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Make Unlocking Cellphones Legal

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by Telekom, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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  2. Maximum Signal

    Maximum Signal Senior Member
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    I think you should be able to buy fully unlocked cell phones at the full retail cost . Also if you bought a cell phone from a carrier and you have fufilled your contract with that carrier , it should be mandatory at the end of your contract . The carrier must unlock the phone for you if requested.
     
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  3. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Factory unlocked phones are available for the most part. The full retail price from a provider is generally also slightly subsidized and a true factory unlocked phone may sometimes be cost prohibitive. The iPhone is an exception where full retail from the provider is the same as factory unlocked from Apple.

    Generally the career does provide the unlock code for a device that has been available for at least 6 months and the requestor meets certain criteria.

    The iPhone can be unlocked when the contract term is fulfilled or by paying ETF and terminating the contract.

    What has been made illegal is to unlock a phone that is still under contract without approval from the provider ie through a third party unlocker.




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    #3 charlyee, Feb 23, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. Maximum Signal

    Maximum Signal Senior Member
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    If all that is already available . I am having trouble understanding the issues here .
     
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  5. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    The issue is for people to be able to unlock their phones for legitimate reasons like going overseas and wanting to use local SIM, sooner than what the provider allows.

    For the iPhone, if one doesn't buy it unlocked or pay ETC one has to wait 2 years to get it unlocked. That's totally unreasonable IMHO.







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  6. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Most people I know who have an AT&T phone have not had any problem getting AT&T to provide them with an unlock code (as long as they have been with AT&T for at least a year or so), even before their contract has expired.

    Will this new law change anything? Will AT&T and other carriers suddenly now stop giving unlock codes to loyal customers who request it? Or is this just a legal move to have the law on their side in the case that they don't want to give out an unlock code?
    In any case, I feel phones given discounted on a post-paid contract should never be locked in the first place. The carrier will get their money back on the phone either during the 2-year contract, or via early cancellation fee. So the customer has paid for the phone one way or the other, and they should be free to use it on other networks if they wish.

    Pre-paid phones are a different story. With a (ex.) $20 pre-paid phone, the carrier is usually losing money up front (or just breaking even) and counting on refills to generate a profit on the phone.
     
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  7. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    That's already the case from some carriers. AT&T for all non-Apple products will provide the unlock code after 90 days or will provide it immediately if you bought your device at full price. For Apple products they require that you have completed your contract on the original device or if you paid full price they will arrange through Apple to allow an unlock through iTunes. T-Mobile will provide the unlock code after 90 days as well. CDMA carriers are another matter entirely since even if the equipment is compatible they will not allow devices on their network that have either not been on their network previously or the MEID is not in their database.

    As far as prepaid goes they don't usually give a subsidy and you have to pay full price for the device.
     
  8. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    It is unlikely that the law will figure in the individual AT&T vs. customer cases. More likely it can be used against businesses that offer third party unlocking. And I agree that locking phones in the first place is a bad practice that should be abolished. It's not like I'll start roaming internationally with AT&T just because my phone is locked.
     
  9. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    This only true if it is not in the first 6 months of the device launch for an AT&T exclusive device. My last three devices were in this situation and no unlock code was available before 6 months.

    Motorola Atrix
    Lumia 900 - full price.
    Lumia 820




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  10. Maximum Signal

    Maximum Signal Senior Member
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    From everything you guys are posting , this new law can be gotten around in 99% of the cases . It seems the people fighting to have the law reversed are looking for something for nothing . I understand the few circumstances stated that it should be reversed . But a customer in good standing should be able to go their carrier. Explain their particular situation and have the carrier unlock the device
     
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  11. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    But it's not without hiccups. When we were unlocking my wife's SE from AT&T a couple of years ago the first two codes they gave us were wrong. The third one worked, so I consider ourselves lucky :) And SEs had one of the fastest turn-around times. People unlocking Nokias have had to wait for up to a week to get their code back, and often had to keep calling to get the case moving.
     
  12. Maximum Signal

    Maximum Signal Senior Member
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    Seems it would be easier to have these hiccups straightened out rather than repealing a law that actually is well meaning .
     
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  13. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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