I was on the phone with my parents who live in Ohio earlier today and they commented on how they've accumulated roughly two feet of snowfall in February alone--and the month isn't even over yet! Based on what I've heard, the snow is just going keep on coming, and all of my east coast buddies are ready for a break already. With the snow being a fact of life in the immediate future for many Americans, I thought it timely to present some video about how to deal with driving your car in snowy and icy conditions. … Read more
Though we're fond of the Nexus One as a cell phone, Google's extra "recovery fee" remains one of our complaints. Yes, we understand how phone subsidies and retailer commissions work, but the $350 charge plus the $200 T-Mobile early termination fee was more than the price of the unsubsidized model ($529).
It appears that Google is listening. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Google changed its terms of service on January 28. You'll still be paying a recovery fee, but Google has reduced it to $150. We still wonder exactly what an "equipment … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission is asking all four major U.S. cell phone operators and Google to explain their early termination fee policies and how they communicate these to customers.
FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Chief Joel Gurin and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Ruth Milkman sent letters (PDF) on Tuesday to AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, and Google asking them to detail how they inform customers of their fees in statements on corporate Web sites, in brochures and sales scripts, and in monthly bills.
In their letter to Google, they said the FCC welcomes new … Read more
It looks Verizon Wireless may be bowing to pressure from the Federal Communications Commission's inquiry into its new $350 Early Termination Fee.
The wireless carrier has reduced the number of devices that will be subject to the new fee, according to a story published by Wireless Week on Tuesday.
In November, Verizon Wireless announced it was increasing its $175 early termination fee to a whopping $350 for "advanced devices," such as smartphones. Verizon is also prorating this fee, which decreases by $10 for every month of service over the life of the two-year contract.
In early December, … Read more
Verizon Communications is reportedly jacking up its early termination fee for its Fios TV service.
The company plans to double the fee to $360 from the $179 it currently charges customers for canceling their service early, according to reports. The new fee would apply to new customers who sign up for service on or after January 17. And it would only apply when customers cancel service before their two-year service contract ends.
An FCC commissioner has sent an open letter to Verizon Wireless, scolding the carrier for its new early termination fees.
Mignon Clyburn, one of five members of the Federal Communications Commission, was responding to the defense that Verizon sent the FCC last week about early termination fees, or EFTs.
"The company's answers...are unsatisfying and, in some cases, troubling. In particular, I am concerned about what appears to be a shifting and tenuous rationale for ETFs," she said in a statement (PDF) released Wednesday by the FCC. "No longer is the claim that ETFs are tied … Read more
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Federal Communications Commission got a slap on the wrist Thursday from federal auditors for not doing enough to protect wireless subscribers.
The Government Accountability Office issued a report Thursday that said the FCC needs to improve oversight of the wireless industry to protect consumers. The agency said the FCC needs to do a better job enforcing consumer protection rules and educating the public about how they can submit complaints when they have experienced problems with their carriers.
The report was requested by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) when he was chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications … Read more
There was a lot of hue and cry last month when Verizon raised its early termination fees for "advanced devices" to $350, and understandably so. Even with $10 decrease with each month of service, that's quite a large sum to pay in case you need to get out of your contract before the time is up.
It appears the FCC is just as curious about this change as are we--the FCC has sent an inquiry to Verizon (PDF link) asking it the tough questions of how the ETF will be implemented, like what exactly constitutes an &… Read more
If you are considering buying a new BlackBerry, Android phone, or Netbook from Verizon Wireless, you better make sure you won't want to break your contract early, as the penalty for ditching your service before the end of the contract has just gotten a lot steeper.
But what does Verizon's move to increase early-termination fees mean for the rest of the wireless industry? That's a good question.
Early-termination fees are not new to the wireless industry. For as long as wireless operators have been selling and subsidizing cell phones, they've required customers to sign contracts. And … Read more
Aside from the cost of the device and the expensive monthly plan, you might have to face an additional charge just for the privilege of getting a smartphone.
According to a document found by the Boy Genius Report, Verizon Wireless has raised its $175 early termination fee to a whopping $350 specifically for "advanced devices," which probably includes all smartphones. The termination fee won't stay at $350 however: the sum will decrease by $10 for every month of service.
This isn't exactly painting Verizon Wireless in a positive light here, though we suspect it's just … Read more