TMobile provides customers with a temporary unlock code if they will be traveling out of the country.I stopped buying carrier locked phones years ago. I also don't buy $1000 phones.
If the OP is looking for phones to use in Europe he can but unlocked Motorolas - my experience is that they are good phones and relatively inexpensive, especially compared to current "flagship" devices.
That is a good use for old cellphones and a good reason to have them unlocked.There's a charitable org for battered women that takes cellphone donations. I don't know if they have a way to unlock them, but in principle they have less leverage than a current or former customer of the carrier who locked the phone, so it makes sense to get them unlocked before donating.
These old phones can still be unlocked. But the carriers may not be able to do it.He's not talking about current model anythings. The reason he's having problems is not for failure to comply with the law but because his stuff is so ancient that the carriers don't know how to deal with them. He bought one from Cingular? Cingular hasn't been known as Cingular for over a decade (they changed back to ATT in 2006).