Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Mar 2013 19:28 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The White House agrees with the 114.000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs."
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Unlocking Phones
by Alfman on Mon 4th Mar 2013 20:48 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

It's kind of ridiculous that it was ever a non-right in the first place. If unlocking becomes a legal right, that's a no-brainer, good. But why stop there, all phones should be carrier unlocked at the point of sale. What's the purpose of locking other than to create a technical barrier for consumers? Many will find they cannot insert a SIM card of their choice without first getting their phone unlocked.

I've heard some people claim that the phone has to be locked in order to pay back the phone subsidy, but that's a silly claim because the customer is still liable for the contract payments regardless of whatever other SIMs the customer might want to use. I still have to pay my contractual phone bill whether I use the phone or not.


Was this article submitted in response to my recent link to the whitehouse petitions? Funny how that works ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE: Unlocking Phones
by unclefester on Mon 4th Mar 2013 22:55 in reply to "Unlocking Phones"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


I've heard some people claim that the phone has to be locked in order to pay back the phone subsidy, but that's a silly claim because the customer is still liable for the contract payments regardless of whatever other SIMs the customer might want to use. I still have to pay my contractual phone bill whether I use the phone or not.


If you look at the wording of the contract you will find that you are actually paying for data. The phone is provided for free or minimal cost to access that data. If you allow a customer to unlock the phone they can make a legal argument that they are no longer required to pay for the data. They can then get a free handset.

IMHO the carriers should be required to provide the phone at actual cost (eg $20/month for 24 months) and separately charge for data and calls. The result would be that many people would then buy cheap handsets an make a lot fewer calls - bad for both the handset makers and the telcos.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Unlocking Phones
by roblearns on Mon 4th Mar 2013 23:50 in reply to "RE: Unlocking Phones"
roblearns Member since:
2010-09-13

They can't make any legal argument related to the phone being unlocked.

That's incorrect. If you agree to pay $2400 - you owe it.

Period.

You think if you turn your phone off and don't use it, then you don't have to pay? Wrong.

That's just made up - fictional nonsense, and shame on you for making things up and acting as if it's true.

You can get out of a contract paying an ETF - but that's a side issue, unrelated to using 'data'.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Unlocking Phones
by unclefester on Tue 5th Mar 2013 07:35 in reply to "RE: Unlocking Phones"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Sorry Robleams and Alfman but in this case you are both completely wrong.

Never assume the law has anything to do with commonsense or morality.

You may think that you are buying a phone with a bundle of "free" calls and data. The legal reality is completely different - you are actually purchasing a bundle of network services with a phone provided at no cost to access those services. You are required to pay for those services whether you use them or not.

Technically if a carrier allows you to unlock the phone they have mutually agreed that you have no obligation to pay the remainder of the service contract. This may seem absurd but it is how the law works.

In Australia it is perfectly legal to unlock a phone still on a contract. However, in this case, the carrier has not legally agreed to cancel the network access contract so you must continue to pay out your contract.

Reply Parent Score: 3