FCC probes Verizon Wireless’ $350 early termination fee

New Arrivals Catalog Cover“The Federal Communications Commission is looking into why Verizon Wireless is now charging a $350 fee to some subscribers who want to break their cellphone contracts early, and sent the company a letter Friday asking for information about the new fee,” Amy Schatz reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“‘In light of the Commission’s ongoing interest in the issues associated with [early termination fees] and its pending proceeding regarding disclosure of billing information to consumers, we seek a more complete understanding of these practices,” the agency says in the letter,” Schatz reports. “A spokesman for Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group, was not immediately available for comment.”

“The agency also asked for more information about “whether consumers are being charged for minimal, inadvertent use of Verizon’s Mobile Web service, and what notice is being provided to those consumers” of those fees. Some Verizon subscribers have complained about getting hit with a $1.99 charge for accidentally accessing Verizon’s Mobile Web service,” Schatz reports.

Read more in the full article here.

13 Comments

  1. Maybe Verizon will get an idea of what their doing to their customers with all of these extra fees and fee hikes and whatnot. I hope the FCC uses a BIG probe and doesn’t use any lube. That might get their attention.

  2. The eeeevil gummint should stop harassing innocent corporations like Verizon. They are just practicing their freedom to plunder their customers. Save capitalism!

  3. Droid Does….. cost you an arm and a leg, if you regret your purchase, and want out of your contract. Why take a chance. Just get an iPhone. It is the the only thing you will ever need in your pocket. with 100,000 apps, it morphs into anything you need it to be, with 1 touch of an icon.

  4. Verizon is like the kid who gets beat up at school and then goes home and kicks his dog, but in this case it’s Steve Jobs delivering the asswhopping and Verizon’s customers are the dog.

  5. @ HughB

    AT&T;sucks. How’s that? I just want to see Verizon bent over a steel chair in the same way that the do to their customers. I should know, I am one. AT&T;coverage is terrible where I live. So I’m stuck with Verizon.

  6. IF Verizon is fronting $350 of device cost for the customer then it is only fair they can charge that back if the customer doesn’t fulfill their contract. because that payback is included in the service costs.

    that said, the ETF should only be allowed to be equal to the fronted costs, even if that means the ETF is device specific. and it should be spelled out in the contract that that is what is up.

    Also, the current laws dictate that the ETF must prorate due to the argument that the payback is spread over the contract. what is lacking is that the prorate is skewed. if I go 22 months into my contract I have, supposedly paid back $320 and some change of that fronted money. but the prorate would have only taken off $220 of the ETF. the laws should be that the rate is 1/24th of the ETF (or 1/12th for one year gigs) each month that is completed.

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