answering a simple question such as "how do I unlock my phone?", it can be hard to get a straight answer. When you buy a mobile phone, it's usually locked to a particular phone network.

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Getting a mobile phone unlocked

So, if you want to take advantage of deals and promotions from other operators, you need to unlock it. My daughter had a mobile phone on a Vodafone pay-as-you-go (PAYG) deal. After a year wanted to switch networks to take advantage of a £1-a-month contract deal with another provider. When I rang Vodafone it all sounded very easy and fee-free. But further along the call centre chain I was told this would incur a £19.99 charge - a big fee considering you can get phones unlocked at high street outlets from around £5.

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