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View Diary: Unlocking cell phones now illegal (50 comments)

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  •  Even after the 2 year contract is up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flying Goat

    It is illegal even after the contract is up.  But either way what if you want to sell it, and get a new phone early?  You are still obligated to your agreement with your phone company, or you pay a huge ETF for leaving your contract early.

    •  Why should you be allowed to sell a phone (0+ / 0-)

      that the carrier paid for?

      •  You pay for the phone (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz, Flying Goat

        The phones are cheap because they are subsidized by higher monthly fees.  After 2 years you have probably paid for a $500 phone twice.  Just look at the difference in prices between prepaid and post paid plans.

        •  That is the business model. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hey338Too, coffeetalk, Rich in PA, theboz

          After the contract is up it is yours and you can unlock it. The carrier is supposed to do it if you ask but if they don't it's yours.

          •  Its up to the carrier (0+ / 0-)

            Even if they don't, its still illegal for you to do it.  

            Even if your contract isnt up it shouldnt matter. You can sell your phone before the contract is up, and get a new phone, or used on craigs list or ebay and use it for the rest of your contract.  Why cant you unlock it before you sell it?

            T-mobile is getting rid of contracts and selling phones full price and charging what the monthly fee is really worth.  Something I wish all phone companies would do.

          •  Ok, make sure I have this right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If I buy a phone, no deals from the carrier, full price for this here phone. Let's say I don't sign a contract. I buy the phone, I buy some service and voila I am good to go. After that service is completed at the end of the month can I unlock that phone that I bought and use it on another carrier?

            Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

            by cactusflinthead on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 06:19:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  IF you paid full price it might come unlocked (0+ / 0-)

              If not you have to ask permission from your carrier to unlock it.  If it was made before Jan 26 2013 you can unlock it yourself no matter what.  If it was made after Jan 26 2013 it is illegal for you to unlock it without permission from the company, and is punishable by up to a $500,000 fine

          •  As mentioned in the diary, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            this rule also doesn't let you unlock phones yourself after the contract is expired.

      •  Because You Keep Paying the Carrier (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Even if you unlock the phone and sell it to someone who pays another carrier for new service, if your contract isn't up you still have to pay your carrier. Unlocking the phone doesn't change that obligation.

        And if you sell it to someone because it's unlocked, you've got money to pay your carrier; before you didn't. Which means you're more able to pay your carrier than before.

        This is what people do with objects we buy or even borrow all the time. We get the object paid off over time, we sell it to someone else, we use the money to pay off the vendor that sold it to us. It's the backbone of American commerce. The telcos depend on doing that themselves. Why shouldn't the consumer keep that ability too?

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:28:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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