AT&T Strikes Back, Says It Does Indeed Unlock Customer Phones

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News Posted: Sat, Mar 9 2013 8:03 AM
Of late, there has been quite a lot of hubbub -- even in the mainstream media -- regarding the issue of phone unlocking. In particular, a legal quirk involving DMCA regulations that would or would not allow someone to unlock their phone. It actually revolves around unlocking software, but the "in-practice" impact is that it prevents users from popping in SIM cards from rival carriers in order to make life easier when relocating or traveling abroad.


AT&T has come under fire in particular, as the qualifications for unlocking one's AT&T phone are pretty strict. Strangely, the company saw fit to reach out on its own Public Policy Blog to reiterate a lot of what we already knew, but they sure have a sour attitude about it. Quoting John Marsh from AT&T: " I want to be completely clear that AT&T’s policy is to unlock our customers’ devices if they’ve met the terms of their service agreements and we have the unlock code. It’s a straightforward policy, and we aim to make the unlocking process as easy as possible. As we make clear on our website, if we have the unlock code or can reasonably get it from the manufacturer, AT&T currently will unlock a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days; whose account is in good standing and has no unpaid balance; and who has fulfilled his or her service agreement commitment.  If the conditions are met we will unlock up to five devices per account per year. We will not unlock devices that have been reported lost or stolen."

AT&T claims that the latest legal rulings won't impact any of its customers, but the fact remains: AT&T isn't making strides to make it easier for customers to unlock their phones. Waiting two years? Seems like a raw deal to us.
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rapid1 replied on Sat, Mar 9 2013 8:52 AM

??? "AT&T currently will unlock a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days; whose account is in good standing and has no unpaid balance; and who has fulfilled his or her service agreement commitment." That means as long as they filled there commitments when they got the equipment (smart phone in this case generally). So even though I know AT&T may be viewed negatively on some issues I do not understand how fulfilling a contract you legally and in whole agreed upon with a provider is bad here. I as many others have know for quite some time that the best long term deal is to buy your phone outright from the get go and not do the two year pay off deal, but if that's where you want to be with it, or your finances dictate it so then why is that any service providers fault whether it be ATT, big RED, Sprint, T-Mobile or any of the other providers out there's fault!

I understand the argument if you fulfilled your two years or whatever and then they force you not to unlock it but really rooting a phone is easy these days anyway. Yes I know you run a risk doing it of voiding the warranty! The warranty is not from the provider though it is from the company who makes the equipment! The same issue stands if you OC your equipment though of any type and I would bet a pretty high percentage here have there motherboard timing at 22 or 24 as we speak here at the least if not the memory OC's, the FSB, chip lock removed etc even if just for a small gain that would do no damage Intel or AMD Samsung Apple or whomever made said chip could void your warranty and refuse to replace it right now. The thing is we have the Internet and if they did so they would face some customer outrage and bad pub's probably in a matter of hours so they do not unless it is negligent to a higher point.

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