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General Strategy for shifting to low cost carrier: ETF and Unlock Fees

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Voyager39, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. Voyager39

    Voyager39 Lurker
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    Greetings. My first post, so please be kind.

    I am about 14 months into a 24 month contract with AT&T with my Samsung Galaxy Alpha phone.

    I would like to shift to a lower cost carrier and am trying to determine the most cost effective way to go.
    My understanding is that leaving AT&T and keeping my current phone would require paying (a) the ETF (of about $185) and the unlock fee of about $300. The sum of these two makes the shift unworth doing. I have also read that it's illegal to use a third party to unlock the phone during the 24 month contract.

    Based on the above, and on the premise that I will not break the law, a strategy that occurred to me is presented below. I am asking for comments on it, or alternatively, any alternative suggestions for saving money on my current plan. I note that I'm a light user and have access to Wifi for most of my web browsing.

    (a) terminate my AT&T contract (running at about $100 a month) and pay the ETF (though not the unlock charge);
    (b) port my tel # to a (low cost) prepaid feature phone and associated plan/carrier;
    (c) after a period of time, pay a third party company to unlock my Galaxy Alpha phone;
    (d) Once unlocked, port my number back to the Galaxy phone with a suitable MVNO service.

    The above is cumbersome, but I am semi-retired, and have the time to do the above.

    Would appreciate any input.
     

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    #1 Voyager39, Mar 6, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Terminate your AT&T contract without paying the ETF, and leave it in default? As I understand it, they will IMEI blacklist the phone that's assigned to that contract, making it useless for any carrier.
     
  3. Voyager39

    Voyager39 Lurker
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    Sorry. I never intended to suggest that I'd avoid the ETF, merely that I'd avoid the unlock charge. I will edit the top post to reflect this.
     
    mikedt likes this.

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