Wednesday, June 25, 2008

T-Mobile Announces New Approach to Early Termination Fees

Here's some interesting wireless contract news for T-Mobile fans. According to, T-Mobile has just announced that they are taking a new approach to the early termination fees for their mobile phone contracts to provide greater flexibility for their customers.

Well, it seems that that ETF's are still a hot issue in the mobile phone industry. This announcement may also be related to AT&T's announcement that they have begun prorating their early termination fees. Here's a statement from Sue Nokes, Chief Customer and Operations Officer, T-Mobile USA, regarding this new approach,

“T-Mobile continues to set the pace in offering customers a number of flexible plans and services that don’t require a contract to help them stay connected to those who matter most. In addition, by providing this flexibility and choice, our hope is that T-Mobile customers will be happy customers for years to come.”

Let's discuss the details of this new T-Mobile early termination fees approach as it may be a bit confusing. T-Mobile wants their customers to know that starting on June 28, 2008, the ETF for customers who choose a one-year or two-year service agreement will decline during the course their contract.

This means that if customers terminate service with 91 to 180 days remaining on their agreement, then the ETF decreases from $200 to $100. It will then decrease again to $50 with fewer than 91 days remaining. Now in the event that a customer want to terminate in the last 30 days of their term, then the ETF is $50 or their standard monthly charge, whichever is less.

Now according to Gizmodo, this new approach to the ETF's of wireless contracts is not the same with pro-rated ETF's because the fee goes down in increments and never touches zero.

I think that this is a positive step towards resolving the wireless contract disputes between the mobile phone carriers and customers. Much of those complaints are focused on ETF's so any move towards reducing it should appease customers. Even the FCC has made proposals to reduce the conflict over early termination fees for cell phone contracts. Perhaps this move by T-Mobile will encourage other carriers to develop their own consumer friendly approach towards ETF's.

Tune in to this blog for more wireless contract news and information.

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