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

Teacher

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?

Message 1 of 73 (23,540 Views)
Professor

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


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.

Message 46 of 73 (14,266 Views)
Guru

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


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?

Message 47 of 73 (14,192 Views)
Guru

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

[ Edited ]

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.

Message 48 of 73 (14,188 Views)
Professor

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

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
Message 49 of 73 (14,155 Views)
Professor

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

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

Message 50 of 73 (14,144 Views)
Professor

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


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.

Message 51 of 73 (14,147 Views)
Professor

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


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.

Message 52 of 73 (14,145 Views)
Guru

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

[ Edited ]

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

Message 53 of 73 (14,138 Views)
Professor

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


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.

Message 54 of 73 (14,130 Views)
Guru

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


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.

Message 55 of 73 (14,119 Views)
Professor

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


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.

Message 56 of 73 (14,105 Views)
Guru

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


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.

Message 57 of 73 (14,010 Views)
Professor

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

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.

Message 58 of 73 (14,001 Views)
Guru

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


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.

Message 59 of 73 (13,984 Views)
Highlighted
Contributor

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

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).

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