Will a blocked phone work if unlocked?
06 Dec 2012
This is something we get asked quite a lot through our customer support section and something that might need a little bit of explaining. Firstly, we should distinguish the difference between a blocked phone and a locked phone, as this catches (understandably) quite a few people out.
A blocked phone is one that has been reported as lost or stolen, and the networks have therefore placed a block on it from working on any network.
A locked phone is one that is restricted for use on just one network - highly likely because it was bought directly from a network (I.E. you buy your phone from O2 and the phone will then only work with an O2 SIM card).
Both of these restrictions are done in different ways. A block is placed on the networks service. So if a blocked phone attempts to connect with a networks signal, the network won’t allow it and it won’t provide that phone with a service to use. A lock is done differently, this is programmed into the handset itself, which makes them legal and easy to remove. A lock simply tells the phone, for example, when an O2 SIM card is inserted, we can connect, but if an Orange SIM card is inserted, the phone won’t attempt to even pick up a signal because it is rejecting the SIM card.
Now the important bit. You can unlock blocked phones. A blocked phone may still have a lock programmed into it. So it might have been purchased from O2 and locked to their service initially, then when the block was made active (by the network) the phone stopped connecting altogether. Some people then think they can unlock the phone and have it start working again because they’ll be able to insert an Orange SIM card and presto! This is where the problem begins. If you then attempt to unlock the phone, it will be possible, and the unlock code will work but the phone is still blocked - and therefore won’t work with any network.
You keeping up!? There's only a little further to go, you’re nearly there!
So, if the phone was blocked, and is now unlocked, it still won’t work. Please, please, please attempt to unlock your blocked phone! It won’t solve the problem. Ensure it is working on the original network before you even think about purchasing an unlock code.
There is only one way to remove a block on a phone. Contact the network. You will need to prove that your are the original owner of the phone, which makes sense. Once done, they will remove the block and you can then unlock your phone and leave that network (if you still want to).
Article by Darren Kingman