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Verizon Wireless to ease up on early termination fees

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Verizon Wireless to ease up on early termination fees

Old 06-29-06, 04:19 PM
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Verizon Wireless to ease up on early termination fees

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060628/...ss_contracts_2

By BRUCE MEYERSON, AP Business Writer
Wed Jun 28, 5:08 PM ET

NEW YORK - Targeting a top gripe by cell phone users and breaking ranks again with its industry, Verizon Wireless plans to prorate the fee it charges subscribers who break a contract so they only pay an amount proportional to the time left on their agreements.

The change in the early termination fee will be implemented this fall for all new customers and any Verizon Wireless subscribers who sign a new contract, the company announced Wednesday in tandem with a speech by CEO Denny Strigl at an industry conference.

The company, owned jointly by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, also said it was addressing another customer frustration by enabling existing subscribers to upgrade to a new handset at the same steep discounts being offered to lure new customers.

U.S. wireless companies, their subscribers trapped by contracts and early termination fees, typically offer much smaller savings, if at all, on upgrades while they're under contract. Verizon's new flexibility will be available to subscribers with calling plans of $50 after 12 months.

Wireless cancellation fees are a longtime sore point among consumers, provoking lawsuits and legislative proposals to prohibit and cap them.

Earlier this month in California, a state court decided to allow a class action suit seeking to recover early cancellation fees from Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp., according to the seniors advocacy group AARP, which is providing legal assistance for the plaintiffs. And in early June, Democrats in the Michigan Legislature proposed a bill that would limit termination fees to $20.

About 50 million of Verizon Wireless' 53 million subscribers are under contract, and nearly all would face an early termination fee of $175 if they decided to change carriers or just close their accounts.

"The number of complaints on this issue is the single largest that our customers have," Strigl said in an interview before the speech, referring to the termination fees as a "black eye" for the industry. "It's a legitimate complaint: If they leave in month one or month 23, they pay the same charge."

The change to prorating the fee isn't as big a gambit for Verizon, which boasts the industry's best customer retention rates, as it might be for many rivals with heavier subscriber defections.

Wednesday's announcement marks at least the third time that Strigl has used the annual Yankee Group wireless conference to break ranks with his top rivals.

In 2003, Strigl came out in favor of giving cell users the right to keep their phone numbers if they decide to change providers, an edict from the Federal Communications Commission that all the top wireless companies were trying to fight in court. The sudden reversal by Verizon Wireless scored a public relations coup, with its rivals left looking less customer friendly.

Last year, citing customer privacy concerns, Strigl said Verizon Wireless would not participate in an effort to create a directory of cellular phone numbers like that in the traditional wireline industry.

Asked if the latest move on termination fees might provoke more consternation, Strigl said, "That's what industry leaders do."

I'm with Verizon, so this is great news. Hopefully all carriers will implement these kind of changes.

Chris
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Old 06-29-06, 05:40 PM
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Great news for us Verizon customers.
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Old 06-29-06, 05:46 PM
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Great news for this extremely consumer-unfriendly industry as a whole. People shouldn't have to choose between prepay and (mostly) stupid 2-year lease-like contracts designed solely for the conglormerate's benefit. A little market pressure would do this industry a world of good--they've only gotten away with it due to the huge speed with which cellphones became ubiquitous.

Last edited by adamblast; 06-30-06 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 06-29-06, 09:07 PM
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Interesting timing on this as it was a subject I spent a little time researching a day or two ago.
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Old 06-29-06, 09:16 PM
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I remember being told "we don't do that" when I asked about proration of any fees. Asses Nice change.
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Old 06-29-06, 09:59 PM
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Happy to see it.

-p
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Old 06-29-06, 10:28 PM
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verizon is a very progressive company and I applaud them for that
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Old 06-30-06, 04:22 AM
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i hope cingular follows suit....i need out as all my daughters friends use verizon.
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Old 06-30-06, 05:05 AM
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Good for Verizon. Also, if more people stick with Verizon then maybe the other companies should examine why people are defecting. I agree that this industry needs market pressure like this to keep everyone in line. Anyway, I just "re-upped" with them for another 2 years. The most important people in my life( 1 or 2) are on Verizon so IN Network call rule.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 06-30-06 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 06-30-06, 07:43 AM
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Now if only they would ease up on crippling their phones and allow the interfaces that the manufacturers designed, I'd be happy.

(I just had to exchange my Samsung a950 this weekend, and upon getting a new version, i found out that they actually REMOVED the ability to play MP3s on it- and it's a MUSIC PHONE! If I want to play my own music, I have to convert it to wmv format- WTF?)

-jason
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Old 06-30-06, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzzbox
Now if only they would ease up on crippling their phones and allow the interfaces that the manufacturers designed, I'd be happy.

(I just had to exchange my Samsung a950 this weekend, and upon getting a new version, i found out that they actually REMOVED the ability to play MP3s on it- and it's a MUSIC PHONE! If I want to play my own music, I have to convert it to wmv format- WTF?)

-jason
that's the big reason why i didn't go with them instead of Cingular (that and my discount from work is small with Verizon). I absolutely hate that standardized interface and the crippling of bluetooth, etc.
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Old 06-30-06, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tommy28
i hope cingular follows suit....i need out as all my daughters friends use verizon.
cingular = bellsouth = no chance in hell in them following suit

verizon has been lightyears ahead of everyone else in making advancements and adjusting to the market lately.. the other companies just sit back and watch to see how its going to turn out.
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Old 06-30-06, 08:06 PM
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now all verizon needs to do is stop raping us with the 10/month texting and bring back the 5/month....grr...
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Old 07-01-06, 04:27 AM
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I don't txt/pic much(no friends) and I pay 2.99/month for 20.

Did you Verizon users know about updating your phones PRL each Month? I just heard about this from a Verizon person the other day. I've been with them for 2 years and no one ever told me that Verizon recommends this update each month.

Updating your PRL
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Old 07-01-06, 11:12 AM
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The *228 thing? Yeah. Also if you travel to a new area (fly to a new city or whatever) that's a good time to do it, too.
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Old 07-01-06, 11:42 AM
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Thanks b-dawg!!

I tried *226 awhile ago, and was too lazy to call and ask them what the right number was.

I hope this doesn't go the way of free ATM usage. There was a bank (Bank Atlantic?) that offered free use of their ATMs, no fees, etc. They hoped to get more users, but realized after quite awhile, they didn't really gain the market share they wanted, so they cancelled the program.

The txt'ing service for VZ sucks.....but that is pretty much the only complaint I have with them (other than my crippled bluetooth!!!)

-p
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Old 07-02-06, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
Thanks b-dawg!!

I tried *226 awhile ago, and was too lazy to call and ask them what the right number was.

I hope this doesn't go the way of free ATM usage. There was a bank (Bank Atlantic?) that offered free use of their ATMs, no fees, etc. They hoped to get more users, but realized after quite awhile, they didn't really gain the market share they wanted, so they cancelled the program.

The txt'ing service for VZ sucks.....but that is pretty much the only complaint I have with them (other than my crippled bluetooth!!!)

-p

Suuuunuuva-bitch! It never ends!

Can i even get an assist for 1. bringing it up and 2. posting a friggin link to Verizon's *228 info page?
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Old 07-02-06, 08:25 AM
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The day Cellular One does this is the day I drop their shitty service for good.
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Old 07-02-06, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Suuuunuuva-bitch! It never ends!

Can i even get an assist for 1. bringing it up and 2. posting a friggin link to Verizon's *228 info page?
Thanx G Dawg or RoboDawg. I did it and it works!

Chris
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Old 07-02-06, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Suuuunuuva-bitch! It never ends!

Can i even get an assist for 1. bringing it up and 2. posting a friggin link to Verizon's *228 info page?
You need to know the consumer of this site better. *LAZY*
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Old 07-02-06, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Suuuunuuva-bitch! It never ends!

Can i even get an assist for 1. bringing it up and 2. posting a friggin link to Verizon's *228 info page?


I *completely* skipped over your post....sorry!

Worse yet, I scrolled through the thread a few times, and it took me a bit longer to find your actual post.

-p

Last edited by NotThatGuy; 07-02-06 at 02:15 PM.
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