Verizon Stuck Me With Early Termination Fee Because I Moved

Robert wanted out of his Verizon FIOS contract when he made a move and made sure his new home was not in the coverage area. Despite his reasonable assumption that he would avoid an early termination fee, Verizon stuck him with an ETF specifically because he’s moving to a non-Verizon area.

Confused? Join Robert:

I had Verizon FIOS in Dallas, Texas. I called Verizon to cancel my service because I was moving. Prior to that, I made sure service was not available at my new address. Since service was not available, my only choice was to cancel (not that I wanted to, but had no choice). Since I was under contract, I figured no Early Termination Fee (ETF) would be charged since I’m moving. However, after calling and speaking with a manager several times, because I’m moving to a “non-Verizon area”, they are going to charge me the ETF, which is $100. I honestly feel like they are stealing from me. This isn’t fair at all. I can’t refuse to pay this because if it goes to a collection agency that will result in bad marks on my credit report. I don’t want that.

What advice would you give me in this situation?

If you’ve moved and been stuck with an ETF, how were you able to get rid of it?

Comments

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  1. smo0 says:

    Not sure about this, but I do know DISH contracts will still hold you to your contract even if you move to an area where you cannot get DISH….

    EECB – get it waived… never do business with them again…. move on.

    • whgt says:

      You’re under contract to them to PAY them for a SERVICE. The contract should be null and void with your move given the fact they can no longer fulfill their end of the contract by providing you a service.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        Actually, you are paying for a service at a particular location. Even when you move, they can still fulfill their part of the contract and therefore are not in breach.

        The fact that you are no longer there is irrelevant if moving is not part of the contract.

        Really… SOL.

        • Twonkey says:

          If they’re providing service to the location, rather than the person, then let the inanimate object figure out how to pay for it.

        • coren says:

          Not all contracts specify to your specific location, but rather, some specify to the specific person.

      • RandomHookup says:

        So that should apply to perhaps a lease? You aren’t using the service anymore even though you agreed to pay for it for the term of the lease.

        • whgt says:

          No. Because a lease that you’re talking about is for a physical dwelling. I’m talking about about when you MOVE and a certain utility provider cannot supply service to your location. Just like having say…a contract with Verizon wireless for cell phone service. If you move to an area where they do not have coverage, the contract is void.

        • whgt says:
        • coren says:

          Not at all – you’re still paying for the physical use of that location. You’re provided that use of it no matter where you are. I don’t think when you sign a contract with Verizon, they agree to provide service “but only at 123 Main Street”

    • LACubsFan says:

      You can get DISH and DTV anywhere in the world as long as you aim the dish correctly.

      • rekoil says:

        Not true. The service will not work if you can’t find a dish site with a clear line of sight to the satellites. Also, you need to have outdoor space – again, with a clear LoS – where you’re allowed to put the dish, which rules out the service most of the time if you’re in an apartment building.

      • jason in boston says:

        You don’t know much about satellites, do you?

        So, when I am crossing the Atlantic I can get Dish?
        So, when I am in Prague I can get Dish?
        So, when I am in Dubai I can get Dish?

        /me thinks someone doesn’t know what they are talking about.

  2. jaroth says:

    I would call back. I had FIOS in MD, moved to Philly and the ETF was waived. They can’t charge you an ETF if they don’t offer FIOS in that area. (Which they didn’t when I moved).

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Me too. I moved and had to cancel FiOS internet, and I was not charged an ETF because I specifically mentioned that I was moving to an area that did not have Verizon FiOS.

      The only thing is, maybe Verizon changed its policy since I moved. Or maybe the OP verified that his new area didn’t have service, but didn’t have Verizon reps verify for him – when I called, I gave the CSR my new address and the rep was able to verify within his or her system that I would not be able to get FiOS at my new address.

      • jason in boston says:

        Although Verizon might have specific policies, there are some consumer laws that might be in specific states that are in the favor of the consumers. Very YMMV tho.

        For instance, in MA, you do not have to tie any billing to a creditcard. I think Deleware might have the same but whenever I see a DirecTv commercial, MA is specifically i nthe fine print.

      • notserpmh says:

        They did just change their policies not too long ago. I think it was even on consumerist somewhere. They took out the clause about waving the ETF if you move to a non-verizon area.

    • qwickone says:

      Why can’t they? He’s the one canceling the contract, not them. I don’t understand why he thinks he can terminate an active contract and not owe a fee. They promised to provide service to a particular address, if he’s not there anymore, what does that have to do with Verizon? I’m with Verizon on this one.

      • hosehead says:

        Why? Because the terms specifically states if the service is not available, the ETF is waived.

        I just moved and my ETF was waived, just as the terms in the two-year agreement stated.

        • qwickone says:

          But service CAN be provided at the current address. a Fios contract is for service at a particular location. He’s trying the change the location, they can’t accommodate him, so they’re charging a fee. Where’s the problem?

          • hosehead says:

            Read the terms. My terms (in northern NJ) were if you move to a location were service can not be provided, you are not charged the ETF. That is exactly what I did, and I was not charged an ETF.

            • qwickone says:

              He didn’t have the same terms. Also, are you talking about a cell contract or a Fios contract, because they have different terms.

          • Dyscord says:

            Are you seriously arguing this? He’s moving to an area where he can’t get Fios and Verizon is basically saying “How dare you move!”

            How on earth is this fair? The contract says that they’re providing him with a service and he’s paying. He’s moving to an area where they cannot provide him service. Why on earth should he still be forced to pay them?

  3. zombiedictator says:

    It’s a shame that such a fantastic service is offered by such an unrepentantly shitty company.

    • BDSanta2001 says:

      +1
      I feel the same way every time I call customer service.

    • Matzoball says:

      I am at a loss. The consumerist community seems generally to indicate that FIOS is great. I think the premium cable service (DVR not premium channels) is horribly behind the times. I am familiar with TIVO/DirecTV/Uverse DVR systems. I haven’t upgraded my DVR with direcTV for 4 years and while I can’t record as many HD hours as I could on the FIOS system I think the pause and play functions are vastly superior. And the Uverse system is incredible for the value plus no contracts but unfortunately not available in my area. If it wasn;t for the monopoly the NFL grants DirecTV I would probably drop cable all together.

  4. yzerman says:

    He should have to pay it. He signed the contract and he decided to move to a area where the service was not at so its his fault and he should have to pay it.

    • MamaBug says:

      WARNING: don’t feel the trolls.

    • iopsyc says:

      I actually agree. It’s simple. He signed a contract that said he’d have the service for a specified period of time. He has CHOSEN to move. As a result of his choice, he can’t get service in the new location and as such must terminate his contract. ETF seems appropriate in this case.

    • koalabare says:

      I agree 100%

    • anime_runs_my_life says:

      How do you know he chose to move? He could have been transferred by his company for all we know. Nice to know assumptions are alive and well.

      • Gramin says:

        Even in your situation, he chose to move. His company can’t force him to move, though they could fire him for refusing to relocate. At the end of the day, it was still his choice.

        • iopsyc says:

          agreed, and well put. just because we don’t always like what we have to chose from, doesn’t mean we aren’t making a choice.

        • RandomHookup says:

          In many relocation situations, the company will pay early termination fees if they are paying for you to move.

        • coren says:

          The military sure can force him to move. Maybe he didn’t mention he was in the military because people have been going apeshit about that lately

          • Verdant Pine Trees says:

            If he’s in the military and gets a PCOS order, then he has rights that would protect him, I believe in this situation too. Certainly with leases and the like.

      • JMILLER says:

        He made the choice, no matter how you cut it. It may not be exactly what he wanted, but in life you make choices. Keep the job and move, or keep the house and stay. Why should that be Verizon’s problem? My company has two year service commitments to get certain items included with their package. It allows them to not have a high initial outlay. They are responsible for the value of the entire two year contract. It is non negotiable. They can pay it monthly as our contract states, but they MUST pay for the entire two years. Verizon spent the money installing based on two years of service. How hard is that to comprehend? If the OP wanted to pay the going rate, he did not need the two year contract. If they sold him a cell phone he could easily have paid full price for it.

    • MamaBug says:

      Crap, i HAVE to bite:
      1. Do you really think that he looked at the map and said, “You know, Timbuktu doesn’t have Verizon service, so I’ll move there and get out of my ETF fee..instead of, you know, continuing service. Brilliant!”
      2. As anime said above, you don’t know why he moved. Might’ve been a work transfer, had to move in with his mother because of a devastating stroke and he’s the only surviving son and they can’t afford to put her in a nursing home, etc etc etc….
      3. Other people have moved to a place without service, from Dallas (see below poster), and have paid no ETF.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        it shouldn’t matter why he moved.
        he broke his contract.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        #3. see post even further down:

        “….as of January 17 2010, Fios added a ETF for people moving to a non Fios area. If you signed up for service before 2010, you should be able to get out of it,though.”

      • DanRydell says:

        Not relevant. He signed a contract and is terminating it early. The contract states that there is an ETF. Unless the contract states that there are exceptions to the ETF, he owes it (no matter how “reasonable” his assumption was). Why is this so hard to understand?

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      I agree with yzerman.

      I currently have FIOS service under a 2-year contract w/ a $200 prorated ETF. I was under the impression that this ETF was to help defer the cost of the free installation — which in my case took the installer around 7-8 hours. I also got a great deal on the monthly fee by agreeing to the 2-year term.

      • MonkeyMonk says:

        I should also mention that when I signed up for FIOS I was specifically told by Verizon that the $200 ETF would not be waived if I cancelled or changed the service in any way over the 2 year term. I would have objected but the fact the ETF was pro-rated seemed like a fair deal to me.

        My FIOS service was nearly $20 a month cheaper than a comparable Cox Cable plan so that ETF, if unavoidable in the near future, should be paid off by now. I should also add that I *love* the service and can’t imagine canceling it anyway (no plans to move for now).

    • Dover says:

      Yes, he took the risk that he might have to cancel early in order to get a discounted rate. Or, Verizon provided him with a discount rate because in order to guarantee that he’d remain a customer. Either way, he owes them the $100. The contract is not very difficult to read: http://www22.verizon.com/terms/files/FiOS_TV_TOS.pdf (Section 10b)

    • jiubreyn says:

      I agree as well, it was in his contract when he signed up for the service. I understand he’s not able to get service in the area he’s moving to and it’s not his preference to cancel service, but why should the fee be waived? If per Customer Satisfaction, that’s one thing, but Verizon is losing a customer. There is no quid pro quo going on here.

  5. msbask says:

    Are you sure they can’t? I don’t have Verizon, so I can’t tell you what their contract says.

    They definitely shouldn’t charge an ETF, but that’s not the same as saying they can’t.

    • msbask says:

      (This post was in reply to jarost’s post).

    • DanRydell says:

      Why shouldn’t they? Didn’t he cancel his contract early? Verizon didn’t make him move, did they?

      • Dyscord says:

        So by getting Verizon, you should be confined to your house for at least the length of the contract? Heaven forbid if something happens in your life to force you to move. A job transfer, getting married, a natural disaster leveling your house, etc. It’s not like he’s saying “Oh, I’m going to get out of my contract by moving!”

        If Verizon offered service in his new area then we obviously wouldn’t be having this conversation. It wouldn’t be considered a breach of contract. But they don’t. FIOS is available in limited regions. It’s pretty ridiculous that they expect to lock people down like that.

  6. A Pimp Named DaveR says:

    Why would you assume that they wouldn’t charge you an early termination fee? You terminated the contract. ETFs are liquidated damages for breach of the contract. It doesn’t matter that you couldn’t get service in the new area, unless the agreement specifically states that this is an exception.

    That’s not a reasonable assumption at all. If a damages clause is in a contract and you breach that contract, it’s completely UNreasonable to assume that it won’t apply.

    • bhr says:

      Most companies that offer fixed location services usually have a clause/policy not to charge ETF for customers who can show proof (signed lease/contract) that they moved, since the company can no longer fulfill their side of the contract either.

      Its a big part of the reason I’ve stayed with Comcast, no contract.

      • Gramin says:

        Actually, the company can still fulfill their side of the contract. The contract is not to provide service to John Smith; rather, the contract states that VZ will provide service to 1234 Main Street. His house isn’t moving, so they’re still able to provide it with service.

        • A Pimp Named DaveR says:

          That’s clever, but wrong. You can’t contract with a house. The contract is with John Smith, an individual, not the house. The house is an element of the contract, not a party; specifically, a limitation within a general services contract between the provider and the individual; i.e. it prevents John Smith for sueing for breach because service wasn’t provided to 297 Maple St. or 1867 Oak Place. As I noted above, the contractor is ready and willing to provide the requested services, and therefore has not breached. The contractee has anticipatorily breached by declaring his intention to cease acceptances of delivery and to cease future payment. Since it is a term contract, and not a demand or requirements contract, that’s effectively a full breach, and he — the individual — is liable for whatever liquidated damages are specified in the contract.

      • A Pimp Named DaveR says:

        But we’re not talking about an unenforced clause here. We’re talking about ASSUMING that the fee will not apply when you move. And that’s patently unreasonable in the realm of contract law. As YouDidWhatNow? says below, if it’s in there, he’s got a gripe. if it’s not, he doesn’t. End of story.

        • pitawg says:

          go back to school little one. these contract define elements both parties must provide. payment and service. he wanted service. he had to move. they will not provide service to the new residence. they are breaking the contract unless the contract specifically states the user must not move under the contract. he would be willing to continue paying. the company is not willing to fulfill their end.

          • A Pimp Named DaveR says:

            I think YOU need to go back to school, or at least to your contracts class.

            – If the company is willing and able to offer the contracted service, and does in fact stand ready to offer it, they are not in breach of the contract. That’s the case here.
            — If the servicee does not provide the agreed-upon contract price upon the presentation of the service, he IS in breach.
            — That’s the case here, because he CANCELLED HIS SERVICE. This is an anticipatory breach of future performance under a term contract. Under the UCC and virtually all state laws, the other party to the contract can treat the request for cancellation as a full breach of all future obligations under the contract, and collect any and all remedies for breach provided under the contract, if any, or sue for damages in court.
            — That is not a ‘willingness to pay’. If he had continued to pay his monthly bill for the old residence for the remaining term of the agreement, he wouldn’t have been charged an ETF.
            — This couldn’t possibly be more straightforward. Your analysis is bunkum, and shows no actual knowledge of contract law. Sorry.

          • JMILLER says:

            Please let us all know your school, and on what case law or contract law you are basing your opinion. A first year law student would be able to handle this case without help.

      • A Pimp Named DaveR says:

        Here’s the relevant text of my FiOS agreement:

        10 (a) You or Verizon may terminate the Service at any time and for any
        reason. Termination by you will be eff ective upon your notice to Verizon.
        Installation or setup fees paid at the initiation of the Service, if any, are not
        refundable. Termination by us will be eff ective upon notice to you. Upon
        termination for any reason, you will be responsible for payment of all
        outstanding account balances and Equipment fees accrued through the
        date of termination. If a termination is a result of violation by you of the
        terms of this agreement, you may also be liable to pay an Early Termination
        Fee as set forth in Section 10(b). We may, at our sole discretion, refuse to
        accept your subsequent request for Service following a termination or
        suspension of your use of the Service. If your Service is terminated for any
        reason, you may be required to pay a reconnection fee or additional deposit
        before the Service is reactivated.

        (b) EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE SET FORTH IN THIS AGREEMENT, IF
        YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO SUBSCRIBE TO A BUNDLED SERVICES PLAN
        WITH A MINIMUM TERM COMMITMENT, IF ANY OF THE BUNDLE
        SERVICES ARE TERMINATED BY YOU OR BY US BEFORE COMPLETING
        YOUR MINIMUM TERM, THEN YOU AGREE TO PAY VERIZON THE
        EARLY TERMINATION FEE SET FORTH IN THE BUNDLED SERVICES
        PLAN YOU HAVE CHOSEN.

        • A Pimp Named DaveR says:

          And it doesn’t say anything else in the agreement concerning waiving the fee.

    • Jons_Junk says:

      It’s called EMPATHY. These companies should try to be a little bit human and allow for such times when people “need” to cancel. My elder in-laws (ages 87 and 94) became ill last year and both had to move into an apartment. DirectTV (until I contacted some executive for support) was demanding the early cancellation fee. That was just cold, uncaring, petty and stupid.

  7. stormbird says:

    Contact your state’s public utility commission (they might be called something else, but it should be similar). This should be illegal as it’s not your fault Verizon isn’t in your new area. CC Verizon as part of the EECB and that should work- they’d much rather eat the hundred dollars than have an investigation opened.

    • iopsyc says:

      but it is your fault that you are moving. why is everyone on consumerist so quick to bash a company when they don’t hold up their end of the deal, but when it’s a consumer who doesn’t hold up their end of the deal…tha’s just fine and let’s also fault the company while we are at it?

      • qwickone says:

        +1

      • Twonkey says:

        It wasn’t my fault when the company that I worked for told me that I had the choice of either transferring to another state and continuing to work for the company, or refuse to move and take my chances with an ailing job market during one of the worst economic downturns in ages. The chances that I’d get another job that would pay me what this one does are slim to none even now, so guess what I did? I moved. It wasn’t much of a choice, really. If I wanted to continue to take care of my family, I had to do it. Maybe this guy is in a similar situation. Who knows?

        The point is, assuming the OP is at fault when you know fark-all about his circumstances isn’t much better than folks automatically turning a skeptical eye to the corporation involved.

        • iopsyc says:

          i’ve said it several time in this post in several different ways. he CHOSE to move. whatever his reasons are, and i would assume they have to be good, he is electing to change where he lives and it just so happens he can’t get fios there. circumstances have nothing to do with a contract. he weighed his options, and moving was the best choice for him; but it is still a choice. in keeping with the contract he should suck it up and pay the $100 ETF.

          • coren says:

            It must be nice to have enough money that when your job says you need to relocate or not have a job, it’s a choice.

        • JMILLER says:

          It was not your fault, it was your CHOICE. If Verizon said tomorrow we will no longer provide service in your area, and you had agreed to a two year deal. You spent $1000 on installation, would you expect to be compensated? Legally you would have every right, since you have a two year contract. If Verizon does not fulfill their end of the service you can ask for money from them.
          Just because you did not like the choice, does not mean it wasn’t a choice.
          Did you maybe plan ahead and say to Verizon, what happens if I get transferred for work. Can I get a transfer clause in my contract? (I have one written into my lease)

  8. Bob Lu says:

    If OP was promised that an ETF won’t apply if he moves out of the Verizon service area, just like what happened in the other post several days ago, he should not be charge with the ETF.

    If not, I don’t see how can OP assume the ETF won’t apply?

  9. frank64 says:

    I think it is expensive for them too hook up FIOS and moving out doesn’t reduce that cost. In that case it is fair to still charge it. Cell phones are the same, if you move out and the phone doesn’t work, I can see where they say tough luck. The cost of the phone they paid for is real.

    That being said, many of these ETF’s are nothing but ways to force you to stay with them or just “because we can fees”. Those are unfair and should be fought. I had a large potential ETF on my Verizon DSL and think THAT would have been unfair, because the cost is fairly minimal and recouped fairly soon. Lucky I stayed beyond the fee.

    • ianmac47 says:

      If you move out of a cell phone coverage area provided by your company, the cellular provider often cancels the contract for you assuming you are racking roaming fees.

      • Orv says:

        That’s because if you roam enough they actually start to lose money on you, weirdly enough.

  10. brinks says:

    So he is supposed to limit his future home choices to only those that are in FIOS’ service area?

    Verizon has some nerve charging him a fee for a service that they are unable to provide.

    • frank64 says:

      They are able to provide the service at the agreed upon location. It isn’t Verizon’s fault the guy is moving. And he is not limited to moving where they have Verizon. He can move anywhere he wants, he just will have to pay for the installation of something that he will no longer be able to use. Same think if he wallpapered his rental, he can’t get the money back.

      I think the fee should be pro-rated though.

      • brinks says:

        A pro-rated fee would be less objectionable.

        Whether or not you get FIOS is small potatoes when you think about all of the major details that you MUST have when buying a house (price, condition of the property, school systems, neighborhood, proximity to work, etc.). The availability of FIOS is not going to be a dealbreaker for the average person, and Verizon is pretty self-important if they think it is.

        • frank64 says:

          I don’t think they are being self important, they really don’t expect someone to pick a FIOS area just to avoid the ETF. It really is about the cost of the set up, which for FIOS is expensive. I think it is self important for someone to incur a cost to a company and expect the company to not be able to recoup it.

          Even getting FIOS somewhere else doesn’t save Verizon the costs, they then have another hook-up to do. I think Verizon should try to be as accommodating as possible, for instance pro-rate, but also to not charge it if the new people get FIOS. If these ETF’s weren’t used as gotcha fees they would be easier to swallow. I think the hook up fees with FIOS are unique in that they do cost alot. But where the costs can be quickly recouped they should be more forgiving.

          • coren says:

            Fios isn’t as expensive as their fee, plus the costs above and beyond what a standard high speed charge is.

    • jason in boston says:

      Yes.

      I am actually looking to buy a home in areas that are only serviced by FIOS. Once you look at the quality of the HD (less compressed) and the bulletproof internet then going back to Comcast is terrible.

      With that said, I moved from FIOS to Comcast. I just told the rep that I was moving to a non-Fios area, he said that sucks…but no ETF for me. No real issue for me. I suggest you call back and then call the PUC in your town.

      • Matzoball says:

        You don’t have issues with FIOS DVR service?

        • jason in boston says:

          I had the DVR for a little while, then I built a server. No problems on the DVR front – girlfriend loved it. I thought it was a little lacking in the hard drive dept.

          My 4tb server put it to shame. Not only that, but I set it up to stream x264 online. I watched videos on the T to work.

          Now that I have comcast the upload speeds suck and I can’t stream surign the day. I loathe cable.

  11. Speak says:

    If it was me, I would have tried to get Verizon to move my plan to the new place, even if I know they can’t. When they find out they can’t because of coverage, THEY break the contract so you don’t have to pay the ETF.

    • MamaBug says:

      me likey this.

    • Gramin says:

      I think VZ is on the up and up about where they do and do not have service. You can simply enter your zip code into the form on their site and find out if it’s offered in your area. I doubt you’re going to pull a fast one over on them.

      • jason in boston says:

        Although Verizon might have specific policies, there are some consumer laws that might be in specific states that are in the favor of the consumers. Very YMMV tho.

        For instance, in MA, you do not have to tie any billing to a creditcard. I think Deleware might have the same but whenever I see a DirecTv commercial, MA is specifically in the fine print.

        • jason in boston says:

          Sorry for the double post. This comment was not meant for this.

          My reply to you is: they have to go street by street. Zipcode isn’t enough. Running Fiber to an entire town takes a very long time. In the town I moved from, a street would get lit, then you could order. I was so happy when I saw the FIOS truck at the end of my road when I was moving in.

          • Gramin says:

            I’m so sad I live in Chicago and don’t have FIOS. I absolutely love VZ (and my new Droid X!) and have heard nothing but great things about FIOS. I’m going to keep wishing and keep harassing them… maybe I’ll get lucky one day.

      • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

        I think you’re giving the minimum wage Call Center Reps more credit than they want — They just want to get their paycheck like everyone else, if they accidentally forget to check coverage – it would Not surprise me.

  12. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    This is a simple matter of looking at the contract – if the contract says you don’t have to pay an ETF when you move, then you don’t have to pay it. If it doesn’t say anything about getting out of the ETF by moving…then you have no argument to make.

    What companies/governments/people “should” do and what they “can” do have little to no relation. Read the contract.

  13. Smokey says:

    Of course they are charging you an ETF, you are terminating a contract before it ends. Does anyone read the basic elements of a contract anymore?

    My AT&T U-Verse services has a similar ETF that was clearly stated in the contract that I signed. I even asked a sales rep about what would happen if I moved to an area where the service was not available and they confirmed that I would have to pay an ETF even if I moved outside of their service area.

    Companies have to recoup for subsidies given for installation somehow and I don’t quite understand people here at Consumerist chocking this up to a company being “evil”.

    You might actually be able to get them to reduce your fee based on the percentage of the contract that you fulfilled but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Want a to know a sure fire way to avoid ETFs? Don’t break the terms of a contract by terminating it early.

  14. Marshmelly says:

    Whats to keep people from just telling them a different area that has Verizon service instead of the area they are moving to? What right do they have to know where these people are moving to? I understand if they signed a contact that explicitly stated that if you terminated service before such-and-such a date, that you have to pay an ETF of X amount of dollars…but it should really have nothing to do with where that person is moving to. Imho, it should be none of their business.

    • Gramin says:

      Huh? VZ is saying that if you move to a new location in which VZ cannot provide service, then you must pay an ETF. They really don’t care where you’re moving to; rather, they care about maintaining service. If you relocate down the street, then odds are, you can maintain service and they’ll switch it over to the new house.

      In simpler words, relocation is not a valid reason for terminating FIOS service.

      • Marshmelly says:

        I guess I misunderstood it then. From the way this story reads, it seemed like more emphasis was placed on where he was moving than basically “you have to pay an ETF if you are not transferring your current service” (which seems like a better way to word it). So…I guess if I moved to an area that was serviced by Verizon, but did not want to have Verizon anymore, I would still have to pay the fee.

        As much as I hate Comcast, I can’t say I’ve ever had this kind of experience with them.

        • tamaracks says:

          It wasn’t Verizon that cared about location, the OP was placing an emphasis on where he was moving, because he believed that all contracts for services automatically exempt you from ETF if you move out of the service area. Probably because cell phone contracts are often structured that way, but that doesn’t mean that every contract has to be.

      • Dyscord says:

        If they can’t offer you service, it’s a perfectly valid reason for terminating.

  15. ReverendBrown says:

    Wild. I live in Dallas, had Verizon FiOS, and had to move to a non-Verizon area four months before the contract ended. I fully expected to have to pay the ETF. While I was on the phone with a nice gent from Florida setting up the service disconnection and equipment return, I inquired about how much I would owe. “No, no I don’t see any charges there.”

    He wasn’t lying, either. No fee. I received a partial refund from the last month of service. So no sir, that is not fair at all.

    • JMILLER says:

      You only had 4 months left. Depending on how the ETF is structured you may no longer owe anything else. If they wanted to charge you they CAN. Just because you did not get charged does not mean they could not.

  16. TerpBE says:

    This is in direct response to scammers who were signing up for FIOS under promotional rates, then buying a new house and moving every six months so they could continue to save $10 on their cable bill.

    • frank64 says:

      I sell my house and buy a new one every six months just to get all the discount coupons that come in the mail. Best Buy are such suckers!

  17. pantheonoutcast says:

    Shouldn’t have canceled. You should have simply changed your address, called them about activating service at your new location, and let Verizon be the one to tell you that they can’t provide service to you.

    Then they would be the ones violating their contract, as they failed to provide you with service – you were more than willing to continue using their services.

    /Yeah, it sounds good, but probably has no legal merit whatsoever :)

    • Gramin says:

      You’re right, no legal merit. The contract isn’t to provide him with service, it’s to provide his house with service. Now, if he wanted to put his house on a semi and move it, he might have a better chance at getting the ETF waived.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Ah, right, it’s service for the location. That’s why when Verizon installed Fios in my apartment, the equipment became permanent.

        Like I said, sounded like a good idea – sometimes you have to try anything to put up a good fight.

        • smo0 says:

          …what is it…. ah.. yes… if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit…

          I know I’ve succumbed to a lot of harassing phone calls and became a “yes man” (woman) when I was feeling particularly lazy or annoyed… just gave them what they wanted (so long as it was in my power) and sent them on their way. If you have a supervisor that’s in line with your attitude they can sign off on something or override it.

          As long as it’s not a constant thing.

  18. Highlight says:

    It’s not right, but as of January 17 2010, Fios added a ETF for people moving to a non Fios area. If you signed up for service before 2010, you should be able to get out of it,though.

    • qwickone says:

      Why is it not right? If you breached the contract (canceling before the term is over), then you should pay up. Verizon didn’t breach contract.

      • coren says:

        Because Verizon likely doesn’t specify location of service in contracts (or at least, didn’t) which means they were in breach before.

  19. Skellbasher says:

    My advice would be to read your contract.

    If it says that you have to pay an ETF, then you have to pay an ETF. The whole ‘non-Verizon area’ only applies if there is a clause in the contract that specifies that as an exclusion to the fee.

    And the the commenter that thinks people were ‘buying a new house and moving every six months so they could continue to save $10 on their cable bill’, I’m guessing you’ve never purchased a house. Spending a few thousand dollars to close on a house to save $10 a month is pretty damn stupid. Nobody does that.

  20. It'sRexManningDay! says:

    I guess I don’t really understand the problem here. Unless the OP is protected by law from being charged ETF for relocating (as those in the military are), then he signed a contract, and he should have to abide by it. Most phone companies offer subsidized phones in exchange for signing up for an extended contract. The ETF is there in part to protect them from the loss they incur by selling you a phone for cheap/free. I suppose it would be *nice* for Verizon to waive the fee, but I genuinely don’t get why people think it should be expected.

    • Zini says:

      because its just as much Verizon’s fault for not offering the service at his new address and its his fault for moving.

      • benson304 says:

        How is it Verizon’s fault? They didn’t choose his new house for him. They still hold up their side of the contract that provides service to his current house, which is what the contract probably states. The service isn’t for the person, it’s for the location.

      • IR1 says:

        uhhh nope your wrong.

    • PhiTauBill says:

      Because the ETF should be designed to deter switches to competitors offering a better short-term deal, not deter people from moving to a territory that Verizon has decided is not profitable enough to warrant them building out their network. Verizon will collect their MOCA router and STBs in each case (or charge large sums of money to the consumer). There’s nothing to stop Verizon from recovering their other on-site equipment (ONT and phone interface, etc.), but they choose not to because they want the opportunity to sell to the new inhabitant for the property. It’s a counter-intuitive charge because people (except sick folks like me) don’t generally let cable providers influence where they live. I’m a happy FIOS subscriber (other than with respect to their hideous billing practices), but I would fight an ETF tooth and nail if I happened to move to a non-FIOS territory and they wanted to levy an ETF.

      • JMILLER says:

        Actually, no they can not recover the LABOR cost of installing the FIOS. The contract states nothing that you claim as reasoning. If you want something in a contract, then put it in, or don’t sign it. By the way, WRITTEN contracts will always trump verbal contracts. Fight all you want, but you would be totally wrong.

        • coren says:

          Your assumption is they had to install FIOS at his house – did they expend 100 dollars of labor if they just had to switch on service? And what about installation fees, do those no longer exist due to this ETF?

        • PhiTauBill says:

          Please point me to the section of the FIOS contract that allows them to recoup labor costs of installation. If you think that contracts are enforceable in all situations regardless of the relative bargaining power of the contracting parties and the activities of the seller of services with respect to advertising of the benefits afforded and liabilities undertaken, etc., then I really don’t think you have a reasonable sense of what happens in arbitrations and small claims court on a daily basis where the equities are often debated along side of the relevant contract language. If that were true, these contracts wouldn’t contain severability clauses to begin with.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      Those of us in the military are not protected by law from getting an ETF, and they’re just as big of pains in the asses to us when trying to cancel without paying the ETF than they are for everyone else.

      • It'sRexManningDay! says:

        Ah. I thought I’d read in other ETF-related posts that military servicepeople were exempt if they were commanded to move to another location. I must have misunderstood those posts. Thanks for clarifying!

    • JMILLER says:

      Military is not protected “by law”, though many companies will waive certain things for military personel. My landlord will allow somebody being deployed to get out of their lease as long as any month they lived in the place for even one day is paid as the whole month (if they lived there 5 days in August, they pay for all of August, even if their lease expires in January.

    • MadDog233 says:

      2 1/2 years ago I moved to an apartment complex that was pre-wired for FIOS and got the service. Loved the internet and TV, told all of my friends about it. A couple of months before my two year mark at the apartment, I had some technical problems, and while on the phone with customer service, they told me that the packages had been restructured (as of a few months back, so I had been overpaying), and they could put me on the newer cheaper plans but I’d have to renew my contract. Knowing I was planning on moving in a few months, I told the CSR so, and she said if I moved to an area without FIOS service, I could cancel my contract with no ETF.

      Fast forward several months, I move, the apartment does not have FIOS but can be wired for Verison DSL. Customer service refused to waive the EFT because they said DSL counted as service, and conveniently, had ‘no notes’ of my previous conversations with customer service back when they re-upped my contract. It went back and forth for weeks, finally I looked up the verzion executives here on the consumerist and email bombed them. I did ended up reaching a VP who said I should not be charged the ETF, but it still took lots of back and forth.

      Honestly, the whole experience soured me on FIOS and I now tell people “you will love the quality of the actual service, but hate it as soon as you have to deal with any account issues”

  21. winner says:

    The exact same thing happened to me. I called them and provided them with my new address and was told they were unable to offer me service. They said they’d send a form to my new address verifying my residency and that they would close the contract with no early termination fees.

    None of the above ever happened and so I paid the bill (that was sent to my OLD address) called them, explained the sitch and was refunded the fee I’d been charged without much haggling. I’m sure this happens all the time.

  22. Zini says:

    what about the idea that its Verizon’s fault for not offering the service at the new address, he wants the service but they wont give it to him at the new address its their choice not to expand there so they are violating the contract by not providing him the internet he is paying for and contracted to receive in exchange for his money. its the same argument as he is “choosing” to move and violating the contract.

    • qwickone says:

      They didn’t promise to provide HIM service, they promised to provide the HOUSE service. That’s why it’s ok.

      • Zini says:

        well if its for the address/house and not for the person then they can charge the ETF even if you move to a location that has the service available couse your contract is for your old address/house not the new one and your violating it. that dose not make sens

        • qwickone says:

          I haven’t seen the contract, so maybe there’s a clause about transferring service if you’re moving to an area where they have service. Why doesn’t that make sense?

        • qwickone says:

          And if there is no clause about moving, then they CAN charge you a fee for moving next door because your are terminating your contract early, not them. I see you don’t seem to understand basic contract law, so maybe don’t blame the company since you don’t understand the situation?

    • JMILLER says:

      Please think through what you say. HE has the contract based on his address. Think of utilities or the phone company. We (FIOS) agree to provide service to 123 Main St for John Doe for two years in exchange for paying us $50 per month. John Doe can continue to pay for the entire two years and FIOS will continue to provide service. The courts do not recognize moving as a valid reason to break a contract.
      Let’s give you an example of why John Doe changing the terms is at play here. Imagine Joes Auto Loans, gives you a loan based on your credit score of 800, income of 100k per year and having 10 years on the job. You lose your job, and now have a credit score of 500, an income of 24k and no job. Joes Auto Loan can not change the amount of the loan, the rate, or the term (unless you default). YOU can not say, well I made that contract based on the situation I had, but its changed, so change the contract for me because I don’t need the car anymore or because the car would not pass inspection because you moved to a state that requires it.

  23. rickatnight11 says:

    This is similar to the military widow’s story minus the death to make the whole situation sensitive.

    As it was in her case, Robert signed a contract with Verizon stating that he would use the service for a certain amount of time, or pay a termination fee. It’s not Verizon’s fault that he’s moving. It’s his choice to move (even under other circumstances, those aren’t Verizon’s fault.) Verizon is still losing repeat business, which is the point of these contracts; cell phone companies sell phones at a loss and make up the difference with the monthly service fees.

    • rickatnight11 says:

      Peh, replace cell phone references with TV references. It’s all the same…it’s a contract. He signed it. It’s not extortion, he’s giving up some freedom to get a better price on the hardware and service.

    • qwickone says:

      Actually, it’s completely different: 1 – military are an excluded class from ETFs if they’re moving due to orders, and 2 – cell service is a contract to provide service to a person, while Fios is a contract to provide service to a location. Verizon is still servicing the location, therefore the customer is breaching the contract.

  24. ahecht says:

    To all the people that say “You signed the contract, so you’re out of luck”, while the company has every right to enforce the ETF, good customer service practices would suggest that they don’t.

    I’ve had both T-Mobile and AT&T waive my ETF when I moved out of their respective service areas, and it wasn’t a military move or anything like that. In the case of T-Mobile I was only three months into my contract, and they even gave me the unlock code for my 3-month-old phone so that I could use it on AT&T.

  25. ModernDemagogue says:

    Don’t move. You’re changing the terms of the contract, not them. Its not their fault you’re moving.

  26. jhilling says:

    I don’t see why anyone, OP included is upset about this. In the United States we’re used to this business model. We get cable equipment, cellphones, etc. dirt cheap compared to most countries, and we get it because the equipment (and sometimes pricey installations) is subsidized by the carrier / provider. Their profit and loss for a customer is based on recouping the subsidized cost of equipment and installs over a certain contract duration (generally 24 mos). If you end service early, regardless of the reason, the provider is out money. Plus these providers need to predict revenue streams to cover infrastructure investment. ETF’s cover all these things. I just moved overseas… Cable install (free in the US) cost $200.00. My blackberry (curve, cheapest model) was $300!! No contracts on any of it, cancel anytime, no penalties. Next time you do have to stomach a $100 ETF, keep in mind, it could be WAY worse.

  27. nallanos says:

    why are they stealing from him? he signed a contract and agreed to the terms. canceling is breaking the terms, regardless of where he moved. they can be nice and wave the etf or they can be a business and charge him what he should be charged.

    just like a cellular provider; they do not have to wave the etf for people when they move or for reception issues. but sometimes they do that as a courtesy.

  28. Smashville says:

    So it’s in the contract and he’s being charged it? What’s the problem?

    Ohhh. The byline. Got it.

  29. nosense22 says:

    I believe this is because Verizon has to incur the cost of installation and part of the reason they have the contract is to offset these costs.

  30. frank64 says:

    I think what these companies should do is charge the cost of set up as an upfront fee and then offer to spread it out in montlhy billing until it is paid for. That way we could save money by it not being built into the rate. That would save all the fighting and the ill will that develops.

    I have had my cell phone for about 4 years, but my bill is as if I got a new one every few years. I am paying for a new phone in my bill, but I don’t have one. We could all save this way by knowing exactly what the new phone(or in this case set up) is costing.

  31. dg says:

    Let them charge what ever they want. Just don’t pay it. When/if they report it – dispute it as an invalid debt. It’s not like it’s going to affect your Verizon service – you can’t get it anyway….

    • floodx says:

      First make sure a signed contract is in place. A lot of times service is setup over the phone or internet and there is no mention of the ETF then the company will send a agreement in the mail as a follow up that includes the ETF – this is not the same as a signed contract agreeing to the ETF. If there is not a signed contract the specifically states agreement to the ETF any collection attempt can be disputed in writing. They will still submit to the credit agencies whether or not they have proof of contract. However, if you try hard enough you can get it taken off. Likely easier to just pay the ETF – that is what verizon is hoping. Once you don’t pay it they will reduce the amount to get anything they can get out of you.

      I still get a bill from verizon wireless from 4 years ago for $30 (on a $175 ETF) on a move to a non-verizon area. When they tried to stick it to me I asked for proof of a contract which they could not produce and told them to take me to court (in writing) – never did get a call from a collection agency though.

  32. Span_Wolf says:

    After weeks of bullshit from asshole reps over the exact same issue I just sent an email to Verizon’s VP of Customer Service. I’d recommend doing the same.

  33. skylar.sutton says:

    People – what don’t you understand about &^%$ing contract terms. You signed a legally binding contract which boils down to: “I agree to pay x per month, for y months. If I want out for any reason, I will pay a one time fee of z.”

    You signed, deal with it.

    • coren says:

      You assume that’s his contract – some versions of FIOS contracts have a clause where if they cannot provide service and the signer moves, the fee is waived.

  34. PhiTauBill says:

    I think what is getting lost in the comments is an assessment of the difference between (i) whether the ETF is enforceable; vs. (ii) whether to impose an ETF for people moving to an area you don’t service is fair and/or a good business practice. In the case of (i) clearly, the term is enforceable within a contract, subject to an analysis of whether it is sufficiently prominently advertised and the fact that these contracts of adhesion (look up “adhesion contracts” in google if you have questions) are patently unfair to consumers. In the case of (ii), I’d submit that it really is a poor business practice, because (a) it is not a typical ETF provision, and (b) what an ETF should be designed to do is deter switches to competitors offering a better short-term deal, not deter people from moving to a territory that Verizon has decided is not profitable enough to warrant them building out their network.

    For those making the subsidized cell phone comparison, all the equipment here is owned by Verizon and leased to the customer. The consumer isn’t keeping anything of value. In fact, Verizon and the rest of the cable monopolies employ vast lobbying and FCC regulatory efforts to ensure that we continue leasing there infuriatingly bad set-top boxes (STBs) despite consumer desires to own their own non-subsidized equipment to access the cabcleco (and fiberco) services. Verizon will collect their MOCA router and STBs in each case (or charge large sums of money to the consumer that tries to abscond them). There’s also nothing to stop Verizon from recovering their other installed on-site equipment (ONT, phone interface and the friggin fiber itself, etc.), but they choose not to because they want the opportunity to sell to the new inhabitant for the property (this is called a cost of doing business, not a subsidy). Levying an ETF in this case is a counter-intuitive charge because people (except sick folks like me) don’t generally let cable providers influence where they live. I’m a happy FIOS subscriber (other than with respect to their hideous billing practices), but I would fight an ETF tooth and nail if I happened to move to a non-FIOS territory and they wanted to levy an ETF.

    • A Pimp Named DaveR says:

      The term contract for FiOS almost certainly wouldn’t be considered a contract of adhesion. The term contract isn’t a take-it-or-leave-it option for provision of services — you can get FiOS without the term and the ETF just fine, you just pay more. Adhesion contracts are contracts you functionally have no ability to avoid whatsoever, like the fine print on a valet parking ticket that purports to disclaim all liability and warranties of any sort. And adhesion contracts are usually only held invalid if they’re unconscionable in their terms, such that a free negotiaton would never lead to the other party agreeing to such one-sided stuff.

      Penalties for early termination of term contracts are pretty standard in most fields, and it’s pretty unlikely that an adhesion theory would work.

      • PhiTauBill says:

        Let’s be clear. I never indicated that this ETF contract term was uneforceable. If I were a betting man, I’d say it would likely be held up in court, if someone wanted to take it that far. But the world of contract law is never black and white, as much as this may scare the people seeking to enforce them. That said, it’s still a stupid, shortsighted policy for Verizon to enforce in my opinion.

        As for the assertions made about adhesion contracts, let’s take a look at West’s Encyclopedia of Law for some definitional help.

        “Adhesion contract. A type of contract, a legally binding agreement between two parties to do a certain thing, in which one side has all the bargaining power and uses it to write the contract primarily to his or her advantage.

        An example of an adhesion contract is a standardized contract form that offers goods or services to consumers on essentially a “take it or leave it” basis without giving consumers realistic opportunities to negotiate terms that would benefit their interests. When this occurs, the consumer cannot obtain the desired product or service unless he or she acquiesces to the form contract.”

        Adhesion contracts are often enforced by courts, and while the availability of less financially attractive terms that did not include an ETF from FIOS would certianly weigh in Verizon’s favor in a case such as this, there is always room for an arbitrator or court to take a blue pencil to the darned thing if it so chooses.

        And my argument is that Verizon should be more focused on winning the next inhabitant of the property as a customer than recouping ETFs from people that are moving.

    • JMILLER says:

      Please let us know what law school you went to? You obviously failed contract law, or just do not understand adhesion. The OP had options. He chose a longer term with a lower price. $10 less per month, over 24 months is a $240 savings. He only fulfills half the deal, then how is Fios in the wrong as a business practice. Many companies choose not to do business in some areas. The OP was not required to pay the ETF. FIOS would prefer he pay his monthly bill as he contracted to do.

  35. odarkshineo says:

    I think we have lost the definition of the term contract…

  36. EricBetts says:

    I have Verizon FIOS, and when I signed up, there was an option for both a contract and contract-free version. The contract free version being $10/month more. Was such an option available to the OP?
    If not, then perhaps he should have better considered getting service from an ISP with a contact, or reconsidered if this is the proper time for him to move. I have a hard time feeling like this is Verizon’s fault since they’re pretty up front about the fact that the ETF is part of the contact.

  37. sheriadoc says:

    This is why I don’t enter into a contract with internet/cable providers. I’ve moved states three times in two years, so I can’t be bothered to deal with ETFs and all that nonsense. I’m currently living in an apartment complex that actually allows satellite dishes, but as much as I wanted Dish, I wasn’t signing a two-year contract. It’s all for the better anyway. I had Comcast for 5 months, switched to U-verse, had that for 8 days, and then gave up cable altogether. It’s all for the better anyway.

  38. Rocket80 says:

    I really don’t have much sympathy for people who sign legally binding contracts, violate the terms of that contract and then whine and complain when the other party to the contract holds them to it.

    • esc27 says:

      How did he violate the contract? Does Verizon’s contract ban people from moving?
      He want’s Verizon to excuse him from a (arguably uncommon) provision in his contract, but is willing to pay the ETF is he must to avoid credit problems. This may or may not be a resonable request (depending on his options when signing up for service, the actual contract, etc.,) but I don’t see any violations here.

  39. Mr_Human says:

    Suck it up.

  40. djjuice says:

    I believe he should pay. read the contract, I had a simiar situation. I signed up for FIOS and I stated I plan on moving and I was told not to go under contract if I plan on moving within the 2 years as the ETF would apply.

    You could play ignorance and send an EECB and probably get out of it though.

  41. Abradax says:

    Call customer service and request that they hook up your house.
    When they refuse, file a complaint with your state regulatory commission stating that they are forcing you to remain in contract and refuse to provide service.

    See how fast you get your contract cancelled without penalty.

  42. tbax929 says:

    It’s sad how conditioned companies have made us to ridiculous policies. It’s in the contract, so suck it up? Really? I’d be on the horn daily until I got the ETF waived, regardless of what their stupid policy is. Is this Consumerist or Anti-Consumerist, anyway?

  43. Gorbachev says:

    How much of a hit would $100 unpaid bill be on one’s credit score, I wonder.

    This is the sort of thing, I would gladly simply ignore.

  44. coren says:

    Given what they want to charge him, it is not possible for him to have signed a contract after January 16 2010 – At sixteen months your ETF is 135 under the current reduction, which means he signed up pre-Jan 16, and pre service fee regardless of Verizon providing service at your new location. Someone’s got the wrong info, and the customer is in the right.

  45. INsano says:

    Don’t be a pussy and challenge it if they do try to mess with your credit score. You’re not inert, stand up to them. They’re breaking the laws, not you.

  46. manus manum lavat says:

    I’m not sure what happened here, but you should be able to cancel without being charged an ETF if you’re moving to an area not covered by Fios. I don’t work in sales, but I have access to our ordering software – selecting “Customer is moving to a non-fios area” *automatically* waives the ETF, I believe it’s the only cancel code that does. Unless the person who disconnected you selected the wrong close-out code, you shouldn’t be charged an ETF. I could be wrong though, as I said I’m not in sales and I don’t as a rule deal with billing issues.

  47. razdigital says:

    The key is before you have moved call up the company and tell them that you would like to “move service to your new address”. They ask for your new address and look it up in their spiffy cool system which if they don’t provide service will reject the move. When this occurs tell them you would like to keep the service by since they don’t provide at the location what the next logical step to take would be. In most cases reps get the hint and suggest cancellation of and will waive the ETF since they are unable to provide service. The key is to make the rep suggest cancellation not you outright.

  48. SilentBob says:

    You could try talking to whoever your new provider is. There’s an article on here where a person’s new carrier gave them a credit in the amount of their ETF from their previous carrier. It’s not exactly fixing the problem of being charged the ETF, but it at least gets you to break even on it.

  49. chimpski says:

    Pay. Protest with Verizon and the BBB. Keep records. Sue them in small claims.

    If you actually signed a contract may be a hard fight. But if you just “agreed” to it by signing up for the service and there is no ink signature on anything it may be easier.

    Good luck!

  50. pot_roast says:

    Were you month to month? This new ETF policy went into place earlier this year, and (sadly) it was very clearly documented. the new ETF is actually more like $360 too, so I’m not sure where they’re getting $100 unless you have one that’s prorated and you’re in a service agreement because you signed up for a promotion.

    You’re still responsible even if you move to an area that doesn’t have FIOS. This was covered here before.

    http://consumerist.com/2010/01/verizon-fios-early-termination-fee-to-double-this-week.html

  51. pitawg says:

    Hearing the story after the fact is not a clear indication of whether the op said cancel before the VZ employee stated they could not provide service to the new location. that one little detail can be used to argue the lack of VZ side of the contract. whine and moan all you want. it all comes down to who does not want to pay more.

    and i am not a student of law. i am a victim of it. your quotes and thoughts seem to be from a prosecutor not a general law student. keep trying though. if you cannot see that there are no clear cut decisions in law, you will have a long dreary existence.

  52. artichokeheart says:

    I think this falls under the catagory of yeah they can do it but they are jerks to do it. I signed a contract for a famliy plan with T-Mobile and got two phones, one for me and one for my mom. She died like, maybe a month after that, very unexpectedly. I went back to the store and told them she died and that I couldn’t afford the family plan on my own and wanted to change my plan. They could have said no, I did sign a contract, but seriously that would have just made them jerks and I would have hated them for it. Instead they got themselves a loyal customer. This guy was leaving Verizon, true, but if he’s ever in an area again where Verizon is available this experience might lead him towards another company…

  53. ahleeeshah says:

    Seriously? He assumed there would be no ETF? I can assume things all I want, but you’d better believe I’d be calling the company to at least discuss it before moving.

  54. nerble says:

    You signed a contract. I bet if you read said contract the out of area information was in there. It’s not stealing if you signed / agreed to the contract.

  55. bdyoun says:

    I am in the same situation. I am currently in Maryland but move to Korea. I would gladly continue using FIOS at my new address if I could. However Verizon doesn’t provide their service to Korea. I don’t mind my credit report and continue to fight with this disgusting company. I will generate many postings and hope to spread over many consumer websites and send emails to national news media.

  56. darouter says:

    Same thing happened to me, but the rep that showed up at my door to sign me up said that if I move to an area that does not offer the service the ETF does not apply. Then when I moved they were laying the cable down. The rep cancelling my service said that there would be no ETF. That rep never cancelled my service, was billed for 4 months at my old apt. Fixed that, then they added an ETF. During that time I had FIOS reinstalled at my home. Called and they said they would take care of it and remove it from collections. Received a letter from the collection company and now they say there is nothing they can do about it.

  57. MEW says:

    Verizon Staitc IP

    When I signed up with FIOS the technical support team stated that I could use the DHCP offering in lieu of Staitc and we confgured my server to use the Static IP Address in the router (mostly the setup was int he router and i spent hours on the phone with Verizon). I guess it was similar to sharing the IP address. So it was working fine until July from November. I could not access my server. When i arrived back to my office to access the router, i had no access there either. I called Verizon and they tell me i have to go back to Static IP addresses which cost $50 more per month. The only thing my server does is create an FTP drop point and i can do that on line for $5 per month with various service providers. So i cancelled my FIOS.

    Now they want $250 on early termination and I don’t think i should have to pay that since their change caused my server to go down without my knowledge. While i cannot claim much in lost income, it is the hassle.

    I see this rate jump all over the internet from $179 to $360 and i recal the early term being $179 and now i am told it was always $250. They don’t put this in writing.

    So 1) Do I argue my point about the static address changing and 2) Do i fight the early term fee and where can i find out what the documents stated. When i called i was told as of today the term fee was $360 but the gal looking at my account states it has always been $250.

    Do they even know.

  58. kingsnoopy says:

    I just spoke to a supervisor and said she was waiving the ETF for my situation.

    I had regular FIOS TV and internet and paid for an installation in late 2008 and about 4 months later in 2009 Verizon called me and offered me the bundle but I had to sign a contract. After reading the contract I saw the ETF wording and did not want to be held to that if I moved. After nearly a month without signing the contract Verizon called me and stated I had to sign it or I would revert back to my original plan.

    The guy at that time stated if I moved to an area Vzn didn’t have service that I would not be charged. I moved in April 2010 and was stunned that Vzn wasn’t available in the area of Dallas that I moved to so I had to cancel. And of course I was charged the ETF.

    I have been dealing with them since April and finally got a supervisor on the line and as I stated above she said she would waive it and gave me her number to her desk to call in a couple weeks to make sure it was waived. Fingers and toes crossed.

  59. sp says:

    I’m also dealing with this issue. I’m moving not because I want to or chose to, but because my landlords unexpectedly decided to move back into the place I’m renting, and my new place doesn’t have FIOS availability. I entered into a new two-year contract earlier this year, having no idea that I would be moving – or, obviously, I wouldn’t have locked myself in. Anyway, I went in person down to my local Verizon office and asked them about what I could do, and they recommended that I start up a new Verizon land line (which is available at my new place) and keep it for one month and then cancel. There’s no ETF for phone service, and the FIOS ETF doesn’t apply if you continue one Verizon service after you cancel. Just thought I’d share this clever solution – I was grateful that the Verizon reps were clearly sympathetic to my situation and found a way to help me get out of it with as little cost to me as possible.