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  • AT&T Raises Eyebrows by Raising Early Termination Fees. Is Verizon The Culprit?



    While there is little definitive supporting evidence to validate the claim asserted by many this weekend, it appears that some folks are convinced that AT&T's announcement of an escalated early contract termination fee means that the iPhone is coming to Verizon and this is how AT&T will prevent a massive exodus to the rival carrier.

    Since the iPhone was unveiled in 2007 along with an exclusive carrier deal through AT&T, millions have waited in anticipation - mostly on the backs of rumors - for the handset to finally come to other carriers. Now, as Apple readies its next gen iPhone, AT&T is raising eyebrows by hiking the early-termination fee for smart phones from $175 to $325, effective June 1st.

    Some clearly believe the move is a preemptive strike against AT&T customers who might consider jumping ship "if" the iPhone comes to Verizon (or elsewhere) in the coming months. Of course, given the increased competition in the marketplace and the booming business of the smartphone industry even beyond the iPhone's market share, an equally cogent argument could be made that AT&T is simply protecting itself from added competition, not merely the threat of a Verizon iPhone.

    AT&T isn't saying much about their incentive for the sudden, drastic spike, except that they're looking to play "fair." That is, the carrier is similarly reducing termination fees for its more basic mobile phones. "The idea is, and we think that it's fair approach, that if you spend less on a device, your early-termination fee should be less," said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel. "If you spend more, your early-termination fee should be more."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Raises Eyebrows by Raising Early Termination Fees. Is Verizon The Culprit? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 52 Comments
    1. flintTC's Avatar
      flintTC -
      Here is my 2 cents.
      I cant believe people read to much into the changes AT&T makes. The only reason some people pay this much attention is because its AT&T and the iPhone. Verizon copies what AT&T does and AT&T copies what Verizon does. One company changes their plans then the other one follows. Verizon raised their ETF on smart phones to $350 a few months back and some people said it was because AT&T was keeping the iPhone for 2 more years till 2012. Now people are saying AT&T did it because Verizon is getting the iPhone. I was in an AT&T store today and saw a print out that said they were raising their ETF for smart phones and lowering it for basic ad texting phones to stay competitive. To me thats says Verizon raised theirs we should do the same. These rumors just create more rumors, just wait till June 7th and everyone will find out what the next step for the iPhone is.
    1. ctstiffler's Avatar
      ctstiffler -
      I dont see they point in changing that because people are going to buy the new iphone when it comes out regardless which carrier has it. I have no plans in leaving AT&T but the way I see it I already have an iphone with a cheap bill so Im not going anywhere but even if I wanted to I signed a contract going into agreement with myself and AT&T and in that contract it stated my early termination fee would be 175 so therefore AT&T better not change **** because we both agreed on that termination fee even though it really was negotiable. Peace, Love and iPhones....
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      ^your contract will not change. After it is up just go month to month because if you sign another 2 year contract on a subsidized phone your ETF will be higher.
    1. 3gs1289's Avatar
      3gs1289 -
      well if whoever was looking to go to Verizon then they would be smart and cancel now with no ETF. By way of the contract you signed when you bought your att plan and phone that is the contract you are binded too. If AT&T wants to increase their ETF charge then they are breaking the contract you signed and you have the legal rights to cancel the contract at no charge. Att will tell you "it also says we reserve the right to change the terms and conditions at any time" well don't fall for that. If they change the etf you have every right to cancel at no charge. Even though att will act as if you can't cancel at no charge, truth is you can if they raised the etf.
    1. species8472_rules's Avatar
      species8472_rules -
      Quote Originally Posted by tsatryan View Post
      With all the ATT bashing going on, just thought I would say that I was a Verizon customer, and constantly had to deal with their inane controls over everything about the PDA phones I used. They controlled everything. They locked down the OS on the phone, crippling what clearly worked on other carriers using the same phone. Their prices were exorbitant, and their phone choices were anemic. But, they supposedly had the best service around, so that's what we dealt with.

      When the iPhone arrived, I switched to ATT. I have been happy with them. Their service in my area is at least on a par with Verizon's. Anywhere I travel, I have had no problems using ATT at all. Admittedly, although I do travel a good deal, there must be locations that ATT's coverage is not good. But, I know first-hand that there are likewise places where Verizon's coverage is lousy.

      My observation has been that whatever mobile service people use, they will complain about it. It's the "grass is greener on the other side" syndrome. I predict that IF the iPhone comes to Verizon, then there will be people who will switch, and that we will then hear the same complaints about Verizon as we near about ATT. Plus, many others - the leopard doesn't change his spots - so, I am sure that people will absolutely LOVE V-Cast limitations on their iPhones...

      I expect to be staying with ATT no matter what transpires with any hypothetical Verizon iPhone.

      Well said... Every carrier has their own issues and any network that experiences an massive increase in data usage will have this problem. Why do you think Sprint 4G is not available in SF or NYC yet?
    1. GrandMstrBud's Avatar
      GrandMstrBud -
      Quote Originally Posted by InDashMP3 View Post
      You do know that the simple fact the raised their ETF, is cause to cancel without an ETF? They implemented a change in terms which would allow you to get out of the contract if you do not agree with the new ETF fee. If you get out, the ETF fee is waived....ironic huh? When the 3GS came out, I wanted to get out of my Verizon contract. Lucky for me, they changed their txt msg rates, so I was able to cancel my contract early without an ETF. .If I knew for a fact that the iPhone was coming to Verizon, I would be getting out now..
      So if you sign up now the ETF is 175 and next month they raise it to 325 so that should let you out of the contract if you don't agree to the new terms. So really I could buy one now and after 30 days simply cancel due to the new terms?
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      thats a huge 'effin spike
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      No. Your current contract or any one you sign before the new TOS is released remains unaffected by this. When it is time to re-up your contract to another 2 year deal(say if you get a discount on a phone) then you are stuck after the new TOS is released. You agreed to the 175bucks and they will honor it.
    1. nappyreddz's Avatar
      nappyreddz -
      If I'm not mistaken a change in a phone companys contract gives you the right to cancel without paying termination fees. So if AT&T raises their fees I believe you can cancel without penalty. It would only apply to people who sign new contracts with that in there. I'm not sure I'm a have to look into it.
    1. itmustbejj's Avatar
      itmustbejj -
      This doesn't affect existing contracts aka no free contract termination (damn).

      From AT&T presser: "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."
    1. Exo III's Avatar
      Exo III -
      So the new price hike will apply to everyone, not just those who sign up after June 1st? I guess that I need to hurry up and decide if I want to cancel or not...
    1. itmustbejj's Avatar
      itmustbejj -
      Quote Originally Posted by Exo III View Post
      So the new price hike will apply to everyone, not just those who sign up after June 1st? I guess that I need to hurry up and decide if I want to cancel or not...
      You are a product of our failed school system....look at the post above.