Some readers have tried out the info from yesterday about using an increased regulatory fee Verizon is charging to get out of contract without paying an early termination fee (ETF). The most successful so far was commenter doogz, who got his ETF cut in half. Here is his story:
Well, I noticed this ‘out’ last month. I had recently gotten a Crackberry supplied by work so I didn’t need a second line. So I called Verizon and requested out of my contract on the terms of service changing.
The first time I called they said I couldn’t get out without paying the ETF, period.
I honed my skillz with the contract, pulled out the paragraphs pertaining to the change and even the definitions of “regulatory charge” that they provide on their website.
The second time I called, the Rep claimed the regulatory charge was set by the Government and it was not a fee charged by Verizon. Au contraire, I stated, and read their definition to them as well as the address to the definition on the website. I was quickly put on hold while they checked on some things. They continued to argue with me over whether it was a change to my contract and if it was considered something that would let me out with no ETF.
I requested a Supervisor, who politely asked where I was getting the info on how this affected my contract and how it would allow me to get out of contract without paying the ETF. Now I only have 4 months left on my contract and only wanted out of the second line (~10 bucks plus taxes/month). I was going to switch the primary phone over to a single line plan. She argued, politely nonetheless, on how the 3 cents wasn’t materially adverse to me which I stated any increased amount was materially adverse. She put me on hold, came back and offered crediting me with the extra 3 months for both phones for the rest of the contract period, which would be pocket change.
I argued my point a bit more and she asked if the 3 cent increase was the only reason for wanting to get out of the contract. I told her about not needing the phone and how that was beside the point, since the contract changed. She wasn’t going to budge on the ETF but offered to cut the ETF in half (basically crediting my account with 40 bucks). I took the offer which ended up being in my favor, even if only by a smidgen.
I would have paid a bit more in taxes, fees, etc if I kept the phone through the contract end. All in all this solution worked for me. I may have tried to keep pushing but I had already been on the phone a half hour and I really don’t dislike Verizon since they are the most reliable for my area.
Indeed, it’s no picnic.
Commenter melferburque was told that the fee was a “tax” and it didn’t change their plan. This is despite Verizon’s own FAQ that says, ” The Federal Universal Service, Regulatory, and Administrative Charges are Verizon Wireless charges, not taxes.”
During his ordeal, he says, “I was left on hold several times, for several minutes at a time, with no hold music or any indication I was even still connected. Prior to connecting to retentions, they had hold music. I suspect this is a tactic to make people hang up.”
After more arguing, he was offered a $1.00 credit, which would cover the extra $.72 he would be paying over two years.
ScottyB was told that the fee didn’t count as a material change as it “doesn’t affect the plan pricing.”
Commenter Jerkeye was able to say he was canceling over the fee to get the retention rep to finally fix $80 in overages they had charged him and to get his account properly qualified for a 700 minute upgrade.
The fact that they are tossing out freebies means they know you have them by the cajones. Press harder and you can win.
Here is a video tutorial about using an increase in the regulatory fee to cancel your Verizon contract. Though it’s from a few years back, the basic advice is the same and there’s comments on it from people in the past few days who have had success with the tactics: