Phones are a part of our every day life and us. We treat them as a close relationship, and yet they are stolen more than any other device we own. Just about every cellular carrier has the ability to track a phone’s location using local towers, yet they are not always as handy to the average smartphone user.
However, AT&T has just released information on its new system for blocking usage of stolen devices. Even though this is not “tracking”, it does mean that any device reported stolen to customer service will be blocked, rendering phone features useless on the device, including text messaging, data use, and voice calls.
With notices sent out to AT&T representatives, the new system will become active July 10. But some drawbacks do include the lack of automatic blocking – meaning that that a customer “must” contact AT&T customer service in order to enact a block on that specific line. The customer may also deactivate the block using the same process.
The carrier will not have a large directory of blocked devices at its disposal, but will rather have individual requests within the customer’s account for the activation, and deactivation of the usage block.
Devices that will be included in the blacklist are only tablets and phones, as of right now. With that being said, competing carriers do not really have similar methods to blocking certain devices if stolen. It seems that AT&T is providing an easy and efficient way for customers to protect their phone and tablets from the distance. However, there is still no word if the blocking feature will come with additional fees for the user.
Do you think that AT&T is doing the right thing extending its support to average individuals having their phones stolen? Will this make you feel “safe” – knowing that the carrier provides this sort of service? I would love to hear your comments.