Tuesday, 2 March 2010

FCC Investigates Verizon's Advanced Devices ETF Verizons New Early Termination Fees Raise Questions from the FCC

Verizon decided to change its Early Termination Fees last month. And by
change I mean dou
ble them for certain advanced devices. You must surely remember the
move as it followed the launch of hot devices like the Motorola Droid,
the BlackBerry Strom2 and the HTC Droid Eris.Although a little late if
you ask me, the FCC has decided to investigate the whole matter. After
all, not every other carrier out there decided to double those ETFs from
$175 to $350. Sure I can understand why Verizon did it. With a phone
like Motorola Droid I can imagine that some people would simply decide
to ditch their new contract and pay the $175. But they wouldn t walk
that fast out of a 2-year deal if there s a double ETF in place.
The FCC sent a letter to Verizon asking Big Red more details about the
new ETF policy. The FCC wants to know what information is provided to
customers about the new $350 early termination fee. The FCC is also
interested in how Verizon selects those advanced devices and wants to
know if there s anything like a grace period in which customers can
cancel the service without paying the full $350. The FCC asked about the
prorating formula for the ETF and how customers are given such info. One
important problem in the FCC s eyes is the fact that customers that
cancel a 2-year contract after 23 months will still have to pay a $120 ETF.
Furthermore the Commission wants more details about another Verizon
policy according to which every customer that doesn t have a data plan
but does access Verizon Wireless Mobile Web has to pay $1.99 or more
even if it was an accidental press of a button.
Verizon has to answer to the FCC s questions by December 17 and
hopefully that s when Big Red s customers will be able to get more
details too about the new ETF policies and the one-press accidental
activation of Verizon Wireless Mobile Web issue.
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