Carrier Locked Phone from RW Store

I bought a Samsung A32 from the RW store and got caught in the 4.0 to 5.0 trap like everyone else. I’m curious though I thought RW phones were unlocked, but the phone I got upon booting instructed me to activate it on Boost Mobile and based on model A326U I think it’s a T-mobile variant. Am I miss understanding this? Can these phones be unlocked?

Phones sold at Republic’s online store prior to the launch of 5.0 plans are factory unlocked. Phones sold after the launch of 5.0 plans are locked to Republic’s 5.0 plans.

The Boost Mobile message is erroneous. SM-A326U is the Galaxy A32 variant intended for use on any of the three national networks. It is not, however, truly carrier agnostic. The truly carrier agnostic variant is SM-A326U1.

Yes, any locked phone purchased at Republic’s online store for use with a 5.0 plan may be unlocked upon request. Alas, like much else related to 5.0’s launch, the unlocking process is suffering from glitches and taking longer than anticipated.

For what it’s worth, if the intent is to use the phone elsewhere, I’d simply arrange a return, then buy another phone for use elsewhere. Republic’s return process is described here:

If you don’t see what the article describes, go ahead and open a ticket explaining the circumstances and requesting a return.

If you prefer to pursue the unlock, that, too, requires a ticket.

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Phones sold at Republic’s online store prior to the launch of 5.0 plans are factory unlocked. Phones sold after the launch of 5.0 plans are locked to Republic’s 5.0 plans.

I would like to know why the phones sold on the RW Store after the launch of the 5.0 plans are locked.

Thanks for the help.

I don’t think they are intentionally locked…they appear to just be repurposing phones from Boost Mobile…over there they lock it to offer bundled discounts…maybe bundled discounts might be in future RW offering.

No. My recently acquired at Republic’s online store 2022 Moto G Power does not suffer from “Boost syndrome” but it is locked to Republic 5.0. Trying to use an alternative SIM results in a request for an unlock code. If I had to suppose, I’d say the phones are actually locked to DISH Wireless (mutual corporate parent of Republic and Boost).

A definitive answer would need to come from Republic, however, given the willingness to unlock upon request, I’d guess the intent is to create some friction for folks wanting to leave for other providers. To get the phone unlocked, one must have a conversation with support. During that conversation, I expect they would ask if there might be anything done to keep one as a customer. I don’t think there’s anything more nefarious than that afoot.

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Were you able to unlock it? How long does it take to unlock? If it is as simple as submit a help ticket…and boom…it is unlocked then it is one thing…but if you have to jump through hoops and wait multiple days to get it unlocked…I don’t see that as being a positive experience…especially for a full price phone.

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“Phones sold at Republic’s online store prior to the launch of 5.0 plans are factory unlocked. Phones sold after the launch of 5.0 plans are locked to Republic’s 5.0 plans.”

Just curious, was this disclosed in the page advertising the phones?

Got it. Thanks to you and amiti for the clarification.

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I haven’t tried. The only need to do so would be to use the phone elsewhere, which, presently, I have no need to do.

It’s supposed to take two days or less but as with many other things 5.0 right now is taking much longer than that.

I’m not trying to persuade anyone that it is a desirable experience. I’m explaining how things are. When I have something to say to Republic regarding policy, I do so through the channels available to me as an Ambassador.

No. As an aside, I can’t think of any other provider that discloses that phones sold at its online store are locked on their marketing pages either. Generally, those details are left to support documentation as Republic does here:

OK, thanks Roland.

The “is this a generic practice” is exactly the information I was looking for. I’ll be looking for a phone soon and will be sure to keep that in mind. Since carriers hate churn, your answer makes sense.