FCC Offers Consumers Advice On ETFs
Today the Federal Communications Commission published a set of guidelines for consumers to help educate them on early termination fees. It lists a number of things consumers can do to ensure they make informed decisions and avoid any extra charges. The FCC first recommends that consumers ask salespeople directly if/when ETFs apply and how much they are. It also recommends that consumers ask how ETFs are prorated over the course of a contract. The FCC says consumers should always ask if handsets can be purchased for full price to avoid ETFs. The FCC cautions against making changes to calling/data plans that might lengthen contracts and reset ETFs to a higher level. Consumers should be aware that most carriers offer a 14- to 30-day trial period during which new customers can leave without incurring an ETF. Consumers need to consult with the salesperson about the exact length of that trial period. Last, the FCC notes that those who use cell phones sparingly might opt for pre-paid services, which don't require contracts, instead of post-paid services. AT&T recently announced that it is increasing its ETF from $175 to $325 for smartphones and netbooks starting June 1. Verizon Wireless increased its ETF from $175 to $350 for advanced devices in November 2009.
Verizon Makes It Pricer to Break Contracts
Verizon Wireless has changed its terms of service and made it more expensive for customers to leave the carrier before the end of their contract. Under the old terms of service, all customers who purchased a smartphone agreed to an ETF of $350.
FCC Pushes Privacy Rules Forward
The FCC on Thursday followed through on plans to tackle consumer privacy. The agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to govern the use of consumer data by broadband providers, both wired and wireless.
Sprint Agrees to Settle FTC Charges for $2.95M
Sprint will pay the Federal Trade Commission a fine of $2.95 million for failing to properly disclose extra monthly fees billed to customers with lower credit scores. Between November 2013 and June 2014, Sprint enrolled customers with inferior credit scores in the Account Spending Limit (ASL) program — and added a $7.99 monthly fee on top of their standard service charges.
FCC Publishes New Consumer Help Site
The FCC today revealed a new web site meant to help consumers better connect with the agency. According to the FCC, the site has been streamlined and offers an easier-to-use complaint filing system.
Carriers should have to give terms in easy to read format
1. You get this "Free Phone" from us.
2. You are agreeing to pay us a 39 dollar activation and no less than 39.99 per month for 24 months for total commitment MINIMUM of $ 999.76 + taxes and fees for an estimated total of $ 1045 over the life of the contract.
If you choose not to fulfill the contract for the first 12 months you will be charged an extra fee of 175.00 This amount being reduced 10 dollars per month there after to a minimum amount of 55 dollars 24 hours prior to the normal expiration of the contract.
So to honor the contract on your "Free phone" expect to pay:
$ 1045 over the next two years and if you decide not to this contract we will charge...
Really? Really? Tell me something I don't already know..
FCC should institute these @ the school level Yes, yes they don't care cause its daddy's money, but at least when they start paying for something they will remember
Title should read...
Oh, if only it were like Europe where phones were sold unlocked everywhere. We wouldn't have to worry about this problem at all.
consumers can protect themselves by making informed decisions about their service.
imo there are plenty of options for people who do not want to be on att or vzw network. yes these companies may have 60% of cellular subscribers on their network because they have two of the largest networks in the country. they can handle more subscribers. i just hate that the government is turning these companies into evil empires because they try to make money and provide services to millions of people.
shame on you att and vzw for being big and spending billions of dollars on your produ...