Verizon Wireless Raises Early Termination Fees

Rumors surrounding Verizon Wireless' Early Termination Fees (EFTs) have been flying around in recent days. Over the weekend, Verizon officially upped the fee for cancelling your contract early from $175 to $350. Under the new fee schedule, Verizon gives you a bit of a break by reducing the fee by a mere $10 per month for the life of the contract. Of course, that still leaves you with a $120 EFT 23 months into a 24-month deal.

The new fee applies to "advanced devices." Verizon provides a full list of these devices, but safe to say, most smartphones are on there. You should also know that other phones not considered smartphones are on the list as well, such as the Versa and Glyde. EFTs for Verizon wireless devices that are not on the list such as standard cell phones won’t change. The current ETF is $175, and it decreases by $5 each month over the life of the contract.

Anyone who bought a phone prior to the 14th should be under the old fee schedule. You can also avoid the fee by paying full retail price for a phone, though keep in mind this is a very costly option up front.

The increase is an interesting move for Verizon, who just last year agreed to pay $21 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in California over early-termination fees. In the lawsuit, California customers claimed Verizon's EFTs were illegal under California law and that they were designed to unfairly lock customers into long-term contracts.