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Class Action Against Verizon Can Move Forward

Article Comments  62  

Jan 28, 2008, 2:32 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

An arbitrator has decided that a large class-action lawsuit against Verizon Wireless regarding early termination fees can move forward. By making this decision, this lawsuit will represent the largest class-action lawsuit ever, with approximately 70 million members qualified as part of the class. The lawsuit contends that claimants were illegally charged $175 ETFs by Verizon Wireless upon terminating their service. If Verizon loses the lawsuit, it could be forced to pay up to $1 billion in refunds. Verizon modified its ETF policies in 2006, after this lawsuit was originally filed. A trial is expected later this year.

more info at RCR News »

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Comments

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This forum is closed.

davidmcguire

Jan 30, 2008, 8:10 PM

ETFs are Illegal? Really!

Most wireless customers shop for a wireless plan, get a new phone, and sign a contract. Usually, it is a two-year contract that explicitly states that if you drop your plan before your contract has been fulfilled, you will be charged an early termination fee. The reason that people get charged the fee is simple: they failed to fulfill their contractual obligations. That is hardly the definition of being victimized by an "illegal ETF."

If, on the other hand, your wireless carrier did not fulfill its obligations to you as a customer, that's a whole different ball game. But if you left your carrier early, and you expect the government to bail you out because you wanted a different phone with a different carrier, then you have NOT fulfilled y...
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As much as this is true, people will continue to complain regardless. There's really no stopping them, so let's just laugh and enjoy their stupidity since it'll be around forever.
jskrenes

Jan 28, 2008, 3:55 PM

How do they figure 70 million?

I don't get it. VZW has what, 40-50 million customers and their churn rate is pretty low, so unless you figure every current VZW subscriber plus every customer that terminated service and was assessed an ETF, I just don't see where that 70 million is coming from.
Either way though, it does sound high.

They could be doing the lawsuit for all previous customers of Verizon over the course of several years... that would explain a high number of them, but still sounds like it would be far short of what Verizon h...
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...
t-mobile and ATT got so huge?

dont doubt the facts, embrace the churn.
...
if you figure an average churn of 5% over 7 years, at 40 million customers on average at the end of each year = 2million + 60 million current customers = 70 million.

I know VZW's churn is not that high now and probably has not been that high in the...
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psycho dramatic7

Jan 29, 2008, 1:03 AM

WHEN THE SERVICE SUCKS IT SUCKS HARD!

if any carrier wants to punish a subscriber for wanting to leave with a huge bill and ETFs then thats sad. there should be a law that if you're that unhappy and your service just sucks then you can leave and be done with them. not be forced to stick around. yea thats really gonna make someone want to come back one day. you want your precious phones back...here take them and take the ETF off since u monkeys say its done to cover the cost of the subsidized phones. now whats your excuse? blah blah blah, yea come on you tools post your recited scripts they taught you on here like the good monkeys that you are.
I agree, if you are unhappy you should be able to have a get out of jail free card. They should apply this to car leases too. Cars are getting junkier every day.
...
So what you are saying is that you are mad at vzw because they will not let you out of your contract. You signed the signature pad for service you make calls every day if the service sucks that bad leave. go somewhere else, and do us all a favor and s...
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I'm by no means a Verizon fan.. but the ETF policy it and other carriers have is fair. Here is why.

In the US the ETF offsets the subsidy of the handset. You're saying terminate the service and give back the phone... and be done with it. Well, y...
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almost all carriers give you time to test service 30 days or more // you dont need more time to know if it fits your needs if you agreed the service after that i think is fair to be charged for ETF // always someone want to expire a subscription is fo...
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its called capitalism, its a business, they're in it to make money, period
LordObento

Jan 28, 2008, 7:38 PM

What exactly is this about?

Is this saying that all ETF's Verizon Wireless charges is illegal? or some people who terminated service that were charged an ETF may have been charged illegally?

If it's the 1st expect phone prices to go up, and not just for Verizon Wireless.

Anyone got any details of the case, besides RCR?
LordObento said:
Is this saying that all ETF's Verizon Wireless charges is illegal? or some people who terminated service that were charged an ETF may have been charged illegally?

If it's the 1st expect phone prices to go up, an
...
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I think it is more of a proof of concept case than anything else. The basic idea being that the public thinks that ETFs are unjustly high and inflexible. In addition, you throw in things like extended contracts via price plan changes, etc, and you h...
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VZWrube

Jan 28, 2008, 11:03 PM

I don't see how this could work

Unless I'm missing something, customers sign a CONTRACT that states they will have service with the carrier for a set length of term (one or two years). It is spelled out in all of the literature that to break that contract would result in a termination fee of $175 unless the customer signed a contract after the prorated fees went into effect. In fact, even at the full $175, Verizon still has one of the cheaper ETFs in the industry. Sprint's ETF starts at $200.

In the end, the consumer made an agreement that was legally binding. If service was terminated, the customer is on the hook for the ETF. There are ways carriers will let customers out of ETFs, however is not the responsibility of the carrier to research every departing custome...
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VZWrube,
Depends on the situation, if I go, buy a new
Voyager, and 9 months later want to leave, I agree. But not the crap of extending contracts for little or no reason, changing minutes, swapping phones and stuff like that. Yeah, that has...
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bigdaddyjay

Jan 29, 2008, 8:24 PM

Why this lawsuit will hurt everyone

This lawsuit could end the way cellular service is conducted. First and foremost people sign contracts so their cheap skate a$$es can get a free phone or highly discounted phone, the cell company looses money but guarantees to make it back under the term of contract. VZW allows them to get out of contract for over 15 legitimate reasons and will do so, thousands upon thousands are let out every month.

If VZW were to lose this lawsuit then every carrier out there would fall victim to the same litigation and likely lose because of the precedent in this case. If every carrier looses then consumers will likely start getting charged full price for phones and contracts could be a thing of the past. This this is BS? Look at the open network VZW ...
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exactly- if vzw loses the billion dollar suit no doubt they will make up the loss passing it on to the customer, rasing the rates, etc. not to mention what other carriers would do to tighten their britches
Truth-Seeker

Jan 28, 2008, 10:48 PM

there is truth to this;

the other day i had a customer who wanted to terminate service with vzw to port over..and she asked for the etf fee..the rep on the other end said that it would be 175.00..i had advised my customer to tell the vzw rep about porated fee..and only then they told her its would be 150 or something.. i hope that vzw does lose this case.
wow man you're like the only vzw rep i have respect for. cause you havent let the job get to your head like some of these other corporate monkeys on here. kudos to you man. seriously
Doesn't matter. If I told you your ETF was $1 million you wouldn't get charged that, you'd get billed whatever the system has on file.
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freedom4u

Jan 28, 2008, 5:02 PM

interesting...

my mother works for the fed's and she noticed something about this.....and she isn't pleased.............
so what did she notice?
arsimckhoi

Jan 28, 2008, 10:32 PM

be careful what you wish for customer

You want no contracts? Pay full price
You want free phones? Sign a contract
You want free phones and no contracts? great, you have no service because all the towers are now offline because we had to cut costs to make sure your cheap ass gets what you want... or better yet you get a voice mail for customer service.

No contracts, free pda's, great service but the second you have a question your stuck with no answer and 300 page book/disclaimer telling that this is what you signed up for.

I'd love to see everyone's churn rate then it'd would be prepay hell
 
 
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