Monday, December 7, 2009

Verizon facing some heat from the FCC over ETF charges

Remember a while back when I posted an article about Verizon raising their ETF fees.  Well I guess I wasn't the only one that thought that this was a questionable move, it looks like the FCC is now asking questions of their own.  Specifically "do customers still have to pay the $120 left on their contract after the 2 year contract" and "how visible is the details of this ETF on customers contracts".  Here is a copy of the letter.
Verizon has argued that they raised the ETF to make up the cost for advanced devices they sell to customers at a subsidized price.  In other words, the reason you are able to get the Motorola Droid for $199 subsidized, retail $560, is that Verizon pays the remaining $360 of the phone price and locks you into a contract for 2 years to make up that cost.  The FCC doesn't seem to care.
The FCC has been taking a more proactive role as a consumer watchdog lately.  In fact, four U.S. senators recently proposed a legislation that would limit the amount that carriers can charge for an ETF, and also make the fees more accessible to consumers.  Could this spell the end of the ETF? maybe, but not likely, hopefully Verizon will wise up and fall back in line, so I can finally get that BOGO offer for two Storm 2's and sell them on Ebay for a small profit, hahaha.

Source:  InformationWeek

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