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AT&T will allow out-of-contract customers to unlock their iPhone - Page 2

post #41 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

4S from Apple is $649 + tax

I also made another mistake. The minimum AT&T plan is around $60. So it will be $635.
post #42 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

About damn time.

I could never understand AT&Ts mentality with respect to this policy. It isn't like I have anywhere to go to actually get better service. After moving to AT&T from Verizon I find that there is indeed good cell service in my area.

It would be very interesting to understand their reasoning as frankly they are better off with me off contract than on, paying for another iPhone.
post #43 of 99
According to the website Electronista, about half a dozen iPhone users complained to Tim Cook, via email, about AT&T refusing to unlock their iPhones. Cook's office helped them get their iPhones unlocked by AT&T. Apparently, the unlock procedure required tethering the iPhone to iTunes.

So, AT&T must have decided they might as well as do it for everyone.

We don't know yet how this process will work. My guess is that you call AT&T and give them the IMEI number. AT&T will check their system to see if the iPhone is free of contract obligations. They check off the IMEI number in their system. You connect to iTunes, and Presto !! iPhone unlocked !!

Waiting for Sunday. Going to unlock my old iPhone 4.
post #44 of 99
In the end it is better for AT&T to have me for a customer paying the same rate as subsidized customers. It isn't like I can go somewhere else ad get the same sort of service I get around here from another carrier so it isn't like they will loose a customer if my phone is unlocked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

What would be their motivation for doing this? Just being nice guys? Seems odd but I'm sure someone can explain the reasoning.
post #45 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I also made another mistake. The minimum AT&T plan is around $60. So it will be $635.

Plus activation fee of $36
post #46 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

According to the website Electronista, about half a dozen iPhone users complained to Tim Cook, via email, about AT&T refusing to unlock their iPhones. Cook's office helped them get their iPhones unlocked by AT&T. Apparently, the unlock procedure required tethering the iPhone to iTunes.

So, AT&T must have decided they might as well as do it for everyone.

We don't know yet how this process will work. My guess is that you call AT&T and give them the IMEI number. AT&T will check their system to see if the iPhone is free of contract obligations. They check off the IMEI number in their system. You connect to iTunes, and Presto !! iPhone unlocked !!

Waiting for Sunday. Going to unlock my old iPhone 4.

I remember when the 4S was released there were reports of the 4S being automatically unlocked upon activation for those who bought the AT&T version at full price. The unlocked version was released by Apple weeks later.
post #47 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In the end it is better for AT&T to have me for a customer paying the same rate as subsidized customers. It isn't like I can go somewhere else ad get the same sort of service I get around here from another carrier so it isn't like they will loose a customer if my phone is unlocked.

If you are going to stay with AT&T anyway, getting the iPhone unlocked is beneficial only if you plan to travel overseas a lot. No exorbitant roaming charges. Otherwise, there is no real benefit.

From AT&T's point of view, there is a possible financial benefit. If you travel overseas a lot, you are likely to keep you current iPhone after contract if it is unlocked. They don't have to subsidize another iPhone for you.
post #48 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

You are looking at this backward! Apple sell unlocked iPhones for full price. Even if you buy one from AT&T with contract and terminate to get it unlocked it will cost you the same:

$200 iPhone
+ $375 early termination fee
+ $50 for at least one month of service
-----------
Total = $625 + tax

This is more expensive than getting an unlocked iPhone from Apple. This action from AT&T is just to get customers and Apple off their back regarding this issue.

As noted earlier, one month of service is about $60. Also, there's a one-time activation fee (I think it's $36), bringing the total to about $670.

So buying the unlocked iPhone directly from Apple at $649 is cheaper (and less of a hassle).
post #49 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I knew it would eventually happen though I thought some politician would throw a fit that he can't put another country's SIM into his iPhone which would start the ball rolling. I didn't think that Tim Cook calling AT&T was even on the table.

That was my thought, too: that this wouldn't change until AT&T received suitable pressure from the government to make the change. I'm cynical enough to believe there was still some kind of behind-the-scenes pressure behind this. The only other explanation I can imagine is that they somehow calculated that the move would bring in more customers than it would free.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #50 of 99
What's the big deal with carrier locks. They have you tied to a contract so why not let you unlock at any time like O2 in the UK do.
post #51 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

which carrier is he planning to switch to? The Edge only carrier called T-Mobile?

Oh absolutely not. Just thinking hypothetically.
post #52 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It was all sounding reasonable until the end. If you have paid the early termination fee you have settled your account.



When was it ever stated as impossible. We know they sell factory unlocked iPhones as required by some countries and we've had SW unlocks with every iPhone model for 5 years.

AT&T Wireless (Prior to Cingular's acquisition) when they were getting everyone to replace their TDMA phones with GSM phones, the policy was "we do not (sim)-unlock phones" not "It's impossible"

It is however impossible for customer service to unlock the phones, deep in the policies, the only devices that could be unlocked were RIM devices, which was part of a troubleshooting stage that could only be done by the technical support for RIM devices. Got to keep businesses using RIM devices happy. All other devices, SOL.

Cingular's policy however was that they would unlock devices that were no longer under subsidy, which is similar to the wording you see here. The logical reason is that you aren't going to give away a free phone, and then have that person immediately cancel the plan and take it T-mobile.

My guess is that AT&T/Apple have developed a tool to unlock the device remotely if all conditions have been met. There are some difficulties with having such a tool available, since customer support staff can be bullied into unlocking a phone if it doesn't enforce it. If you've ever changed your plan and lost features/promotions, you know what I'm talking about. The CRM software enforces certain things, including contract dates, and only higher level representatives (eg technical support) have the power to override screwups made by representatives.
post #53 of 99
Perhaps this is the sign of things to come in "The New iPhone" and AT&T is getting ahead of it instead of the usual behavior from carriers. It doesn't seem to really change things because of the state of compatible networks among the competition.
post #54 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

You are looking at this backward! Apple sell unlocked iPhones for full price. Even if you buy one from AT&T with contract and terminate to get it unlocked it will cost you the same:

$200 iPhone
+ $375 early termination fee
+ $50 for at least one month of service
-----------
Total = $625 +

This is more expensive than getting an unlocked iPhone from Apple. This action from AT&T is just to get customers and Apple off their back regarding this issue.

When I asked AT&T about doing this they told me I would have to give the phone back. I chose not to argue since I was not actually trying. This whole thing is just another case of a corporation willing to tell complete and absolute lies to their customers just to maybe make a buck. If you give me your iPhone I can hand it back to you in 3 minutes unlocked. There are ways to use an iPhone and not have to do business with the likes of people you find at AT&T and the phone does not need to be unlocked.
post #55 of 99
AT&T has been saying for years that ".. it is impossible to unlock an iPhone". That's exactly what AT&T Customer Service told me about six months ago when I wanted my iPhone 4 unlocked for international travel.

So now it seems that they will unlock it in June when my contract is over. Big deal. They'll let me use the phone that I have paid for !! Bug F deal !!

No thank you, AT&T. Too little, too late.
post #56 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by kent909 View Post

When I asked AT&T about doing this they told me I would have to give the phone back. I chose not to argue since I was not actually trying. This whole thing is just another case of a corporation willing to tell complete and absolute lies to their customers just to maybe make a buck. If you give me your iPhone I can hand it back to you in 3 minutes unlocked. There are ways to use an iPhone and not have to do business with the likes of people you find at AT&T and the phone does not need to be unlocked.

If you are trying to do it within 30 days of buying your phone then you have to give it back and you will not pay early termination fee.
post #57 of 99
So let me get this straight.

I can take my 4GB iPhone 2G, a device I've had for three months short of five years and NEVER used as a phone or had a plan at all to AT&T, and they'll permanently unlock it for me.

I like that. I like that a lot.

“The only thing more insecure than Android is its userbase.” – Can’t Remember

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post #58 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

If you are trying to do it within 30 days of buying your phone then you have to give it back and you will not pay early termination fee.

In my research to find a way to get a iPhone, that I could be positive was not stolen, I considered canceling after the first month and paying the early termination fee. I was looking for a 4 and not a 4S, so only being $100 for that phone I figured I could save a little over buying a unlocked phone from Apple.
post #59 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

which carrier is he planning to switch to? The Edge only carrier called T-Mobile?

Or possibly a regional carrier such as GCI http://www.gci.com/ like I am, that supports HSPA+ on the same frequencies as AT&T, and offers $200 or 20,000 Alaska Airline miles to any new wireless user who supplies their own phone.

Just to break down the numbers:

500 minutes Nationwide = 39.99
5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 29.99
SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 15.00
-----------------------------------------------
Total Monthly Service 84.98

Same plan, with AT&T
450 minutes Nationwide = 39.99
5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 50.00
SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 20.00
------------------------------------------------
Total Monthly Service 109.99

Amount I'd save monthly by switching to GCI vs AT&T = 25.01/month X 12 = 300.12

So that's HSPA+ speeds, nationwide calling, unlimited text, and better coverage in my home state, all for 300 dollars less per year? Not something to sneeze at.
post #60 of 99
I have an old 3G. This is a good deal for me because now I can use that phone overseas without getting raped by ATT. My alternative of course was getting it jailbroken, but now I don't need to bother with that.

Regardless, being someone who is overseas a lot, tell me why I should renew with ATT when the iphone5 comes out? With Verizon I can immediately unlock a new phone for international use instead of having to use an old out-of-contract phone.
post #61 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Or possibly a regional carrier such as GCI http://www.gci.com/ like I am, that supports HSPA+ on the same frequencies as AT&T, and offers $200 or 20,000 Alaska Airline miles to any new wireless user who supplies their own phone.

Just to break down the numbers:

500 minutes Nationwide = 39.99
5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 29.99
SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 15.00
-----------------------------------------------
Total Monthly Service 84.98

Same plan, with AT&T
450 minutes Nationwide = 39.99
5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 50.00
SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 20.00
------------------------------------------------
Total Monthly Service 109.99

Amount I'd save monthly by switching to GCI vs AT&T = 25.01/month X 12 = 300.12

So that's HSPA+ speeds, nationwide calling, unlimited text, and better coverage in my home state, all for 300 dollars less per year? Not something to sneeze at.

Another alternative is Straight Talk, a prepaid (no-contract) brand of TracFone:

unlimited talk
unlimited text
*unlimited data*
-------------------------------
Total Monthly Service $45**

*anecdotally around 2GB/month before they send you a nasty message threatening to cancel service because you're a data hog.
**if you prepay several months, this drops to about $42/month

Straight Talk is an MVNO and buys cellular time from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Just get the AT&T-compatible SIM and your handset is connecting to AT&T's cellular towers.
post #62 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So let me get this straight.

I can take my 4GB iPhone 2G, a device I've had for three months short of five years and NEVER used as a phone or had a plan at all to AT&T, and they'll permanently unlock it for me.

I like that. I like that a lot.

Excited about getting a phone unlocked that is not 3G and you never want to use as a phone?

That's quite a brain you have there !!

post #63 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keda View Post

Forgive my ignorance, but what can you do with an unlocked phone?

The best use for me is international. When I travel now with my locked ATT iPhone, I have an ultra expensive smartphone in Europe and Asia. Places where I really would like to use maps on the iPhone (not pre-downloaded), stay in contact through e-mail, check out local restaurants etc. If I would want to do this now, it'd be prohibitively expensive because of INSANE data roaming charges. Same with voice calls. $2/minute. So I always switch data off and time my calls. And still end up with about $200 roaming charges for a typical 14 days vacation. Last time I used an unlocked Android phone instead of my iPhone in Europe because of this.

With the unlocked iPhone, I can pop in a local $30 SIM with a few GB of data and hundreds of minutes of talk time.

In a way it's a step for Apple to stay competitive because personally, I was seriously considering switching to an unlocked Android phone on T-Mobile (they give you a monthly discount if you bring an unsubsidized phone) because of the extremely uncompetitive international option with the iPhone.
post #64 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

Excited about getting a phone unlocked that is not 3G and you never want to use as a phone?

That's quite a brain you have there !!


You're joking, right?

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post #65 of 99
I want to share an experience with how I was able to unlock my iPhone 4S so you all know who really controls the unlocking:

My sister bought an unlocked iPhone 4S from the Apple Canada website. She sent it to me as a gift. I am currently living in Vietnam on a work assignment. After 3 days of using it, the phone developed a vertical line on the screen. Since the nearest place where I could get the phone replaced was Hong Kong, I decided to send it back to my sister in Canada through my parents who came to visit me. She then sent it back to Apple and got a replacement. Then through a friend, the new iPhone 4S made it back to me.

I was so excited to get the phone since I had waited 2 months to grt this replacement. I opened the phone to insert my SIM card and noticed there was an AT&T SIM card already inside this new phone. That's funny. An unlocked shouldn't have a SIM card inside. Anyways, I put my SIM card in and to my horror, I could not activate the phone! I tried and tried, reloaded the software and everything, but the phone would not activate.

So I called tech support and the first guy said I should try some place in Vietnam to get help. Of three places I went to, they all said I have to jail break the phone because it is a locked phone. I called Apple support again and mentioned there was an AT&T SIM card in my phone. They said that was odd and asked me to try resetting the phone. That didn't work either. So I called a third time and talked to a higher level engineer. He told me that what happened in my case was that someone at the warranty depot sent me a locked AT&T iPhone instead of an unlocked phone as originally purchased. But he said not to worry as they can unlock the phone from their end. So I had to wait about half a day and boom! I was able to activate the phone.

The lesson I learned is always give your new phone a good burn-in before taking it overseas. I also learned (and this is a guess) that Apple owns a master database that determines whether your phone is locked or unlocked. By simply associating the UUID of the phone with an entry in some database (locked or unlocked), they can control which carrier, if any, your phone is locked to.
post #66 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyInSeattle View Post

Of course they refused.

I believe that they are making this change because the newest iPhones are world capable and the Verizon has become a better value proposition and ATT believes that their customers will realize this.

I was quite clear on the phone that I have 4 iPhone 4's in my family plan and they have all aged out of their contract. Why would I renew in the fall with ATT with whatever the new iPhone will be when I can get an equivalent phone from Verizon and that phone would work well overseas without paying huge fees?

It showed no loyalty to a customer to "hold" them after the contract. Why should the customer stay with ATT?

If this turns out to be true I might well stay with ATT.

Tony

This still won't allow an ATT iPhone 4S to be used on Verizon though.

Verizon, though, will unlock the SIM card of any iPhone 4S on their network if the account is 6+ months old and in good standing.
post #67 of 99
FINALLY. Great news, but this should be AUTOMATIC upon completion of your initial contract, or available as a button in iTunes or an option to click in the AT&T app, instead of having to waste time to phone them!!!

The other good thing about this is it opens pay as you go options!
post #68 of 99
T-Mobile actually has data speeds FASTER than AT&T currently with their HSPA+ offerings, BUT they work on frequencies the current iPhones mostly don't work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

which carrier is he planning to switch to? The Edge only carrier called T-Mobile?
post #69 of 99
Unlocking is not condition for roaming. Agreements between carriers is. This article states incorrectly that you would have to unlock your phone in order to be able to roam.

Roaming in the USA however is something non-existent due to idiotic competition policies and lack of agreements between US caririers.


Sorry, but as foreigner living in the USA and traveling between countries with GSM phone I know one or two things about roaming on mobile. I also know one or two things about unlocking GSM phones... even without some "permissions" from carrier. A lot of online services do this for $10-$20.... and for sure it is normal, legal business in foreign countries.
post #70 of 99
Finally! And of course just a few weeks after I went out and bought a new unlocked iPhone 4S the day before I was leaving the country for many months.

Still, who wants to wait two years for an unlock! Verizon Wireless will unlock (for international use) for any customer with an account in good standing for 60 days.
post #71 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

Unlocking is not condition for roaming. Agreements between carriers is. This article states incorrectly that you would have to unlock your phone in order to be able to roam.

Roaming in the USA however is something non-existent due to idiotic competition policies and lack of agreements between US caririers.


Sorry, but as foreigner living in the USA and traveling between countries with GSM phone I know one or two things about roaming on mobile. I also know one or two things about unlocking GSM phones... even without some "permissions" from carrier. A lot of online services do this for $10-$20.... and for sure it is normal, legal business in foreign countries.

All European carriers will unlock your phone either for free or for a nominal charge. Only the misguided or thieves use third party scammers to do this for you. always do this through the carrier. Unless you have a lost/stolen handset lol.

Using an unlocked phone allows you to use a local carriers SIM for calls and especially data which can work out far cheaper than roaming on your home carrier.
post #72 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In the end it is better for AT&T to have me for a customer paying the same rate as subsidized customers. It isn't like I can go somewhere else ad get the same sort of service I get around here from another carrier so it isn't like they will loose a customer if my phone is unlocked.

That's my complaint - even after your contract expires, you have to pay the same rate as when you're in the contract. So, let's say the subsidy on my phone is $480.00 and I have a 24 month contract. $20 per month of my bill goes to pay the phone subsidy. After the contract expires, my bill should drop if I don't renew the contract with a new phone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Or possibly a regional carrier such as GCI http://www.gci.com/ like I am, that supports HSPA+ on the same frequencies as AT&T, and offers $200 or 20,000 Alaska Airline miles to any new wireless user who supplies their own phone.

Just to break down the numbers:

500 minutes Nationwide = 39.99
5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 29.99
SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 15.00
-----------------------------------------------
Total Monthly Service 84.98

Same plan, with AT&T
450 minutes Nationwide = 39.99
5GB Data/month w/ Tethering = 50.00
SMS/MMS Unlimited Message = 20.00
------------------------------------------------
Total Monthly Service 109.99

Amount I'd save monthly by switching to GCI vs AT&T = 25.01/month X 12 = 300.12

So that's HSPA+ speeds, nationwide calling, unlimited text, and better coverage in my home state, all for 300 dollars less per year? Not something to sneeze at.

That's a good point and one that I didn't consider - since we don't have any strong regional providers around here and I travel enough that I need good International coverage. It might make sense for some people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So let me get this straight.

I can take my 4GB iPhone 2G, a device I've had for three months short of five years and NEVER used as a phone or had a plan at all to AT&T, and they'll permanently unlock it for me.

I like that. I like that a lot.

I'm curious. Why in the world did you buy an iPhone that you never used as a phone and never plan to use as a phone? Wouldn't an iPod Touch have made more sense?

Unless you're talking about using EDGE for data access. If so, I would consider that to be equivalent to using it as a phone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

FINALLY. Great news, but this should be AUTOMATIC upon completion of your initial contract, or available as a button in iTunes or an option to click in the AT&T app, instead of having to waste time to phone them!!!

The other good thing about this is it opens pay as you go options!

I don't care about automatically unlocking the phone. Making it easily available on request is OK with me. I would much rather have an automatic reduction in my monthly payment after completion of the subsidy period.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #73 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I don't care about automatically unlocking the phone. Making it easily available on request is OK with me. I would much rather have an automatic reduction in my monthly payment after completion of the subsidy period.

That might be legally problematic since they advertise the 3GS along with a few other phones as free with contract.
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post #74 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I'm curious. Why in the world did you buy an iPhone that you never used as a phone and never plan to use as a phone? Wouldn't an iPod Touch have made more sense?

It would have, yeah, but I won the iPhone. You're absolutely right; there's no way I would have bought it back in 2007. Both the phone and the plan were way too expensive.

“The only thing more insecure than Android is its userbase.” – Can’t Remember

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post #75 of 99
I'm looking forward to getting my iPhones unlocked. We currently use them on Straight Talk which subleases AT&T's network here in the U.S. We get unlimited everything for $45 a month each.

This is a very smart move for Apple and AT&T. Older iPhones can be unlocked and now leave the U.S. market. That means there will be a larger audience clamoring for newer iPhones and AT&T can help satisfy that need.

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post #76 of 99
Really, this is the only cue Apple needs to stop selling locked iPhones at all. Just start selling one model on the store. Remove the AT&T/Verizon/Sprint buttons and be done with it.

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post #77 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I'm looking forward to getting my iPhones unlocked. We currently use them on Straight Talk which subleases AT&T's network here in the U.S. We get unlimited everything for $45 a month each.

This is a very smart move for Apple and AT&T. Older iPhones can be unlocked and now leave the U.S. market. That means there will be a larger audience clamoring for newer iPhones and AT&T can help satisfy that need.

Thanks for the information. My AT&T contract ends in a few months. I may switch to Straight Talk. Even if I buy an unlocked iPhone, I'll save enough to pay for the phone in under a year.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #78 of 99
I just spent over 90 minutes on the phone trying to get two iPhones unlocked that met all of the requirements. The support people all agreed that I should be able to unlock the phones under the new policy, but no one knew how to implement it. The information at this point is it may require filling out a form and mailing it to ATT, but they support people couldn't provide the form. They couldn't take the IMEI number and enter it in the system (even though I canceled my service 8 months ago they still seemed to have most of the account details including the details on the phones). They sent 3 emails to me that told me to fill out said form but there was nothing attached.

If you have iphones you want unlocked I recommend waiting a few days for the dust to settle. ATT clearly hasn't thought this through yet.
post #79 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

What would be their motivation for doing this? Just being nice guys? Seems odd but I'm sure someone can explain the reasoning.

Negative PR. They have done this for all other phones for years and never should have been allowed to have different rules for the iPhone and now it is catching up with them

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post #80 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtm135 View Post

There's no financial incentive that I'm aware of to purchase an unlocked phone in the United States. Part of your monthly bill still goes towards the subsidy of the phone, regardless if it needs it or not.

In my mind, that's the biggest crime here, and something the federal gov't should have stepped in about a LONG time ago.

Agreed. And I bet if you hit change.org or the like and set up a petition a several thousand other folks would turn up that also agree.

Or if you have a lawyer friend the two of you could try filing a class action suit against the carriers for overcharging customers. You might not win but it could get a ton of press and start the right wheels moving

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