Why T-mobile call a SIM lock a SIM lock

A few days after purchasing my gorgeous iPhone 3G (and yes, whilst we are still on the subject, I’m still in love with it), I requested a SIM unlock from T-mobile. After a little reading of the terms of conditions, it became clear that this procedure cost €120 but little time: you call ’em up and they unlock your phone so that you can put whatever SIM you wish in. Or so I thought. On calling, I discovered that the process would take at least two weeks. Ouch. It should be on my doormat by the time I got back from holiday.

I left on holiday and every day eagerly anticipated leaving the gorgeous sunshine of the Algarve for the rain, cloud and generally apathetic climate of the Netherlands, because I would have a regular ray of sunshine in my house: a legal and unlocked iPhone.

Two and half weeks (without data roaming) later I return ready for some of that KPN 3G magic, but there is no post, apart from a stack of bank statements, Economists and Nederlands Tijdschriften voor Geneeskunde (which, I steal from my wife now and again, but can’t hold a candle to either the Economist or just about any of the top 100 of the Social Science Research Network — login required — but, I digress). I once again call T-mobile who inform me that the process can take five or six weeks and due to the unusually heavy sales of the iPhone, yadayadayada…

Another couple of weeks later, having heard nothing and getting pretty exasperated, I once again call the T-mobile service line and wait the obligatory 20 minutes to get to an operator. After she points out that she really needs my mobile number to help and that she can’t see the number I’m calling from for security reasons, I explain that I don’t know this SIM card’s number because I was really hoping to forget it and put my KPN SIM in. Anyhow, we get through some other questions and she explains that my request for a SIM unlock was denied on the 18 July — this is within a couple of days of my original request. Apparently, it can take a while before they hear that a request has been denied. No reason was given, and again, it seems that no reason is expected from T-mobile. The good lady promised to follow up and re-request personally, and that it should ‘only’ take about a week to get the codes — or another refusal.

In my favourite microblogger language: GRRRR. I’m stuck between thinking it’s some dark and nefarious conspiracy from Apple or just general incompetence from T-mobile (less of it’s the network stoopid and more of the stoopid network). As time drags by, I am more and more tempted to go down the old trusted Pwnage route…

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