As you may recall, last month Verizon Wireless upped
the Early Termination Fee (EFT) that it charges customers who cancel their
contract early. The fee increase wasn't a small one, either: if you have what
Verizon calls an "advanced device," you'll now pay $350 if you want to cancel early compared to the previous fee of $175.
Customers certainly aren't happy about the fee increase, but
unfortunately there's not much they can do about it except refuse to sign a
contract with Verizon Wireless
It appears customers aren't the only ones who are curious as to why Verizon
Wireless sees the need to raise the fee as high as it did: The Federal Communications Commission
why it recently doubled
the fees it charges customers when they break their contracts.
In the FCC's letter, the FCC asks the wireless carrier to
explain how consumers will know whether the increased fee applies to their
phone. The FCC also asks whether the fees are spelled out in places other than
in the formal customer agreement.
In addition to questioning the increase in ETFs, the FCC is
asking Verizon about $1.99 data access
that some customers who don't have data plans have been charged after
accidentally initiating data access by pressing a button on their phones. In
response to this question, Verizon said as of a few months ago, it stopped
charging customers for data service when they quickly turn it off.