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Straight Talk Wireless is a U.S. cellphone carrier aimed at those on a budget. The service allows users to select their own network from the nation’s leading carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon. But if you wish to leave Straight Talk, however, you will need to unlock your device in order to use it with your new carrier. Read on to learn how to unlock a Straight Talk phone the correct way.
Why should I unlock my Straight Talk phone?
Before we get started, it’s important to understand why you may wish to unlock your phone. If you choose to end service with Straight Talk, you may wish to bring your device with you to use on a different network. To do so, you’ll need to unlock your Straight Talk phone. This is because most carriers lock their devices to ensure customers pay off their phones and service bills prior to switching networks.
Another reason you might wish to unlock your Straight Talk phone is because it provides you the freedom to use available networks while traveling internationally. If you are a frequent international traveler and are remaining on the Straight Talk network, it may still be in your best interest to unlock your phone.
Misconceptions of Straight Talk phones being unlocked on purchase
If you purchase a phone directly from Straight Talk, it will be locked for use on the Straight Talk network. Because of this, you might consider bringing an unlocked phone to Straight Talk versus purchasing from the provider directly. This will help you avoid getting stuck with a locked device that can only be used through the Straight Talk network — especially if you aren’t 100% certain this is the right carrier for your specific needs.
If you do purchase a phone through Straight Talk, you may not be eligible to request an unlock until after 12 months of service. After this, an unlock may be requested and you can then use the device on the network of your choosing.
Steps to unlock your Straight Talk phone
To learn how to unlock a Straight Talk phone, follow the steps below:
- Step One: Contact Straight Talk customer service by calling 877.430.2355. Agents are available every day from 8 a.m.-11:45 p.m.
- Step Two: Ask the customer service representative for your unlock code. You will need to verify with them that you meet the Straight Talk unlock criteria, which you can find outlined later in this section. Please note that only GSM network phones (AT&T or T-Mobile) can be unlocked using this method.
- Step Three: You will receive a 10-15-digit unlock code from your Straight Talk customer service representative. Write down the code and keep it handy for the following steps.
- Step Four: Power down your device and insert your new SIM card.
- Step Five: Power up your phone and wait for the prompt for the unlock code you received from Straight Talk. Enter it and hit the “Unlock” button. You will see a confirmation message after the code has been accepted.
If you’ve purchased a device directly from Straight Talk and wish to unlock it, you’ll need to ensure you meet the following criteria:
- You have submitted a Straight Talk unlock request
- You have had an active device for at least 12 months and have had Straight Talk service for at least 12 months
- Your number has not been recycled or ported
- You have submitted an unlock request in the 60-day grace period after active service expires
- You own a Straight Talk or TracFone handset that is currently in working condition and that was activated after February 2015
In general, customers may only take advantage of the Straight Talk unlock program once per year. However, exceptions are made for deployed military personnel. If you have satisfied the criteria outlined above and still cannot unlock your phone, you may contact customer service to receive a partial reimbursement based on the value of your device.
Contact Straight Talk technical support
Customers looking to unlock their Straight Talk phone may do so by contacting technical support at 877.430.2355. Straight Talk customer service is available from 8 a.m.-11:45 p.m. every day to provide assistance.
In addition to over-the-phone support, Straight Talk provides customers with a live chat option with a customer service agent. Live chat through Straight Talk can be accessed through their technical support website.
Other ways to unlock your Straight Talk phone
You might find yourself in a hurry to unlock your device. If this is the case, you can unlock your Straight Talk phone by selecting a third-party service. Many websites offer unlocking solutions, providing codes in exchange for a service charge. These fees vary, and you should exercise caution as not all third-party unlocking services are trustworthy.
The following providers are among the most trusted for unlocking phones from virtually any carrier:
We highly recommend reaching out to Straight Talk prior to paying for unlock services as this will help save you money on a device you already own. Check back for more wireless tips and tricks at the Resource Center.
By Carly Severino
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