Greedy AT&T jacks up early termination fees on smartphones to $325

invisibleSHIELD case for iPadTo their so-called “valued customers,” AT&T has issued — no, not the iPhone tethering they began promising customers in November 2008; let’s not get crazy *cough, class action lawsuit, cough* — an open letter, which follows, verbatim:

May 21, 2010

At AT&T, we work hard every day to provide you with a great wireless experience at competitive prices.

One of the ways we do this is to offer you the industry’s leading wireless handsets below their full retail price when you sign a two-year service agreement. In the event you wish to cancel service before your two-year agreement expires, you agree to pay a prorated early termination fee (ETF) as an alternative way to complete your agreement. Of course, if you prefer not to enter into a term commitment, we offer the same great selection of devices at their full retail price with no term commitment or ETF, as well as prepaid GoPhone options.

We are now making changes that will lower the ETF for many customers who agree to new term commitments, and will increase it for others. Current AT&T wireless customers who are within their two-year consumer service agreement or have an existing enterprise service agreement will see no change to their current terms.

Beginning June 1, 2010, we will reduce the ETF in new and upgrade two-year service agreements for all customers who are buying basic and quick messaging phones. Whether you are new to us or upgrading handsets, the ETF will decrease to $150 from $175, and be reduced by $4 for each month that you remain with us as a customer during the balance of your two-year service agreement. After the term commitment is completed, the ETF will no longer apply.

MacDailyNews Take: Is a lower ETF on devices that nobody wants really a lower ETF?

AT&T continues,

For customers who enter into new two-year service agreements in connection with the purchase of our more advanced, higher end devices, including netbooks and smartphones, the ETF will increase to $325, and be reduced by $10 for each month that you remain with us as a customer during the balance of your two-year service agreement. After that, the ETF will no longer apply.

Thank you for being an AT&T customer. We hope you enjoy your AT&T wireless device and service. We appreciate your business and we will continue to work hard to earn it.

Source: AT&T bastages who are now proven to be at least 92.86% as greedy as those fargin iceholes over at Verizon

MacDailyNews Take: Does this mean that there’s a Verizon iPhone coming soon or is this just business as usual?


  1. Here comes Verizon. I’m actually very happy with AT&T;so I’ll probably stick with them. But we had the other signal last week that AT&T;was moving up dates for people to get their subsidized iPhones. This is it!

  2. Well, its not just for iPhone. Have no way to know what this means without a comparison of what the other charge.

    These articles are shit without telling the full story, with detailed cost comparisons.

    Of course, that would take the asswipe journalist a lot of time, and would lessen their hit whore headlines that are so misleading

  3. Where the hell is the damn tethering? I am really pissed off about this. I joined ATT with an iPhone 3GS (awesome device) in December 2009, knowing that tethering would be available by the end of 2009, because ATT promised it. Well 2010 is here, and still no tethering. Apparently in this day and age it has become acceptable in America to lure customers in by lying to them.

    Well, dammit, I don’t think so. ATT can SmyD.

  4. Looks like the iPhone MAY be coming to a Verizon near you.

    Look out, the iPhone sales are going to triple and Android topple!!!

    Why else would they do this? Competition from a rival, that’s why.

  5. Would like that PROMISED iPhone tethering for my iPad soon. I have been looking at some of my other options. Sprint as a 3G/4G mobile WiFi bridge that they offer. Maybe one of those prepaid crap cell phone will offer a tethering option.

    Steve Jobs should just invite their CEO over for a little one on one talk. I know Steve heard the giggles in the audience the last time he talked about this.

  6. AT&T;iPhone tethering is right up there next to the 3 Ghz G5 Mac Steve Jobs promised us in 12 months from his June 2003 keynote…

    Blame IBM then or AT&T;now, but wasn’t it Apple that did the partnering with those other companies?

  7. If I recall, didn’t AT&T pull back the calendar as to when users are eligible to buy a new iPhone?
    AT&T is not in the business of subsidizing your phones for free. It cost them money if you don’t go through your contract.

  8. Used to be 2 years, now it is 32 months. I think the FCC should eliminate ETFs entirely. That would improve the competitiveness of the industry. I.e., do a good job or else we take our business to someone who will. Instead of the current, ‘we will punish you for leaving due to our poor service’. If these companies did a good job, they wouldn’t need an ETF to keep the business.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.