Got coached tonight. Wow.

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Ok, so tonight I was working electronics. Guy buys a phone. After I check him out, he asks if I know how to unlock phones. As it turns out, I do, and I happen to know of a good website with instructions that cover most phones. I think to myself "no big deal. I'll provide some good guest service".

So I hit the site up on my cell phone and get the instructions for the phone he bought. Unlocked it. No problem. Whole process takes like 5 mins. Guy is happy and leaves.

Well, the TM who was in toys happened to be there while I was doing it and it seems he let the LOD (who happened to be our ETL-HL) know that I unlocked the phone.

About an hour later, the LOD is calling me to clerical. Basically chewed my ass out and told me to "never unlock another cell phone again" because it was "illegal" to do it. He told me that a message on workbench came out about this a few months ago, and that this was going in as a formal coaching.

I thought he was full of sh** about it being illegal, but I just looked it up, and I'll be damned, seems it actually did become illegal a few months ago.

So now I am wondering if there is any way I can get this coaching removed from my record? I honestly had no idea it was illegal to unlock phones now. I am not a TL like I used to be, and I don't ever get on workbench. Therefore, I think it is pretty unfair for me to be held accountable for some workbench message when I am not even supposed to be on workbench and no TL/ETL ever bothered to let anyone know about the message.
 
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I think your only play to get out of it would be to emphasize the fact that no TL or ETL ever explained to you it was illegal. But once it's in the computer it's pretty hard to change their mind.

I too did not know that was illegal... Good luck though!
 

pellinore

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well...looking this information up on your CELL PHONE? Isn't having a cell phone on the floor against policy? Having the phone is bad enough, but using it to help a guest? Bad idea.

I know that you didn't know that unlocking a cell phone for someone was illegal, but with the way the world works they say "ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law." I hate to be harsh on you. The reality is that it is illegal. Also, you were using your cell phone.

While I don't know about having a coaching removed from your record, I doubt that it is possible. Especially since what you did was illegal. My advice.....keep your nose clean and find out how long it will be until this coaching comes off your record.....Oh, it might be wise to keep your cell phone in your locker.
 
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well...looking this information up on your CELL PHONE? Isn't having a cell phone on the floor against policy? Having the phone is bad enough, but using it to help a guest? Bad idea.

I know that you didn't know that unlocking a cell phone for someone was illegal, but with the way the world works they say "ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law." I hate to be harsh on you. The reality is that it is illegal. Also, you were using your cell phone.

While I don't know about having a coaching removed from your record, I doubt that it is possible. Especially since what you did was illegal. My advice.....keep your nose clean and find out how long it will be until this coaching comes off your record.....Oh, it might be wise to keep your cell phone in your locker.


As it is against policy to have your phone on you while you work many stores allow it and several active posters have even posted about using their phones to help guests. Both stores I work at encourage the use of our cellphones if it's for the good of the guest. Ex: Target.com or anything Target related, also we have many tourists around one of my stores so directions is a big one.

That being said I don't think that would be the problem in this case but it would still be difficult to change the outcome.
 

pellinore

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I apologize for the cell phone comments. Clearly, the cell phone issue is different at my store.
 

commiecorvus

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A coaching is just a verbal warning just don't do it again and you will be fine!

Depends on if they're racking them up for a corrective action.
You could file a rebuttal just on general principals.
Make it in the form of an apology but make it clear that you didn't know and make it clear that you feel the charge was uncalled for.
It won't take it off your record but it will create a paper trail.
Keep in mind they won't like you for it but what can you do?
 
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Here is a few links on march 25 2013 about the unlocked phone law changes:
http://m.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/unlocking-cellphones-becomes-illegal-saturday-1C8086503
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocent...company-against-the-risks-of-unlocked-phones/
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/now-illegal-unlock-cellphone/t/story?id=18319518
It was all over the news for 3 days. I did a quick search for how to unlock phone & it listed there too.
Also, in electronic training packet says that you are not suppose to activate phones. Retraining for electronics champion needed is without delay. I have to agree with your Lod on this one.
 

commiecorvus

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Thanks HLM.
I didn't follow that part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (being pissed off about other parts of it).
That explains why they dropped T-Mobile as a carrier.

As much as it pains me say it, I have to see the bosses side on this one.
The law sucks but you represent the store and you helped a guest break the law.
 

buliSBI

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Ok, so tonight I was working electronics. Guy buys a phone. After I check him out, he asks if I know how to unlock phones. As it turns out, I do, and I happen to know of a good website with instructions that cover most phones. I think to myself "no big deal. I'll provide some good guest service".

So I hit the site up on my cell phone and get the instructions for the phone he bought. Unlocked it. No problem. Whole process takes like 5 mins. Guy is happy and leaves.

Well, the TM who was in toys happened to be there while I was doing it and it seems he let the LOD (who happened to be our ETL-HL) know that I unlocked the phone.

About an hour later, the LOD is calling me to clerical. Basically chewed my ass out and told me to "never unlock another cell phone again" because it was "illegal" to do it. He told me that a message on workbench came out about this a few months ago, and that this was going in as a formal coaching.

I thought he was full of sh** about it being illegal, but I just looked it up, and I'll be damned, seems it actually did become illegal a few months ago.

So now I am wondering if there is any way I can get this coaching removed from my record? I honestly had no idea it was illegal to unlock phones now. I am not a TL like I used to be, and I don't ever get on workbench. Therefore, I think it is pretty unfair for me to be held accountable for some workbench message when I am not even supposed to be on workbench and no TL/ETL ever bothered to let anyone know about the message.
I work with computers/video in a forensic environment. I have taken work some training classses in cellphones but haven't really worked with them. But unlocking a cell phone is not illegal. Some times we have to virtually unlock a phone to grab every bit of data from a phone. But certainly its not illegal.

The only thing that happens with unlocking a phone is that it voids the warranty and sometimes can prevent the phone to receive updates.

IMO...you should have at most provided the website but warned the guest of consequences. Its mainly a liability issue for Target. The store could have gotten in trouble if the unlock screwed up his phone.

Just don't do anything crazy for a couple months. The formal coaching will expire. It will not hurt you.
 

Electronics Man

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Cell phone unlocking is definitely not to be done. Even if you weren't unlocking it, like HLM said, we are not to handle the guests phones at all. Not even to put minutes on them. I would take his advice and retake the champions training.

If you work in Electronics you should at least keep up with the latest news regarding stuff like that (or at least I try to anyways). That is a shame though you are not allowed on workbench. I am not a TL (yet), but I use it every day. In fact it's apart of our daily routine to check message boards.

As far as using a cell phone to help a guest, I do it all the time and my STL even knows and has no issue with it. Just the other day I looked up a picture of a Logitech PC controller to see if it had the buttons the guest wanted and it did. The guest was very happy and I made a sale. If I had not used my cell phone, I would have A. Open it myself, which I will not do with plastic packaging, or B. the guest would have to buy it, open it and potentially return it, which they did not want to go through the hassle of. They had just came from Best Buy because the sales people over there would not look up the information for the guest. All in all, it was a Vibe moment.

It sucks getting coached, but the ETL was right on this one.
 
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Good thing I don't know how to unlock a phone since people ask me that all the time. It's good to know that it's illegal though.

BTW I put minutes on phones pretty often.. why is it against company policy? I always did it through the Vibe. I mean it literally takes 30 seconds to send a text with the PIN number. For nearly no wasted payroll, I help out an older guest and save them the hassle of trying to figure it out. Vibe moment. I can understand not activating the phones (I prefer not to do it anyway) but adding minutes is so damn easy and the guest leaves happy and more willing to come back. After all, the Wal Mart and Best Buy right across the street do it, why can't we?
 

buliSBI

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For me, I had several guests that constantly return wanting TMs to do it for them all the time. I had to refuse because I had to deal with other guests and duties.

Its a liability for the store if the minutes don't take, and the guest will have to divulge their number and PIN to the TM in order to apply the minutes.
 

Electronics Man

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I understand what you are saying about it being a "Vibe" moment and all, but it is a liability issue. However I do offer the alternative of walking them through it. Most of the time they leave just as happy, if not happier as they have now been taught themselves.
 

Deli Ninja

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well...looking this information up on your CELL PHONE? Isn't having a cell phone on the floor against policy? Having the phone is bad enough, but using it to help a guest? Bad idea.

I think that Target is leaving this to each store to decide the cell phone policy, as I don't remember reading anything about cell phones in the new TM handbook and a cursory look-through a moment ago turned up nothing. Please do correct me if I am wrong! My store's always been really lax about the cell phone policy and it always annoys me to see TMs stop in the middle of zoning/doing pulls/etc. to fiddle with their phone. You're not getting paid to text your buddies.
 
B

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Yeah I wouldn't jailbreak anyone's phone.... Even if it wasn't illegal, its not exactly an ethical thing to do. It does seem a bit harsh if they give you a CCA for this if you legitimately didn't know, but if its just a verbal coaching its not a big deal.
 
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Got to love the double standard of ETL's and STL's saying, "Don't have your cell phone with you," then they walk around the salesfloor talking on theirs. I was walking by shoes one day and saw the STL talking on her phone. She saw me watching her and said, "It's an emergency, my daughter is at the daycare and they think she is sick." Oh, so your kids are more important than everyone else's kids. Your kids are more special to you than mine are to me. Thanks for the lesson. Lead by example.

And why exactly is our SFM allowed to walk around talking on his cell phone about car insurance? Oh, that's right. It's because he isn't in red and khaki and therefore not responsible for any guest interaction whatsoever. I especially like looking up the history on the receiving computer after he has spent two hours on it. I didn't know that cabinet outlet stores, Allstate, and Lowe's were approved websites. Oh yeah, you flip houses too. Must be nice to get paid to do personal web surfing at work.

Just my two cents, maybe the reason your ETL was on you about this is because he didn't do his job in making sure you knew about the change. Covering his ass a little maybe? You can try to do something about it, but you will lose. Just make sure no one is around the next time you unlock someone's phone. Maybe one day they will outlaw setting the time on elderly gentlemen's watches. It would have saved me 15 minutes the other day if I could have told the sweet little old man that I couldn't help him set his watch.

And most importantly, find a way to get back at the person who snitched on you.
 
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I used to work as a chat agent for a cell phone company. We actually had canned response stating that we do not unlock phones nor do we recommend doing so. It does void the warranty and could potentially cause issues with the phone. It is probably best to play dumb when a guest asks about unlocking phones.
 
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SOT,
If your attitude in your building sucks as bad as you exude on this board, you're going to get performanced out. They already know about what happened with Sony, watch your butt and keep your nose clean. It doesn't even matter if it was against the law or not. If you know how to get the information to unlock a phone in five minutes, you know that it automatically voids any warranty on the phones. Almost any article that describes how to do this posts a disclaimer that your phone could turn into a fancy paperweight when doing a "jailbreak". You knew better, and you know it. Stop playing the victim!
 
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SOT,
If your attitude in your building sucks as bad as you exude on this board, you're going to get performanced out. They already know about what happened with Sony, watch your butt and keep your nose clean. It doesn't even matter if it was against the law or not. If you know how to get the information to unlock a phone in five minutes, you know that it automatically voids any warranty on the phones. Almost any article that describes how to do this posts a disclaimer that your phone could turn into a fancy paperweight when doing a "jailbreak". You knew better, and you know it. Stop playing the victim!

Dude, who cares? Seriously. If the guest knew what unlocking was to begin with, he probably knows that and could give a damn. Who uses the warranty on a cheap go phone anyway? You realize it would actually cost more to use the warranty (shipping, time spent, etc.) than the phone is worth to begin with, right?

It's kind of like how the box of light bulbs I bought a few days ago had a big "WARRANTY" sticker on them if they didn't last at least a month. So let's see, I am going to use the warranty on a $1 lightbulb.... Just shipping it will probably cost me $10. Like most warranties, it's basically a scam.

Also, please learn some basic tech lingo. This is probably why you don't work electronics at your store. Unlocking a phone is in no way, shape, or form the same as doing a jailbreak. A jail break allows you to make major changes to the underlying operating system of the phone. Unlocking the phone simply lets you use it on another carrier. It is 100% safe to do and has zero risk of causing damage to the phone. (jailbreaking, on the other hand, can brick the phone)

What I did was unlock it, not jailbreak it. Please educate yourself on basic tech terms before lecturing those of us who actually know what we are doing.

You remind me of a friend I have who was having a freak out because the paper jammed in her printer. (zero tech skills at all) When I came over to fix the problem for her, she started to have freak out on me when she saw me pulling the paper out because she thought that by removing the paper I was harming the printer.... despite the fact that removing the paper fixed the printer. Technology ignorant people get alarmed when they see "unusual" things happening in front of them.... even if it what is happening is not negative at all.

This is the same thing you are doing. You don't know the difference between a jailbreak and unlocking, so you have a freak out thinking I could potentially damage the guests phone by what I was doing.

Again, just to be clear, a jailbreak is in no way shape or form the same as unlocking a phone. It is literally the difference between an apple and an orange. Please google the terms so you understand them.
 
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Relax.....It's a coaching. Yes it stinks believe me been there done that wish I could take it back but guess what I can't. Best you can do is keep your nose clean as they say and keep pressing through.... As long as you keep on doing fine and do not screw up within those 90 days or whatever you will be perfectly fine. Trust me I am doing the same!
 
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they can sue spot!
here is what the law says:
The EFF wanted to point out that the entire situation has both positives and negatives. First, it’s still completely legal to jailbreak and root your phone (but not tablets, mind you), and that law will stand through at least 2015. However, unlocking your phone yourself is illegal as everyone says it is, but the EFF note that carriers “probably aren’t going to start suing customers en masse, RIAA-style.”

The EFF says that carriers will be more likely to sue businesses that unlock and resell phones, rather than the individuals, and the charges are stiff: up to $2,500 per unlocked phone in a civil suit, and $500,000 or five years in prison in a criminal case when the unlocking is for “commercial advantage.”

Even for phones that are no longer under contract, it’s still illegal to unlock them, proving ever more that we’re really not free to do as we want with devices that we own. This law will stay put until late 2014, when the next round of creating and defending exemptions will start back up. It’s possible that we could see lawsuits form against the DMCA, but that’s something we’ll have to wait and see on.
 
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StaticSun

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I think the law has been discussed the best it will, and you have started another thread regarding the root cause.

Take it to the house!
 
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