Consumers Union To FCC: Unlock Our Phones
Apr 7, 2004, 12:25 PM by (staff)
Consumers Union yesterday launched a campaign to lobby the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to outlaw the practice of "locking" mobile phones to specific wireless carriers. Known as carrier locks or subsidy locks, the practice prevents consumers from using their old phone when they switch to a different carrier with a compatible network. Carriers argue that the locks are the only way to prevent abuse of subsidies that keep handset prices low.
Carriers Have to Unlock Eligible Phones Beginning Today
Wireless network operators are now required to unlock customers' phones once the phones are paid off or no longer under contract. Today's change follows an agreement forged between the FCC, the CTIA Wireless Association and carriers in December 2013.
FCC Unhappy with AT&T and Verizon's Zero-Rated Services
The FCC believes zero-rating content can hurt consumers and competition. The agency sent letters to AT&T and Verizon Wireless this week calling them out for exempting their own video services (DirecTV Now and go90, respectively) from customers' data caps.
FCC Adopts Strong Anti-Robocall Rules
The FCC today adopted a set of rules proposed in May that make it harder for telemarketers and others to place unwanted calls or send unwanted messages to wireless phones. The new laws provide clarity for businesses and consumers on when robocalls and other phone-based outreach is permitted.
AT&T CEO Believes Phone Subsidies Will Eventually Vanish
Phone subsidies and two-year contracts are on their way out the door, according to Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's CEO of mobile and business solutions. "I think it is one of those options that is going to go away slowly," said de la Vega to Recode, "not because we insist on it but because customers will choose it less often." AT&T has made changes recently to limit the availability of subsidies and contracts.
FCC Looking to Enable Nationwide Number Portability
The FCC wants to make it easier for consumers and businesses to port their number from one carrier to another. People can already bring their number with them when they change carriers, but there are location-based limitations that sometimes prevent porting from one area of the country to another.
WANT YOUR GSM NOKIA PHONE UNLOCKED FOR FREE?
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DOWNLOAD YOUR OWN SIMPLE NOKIA CODE CALCULATION PROGRAM FROM HERE, FOR FREE!!!
JOIN THE FREE FORUMS THERE AND LEARN ABOUT HOW YOU CAN GET YOUR UNIQUE UNLOCK CODE FOR FREE!!!
IF YOU WONDER WHAT MY MOTIVE IS FOR POSTING THIS, MY CARRIER REFUSES TO UNLOCK ANY PHONES FOR ANY PERSON FOR REASON. EVEN IF LEGITMATE, SUCH AS INTERNATION TRAVEL. SO THIS IS WHAT I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THEIR B.S. POLICY.... EVERYONE OUT THEIR ENJOY!!!!
Dammit, just goto a shop and freakin' pay 20 bucks to get your damn phone un-locked. If all phones came un-locked....there'd be hell...
I pay my carrier $100 bucks for a phone, then to get you to activate with me, I sell it to your for nothing. I know I'm getting a nice commission from the carier for the activation, s...
1.phone companies lose money do to loss of sales.
2.Cell phones prices go up 2X plus.
3.Serivce reps would then have to now how to program phones.
How do you think sprin...
You want a free phone? Fine it will be locked you agreed to this contract once you fulfill your agreement then we'll unlock the phone. You want it unlocked fine you are going to pa...
THe real reson phones are locked
"locked" to a carrier. the roaming on phones can be changed very easily but you have to be able to get into the ...
Think About this...
My take on it - for what it's worth..
Contracts are still a perfectly valid and effective way to retain customers and ensure subsidies aren't lost. Without locks, we may see some termination fees rise, but that's probably about it. I don't think it will impact much else.
The truth is, it's only a couple of major carriers that are strict about locks anyway - Sprint and AT&T Wireless. The rest have pretty reasonable policies.
Cingular has the right idea when it comes to subsidies. A few months ago I shopped for Cingular service, and there were three options:
- 2-year contract / phone for free
- 1-year contract / phone half-price
- no contract / phone full-price
Phone are also the means to differentiate one carrier from another. While there is certainly *some* carry-over from one provider to another, there's also a significant amount of difference. More of the ...
Unlocking phones isn't the best for consumers!
Perfect examples are the phones that are already unlocked overseas that are brought back to the states. The consumer automatically thinks GSM is GSM is GSM (meaning that any GSM phone will work on any network, anywhere). NOT TRUE!!!!!!! This is the problem I encounter all of the time working for Cingular. In our market (Genesis market), we operate off of the 850 GSM frequency. Most phones you find overseas do not have the compatibility for this frequency, since it is a North America frequency.
Also, because T-Mobile uses 1900 in the states, AT&T uses 850 in most markets (1900 in others),...
Also, Unlocking these phones will NOT be more a of headache for you!!! the majority of U.S. wireless subscribers are already brainwashed into thin...
Another important point...
You're Missing The Point
This practice could be justified while a phone is in contract, perhaps, but they should at least be forced to divulge the master subsidy lock code after they have collected a break fee (which is ostensibly charged to recover the loss they took on the sale of equipment) or after the contract has been fulfilled.
The fact is, consumers pay for every penny of these phones one way or another, so the provider should not be able to hold them hostage, whether or not it makes the phones "cheaper" to begin with. And anyway, no one is saying they can't subsidize the cost...
... What, exactly, are they afraid of? Somehow, I don't think it's poor call quality on non-approved phones.
Well, actually... phones are specifically te...
That is the worst Idea
Can't figure out why your phone is locked well that isn't a phone t...
CU Union proves once again that they are clueless.
1. You can get some really sweet deals on new phones. Especially if you're transfering providers, you can often get the new one to give you the same phone (or current equivilent) as you had on the last one for free.
2. The Li-Ion batteries start to degrade after a year and are extremely expensive. New phone = new battery.
3. The phones themselves don't last terribly long, and by the time people change providers, they don't have much life left.
4. A new mobile customer can get a free phone. If you guys get your way - be p...
PHONES ARE LOCKED FOR A REASON
For instance Verizons network is updating very fast just like sprint. When people have older verizon phones that they want hooked up on the network verizon is not letting them hook the phones on the network cause the older phones are slowing down the network. They are not capable of using the new network which i can understand and most of these customers don't...
... When people have older verizon phones that they want hooked up on the network verizon is not letting them hook the phones on the network cause the older phones are slowing down the network. They are not capabl
Get ready for NO MORE FREE PHONES EVER
I can't wait for the consumers union's response to that...b
Why is it we in the U.S. want the latest and greatest technologies, the biggest and the flashiest and will pay for it, EXCEPT ...
Yeah More Government in wireless....
Specifically, in many European ...
Worst Idea Ever...
Let me comment on some of the arguments.
1) Better for the environment- People switch phones the most not because they are leaving companies but because phones improve and they get old. If you took ten people how many have phones that are not totally dinged up after two years, 7 out of 10 I would guess. They aren't buying a ton of phones because they are leaving. How many Pc's have you gone through? Phones like PC's change over time. Do you still have the first VCR you bought? The first microwave.
2) Freedom to move... Yeah competition is great...
I wanna know what there idea is on getting CDMA phones to work flawlessly with other CDMA carriers and getting them to work on different networks.
Interchanging GSM phone is easy becu...
Unlocked Phones are already available
If you don't mind paying $300+ for phones that were discontinued a year ago, and have been replaced with newer models that can be had for less than $100, go right ahead.
Its better for me if a customer walks in with their own phone anyway, cause I don't take a loss on a handset.
People who pay more for less are also known by another name- suckers. So if you want to be a sucker, pay an extra $200 for an obsolete phone, and bring it to me to activate on the carriers network, please take a number.
Unlocked phones = Expanding market for pre-paid
Unlocked phones go hand-in-hand with prepaid phone service. Let the customer pay for what he wants--be that the phone or the airtime. In particular, with GSM unlocked phones and the availability of pre-paid SIMs every GSM phone is no longer "disposable" but useful.
Since people who have a contract will still be bound by that contract even if their p...
A couple of more points...
So if it does get to the point where they unlock the phones this is what I see happening. Cell providers will still sell phones subsidized because it make the most sense. It is part of the existing business model and for 90% of their customers it is the best way to go. Customers have a one year warranty, customers have the option for cell insurance, customers have the option for early upgrade with most companies. Things will stay the status quo. I don't think unlocking phones will have a profound impact because with subsidized phones and LNP people already have an avenue to leave at a low or free c...
S T O P
CONSUMERS SHOULED NOT EXPECT PHONES JUST BECAUES THEY HAVE SERVICE. THE CABLE COMPANYS DONT GIVE YOU A NEW TV IF YOU HURL YOURS OUT ON THE LAWN.
IF THE PHONES ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THE CONSUMER WILL MAKE THE CREAM RISE TO THE TOP, PHONE COMPANYS WILL HAVE TO MAKE QUALITY PRODUCTS IF YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY 300 PLUS ON A PHONE. THERE IS A REASON WHY A COMPUTER CAN RANGE FROM 500 TO 2500 DOLLARS, BECAUES YOU PAY FOR WHAT YOU GET
Customers expect everything for free, especially if they are "long time" customers. My answer to that is that I've been a McDonald's customer for years and I don't get my fries free with my burger.
There are pro's and con's to unlocked phones, but the reality is that the average consumer isn't educated enough to deal with it.