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  Reply # 590450 5-Mar-2012 09:59 Send private message

Nokia C2-01
http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/dsnz/search/dsnz_search_results.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524441940921&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302028346
$149 unlocked from DSE

http://www.livingskinny.co.nz/shop.php
$109 locked from Skinny

Like I said, some were cheaper, some were more expensive, and some were the same. average was more than $30 cheaper when it was done before.
No idea what it is now.

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  Reply # 591445 6-Mar-2012 22:05 Send private message



Last time I looked, 24 was a lot more than 9.  and $350 was a heck of a lot more than $30.



The $350/24 month example was made up to show how they could apply a $350 subsidy to a phone without locking, as a purely illustrative example. Yes, it's more than $30, but I doubt Skinny are subsidising handsets to that extent either - it wasn't meant to be compared to their actual prices.

It still leaves a problem that it puts obstacles/hassles in the way of switching (even after 9 months when the unlocking if free), and sets a precedent for other networks which the Commerce Commission had previously discouraged. Who is to say the fee will stay at $30 or free after 9 months - once Vodafone and Telecom get in on the act. Telecom goes at $50, then VF goes at $50 and $100 for "premium" phones, Skinny creeps up a few months later and so on. The boil the frog slowly, and soon you can't realistically unlock at all.

The networks will all love less pressure to compete on price and, IMHO, it's a slippery slope and a bad precedent for consumers in the long run.



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  Reply # 591471 6-Mar-2012 23:59 Send private message

SaltyNZ: ... Since you can't enter into a contract while a legal minor, ... 

My understanding (disclaimer: this does not purport to be legal advice) is that a person under 18 can enter into a contract but is not (with certain exceptions) bound by it unless a court decides the contract is fair and reasonable. However generally the contract is binding on the other party.

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  Reply # 591480 7-Mar-2012 06:56 Send private message

lapimate:
SaltyNZ: ... Since you can't enter into a contract while a legal minor, ... 

My understanding (disclaimer: this does not purport to be legal advice) is that a person under 18 can enter into a contract but is not (with certain exceptions) bound by it unless a court decides the contract is fair and reasonable. However generally the contract is binding on the other party.


Ah, that makes sense. 




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  Reply # 591481 7-Mar-2012 07:01 Send private message

SIM-locking is a practice which prevents a customer from using their phone on certain mobile networks. Please tell me how "in some circumstances, SIM locking can have consumer benefits"

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  Reply # 591496 7-Mar-2012 08:35 Send private message

Pretty simple, it allows a provider to offer a hqndset cheaper, therefore the consumer has the benefit of a better handset than what they might otherwise afford.




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  Reply # 591503 7-Mar-2012 08:56 Send private message

At least the Skinny unlock fee of $30 is way less than i was forced to pay to Vodafone on Ozz back in 2008 when my NZ supplied fone refused to roam. To get me over the 4 week as I was there I bought a cheapish $A80 prepay and put my NZ SIM into it. It wouldn't go. Took it to a Vodafone store and they said it was locked and I would have to pay $A75 to get it unlocked to put in my NZ SIM. As I had no choice I had to pay it. When I got back to NZ I saw the same fone on Voda NZ website unlocked for $NZ99.

Locking is fine but only when you get a good subsidy and not paying near normal retail price for a fone.




Regards,

Old3eyes

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  Reply # 591508 7-Mar-2012 09:07 Send private message

old3eyes:  

Locking is fine but only when you get a good subsidy and not paying near normal retail price for a fone.


...And when you know about the locking up front, and when you are offered the choice of one that is not locked instead. 

My personal preference would be that locking is allowed as long as the sales people are required to tell you before you hand over the cash, that the same model is also offered unlocked, even if for a higher price, and that the operator guarantees to unlock the phone for free after the period is up, or for some fee during the period. That way everyone is satisfied: operators can offer people cheaper handsets in return for locking them into their networks for a time, but consumers don't get caught out unawares.




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  Reply # 591511 7-Mar-2012 09:14 Send private message

As long as the phone is at least the unlock fee less than the phone costs elsewhere, what's the problem? Don't like Skinny? Get the phone unlocked and you're no worse off. People really think the "hassle" of getting it unlocked is anticompetitive?

If the subsidy on the phone isn't enough people won't bother buying the locked phone, will they?

I guess the only issue is if everyone starts locking their phones and pushing prices up, but I suppose there'll still be the parallel imported unlocked market to keep things reasonably honest.

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  Reply # 591638 7-Mar-2012 11:57 Send private message

I will not have a problem with said locking if the same phone is offerred unlocked and if the unlocking fee is not changed at any point since buying the phone.

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  Reply # 591645 7-Mar-2012 12:06 Send private message

SaltyNZ:
old3eyes:  

Locking is fine but only when you get a good subsidy and not paying near normal retail price for a fone.


...And when you know about the locking up front, and when you are offered the choice of one that is not locked instead. 

My personal preference would be that locking is allowed as long as the sales people are required to tell you before you hand over the cash, that the same model is also offered unlocked, even if for a higher price, and that the operator guarantees to unlock the phone for free after the period is up, or for some fee during the period. That way everyone is satisfied: operators can offer people cheaper handsets in return for locking them into their networks for a time, but consumers don't get caught out unawares.


So that is prettymuch how it works now.
Offering the phone unlocked for a higher price is no different from offering the phone locked but offering an unlocking service for a fee. 
The customer could, if they want, buy the locked phone and immediately pay the unlock fee.  Bingo – you have just bought an unlocked phone.

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  Reply # 591653 7-Mar-2012 12:21 Send private message

NonprayingMantis:  
The customer could, if they want, buy the locked phone and immediately pay the unlock fee.  Bingo – you have just bought an unlocked phone.


True, but that's more of a PITA for the customer despite the end result being one and the same. Not to mention it takes time for the store staff to actually do the unlock. 

There are lots of horror stories about people getting the run around when they ask for an unlock. Best to just avoid that altogether by mandating that unlocked versions have to be sold alongside locked versions.




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  Reply # 591659 7-Mar-2012 12:28 Send private message

lapimate:
SaltyNZ: ... Since you can't enter into a contract while a legal minor, ... 

My understanding (disclaimer: this does not purport to be legal advice) is that a person under 18 can enter into a contract but is not (with certain exceptions) bound by it unless a court decides the contract is fair and reasonable. However generally the contract is binding on the other party.


My understanding as well, generally banks etc will self-regulate on the contracts, normally 15/16 is the min for them (or was when I was 15-17) to deal with someone without parents/guardians involved, and even then they restrict what they offer to the safe services (savings, EFTpos, term deposits, Kiwisaver and (now) Debit cards) and not offer line of credit services like Credit Cards etc.

Surely a prepaid "I will not abuse the network/prank call/threaten" contract/agreement is peanuts compared to a bank account contract/agreement.

On the subject of SIM locking, it's all about context, in Skinnys case they are offering (in most cases) a discount upfront, in return for a 9 month network/SIM lock or $30.   They've done it within the law (if I remember Vodafone only undid their policy because of public opinion, and that people didn't like getting locked in for the exact same price as pre-locking - please correct if I'm wrong), which ComCom appears to agree with, so how exactly is it anti-competitive.

It's certainly not as bad as some cases in Australia etc that I've seen, and I would only see red in Skinny's case if they've added a ton of branding to the phones (i.e. more than start/up logo, redirect to a WAP/Net portal etc).

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  Reply # 591670 7-Mar-2012 12:36 Send private message

It's really simple people - If having a locked phone is disgusting to your sensitivities then go to another provider and enjoy the unlocked freedom that a probable higher handset price and call rate will provide. Its called customer choice.

If no one buys into Skinny then they won't make any money and it will be gone by Christmas. But I bet there is a whole market out there that could not care less about the handset locking non-event. It's limited, it's easy to get out of, and if you don't like it you have plenty of other options.





Artificial intelligence is no match, for natural stupidity



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  Reply # 591676 7-Mar-2012 12:42 Send private message

scuwp: It's really simple people - If having a locked phone is disgusting to your sensitivities then go to another provider and enjoy the unlocked freedom that a probable higher handset price and call rate will provide. Its called customer choice.

Thats all good and well until the other 3 providers follow suit and that is no longer an option.

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