Verizon changes ETF fees to keep you around longer

Early termination fees are bothersome, but a normal part of a subsidized smartphone plan. Newer monthly payoff schemes can reduce that, but you're still at the mercy of your carrier for canceling early with a subsidized plan. Today, Verizon made a move to tie their customers in a bit tighter, and for a longer duration. In updating their customer agreement language, all new customers will be tied into a larger early termination until eight months into their contract. Current customers are unaffected by this change.

Under the new customer agreement, the early termination fee will stay the same for eight months: $350. In months 8-18, the ETF drops $10 per month. In months 19-23, it drops $20 monthly. In the final month, the last $60 comes off.

Existing customers will still enjoy the $10 monthly reduction right from the start of the contract.

This applies to "advanced devices". Those Verizon hasn't deemed advanced are also subject to the same semi-confusing, tiered approach to their early termination fee. The early termination fee there is half the cost across the board: $175 total, $5 reduction, then a $10 reduction, with $30 coming off during the last month.

If you take advantage of Verizon's Edge program, these ETF rules are skirted a bit, but you're still paying for your device one way or another. If you're looking to leave Verizon, and avoid paying an ETF, other carriers often pay off your existing carrier's termination fee.

Source: Droid Life