Want to switch carriers for a better deal but can’t because of the Early Termination Fees? Well AT&T has put a plan in place that will allow someone to terminate their plan early. It isn’t much of a break but they hope it will keep Congress or the Courts from imposing a different plan.
AT&T has quietly implemented its new Early Termination Fee(ETF) policy. This new policy allows the ETF to be prorated at $5.00 per month for every month that you continue with the plan.
So if you stay with the plan for 6 months and then choose to terminate your AT&T cell phone service early, you get to knock a whopping $30.00 off the $175.00 cancellation fee. Terrific right? Not.
The FCC is considering capping the ETF for all carriers. There is already one class action lawsuit against Verizon over ETFs which has prompted most cell phone carriers to ask the FCC to step in and preempt state class action lawsuits.
The new prorated plans are also an attempt to keep such bills as “The Cell Phone Consumer Empowerment Act of 2007″ from progressing any further in Congress. This bill is currently languishing in committee but could be revived at any time.
The troubling thing is that AT&T, Verizon, and the rest, may be able to get away with miserly proration plans so recently implemented rather than creating plans that truly serve customers and improve competition.