How Come AT&T is not doing any thing about unlock services on eBay?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ansabakhan, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. ansabakhan macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #1
    AT&T must be losing lot of money by these illegal unlocks offered on eBay for all kinds of iPhones including iPhone 5, why is AT&T not doing any thing about it.. I see sellers who sold 10000+ unlocks , how comes these are not getting noticed .?
     
  2. vistadude macrumors 65816

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    Jan 3, 2010
    #2
    They don't lose money, anyone who buys an at&t phone under contract is stuck for nearly 2 years paying close to $100 per month to at&t. Also it's completely legal to unlock a phone.
     
  3. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

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    Nov 10, 2009
    #3
    yah no money to be lost cause who even buys it in the first place from ATT needs to pay the ETF and at least 1 month's service, return before 30 days requires you to return the equipment.

    who cares of people are unlocking their iphones, ATT shoudn't you are bound to the contract for 24 months or you pay the ETF, non-issue to them.
     
  4. dsquared81 macrumors 6502

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    Apr 11, 2010
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    Orange County
    #4
    Maybe att themselves are getting kickbacks by the sellers lol. Why not att provides it for free but maybe they can make some change on the side haha
     
  5. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #5
    I never understood why they don't allow you to unlock a device at anytime or just sell them unlocked. If you're contractually obligated to pay for service for 2 years why would they care if you use the device on another carrier? If it's because the ETF is a loophole by being low enough then up it. Done.
     
  6. 617aircav Suspended

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    Jul 2, 2012
    #6
    Can you point to what makes them illegal?
     
  7. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    Bristol, UK
    #7
    It's simply so that they can get more money.

    By unlocking the phone immediately, they run the risk of you using another carrier - even if you still continue the AT&T contract. Using another carrier almost certainly results in revenue being diverted from them to somewhere else.

    If you want to unlock an iPhone 5, assuming you wait until the 24 month contract ends, the "iPhone 7" should be on the market.

    By that point, unlocking the phone isn't going to get you much. The resale value will have dropped massively and you'll probably want a newer phone.

    ----------

    They presumably are illegal, because Apple maintains a database of devices with their lock status and people are putting false information into that database.

    Contractually, Apple is supposed to ensure that only the original carrier (i.e. AT&T in this case) is able to unlock a specific device.

    The unauthorised unlocks are carried out by people working for carriers, submitting fraudulent unlock requests to Apple. In most places, that's illegal.

    It's probably not going to be illegal for someone to pay for an unlock, but you could argue that they're enabling illegal activity elsewhere.

    This is more of an issue for Apple, as it's their system that clearly has a security problem. These unlocks predate AT&T offering an official unlock and they work for any carrier that sells the iPhone.
     
  8. ansabakhan thread starter macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #8
    regardless of any thing else, that's against companies policy... How can thousands of these phones are getting unlocked against companies policy and no body seems to care...


    If I can get iPhone unlocked it gets really attractive for some one to buy it for a friend overseas... Ship It out and transfer the line to dump line not paying AT&T $30 for Internet for 2 years
     
  9. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #9
    You never know, it might come to end soon.
    That's why I got my i5 done right away:D
     
  10. ansabakhan thread starter macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

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    Mar 3, 2010
    #10
    Good for you! I wonder if a simple computer program will relock these phones again after this all goes down...
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #11
    Doubt it but anything is possible.
    It was only $6 so why not...
    Why you so worked up about it?
     
  12. ansabakhan thread starter macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

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    Mar 3, 2010
    #12
    I got mine done too Actually lol, and was worried about something going wrong as this might be breaking some kind of aggrement I signed while buying this new phone!
     
  13. JCCL macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 3, 2010
    #13
    I don't think so. Like said before, it seems AT&T employees are the ones submitting these requests to Apple. In addition, there most be several employees doing this, considering the amount of unlocks that appear to be sold, and how low the price has come for an unlock lately. In the process of relocking, they could also end up relocking phones that are officially unlocked by AT&T, and this mean they could get a lot of pissed of users.

    I think it must be very difficult to them to track which phones were not legitimate AT&T processed unlocked VS the ones processed by the "rogue" employees working with the ebay unlockers.
     
  14. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #14
    "You worry too much, everything is beautiful.":D
    [​IMG]
     
  15. ansabakhan thread starter macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

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    #15
    Haha good one !
     
  16. AFDoc macrumors 68030

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    Colorado Springs USA for now
    #16
    Why does it bother you so much?
     
  17. ansabakhan thread starter macrumors 65816

    ansabakhan

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    Mar 3, 2010
    #17
    Cause I am a AT&T customer under contract, and wants to know what their take on this is ...
     
  18. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #18
    Why, because a tiny percentage of people might use Verizon while having an at&t account? Almost no one is going to do that; contracts are expensive enough as it is. I don't buy that argument.

    Off Topic:
    AFDoc? as in Air Force Doctor? If so, thank you for serving.
     
  19. scaredpoet, Oct 20, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #19
    We simply don't know for sure how these unlocks are happening or who specifically is doing them, so we cannot make any blanket statement as to their being illegal.


    No, at worst you could get them for not following company policies, but that alone doesn't land you with a criminal charge. They would probably get fired, but that's probably the worst that could happen. If the carrier had already given them access to the whitelist for (presumably legit) unlocking purposes, then you can't really accuse them of hacking or unauthorized access. It would be difficult to prove it was illegal.

    No contracts are being nullified, lines aren't being canceled, and no credits or refunds are being given to customers as a direct result of these unlocks, so theft can't really be alleged, either. If the customer chooses to walk away from their contract, AT&T still collects an ETF, so they get their money. The only difference is that now, the phone which the customer lawfully purchased and made the carrier whole on their subsidy via the ETF, isn't a brick.

    If, on the other hand, these unlockers are not using carrier employees to do the unlocks, then that's a whole different story, and AT&T has a serious security hole they need to patch.

    Actually, from what I've seen on the eBay listings, they don't work for every carrier. Many specifically make clear that they can only unlock X carrier (usually AT&T), and will not unlock others.

    So, let's assume your earlier statement was right and carrier employees, as you say, are doing these unlocks "illegally." If that were true, how is this Apple's problem? Apple is holding up their end of the deal: ensuring that only authorized carrier personnel have access to the whitelist. As even you say, we're assuming someone working for those carriers with authorized access is getting money on the side to unlock phones.

    Apple cannot control what employees of the carriers do, nor do they have any way of knowing for sure if that employee is following the carrier's rules to the book or not. It's up to the carrier to ensure that their employees are on the up and up.
     
  20. scaredpoet, Oct 20, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #20
    I'm no lawyer, but according to interpretations of federal law, you did nothing illegal. You are within your rights to use circumvention technologies to unlock your phone, despite carrier wishes.

    The WORST that could happen is this:


    1. AT&T could end your contract and disconnect your service, because they aren't happy with what you did. Unlikely considering that means they won't get money from you anymore, which was kinda what they were trying to prevent by locking your iPhone in the first place. But even if they did, you could probably just take your unlocked phone to Straight Talk and have service again, on pretty much the same network.

    2. They might relock your phone. Which means that you're out $4 to $6, depending on what you paid for the unlock.

    It's hard to say whether AT&T can relock any phones that have been previously whitelisted. Judging from past experience though (like when Sprint messed up and initially sent out 4Ss unlocked), it appears that once an iPhone is unlocked, there's no going back.
     
  21. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    Jan 16, 2008
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    Bristol, UK
    #21
    Buying a SIM abroad?

    AT&T can make hundreds of dollars from an international trip.

    Buying a local SIM might cost less than $50.


    There's at least one thread a day in these forums asking how to get a local SIM.

    ----------

    That's simply not true.

    Having access to something does not mean that you are able to do whatever you want with it - especially if you're gaining financially from it.

    It would certainly be illegal in the UK, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't in the US as well.

    It's the only logical explanation.

    Apple has a system that it only lets carriers access.

    Unless it's someone inside of Apple that's doing these unlocks, it's someone that works for a carrier.

    The system itself is badly designed. There HAVE been cases where people with a phone on AT&T were able to submit a request through a different carrier (in another country).

    That third party carrier is supposed to check that the phone is on their network before submitting the request, but that Apple's system itself doesn't check suggests a weakness.

    There also doesn't seem to be an effective data trail back to whoever submitted the request. It would be trivial to reverse any unauthorised unlocks and to discipline the person(s) carrying them out.
     
  22. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #22
    Good point. That makes the most sense.
     
  23. neu macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2008
    #23
    I dont believe that is true. Your phone can be re-locked, but the following 2 things have to happen

    1) Your IMEI number is removed from the unlocked phone DB by ATT/Apple
    2) You restore your phone using iTunes
     
  24. compwiz1202 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    #24
    I think these easy unlocks could be part of the ridiculous shortage. Unlocking makes the phone worth so much more, so you probably have way more than the usual amount of people buying iPhones and turning a nice profit, keeping the iPhones from the people who will actually legitimately use them.
     

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