Unlocking Phones after 90 days

Unlocking Phones after 90 days

Unlocking Phones after 90 days

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647nk
I'm a Contributor Level 2

Unlocking Phones after 90 days

Why must a service provider charge a fee to unlock the device during or after the term is over?  I understand why the might charge a fee during the term but after it should be free unlock!  Is this really necessary to charge a fee to make money?

 

***Edited to add labels***

Accepted Solution

Re: Unlocking Phones after 90 days

Solved by Former Moderator FidoMatt

There is a ot involved in the unlocking process both from an administrative and technical standpoint which is why there is a fee. 

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33 REPLIES 33
ahsdifhaoweia
I'm a Participant Level 3

The issue I havn't seen brought up is that when we subsidize the phone we own it but haven't paid for it. Fido is protecting itself from losses by making sure people cannot buy the phone and dissapear. I knew someone who did this with fake IDs and he would buy android phones and dissapear. He almost went to jail, lucky his butt ended up in rehab instead. 

You obviously missed my posts when I mentioned leasing & financing. What about car dealers and financial institutions, shouldn’t they protect themselves? What about department stores where you get a $500 store credit card, shouldn’t they protect themselves? Let me put it in another way, why is that it’s only the telecoms which “are protecting” themselves by crippling their products?

 

Fortunately the issue that you haven’t seen brought up is not an issue, at least not for someone who is remotely familiar with this society. The issue of checking consumer’s data is a general one and not native to telecoms and has been addressed a long time ago.

 

Maybe you heard that some ppl have (illegally) transferred the ownership of a house (mortgage) but I do not think that you heard or agree that everybody who owns a mortgage to have one of those bracelets that those under house arrest wear just to protect banks from loses.

 

Nice try, love to hear you argument regarding those customers which have purchased the phone at full price.

interesting conversation. I have always purchased my device outright, as Fido doesn't usually carry a device that I want. I do however, advocate for purchasing outright from someone other than the carrier. First, the device is usually a lot cheaper from a retailer or ebay. They sell phones, period and don't have the services to worry about. Second, the device is always unlocked and you can put any carrier sim in it. So, if you don't want to pay more and have a contract locking you in for 2 or 3 years, then it is an obvious choice. I don't believe that purchasing a device that you cannot afford, so you finance it through the carrier is a strong argument. Use your credit card to finance it then and it will come unlocked, otherwise you enter into a contract that is set by the company you are entering into one with. Whew, long way to say, buy it elsewhere and have your freedom.




@Original_Lucy wrote:

I don't believe that purchasing a device that you cannot afford, so you finance it through the carrier is a strong argument. Use your credit card to finance it .


Ever heard of department stores cards? Yep, I know, not a strong argument at all, much much higher interest rates than credit cards so nobody is using those cards, right? I’m just wondering how is that they are still in business?

 

You may be right, it may not be a strong argument but for the time being it’s the only one presented (by mois). Btw care to share your arguments, if any? I mean why do ppl buy from carriers, the initial question, remember? After all if a problem has only one solution, even a weak one then … (get my point?).

 

Here’s a second reason ppl buy from carriers, they just don’t care about anything else. You’ll find the same behaviour with ppl interested only in the down payment and monthly payment when financing/leasing cars or recently more and more ppl are interested only in the monthly payment of the mortgage (if they can afford it), the value of the property, who cares, will go up in time, 20 yrs doesn’t work(?) then make it 25 yr, still doesn’t work make it 30 … now I can afford that on a monthly basis and will work something out to get the 20% down.

 

There’s a third argument but everyone has considered it so there’s nothing new, those who for whatever reason do not have the option of using a credit card.

 

And a forth argument, subsidized phone available on the standard plan are cheaper if bought from Fido because there isn’t any “lower” plan than standard (or if there is one then I missed it).

Roskov
I'm Qualified Level 1

I think the arguments are leaving the main subject here. If this thread becomes a discussion about the ethics of locking a phone. Stick to  the main subject which is why do carriers lock phones even if bought full price.

I said all I had to say about this argument, if this becomes a general discussion thread at least stick to the main topic Smiley

10yearfido
I'm an Expert Level 2


@Roskov wrote:

I think the arguments are leaving the main subject here. If this thread becomes a discussion about the ethics of locking a phone. Stick to  the main subject which is why do carriers lock phones even if bought full price.

I said all I had to say about this argument, if this becomes a general discussion thread at least stick to the main topic Smiley


The reasons for locking it if bought at full price are exactly the same as locking it if bought on contract. There is absolutely no distinction and no difference in reason or rationalization. 

 

Reason 1:

To prevent you from using your phone with a competing carrier, whether you are on contract or not

 

Reason 2:

To help ensure that if you travel at all and use your own phone, they will be paid for your trip. This prevents you from using a SIM in the country you are visiting.

 

Being on a contract doesn't change these reasons nor does it provide any new legitimate reason for the lock. On contract, you are obligated by the contract and will pay through the nose for the contract. Any benefits they see because of locking go way beyond the contract and in fact are not, in anyway, related to contracts. That's just nonsense.

Roskov
I'm Qualified Level 1

The reason is the same and I agree. It's just that all I see in this thread is people talking about financing of the phones which is not the main reason why phones are locked. If it was they would be unlocked at full price.

User3512
I'm Helpful Level 3


@Roskov wrote:

It's just that all I see in this thread is people talking about financing of the phones


Interesting is your timing, it’s ok if others bring up the financing of the phone but if I respond to a post which questioned what I posted then you feel that’s necessary to show me the right path. As you can see I didn’t mention the other reasons in my first post because I didn’t think it should be treated here but I got carried away and done it in my last post so for that (and only that) I will apologize. Anyway I got your message and here’s another reason added to the other two that 10yearfido mentioned:

 

Reason 3:


@Roskov wrote:

 financing of the phones which is not the main reason why phones are locked.


PS. Hopefully this time you won’t be bothered by me bringing in financing into discussion unless only main reasons are allowed or financing is a forbidden subject.

Roskov
I'm Qualified Level 1


@User3512 wrote:

@Roskov wrote:

It's just that all I see in this thread is people talking about financing of the phones


Interesting is your timing, it’s ok if others bring up the financing of the phone but if I respond to a post which questioned what I posted then you feel that’s necessary to show me the right path. As you can see I didn’t mention the other reasons in my first post because I didn’t think it should be treated here but I got carried away and done it in my last post so for that (and only that) I will apologize. Anyway I got your message and here’s another reason added to the other two that 10yearfido mentioned:

 

Reason 3:


@Roskov wrote:

 financing of the phones which is not the main reason why phones are locked.


PS. Hopefully this time you won’t be bothered by me bringing in financing into discussion unless only main reasons are allowed or financing is a forbidden subject.


 

 

I'm actualy refering more to Original_Lucy post.

You can speak about financing as much as you want, it's a free forum. But anything related to financing is automaticaly not relevant since if unlocking of phones had anything to do with it, then full price phones would be free...

If the argument about financing somehow makes sense, well it doesn't about full price phones, so I dont know where are you going with it.

Im not directing nobody on the right path, just read the whole thread since the beggining and see that last page was basicaly completely off topic from main topic.

Roskov
I'm Qualified Level 1

Well I guess we can at least agree that if one day it is removed, would be becauae of CRTC. In my honest opinion it will happen someday. I just don't see it happening out of kindness by fido.
User3512
I'm Helpful Level 3

Ok, fair enough, there is a cost associated with unlocking the phones. What about the costs associated with locking the phones, who is paying for that? As SpiltBwater said if bought at full price why sell it locked why not sell it unlocked? No costs associated with locking the phone, no cost associated with unlocking the phone, oh, almost forgot, could it be more like a lost revenue issue?

 

When bought at full price, costs (admin, tech) are just a scapegoat, the real reason is to add another roadblock to the options that customers have in this industry and a new revenue tool for the carrier. Back in 2000 my first phone from Fido was unlocked but at that time Fido was the only game in town (GSM).

 

I’m just wondering why is this allowed, why the sale of a product at full price can be conditioned/tied to the sale of a service? We wouldn’t accept to choose between a 55" Samsung TV locked to either Bell or Rogers and pay an “unlock” fee to be able to use the TV with whatever TV provider we wish.

 

What if car manufacturers would sell directly to the oil companies, what a win win proposition. The consumer would get a choice of buying an Accord at full price with either a (free) Petro Canada membership (read locked to filling up only at PC stations) or a (free) Esso membership. Then if one would like to fill up at any gas station there would be an “unlocking” fee paid to the oil companies for “costs associated with the unlocking process both from an administrative and technical standpoint” (paperwork and something like reprogramming a chip inside your car to pair up with any chip at any pump).

sheedy17
I'm Experienced Level 3

The  easiest way to avoid the unlocking fee, is to go straight to the manufactorer and purchase the phone at full cost.

 

But instead, people like the convience of going to a store, purchasing a device at a subsidized cost and spreading it out over 2 years.  For doing this, you must agree to the companies policies for unlocking. Which is the standard 90 day rule.  Fido is well within the rules of doing this.  

 

Personally, I would prefer if every phone cost $50 more upfront on contract and came unlocked.  But that is me.



10yearfido
I'm an Expert Level 2


@sheedy17 wrote:

The  easiest way to avoid the unlocking fee, is to go straight to the manufactorer and purchase the phone at full cost.

 

But instead, people like the convience of going to a store, purchasing a device at a subsidized cost and spreading it out over 2 years.  For doing this, you must agree to the companies policies for unlocking. Which is the standard 90 day rule.  Fido is well within the rules of doing this.  

 

Personally, I would prefer if every phone cost $50 more upfront on contract and came unlocked.  But that is me.



Actually, in exchange for the discount on the phone, what you must agree to is the contract or agreement. Nowhere in that agreement does it stipulate anything about the state of the phone being locked or unlocked nor when the policies are for unlocking it. On the face of it, it is ridiculous to even suggest that.

 

1) When I buy a phone, off contract, from the carrier, it is still locked. Why? Because the lock has nothing to do with the contract.

2) In what other industry are they allowed to cripped your property in order to force you to only use their services with your property?

 

As I said, in exchange for the discount, you agreed to a long term service contract at very high monthly rates. That's what you give up in exchange for the up front discount. There is no good and legitimate reason for the carrier to ever lock that phone. It is your property. You owe nothing on it. You are bound by your contract and that is all that you owe to the carrier.  Could a car company force you to buy gas only from them even though you bought the car outright from them? Could a bank prevent you from doing business with another bank just because you have an account with them? Wireless carriers are one of the few industries that are allowed to impose artificial restraints on trade.

 

In effect, you are saying they lock the phones because they can. Aside from that circular logic, can you provide just one legitimate reason for locking phones to even be allowed?

Wufai
I'm Qualified Level 3

10yearfido,

I would like to turn the argument around, and ask why customers still insist on buying a locked subsidized phone from wireless carriers, given all the negative aspects of a locked phone.

Wireless companies spend a lot of money to advertise the concept phones should be purchased with a contract to SAVE money, customers without proper information blindly follow the ads and make cellphone purchases through wireless carriers.

Wireless campanies also spends a lot of money to prevent brand name carriers like Samsung / Motorola from selling unlock phones on the North America market. Even retail outlets such as Bestbuy and Futureshop does not carry unlocked phones. Where in the rest of the world unlocked phones are readily avaliable at retail for full price.

I believe that in order for wireless companies to change, they have to be pressured by customers who opt for the 'better' choice of buying unlock phones. There's plenty of unlocked phones accessiable for Canadians, OnePlus One, Nexus 5, iPhone5. But Canadians have to accept the fact phones are expensive upfront costs. unless we change our mindset (pretty hard given the advertisment dollers invested by the Big 3), wireless carriers will continue to sell to us in a way that they make the most money.
10yearfido
I'm an Expert Level 2


@Wufai wrote:
10yearfido,

I would like to turn the argument around, and ask why customers still insist on buying a locked subsidized phone from wireless carriers, given all the negative aspects of a locked phone.

Wireless companies spend a lot of money to advertise the concept phones should be purchased with a contract to SAVE money, customers without proper information blindly follow the ads and make cellphone purchases through wireless carriers.

Wireless campanies also spends a lot of money to prevent brand name carriers like Samsung / Motorola from selling unlock phones on the North America market. Even retail outlets such as Bestbuy and Futureshop does not carry unlocked phones. Where in the rest of the world unlocked phones are readily avaliable at retail for full price.

I believe that in order for wireless companies to change, they have to be pressured by customers who opt for the 'better' choice of buying unlock phones. There's plenty of unlocked phones accessiable for Canadians, OnePlus One, Nexus 5, iPhone5. But Canadians have to accept the fact phones are expensive upfront costs. unless we change our mindset (pretty hard given the advertisment dollers invested by the Big 3), wireless carriers will continue to sell to us in a way that they make the most money.

In much of the rest of the world where unlocked phones are common or even the norm, it's because it was imposed by regulation not by customers choosing to go contract free. Maybe we need similar regulation to catch up with the rest of the world.

User3512
I'm Helpful Level 3


@Wufai wrote:
I would like to turn the argument around, and ask why customers still insist on buying a locked subsidized phone from wireless carriers, given all the negative aspects of a locked phone.

You are joking, aren’t you? Customers are buying a locked subsidized phone because they do not have any other choice, period. Why don’t you put this question to a bank executive and I’m sure s/he’ll come up with a new product geared towards ppl that want to have the latest unlocked gadget but do not have the means to purchase it at full price. Why do they insist on buying them? For the same reason ppl insist on financing/leasing a car or getting a credit card or a department store card (sometimes with less $$$ than the price of a phone)?

 


@Wufai wrote:
Wireless companies spend a lot of money to advertise the concept phones should be purchased with a contract to SAVE money, customers without proper information blindly follow the ads and make cellphone purchases through wireless carriers.

How would the above relate/justify phone locking? It’s the product and the $X/month which in my opinion grabs potential customers attention, the SAVE $$$ with this or that plan comes later once the customer is already hooked on getting their new toy for an affordable/acceptable monthly payment.

 


@Wufai wrote:
Wireless campanies also spends a lot of money to prevent brand name carriers like Samsung / Motorola from selling unlock phones on the North America market. Even retail outlets such as Bestbuy and Futureshop does not carry unlocked phones.

Agreed but how would the above justify phone locking?

 


@Wufai wrote:
I believe that in order for wireless companies to change, they have to be pressured by customers who opt for the 'better' choice of buying unlock phones. There's plenty of unlocked phones accessiable for Canadians, OnePlus One, Nexus 5, iPhone5.

Wufai, your “solution” would not work, it’s like saying that ppl should buy cars (full price) instead of financing/leasing them so dealers would feel pressured to drop those hidden cost when you signup for a lease/finance. Of course you could argue that there’s a huge difference between phones and cars, but it’s the principle that counts. If you are looking for proof that your solution doesn’t work look at EU countries where there’s an abundance of places where one can buy any phone unlocked and a lot of pple are buying them at full price and still (to my knowledge) a lot if not most of carriers lock their subsidized phones.

 


@Wufai wrote:
But Canadians have to accept the fact phones are expensive upfront costs. unless we change our mindset (pretty hard given the advertisment dollers invested by the Big 3), wireless carriers will continue to sell to us in a way that they make the most money.

Sorry but I do not agree with what you are saying, Canadians are not at fault, there’s nothing new for them, they have been financing/leasing cars and handling credit for a long long time. They know that a house is very expensive, a car is expensive and what is the price of a TV, bike, phone, … and phones are just an other addition which should work on the same principle. Canadians have accepted that phones are expensive and they are abiding by the rules (making regular monthly payments), so what exactly are you talking about, to accept what and to change our mindset how?

 

I can see only two avenues to change their behaviour, a legal one and a political one. If Bell wouldn’t lock their phones they could sue Rogers (or the other way) and it’s most likely that they would win and I am saying this not because I have a deep inside knowledge of the law but based on the fact that this is not happening in any other field due to the fact that it would be considered unfair competition. The other avenue it’s through the CRTC with rules and regulation.

 

 

Roskov
I'm Qualified Level 1

While the gaz station analogy is great and I do agree with it, lets not start comparing apples with potatoes when talking about Canada vs Europe. Europe is completely different when it comes to telecomunications compared to Canada. Europe gives a lot better internet/tv service for cheaper, that doesn't mean I'm about to call Bell to complain about why their prices are so high and why I only get 100Go per month...

Wufai is 100% right. Take any phone and see how much it cost on a contract on MAX/Smart/Standart/No contract and how much you will pay per month for same service. You will see that MAX you end up paying hundreds of $ more, smart/standart/No contract are similar but often no contract ends up beeing cheaper.

But again the complain is that why a phone bought full price is locked. There is more to it than just making 50$ off a client who leaves fido, Wufai did a great job explaining it. The effort the Big3 put down to make contracts appealing definitely pays off, since as much I can try to explain to a regular consumer that he could save more money on standart/smart plan with a high end phone, they all go for max...

 

If bashing Fido for it makes people feel any better go ahead, but every company locks phones, and fido changing that willl just be a loss of revenue, so they would have to do something else like increasing price plans and then people would complain about that. The person who said Europe doesn't lock phones, I don't know where you got that info from? To my knowledge, vodaphone locks phones. Can you show us where you got that info from?

I know there are like 2 countries in the world that forbit locking them, one beeing Israel, dont know the other one.

10yearfido
I'm an Expert Level 2


Roskov wrote:

 

If bashing Fido for it makes people feel any better go ahead, but every company locks phones, and fido changing that willl just be a loss of revenue, so they would have to do something else like increasing price plans and then people would complain about that. 


How would not lokcing phones cause a loss of revunue? The ONLY revenue they would lose would be the unlocking fee, which they aren't really doing anything to justify because they are simply correcting the defect the introduced. That would be like someone saying they won't break your legs if you pay them. The only other revenue it guarantees is roaming and that is revenue they should not be allowed to force you into, especially with markups of 3 orders of magnitude. 

 

The revenue they are entitled to is the revenue you agree to in your contract and whatever usage you choose on top. Unlocking fees and forcing you to roam in order to use your own phone are way, way outside of the scope of any revenue they are entitled to by your contract, which is why it is not covered by the contract.

Roskov
I'm Qualified Level 1

I'm not saying it is a huge revenue, but it is some sort of revenue. When CRTC added 50$ data overusage cap and 100$ roaming cap,all Canadian providers increased the data overusage rates in all new plans. Revenue is revenue doesn't matter in what form, theres a reaction to all action.

I never said I agree to the 50$ fee, almost every country in the world unlocks the phone for free if bought full price or contract is over. But I don't think Fido will suddenly unlock phones for free when every other Canadian carrier does not. All I am saying is that this just won't hapenn until CRTC requires it. I understand everyone would like Fido to be the first to unlock phones for free, cause **** what everybody else does, but I dont see it happening.

User3512
I'm Helpful Level 3

Roskov from what you wrote I still cannot see the link (justification) to locking a phone except the part where you agree with what I said in a previous post that locking phones is just a roadblock to the options that the customers have and a new revenue tool for carriers. Oops, you agreed only to the revenue part but I’ll assume that you also agree to the roadblock part. Now if I’m mistaken in my presumption and you don’t see the locking of the phones as roadblock but as some kind of benefit to the customer then please let me know.

 

Loved the “everybody else is doing it” argument. It reminded me of kindergarten, you shouldn’t do it anymore … but everybody else is doing it … why didn’t you say so, go ahead it’s ok.

 

Also brought back memories of a very well polished car salesman … After we agreed on the price of the car, the interest rate, the buyback, the monthly payment all the other things in the agreement (contract) and when I wanted to sign the papers I noticed some unfamiliar numbers which no one mentioned and were not part of the agreement so I asked the guy what about those numbers. Oh, he was good, if you didn’t pay attention everything that he was saying seemed related to the lease, to the agreement. Still I didn’t see how his arguments had anything to do with the lease/agreement so I asked him to cut the cr4p and tell me why should I pay those amounts. His answer was, go check it out, everybody is doing it and I cannot waive it because it will cut into the dealers profit margin.

 

Roskov before Fido was swallowed by Rogers there wasn’t anything that one could have complained about, Fido knew how to differentiate themselves from the competition while keeping an eye on the customers needs. Remember when Fido was blasting the competition with that ad campaign “Billed by the second”? Business wise there are ways to get an edge over the competition but it’s hard work and it’s much easier especially in a monopoly to just sit back, relax (slap the customer with another charge) and see your profits rise.

 

And no, I’m not bashing Fido. As a matter of fact at this point in time (Wireless Code) Fido is not doing anything different than most other operators in let’s say EU, so anyone bashing Fido would be bashing the whole industry.