1 2 3 Previous Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Sep 25, 2013 8:54 AM by Elector RSS

    Early termination fees...

    mb1958

      I found this out the hard way and want to make other people aware, if you have a family plan and one person lets another use their upgrade, the early termination fee for the upgrade stays with you.  One son with a basic phone let his brother use his upgrade for a Droid.  When the son with the basic phone went off the plan I was charged an early termination fee for the Droid, $230.  When I called to ask about the fee I was told the upgrade stays with the person so even though he didn't have a Droid, because his upgrade was used to purchase one, he had to pay that fee.  I said we were never told this and the customer service rep. responded that he hears this complaint from customers all the time.  So much so that he went to a Verizon store just to hear what the sales reps. were telling people.  He confirmed that they were not explaining it to customers.  Now I just got billed an early termination fee of $65 for taking my phone off the plan and my contract has expired. 

        • 1. Re: Early termination fees...

          Here is the situation.  When you purchase a new subsidized phone from Verizon, you sign a 2 year contract agreeing to remain as a customer for 2 years and make monthly payments for 2 years.  In return, Verizon sells you a phone at a discount price.  If it is a smartphone, the discount is in the magnitude of $400 to $450.  The discount for a basic phone is much less.  Once you purchase the phone and sign the contract, it doesn't matter what you do with the phone, you have obligated yourself for 2 years.  The ETF for a smartphone is $350 less $10 per month of service completed.  The EFT for a basic phone is $175 less $5 per month.

          • 2. Re: Early termination fees...
            mb1958

            Thank you for the reply.  I've had the family plan for many years and understand the early termination fees.  But I've always been told the contract is on the phone and it's not. If you have a basic phone and let another family member use your upgrade to get a smartphone, then terminate your contract, you'll be charged an early termination fee for a smartphone.  If you have an individual plan this isn't an issue.  It's when you have a family plan and let each other use your upgrades that it becomes an issue and the sales reps should explain how it works.  They make it sound so easy if you need to use someone else's upgrade, and it is.  However, there can be consequences and they should tell people.  I expected early terminations fees, but not $230 on a basic phone.

            • 3. Re: Early termination fees...

              No, you clearly do not understand early termination fees.  The contract is for a line of service.  Whoever owns the line is the person responsible for making 20 payments against the contract before that line is eligible for another upgrade.  The amount of the ETF is strictly dependent upon the amount of the discount that line received when the contract was signed and the phone was purchased.  If it was a smartphone, as in your case, then the ETF is $350 less $10 per month completed on the contract.  How could you expect it to be anything else?  The line purchased a $650 phone for $200 and received a $450 discount, or something very close to that.

              • 4. Re: Early termination fees...
                21stNow

                The contract is for service; I don't know who would have told you it is for the phone, or why.  The line that upgraded has a contract attached to it that states that the line will remain in service for two years.  The discounted phone is an offer to the user of the line to entice him/her into the service contract.  Most people wouldn't sign contracts for service if there weren't an offer made to entice them to do so.

                 

                Verizon Wireless is not a cellular phone company.  It is a cellular service provider that also sells phones that are compatible with the service provided.

                • 5. Re: Early termination fees...
                  mb1958

                  The line that upgraded is not the line that got charged an early termination fee for the upgrade.    As I mentioned before, the customer service rep hears this complaint all the time.    All I wanted to do was make other people aware of how it works.

                  • 6. Re: Early termination fees...
                    mb1958

                    Ah, yes, I do understand.  But I'm not going to argue that point with you.  Just wanted to make others aware.

                    • 7. Re: Early termination fees...
                      21stNow

                      You said that your son with a basic phone "let his brother use his upgrade".  Then you said that "the son with the basic phone went off the plan".  That's what we are trying to explain to you, that the son with the basic phone did upgrade.

                       

                      Look at it like this.  I gave you a gift certificate for the purchase of a Chevrolet, but you only like Hondas.  You gave the gift certificate to a friend of yours that likes Chevys.  This doesn't change the fact that I gave the gift certificate to you, regardless of what you did with it afterwards.  Your son that left the plan upgraded his phone.  In essence, he gave the new phone to his brother and continued to use the old phone.  That doesn't change the fact that Verizon Wireless extended the upgrade offer and contract to the son with the basic phone.

                      • 8. Re: Early termination fees...

                        Or in even simpler terms (maybe), son with basic phone bought a new $650 smartphone and signed a new 2 year contract.  When the phone arrived, he gave it to his brother to use.  Now son with basic phone leaves and cancels his new 2 year contract and must pay a large ETF to compensate Verizon for the smartphone he bought and gave to his brother.  Bottom line, people should not allow other people to use their upgrades.

                         

                        The real issue here is your one son is buying too many new phones without completing his contract first.

                        • 9. Re: Early termination fees...

                          Others are aware.  It's common sense.  You can't buy a $650 phone for $200 and walk away a few months later.

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