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 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.

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