Patrick bought a Samsung Galaxy S9 at Best Buy for Black Friday. Can he just drop his SIM card in or does he have to get it activated? Leo says he should just be able to drop his existing SIM into it and get started. Leo says that the FCC doesn't like carrier locks if the carrier isn't subsidizing the phone. So all he'll have to do is call the carrier and ask them to unlock it, if he needs to. But if he's a Verizon customer, it shouldn't be locked at all, and since he's not switching carriers, it should work if it uses the same SIM.
Craig has been stunned by overages in the hundreds of dollars. Leo says it's time to get a new provider. Every provider has either an unlimited plan or a cheap charge for another GB or two of access. He should set his photo apps to not download unless he is connected to WiFi. But he can't get satisfaction from AT&T about the overages. Leo says he can shame them by tweeting out his complaints. They have a social media department that pays attention to that. He can also write the CEO. He has an office for complaints. His name is Randal Stevenson.
Eric has noticed that when he's recording U-verse on AT&T, his internet bandwidth drops dramatically. Leo says that's because U-verse DSL shares his internet with the TV. U-verse fiber optic is the other way. Leo says it's a crime that we can't get decent internet in the country that invented it all.
A federal judge approved the merger of Time Warner and AT&T this week, opening the floodgates for even more large mega corporate mergers. Comcast moved almost instantly to provide a massive bid on 21st Century Fox, outbidding Disney by over 15%, setting off a huge bidding war. Leo says that the judge got it wrong and this represents a serious problem for consumers, even though customers like it because it saves them money in the short run.
Bob bought a Samsung Galaxy S9 and he thinks it's too large for his hand. Leo says that larger phones are the future, as people prefer a larger screen to hand comfort. Bob also has hundreds of contacts on his phone that aren't his after he synced it. Leo says it's possible that AT&T or Samsung sold Bob a phone that was returned and hadn't wiped it before doing so. But if they sealed it up to make it look new, that's against the law.
Jane had DSL Extreme, but she says that AT&T won't allow it over the phone lines anymore. Leo says there's something going on with her particular neighborhood. She's still getting phone service, though. Jane says that AT&T isn't offering DSL either, but they're trying to push UVerse. Leo says that AT&T has decided to eliminate copper in her neighborhood and start using fiber. Fiber is glass and works better than copper.
Dan has AT&T and a new TP-Link router. Can he use his own with the AT&T DSL modem that has a router built-in? Leo says yes. He can turn off the AT&T's router radios and network address translation. He could try putting it into bridge mode. He'll have to open up the browser IP address and look for a place that will enable him to turn off the router altogether. He'll also have to disable DHCP. If he can't do that, then he can put the TP-Link into bridge mode and it will just pass the signal along. He should also look for a passthrough mode.
Mark ordered an iPhone X from Apple and he's worried about the order. He ordered an AT&T model, but his wife moving to Verizon. Can he swap it through the Apple store? Leo says that's probable. He'll definitely want to do that since the phones are locked to the carrier. The Verizon model would work with AT&T, but not the other way around. That's because Verizon's phone is unlocked, but have different radios in each. Leo suggests not even opening the box. He should just take the phone to the Apple Store and swap it out.
John has issues with coverage in his home town. Leo says that the irony is that AT&T is considered to have total universal coverage, but that doesn't seem to be the case entirely. Leo says to go to the carrier he's with and ask them for a FemToCel. If they want to keep his business, they'll give him one for free. With it, it will route his calls over the internet for cell service to his phone.
Paul and his wife are traveling to Croatia Saturday and he's worried about data roaming charges. Leo says that international data is rapidly changing thanks to T-Mobile's free Edge data plan that started last year. As such, AT&T has changed from offering an expensive data package to a "day pass."
Google Fi is a solid option, because they would pay as they go at $10 a month. If they have a Google phone, then they'll be in good shape.