A new Web site that helps people get out of their cell phone service contracts early has publicly launched. Cellswapper.com is billed as a social network in which members can exchange cell phone plans and phones.
For example, someone who wants to get out of a cell phone contract before it expires and not have to pay an early termination fee can transfer the remainder of the contract to someone looking for a free, short-term contract who doesn't want to pay an activation fee. It costs $14.95 to sell a plan on consignment, with no charge unless a sale is made, or $9.95 to pay up front. There is no fee to buy a contract.
The idea might appeal to people eyeballing the Apple iPhone, scheduled to go on sale in June with service from Cingular. The service launched in test mode last spring.