Verizon to double its ETF cancellation fees

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Thursday, 05 November 2009

Verizon to double its ETF cancellation fees


Verizon ETF = Excessive Termination Fee


With a whole new line of smart phones coming onto the market, Verizon Wireless said that starting November 15 it is doubling to $350 the penalty fees for subscribers who leave their contracts early.

James Gerace, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest cell phone service, said the fees are for subscribers in one- and two-year contracts on an "advanced device" and that those fees will be pro-rated $10 a month. That means, if you've made it halfway through your two-year contract, the $350 penalty will be reduced $120 to $230.

Gerace said the company decided to raise fees because its highest-end phones and small wireless laptops are getting more expensive. The firm subsidizes the cost of its most tricked-out phones to make their prices more appealing to consumers. Verizon is set to release the Droid this Friday for $199 with a two-year contract. The phone is meant to take on Apple's iPhone, which runs exclusively on AT&T.

The move could revive debates about early termination fees, the penalties wireless service providers charge users for leaving contracts early. Consumer groups have pushed for legislation to end such fees or at least set rules for the practice. The issue died down as major wireless providers decided to pro-rate fees based on length of contract.

-- Cecilia Kang,

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