Verizon Reveals New, Still Sucky, Early Termination Fee

The gory details on Verizon’s plans to prorate early termination fees emerged Friday.

Contrary to what many hoped for, the termination fee will not be prorated relative to the term of the contract, rather, $5 will drop off for every month of service.

Furthermore, the ETF term change will only apply to contracts started after November 16th, 2006.

There’s hope yet for older customers, however, considering that Verizon reups your contract every time you change any aspect of your plan. — BEN POPKEN

Verizon Wireless Gives ETF Details [Tech Dirt] (Thanks to Vinny!)


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  1. weave says:

    I recently got an email from Verizon offering me an extra 100 minutes a month if I go with a “new” (they said new as if it’s a good thing) three year contract. I wonder if that’s going to become the normal contract term. If so, $5.00 month off an ETF is pretty close to a evenly spread out prorate :(

  2. Law-Vol says:

    As a general matter of contract, “liquidated damages”&mdash damages specified in advance by contract&mdash are enforceable where the actual harm suffered by the non-breaching party would be hard to determine, but would nonetheless be reasonably approximated by the agreed-upon sum.

    Note, however, that damages in the nature of a penalty, such as those charged by the cell carriers, are never enforceable.

    Instead, the general contract measure of damages&mdash the amount of money that would put the non-breaching party in the position he would have occupied had the contract been performed&mdash should apply.

    In the case of Cell phone services, this means Verizon should be entitled only to the profit it would have recieved had the contract not been cancelled. Again, note well that this does not mean the contract “price” or the total remaining monthly fees, but rather the sum of remaining monthly fees, less the cost to Verizon of providing service.

  3. Exactly Law. Cell phone contracts are easy and only charge consumers a flat fee. People take it for granted. If you sign a lease for an aparrtment, most will charge you all the months if you leave early that you were supposed to pay for. It’s a contract. You get a discount on the phone, you deal with the contract.