Despite No Service, AT&T Refuses To Waive ETF

Last week we brought you the story of Ross who had no AT&T service after the nearby cellphone tower went down and the other towers weren’t working. Even still, AT&T wouldn’t let him leave service without paying an early termination fee, despite the fact that it could be 4 months before the towers were repaired. That means 4 months more without service while still getting a monthly bill. I counseled Ross on how he might fight the power by going through the retentions department, and he wrote back with an update on his progress.

Ross says that retentions still wouldn’t let him break without paying an early termination fee (ETF), but they did credit his account for several weeks of no service. The retentions rep also said that he was “noting his account” so that “if he called back, no one was ever at any time allowed to waive the ETF.” Um, ok.

That credit was roughly equal to the pro-rated ETF, so Ross says he went ahead any way and canceled. “I am now a HAPPY Verizon customer,” writes Ross. “As are most of my neighbors!!!”

I still think Ross could have pushed through. He had a very good case because he was getting zero service at all and AT&T also let out one of his neighbors from their contract without a fee. If he wanted to, he could have taken this to small claims court. But since the credit they offered basically covered the ETF, he decided to get on with his life and go with a new provider. Makes sense to me.

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I Have No Bars But AT&T Won’t Let Me Leave