Posted May 2, 2013
3:20:21 PM
View profile
Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

I been with ATT for over 10 years and every year I see more and more anticonsumer behavior from you... I was planning on purchasing new Galaxy S4 and now I come to find out that it and the other high-end phone, HTC One, both have locked bootloaders!

 

Why are you crippling devices ATT? This is a slap in the face to any loyal customer and high-tech driven people. These phones were meant to be used with maximum cusomization in mind, Sprint and T-Mobile both released theirs totally unmolested.

 

Why are you driving your customers away?

20,831 views
68 replies
(4) Me too
(4) Me too
Post reply
Replies
(68)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 24, 2013 2:14:44 PM
0
(0)
Guru

jii wrote:

Zombiehunter wrote:
With regard to your statement of buying the phone outright. Who will still have full control of the device, the carrier? The manufacturer? Nope. You are buying it full price from the manufacturer, it will be unlocked. That's how they are constructed. The carriers require the phones to be locked thru their ordering instructions to the manufacturer.

 


That is only if you specifically buy a carrier unlocked device without going through a carrier. Anyone can go to an AT&T store and pay full price for any phone they wish to walk away with, but that device will come with a locked bootloader (as well as the SIM lock).


Thank you!

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

31 of 69 (13,406 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 24, 2013 3:06:34 PM
0
(0)
Professor
No, I don't expect ATT to come repossess your phone, and that was not part of the discussion.
And to counter your claim that it doesn't say anywhere that you don't own your phone, it also doesn't say that you own your phone.
If you're making monthly payments on your car, the price does not decrease. Neither will the installments of your ATT contract decrease. The car pymts are calculated as part of the contract. I the phone pymts are also calculated thru the life of the contract.
In ur first paragraph you question that per my thinking if we don't own the phone shouldn't the pymts decrease. Do you have the ability to enter into a pymt contract and have the monthly cost decreased during the age of the contract? I think that would happen only if it was stated and part of the contract documentation.

Your move.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zombie Hunter Mission Statement

Exterminate the living dead and keep our fellow citizens alive and safe. We will be connecting with our fellow businesses, the police department, funeral home, and weapon manufacturers to help map out, and exterminate the pesky living dead from our community.

~~~Seth Mendenhall

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

32 of 69 (13,404 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 24, 2013 4:10:13 PM
0
(0)
Professor

kgbkny wrote:

Zombiehunter wrote:
From AT&T's legal terms. Ok so it doesn't say directly that you don't own the phone. However, if you obtained the phone at a subsidized price for agreeing to a 2 yr contract and youstop paying or want out of the contract, you must pay an ETF which covers what is stilled owed to them. So I take that as I don't own the phone until the contract has been completed. Read Fulfillment os Service Commitment.

 

Your second statement is true and I failed to include that the phone purchased from its manufacture is unlocked. So, if I was going to buy a phone out right it would not be from any carrier. I would have to make sure that it was either a CDMA or a GSM design depending on the carrier I wanted to use.



This is the way I understand it - in exchange for committing to being their customer for two years, AT&T sells you a deeply discounted device. Despite what they say in the terms of contract, the ETF is indeed a penaly that is levied for ending your contract early. In fact, there are various services, not necessarily wireless, where the provider charges the customer an ETF for ending the contract early, even if no subsidized equipment is provided (certain cable/satellite TV services, for instance). Even the FCC refers to the ETF as a penalty, specifically in reference to wireless service:

 

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/early-termination-fees

 

Once you buy a subsidized device, you OWN it. You're not leasing or financing it - the device is yours from day one. Even if you don't take advantage of a subsidized device while subscribing to one of the postpaid plans for the first time, you will still be under contract and liable the same ETF as you would be if you did.

 

With regards to buying a phone outright, it makes very little sense to buy from the carrier. They will still have full control of the device. In my personal opinion, the Google Editions are worth every penny. Stock Android, prompt updates, no bloatware, LTE compatibility and no carrier meddling.


The ETF is a penalty for ending the contract early, but the money collected is for offsetting the loss on the phone that was sold at a subsidized price. This is the same reason the cost of service doesn't go up or down depending on how you got the phone. I understand what you say about ownership, but just because you give some money and take possession of something doesn't mean you have full ownership. You can put $5000 down to buy a $200,000 and turn around and say you own the home, but do you really own that home at that point? Yes, you own it, but it is not full ownership. Not even close. I'm not sure about other states, but here in Texas, when you finance a vehicle, they don't send you a title of ownership until you pay the vehicle off. The subsidizing of a phone is a form of financing the phone even though it isn't stated as such. AT&T would have legal avenues of repossessing a phone, but they won't because that would not be cost effective, hence they incorporate a fee to cover the money lost on subsidizing the phone.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

33 of 69 (13,397 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 25, 2013 12:48:06 PM
0
(0)
Voyager

WARNING about Baseband version MF3:

 


The work around for the locked bootloader in the xda developer forum for the Samsung SGH-I337 will ruin your phone, and there is no fix.

 

I was fortunate enough and early enough to beat this tyranny, used motochopper to get root and titanium backup to freeze the AT&T Software update in my handset back in June and dodged the OTA MF3 Update. That allowed me to stay at Baseband version I337UCUAMDL. From there I was able to install a custom recovery called TWRP. Made a backup. Flashed a ROM. No more Samsung or AT&T bloatware. Now my handset is fast and flawless. No bugs in the GoldenEye ROM which is basically the international firmware based on TouchWiz.

 

The bad news is, I'm seeing more and more folks making posts crying for help, in the Q & A help and troubleshooting section about our device because their Baseband version ends in MF3.

 

There is no recovery if your baseband version ends in MF3.

 

Yes there is a method to get your handset rooted but at this time it's a one way trip. No return. And no flashing once you get root. I can understand the necessity for root, and if I was stuck with MF3, I'd still root it, just so apps like Root Explorer and others that I use, that require your device to be rooted to work.

 

What seems to be happening is folks aren't investing the time required to read up or learn the details. One guy with MF3 baseband actually tried using Casual to get root. His phone is borked, unable to do a factory reset. Several others, with some experience flashing previous devices figure out how to get root, then against all warnings install GooManager to flash a custom recovery like CWM or TWRP and ended up with bricks.

 

So heads up to any of you out there who want to try a work around the locked bootloader. MF3 closed the exploit discovered by DRJBliss. Not even AdamOutler has been able find another way yet, and may not. It's possible that the many folks that bricked their phones won't get any help unless the creeps in charge of AT&T finally decide to unlock the bootloader.

 

Locking a device to a carrier is one thing. Locking the bootloader is pure, loathesome, unadulterated tyranny. I don't care how large the majority of Zombiehunting subjects tolerate it. It's wrong to prevent us from having complete control of the devices that we either pay for all at once or by recurring monthly charges over a contract period.

 

If I were to embellish the automobile analogy of not allowing roof racks or tinted windows, I'd like to point out how ticked off you'd be if you decided to pay extra for a V8 only to find it delivered with the smaller engine, and they told you "so sorry" about the extra you paid, too bad, we're keeping that, because we decided the V8 is just too much for you.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

34 of 69 (13,337 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 25, 2013 12:56:36 PM
0
(0)
Professor
Edited by Taylarie on Aug 25, 2013 at 6:37:04 PM

Thanks awesomebiker, and great explanation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zombie Hunter Mission Statement

Exterminate the living dead and keep our fellow citizens alive and safe. We will be connecting with our fellow businesses, the police department, funeral home, and weapon manufacturers to help map out, and exterminate the pesky living dead from our community.

~~~Seth Mendenhall

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

[ Edited ]
35 of 69 (13,330 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 26, 2013 8:40:39 AM
0
(0)
Guru

Zombiehunter wrote:
No, I don't expect ATT to come repossess your phone, and that was not part of the discussion.
And to counter your claim that it doesn't say anywhere that you don't own your phone, it also doesn't say that you own your phone.
If you're making monthly payments on your car, the price does not decrease. Neither will the installments of your ATT contract decrease. The car pymts are calculated as part of the contract. I the phone pymts are also calculated thru the life of the contract.
In ur first paragraph you question that per my thinking if we don't own the phone shouldn't the pymts decrease. Do you have the ability to enter into a pymt contract and have the monthly cost decreased during the age of the contract? I think that would happen only if it was stated and part of the contract documentation.

Your move.

Uh...seriously??? You PAY for the phone when you purchase it! In consideration for the money received from the customer, AT&T provides said customer with a phone. Simple business law.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

36 of 69 (13,231 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 26, 2013 8:47:40 AM
0
(0)
Guru

sitnsidewayz wrote:
 

The ETF is a penalty for ending the contract early, but the money collected is for offsetting the loss on the phone that was sold at a subsidized price. This is the same reason the cost of service doesn't go up or down depending on how you got the phone. I understand what you say about ownership, but just because you give some money and take possession of something doesn't mean you have full ownership. You can put $5000 down to buy a $200,000 and turn around and say you own the home, but do you really own that home at that point? Yes, you own it, but it is not full ownership. Not even close. I'm not sure about other states, but here in Texas, when you finance a vehicle, they don't send you a title of ownership until you pay the vehicle off. The subsidizing of a phone is a form of financing the phone even though it isn't stated as such. AT&T would have legal avenues of repossessing a phone, but they won't because that would not be cost effective, hence they incorporate a fee to cover the money lost on subsidizing the phone.


As a test of this theory, walk into an AT&T store with an unlocked phone and try to sign up for a postpaid account without purchasing a subsidized phone. You will still be liable for a $325 ETF. As such, the ETF is a penalty for early termination, plain and simple. A few months ago, prior to the current reorganization, T-Mobile had a postpaid plan that didn't include a subsidized device. This plan still had a 2-year contract requirement, complete with an ETF.

With regards to vehicle ownership, here in NYS the title is issued to the owner shortly after purchasing the financed vehicle. Once the loan has been paid off, the bank sends the owner a lien release form.

 

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

37 of 69 (13,231 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 26, 2013 9:42:33 AM
0
(0)
Professor

kgbkny wrote:

Zombiehunter wrote:
No, I don't expect ATT to come repossess your phone, and that was not part of the discussion.
And to counter your claim that it doesn't say anywhere that you don't own your phone, it also doesn't say that you own your phone.
If you're making monthly payments on your car, the price does not decrease. Neither will the installments of your ATT contract decrease. The car pymts are calculated as part of the contract. I the phone pymts are also calculated thru the life of the contract.
In ur first paragraph you question that per my thinking if we don't own the phone shouldn't the pymts decrease. Do you have the ability to enter into a pymt contract and have the monthly cost decreased during the age of the contract? I think that would happen only if it was stated and part of the contract documentation.

Your move.

Uh...seriously??? You PAY for the phone when you purchase it! In consideration for the money received from the customer, AT&T provides said customer with a phone. Simple business law.

 

A phone at a discounted price for entering into a contract for services.

 

As a test of this theory, walk into an AT&T store with an unlocked phone and try to sign up for a postpaid account without purchasing a subsidized phone. You will still be liable for a $325 ETF. As such, the ETF is a penalty for early termination, plain and simple. A few months ago, prior to the current reorganization, T-Mobile had a postpaid plan that didn't include a subsidized device. This plan still had a 2-year contract requirement, complete with an ETF.

 

I will ask this question the next time I am near the corporate store.

 

With regards to vehicle ownership, here in NYS the title is issued to the owner shortly after purchasing the financed vehicle. Once the loan has been paid off, the bank sends the owner a lien release form.

 

Yeah, but it is a down pymt for the car. You are paying the full price by being in the contract.

 

OK, here is how I see this topic. I may be wrong or I may be right, I really don't care.

For entering into a 2 yr contract with AT&T, they provide a phone of your choice at a reduced price and pay that price at the beginning of the contract. Now you have monthly pymts that give you access to a data plan. If you decide to end that contract prior to its completion, you must pay an ETF that is *an alternative means for you to perform your obligations under the Agreement that partially compensates us for the fact that the Service Commitment on which your rate plan is based was not completed.* I see this as recoping the total price of the device plus unused data plan.

It is not a penalty, as you state. If it is a penalty, then why is it still allowable wording in a binding contract?  *you can terminate your Agreement prior to the end of your Service Commitment and pay an Early Termination Fee (“ETF”). The Early Termination Fee is not a penalty*...

So, I see the contract has a pymt program for the discounted phone price as well as providing a usable data access program. I see the ETF as recouping the remaining monies owed on the phone. Is it a penalty for not completing the contract? If it is, then AT&T is stating a falsehood in a legally binding contract and should be held accountable. And if it is a known issue, then why hasn't AT&T been held to answer for printing that false statement?

Thanks for the lively conversation. Just know that I'm on this side of the idea and not going to cross over. 

OK, I'm done.


 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zombie Hunter Mission Statement

Exterminate the living dead and keep our fellow citizens alive and safe. We will be connecting with our fellow businesses, the police department, funeral home, and weapon manufacturers to help map out, and exterminate the pesky living dead from our community.

~~~Seth Mendenhall

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

38 of 69 (13,209 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 26, 2013 6:18:08 PM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor

kgbkny wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:
 

The ETF is a penalty for ending the contract early, but the money collected is for offsetting the loss on the phone that was sold at a subsidized price. This is the same reason the cost of service doesn't go up or down depending on how you got the phone. I understand what you say about ownership, but just because you give some money and take possession of something doesn't mean you have full ownership. You can put $5000 down to buy a $200,000 and turn around and say you own the home, but do you really own that home at that point? Yes, you own it, but it is not full ownership. Not even close. I'm not sure about other states, but here in Texas, when you finance a vehicle, they don't send you a title of ownership until you pay the vehicle off. The subsidizing of a phone is a form of financing the phone even though it isn't stated as such. AT&T would have legal avenues of repossessing a phone, but they won't because that would not be cost effective, hence they incorporate a fee to cover the money lost on subsidizing the phone.


As a test of this theory, walk into an AT&T store with an unlocked phone and try to sign up for a postpaid account without purchasing a subsidized phone. You will still be liable for a $325 ETF. As such, the ETF is a penalty for early termination, plain and simple. A few months ago, prior to the current reorganization, T-Mobile had a postpaid plan that didn't include a subsidized device. This plan still had a 2-year contract requirement, complete with an ETF.

With regards to vehicle ownership, here in NYS the title is issued to the owner shortly after purchasing the financed vehicle. Once the loan has been paid off, the bank sends the owner a lien release form.

 


There is a lot of confusion in this thread.  The bolded part above isn't true.  I walked into AT&T and started a new line of service on my existing family plan with a device that I already owned.  I canceled the line less than a year later.  There was never a contract on that line and no ETF owed for the service cancellation. 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

39 of 69 (13,171 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 26, 2013 9:15:14 PM
0
(0)
Mentor
Edited by Phil-101 on Aug 26, 2013 at 9:19:32 PM

sitnsidewayz wrote:

Closingracer wrote:
I don't disagree with it being insulting but while is a large community is still a small minority. I think I read about a year or 2 ago that Apple iPhone that are sold 79% are still sold on AT&T which means a lot more iPhone are on the network. Also there is plenty of people who have android phones who don't need a custom ROM and thus AT&T really won't do anything unless you guys make a ruckus publicly through a news outlet or some way proving if all you guys leave will hurt their bottomline

You guys? Us guys that go to xda and unlock the bootloader, root, mod, and install  custom roms don't need to go nowhere as long as AT&T allows us to still use our phone on the network. The majority of complaints are from users that got sucked in by the subsidization and then figured out that they don't fully own the phone. I don't think it would be off base to state that a majority of users that have these smartphones wouldn't have them if they had to pay full price for them. I don't gripe, I know where to go and what to do. If you don't want the carrier to control your phone, don't pay their price. Unfortunately, the temptation of the reduced price is the hook. True, for every user that frowns upon a locked bootloader, there are many more that don't care. But of those many that don't care, a majority of those don't even know how to fully use their phone and/or don't know the full capabilities of it. Then there are those capabilities that are disabled by the carrier that users like us guys seek to work around. The OP got it right by stating "DO NOT BUY", however AT&T knows that smartphones are the drug and reduced prices will net them a ton of junkies. Smartphone data plans are the money maker right now. And the new upgrade policy is no different, it puts a smartphones in user's hands today, even when they don't have the money or want to pay in full today. And since the phone is not paid in full, users are not likely to leave anytime soon, as if they are under contract.

really the OP is just *** and needs to get over it.... If he wants a unlocked bootloade he knows where to go and thus he should go there

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

[ Edited ]
40 of 69 (13,154 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 26, 2013 9:19:22 PM
0
(0)
Mentor

awesomebiker wrote:

WARNING about Baseband version MF3:

 


The work around for the locked bootloader in the xda developer forum for the Samsung SGH-I337 will ruin your phone, and there is no fix.

 

I was fortunate enough and early enough to beat this tyranny, used motochopper to get root and titanium backup to freeze the AT&T Software update in my handset back in June and dodged the OTA MF3 Update. That allowed me to stay at Baseband version I337UCUAMDL. From there I was able to install a custom recovery called TWRP. Made a backup. Flashed a ROM. No more Samsung or AT&T bloatware. Now my handset is fast and flawless. No bugs in the GoldenEye ROM which is basically the international firmware based on TouchWiz.

 

The bad news is, I'm seeing more and more folks making posts crying for help, in the Q & A help and troubleshooting section about our device because their Baseband version ends in MF3.

 

There is no recovery if your baseband version ends in MF3.

 

Yes there is a method to get your handset rooted but at this time it's a one way trip. No return. And no flashing once you get root. I can understand the necessity for root, and if I was stuck with MF3, I'd still root it, just so apps like Root Explorer and others that I use, that require your device to be rooted to work.

 

What seems to be happening is folks aren't investing the time required to read up or learn the details. One guy with MF3 baseband actually tried using Casual to get root. His phone is borked, unable to do a factory reset. Several others, with some experience flashing previous devices figure out how to get root, then against all warnings install GooManager to flash a custom recovery like CWM or TWRP and ended up with bricks.

 

So heads up to any of you out there who want to try a work around the locked bootloader. MF3 closed the exploit discovered by DRJBliss. Not even AdamOutler has been able find another way yet, and may not. It's possible that the many folks that bricked their phones won't get any help unless the creeps in charge of AT&T finally decide to unlock the bootloader.

 

Locking a device to a carrier is one thing. Locking the bootloader is pure, loathesome, unadulterated tyranny. I don't care how large the majority of Zombiehunting subjects tolerate it. It's wrong to prevent us from having complete control of the devices that we either pay for all at once or by recurring monthly charges over a contract period.

 

If I were to embellish the automobile analogy of not allowing roof racks or tinted windows, I'd like to point out how ticked off you'd be if you decided to pay extra for a V8 only to find it delivered with the smaller engine, and they told you "so sorry" about the extra you paid, too bad, we're keeping that, because we decided the V8 is just too much for you.


You do realize this doesnt hurt their bottom line right? The only way you will get AT&T to listen is to literally leave in droves for them to notice and then maybe they will listen.. Then again didnt it take them 3 year or something to let you side load apps?

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

41 of 69 (13,166 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 27, 2013 5:10:14 AM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor

Closingracer wrote:

awesomebiker wrote:

WARNING about Baseband version MF3:

 


The work around for the locked bootloader in the xda developer forum for the Samsung SGH-I337 will ruin your phone, and there is no fix.

 

I was fortunate enough and early enough to beat this tyranny, used motochopper to get root and titanium backup to freeze the AT&T Software update in my handset back in June and dodged the OTA MF3 Update. That allowed me to stay at Baseband version I337UCUAMDL. From there I was able to install a custom recovery called TWRP. Made a backup. Flashed a ROM. No more Samsung or AT&T bloatware. Now my handset is fast and flawless. No bugs in the GoldenEye ROM which is basically the international firmware based on TouchWiz.

 

The bad news is, I'm seeing more and more folks making posts crying for help, in the Q & A help and troubleshooting section about our device because their Baseband version ends in MF3.

 

There is no recovery if your baseband version ends in MF3.

 

Yes there is a method to get your handset rooted but at this time it's a one way trip. No return. And no flashing once you get root. I can understand the necessity for root, and if I was stuck with MF3, I'd still root it, just so apps like Root Explorer and others that I use, that require your device to be rooted to work.

 

What seems to be happening is folks aren't investing the time required to read up or learn the details. One guy with MF3 baseband actually tried using Casual to get root. His phone is borked, unable to do a factory reset. Several others, with some experience flashing previous devices figure out how to get root, then against all warnings install GooManager to flash a custom recovery like CWM or TWRP and ended up with bricks.

 

So heads up to any of you out there who want to try a work around the locked bootloader. MF3 closed the exploit discovered by DRJBliss. Not even AdamOutler has been able find another way yet, and may not. It's possible that the many folks that bricked their phones won't get any help unless the creeps in charge of AT&T finally decide to unlock the bootloader.

 

Locking a device to a carrier is one thing. Locking the bootloader is pure, loathesome, unadulterated tyranny. I don't care how large the majority of Zombiehunting subjects tolerate it. It's wrong to prevent us from having complete control of the devices that we either pay for all at once or by recurring monthly charges over a contract period.

 

If I were to embellish the automobile analogy of not allowing roof racks or tinted windows, I'd like to point out how ticked off you'd be if you decided to pay extra for a V8 only to find it delivered with the smaller engine, and they told you "so sorry" about the extra you paid, too bad, we're keeping that, because we decided the V8 is just too much for you.


You do realize this doesnt hurt their bottom line right? The only way you will get AT&T to listen is to literally leave in droves for them to notice and then maybe they will listen.. Then again didnt it take them 3 year or something to let you side load apps?


Yes, and I got my first Android phone from another carrier because of it.  I am willing to do this for the locked bootloader situation, as well.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

42 of 69 (13,113 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 27, 2013 7:15:38 AM
0
(0)
Guru

Zombiehunter wrote:

 

So, I see the contract has a pymt program for the discounted phone price as well as providing a usable data access program. I see the ETF as recouping the remaining monies owed on the phone. Is it a penalty for not completing the contract? If it is, then AT&T is stating a falsehood in a legally binding contract and should be held accountable. And if it is a known issue, then why hasn't AT&T been held to answer for printing that false statement?

Thanks for the lively conversation. Just know that I'm on this side of the idea and not going to cross over. 

OK, I'm done.


 



If this was the case, shouldn't the monthly service charge decrease after "the monies owed on the phone" have been paid off?

 

With regards to phone ownership, perhaps an AT&T employee can chime in and clarify whether it's AT&T or the subscriber who owns subsidized phones?

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

43 of 69 (13,093 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 27, 2013 7:41:33 AM
0
(0)
Guru

21stNow wrote:

kgbkny wrote:

As a test of this theory, walk into an AT&T store with an unlocked phone and try to sign up for a postpaid account without purchasing a subsidized phone. You will still be liable for a $325 ETF. As such, the ETF is a penalty for early termination, plain and simple. A few months ago, prior to the current reorganization, T-Mobile had a postpaid plan that didn't include a subsidized device. This plan still had a 2-year contract requirement, complete with an ETF.

With regards to vehicle ownership, here in NYS the title is issued to the owner shortly after purchasing the financed vehicle. Once the loan has been paid off, the bank sends the owner a lien release form.

 


There is a lot of confusion in this thread.  The bolded part above isn't true.  I walked into AT&T and started a new line of service on my existing family plan with a device that I already owned.  I canceled the line less than a year later.  There was never a contract on that line and no ETF owed for the service cancellation. 


You are absolutely correct. A quick search yielded an article in AT&T's FAQ section, stating that it's possible to get contract-free postpaid service if you bring your own device.

 

http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB417921&cv=820#fbid=Bnzq0r_M7qa

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

44 of 69 (13,088 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 27, 2013 8:17:40 AM
0
(0)
Professor
If that were the case (lowering pymts) then why doesn't the same occur with any other loan, to use your example earlier of a car loan? Cuz the price of the item is factured into the length of the contract, like when buying a car.

And like I said, I really don't care if I'm right or wrong, this is the logical way I see AT&T's contract compliance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zombie Hunter Mission Statement

Exterminate the living dead and keep our fellow citizens alive and safe. We will be connecting with our fellow businesses, the police department, funeral home, and weapon manufacturers to help map out, and exterminate the pesky living dead from our community.

~~~Seth Mendenhall

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

45 of 69 (13,081 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 27, 2013 9:16:39 AM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor

Zombiehunter wrote:
If that were the case (lowering pymts) then why doesn't the same occur with any other loan, to use your example earlier of a car loan? Cuz the price of the item is factured into the length of the contract, like when buying a car.

And like I said, I really don't care if I'm right or wrong, this is the logical way I see AT&T's contract compliance.

I think that the concept of lowering payments is in reference to after the contract is over, assuming a new subsidized device isn't acquired at that time.  Car payments are "lowered" once the contract is over because they cease to exist. 

 

The argument for the service price remaining the same is based on the thought that the service price is just that.  The cost of the voice plans does not include an amount for the device that is automatically built into it.  I don't believe that argument, but it is there.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

46 of 69 (13,069 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 5:34:14 AM
0
(0)
Guru

Zombiehunter wrote:
If that were the case (lowering pymts) then why doesn't the same occur with any other loan, to use your example earlier of a car loan? Cuz the price of the item is factured into the length of the contract, like when buying a car.

And like I said, I really don't care if I'm right or wrong, this is the logical way I see AT&T's contract compliance.

You've completely missed the point. Once you've paid off a car loan, there are NO MORE PAYMENTS! Using your example of contract compliance, why is it that monthly wireless payments don't decrease after the contract's completion? You imply that we don't own the phone until the contract has been completed - then why do the monthly plan payments remain the same after 24 months?

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

47 of 69 (12,995 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 5:39:00 AM
0
(0)
Guru
Edited by kgbkny on Aug 28, 2013 at 5:40:10 AM

21stNow wrote:

Zombiehunter wrote:
If that were the case (lowering pymts) then why doesn't the same occur with any other loan, to use your example earlier of a car loan? Cuz the price of the item is factured into the length of the contract, like when buying a car.

And like I said, I really don't care if I'm right or wrong, this is the logical way I see AT&T's contract compliance.

I think that the concept of lowering payments is in reference to after the contract is over, assuming a new subsidized device isn't acquired at that time.  Car payments are "lowered" once the contract is over because they cease to exist. 

 

The argument for the service price remaining the same is based on the thought that the service price is just that.  The cost of the voice plans does not include an amount for the device that is automatically built into it.  I don't believe that argument, but it is there.


Bingo. A perfect example of this are the now-defunct T-Mobile contract service plans, where the full purchase price of a device was financed over 20 months, after which the monthly bill would drop by approximately $20. Their new Simple Choice plans operate on a similar principle, albeit without a monthly contract.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

[ Edited ]
48 of 69 (12,991 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 9:06:48 AM
0
(0)
Professor
Oh well, I have always renewed the contract so I have no proof that the pymts do not go down.

Do you remember what I said in my last post?
I may be right or I may be wrong, *I don't care, * that's the way it appears to me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zombie Hunter Mission Statement

Exterminate the living dead and keep our fellow citizens alive and safe. We will be connecting with our fellow businesses, the police department, funeral home, and weapon manufacturers to help map out, and exterminate the pesky living dead from our community.

~~~Seth Mendenhall

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

49 of 69 (12,958 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 9:33:45 AM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor

I have had service from AT&T after the contract expires.  Trust me, the cost does not decrease.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

50 of 69 (12,947 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 10:59:30 AM
0
(0)
Professor

kgbkny wrote:

21stNow wrote:

kgbkny wrote:

As a test of this theory, walk into an AT&T store with an unlocked phone and try to sign up for a postpaid account without purchasing a subsidized phone. You will still be liable for a $325 ETF. As such, the ETF is a penalty for early termination, plain and simple. A few months ago, prior to the current reorganization, T-Mobile had a postpaid plan that didn't include a subsidized device. This plan still had a 2-year contract requirement, complete with an ETF.

With regards to vehicle ownership, here in NYS the title is issued to the owner shortly after purchasing the financed vehicle. Once the loan has been paid off, the bank sends the owner a lien release form.

 


There is a lot of confusion in this thread.  The bolded part above isn't true.  I walked into AT&T and started a new line of service on my existing family plan with a device that I already owned.  I canceled the line less than a year later.  There was never a contract on that line and no ETF owed for the service cancellation. 


You are absolutely correct. A quick search yielded an article in AT&T's FAQ section, stating that it's possible to get contract-free postpaid service if you bring your own device.

 

http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB417921&cv=820#fbid=Bnzq0r_M7qa


Which takes us back to what I said, the ETF covers the cost of the subsidy for the phone that was not honored. Here in Texas, when a vehicle was financed, we used to get a alternate title that looked alot like the original title but was a different color. This title was to show that you purchased the vehicle in your name but had yet not paid it of, meaning it is not fully owned yet. The financing company still has part ownership. When it was paid off, they sent you the original title. Now, they don't send anything but the original title when the vehicle is paid off, but I believe the alternate titles are still available by request.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

51 of 69 (12,950 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 11:14:13 AM
0
(0)
Professor

Closingracer wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:

Closingracer wrote:
I don't disagree with it being insulting but while is a large community is still a small minority. I think I read about a year or 2 ago that Apple iPhone that are sold 79% are still sold on AT&T which means a lot more iPhone are on the network. Also there is plenty of people who have android phones who don't need a custom ROM and thus AT&T really won't do anything unless you guys make a ruckus publicly through a news outlet or some way proving if all you guys leave will hurt their bottomline

You guys? Us guys that go to xda and unlock the bootloader, root, mod, and install  custom roms don't need to go nowhere as long as AT&T allows us to still use our phone on the network. The majority of complaints are from users that got sucked in by the subsidization and then figured out that they don't fully own the phone. I don't think it would be off base to state that a majority of users that have these smartphones wouldn't have them if they had to pay full price for them. I don't gripe, I know where to go and what to do. If you don't want the carrier to control your phone, don't pay their price. Unfortunately, the temptation of the reduced price is the hook. True, for every user that frowns upon a locked bootloader, there are many more that don't care. But of those many that don't care, a majority of those don't even know how to fully use their phone and/or don't know the full capabilities of it. Then there are those capabilities that are disabled by the carrier that users like us guys seek to work around. The OP got it right by stating "DO NOT BUY", however AT&T knows that smartphones are the drug and reduced prices will net them a ton of junkies. Smartphone data plans are the money maker right now. And the new upgrade policy is no different, it puts a smartphones in user's hands today, even when they don't have the money or want to pay in full today. And since the phone is not paid in full, users are not likely to leave anytime soon, as if they are under contract.

really the OP is just *** and needs to get over it.... If he wants a unlocked bootloade he knows where to go and thus he should go there

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]


Unfortunately, alot of people are technically challenged, so unlocking bootloaders, rooting, flashing, modding, etc....tends to go over their head. I see many of these guys over at xda already. Not saying the op is one of those, but it is not for everyone. Too many already want to root for the simple reason of uninstalling preinstalled apps that they do not use (bloat as it is referred to). Something like this is something that the carriers should not be preventing. And if a user really owns his device, why is he not allowed to uninstall what he does not want on it? And I'm not talking about system apps. I'm talking about something as simple as a demo game. I can understand some of the justification behind it, but I feel the carriers take it to far. I doubt forcing users to keep AT&T Navigator on their phone is going to convince them to subscribe.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

52 of 69 (12,948 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 11:32:09 AM
0
(0)
Guru
Edited by kgbkny on Aug 28, 2013 at 11:32:52 AM

sitnsidewayz wrote:

Which takes us back to what I said, the ETF covers the cost of the subsidy for the phone that was not honored. Here in Texas, when a vehicle was financed, we used to get a alternate title that looked alot like the original title but was a different color. This title was to show that you purchased the vehicle in your name but had yet not paid it of, meaning it is not fully owned yet. The financing company still has part ownership. When it was paid off, they sent you the original title. Now, they don't send anything but the original title when the vehicle is paid off, but I believe the alternate titles are still available by request.

Ideally, this would be the case. However, T-Mobile had a 2 year contract plan (complete with an ETF), called Value Plan, that offered a lower monthly rate by not providing a subsidized phone. In fact, subscribers who are still under contract for those plans must pay a migration fee if they choose to move to one of the "UnCarrier" plans. Here's an interesting, albeit old, article that discusses ETFs and the carriers' claims that it's charged in order to recoup subsidies: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9971423-7.html

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

[ Edited ]
53 of 69 (12,941 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 11:57:08 AM
0
(0)
Professor

kgbkny wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:

Which takes us back to what I said, the ETF covers the cost of the subsidy for the phone that was not honored. Here in Texas, when a vehicle was financed, we used to get a alternate title that looked alot like the original title but was a different color. This title was to show that you purchased the vehicle in your name but had yet not paid it of, meaning it is not fully owned yet. The financing company still has part ownership. When it was paid off, they sent you the original title. Now, they don't send anything but the original title when the vehicle is paid off, but I believe the alternate titles are still available by request.

Ideally, this would be the case. However, T-Mobile had a 2 year contract plan (complete with an ETF), called Value Plan, that offered a lower monthly rate by not providing a subsidized phone. In fact, subscribers who are still under contract for those plans must pay a migration fee if they choose to move to one of the "UnCarrier" plans. Here's an interesting, albeit old, article that discusses ETFs and the carriers' claims that it's charged in order to recoup subsidies: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9971423-7.html


That ETF for that plan makes sense since T-Mobile was offering a lower monthly rate and the contract is tied specifically to that. The ETF recovers some or all of the savings already given. Not going full term with the contract forces one to surreneder those savings. With AT&T, bringing your own device does not get you a lower monthly rate and there is no contract. It is month to month.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

54 of 69 (12,933 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 12:56:19 PM
0
(0)
Guru

sitnsidewayz wrote:

kgbkny wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:

Which takes us back to what I said, the ETF covers the cost of the subsidy for the phone that was not honored. Here in Texas, when a vehicle was financed, we used to get a alternate title that looked alot like the original title but was a different color. This title was to show that you purchased the vehicle in your name but had yet not paid it of, meaning it is not fully owned yet. The financing company still has part ownership. When it was paid off, they sent you the original title. Now, they don't send anything but the original title when the vehicle is paid off, but I believe the alternate titles are still available by request.

Ideally, this would be the case. However, T-Mobile had a 2 year contract plan (complete with an ETF), called Value Plan, that offered a lower monthly rate by not providing a subsidized phone. In fact, subscribers who are still under contract for those plans must pay a migration fee if they choose to move to one of the "UnCarrier" plans. Here's an interesting, albeit old, article that discusses ETFs and the carriers' claims that it's charged in order to recoup subsidies: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9971423-7.html


That ETF for that plan makes sense since T-Mobile was offering a lower monthly rate and the contract is tied specifically to that. The ETF recovers some or all of the savings already given. Not going full term with the contract forces one to surreneder those savings. With AT&T, bringing your own device does not get you a lower monthly rate and there is no contract. It is month to month.


But....T-Mobile was not providing a subsidized device with that plan, hence the lower monthly rate. They were very public with the fact that the lower rate results from the cost of the subsidized device not being built into it.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

55 of 69 (12,922 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 28, 2013 2:22:04 PM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor

sitnsidewayz wrote:

kgbkny wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:


That ETF for that plan makes sense since T-Mobile was offering a lower monthly rate and the contract is tied specifically to that. The ETF recovers some or all of the savings already given. Not going full term with the contract forces one to surreneder those savings. With AT&T, bringing your own device does not get you a lower monthly rate and there is no contract. It is month to month.


Almost everyone blames the (at the time) pending buyout by AT&T for the contract requirement for that plan.  It would make some sense, since before and after the AT&T buyout failure T-Mobile offered the unsubsidized phone plan as a month-to-month plan with no term requirement.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

56 of 69 (12,908 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 29, 2013 5:55:08 AM
0
(0)
Guru

21stNow wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:

kgbkny wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:


That ETF for that plan makes sense since T-Mobile was offering a lower monthly rate and the contract is tied specifically to that. The ETF recovers some or all of the savings already given. Not going full term with the contract forces one to surreneder those savings. With AT&T, bringing your own device does not get you a lower monthly rate and there is no contract. It is month to month.


Almost everyone blames the (at the time) pending buyout by AT&T for the contract requirement for that plan.  It would make some sense, since before and after the AT&T buyout failure T-Mobile offered the unsubsidized phone plan as a month-to-month plan with no term requirement.



21stNow wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:

kgbkny wrote:

sitnsidewayz wrote:


That ETF for that plan makes sense since T-Mobile was offering a lower monthly rate and the contract is tied specifically to that. The ETF recovers some or all of the savings already given. Not going full term with the contract forces one to surreneder those savings. With AT&T, bringing your own device does not get you a lower monthly rate and there is no contract. It is month to month.


Almost everyone blames the (at the time) pending buyout by AT&T for the contract requirement for that plan.  It would make some sense, since before and after the AT&T buyout failure T-Mobile offered the unsubsidized phone plan as a month-to-month plan with no term requirement.


There's anecdotal evidence that T-Mobile was trying to prevent a mass exodus of customers when the planned AT&T buyout was announced, prompting the company to implement some rather draconian practices. Contracts on non-subsidized plans, as well as automatic contract renewals for account changes that wouldn't normally require a contract renewal, are just a couple of examples.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

57 of 69 (12,813 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 29, 2013 7:43:04 AM
0
(0)
ACE - Professor

There was a flip-side according to one of the other forum members, and I do remember hearing this during that buyout period.  Some customers actually wanted to be "protected" by a contract just in case "big bad AT&T" succeeded in the buyout.  I truly don't understand the level of fear that the customers had.  If I did have that level of fear, I would have preferred to not be in a contract so that I could have left with ease if things were not to my liking after the acquisition.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

58 of 69 (12,804 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Aug 29, 2013 8:19:12 AM
0
(0)
Guru

21stNow wrote:

There was a flip-side according to one of the other forum members, and I do remember hearing this during that buyout period.  Some customers actually wanted to be "protected" by a contract just in case "big bad AT&T" succeeded in the buyout.  I truly don't understand the level of fear that the customers had.  If I did have that level of fear, I would have preferred to not be in a contract so that I could have left with ease if things were not to my liking after the acquisition.


The fear was certainly irrational. Even if AT&T were to immediately raise the rates of all former T-Mobile customers, that would constitute a materially adverse change and allow these customers to leave without an ETF. T-Mobile customers (and now, their CEO) seem to harbor some deep hatred for AT&T.

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

59 of 69 (12,787 Views)
0
(0)
  • Rate this reply
View profile
Dec 12, 2013 2:37:41 PM
0
(0)
Contributor

Regarding all the posts in this thread regarding legal ownership of phones that were purchased at subsidized prices with contracts I just wanted to try and clear this up. This is a very convoluted issue because of how they implement prices/plans and what the actual terms of the contract are.

 

If considering only the terms of the contract you would own the phone from day 1. But, you would be responsible for keeping the full contract to recieve the discounted price. If you failed to complete your obligations of the contract you would forfeit the discount that was given. Which means you would owe the company the difference between the full cost of phone and the discounted price you paid. Now technically I am pretty sure it would be possible to implement a way to have the customer who failed these obligations to return the phone but with no real set standard on appraising the value of used electronics in general, let alone specifically cellphones, condition variations from different customers I doubt that this could be introduced in a fair and accurate way to both customers and the carrier.

 

When looking at how they rate their plans and fees it is like a loan. Especially considering the recent changes to the mobile share plans ($15 less a month for plans that don't include subsidized phones). The only way it isn't implemented like a loan is in the fact that you don't recieve a reduced rate when they recoup the money they discounted for the phone, and that they didn't offer the reduced rates for non-subsidized phone plans before December 5th of this year.

 

They way these opposing ideas are put together I am 99% positive that you do technically own a subsidized phone from day 1 in legal terms. But, the flipside to this is that AT&T does not have to adjust plan rates when the subsidy is recovered from plan holders nor do they have to show how much of the bill is caused by getting this subsidy (Even with the new price changes their plan prices do not consider subsidy costs accurately). So although it essentially operates like a loan it "technically" is a breach of contract on your end that results in them being able to recover the costs they had from their obligations of the agreement (i.e. the discount price).

Re: Locked bootloader on Galaxy S4...DO NOT BUY IT!

60 of 69 (7,356 Views)
Share this post
Share this post