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Old 01-29-2013, 01:39 PM   #31
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The solution is simple. Do not purchase devices or services that do not explicitly exempt you from these conditions. If enough consumers boycott Big IP, they will mend their ways.
Bingo. There is sufficient competition that you can find the deal you want, including no contract. Of course, you'll end up paying full price for the phone, but that's what an unlocked, no contract phone is worth, after all.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:41 PM   #32
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Bingo. There is sufficient competition that you can find the deal you want, including no contract. Of course, you'll end up paying full price for the phone, but that's what an unlocked, no contract phone is worth, after all.
If that's the case then why is this law being enacted?
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:43 PM   #33
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Perhaps companies should only offer subsidised phones with a lengthy contract with substantial penalty clauses for early termination. Simple contract law can cover this situation perfectly well, without tying phones to a single network when there are no technical limitations.
Problem is, contract law can't always cover the situation. If the law says that you can unlock your phone, a contract to the contrary may not be enforceable, in the same way that a contract can't supersede fair use under copyright law, like the first sale doctrine. Until a few days ago, the law (as interpreted by the Library of Congress) said you could unlock your phone, whether the contract allowed it or not. The only way around that would have been a real lease, where it is spelled out that you are not the owner of the phone. And nobody is going to do that on a personal phone.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:45 PM   #34
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Ah but then what is to stop the company from saying that the user owes those early termination fees in a case where the phone that they had when they took out the contract breaks and the user has to get a new one?
The contracts generally explicity cover that.

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Or where some aspect of the service has been misrepresented by an agent of the company and the user finds him/herself spending more than they were told for a service that doesn't work as advertized, and the user decides to switch to a different service provider who is less costly?
That would be either false advertising or contract fraud, either of which is grounds to nullify the contract.

In either case, not a new idea, and almost universally covered by the contracts.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:47 PM   #35
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In the UK you can get pay as you go phones tied to different carriers at different prices, so there is no contract to lock you in to, half a million seems a bit steep for unlocking it to change carrier though
Readily available in the US, too. It just tends to cost more, so people whine about it.

You can also go to someone like Virgin Mobile, who offer accounts starting at $35/month with a couple hundred minutes, unlimited text and unlimited data, with no contract. But you have to pay full price for the phone.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:48 PM   #36
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I doubt that applies in the U.S.
Federal law, and all 50 states, have similar statutes. Even a contract that mandates arbitration can be challenged as unconscionable in court - you just have to challenge the abritration clause first.

It's far easier, however, to simply refuse to do business with companies that have contracts that you don't like. You can also negotiate with them, as often as not, even though few people realize it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:05 PM   #37
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If that's the case then why is this law being enacted?
It is not being enacted, the LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS is interpreting existing copyright legislation to mean “AMERICANS SHALL NOT UNLOCK THEIR OWN SMARTPHONES.”

The question is; whose pocket is said librarian in?

Don't you just love regulators?
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:05 PM   #38
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Do many people change carriers? If so, for what reason?
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:13 PM   #39
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I doubt that applies in the U.S.
One more reason to live in the UK.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #40
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Here's what EFF says:

https://www.eff.org/is-it-illegal-to-unlock-a-phone

and from the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...0,633560.story

and SF Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/technology/dot...es-4229779.php

Last edited by kennyc; 01-29-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:17 PM   #41
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One more reason to live in the UK.
Can I bring my guns?
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:21 PM   #42
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Do many people change carriers? If so, for what reason?
Yes, when iPhones first came out they were only available on AT&T, but AT&T’s infrastructure was not up to the increased traffic. Thus iPhones were frequently “jailbroken” (unlocked) and a T-Mobile SIM was installed to get better service.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:23 PM   #43
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If that's the case then why is this law being enacted?
Some years back, though I'm not sure how it came about, wireless phone companies significantly lowered their early termination penalties. Back when I got my first cell phone (1997 I think?), if I cancelled my 2-year contract, I was on the hook for the entire cost of the remaining contract plus an inflated cost of the phone PLUS an additional early termination fee in the form of the initial deposit. We're talking thousands of dollars, depending on when the contract was cancelled.

(It's worth noting that when I moved to an area where they had recently stopped existing and the new owner of that region wouldn't honor my contract, they let me out with no questions asked and returned my deposit in full.)

As it is now, for AT&T smart phone contracts with subsidized phone, the early termination fee starts at $325, and is reduced by $10 for each month of fulfilled service.

$325 is a pretty good deal for a $600 phone, yeah? Break the contract, pay the fee, unlock the phone and go no-contract with another carrier for half the monthly cost.

That's one reason why I can see this being in place. But I don't think this is the best way to go about it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:31 PM   #44
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Can I bring my guns?
Here you go.

In short: Yes, if they're not prohibited weapons, and you obtain the relevant certificates in advance.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:33 PM   #45
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Not worth it.
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