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What the !#$%

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by NICEGOALEH, Aug 16, 2012.


    Thread Starter

    Hi everyone, This is a fantastic place for info and I want to say thank you. I hope this question is in the right place. I have a U.S.A. ATT Galaxy s3. My question is, I was late paying the bill and they turned it off...not only turned it off but BRICKED IT?! My question is, if I paid for the phone, how is it that they can brick my whole phone and all the stand alone apps. I understand them turning off the phone part but I tried to make a call using free public wifi, thru Google Voice, with my GVoice phone number and I couldn't, plus I couldn't use Google maps or gps!!! Why is this. My phone is more than a phone...how the heck can ATT get away with bricking my whole phone. Shouldn't the stand alone apps work just like on a computer...??? Please, any answers or shared frustration will be appreciated...Is there a way to prevent ATT from bricking my whole phone? Would rooting or getting an unlock code work? Yes, I know paying the bill on time would avoid this but finances have been rough lately. I'm about to contact the BBB or consumer affairs and file a formal complaint. Thank you for the help.

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  2. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    not sure if i am correct but going along with what i experienced with a BlackBerry Curve once, the GPS apps seem to prefer data from the mobile network and not wifi--and many devices do not allow access to the GPS if the service is turned off (don't ask why i do not know). possibly e911 facilties and GPS is part of the mobile network? and some apps seem to depend on the mobile carrier being active. on a BlackBerry, and i am sure most other types of smartphones like Android and iOS, the app store may also cease to function, or allow only limited access to downloads or other apps already on the device.

    it may have something to do with the individual app's permissions. if you install one it asks to confirm and tells you what it will depend on, some depend on mobile network and some work with both mobile network and wifi.

    if i am in a no service area and try to use a GPS-based speedometer app, it will outright refuse to work.
    NICEGOALEH likes this.

    Thread Starter

    I understand what you are saying but I can use my laptop with free wifi to use gps, Google maps and GVoice...so logically, my cell should work like a stand alone computer...since it is a computer...no? There is got to be a way to prevent ATT from doing this. If not, then that is a serious control issue on Samsung's/Google's and / ATT's part and I won't stand for it. I will find another phone and/or provider who does not do this.
  4. SaleenFiend

    SaleenFiend Android Enthusiast

    Does the phone turn on?

    If so, it is not Bricked and nothing similar to bricked. All ATT has the capability of.doing is disabling your Cell Service and Data Service. Most apps will require GPS via Mobile Data. You may continue to use wifi and other services.

    Btw call ATT and ask for an extension most times they will restore service upwards to 2 weeks if u promise a payment arrangement by then.
    NICEGOALEH likes this.
  5. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Extreme Android User

    And also google voice is NOT a VoIP service, it uses your plan minutes, so that's why it wouldn't work... You would have to use an app like sipdroid or groove IP to make calls over wifi with google voice.

    I'm not sure why your other apps aren't working, I have a few deactivated smartphones that I use on wifi only. Are you getting any errors or any type of messages when trying to use them?

    What happens if you turn on "airplane mode" then turn on wifi? When using a public wifi spot, you sometimes have to sign into the service by attempting to use the browser to visit a website, it will then prompt you to accept their terms of service; and also public wifi will also block access to certain sites.
    NICEGOALEH likes this.
  6. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    one would expect GPS to be a separate system from mobile data, however most GPS-enabled apps require mobile data for map download (permissions on install or review will tell you if it is compatible with wifi--but since GPS is meant to be on the move, wifi may not even be an option) and some GPS-enabled phones disable GPS entirely if you're in a no service area or your mobile data is turned off. don't ask me to explain it i still do not know why that is.

    wifi will allow you to use your browser, maybe the Play Store (depending on whether the account is stored at Google or is somehow tied to your carrier) and apps compatible with wifi (Pandora, Netflix, etc) but certain apps are mobile network only or require it to work--such as Google Maps, Mapquest Mobile, and speedometer apps, i have never gotten any of those to work if in no service or on a deactivated device
    NICEGOALEH likes this.

    Thread Starter

    what i don't get is, if i can go to any place that offers wifi, free or not and use Google Voice to call out, on my laptop,like i'm doing now...why can't i then use the free or paid wifi to connect to Google Voice to make phone calls thru my cell (if i'm on wifi)...voip doesn't seem to affect my laptop with wifi....???? does anybody understand what i'm saying or am i not understanding. it shouldn't make a difference if i use a cell with wifi or a laptop with wifi to be able to use GoogleVoice...ughhhh! isn't GoogleVoice a stand alone app...it should work regardless of mobile data being turned on...it should work with wifi...like it does on my laptop...
  8. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Extreme Android User

    Google voice on a phone requires minutes ( cell provider plan), google voice from pc does not. It is just the way it's designed.

    Like I said above, if you want to use your phone to make calls with your phone on google voice using wifi, you need to use an app like "groove ip" or "sip droid" in conjunction with google voice.




    NICEGOALEH likes this.

    Thread Starter

    Thank you...im still frustrated...what about unlocking or rooting???
  10. sdrawkcab25

    sdrawkcab25 Extreme Android User

    I believe the galaxy s3 has been succesfully unlocked and rooted. But your phone should still work even if it is no longer connected to the AT&T network without root/unlocking. The ONLY thing that shouldn't work is voice calls and 3G/4G data.

    Every app that relies only on a data connection should work as normal as long as you have a stable WiFi connection. I'd first check to make sure the data connection you are trying to use functions fine with the stock browser. You may just need to sign into the WiFi connection using the stock browser if you are using a public hotspot.

    I'm going to move this thread over to the galaxy s3 section of the forum, so other users with your device can chime in. You can also ask about rooting if you want to go that route :) .
    NICEGOALEH likes this.
  11. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    How did you pay for the phone?
    I.e. if it was a contract and you paid $200, then it is not your phone. It's like paying for a car and although you put made a $200 "down payment", you did not finish paying for it. The bank (or ATT) owns it till you are done with your two year contract. If you still have it, you are steeling. You cannot expect to make two car payments and then keep the car.

    If you paid full retail, then I'd go to ATT and give them hell. It's your phone. You didn't sign a contract and deserve a fully functional phone, gps and all that operates on WiFi, just not cell service. Many GPS app operate with no cell service, even google maps! A year ago i took my VZW phone to Kuwait where there is definately no service. Via wifi, I could download natively in google maps, map tiles (a function of google maps) and used it to get around. Realize that navigation comes from cell service and thus all I had was moving maps with my position, but no guidance.
    Now wiht google maps allowing you to precash large maps, you should be entitled to google maps without cell service. I'd definitely complain.
    NICEGOALEH likes this.

    Thread Starter

    I understand but...the deal is...i paid for my phone in full, at a discounted rate...with agreeing to a 2 year monthly agreement...however...even if i fail to complete the agreement, i still get to keep the phone i paid for...there is no rule that says, i have to give the phone back. if i fail to complete the agreement, then i have to pay a termination fee but i still get to keep the phone. it is my phone that i paid for in full regardless...i'm not trying to be difficult...just trying to be logical and factual. thank you for your reply.
  13. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Copy, I returned mine causer I didn't like it. If I kept it at the discounted rate of 200, I'd pay the early termination fee and it was mine...for less than retail. I ended up just getting my money back anyway.
    If you paid for it with the early termination fee, man, I'd raise hell with them. I'd say they owe you a new, unactivated phone that is functional for sure.
  14. Easilyamused

    Easilyamused Android Enthusiast

  15. UserName872

    UserName872 Android Enthusiast

    Im sorry that you're frustrated although I think the point may be moot. The fact of the matter is... Yes, it is your hardware to keep but AT&T hasn't disabled anything that you should still be entitled access to. You can happily re-sell the device or pay your bill to have those features turned back on. But Google Voice via a mobile phone requires an active subscriber agreement via your mobile carrier as well as GPS services for most location based apps. The phone is still capable of doing all of these things but by design the hardware is meant to work in conjunction with a cellular service, not as a wifi only device. I understand money being tight, but perhaps the $200 for the Galaxy could have been used for other things if paying bills is a concern. Or at the least, perhaps selling your GS3 or trading for a Nexus 7 tablet that you could use at your leisure on wifi.

    Again, I apologize if I come off harsh, just wanted to offer my take on the whole thing and unfortunately feel that you wouldn't have a case to make with the BBB as AT&T did not truly do anything outside of the realm of their agreement with you. Believe me, AT&T would much rather you keep paying them your monthly service than to have to inconvenience you by shutting it off.

    Good luck!
  16. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    This popular mindset doesn't apply to phones as, unlike the car, the contract doesn't state that ATT can repossess the phone. In fact, he bought the phone outright; the price ATT gave him is inconsequential--it isn't a loan.

    The term, brick, is so misused its meaningless. Bricked means the device no longer boots and cannot be fixed without sending it to the manufacturer.

    To the OP, I don't recommend haphazardly rooting and such before you educate yourself on the topic first.

    I don't know why you think you are in a position to complain/give anyone "Hell" after failing to meet your agreement. The device works perfectly for a device without service.

    As for Google Maps, the 16 Aug update can download maps over WiFi for offline use later. (Note: I've not used it yet, so I can't attest to its efficacy.)
  17. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Just a note here, it is common practice among carriers to blacklist the IMEI/esn of a phone that is associated with contract in default. If you sell it, you must make it perfectly clear that it has a bad IMEI.
    UserName872 likes this.
  18. UserName872

    UserName872 Android Enthusiast

    This is a great point that I didn't even think of. Thanks!!!
    lunatic59 likes this.
  19. Krunk83

    Krunk83 Android Enthusiast

    You only paid for $200 of the phone. AT&T paid the other $400. So it's not really your phone until about a year.
  20. Szadzik

    Szadzik Extreme Android User

    Provided that it HAS BEEN blocked and there is no reason to believe that.

    IMEI is blocked for lost or stolen phones and not unpaid bills. AFAIK the carrier has no right to block the phone itself - by law. They can try and get the money, but locking the phone is not a part of that.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S3 release date was May 2012. Features and Specs include a 4.8" inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GB RAM, Exynos 4412 Quad processor, and 2100mAh battery.

May 2012
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