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.