Posted on January 31, 2013 11:43 am

What You Can Do About the Phone Unlocking Fiasco

from the power-to-the-people dept.

Now that the ridiculous phone unlocking law is a done deal, and we all understand exactly what that means (i.e., ‘fines of up to $500,000 and imprisonment of up to five years’), you might be left wondering what can you do about it. Well, you could start by lending your John Hancock to this petition at the White House’s ‘We The People’ platform. It’s already over halfway to the number of signatures required to get a response from the executive branch.

There are many things, but simply put, the Federal Government has now made it clear.  You sign a contract with a carrier, you take that new phone, and get it unlocked, skip out on the remainder of the contract.   You can GO TO JAIL, pay up to $500,000 for it.

So remember folks, you buy that $500+ phone under a 2-yr contract.  You are obligated to fullfil that contract, even if you’re paying $100 at contract signing.  You unlock it and leave the carrier, you not only broke your civil contract but you broke the Federal Law.

It sounds so ridiculous, but it could happen now that there are laws on the books.  Laws that can be enforced, because there is already a system in place for legal collections for broken contracts.   Now all that is needed is the evidence of a “Contract Jumper”, who purchases many newly released premium phones, take them to a “unlocker shop”, or do it themselves.  Then use or sell the phones to other users.   At MAX, $600 per phone which could net a easy $2500 to a good scammer.    This is what the law is written for, but how it is applied is a whole different situation.   And more than likely fines will be levied to many instead of jail time.

I know for sure, it isn’t the end of the world deal breaker.