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'[OT] Why so many locked phones in US'
2007\10\02@005821 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=9107

I do not quite understand that so many phones in US
are locked to a paticular carrier. Here in Singapore,
you are locked by contract if you buy subsidized phones
from the carrier. You can also buy phones without a
contract with a higher price. Still all the phones here
are not locked. I believe the situation in China is the
same as I can use the phones bought in China here
as well.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2007\10\02@041428 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I do not quite understand that so many phones in
>US are locked to a paticular carrier.

It seems to be normal in the UK as well. There is quite a market on ebay for
unlocking software.

2007\10\02@044127 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 10/2/07, Alan B. Pearce <spam_OUTA.B.PearceTakeThisOuTspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >I do not quite understand that so many phones in
> >US are locked to a paticular carrier.
>
> It seems to be normal in the UK as well. There is quite a market on ebay for
> unlocking software.

Is this mainly due to lack of competition? Maybe that is the case in US
and the Mobile phone penetration in US is not high compared to western
Europe. In western Europe, the penetration rate is very high, mostly  around
or even over 100% (UK: 115%). Singapore is around 100% as well
but the leader in Asia is Hong Kong at 125%. For China, it is only around 30%.

Reference:
http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2006/03/phone_for_every.html

Or maybe there are more hackers in US and Europe so that the operators
want to give them chances to hack. ;-)

Regards,
Xiaofan

2007\10\02@074132 by Peter P.

picon face
Xiaofan Chen <xiaofanc <at> gmail.com> writes:
> Or maybe there are more hackers in US and Europe so that the operators
> want to give them chances to hack.

It is due to the fact that the government and the regulating authorities in all
developed countries let the operators get away with murder, on account of the
monies they pay for spectrum and then taxes. There is practically no consumer
protection in telecom, no anti-cartel regulation, and no enforcement of existing
laws. Recently roaming charges in Europe got regulated, and it took about 7
years to push that simple measure through.

Peter P.


2007\10\02@113618 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Peter P. wrote:

> It is due to the fact that the government and the regulating authorities
> in all developed countries let the operators get away with murder, on
> account of the monies they pay for spectrum and then taxes.

And possibly on account of the monies they fear they may have to pay back
if they should restrict anything.

Gerhard

2007\10\02@114615 by Harold Hallikainen

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{Quote hidden}

I THINK (but do not know) that phones are largely locked because their
sale is subsidized by the monthly service fees. We quite often get phones
for free when we renew for another year or two. I think they SHOULD allow
you to use phones purchased elsewhere that are unlocked. Perhaps some
carriers do. They MAY have concerns about fraud when people are using
equipment the carrier did not supply. They are attempting to provide an
end-to-end solution to their customers the same way wire line telecoms did
back in the 1960s and before. Then you could not connect anything to the
telephone line. The phone company also supplied the telephone book. They
got after companies that sold plastic protective covers for the book (with
advertising), claiming this cover was an "illegal attachment." For more on
US telephone companies of the 1960s, see "Ernestine calls Mr.Veedle" at
http://www.lilytomlin.com/videohome.html .


Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\10\02@125432 by Brooke Clarke

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Hi Xiaofan:

When you sign a one or two year service contract with a cell phone provider you
get a "free phone" which comes "locked".  These are typically branded with the
name of the service provider.  After some time, 90 days in my case, if you are
still operating under the contract you can get the unlock code from the
provider at no cost.

My wife was traveling and we wanted to get her phone unlocked so that she could
buy a SIM in another country.  It took 3 or 4 calls to the provider to get the
unlock code.  I expect most phone users either don't know their phones are
locked or that they can get them unlocked for free.

Once you stop your contract and start a new one then you can't go back to the
original provider and ask for the unlock code.  This makes for a bunch of
locked phones.

As another poster has said there's not much protection for the user.  I would
think that the manufacturer should supply the unlock code for phones that are
over a year old.  Maybe for a nominal fee?

--
Have Fun,

Brooke Clarke
http://www.PRC68.com
http://www.precisionclock.com
http://www.prc68.com/I/WebCam2.shtml 24/7 Sky-Weather-Astronomy Cam

2007\10\02@135558 by Herbert Graf
flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-10-02 at 12:58 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=9107
>
> I do not quite understand that so many phones in US
> are locked to a paticular carrier. Here in Singapore,

I see two reasons:

1. people are addicted to subsidized phones. The reason you don't see
many unsubsidized phones in North America is nobody wants them. People
are used to sticking with whatever phones their provider gives them
(often for way below cost). As a result, almost all phones sold are
locked.

2. many phones can't be used on other carriers. Remember, North America
is FAR behind the rest of the world when it comes to cell phones, and we
still have multiple standards. A phone on one provider may not work with
another provider since they use a different tech. It's because of this
uncertainty that the general public accepts that to use a phone on a
provider it must be a phone from the provider. Even if two carriers use
the same tech, the provider may still not allow phones that aren't
there's. This was the case with two providers in Canada at one point
(Bell and Clearnet). Even though both used CDMA, Bell would not activate
a non Bell phone on it's network.

TTYL



2007\10\02@150630 by Nate Duehr

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Herbert Graf wrote:

> 1. people are addicted to subsidized phones. The reason you don't see
> many unsubsidized phones in North America is nobody wants them. People
> are used to sticking with whatever phones their provider gives them
> (often for way below cost). As a result, almost all phones sold are
> locked.

Americans (in general) are also very non-worried about debt, and will
gladly take on multi-year contracts to pay for said subsidized phones.

{Quote hidden}

This isn't different from some areas that do have open phone policies.
China has both GSM and CDMA carriers, but has less of a subsidy/phone
lock in culture.

Nate

2007\10\02@151724 by Nate Duehr

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Peter P. wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen <xiaofanc <at> gmail.com> writes:
>> Or maybe there are more hackers in US and Europe so that the operators
>> want to give them chances to hack.
>
> It is due to the fact that the government and the regulating authorities in all
> developed countries let the operators get away with murder, on account of the
> monies they pay for spectrum and then taxes. There is practically no consumer
> protection in telecom, no anti-cartel regulation, and no enforcement of existing
> laws. Recently roaming charges in Europe got regulated, and it took about 7
> years to push that simple measure through.

Add in the fact that the government NEEDS the large telco's cooperation
for both legal and illegal wiretapping -- and you have a tightly closed
loop that will never be broken.

Nate

2007\10\02@152043 by Nate Duehr

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Brooke Clarke wrote:
> Hi Xiaofan:
>
> When you sign a one or two year service contract with a cell phone provider you
> get a "free phone" which comes "locked".  These are typically branded with the
> name of the service provider.  After some time, 90 days in my case, if you are
> still operating under the contract you can get the unlock code from the
> provider at no cost.

This is typically only done on GSM carriers.  They're pretty good about
it.  CDMA carriers, typically don't offer unlock codes.  Something to
think seriously about when purchasing.

> My wife was traveling and we wanted to get her phone unlocked so that she could
> buy a SIM in another country.  It took 3 or 4 calls to the provider to get the
> unlock code.  I expect most phone users either don't know their phones are
> locked or that they can get them unlocked for free.

They would have loved to have had you pay their "roaming" charges
overseas... no fiscal incentive for them to provide you the unlock code.

> Once you stop your contract and start a new one then you can't go back to the
> original provider and ask for the unlock code.  This makes for a bunch of
> locked phones.

I think there are some charitable organizations that have gotten
assistance from the carriers in unlocking phones donated for specific
purposes, but generally you're right.  Donated phones typically go to
places like battered women's shelters, and other agencies working to
provide someone a way to place an emergency call who couldn't otherwise
afford to have mobile phone service.

> As another poster has said there's not much protection for the user.  I would
> think that the manufacturer should supply the unlock code for phones that are
> over a year old.  Maybe for a nominal fee?

How about Americans just getting over our stupid behavior of buying
everything on installment payments, which is what leads to this behavior
of the carriers in the first place?  Buy the phone outright and then pay
for service...

Nate

2007\10\02@155514 by Harold Hallikainen

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flavicon
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> How about Americans just getting over our stupid behavior of buying
> everything on installment payments, which is what leads to this behavior
> of the carriers in the first place?  Buy the phone outright and then pay
> for service...
>
>

Do any carriers offer any sort of discount if you bring your own phone?

Harold



--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\10\02@160525 by Russell McMahon

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> How about Americans just getting over our stupid behavior of buying
> everything on installment payments, which is what leads to this
> behavior
> of the carriers in the first place?  Buy the phone outright and then
> pay
> for service...

That's clearly not the major problem here. It may be what allows the
problem to happen, but, given the information that has been provided,
it's unethical behaviour on the part of the provider that is the
problem.

ie

- The phone is provided "locked"

- The contract provides for a period during which it must remained
locked (presumably to allow the provider to recoup their investment).

- The user may request that a phone be unlocked after a certain
period.

However

- If the user ceases service with the provider at some period after
the obligatory locked period then the provider declines to unlock the
phone.

ie  The user has paid for the phone by the arrangement provided.
Whether this is by upfront payment or on an ongoing basis as part of
the service charges is irrelevant. They have met their contractual
financial obligations to the provider.

If the provider then declines to unlock the phone, something which was
yours as of right after a certain period, when you had satisfied your
contractual obligations, is subsequently declined 'just because they
can'. Even if the contract document specifies that this is what
happens (presumably in finer print) it does not change the fact that
the user has paid in full.

Regardless of the legality of such behaviour, and even though the
reasons for it are plain enough, it is hard not to see it as
unethical. Although, I'm sure, some will manage :-)



       Russell

2007\10\02@160707 by Peter P.

picon face
> > Europe. In western Europe, the penetration rate is very high, mostly

That did not prevent EU operators from charging roaming charges that bordered
on extortion for years. It used to be possible to get charged for roaming by
just making a call from 300 meters in the wrong direction (across a local or
county border).

> > Or maybe there are more hackers in US and Europe so that the operators
> > want to give them chances to hack.

The hackers are motivated by a need for what they do. There is no point in
hacking something that is already open, excepting for non-financial gains. The
hackers reflect the extortion type pricing situation (that existed especially
before the roaming regulation). In EU using a locked phone could mean 'long
distance' roaming charges after walking 0.3km as I wrote. With unlocked phones
people who travel often get local SIMs and avoid that.

> I THINK (but do not know) that phones are largely locked because their
> sale is subsidized by the monthly service fees. We quite often get phones

There are several articles related to the subsidized nature of handy phone
hardware. The last one I read was about iPhone pricing, and about the fact that
this phone was not going to follow that pricing model, and why. The articles
seem to cynically convey the fact that the subsidized nature of the market is
well known to the manufacturers from the design phase on. They effectively
price their phones by adopting a feature set that 'appeals' to the operators
and know beforehead what percentage of the phone price will be subsidized.
Numbers range from 30 to 100%. The iPhone was meant to be marketed with zero
subsidy expected at the time (a few months ago).

Cynically, the fact that a phone that is worth a couple of hundreds of dollars
is given away for 'free', speaks volumes about how much people are expected to
spend on calls. I personally always buy the cell phone for this reason alone,
knowing the price of the object will exit my pocket anyway.

> for free when we renew for another year or two. I think they SHOULD allow
> you to use phones purchased elsewhere that are unlocked. Perhaps some
> carriers do. They MAY have concerns about fraud when people are using
> equipment the carrier did not supply. They are attempting to provide an

Fraud is not really the operator's problem. The operator does not care what
people use to talk with as long as they buy air time and use a lot of it. Fraud
combat and enforcement is actually an unplanned operational expense that is not
welcomed by anyone on the operator's side.

Fortunately there is convergence now with VoIp, GSM and cell networks as well
as PSTN starting to be available in the same handset. Also double SIM phones
are becoming more and more common. There already exist multi-standard handsets
that do all three (DECT at home, VoIp over 802.11 and GSM elsewhere). This
should fix the interoperatibility issues soon and consumer demand should cause
the prevailing standards to be adopted.

Peter P.


2007\10\02@162109 by Chris Smolinski

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>Cynically, the fact that a phone that is worth a couple of hundreds of dollars
>is given away for 'free', speaks volumes about how much people are expected to
>spend on calls. I personally always buy the cell phone for this reason alone,
>knowing the price of the object will exit my pocket anyway.

FWIW, I have an el-cheapo virgin mobile phone. Cheapest model I could
buy, $50 or less. I'm on a $5 a month pay as you go plan. I rarely
use the phone, it's for emergencies only (ie: breaking down on the
road) and some general use to burn up some of the accumulated
minutes, although there's no way I'll ever do that, I think I have
over $100 on the phone now. There's virtually no cell phone reception
here at the house (I'm in a rural area) unless I stand in a certain
part of the yard.

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2007\10\02@171934 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2007-10-02 at 12:55 -0700, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> > How about Americans just getting over our stupid behavior of buying
> > everything on installment payments, which is what leads to this behavior
> > of the carriers in the first place?  Buy the phone outright and then pay
> > for service...
> >
> >
>
> Do any carriers offer any sort of discount if you bring your own phone?

Not that I've ever heard, no.

In fact, carriers will often say you CAN'T bring your own phone. I once
tried to activate a phone from one provider on another provider (both
GSM), the CSR refused. I had to call back and get a different CSR, who
said although they really didn't recommend it, they would as a favour
activate the new phone... (yes, I was trying to activate a SIM, they
demanded to know the serial number of the phone, even though it doesn't
matter with GSM...). It's a strange world where a company is doing me a
favour when I'm trying to give them money...

TTYL

2007\10\02@171937 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-10-03 at 09:05 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:
> ie
>
> - The phone is provided "locked"
>
> - The contract provides for a period during which it must remained
> locked (presumably to allow the provider to recoup their investment).

In Canada, most agreements say nothing about the phone EVERY being
unlocked. Most providers didn't even publicly admit they locked their
phones until recently.

To this day, in Canada, it's extremely difficult to get a provider to
unlock a locked phone, for any amount of money.

Fortunately, for about $20-30 you can get it done at a multitude of
places.

TTYL

2007\10\02@172926 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Oct 2, 2007, at 12:11 PM, Nate Duehr wrote:

> How about Americans just getting over our stupid behavior of buying
> everything on installment payments, which is what leads to this  
> behavior
> of the carriers in the first place?  Buy the phone outright and  
> then pay
> for service...

Which carriers offer cheaper service if you own your own phone?
Why would I want my phone to be "unlocked" anyway?

BillW

2007\10\02@185327 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

> Why would I want my phone to be "unlocked" anyway?

Switching carriers while keeping the phone? Use your phone overseas with a
different carrier rather than paying roaming charges while traveling out of
the country (which does seem to happen on occasion :) ? Maybe install
software you want to rather than what they want you to (I don't know what
exactly is locked)?

Gerhard

2007\10\02@192045 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-10-02 at 14:29 -0700, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
> On Oct 2, 2007, at 12:11 PM, Nate Duehr wrote:
>
> > How about Americans just getting over our stupid behavior of buying
> > everything on installment payments, which is what leads to this  
> > behavior
> > of the carriers in the first place?  Buy the phone outright and  
> > then pay
> > for service...
>
> Which carriers offer cheaper service if you own your own phone?

I've never heard of a carrier offering a discount for having your own
phone.

> Why would I want my phone to be "unlocked" anyway?

To use it with another provider.

Even if you are happy with your current provider, what about traveling?
I've got an unlocked GSM phone and a SIM from Austria that basically
works anywhere there is a GSM signal. It's very expensive to use outside
of Austria, but then I never "chat" on my cell phone while travailing.
It's wonderful to have a number I can always be reached at while
traveling, no matter where I am.

TTYL

2007\10\02@192450 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
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William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

> Which carriers offer cheaper service if you own your own phone?

None.

> Why would I want my phone to be "unlocked" anyway?

Not being locked to a single vendor for service, since the hardware
really doesn't care who's GSM network it's on...

CDMA is a different beast.  And since we're talking about the U.S.
there's also iDen (Nextel's old network) that is completely incompatible
with everyone else...

Nate

2007\10\02@193118 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/3/07, Brooke Clarke <brookespamKILLspampacific.net> wrote:
>
> When you sign a one or two year service contract with a cell phone provider you
> get a "free phone" which comes "locked".  These are typically branded with the
> name of the service provider.  After some time, 90 days in my case, if you are
> still operating under the contract you can get the unlock code from the
> provider at no cost.

Here in Singapore, typically you sign the contract and enjoy a good subsidy on
the phone price (cheaper models will be free, often the subsidy will be US$100
to US$200 depending on the plan). You can also choose to
upgrade your old phone and enjoy some discount as well. The phone
is never locked. You are locked by the contract (you need to pay the
carrier some money depending on the remaining period of contract).

And you can use your own phones if you like. Typically you will want
the subsidized phone and sell it for a profit.

And you can choose to buy phone without contract. After my first
contract expired, I started to use prepaid (without contract).

In all cases, the phones are not locked. And all carriers here are
GSM (I believe the 3G system here is using WCDMA but I am not
using 3G).

Therefore I can use the same GSM Tri-band (or quad-band) phone in
Singapore/US/China.

Xiaofan

2007\10\02@195658 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face
On Oct 2, 2007, at 4:17 PM, Nate Duehr wrote:

>> Why would I want my phone to be "unlocked" anyway

> Not being locked to a single vendor for service

But I'm contractually locked to the single vendor anyway, right?
And if I switch vendors when my contract is over, I get a new free
phone, right?  Having the phone locked is a relatively minor issue
compared to obnoxious contracts and "the disposable lifestyle.)

I think there are so many locked phones in the US because most
customers don't see any disadvantage to a locked phone.

BillW

2007\10\02@201507 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Nate Duehr wrote:

>> It is due to the fact that the government and the regulating authorities
>> in all developed countries let the operators get away with murder, on
>> account of the monies they pay for spectrum and then taxes. There is
>> practically no consumer protection in telecom, no anti-cartel
>> regulation, and no enforcement of existing laws. Recently roaming
>> charges in Europe got regulated, and it took about 7 years to push that
>> simple measure through.
>
> Add in the fact that the government NEEDS the large telco's cooperation
> for both legal and illegal wiretapping -- and you have a tightly closed
> loop that will never be broken.

And after the first few illegal wiretaps the controlled becomes the
controller in that loop :)

Gerhard

2007\10\02@210519 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/3/07, William Chops Westfield <.....westfwKILLspamspam.....mac.com> wrote:
> On Oct 2, 2007, at 4:17 PM, Nate Duehr wrote:
>
> >> Why would I want my phone to be "unlocked" anyway
>
> > Not being locked to a single vendor for service
>
> But I'm contractually locked to the single vendor anyway, right?
> And if I switch vendors when my contract is over, I get a new free
> phone, right?  Having the phone locked is a relatively minor issue
> compared to obnoxious contracts and "the disposable lifestyle.)
>
> I think there are so many locked phones in the US because most
> customers don't see any disadvantage to a locked phone.
>

I think quite some iPhone customers already see the
disadvantages of a locked iPhone. More and more
customers of those sleek smart phones have already
seen the disadvantages of a locked cell phone IMHO.

Xiaofan

2007\10\02@220659 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 06:56 PM 10/2/2007, you wrote:
>On Oct 2, 2007, at 4:17 PM, Nate Duehr wrote:
>
> >> Why would I want my phone to be "unlocked" anyway
>
> > Not being locked to a single vendor for service
>
>But I'm contractually locked to the single vendor anyway, right?
>And if I switch vendors when my contract is over, I get a new free
>phone, right?  Having the phone locked is a relatively minor issue
>compared to obnoxious contracts and "the disposable lifestyle.)
>
>I think there are so many locked phones in the US because most
>customers don't see any disadvantage to a locked phone.
>
>BillW

If you travel, it's nice to be able to pop a locally purchased card
into your (GSM) phone and get an instant local number and radically cut
your costs compared with roaming. Locked phones are
popular in Canada, but there are lots of small shops which will unlock them
for you for a modest fee, and then the world's your shellfish.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
EraseMEspeffspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com



2007\10\03@104306 by Peter P.

picon face
William "Chops" Westfield <westfw <at> mac.com> writes:
> But I'm contractually locked to the single vendor anyway, right?

I don't think that anyone can force you to be locked to a single vendor.

> And if I switch vendors when my contract is over, I get a new free
> phone, right?  Having the phone locked is a relatively minor issue
> compared to obnoxious contracts and "the disposable lifestyle.)

In many places the contract with a free phone contains a small monthly fee
towards paying for the 'free' phone. This fee may be buried deep in the details
or up front. When one steps out of a typical three year contract a clause may
kick in that obliges one pay up the difference in phone 'fees' left. The
typically $2 to $20 monthly 'buried' fee expands to a couple of hundred dollars
over three years and this may be used to scare a user away from a potential
contract step-out (he would have to pay this sum up). The fact that the sum can
be argued down does not change the clause. There are *no* free things.

The phone belongs to the user if the contract ran its course or if the 'rate'
was paid up. This is still a locked phone. So it can be unlocked and taken to a
new provider or a new contract can be negotiated. Unfortunately this means that
a user will be paying installments for about 2.5 years after the phone will be
obsolete (six months after its sale).

> I think there are so many locked phones in the US because most
> customers don't see any disadvantage to a locked phone.

Maybe in the US the type of mobility and coverage that does not lead to roaming
charges does not offer a strong incentive to get an unlocked phone.

Anyway some people buy the phone for its feature set, or for other reasons, and
do not wish to switch with 'trendy' fashions. In my case this means a very
common phone type that will get serviced or replaced easily anywhere and is
compatible with the applications I need, plus as many prepaid SIMs as needed
(one for each place I am likely to go to at short notice and one for 'home').
That is possible from about $25 per SIM down payment from a variety of
networks.

Personal experience with being stranded in a deserted foreign airport in the
dead of night, more than $200 worth of taxi fare away from the nearest city,
with a supposedly unlocked phone that wasn't (and that refused to roam from
there) and a lot of pay phones that refused to take my credit cards convinced
me that what I am doing now is the right thing.

Meanwhile I often hear various complaints about overcharging, mysterious hidden
fees appearing in bills etc from people who are on contracts, plus regular
horror stories about what it takes to step out of a contract and endless
arguments about whether the teenager in the house did or did not run up a 900
minute bill on the shared contract. Also many cell companies offer a discount
if the 'old' phone (from the previous contract) is turned in. Since the 'new'
phone will be locked to the new provider this is a quite obvious ploy at
indenturing the user to his new masters of choice. Then the game starts over.

Peter P.


2007\10\03@124219 by Brooke Clarke

flavicon
face
Hi Xiaofan:

After getting the old phone unlocked and the contract ran out we tried "buying
minutes".  But you really can't.  They expire if not used in some time period.
 So the monthly expense is the same or higher when "buying minutes" than for a
contract.

--
Have Fun,

Brooke Clarke
http://www.PRC68.com
http://www.precisionclock.com
http://www.prc68.com/I/WebCam2.shtml 24/7 Sky-Weather-Astronomy Cam

2007\10\03@132956 by alan smith

picon face
Wonder if Nate paid cash for his home......  :"-)

> How about Americans just getting over our stupid behavior of buying
> everything on installment payments, which is what leads to this
> behavior
> of the carriers in the first place?  Buy the phone outright and then
> pay
> for service...


     
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2007\10\03@142114 by Peter Todd

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On Tue, Oct 02, 2007 at 05:16:57PM -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:
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What's worse, is that in my experience when you ask them if the phone is
unlocked when you buy it, they say yes. Has happened once personally
with Fido, and a few other times with Bell when I was helping buy phones
for work.

> To this day, in Canada, it's extremely difficult to get a provider to
> unlock a locked phone, for any amount of money.
>
> Fortunately, for about $20-30 you can get it done at a multitude of
> places.

As little as $5 even if you do it online.

- --
http://petertodd.org
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2007\10\03@153111 by Nate Duehr

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alan smith wrote:
> Wonder if Nate paid cash for his home......  :"-)
>
>  > How about Americans just getting over our stupid behavior of buying
>> everything on installment payments, which is what leads to this
>> behavior
>> of the carriers in the first place?  Buy the phone outright and then
>> pay
>> for service...

Hell no.  Wish I could.  :-)

Working on it.  Have no desire to be slave labor for a banker for the
rest of my life.

Nate

2007\10\03@170901 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Nate Duehr wrote:

> alan smith wrote:
>> Wonder if Nate paid cash for his home......  :"-)
>
> Hell no.  Wish I could.  :-)
>
> Working on it.  Have no desire to be slave labor for a banker for the
> rest of my life.

Well, it's kind of a catch-22 (unless you're born rich, of course, or live
like a traveling star :)

Either you're a slave for the landlord or you're a slave for the bank...

Gerhard

2007\10\03@172452 by Chris Smolinski

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>Nate Duehr wrote:
>
>>  alan smith wrote:
>>>  Wonder if Nate paid cash for his home......  :"-)
>>
>>  Hell no.  Wish I could.  :-)
>>
>>  Working on it.  Have no desire to be slave labor for a banker for the
>>  rest of my life.
>
>Well, it's kind of a catch-22 (unless you're born rich, of course, or live
>like a traveling star :)
>
>Either you're a slave for the landlord or you're a slave for the bank...

Living *way* below your means is also helpful.

--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2007\10\03@191251 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2007-10-03 at 09:43 -0700, Brooke Clarke wrote:
> Hi Xiaofan:
>
> After getting the old phone unlocked and the contract ran out we tried "buying
> minutes".  But you really can't.  They expire if not used in some time period.
>   So the monthly expense is the same or higher when "buying minutes" than for a
> contract.

I'm not sure where you are talking about, but that is 100% not true in
Canada.

For example, the cheapest option I know of is with Roger Wireless
prepaid. Buy the $100 card, it lasts 1 year, making it around
$8.33/month (the minute rate depends on what you want, however the
$0.01/minute evening and weekend plan is available, where weekday
minutes are charged at $0.40/minute).

There is no contract price ANYWHERE near that cheap, heck most contract
plans have a ~$7 "system access fee" per month...

TTYL

2007\10\03@195608 by Peter Todd

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On Wed, Oct 03, 2007 at 05:53:06PM -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
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Meh, I'm happy I can take either over being a slave for my stomach...

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http://petertodd.org
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2007\10\04@174843 by Howard Winter

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Bill,

On Tue, 2 Oct 2007 14:29:23 -0700, William \"Chops\" Westfield wrote:

> Which carriers offer cheaper service if you own your own phone?

None, but you can get Pay As You Go SIMs which have no contract, and can be used in any unlocked phone.

> Why would I want my phone to be "unlocked" anyway?

If the phone is unlocked, you can use any SIM so changing it's "personality" whenever you want, such as going abroad and using a local one.  Vastly cheaper than
international roaming, which is only a tad away from daylight robbery!  :-)  I want to do this on my next visit Stateside, but it seems to be hard to get hold of a SIM
over there that doesn't have strings attached.

Also, I've bought a phone on eBay here as a present for my girlfriend who's in New York, so it needs to be unlocked so she can use a SIM from there.

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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