06-15-2009 02:50:12 PM
This may or may not be an appropriate question for this forum, but want some advice;
I'm moving to the UK for at least 2 years for a postgraduate program in about 6 weeks, and bought an iPhone last September on a 2-year AT&T contract. At the time I had no idea I'd be moving, of course, but am presented with a bit of a dilemma.
First, I am told the iPhone won't work with O2 in the UK, so I can't bring the phone with me and swap out for their service. Well, unless I unlock the phone but that voids the warranty, and I also paid for AppleCare on this device. Any recommendations for how to get use out of the phone and not run afoul of any contractual situations?
Two, I still have a little over a year remaining on my contract that I don't have any use for at the current plan. Will AT&T allow me to reduce to some minimum amount in order to keep my US number and a voicemail box?
Three, is it also possible to change my US number to a pay-as-you-go phone for limited use for when I am intermittently back in the US?
Costs are a big issue, as this program and the expense of living in London is substantial; so any advice to avoid unneeded charges is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
06-16-2009 08:02:00 AM - edited 06-16-2009 08:03:04 AM
If you can prove that you are living outside of the US at&t will normally waive the early termination fee. You can probably also switch your phone over to pre-paid if they allow that with an ETF waiver.
You can recover any costs by selling your iPhone on ebay. These devices even in used condition are still commanding a premium. If you absolutely must have an iPhone then you will have to go with O2 in the UK. There are also other very good providers with alternate devices such as Vodafone, Orange, 3, and T-Mobile UK. Vodafone generally has the strongest network in the UK. Compare rate plans carefully and remember that all incoming calls and text messages are free in the UK. The only catch is all mobile phone numbers are considered a premium rate call for anyone who needs to reach you. Pay as you go plans with no contract are very common in the UK with all types of users. If you don't make too many outbound calls it can be a cheap alternative. Carefully compare long distance rates to call back to the USA as they vary greatly by provider.
06-16-2009 03:23:59 PM - edited 06-16-2009 03:26:31 PM
11-17-2009 07:08:04 PM
11-18-2009 04:13:16 AM - edited 11-18-2009 04:15:53 AM
The iPhone is the only phone that ATT won't unlock for any reason. I suspect it has to do with their contract with Apple. There are third party unlocking solutions, but they void the warranty and more importantly freeze you out of doing upgrades. Apple has relocked the phone with many of the upgrades which means that people going that route are playing cat and mouse with Apple. Guess who is the "cat" and who is the "mouse" in that scenario.
Incidentally, for anyone who wants to temporarily park their U.S. phone number while living abroad, take a look at voip.ms. $25 portage fee, $1.50 a month, and $0.01 a minute for each voicemail left which is delivered to your e-mail. Alternatively, you can connect to the number by VOIP and actually receive the call at a penny a minute. Unlimited inbound for $5 a month.