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I bought an iPhone from GAME, think i've been ripped off. ***Resolved***


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Hey guys, really was unsure if I was going to bother posting this, but here goes.


I purchased a used iPhone 5 from a Game high street store last July 2013.

It is obviously now out of the 1 year warranty they give you.

I purchased the phone for the sum of £380 & I was sold the phone as "unlocked".


I had been using the phone since July 13,

initially with a "giffgaff" simcard

(I believe is run on the o2 network, but for the past 4 months or so, I have used a "3" sim card in it.


This week i decided to sell the phone &

I selected "Erase all content and settings" on the phone prior to its sale.



To save myself any hassle, I took the phone to a local highstreet store to sell, but they informed me the phone is locked to Vodafone.


I can now confirm the phone will only activate with a Vodafone sim card

& will now not accept my 3 sim I had been using in it for the previous 4 months.


This has really annoyed me as I paid GAME a premium for an unlocked phone,

which turns out to be locked to Vodafone after I had reset it back to factory before selling.


I contacted my local game store (not where I purchased it) who were totally dismissive as it was outside the 12 months warranty.

Manager didnt come near me but also wiped her hands clean.


I phoned the GAME helpline in London & was told "well, youve been using a 3 sim card in it & it was unlocked when you bought it,

so contact Apple,, its outside the 12 months warranty.

Youve been using it for 14 months havent you?"


This is the first time I have had cause to "erase all content and settings" which has bought this problem to light.

Personally I belive I have been missold a phone by GAME,

I cant belive how dismissive they have been.


Should i just put this one down to experience,

I don't want to as I feel ripped off, but I believe it will be extremely difficult to go anywhere with.


Has anyone any thoughts?

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Hi rebel11


Ive already been thinking about this.


I have the receipt - but the only details it says about the phone are "iPhone 5 16GB" & also gives the serial number.


The game helpline looked up the transaction from my loyalty card number.

They didnt dispute that the phone was purchased as "unlocked" from the details they could see on their screen,

but I had a feeling this could be a problem.

I fail to see how the info they have on their screen of the reward card would be different from info on my receipt.

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Hi rip


Write a Formal Letter of Complaint, mark it as such. Explain what's happened (purchased unlocked phone), how they have let you down (phone appears to be locked after personal info removed) and what you want them to do (unlock the phone).


Send it to:-


Mr Martyn Gibbs

Chief Executive

Game Group PLC

[email protected]

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Hi Rip


Do let us know how you get on, also you could leave feed back on their social media sites, Twitter, Facebook etc.

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Should I mention anything about calling instore or calling the helpline?


Or should I keep it short? Not very good with these things :???:


Oh, one last thing please. Will I Mark the letter "Formal letter of complaint" at the top?


Thanks rebel, you are a star.

Edited by rippedoffyetagain
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I would be upfront, explain that you contacted Game Store and Customer Services and they have been unhelpful in your attempt to resolve the issue.


How did you pay? I.E. Credit Card or Debit Card


Should I mention anything about calling instore or calling the helpline?


Or should I keep it short? Not very good with these things :???:

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It seems strange that it had worked fine with a Giffgaff and 3 Sim card for you but then suddenly became locked to Vodafone after that. So, it seems that initially at least, it was unlocked.


One problem with iPhones is that they do have the functionality to lock themselves to a network after the fact if they aren't purchased directly from Apple,



They're supposed to lock themselves to the network of the first SIM card that's inserted into them.


You might also try contacting Apple (or visiting an Apple Store if there's one near you) to see if they can assist with re-unlocking it.



What seems to have happened, in my opinion, is that the phone was originally locked to Vodafone when it was purchased brand new by the original purchasher. That person has then unlocked it through non-official means before selling it to GAME, who would have every reason to believe it was a genuine unlocked phone. However the phone has now re-locked for some reason. Did you recently install an update at around the time it seemed to lock itself again?

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Well, what a difference that email made, thank you so much rebel, you were a great help. I'm delighted.


Briefly summed up at 09:18 this morning I missed a call from my local store manager (the same one who didn't have time for me on Saturday). She left a very polite message and told me she wanted to rectify the problem for me.


I called to the store this morning & had the full attention of a very very very apologetic manager. The result of which was that within the hour they have bought back the phone as unlocked (a couple of pounds above the going "trade in" rate) & they have given me a £10 gift voucher to spend how i wish. I did initially propose the store buying back my phone as unlocked (how I had purchased it from them last July) on Saturday, but was refused.


That's it in a nut shell, If only this could have happened in the first place, eh?


@maxx - Yeah, I'm not sure at all what happened. I did do a little research on it & found that it is possible that even after an official network unlock, it can infact lock to the network again - in this case Vodafone.


It was running with no problems on my 3 sim for a few days after the latest ios8 update - so I "think" that what reverted it to vodafone was the fact that I "erased all content and settings". I'm led to believe that if the phone was "unofficially" unlocked the update to ios8 and previous ios7 updates would have wiped that out. I'm left thinking it was an official lock "gone wrong".


I'm baffled by the whole thing to say the least, but thankfully I'm sorted now.


Thanks so much for both the help you offered & also to rebel who's advice worked a treat :)

Edited by rippedoffyetagain
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