AT&T Early Termination Fee Soars to $325 for Smartphones

Sigh. It wasn't enough for Verizon Wireless to bump up their own Early Termination Fee (ETF) to $350. Nope, it looks like AT&T has decided that that was a great idea, and have started the gears of change. The result? Starting June 1st, everything we know and love about those cheap early-term fees will go right out the window.

Right now, if you've got a smartphone, AT&T will only charge you $175 for an ETF. Actually, that goes for pretty much any phone on their network right now. A pretty nominal rate, and one that's gotten only a minimal amount of flack over the years. But starting June 1st, AT&T is going to hike up the cost for an early-term cancellation for your smartphone, all the way up to $325.

According to AT&T, it's all part of the ecosystem. They say that, in order to keep the subsidies that they do on their current line-up of devices, this is the only logical step for them. All part of recovering costs for those who cancel their contracts early. However, perhaps to try and smash out the growing mob that's probably already begun to strengthen, AT&T is cutting back the cost of an ETF for their featurephone line-up. Now it's only $150, as opposed to $175. Feel any better now?

And, perhaps this will make things a little bit easier, but if you do sign up for a new contract after June 1st, and you stick around for awhile, AT&T will knock off $10 for every month you hang on. Basically, more incentive to stay on AT&T after you sign up. Not a bad deal, in the long run. Anything to help decrease from the total cost, right?

[via Business Insider]