FCC Asks Verizon Wireless About ETF Increase

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 recently asked Verizon Wireless 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 fees 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.