TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Verizon Wireless to Ease Up on Fees

Verizon Wireless to Ease Up on Fees

Monty Solomon (
Wed, 28 Jun 2006 21:38:00 -0400

By BRUCE MEYERSON AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Targeting a top gripe by cell phone users and
breaking ranks again with its industry, Verizon Wireless plans to
prorate the fee it charges subscribers who break a contract so they
only pay an amount proportional to the time left on their agreements.

The change in the early termination fee will be implemented this fall
for all new customers and any Verizon Wireless subscribers who sign a
new contract, the company announced Wednesday in tandem with a speech
by CEO Denny Strigl at an industry conference.

The company, owned jointly by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone
Group PLC, also said it was addressing another customer frustration by
enabling existing subscribers to upgrade to a new handset at the same
steep discounts being offered to lure new customers.

U.S. wireless companies, their subscribers trapped by contracts and
early termination fees, typically offer much smaller savings, if at
all, on upgrades while they're under contract. Verizon's new
flexibility will be available to subscribers with calling plans of $50
after 12 months.

Wireless cancellation fees are a longtime sore point among consumers,
provoking lawsuits and legislative proposals to prohibit and cap them.


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