Verizon Retreats From Charging Marine Widow $350 Early Termination Fee

After achieving “clarity,” Verizon has decided to not charge the widow of a Marine who died in Afghanistan a $350 early termination fee. The woman had moved back home following her husband’s death so as to be closer to family, and in the new area she had no cellphone reception. In announcing the situation’s resolution, Verizon Wireless also took the opportunity to take a jab at the media for sensationalizing their incompetence.

While Verizon told CBS 13 this…:

Verizon Wireless has long supported our troops and worked with members of the armed services with flexibility. Once we understood this Marine’s widow’s circumstances, we quickly resolved the situation. We regret any undue frustration we may have caused the Brummunds. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Brummund and her family.

…they told Consumerist something slightly different:

Verizon Wireless has long supported our troops and worked with members of the armed services with flexibility. Once we understood this Marine’s widow’s circumstances, we resolved the situation quickly. The media turned a moment that needed clarity into a sensational story, and one that’s just not accurate. The situation is resolved. Our thoughts and prayers are with the widow and her family.

Aw, is that a “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” Guess Verizon felt more comfortable being more barbed when dealing with online media.

I disagree that her being a war widow is irrelevant to the story. In both their statements Verizon acknowledges an internal policy of being “flexible” with the armed services, ergo, it’s germane. I’ve asked Verizon to clarify what inaccuracies they saw in media reports.

PREVIOUSLY: Verizon: Die Fighting In Afghanistan, Pay $350 Early Termination Fee


Edit Your Comment

  1. smo0 says:

    One of us! One of us!

  2. NoThankYou says:

    Nice try Verizon. Sometimes it takes the media to shame these companies.

    • Smashville says:

      And yet, Ben STILL sensationalizes it.

      The fact that she’s a Marine widow has NOTHING to do with the issue.

      • RxDude says:

        Had she not been married to a Marine (or perhaps other active duty military member), her husband would not have been killed overseas. Therefore, she would not have felt compelled to move closer to her family, into an area with no cell phone coverage.

        Cause and effect can be such a tricky concept.

        • Smashville says:

          If she had been divorced from her husband or he died of a different cause, the same thing would have happened.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          So the manner/location of death affects your decision on this case?

      • coren says:

        It shouldn’t, but does. Verizon has even said they specifically deal with military and their family different, so her being family of deceased military does matter.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    As much as I like the media sensationalizing instances where a company truly IS reneging on its responsibilities and/or just being a complete ass, it does bother me that the media can do nothing BUT sensationalize everything. If the media covers it, it’s a story of extreme significant; nay, the most important story of your life! Until the next one…

  4. Moriarty says:

    So all you have to do to get your termination fee waived is turn your family tragedy into a national news story. Good tip!

  5. Pryde987 says:

    I completely disagree with this decision and the media did bully Verizon into this position. People reading the original piece (with awful headline) at will notice that a significant amount of the readership at a pro-consumer blog actually agreed with Verizon on this one– or at least those that could emotionally detach themselves from the emotional outliers of the story did.

    • GuJiaXian says:

      Agreed. I’m amused at the contrast between the comments in that thread and this thread.

    • chefboyardee says:

      The media didn’t bully anyone into anything. They have a contractual obligation to provide cell phone reception. She moved to an area where Verizon didn’t have adequate coverage. Simple solution, allow her out of her contract, which is their obligation if they can’t give her service.

      I have verizon, I love verizon, but they should have let her out the second she had no coverage, Marine’s wife or not. I don’t care about the fact that her husband was a Marine, I care about them upholding their end of the contract, which they could not do.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        It’s tough to realize that’s the bottom-line situation when the media is yelling “Verizon charged and early termination charge on a Dead solderier’s wife! Grab the pitchforks!!” instead of saying “A customer was charged an ETF when they shouldn’t have been! Grab the… phone and clarify with Verizon!!”

      • Commenter24 says:

        It has a contractual obligation to provide service in areas where it provides coverage. It is under no obligation to provide service in areas where it does not have coverage. The fact she chose to voluntarily move to an area where Verizon could not perform doesn’t put Verizon in breach.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        True, they should’ve waived the ETF, but her status as being a marine widow has NOTHING to do with it. She brought it up to get pity because the company was being a pain, and really shamed the honor of her husband.

        • chefboyardee says:

          Agreed. But, it got the job done. Hard to say who’s right here, neither is really. Verizon should have done what they are contractually obligated to do in the first place, if they had, they wouldn’t have had to deal with this. Plus, you know, it was what they were actually supposed to do. The marine part should have never come up, that’s not cool. But, it wouldn’t have, if they had done the right thing from the start.

      • mac-phisto says:

        actually, i think they removed that provision from their contract. i don’t know when the sneaky bastards pulled that off, but evidently they will still charge you an ETF if you move to a no-service area now.

        they still retain the right to cancel your account at any time if a significant percentage of your minutes are spent roaming, though. nice huh?

      • Dover says:

        While Verizon ultimately did the right thing, your statement is incorrect.

        They did uphold their end of the contract, they are still providing services in the same areas (and likely more) as they were when she signed up. She would definitely have a case if the coverage map changed for the worse during her contract, but it did not. She was made aware at the time of the contract that coverage was not guaranteed everywhere and that there would be dead spots. She CHOSE to move into such a dead spot, Verizon didn’t change anything.

        ETFs should be based on the phone subsidy and reduced by an equal amount each month so that is is zero at the end of the contract, the result being that the customer can cancel any time by simply paying what’s they owe on the phone, that would be fair for all parties and eliminate stories like this.

        • MrsLopsided says:

          From the funeral to hitting the media is less than 2 weeks. Is that enough time to prove a new residence? Apparently she is “planning” to move but has no done so yet.

          When you move to dead spot do you have to prove to Verizon that you actually moved there? Do you have to change your billing address or show a utility bill? Otherwise any could claim they moved to a dead zone.

        • Putaro says:

          Yes, it would be fair if they were based on paying back the phone subsidy but they are not. So, since the ETF is not for the fair value of the phone, it’s not right to charge it when you can’t use the service.

    • Bakergirl says:

      To quote Big Mama Pain from the same link:

      “Getting out of bad cell service and avoiding the ETF with Verizon is a pain. They are supposed to wave the ETF for military if moving is required and cell service sucks, but it takes like two months of very diligent follow up to get it done. First a service worker has to go out and determine that yes, the coverage sucks; then they have to attempt to make the coverage not suck. Then the service worker has to sign off on something saying it sucks. Then you have to make sure that paper actually gets somewhere and that you are in fact out of your contract. Then they put the ETF on your next bill, hoping you’ll be stupid enough to pay for it, and you have smack them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper and go “NO!”.

      I think having to move because your husband was KIA falls under this; it just takes a lot of patience. We also were told nothing could be done about the ETF; but after some wrangling it got done.”

      The widow probaly should have followed this proceedure, but either way a refund was owed.

    • coren says:

      The decision is good – if they can’t provide service in a supposed covered area, then they’re not fulfilling their end of the contract and she shouldn’t be paying for it.

      • Dover says:

        Where does it say the place she moved to was supposed to have service? I thought she moved to a blank spot on the coverage map, please let me know if I’m wrong.

        • Dover says:

          Someone below posted a coverage map. The actual city is covered, but the coverage is very spotty nearby. It’s hard to say without actually knowing where she lives, but I got the impression that she was in a dead zone. If she is in an area that should have coverage, Verizon should be given a reasonable chance to fix the problem (with a credit for the service while she waits) and then let her off the hook. If she moved to a place where Verizon does not claim to have service, they should ask her to pay a prorated fee for the hardware they subsidized and let her go.

        • MrsLopsided says:

          She has NOT moved. She is PLANNING to move

  6. jimmyhl says:

    Hath not one God created us?

  7. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    The media turned a moment that needed clarity into a sensational story, and one that’s just not accurate. The situation is resolved. Our thoughts and prayers are with the widow and her family.

    Sorry, have to agree with Verizon. Read the comments of the original story. Even veterans agree it was a horrible spin on the story.

    • chefboyardee says:

      Who cares what the comments say? The fact is they’re supposed to provide coverage; she’s in an area where they have no coverage.

      Yes, the headline and sensationalism etc sucks. But the fact is, when she said “I now live somewhere with no coverage”, the contract should have been terminated, plain and simple.

      • Smashville says:

        She lived in a coverage area. She claimed she couldn’t get coverage.

        Who cares what the comments say? Clearly you do.

        • chefboyardee says:

          I mean who cares that the commenters who are veterans agree. That doesn’t change Verizon’s contractual obligation to provide service.

          She lives in a coverage area and gets no service. Verizon is obligated to let her out of the contract, case closed.

          I agree that the media sensationalism was stupid here. But the core of the story is, no service, no contract.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            So you agree with me. If you read my comment, I was talking about the “spin” put on the story.I never said ANYTHING about if their actions/what they did was right.

            • chefboyardee says:

              You’re right, I was still annoyed with Commenter24 from the Pryde987 and didn’t properly read what you were commenting on. We do agree. Spin like this makes me angry, BUT, at the same time it probably got something resolved that wouldn’t have gotten resolved otherwise.

              So, while the spin does suck, if Verizon had done the right thing in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened. So although I kind of agree with Verizon, I feel they did get what they deserved. Next time, do the right thing, and you won’t have to deal with this kind of thing.

              • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

                But did Verizon get the chance to do the right thing? Do we know that they were told that the contract holder had NO coverage in her area? Or were they just told the death story. If it was the first, did Verizon investigate? Do other people in this same town have Verizon accounts? If so, why do they still have Verizon if it’s a dead zone?

                These are factual questions that we will never hear. Instead, this “journalist” decided to latch onto the fact it was a dead soldiers wife. I mean, look at the image on THIS page. It’s of the dead soldier and his wife. What does that have to do with the story? Shouldn’t it be a map of the coverage of the area to show that the story isn’t being sensationalized?

                • chefboyardee says:

                  Interesting reply. It’s hard to say. I would assume from this quote:

                  “I called them to cancel. I told them the situation with my husband. I even said I would provide a death certificate,”

                  That she told them the entire situation, yes the unnecessary sob story, but I would assume that also includes “…which lead me to move to an area with no service”.

                  Your other questions are interesting. I would think that they would come out and investigate the service – but it’s pretty obvious they didn’t, if the rep she talked to immediately said there was “nothing she could do”, not “we will look into it”. Still seems like a misstep on Verizon’s part. But, you’re right, it’s very hard to tell with the limited information provided.

                  Either way, I agree that media sensationalism on stuff like this is out of hand.

                  On the other hand, you have to admit, if this hadn’t been blown out of proportion, this woman would probably never have gotten the due diligence she deserves. Do the ends justify the means? Probably not. But at least the right thing was done (letting her out of the contract), even if for the wrong reasons (the marine stuff, instead of the no service stuff).

                  Too often the power is in the hands of the corporation and the little person is left to rot.

                  • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

                    I disagree. How many times have we seen an “investigative” TV reporter or newspaper reporter get the same results w/o dragging someones death into it? A death certificate isn’t a reason to cancel a contract. From what I have read, there IS a procedure, which includes someone going out and checking reception(I wonder if he says “Can you hear me now?”), trying to improve reception(maybe there is something wrong at the local tower), then they forward the facts on.

                    I mean, can you just say you have a “Lemon” car w/o showing it is an actual lemon?

                    • chefboyardee says:

                      Yeah, but the point is, until the media made a big deal of it, they weren’t doing those things. She said she had no signal, and they said “nothing we can do”, not “coming out to check it out, give us a few day”.

                      At that point, she may have felt obligated to get it handled “by any means necessary”.

                      I’m in agreement that she handled it poorly when she got the “no”. Or, that the media handled it poorly. I’m sure she had a part in that.

                      But, I’m not convinced that, had the story not been sensationalized, the situation would have been resolved. The “nothing we can do” response of the Verizon employee implies otherwise.

                      Perhaps an investigative journalist could have solved this without the death part of the story. I can’t argue that. However, without that slant, what journalist do you think would take on “I moved, and Verizon won’t let me out of my contract”? That’s my only point here – without the slant, she’d likely (though not definitely, i concede) have been ignored – I feel that process was already started with the Verizon rep’s initial answer.

                    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

                      I’m not meaning to disagree, but note it says the operator “reportedly” said there’s nothing we can do. I don’t want to get into how often you hear one said say the convo happened one way and the operator said this, yet when you play the tape, there is a difference. I’ve heard tales from Dr.’s that when they think someone is suffering psychosomatic symptoms, and they try to explain it to the patient, the patient hears “You’re nuts”, and that’s the way they tell everyone the Dr. said it.

                    • chefboyardee says:

                      A very good point, I’m in agreement with you that we can’t really know. I’d like to give this poor woman the benefit of the doubt, but in her grieving state, it’s very likely she blew the response out of proportion too. I know when I’m upset, I have a tendency to do the same, and I’m sure she was beyond upset at this point.

          • DanRydell says:

            Please provide proof of this contractual obligation.

            First provide proof that she lived in the coverage area defined by the coverage map, then find the line in the contract that guarantees service anywhere on the coverage map.

            OR, if she did not actually live in the coverage area, find the line in the contract that says they must waive the ETF if she moves out of the coverage area.

            Moving out of the coverage area was her choice.

            • chefboyardee says:

              Expand Pryde987’s comment (5th down) and read about the obligation for military personnel.

              Also, how about you prove that she DOESN’T live in a coverage area?

            • chefboyardee says:

              She is in a coverage area, put Copperopolis into here:


              As for the part of the contract that shows their obligation to provide service or allow the ETF-free cancellation, I can not find that right now, but have been told it multiple times by Verizon reps and am pretty sure it’s in my contract at home.

              Either way, in the words of the great Jon Stewart, be a fucking person. Marine stuff aside, if someone calls your company and says they’re no longer living in a service area, let them out of the damn contract. There are so many reasons TO do that, and only one reason not to: dickhead greed.

              I’m a Verizon supporter. Just not this time.

              • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

                Actually two reasons. Greed, and there is a legal agreement. If Verizon has to live up to it, so do you. They say if they provide coverage, and you decide to leave, you pay.

            • Dover says:

              “First provide proof that she lived in the coverage area defined by the coverage map, then find the line in the contract that guarantees service anywhere on the coverage map.”

              This is not specifically stated, but I believe you could argue “implied warranty” or something like that, based on the maps in the store/online. If they can’t provide service in an area the map claims to, that should be an automatic out.

              “OR, if she did not actually live in the coverage area, find the line in the contract that says they must waive the ETF if she moves out of the coverage area.”

              Exactly, they don’t have to (at least not anymore). They should, in honest cases, waive the ETF or reduce it to reasonably compensate them for the subsidy of the phone, but they don’t have to. If she didn’t want to be bound by the agreement, she should have signed up without a contract.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Did she actually have NO coverage? Or was there spotty coverage or perhaps bad coverage inside her house. I’m lucky to live within sight of a cell tower. That said, the difference between reception in my home and outside is measurable, and I would bet with a smaller signal, I could lose it indoors. Does that mean I have a right to cancel because in location A, I don’t get reception, but at B and C within 500 feet of A, I do?

      • Randell says:

        No, they did provide coverage, and the woman USED the death of her husband to get somethign she was NOT entitled to. If her husband had been killed by a drunk driver what would be the difference? If he were killed by a drive by shooter? If he died of cancer? I think it is pathetic the way people use their patriotism to help their pocket book. By the way, where is the phone she strong armed Verizon into letting her have, while the rest of Verizon customers pay for her.

    • jimmyhl says:

      Right on SteveDave, but….why wouldn’t Verizon just waive the ETF b/c she moved out of the coverage area instead of inviting this PR s-tstorm? Ya know?

      • Smashville says:

        Because supposedly she was actually in the coverage area.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        More than likely there was coverage, just not adequate coverage for the customer. But for them to prey upon/use the death of a soldier to get that resolution is just wrong.

  8. Anonymously says:

    The woman explained the situation to Verizon and they said ‘No’. What clarity was needed?

    Verizon should explain what steps the woman could have taken without resorting to the media. They should also explain how they will improve their processes and training to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future….
    But they chose to be crybabies about it instead.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Technically, she’s the one who crybabied about it. Her husband’s death had zero to do with the situation, and yet she dragged his service through the dirt so she wouldn’t have to pay $350.

  9. Nuc says:

    For once I sided with Verizon. This had nothing to do with a dead Marine and all to do about media sensationalism.

  10. Putts says:

    “The media turned a moment that needed clarity into a sensational story, and one that’s just not accurate.”

    I completely agree with Verizon’s statement here. The way that the media, including Consumerist, presented this story was completely disgraceful. By bringing up the completely unrelated fact that this issue happened to a war widow, the media sensationalized this story into something far, far more than it actually was.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      And Consumerist mis-reported (via their headline) that the EFT was for the deceased husband, not the surviving spouse. Mistakes like that, with a sensitive topic such as this, makes it waaaay easy for things to get out of hand.

      • jason in boston says:

        After Consumerist left Gawker, the headlines and lack of important information on stories have made the site go downhill.

  11. Pvt.Joker2025 says:

    I know it’s popular to go against big companies, but Verizon is absolutely right. As a Marine veteran myself I found it offensive, and I’m sure if you asked other vets they’d agree.

    Nice try consumerist, I usually side with you but you’re wrong here.

  12. Nighthawke says:

    Hey Verizon, it only takes one screwup for your adoring public to toss you back onto the barbie.

    But it takes a Good Samaritan to Do The Right Thing.

  13. chefboyardee says:

    To everyone siding with Verizon, and first let me say I am a very happy Verizon supporter and proud Droid owner, let me ask this.

    This woman moved to an area with no Verizon reception. By all means they should have let her out of her contract right then and there. They refused even though it’s part of their contractual obligation to provide service.

    If this story WASN’T sensationalized, do you really think she would have gotten back her ETF that she *properly deserved* by not getting coverage? No, they would have given her the run around.

    Was it right that the media blew the war part of the story out of proportion? No. Did it get a job done that otherwise probably wouldn’t have gotten done? Yes.

    Verizon can whine all they want about how they were blasted in the media, but they refused to fix the situation properly in the first place, maybe if they hadn’t been jerks in the first place, the chance to blow this out of proportion would have never even happened.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Did the surviving spouse make any attempts to have Verizon honor the lack of coverage provision other than her initial call? Did she contact the BBB, the FTC, the State’s AG?

      Or did she just yell loudly until the media heard?

      I find it hard to believe that she did all the right things and they still didn’t honor that provision.

    • Commenter24 says:

      I believe your understanding of what Verizon contracted to provide and its responsibilities when a subscriber voluntarily moves to an area with no coverage are is wrong.

      • Commenter24 says:

        damn the lack of an edit function!

        “are is wrong” should read “is wrong.”

      • chefboyardee says:

        Actually, I believe your understanding is wrong. I’ve got a Verizon contract myself, and I’ve read it front to back multiple times. If you are in a Verizon coverage area and have no service they are contractually obligated to let you out without an ETF. She’s in a coverage area. She has no service. Pretty straightforward.

        Even moreso if you are in a military family and forced to move. Expand Pryde987’s comment (5th one) and read Bakergirl’s reply.

        • Smashville says:

          She was not forced to move due to being in the military.

          This had nothing whatsoever to do with the military.

        • Commenter24 says:

          I don’t think we know enough facts to determine whether she is in a coverage area or not. You’re assuming that “no service” means she IS in a coverage area and her phone just isn’t work. It’s unclear.

          • coren says:

            Well we know the town she lives in from the original news report, and that Verizon claims to provide support there. Her not receiving coverage isn’t necessarily something we can have evidence of, but I assume that Verizon would take that on faith too.

            • Dover says:

              Actually, the coverage map is pretty spotty in that area. It’s hard to say without knowing exactly where she lives.

        • Nuc says:

          Not forced to move – chose to move.

          As soon as a person chooses to move and that move results in service no longer working … they’ve lost their right to complain.

    • ghostberry says:

      So your point is that the child who wants the candy should throw themselves on the ground and beginning screaming until satisfied to shut it up.

      • Anonymously says:

        If by “wants” you mean “is contractually owed”, then maybe. But it’d be silly signing a contract over candy with a child, wouldn’t it?

    • DanRydell says:

      Ben’s lie about the contractual obligation was pretty effective apparently. This contractual obligation to provide service at your home is a myth.

  14. DanRydell says:

    They’re right that your article was inaccurate. I e-mailed you and explained the inaccuracy, but you never fixed it.

    • DanRydell says:

      I’m not referring to the headline, which was shameful. I’m referring to Verizon’s “contractual obligation” to provide cellular service in a location where they don’t claim to provide cellular service.

  15. RandomHookup says:

    I’m a bit surprised there are no comments in this thread lusting after the young widow.

  16. Papa Midnight says:

    Verizon Wireless has long supported our troops and worked with members of the armed services with flexibility. Once we understood this Marine’s widow’s circumstances, we resolved the situation quickly. The media turned a moment that needed clarity into a sensational story, and one that’s just not accurate. The situation is resolved. Our thoughts and prayers are with the widow and her family.

    We all know that if she hadn’t contacted the media, Verizon would still be charging her $350 so of course it took some media shaming and “sensationalism” to actually get them to DO SOMETHING.

  17. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Just for my own morbid curiosity, did the news agency actually check to see if she got service or not? Did they check her phone out around town and make test calls? Did they see if there were other Verizon users living in the same town? Did they perform that due diligence, or did they(and others) latch onto the fact that her husband was a serviceman who was killed and made THAT the story instead of the “facts”?

  18. fantomesq says:

    Sorry Ben but Consumerist participated in the shameless sensationalism. Verizon called you on it and you still call foul? Please, there are plenty of stories that justify righteous anger without having to distort the truth. The sensationalism is unneeded.

    • coren says:

      Verizon didn’t do shit until it got sensationalized, so I’m not sure it wasn’t needed.

  19. jdmba says:

    I maintain my posting on the prior story; Verizon was correct in what it did. Circumstances affect us all constantly, and trying to escape a “I moved, and now don’t get signal” by hiding behind higher profile irrelevancies is simply a great starting point for abusing the system. Can’t wait to see the “I lost my job and can’t afford my phone bill; but Verizon won’t give me service for free” complaints.

    • coren says:

      They weren’t correct – if they can’t provide service in supposed service areas they aren’t doing what they’re paid to do. It’d be different if she weren’t in a service area.

  20. Emily says:

    Next time I’m trying to resolve a problem with phone representatives at Verizon, I’ll tell them “this is a moment that needs clarity,” and I’m sure they’ll straighten it out right away.

  21. OnePumpChump says:

    Maybe their incompetence wouldn’t be so sensationalized if they weren’t so sensationally incompetent.

  22. jtheletter says:

    It is not germane because the dispute had NOTHING to do with her husband’s service. Replace “moved back home following her husband’s death so as to be closer to family” with “moved home because her civilian mother needed extended home care” and we have the EXACT SAME SITUATION.
    Flexibility for service members and their families is irrelevant as according to the details of the complaint this was a simple issue of did Verizon provide adequate service in her area or not. The determination of that fact had no basis in what her husband did for a job.

  23. Watcher95 says:

    Consumerists abuse of their position as a news outlet was sickening in the sensationalist mis-reporting in the original article.

  24. ghostberry says:

    Whats next on the checklist of things you can squirm out of by exploiting your husbands death? The possibilities are endless!

  25. Smashville says:

    Ben, your reasoning is fallacious. You sensationalized it BEFORE Verizon issued their statement. So justifying it by saying that it was in the statement is just plain idiocy.

  26. MrsLopsided says:

    It took less than 2 weeks from the marine’s funeral for this to hit the media. Apparently the widow, ran straight from the first telephone contact to the media – without escalating it or actually producing documentation to validate her request- “I even said I would provide a death certificate,”

  27. razremytuxbuddy says:

    I recently dealt with Verizon’s mean and stupid customer service, so I say kudos to Consumerist for making Verizon look bad. Without the negative publicity, I’m quite certain Verizon never would have achieved “clarity.”

    I can’t tell if technically Verizon could have held her to the ETF, but they had nothing to gain by taking that hard line with this woman in the first place. That’s where Verizon doesn’t seem to get it. They lost my business. I was an Alltel customer who went to some effort to avoid committing to a contract with Verizon after they bought Alltel. When I did finally need a new phone, I heard enough of Verizon’s double talk that I ditched them. When you can’t deal with someone like Verizon, you get results the only way that works. Consumerist clearly knows this.