Cell phone registration problem

General chat as in a "çay evi" (Turkish tea house).

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lesleyames
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Cell phone registration problem

Post by lesleyames » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:59 am

I was recently in Istanbul, Turkey. I brought a new iPhone 5 to a Turkish friend. We followed the said procedure given to register the phone and get a sim card so it would not be locked. First, we went to the local customs office in Istanbul where I showed my passport for bringing the phone into the country and paid somewhere between 50-80TL to get the correct paperwork - which Vodaphone required to provide a SIM card to my friend. This was successful.Then, we knew we needed to take one more step to make sure the phone would not lock on him. After much deliberation, we payed 110 TL tax to another phone provider to keep the phone open. …. but, now the phone is locked on him.

I am now back in the United States. The process has been confusing and misleading. From what I have read, one phone is allowed to be brought in and registered for use.

What can I do (or my friend in Turkey) to correct this situation so he can use the phone permanently in Turkey?

Thanks,
Lesley


SwampeastMike
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Re: Cell phone registration problem

Post by SwampeastMike » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:37 pm

Did you buy a factory unlocked GSM phone directly from Apple? If so, it [should] work with no problem. If not, and you instead bought an "unlocked" or "jailbroken" phone from some other source, then from what I understand any sort of update to the phone's operating software (including Itunes) will reinstate the lock requiring it to again be jailbroken.

If I had a dollar for every time a Turk asked me to bring one of our "cheap" iPhones from the USA I would not need to save for my next Turkish holiday ;)

turkeytom
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Re: Cell phone registration problem

Post by turkeytom » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:25 pm

Good info from SwampeastMike.

The problem is and always has been that there are no clear rules and procedures. Everyone seems to have a different experience, almost always leaving a black blot in the memory of their time in Turkey.

The cell-phones-in-Turkey problem is just a HUGE headache for all concerned. In my opinion, it's just a rip-off, and a poorly-managed one at that. (At least if they're going to rip you off, they could make it easy, so you just had to pay in money, not in frustration and lost travel time.)

Tom Brosnahan

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Re: Cell phone registration problem

Post by SwampeastMike » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:56 am

A Turkish friend who spend the winter visiting with us in the U.S. bought a factory unlocked, white, GSM iPhone 5 directly from Apple for his fiance. He is back home now and told me that it works perfectly. While certainly not "cheap" it was at least $300 less expensive than if purchased in Turkey.

turkeytom
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Re: Cell phone registration problem

Post by turkeytom » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:15 am

Just today I received this message:
Hi Tom,
I saw some of your articles and I was in contact with some of my friends who are working in the Smartphone business in Iraq and Turkey.
They told me that they need to do some changes on the smartphones they are bringing into Turkey.
One of them said that there are some people who are taking 5- 10 Dollars for each Samsung or iPhone unit to make it work in Turkey while they would take 40-50 Dollars for other brands like Nokia and HTC.
These people are not educated people and obviously they are making money by installing or unlocking or what ever it is they are doing, so they would not tell you what it is that they are doing to make the Smartphone work in Turkey.
Then there's this, from November 2012:
Hi,
I am currently in Turkey and the going rate for registering a foreign IMEI seems to fluctuate at a flat TL120 a so I do not know what happened to the 'free' registration of the charge of TL10 I've been reading on the net. The grace period for a non registered phone to work is exactly 1 week as from the moment you insert the SIM into one's phone and tap onto the cell network. I received such a notification via SMS with the date phone will 'stop' working on the Turkish cell network. I am in Turkey for 2 weeks. They (3 different Turkcell stores I walked in and asked including the one where I bought my SIM) tell me after registration is submitted takes 1 week for the phone to become working on the cell network again. Since I am in Turkey for 2 weeks it makes no sense to do anything about it. I am roaming on my home cell operator but costs are ridiculous to use. It is a black mark against tourism in my opinion, extremely annoying. I have just come from 7 other countries where i have acquired SIM cards and can say no such thing is present in those other countries, where I have been in longer than a week.

Further digging around on the net and having a Taiwanese tourist show me his receipt a mandatory TL100 was paid as sales tax on 'imported cellular equipment' so the additional TL20 for the cell shop to actually then 'register' your IMEI for you is negotiable from TL0 to TL20, I suspect. Still, it is a real nuisance unless one enters Turkey with a few cell phones, it is the phone which stops working not the SIM so changing to another phone each week would in theory work. On another note, the cell phone store staff are usually clueless as to what exactly it is you need as i finally concluded following an argumentative session I had at the store where I bought my SIM.
I have no idea what it's all about—as with most aspects of this mobile phone mess. When travelers go to most any other country, they simply turn on their phone and use it, or they buy a local SIM to save money, and they do. Why do they have to face this huge hassle here (I'm in Istanbul at the moment)?

Tom Brosnahan


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