Verizon moves to lock new phones for consumers' protection

Bubbajim

Posts: 720   +694

For more than a decade Verizon has sold all their handsets unlocked, as part of a deal struck with the FCC licensing the radio frequency bands that power Verizon’s 4G network. But the company has now announced that they have applied to the FCC to partially rollback this requirement in order to deter theft and fraudulent purchases.

In a news post announcing the move, Verizon said their “customers are hurt when the fraudsters order and steal phones -- clearly with no intention of ever paying for them.” They claim that their phones are specifically targeted because Verizon is “the only large U.S. communications provider that sells devices that are unlocked upon sale.”

To mitigate the risks, Verizon is seeking permission to lock the phones they sell for 60 days, after which point the phones will automatically unlock and be usable on any compatible network.

In context, the move seems reasonable given that all other major handset providers in the U.S. lock new phones as standard, and most will only unlock devices once they are fully paid off.

Justifying the move, Verizon said that the 60-day lock will have “virtually no impact” on legitimate customers, as “almost none of our customers switch to another carrier within the first 60 days.” Seeing as identity theft or false purchasing affects 7,000 Verizon customers each month, the move seems sensible.

The FCC has yet to comment on Verizon’s plans.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,747   +6,376
Uh huh .... sounds like the same argument of "give up a few of your rights for greater security" and we all know where that got us!
 
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OutlawCecil

Posts: 738   +570
Umm somebody please explain how locking a phone to only your service helps the consumer with "fraud and theft"?

How would people feel if they bought a car from Toyota but the hood of the car has a special key to only allow Toyota certified mechanics to work on it? People would freak. People BOUGHT the car, it's theirs, they should be able to choose what they do and don't do with it. Why are phones ANY different!? If I want to take my phone to another carrier, I should be able to take MY phone to another carrier.
 
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toooooot

Posts: 1,360   +653
Oh Verizon, I miss your free phones. Although what I save in service price difference allows me to to buy what I would have gotten free from Verizon now.
 
I am a Verizon customer. I plan to never buy a phone from them directly again. I will buy a truly unlocked phone elsewhere for use with Verizon's network.
 
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p51d007

Posts: 2,610   +1,902
Since Verizon knows the IMEI number of EVERY phone they sell, this "fraud/locking" is BS. If you know a phone isn't legit, just deactivate it. Oh, they'll lock them for "only" 60 days, but when you try to unlock them, you'll be put on hold for 3 hours, transferred 15 times, hung up on a couple times in hopes that you GIVE UP.
 
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OutlawCecil

Posts: 738   +570
Since Verizon knows the IMEI number of EVERY phone they sell, this "fraud/locking" is BS. If you know a phone isn't legit, just deactivate it. Oh, they'll lock them for "only" 60 days, but when you try to unlock them, you'll be put on hold for 3 hours, transferred 15 times, hung up on a couple times in hopes that you GIVE UP.
This! exactly.
 
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Capaill

Posts: 1,200   +738
Since Verizon knows the IMEI number of EVERY phone they sell, this "fraud/locking" is BS. If you know a phone isn't legit, just deactivate it. Oh, they'll lock them for "only" 60 days, but when you try to unlock them, you'll be put on hold for 3 hours, transferred 15 times, hung up on a couple times in hopes that you GIVE UP.
Well, the article says they'll be unlocked automatically after 60 days. I'm not sure how that is done, if it's implemented by software on the phone or if it's on the server side. As long as it works, then it sounds reasonable and is still better than what other operators are doing. But if it requires you to ring in to get it unlocked then I agree with you.