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What does ESN not clean exactly mean?
02-23-2013, 11:07 AM
Post: #5
(02-23-2013 09:46 AM)deathtrip Wrote:  The only problems I have with carriers are, they penalize you multiple times for the same account, or device.

For instance, say you signed up, started a new account, got a new iPhone 5 for $150 + Monthly Contract rate, and a 2 year agreement.

If you cancel let's say 5 months later, not only do they come after you for an ETF, but they also flag the device as unusable on the system. Then after 6 to 9 months of collections they'll mark your credit with the failure to pay, still requesting the fees, AND still placing the phone on the restricted list.

It isn't the phone's fault, so they shouldn't tie the ESN down so no one can use it, AND come after you for the fees, they should just come after you for the fees.

If you have a charge card and you charge/buy 1000 gallons of fuel, but then you stop paying, they're not going to lock up the fuel you have in your custody, they're going to sue you for their money.

That is definitely a good viewpoint that I didn't really think about in that sense. I think there really needs to be regulation by the FCC specifically on how ESN locks, unlocks, and restrictions are handled. Everyone should have free access to all and any ESN restriction list and what the carriers are doing to prevent you access should be illegal. They literally want you to get screwed so you will come crying to them and buy a new phone and 2 year agreement. What do CSR's say to you when you say you bought a used phone only to find out it was stolen and you couldn't activate it. They tell you that you are SOL and then try to sell you a new subsidized phone on a 2 year agreement. Had they provided free access to their databases then the amount of stolen devices sold, insurance fraud, scams, etc... would drop dramatically.

One viewpoint though if you look at it through their eyes the lock is to protect their investment. The problem is so many people abuse the current system. I have seen so many people bypass the device lock by using a swap as both Verizon and Sprint do so. In order to prevent others from trying to rip off carriers I'm not gonna go into detail but so many people have found loopholes which have cost these cell carrier's millions of dollars. Remember when you buy that phone on contract you are agreeing to their TOS which specifically state any and all device restrictions and that you agree to either complete your 1 or 2 year agreement in full while keeping your account current or if you do terminate the service agreement earlier then you will usually pay some sort of ETF.

Now onto your viewpoint about why they restrict the ESN and charge you an ETF. The reason is that if the ESN remains clear most customers will just sell the device and take the hit on their credit report by not paying the ETF. Now if the customer does this right away after signing the agreement and receiving the device they have just basically came up on the carrier by profiting on the cost of the device as now it is no longer locked and bound to any service contract so they can sell it for top market value which for newer devices can be hundreds of dollars (of course that is not including the orginal fee for the device if any and any upfront service/activation fees but even so they still come up at least a couple hundred dollars in most instances). On the losing side of this the carrier just ate the cost of the subsidy which can also be hundreds of dollars with no recourse whatsoever besides whatever initial carrier/activation fees they charged.

By restricting the ESN they prevent people from taking advantage of the subsidies they pay up front.

But from what you said its valid as well because if they keep the esn clear even if the customer screws the carrier on the initial purchase then they can easily recoup the losses and still profit on the new customer from their monthly service fees. Now the only problem I thought about that was when unlocking was still legal then what would keep the customer from unlocking the device and switching to a new carrier and completely screwing the original carrier over. Now with unlocking being "illegal" your approach seems more correct.

If you think about it the cellular industry is very much like the automotive industry. In fact I believe it was modeled after it. Dealers will sell you a new vehicle upfront on credit and if you fail to pay for a predetermined amount of time they will repossess your vehicle.

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RE: What does ESN not clean exactly mean? - rfox12 - 02-23-2013 11:07 AM

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