While T-Mobile's international offerings have made this less important, I still prefer having a phone that is not SIM locked to a carrier. As I understand it, if I buy, say, an iPhone directly from Apple with a T-Mobile SIM card, the phone will come unlocked. If I buy the same phone from T-Mobile the phone will be locked to T-Mobile even if I pay full price for the phone up front, and T-Mobile has restrictions on getting the phone unlocked. Never mind that it was bought at full price, is fully paid for, and belongs to me. Same phone, but different restrictions depending on where you buy it.
I can remember not long ago when I actually had staff in a T-Mobile store tell me to go elsewhere to get a new SIM card or a pre-paid phone because it was cheaper. I'd hoped T-Mobile had moved beyond this.
It strikes me as remarkably stupid to have a situation that encourages your customers NOT to shop at your own stores. (And it resulted in at least one very angry post on this forum by a foreign visitor who paid full price, then T-Mobile would not unlock his phone for his return to his home country. That alone is giving me pause about T-Mobile. Can there never be any flexibility?)
- A prospective customer