Reduce Toxic Waste; Keep Your Cell Phone

In the U.S., more than 100 million cell phones are taken out of service each year. Most of these discarded phones end up in landfills, leaking toxic metals and chemicals into the ground.

For competitive reasons, many cell phone companies today force consumers to pay for a new phone when switching service providers. This practice is both financially unfair to the consumer and bad for our environment!

Even worse, some cell phone companies that use compatible technology have installed "software locks" to prevent consumers from using their phones on competitors' systems.

Tell the Federal Communications Commission that you want to protect the environment, save money and keep your cell phone when switching companies!

Dear [decision maker],

I am writing to encourage you to investigate the practice of "locking down" cell phones, which prevents the phones from being used on other compatible networks.

Some cell phone companies are using software locks to prevent consumers from using their phones on competitors' systems. This practice is financially unfair to consumers, harms competition in the cell phone market and is bad for our environment.

Over 100 million cell phones are taken out of service each year in the U.S. Most end up in landfills, leaking toxic metals and chemicals into the ground.

Limited, inconvenient, and costly reuse and recycling options aren't the only reason we have an electronic waste problem. A large contributor is that still-functioning cell phone handsets are often rendered obsolete by a range of factors including changing cell phone providers, network incompatibilities, and design that limits repairs and upgrades.

The FCC can – and should – help reduce dangerous cell phone waste and at the same time make the market more competitive for consumers. Please investigate cell phone locking and take appropriate action to stop it.

Sincerely,
[your name]
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