Monday, December 20, 2010

How to View Your AT&T Contract End Date

When does my contract end? When does my service expire? When is my service end date? These questions often cross the mid of subscribers who are nearing the end of their mobile phone contract. Well, here's some useful news for AT&T subscribers.

I've dug around the AT&T website and found some steps on how to know or find out the end date for your contract. It's quite simple and no complicated steps are necessary. Here are the simple steps.

  1. Log in to your myWireless Account.
  2. From the Account Overview page, select My Profile.
  3. Select the User Number Information tab in the center of the page. Your contract end date can be found under the Contract Information section.
  4. For more information on account cancellation, select the Early Termination Fee link at the bottom of the page.
If you have multiple phone lines on your account, you must select the phone number associated with the User Information you would like to view.

Of course, a subscriber must be registered and logged in to myWireless Account to view this wireless contract information.

That's it for this post. We hope that this wireless contract information will help one to find out about your mobile phone contract end date. Stay tuned as we tackle similar topics n this blog.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Verizon Wireless Contracts and Relocation

Relocation appears to be a major concern for mobile phone contract customers. And rightfully so since coverage and network strength may vary greatly from one area to another. Fortunately for Verizon Wireless contract consumers, the carrier has devoted a program to deal with this eventuality.

The Verizon Wireless Customer Relocation program caters to customers moving from one area to another. It handles the complications that relates to mobile phone contracts of consumers who decide to relocate to another area.

Relocating Consumers should contact Customer Service at (800) 922-0204 and a representative will help determine what changes need to be made on the account.

But the big question is, will you need to sign a new Verizon Wireless contract when you relocate?
Here is the carrier's answer:
It depends on the plan type. If you are keeping the same plan and promotion in the new market as the old, your contract will not be extended. The contract, however, will be extended if you purchase equipment at our discounting prices, or accept a new promotion.

But what about fees? Well, there are no fees for changing your calling plan or your area of use. However, prorate charges will apply if you change your service.

Check out the Verizon Wireless Customer Relocation program if yu have more questions.

That's it for this post. Tune in next week for more mobile phone contract information and related news.

Monday, December 6, 2010

AT&T No-contract Phones and Plans

A large number of consumers are expected to choose prepaid services over mobile phones and plans with wireless contracts. So I thought that it would be interesting to look at some no-contract offers in the market.

AT&T is one of the major wireless carrier's in the US and it offers both no-contract offerings as well as mobile phones and plans that require a contract. his time let's take a quick look at AT&T no-contract phones and plans.

The carrier's prepaid program is called GoPhone. This prepaid mobile phone service is divided into Pick Your Plan and Pay As You Go.

The Pick Your Plan program is no longer available for new customers but existing Pick Your Plan service accounts are still being supported.

The Pay As You Go prepaid program provides no-contract phones and plans. Consumers can refill airtime at their leisure by purchasing prepaid cards. They can also purchase airtime packages available through the AT&T refill site.

These are the advantages of the Pay As You Go prepaid program:
  • No long-term contract and no credit check
  • No bills to pay and no age requirements
  • Unlimited calling to anyone nationwide on select plans
  • No long distance fees across our national service area
  • Usage tracking
  • 24/7 account refills
But what about the cellphones. Well, the AT&T GoPhone program offers a selection of new or refurbished cell phones and devices and choose from a wide variety of styles and manufacturers. Many of them can be purchased for less than fifty bucks.

That's it for this quick preview of AT&T no-contract phones and plans. Join as every week as we look at mobile phone contract or wireless contract news and updaes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One in Five Wireless Contract Cosumer to Switch to Prepaid

It appears that the decline in consumers committing to wireless contracts is still continuing. A study conducted by Infogroup for the New Millennium Research Council indicates that 20 percent of wireless customers (estimated to be about 24.6 million adults in the U.S.) will move to "less expensive unlimited prepaid wireless service with no early-cancellation penalty" at some point within the next six months.

Last year's study estimated the number at almost twenty percent.

The reasons for abandoning mobile phone contract offers? Well, its about cost. Most prepaid plans are cheaper than contract offerings.

Interestingly, 10 percent of respondents said they would switch to a prepaid plan if they weren't "subject to an early-cancellation penalty." his indicates that the infamous early termination fee or ETF for mobile phone contracts are successful in encouraging consumers to be faithful to their agreements.

So what can carriers do to keep their customers from switching to prepaid deals? Well, the study shows that unlimited talk, text, and Web or e-mail access for $50 a month with no penalty will do the trick.

Will this trend continue next year? Stay tuned as we bring you the latest news and updates on wireless contracts and related topics.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AT&T Settles In Class Action Suit Over Fees and Taxes

Here's some good news for Cingular/AT&T customers who paid for mobile internet services between November 1, 2005, and September 7, 2010. The carrier has decided to settle the conflict over collected taxes on mobile data plans.

The carrier was hit with a class action lawsuit filed over the improper collection of some taxes and fees. Apparently, AT&T collected the fees and taxes even after some states and local governments ceased requiring the payment of certain taxes on mobile data plans. Thus, a class action suit was filed.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted preliminary approval of the settlement on Aug. 11, 2010, and the carrier has requested the judge to issue a final approval of the settlement.

AT&T denied any wrongdoing in a statement to the folks at Phonescoop,
"AT&T Mobility collected only those taxes that we believed we were required to collect, and turned them over to the appropriate taxing bodies. We strongly deny any wrongdoing, and no court has found that AT&T Mobility committed any wrongdoing. However, we agreed to settle these cases to avoid the burden and cost of further litigation, and to facilitate any tax refunds that we may be able to obtain for our customers."
So what is the result of this settlement?

Well, AT&T will no longer charge some taxes and fees on data plans. The carrier will refund its customers from whatever monies are reimbursed by the state and local governments involved.

Do you think that you deserve a piece of this settlement? Consumers that take Data Connect Plans (wireless Internet on your PC), Smart-phone Data Features bolt-ons, smartphone data plans, iPhone data plans, personal Blackberry plans, or enterprise smartphone plans are all potentially included in the settlement.

That's it for this update. TUne in o more wireless contract related news and updates.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cell Phone Contracts and Taxes

A cell phone bill contains information that can cause confusion among consumers. The taxes included in your bill are a good example of this especially for consumers who have recently transferred to another state.

Taxes and governmental fees are included in your bill. That's why your residential or business street address is very important because it allows a carrier to determine which jurisdiction's taxes and assessments to collect for you cell phone bill. This information is emphasized in your mobile phone contract.

On average American cell phone consumers are taxed 15.75 percent on every month's cell phone bill. This average percentage includes state and local taxes as well as federal taxes.

Now, calculating the cell phone tax that goes into your bill may not be accurate. This means that a carrier may be overcharging you. Of course, it may also mean that you are being charged less than the amount that you should be charged.

So how do you know that a carrier isn't over charging you with taxes?

Well, you need to know that you are paying for several cell phone taxes. Your bill includes the federal tax, which is about 5.05 percent of your phone bill a and is used to fund the Universal Service Fund.

Then there are state taxes and local taxes and fee. Some states also include a sales tax ands add fees for e911 service. Refer to MyWireless.org to get the average state and local tax rates for your residence.

You may contact your carrier if you feel that you are being overcharged with the taxes on your bill. It's the carrier's responsibility to charge you the correct tax based on your billing address. A refund is justified if a carrier is not applying the appropriate rates.

That's it for this pice of info on cell phone taxes. Tune in next week for more information on cell phone contracts and related topics.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Anti-Bill Shock Rules

There have been recent talks of the FCC's efforts to lessen the occurrences of bill shock. But what is "bill shock" anyway and why should consumers be concerned over it.

Well, here's a good illustration of bill shock from Cnet:
When Kerfye Pierre returned home to Maryland from a visit to Haiti in February after the devastating earthquake, she received yet another shock: a $30,000 phone bill from T-Mobile USA.

Pierre, who had gone to Haiti to visit her sister who was having a baby, was there when the earthquake struck in January. Before her trip, she had suspended her phone service to avoid expensive charges. But after the disaster struck, she was told by a T-Mobile representative that she could use a courtesy plan that allowed her to communicate with people back home.

What she didn't realize was that the plan only included voice minutes. But because the voice network was so unreliable after the quake, Kerfye used texts, e-mails, and Facebook posts from her phone to update loved ones.

Eventually, Pierre was able to get a $25,000 credit to her account, but she still owes T-Mobile $5,000.
Have you ever experienced this? Well, I sure hope not. Fortunately, the FCC has started making a way to counter bill shock. The agency has proposed new regulation that would require wireless operators to alert customers with a text or voice message when they are about to exceed a bundle of voice, text, or data.

The FCC also suggested that wireless operators notify customers when they are about to incur international or other roaming charges that are not covered by their monthly plans, and if they will be charged at higher than normal rates.

The agency proposed that all wireless carriers offer easy to find and use tools that help customers monitor usage and review usage balances.

Hopefully, these efforts will not go to waste and consumers will be able to avoid any incidences of bill shock.

That's it for this post. See you next week for more wireless contract news and related topics.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pros and Cons of Wireless Contract Services

Last week, we discussed the pros and cons of prepaid offerings. This week, we'll go to the other side and look at the advantages and disadvantages of phones and plans that come with a contract agreement.

Hopefully, this info will help you decide between prepaid services or post pais offers that require a wireless contract.

Contract Pros:
  • Subsidized price on mobile phones: Contract consumers can get subsidized prices on phone upgrades every two years.
  • Strong phone selection. the latest and greatest cell phones on the market come with contract plans.

Contract Cons:
  • Early Termination Fees: If you break your contract, then a hefty fee awaits.
  • Expensive: contract plans could be more expensive than a prepaid offering especially for consumers with an individual cell phone plan with expensive data and texting services.
  • Credit check: a credit check is a requirement for those who want a taste of contract goodness.
That's it for now. Keep on visiting for more information on mobile phone contracts as well as related news and updates.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pros and Cons of Going Prepaid

The current trend in consumer preferences show that a majority of subscribers are choosing prepaid options of phones and services that come with a wireless contract. Should you also choose the prepaid route?

Well, here are the advantage and disadvantages of prepaid services. This should help one decided to choose this option or go for services with mobile phone contracts.


Prepaid Pros:
  • Cheaper. Prepaid can be less than some postpaid contract service plans depending on the consumer's usage pattern.
  • Absence of credit checks. Prepaid has historically offered the best option for consumers with less than perfect credit.
  • No wireless contract. One can cancel service at any time without a penalty. yeah, no need to worry about annoying ETF's or early termination fees.

Prepaid Cons:
  • Can be more expensive. Individual usage patterns may cost an individual more. Contract family plans can be less expensive than some prepaid deal.
  • Limited Mobile phones. prepaid handsets are getting better but the best mobile phones come with a contract
  • No subsidized price. Consumers will need to pay the full retail price for a new device that may locked to a single operator's network.

That's it for this post. Check out our blog every week for more on mobile phone contracts and related subjects

Monday, September 27, 2010

AT&T's iPhone Upgrade Policies

The length of a consumer's wireless contract is one of the factors that determine upgrade eligibility to get the new and exciting iPhone 4.

The reduced pricing on the new Apple handset applies to AT&T customers whose contracts have already expired or for current iPhone users. However, the case is different for subscribers using phones other than an iPhone.

Aside from mobile phone contract length, the carrier also takes into account other factors such as spending level and paying his bills on time.

Existing iPhone customers who are eligible for an upgrade between June 7 and the end of this year to get the best pricing for the iPhone 4 with a two-year term commitment. They can purchase the handset for $399 for the 16GB model and $499 for the 32GB variant. A new two-year mobile phone contract.

Only current iPhone customers can upgrade six months early. All other AT&T subscribers must wait until their existing contracts expire.

These factors pretty much sum up the carrier's policy on upgrading to the new iPhone 4. The length of your wireless contract is very important but other factors will be considered as well. In this instant it pays to be a faithful AT&T subscriber.

That's it for this post. Tune in for more wireless contract news and related articles.

Monday, September 20, 2010

AT&T's Grounds for Terminating your Wireless Agreemeent

Do you know that AT&T can terminate your wireless contract without notice? Well, you should. After all, its part of the company's terms and agreements.

You can terminate your wireless contract with a carrier but you need to pay an early termination fee and other penalties. However, AT&T can also "interrupt or terminate your Services without notice" if they find you guilty of the following violations:
  • for any conduct that we believe violates this Agreement,
  • if you behave in an abusive, derogatory, or similarly unreasonable manner with any of our representatives,
  • if we discover that you are underage,
  • if you fail to make all required payments when due,
  • if we have reasonable cause to believe that your Equipment is being used for an unlawful purpose or in a way that (i) is harmful to, interferes with, or may adversely affect our Services or the network of any other provider, (ii) interferes with the use or enjoyment of Services received by others, (iii) infringes intellectual property rights, (iv) results in the publication of threatening or offensive material, or (v) constitutes spam or other abusive messaging or calling, a security risk, or a violation of privacy,
  • if you provided inaccurate credit information, or
  • we believe your credit has deteriorated and you refuse to pay any requested advance payment or deposit.
I would avoid committing any of these errors if you want to continue your service with AT&T.

That's it for this piece of info on the wireless contracts of mobile hones. Tune in every week for more mobile phone contracts information.

Monday, September 13, 2010

T-Mobile's Early Termination Fee Schedule

T-Mobile has a pro-rated ETF (early termination fee policy) which means that consumers pay depending on the length of time have left on their mobile phone contracts. However, this system can also be confusing since consumers do ot have a fixed penalty for terminating a T-Mobile contract.

So how do you calculate your T-Mobile early termination fee?

The carrier has provided an ETF schedule that allows subscribers to estimate their fees as long as they know their contract start date (which is also listed on their wireless contract):
As listed in these Terms & Conditions, the early termination fee is $200, if termination occurs with more than 180 days remaining on your term; $100, if termination occurs with 91 to 180 days remaining on your term; $50, if termination occurs with 31 to 91 days remaining on your term; and the lesser of $50 or your monthly recurring charges (including any applicable taxes and fees), if termination occurs in the last 30 days of your term.
If you wish to know exact information about the term of contracts and the early termination fee that would apply if you cancel your then you should can call T-Mobile Customer Care.

That's it for this post. Tune in every week for more on mobile phone contracts and wireless contract topics.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Can a Buggy Software Upgrade Free a Customer from a Wireless Contract?

The current trend in mobile phones indicates a transformation from feature phones to smartphones. Consumers are now more able to purchase smartphones while the smart handsets are beginning to offer high-end consumer features. However, this trend also comes with an implication that is related to mobile phone contracts.

Smartphones require software updates that are supposed to keep them up to date with the latest technology, fix bugs and add enhancements. However, new versions of software can be buggy and break things that worked perfectly well with the previous version of software. This can be a problem for smartphone owners since the next software upgrade can take several months before release.

So can a problematic software upgrade free one from a smartphone contract?

Well, it's unlikely. The a buggy software update is not covered by the relevant section of most carrier's terms and conditions. This means that you can terminate your contract but you will be required to pay an early termination fee.

Finding ways to fix the bugs might be a cheaper choice than terminating a contract.

Since most of the ETF offered by carrier are pro-rated there's a chance that you wont pay a high fee as long as you do not have a ot of time left in our contract.

That's it for this week. Tune in for more mobile phone contract news and updates.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to Access Wireless Contract and ETF Information Online

Contracts are notorious for the tricky terms and hard-to-read fine print they employ. This can lead to painful fees and fines for consumers who find it hard to find out when their contract expires and other important details on their contracts. Fortunately, some important mobile phone contract and early termination fee information can be accessed right on your computer. Here are a few tips to help you find out:

AT&T

  • Customers can view their contract expiration date when accessing their account online (Att.com/mywireless).
  • To find out whether the contract has ended or provide a specific date for expiration simply click on the "My Profile" tab on the far right of the screen and click on "User Info."
  • This section also provides a hyperlink on ETFs, which directs customers to an Answer Center that provides specific details on AT&T's ETF policy and fees as well as a two-page "Customer Service Summary" which is a PDF detailing the customer's service, plan, and support shortcuts.

Sprint


Log into My Sprint, select "My Account," and scroll over the "I Want To" tab in "About My Devices." Look for the "I Want To" tab and select the "See My Contract Details" link once the box pops up. This will lead to information on when their wireless contract expires.

Sprint provides a chart that allows customers to calculate their prorated fees. IT also provides a link from the site footer to Sprint.com/terms and conditions and Sprint.com/etf.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile subscribers can get general information about T-Mobile's ETFs within the "Terms & Conditions" link at the bottom of the home page on the carrier's main website . The "MyT-Mobile" account page also provides a link to general ETF policy details via the "Terms & Conditions" link.

T-Mobile does not currently include details about individual ETFs on the customer's online account site.

Verizon Wireless

Go to MyVerizon.com and click on "Change Plan".


That's it for this post. Tune in for more info on mobile phone contracts and related news.

Monday, August 23, 2010

No-Contract iPhone 4 No Longer Available Online

Want to purchase the Apple iPhone 4 without an AT&T contract? Well, you won't be able to do it online. Apple's online web store and AT&T's web store no longer offers the iPhone 4 without a new two-year contract.

Does this mean that one can't purchase the handset without a wireless contract?

Well, no since both Apple Stores and AT&T-owned retail stores are still selling the iPhone 4 without a contract. Consumers can purchase the device for $599 (16GB version) and $699 (32GB version). The subsidized prices of the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 4 remained the same.

Carriers and manufacturers allow consumers to purchase a device without a mobile phone contract as long as they pay the whole retail price. The subsidized price is offered with a 2 year contract and an early termination fee.

The iPhone 4 is one of the hottest mobile phones in the market. It provides new features such as multi-touch, Retina Display, 5 MP camera and a front facing camera.

Tune in for more news and information of wireless contracts news and updates.

Monday, August 16, 2010

T-Mobile 'Unlimited' Data Plan Results in Class-action Lawsuit

Here's a wireless contract dispute that involves T-Mobile USA. A consumer from California has filed a class action lawsuit against the 4th largest US wireless carrier for offering unlimited data but imposing caps data use once consumers are locked into a wireless contract.

The class action lawsuit against T-Mobile was brought in Superior Court in Yolo County, California.

The complainant, Trent Alvarez, alleges that advertisements for T-Mobile's “Unlimited Web & E-mail” plans falsely offer promise the consumer access to an “unlimited” amount of data.

Alvarez received a message that stated: “Your data usage in this billing cycle has exceeded 10GB; Data throughput [speed] for the remainder of the cycle may be reduced to 50kbps or less.” He was unable to do anything with his handsets except make or receive phone calls and text messages.

This cap on T-Mobile's 'Unlimited' Data Plan was only mentioned on a statement “on the very last page of the carrier's brochure. It was reportedly buried in minuscule type barely readable and states: 'Your data session may be slowed, suspended, terminated, or restricted if you use your service in a way that interferes with or impacts our network or ability to provide quality service to other users …'”

Well, this isn't the first time that a US carrier hit with a class action suit based on false advertising of its 'Unlimited' Data Plan. Other complainants have filed cases against other carrier's as well.

That's it for this wireless contract news. Tune in for more information, news and updates on mobile phone contracts.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Benefits of Settlement Agreements on Mobile Phone Contract Disputes

Many consumers turn to class action suits in times of disputes over violations of a mobile phone contracts. Many hope to win a settlement agreement with a wirless carrier who has violated terms of a contract. but what are the benefits of seeking a settlement agreement over a wireless contract dispute?

Well, the benefits of wimming a settlement is varied. Monetary compensation is a common reward for a class member and will be awarded o those who have fulfilled the requirements. This usually includes an Approved Claim Form. Of course, you have to be qualified to be included in the complaint.

Another common benefit offered by a settlement agreement is a phone card that provides a few hundred minutes of state-to-state calling.

Keep it mind that you may only receive one benefit per line.

That's it for this quick post on settlement agreements of wireless contracts. Tune in next week for more info, news and updates on wireless contracts.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Updates to CTIA's Consumer Code for Wireless Service


But before we discuss the changes, you might want to know about the CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service. Well, this important document was originally developed in 2003 to help consumers make informed choices when selecting and managing their wireless service. Since, that was around seven years ago, changes have to be made to keep up with the changes to the industry made over time.

The revised Code includes new provisions that cover messaging and data services for both prepaid and postpaid wireless customers. It will take effective on January 1, 2011.

So what are the changes to the CTIA Consumer Code for Wireless Service?

The wireless companies that support the CTIA Code must follow the following criteria:
  • full disclosure of rates, additional taxes, fees, surcharges and terms of service
  • provide coverage maps
  • make customer service readily accessible
  • allow a trial period for new service
Obviously, these criteria have to be reflected on the wireless contracts of the companies that support the CTIA Code.

There are other changes but you have to read the official release to know them. The Code helps to regulate wireless carriers and keep them from abusing consumer interest on the best mobile phones and other services.

Here are the initial batch of companies supporting the new CTIA's Consumer Code for Wireless Service:
  • AT&T
  • Cellcom
  • CellularOne
  • Clearwire
  • Illinois Valley Cellular
  • SouthernLINC Wireless
  • Sprint
  • T-Mobile USA
  • Unicel
  • U.S. Cellular
  • Verizon Wireless

That's it for this post. Tune in next week for more wireless contract news and elated topics.

Monday, July 26, 2010

AT&T's Open Letter for ETF Increase

Last may, AT&T decided to change its termination fee to $325 for smartphones and $150 for feature phones. However, the announcement was preceded by leaks that draw the ire of some consumers. To counter this AT&T released an open letter to explain the ETF increase to their "valued" customers.

I know that this open letter is round two months old. However, this might offer some relief and information to consumers who are unaware of the reasons behind the AT&T' early termination fee increase for the best smartphones they can offer.

Here's the AT&T Open Letter:


An Open Letter to our Valued Customers

May 21, 2010

At AT&T, we work hard every day to provide you with a great wireless experience at competitive prices.

One of the ways we do this is to offer you the industry’s leading wireless handsets below their full retail price when you sign a two-year service agreement. In the event you wish to cancel service before your two-year agreement expires, you agree to pay a prorated early termination fee (ETF) as an alternative way to complete your agreement. Of course, if you prefer not to enter into a term commitment, we offer the same great selection of devices at their full retail price with no term commitment or ETF, as well as prepaid GoPhone options.

We are now making changes that will lower the ETF for many customers who agree to new term commitments, and will increase it for others. Current AT&T wireless customers who are within their two-year consumer service agreement or have an existing enterprise service agreement will see no change to their current terms.

Beginning June 1, 2010, we will reduce the ETF in new and upgrade two-year service agreements for all customers who are buying basic and quick messaging phones. Whether you are new to us or upgrading handsets, the ETF will decrease to $150 from $175, and be reduced by $4 for each month that you remain with us as a customer during the balance of your two-year service agreement. After the term commitment is completed, the ETF will no longer apply.

For customers who enter into new two-year service agreements in connection with the purchase of our more advanced, higher end devices, including netbooks and smartphones, the ETF will increase to $325, and be reduced by $10 for each month that you remain with us as a customer during the balance of your two-year service agreement. After that, the ETF will no longer apply.

Thank you for being an AT&T customer. We hope you enjoy your AT&T wireless device and service. We appreciate your business and we will continue to work hard to earn it.

That's it for this post. Tune in next week for more news and information on wireless contracts.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Sprint Free Guarantee for Wireless Contracts

Here's an interesting announcement from Sprint. This was two-months ago dated March 31, 2010. Sorry I missed it so I hope it's too to. Anyway, I think it's good news for consumers as the new "Sprint Free Guarantee" allows subscribers walk away from a wireless within 30 days and not have to pay any sort of fine.

Consumers who terminate the wireless contract within 30 days will money back for the phone. But that's not all. Sprint will also give the activation fee back and refund your entire month’s service including surcharges and taxes. The Now Carrier will also waive associated taxes and Sprint surcharges associated with these charges waived as well as the restocking fee and the infamous early termination fee.

Sheryl Kingstone, Director, Yankee Group comments on the new "Sprint Free Guarantee" wireless contract policy:

"Sprint's new guarantee policy is yet another effort by them to respond to the needs of wireless consumers today. It's giving consumers the transparency they need to best determine whether they are completely satisfied with the services they want from their carrier. Sprint is putting more power in the hands of its customers and helping to create a better experience for them overall."

That's it for this update on Sprint's wireless contract policy. Stay tuned aw we bring you weekly updates, news and opinions on mobile phone contracts.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Settlement Proposal for AT&T Wireless Contract-related Lawsuits

AT&T has proposed some benefits as settlement for wireless contract-related lawsuits. Perhaps after witnessing Verizon paying a substantial sum to a class action suit, the carrier has decided to take pro active actions.

This proposal was made to consumers who sued AT&T for unfair billing practices. A hearing to consider the fairness of the proposed settlement will be held Nov. 15.

AT&T Wireless customers who signed wireless contracts after March 1, 1999 and who submit the appropriate forms may be eligible for the following benefits:
  • $8 for mMode data service
  • $10 for ENH Discount International Dial
  • $8 or a 250 minute AT&T phone card for out of cycle billing
  • $7 for Universal Connectivity Charge.
If you wish to participate in this settlement, then you must mail or submit a claim form by Feb. 13, 2011.

Click Here to get more info on settlements with AT&T.

That's it for this post. Tune in to this wireless contract blog to get more news and updates on related topics.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Verizon Wireless to Pay $21 Million for Wireless Contract ETF Settlement

Here's a great update for those who have a score to settle with Verizon Wireless. The nation's largest wireless carrier will pay for a class action lawsuit in California over early termination fees. Verizon Wireless will pay a total of $21 million to the 175,000 members of the class.

Each person in the class-action claim is estimated to receive $87.50 after challenging the carrier's practice of charging a $175 fee for breaking a wireless-service contract early.

The carrier will be made to pay after appeals court in California ruled that the class-action settlement should be upheld.

This Verizon Wireless contract settlement ends all litigation over how early termination fees were applied. However, this should not be applies to its current early termination fee policy. Verizon Wireless has increased ETF from $175 to a pro-rated $350 for "advanced devices" like smartphones and netbooks.

Scott Bursor, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case commented,
"Yesterday's ruling by the Court of Appeal confirms that this is a terrific settlement for Verizon Wireless customers, and now more than 175,000 of those customers will get a substantial refund"

This case was filed in 1999 and centered on a flat $175 ETF.

Tune in for more details on this wireless contract news and update.

Monday, June 28, 2010

StraightTalk: a No Wireless Contract Service from Wal-Mart

The current trend indicates that consumers are turning to pre-paid and other no-contract services in a n effort to find cost-effective solutions. They are favoring these services over the wireless contract services that offer more benefits but come with a heavier price tag. Wal-Mart was among the few to take advantage of this movement and offer its Straight Talk, a no-contract cell phone service.

The Straight Talk a no-contract wireless phone service is available from 3200 Wal-Mart stores nationwide. This prepaid option offers two options: $30 USD a month for 1000 minutes and 1000 texts or $45 USD for unlimited minutes and texts.

Some of the phones included in the Straight Talk line-up include :

  • Samsung Finesse
  • Samsung R355C
  • Samsung R451C
  • LG 290C
  • LG 100C
This new provider hopes to compete with more established no-wireless contract cell phone services like Boost Mobile and MetroPCS.

Check out this service and other similar offers if you want an alternative to contract cell phones.

Tune in for more mobile phone contract news and updates.

Monday, June 21, 2010

AT&T's Smartphone Plans Overhaul and Wireless Contracts

AT&T has recently announced major changes for its smartphone plans. The carrier has decided to dissolve its unlimited data plan and now offer two-tiered data plan pricing. Since changes in plans allow consumers to terminate their wireless contract without any fees, some consumers are wondering if this will be the case with these new plans.

But before we answer that, here's a brief over view of AT&T's new two-tiered data plans.

DataPlus plan: offers smartphone customers 200 megabytes of data for $15 a month. An additional 200MB of data for $15 until the end of that billing cycle is offered if customers exceed 200MB in a monthly billing cycle.

DataPro plan: 2 gigabytes of data for $25 a month. An additional 1GB of data for $10 will be offered to those who exceed 2GB during a billing cycle.

Now to the important question. Will these new plan allow one to cancel your current mobile phone contract without paying any fees?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Why? Well, these changes do not require existing customers to switch to the new tiered data service plans. Consumers can keep your existing unlimited data plan so no material changes has affected the terms of your contract.

Only a material change such as an increase in charges can allow a consumer to terminate a contract without incurring an early termination fee.

That's it for this post. Stand by for more news and updates on wireless contracts for mobile phones.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Terminating a Wireless Contract to get the iPhone 4G

The release of a new iPhone always triggers a consumer migration from other carriers to AT&T. Consumers find all sorts of ways to abandon their contract just to get Apple's prized smartphone. This years iPhone 4 is expected to be no different. Here are some points that you might want to consider before terminating your mobile phone wireless contract to get the iPhone 4.

First you need to think about the ETF or early termination fee of your carrier.

Verizon too has two tiers of ETFs, $350 for smartphones, and $175 for feature phones.

Sprint's ETF starts at $200 and goes down by $10 every month beginning after the first four months.

T-Mobile ETF is $200.

Then you need to consider one you have terminated you contract. What to do with your old phone. Well, there are plenty of options.

First you can get some of your money back by selling it on Craigslist or eBay.

You can also donate your old handset to charity, or one of the many programs that delivers old or unwanted handsets to members of the military, or people in developing countries. You can also donate it as a cell phone for seniors.

That's it for this post and good luck with ditching your old wireless contract for the new iPhone 4. Tune in to this blog for more on wireless contracts news and updates.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Class Action Suit Against Verizon Wireless Now Allowed

Here's some good news for consumers who have some wireless contract grievances against the nation's largest carrier. Last month, a federal appeals court has ruled that Verizon Wireless customers can resolve disputes over alleged fraudulent cell phone charges on wireless contracts as a class.

The former ruling only allowed consumers to dispute fraudulent cell phone charges on wireless contracts individually through arbitration.

Verizon's wireless contract states that disputes should only be arbitrated individually. However, various consumer advocates say this can unreasonably favor companies since it makes arbitrations, especially small claims, very expensive.

This decision made by the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia is more consumer friendly towards those who wish to dispute any wireless contract problems a s a class.

That's it for this wireless contract update on class action suits. Tune in next time for more on the latest happenings in the world of cell phone contracts.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The FCC's Advice on On ETFs of Wireless Contracts

The recent increase in early termination fees more mobile phone contracts of AT&T and Verizon Wireless has moved the Federal Communications Commission to issue advice addressed to cell phone consumers. The FCC has released a set of guidelines to help educate consumers on early termination fees.

The FCC hopes that this set of guidelines will ensure that consumers make informed decisions and avoid any extra charges when purchasing a contract mobile phone.

Here are the Federal Communications Commission guidelines on early termination fees:
  • When signing up for a new cell-phone service, make sure you are fully aware of any “early termination fees” (ETFs) that may be associated with the contract you are signing. The salesperson may not mention an ETF, so be sure to ask.
  • Ask how much the early termination fee will be and how it is prorated. Prorating means that the amount of the ETF you are responsible for decreases month by month. But different carriers prorate different plans in different ways. For example, one $240 ETF might decrease by a steady $10 a month over two years, while another high ETF might drop by only $5 a month until the last four months.
  • Ask if it would be possible to buy a handset at full price and avoid an ETF.
  • Think before you make any changes in your contract, such as buying a new phone or more minutes that your carrier might offer. This could trigger a new two-year contract with another ETF.
  • Ask about the trial period during which you can cancel the service without an ETF penalty. This is typically 14 to 30 days. Also ask whether you will get your first bill before the trial period is up – and if not, whether you can find out about your costs during the trial period in another way.
  • If you use your phone sparingly, consider avoiding the whole ETF issue by buying a pre-paid phone. These phones do not involve a contract.
That's it. Hopefully, these guidelines will lessen the number of mobile phone contract disputes. However, I'd prefer to have the FCC impose stricter policies tha would prevent carriers from implementing fees that are unfair towards consumers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

AT&T to Increase ETF for Smartphone Wireless Contracts

AT&T has become the second major US carrier to increase its ETF in the last several months. Verizon decided to increase its charge for early contract termination for mobile phone contracts last November. Now, AT&T is set to ramp up its early termination fee next month.

The folks at WSJ blew the whistle in this upcoming change in AT&T wireless contract policy. The carrier plans to almost double the fee for terminating a contract for its smartphones and laptops. New contracts signed for smartphones and laptops next month will carry a hefty $325 which will fall by $10 for each month a customer stays in his/her contract. The previous fee was set at $175.

On the other hand, AT&T decreased the fee for its feature phones. Perhaps increasing the fee for these devices will be too much.

The early termination fee for AT&T feature cell phones will be $150 and will fall by $4 for each month a customer stays in his/her contract. The previous fee was also set at $175.

This decision is sure to catch the ire of the FCC. The commission recently questioned carriers about their practices and stated that competition has "dramatically eroded and is seriously endangered by continuing consolidation and concentration in our wireless markets."

Well, see how the market reacts to this new development. Tune in to this blog for more news and updates on US wireless contracts for mobile phones and other devices.

Monday, May 17, 2010

ETFs Effective in Preventing Consumers from Switching Carriers

If you've followed this blog, then you'll be familiar with ETF or early termination fees. This penalty is charged to consumers who want to opt out of a wireless contract before its expires.

I recently read a stud showing that a significant number of consumers who are dissatisfied with their carriers chose not to switch to another service provider to avoid paying the heavy early termination fee.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently made a study on cell phone complaints and the ways that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deals with those complaints. One of the interesting findings of this GAO study show that 42 percent of consumers who wanted to switch carriers decided not to because they did not want to pay an early termination fee.

The research also show that ETF or early termination fees is one of the one key reasons for consumer dissatisfaction.

This illustrates the restrictive aspects of charging these fees. A representative said that, consumers should not be chained to their wireless provider for years through exorbitant early termination fees.

And I agree with him. Thankfully, congress has responded with legislation like the "Cell Phone Early Termination Fees (EFT) bill" to protect consumers from the unfriendly fees from wireless contracts.

That's it for this post on the crippling effects of wireless contracts. Stay tuned for more on this and other related topics.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

AT&T Wireless Contract Customers Decreasing?

We've recently posted a report showing that prepaid services are starting to dominate the wireless phone industry. Well, here's another clue indicating that wireless contract customers are in decline. According to AT&T's 1st quarter report, the carrier only signed 513,000 new wireless contract--or postpaid--subscribers.

While half-a million subscribers may seem to be a huge number, this figure is down 43 percent from AT&T's new contract customers from the previous year. The carrier expected to add around 600,000 contract customers.

This trend indicates that new customers will likely sign up for prepaid service rather than contract services going forward. However, the impact of this trend may not be as alarming as it seems.

Consumers that sign wireless contracts are valuable to carriers because they pay more. A decrease in their number may seem to be bad for business. However, contract customers are expected to continue to spend more each month on service so the impact of the loss in growth will not be significant.

AT&T will also make adjustments to its prepaid offering in an attempt to take advantage of this new wireless phone service trend.

That's for this wireless contract update. Stay Tuned for more news and updates on this topic.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mobile Misperceptions: A Research on Wireless Contract Design

Here's an interesting study that delves on how wireless contracts are designed. This research recently attracted the attention of the FCC, which was looking at ways to make the mobile industry more mobile friendly.

Mobile Misperceptions is a study conducted and published by Professor Oren Bar-Gill and Rebecca Stone in 2009. This study looks at consumer confusion regarding cell phone contracts.

According to Mobile Misperceptions, cell phone carriers use knowledge of “systemic mistakes and misperceptions” on the part of subscribers when designing mobile phone and wireless contracts.

The service plans offered by US carriers become burdens because consumers either underestimate their monthly usage, resulting in overage fees, or overestimate the level of service required. These mistakes cost U.S. consumers up to $12 billion a year.

The problem is also fueled by contract lock-ins and the sheer complexity of calling plans.

The significant findings of the Mobile Misperceptions led the Federal Communications Commission to invite Bar-Gill to present the paper’s findings at the FCC on April 9. Bar-Gill also consulted with FCC staff who are drafting new regulations for the cell-phone and other telecommunications service markets.

Well, I have to agree. We have seen numerous wireless contract disputes that originate from consumers failing to grasps all the legalities contained within their service agreements.

I hope that Mobile Misperceptions will contribute to improved and easy to understand wireless contracts.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FCC Abolishes Home Wireless Roaming Rules

Way back in 2007, the FCC enforced rules regulating wireless roaming. A couple of years ago, the commission did not require carriers to offer roaming services to other carriers in areas where they owned spectrum but had not built out network coverage.

However, smaller carriers have argued the existing practice harms consumers since they need roaming agreements while they build out their networks. The FCC at that time was undecided on the issue. This time the commission has decided to overturn its decision.

This means that Wireless network operators will now be required to offer voice roaming services to other carriers in areas where those carriers own spectrum but have yet to build network coverage. Carriers will now be forced to forge reasonable agreements about voice roaming.

The commission will also consider if the same rule will apply to data roaming.

I have to say that this is a good decision. It helps smaller carriers because they will be able to roam on the networks of bigger wireless companies.

That's it for this post on roaming. Tune in to this blog to read about issues on other wireless contract policies and topics.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Top Non-Contract Smartphones for 2010

I've been talking about wireless contract for years in this blog. Well, I think it's refreshing to talk about handsets that do not require a mobile phone contract. Let's do a quick list of the top unlocked on non-contract smartphones for this year.

One can own these handsets without being restricted by a wireless contract. That's right! No ETF's, credit card checks and hidden fees. The drawback? Paying the full and unsubsidized price.

Without further ado here are the top no contract-smartphones:
  • Google Nexus One: $529.00
  • Nokia N900: $479.00 to $589.99
  • Nokia E72: $339.99 to $469.99
  • Samsung i8910 Omnia HD
If you are looking for a smartphone that's free from the shackles of a service contract, then this quartet should be among your options. The full price for these handsets may seem high but they are worth paying if you want freedom from a wireless contract.

That's it for this post for the best non-contract smartphones in the market. We'll get back to wireless contract matters in my next post.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Wireless Contract Services Losing to Prepaid Offers?

It appears that services requiring a wireless contract are becoming unpopular due to cheaper options such as prepaid plans and devices.

The New Millennium Research Council, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, conducted a study revealing that new prepaid wireless customers exceeded the number of new wireless contract subscribers that signed up for service in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Apparently, this is the first time that prepaid services have outsold post-paid or contract services.

This trend may be due to the crippling recession as more people are seeking more affordable wireless services.

Jose Guzman, the NMRC project's coordinator stated,

"Thanks to the recession, the U.S. cell phone marketplace continues to undergo fundamental changes that will just get bigger as the economic downturn deepens. What is different from a year ago is the explosion in new 'all-you-can-eat' and unlimited prepaid deals as low as $30 and $45 that will remain attractive to consumers long after the current recession is over."

The prepaid wireless customers have grown steadily in recent years. Estimates indicate that one out of every five of the 285 million cell phone subscribers in the U.S. now use prepaid phone service. On the other hand, wireless contract-based cell phone subscribership grew only 3 percent over the last year.

Is this trend a lasting one or simply an abnormality brought by the poor economic conditions? Well, more study is needed to draw a conclusion. However, this trend may benefit consumers. The rising popularity of prepaid phone services may force big cell phone providers to slash prices on wireless contract service plans to keep consumers from defecting.

That's it for this wireless contract news. Stay tuned for the latest updates and developments from the wireless industry.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sprint's New Customer 30-Day Trial Wireless Contract Policy

Here's a note worthy change instituted by Sprint. The carrier has announced a new wireless contract policy on its 30-day trial period for new customers.

New Sprint customers will benefit from the carrier's new "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Money-Back" wireless contract policy. What does this new policy entail? Well, new customers who wish to cancel will have all fees returned to them as long as they are in the first 30 days of the wireless contract.

Yes, tha's right. new consumers who wish to cancel before the end of the 30-day trial period will get their money back from device and activation fees, the early termination fee, a full refund for service plan monthly daily charges, all associated taxes, and all Sprint surcharges associated with these charges.

This new "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Money-Back" policy is more consumer-friendly than the previous one which enforces fees on customers canceling in the first 30 days.

Consumer Lifestyle Advisor Jennifer Jolly comments on the "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Money-Back" from Sprint,
"This is a big win for cost conscious consumer . We want this kind of honesty and transparency. We want to know there's no more sticker-shock or bait and switch, that when a company promises us something, their word is good. Can you imagine if we could test drive a bank, health insurance, a credit-card, or any of the other things we spend our hard-earned money on every month - free for 30-days? This is a big step in the right direction for Corporate America and we savvy shoppers are the ones who will benefit the most."
That's it for this post. Tune in next time for more wireless contract news and updates.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wireless Contract Termination Awareness

I've been surfing websites on wireless contract disputes recently and I have noticed a disturbing trend. Some of the consumers hit with ETF's were not aware that their phone was still under contract.

These cases usually occur when consumers move or transfer to an area that is not covered by their existing provider. They thought that their handsets were no longer under contract since their present location is not being served by their service provider. Unfortunately, they letter from a collection agency stating that need to pay a certain amount to cover the early termination fee that the incurred.

Here's a story of a customer who suffered this fate. This article was published at lawyersandsettlements.com Here's a brief teaser:
Shirley W. was aware that her phones were under contract but was told her early termination fee could be waived. It was almost a year before she learned that her fees were not waived and her account was sent to collections.
Fortunately, lawmakers are aware of this problem. The Cell Phone Early Termination Fees (EFT) bill introduced by Sen. Klobuchar includes a provision that forces carriers to notify customers in a clear way about ETF. Wireless service providers will be required to spell out the EFT instructions at time of purchase and at various times during the duration of contracts. This way a customer will be aware that he or she is in danger of incurring the fee and be given a chance to deal with the situation.

That's it for this post. I hope that you'll stay aware of the contractual status of your handsets and won't be hit by a nasty early termination fee.

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Wireless Contract Disputes And Complaints

It's been awhile sice we posted conflicts between consumers an carrier's on this site. Let's revisit the halls of Consumer Affairs.com and look at recent contract disputes.

Here are a trio r recent contract related complaints.

Tobin of Coralville, IA August 5, 2009

I have attempted to get some satisfaction on 4 different occasions, twice by calling their help line and twice in person at the store. I am paying full price for cell phone service that does not work at my home; so, my friends/family/work have to try both my cell and work numbers (if they think of calling both) to reach me. The first time they sold me a new phone, the second time told me something to try that didn't work, and tonight they told me I'd have to pay 155 early termination fee because their service is so bad I have to get another carrier.

That's it for this post. Tune in for more wireless contract disputes and complaints on this blog.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Verizon Wireless Hit with Class Action Suit Over Data Fees

Verizon has another wireless contract dispute on its hands and it involves the issue of data fees. The major wireless carrier is facing a class action lawsuit from the law firm of Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C. in the state of New Jersey.

Verizon is being accused of charging its non-smartphone customers for data service that these customers never used. According to the lawsuit, the carrier has forced consumers to pay for alleged 'accidental' charges that could accrue if a non-smartphone user, that is a user who is not paying for a data plan, accessed the Web or other data services. Verizon Wireless charges non-smartphone users without a data plan $1.99 per megabyte.

The folks at Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C. wants to reimburse people and businesses should it turn out that these alleged Verizon charges were improper.

However, Verizon has previously commented on these alleged accidental charges and explained that simply opening the mobile browser on a phone does not incur any charges. The carrier explained that users will only be charged when they navigate away from the Verizon Wireless home page and access other information, applications or services.

Well. let's see how Verizon deals with this wireless contract disputes. Perhaps, the consumers will get lucky as in the recent case where AT&T decided for a settlement.

That's it for this post. Standby for more news and information on wireless contracts.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Google Defend ETFs

Several weeks ago, the FCC sent out letters of inquiry to major wireless carriers and Google to ask for explanations regarding the controversial early termination fee or ETF charged on wireless contract terminations.

Well, all four major U.S network operators (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless) together with Google has responded to the FCC's wireless contract inquiry. Here are the highlights of the companies' defense of the ETF:

  • customers are well-informed about ETFs before committing to wireless contracts
  • consumers are aware that they have plenty of choice, given the wide range of pre-paid providers also serving the market
  • customers have a minimum of 14 days to test products at the onset of their contracts before the ETF becomes mandatory.
  • the mobile phone industry is highly competitive, and ETFs are needed to recoup fees that go towards customer acquisition and equipment subsidies.
  • Verizon plans to clearly put ETFs on device cost labels, and emphasized that reduction of number of handsets on its "advanced devices" list, which require a $350 fee (compared to the standard fee of $175)
  • Google defended the equipment recovery fee it is charging Nexus One customers who break their T-Mobile contracts because it says T-Mobile pays it a commission for each customer T-Mobile acquires through Google. Google passes that commission on to the customer in the form of a device subsidy.
Well, it's the FCC's turn to respond to the united defense put up by Google and the major US carriers. Let's see if the commission stands firm in its policy of defending the welfare of US consumers.

That's it for this post. Tune in to this blog for more update on this wireless contract issue.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Articles on Terminating a Wireless Contract


Things seem to be quiet on the mobile phone contract font this week. It appears that there are no recent developments on carrier's wireless contracts or cell phone agreement settlements. However, I did come across plenty of articles on how to break free from a contract without paying a large sum.

These informative articles come from fairly reputable sites. They offer options for consumers who want to get rid of a contract but don't want to pay the heavy early termination fee.

Here is a compilation of articles on how to terminate a contract without paying the ETF:

I hope this collection of articles will help you figure out a way to escape a contract without paying a huge fee.

That's if for this week's post. Tune in to this blog for more news, updates and information on various wireless contract topics.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Google Cuts Nexus One ETF!

It appears that the FCC has convinced Google to take a softer stance on the the equipment recovery fee it imposed on the Nexus One.

The FCC has recently expanded its crackdown on excessive and unfair early termination fees or ETF's that was previously focused on Verizon. Google draw the attention of the FCC when it decided to impose a high ETF on the new HTC Nexus One.

The fee has been cut down to $150, down by $200 from the original fee. The original equipment recovery fee for the Nexus One was set at $350.

The company explained its decision to cut the ETF with this statement:
"Google's overall financial philosophy with regard to operator service plans remains unchanged: We make no profit from commissions from operators or from equipment recovery fees, and our recovery fees are based on operator charges to Google for early termination of service,"
However, some consumers still feel that the fee is unnecessary since carriers already charge a termination fee with its service contracts on the Nexus One.

Verizon Wireless also eased back on the devices included in its raised ETF device list.

That's it for this wireless contract post. Tune in to this blog for more news and updates related mobile phone contracts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile Also Targets of FCC ETF Inquiries

For the past few months, Verizon has been bombarded by questions regarding its raised ETF or early termination fee. However, the FCC appears to have widened its scope and included other major US wireless carrier's in its inquiries.

The commission has broadened it's inquiry into termination fees because "there is no standard framework for structuring and applying ETFs throughout the wireless industry." Letters were sent asking a series of questions probing how each carrier's ETFs are determined and applied. T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint were among the recipients.

Google was also included among the FCC's targets. The company has caught the attention of the commission due to the equipment recovery fee it imposed on the Nexus One.

The companies were asked to detail how each discloses early termination fee information to consumers in advertisements, in statements on corporate websites, in brochures and sales scripts and in monthly bills.

Well, let's see if this inquiry forces these companies to take a softer stand on their ETF policies. Verizon felt the pressure and took off ten devices from products under its increased ETF rates. It will be interesting to see how the other carriers will respond.

Thta's it for this wireless contract policy update. Tune in to this wireless contract blog for more news and updates.

Monday, February 1, 2010

AT&T Settles Wireless Contract Dispute for $18 Million

Here's a good case where a wireless contract dispute worked in favor of the consumers. About a week ago, AT&T has decided to settle an ETF class action suit to the tune of $18 million! This settlement applies AT&T subscribers that paid a flat-rate ETF between January 1, 1998 and November 4, 2009.

These settlement appear to be a loss for AT&T but a closer look shows that paying a substantial amount to a class of complainants is actually cheaper for AT&T. Since thousands of folks are qualified for the settlement, individual settlements to be relatively minor. Of course, the lawyers will take the lion share of this wireless contract dispute settlement.

Anyway, Here is AT&T's statement on the settlement of the mobile phone contract dispute:
We strongly deny any wrongdoing, and no court has found AT&T Mobility committed any wrongdoing regarding these fees. However, we have agreed to settle to avoid the burden and cost of further litigation.

It's important to note that the litigation involves old early termination fee policies of the old AT&T Wireless and Cingular. In 2008 we introduced a new, more flexible early termination fee policy, in which we pro-rate the ETF if you are a new or renewing wireless customer who enters a one- or two-year service agreement.
That's it for this ETF class action suit settlement. Consumers that paid an AT&T flat-rate ETF between January 1, 1998 and November 4, 2009 should take advantage of this small victory. Click here for the claim form. Tune in for more wireless contract news and updates.