Despite the fact that Verizon has the most generous unlocked phones policy out of all the wireless carriers, it appears that this may soon change. According to CNET, Verizon will make a step forward to combating phone theft problems. The wireless carrier will begin locking phones it sells to consumers starting Monday.
The phones will immediately be unlocked as soon as the customer activated service, but later this spring, Verizon will begin keeping phones locked for a certain period of time after purchase of the device.
Mind you, this is actually a fairly standard practice among US wireless carriers. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all require their devices to be paid off before a customer can request it to be unlocked. There’s also a wait period, ranging from 14 to 50 days after a customer makes a request for device unlock. In the case with Verizon, the company will not require their customers to have the device paid off to unlock them, and will continue to allow customers to use unlocked phones on other wireless carriers.
The main reason Verizon is doing this is to deter scammers and thieves who target brand new phones. For scammers and thieves, unlocked phones are a valuable target because they can quickly be resold domestically or internationally. Timeline for Verizon’s new policy change in not clear at this point, but the company said that it will provide an update before it goes into place.