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ptbarnett

join:2002-09-30
Lewisville, TX

Won't unlock for international travel

As the article points out, the subsidy lock prevents you from using a pre-paid SIM when traveling internationally. As a result, you have to pay exorbitant roaming rates for SMS, voice calls, and data.

The one time that I tried to get AT&T to unlock my phone for this reason, they refused. I had been a customer for about 15 years. However, It ended well: I bought a gray market phone on eBay for about $100. I used it during my extended trip, and it later became a working spare when my original phone died.

Given the ETF, I think the subsidy lock is pointless. You have committed to paying off the subsidy if you leave before the contract ends. Maybe AT&T thinks that will keep people from bailing out early, but since there are many ways to unlock a phone (despite any legislation), I really doubt it is effective.

I'd like to get away from the subsidy model altogether, and replace it with something like WalMart's model: you buy the phone on credit, and $25/month is added to your bill every month. When it is paid off, your bill goes down. I believe a lot of people are continuing to pay the inflated price for monthly service after their contract is up, not realizing it was built into their fees.


Androidian

join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast

said by ptbarnett:

I believe a lot of people are continuing to pay the inflated price for monthly service after their contract is up, not realizing it was built into their fees.

Or, like I soon will be, they continue to pay the bloated price without buying a new phone because Verizon is evil and will forcibly push you to a metered data plan with a new subsidized phone. I refuse to be the victim of a VerizoRapist.
--
The only difference between Bush and Obama is the group they're wasting our taxpayer money on. It's time to elect responsible legislators.

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to ptbarnett

Technically you could get the unlock program and wait until you are at your destination and then unlock the phone.

I state this because unlocking violates the DMCA, However if you are sitting in a hotel in London the DMCA no longer applies.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports


meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT

The laws of the United States apply to US Citizens abroad.



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to ptbarnett

said by ptbarnett:

The one time that I tried to get AT&T to unlock my phone for this reason, they refused.

That matches my own experience. I got the run-around between customer support (who said there is no such thing as an unlock group / department) and their sim unlock group who said that they only honor unlock requests coming in through customer support (not directly from end users). Any attempts to get the two groups to communicate with each other were futile.

I could not get it resolved before departure and ended up getting my phone unlocked at the overseas destination by the news/tobacco/phone dealer who sold me the local SIM.

I have since switched to T-Mobile (not because of the unlock incident, but because att's wireless service kept getting worse) and a similar unlock request there was processed without problems.

It would not surprise if the sole purpose of those false claims by att regarding unlocking is simply to sway opinion in congress (pretending that there is no real problem).
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!

Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to meowmeow

said by meowmeow:

The laws of the United States apply to US Citizens abroad.

That cannot be 100% true because people under 21 can drink in countries where the age is 18.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

That's because the Federal Government has no real jurisdiction over the drinking age, see the 21st Amendment. It's almost entirely in the hands of the States.

Try having sex with a child where it's legal and you'll see how quickly the Feds enforce US Law to overseas actions. Hell, on a far more mundane level, it's illegal to purchase a Cuban cigar in Canada, even if you smoke it there.


meowmeow

join:2003-07-26
Helena, MT
reply to Kearnstd

Drinking age is a state law. The federal law doesn't apply to citizens but to the states. And it's not enforceable really, you just (as a state) don't get any federal funding for your highways if you don't make the drinking age 21. Which, of course, no state would accept.