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Using Unlocked Cell Phone with US Cellular

I don't like the cellphones my US Cellular service has. Can I buy an unlocked cellphone for US Cellular? I've seen them on eBay. Will they let me use them?


I can't change providers since I'm under a contract and have a very good price. The cellphones that I did like at US Cellular I would have had to also pay for internet service, which I did not want.

By Cathy from USA

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August 29, 20090 found this helpful

If I were you I wouldn't take the risk of buying it off of eBay because you just might not be able to use the phone. I'm sorry to say that some eBay sellers will tell you most any thing in order to make a sale. I know that for a fact because I'm a seller on the site.

To be on the safe side why not keep the phone and fulfill your contract with US Cellular. I'm on a prepaid plan with Verizon Wireless, and not on a contract. I'm dropping Verizon because the calls are way too expensive for my budget. I purchased a Tracfone and will be paying for my minutes. I stay away from signing contracts that I have to fulfill.


I called Verizon Wireless and told them that I was ending my service and the company issued me a credit of $108.00 back on my credit card.

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

I just had a horror story with buying a cell on ebay. The first phone was still attached to an active phone number in MA (the seller is from CA), even though their ad claims that the ESNs are clean and clear, then when I called to complain, I had to send that phone back and they gave me another phone that was so sorry it fell literally apart in my daughter's hands. I knew the phones were refurbished, but the seller's score was high and so I thought I could trust them. I have not left feedback yet, but I am going to email them first and tell them what I think of their phones. They gave me positive feedback, but then I paid straight away.


I would talk to your carrier. Ask to talk to someone in management. I have dealt a lot with carriers at the 800 numbers, and I kid you not, some of these people are literally reading from a script or manual cos I hear the pages turning. Also, ask to get that in writing (that you can use a non US Celluar provided unlocked phone). Another thing, if your unlocked phone goes down for any reason, US Cellular most likely will not provide service to repair or replace your phone.

And for the person dropping Verizon cos of the outrageous prepaid rates: I so agree. My daughter is on that plan, and they are almost as much as my contract. Alltel had pretty good rates for prepaid, I wish Verizon had integrated those plans with theirs. Unfortunately, my daughter loves to talk and text, so TracFone is not for her.

One more thing: When I had TracFone years ago, I had bought the double minutes for life of the phone, and I had also gotten a packet with discounts for each month (buy 100 min get a bonus 20, etc, all you had to do was enter a code). The phone would not honour my bonus minutes and wound up gypping me out of about 400 minutes. I called and got into a screaming match with the teller on the other line, when she said first the codes were invalid, and was I entering them into my phone wrong. No, I told her, I had the little booklet with the offers and codes in front of me. Then she accused me of flat out scamming. I had been a good customer for well over a year at that time, and had brought my husband and daughter to TracFone.


I eventually told her what I thought of her and her accusations and I told her that when our minutes ran out that I would NOT renew and I'd talk to everyone about TracFone and their scams.

Just be careful about unlocked phones. Make sure that your carrier will honour that phone and that it is compatible with your carrier.

Good luck to you, and if you can get good rates on any carrier, Bravo to you!

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August 30, 20090 found this helpful

Be very careful buying a phone from ebay. My daughter just bought a phone from a reputable dealer on e-bay and it didn't work. She sent it back and received another one, same thing didn't work. She sent that one back and received a third phone which still did not work. Finally she asked for her money back. The seller was nice about it and refunded her money but she was without a phone for about a month with all the mailing and such. You can buy a phone but it must be a US cellular phone or it won't work. Good Luck Also, any phones with internet services require the extra fees.


TC in MO

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