Signed Up for 2 year contract, now want out!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DSchwartz88, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. DSchwartz88 macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2006

    So the ATT service isnt really up to par with how verizon is in my area. Which is fine because when my contract with verizon expires ill just move to ATT them (just not worth paying the ETF for vzw now). Am i able to cancel my plan and keep the iPhone, and just have to pay the 36 +59.99 monthly fee. I would like to keep my iPhone to use as my internet device and planner, and then in april activate it once again on a new ATT line. I know that once the iPhone is active it will not be locked once again. However, i am scared for future software updates, as no one will know how these will affect iPhones without service. But for now, please let me know if its possible to do this, because according to ATT i can cancel withing 30 days and not pay the ETF?

  2. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2006
    If you cancel service in the first 30 days AT&T can require you to return the iPhone. If you refuse, you can be hit with a collections bill for the ETF, plus the service you used and your activation fee.
  3. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    You can return the iPhone, yes. You have 14 days to do that. You will pay a restocking fee, however. You will also have to call and cancel your service with AT&T.

    Now, if you want to *keep* your iPhone and cancel AT&T, there's still that 14-day buyer's remorse period for your AT&T contract/service, but your iPhone won't keep working. Soon after it'll start asking to be activated or an active AT&T SIM to be inserted. It'll then be useless for anything--no iPod, no WiFi, nothing.

    You are under NO obligation to return the iPhone, because it was NOT PART OF YOUR CONTRACT, nor was it subsidized. But it'll just be useless. :)

    You are only charged an ETF (Early Termination Fee) if you (a) call in and cancel your service after the 14-day buyer's remorse period or (b) you do not pay your bill and your service is cancelled.
  4. rgbyhkr macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2007
    I've been trying to figure out if this would indeed happen. I actually have been participating in a thread where someone asked if the iPhone would work if the SIM was removed:

    I've been testing this with the SIM removed since yesterday (activated the phone the day before) to try and see if what you're describing happens after some period of time. Are you sure the phone will "time-out" and, if so, do you know how long until it does?

  5. DanB91 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    funny, in my area, verizon SUX compared to AT&T. i was forced to switch from cingular to verizon (which drops ur calls) now i wanna go back wah!
  6. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2002
    I suppose I should have said that is my educated guess/theory, because I cannot prove that is what will happen; however, years of experience with mobile tech, wireless industry players, and Apple tells me that even if it is possible, it'll only be a short amount of time until that thing locks itself out (remember the patent for tech to stop the iPhone from charging by a check with the wireless provider via ESN/IMEI?), is de-activated by a software update from Apple, or you just get tired of using it when it pops up an error saying to please insert a valid SIM or an EDGE access error, etc. If it's not a feature now, it'll be one soon enough.
  7. rgbyhkr macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2007
    I too could see them doing this in any number of ways. AT&T paid a price for the exclusivity, and they'd want to make sure they get as many subs out of it as possible. However, without hardware subsidization, their main consideration for enforcement would seemingly be to prevent the hardware from being used on another network. That gets more into locked SIMs than an ongoing attempt to lock the device altogether unless it has a valid AT&T SIM present. It seems like splitting hairs, but I can see a distinction there.

    In other words, since AT&T isn't out anything for a device that isn't being used on any network at all, they wouldn't be as concerned about keeping the hardware locked. Apple still gets their money for the hardware sale, so they aren't encouraged to go any further than AT&T wants them to. I can kind of see it being akin to the ridiculous number of DRM workarounds there are for ITMS purchases. Apple institutes FairPlay to appease the labels, but they aren't going so far as to really clamp down because their revenue stream isn't negatively impacted by that. I've read on many occasions how they make almost no money on ITMS purchases, so their primary focus is on ongoing hardware development and sales. It actually behooves Apple to have such workarounds in place as it offers the users more flexibility. They don't officially support or condone it, but they aren't doing much to eliminate it either. As a side benefit, it keeps Apple looking like one of the good guys with the labels as the jerks. As in "they're making us do this, but we think it's stupid so we won't really prevent you from doing what you want to".

    Here, since Apple wouldn't care if the units get used without service, they would be unlikely to put in any obstruction to such use unless they were forced to by AT&T. AT&T could have forced that issue, but I could see Apple putting up a legitimate fight about it. They seem to come down on the side of user flexibility when involved in these type of partnerships. Forcing activation before initial use is a contract obligation they'd fulfill but going beyond that hurts consumers and therefore hardware sales, which they'd be opposed to. The exclusive hurts customers too, but Apple is being directly compensated for that part of the deal.

    Again, I could see it going either way. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. I'll keep you guys posted though.


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