It’s possible to break out of your Verizon Wireless contract in the next 60 days without paying an early termination fee because they’re increasing the “regulatory fee” they charge customers from $.13 to $.16. This is what is known as a “materially adverse change of contract” and by standard contract law, it renders the contract void if one of the parties doesn’t like the change.
First you’ll want to bone up on what materially adverse change of contract means. Basically you signed a contract to get a given service at a given price, and after you signed it, they made it cost more. It doesn’t matter if it’s $50, a penny, or in this case, 3 cents. It’s still materially adverse.
Then you’ll have to call up Verizon and ask to be transferred to the retentions department. There you will pitch your case that this fee is a materially adverse change of contract, it voids the contract, and you demand to be let out of your contract without paying an early termination fee.
If they offer you freebies, turn them down. If they ask you if there is any other reason whatsoever, like your satisfaction with the service or the quality of it, that is making you leave, say no. Be single-mindedly focused on how this fee increase is the reason why you want to leave. And don’t be scared. Despite its important-sounding name, the “Regulatory fee” is not charged by the government, it’s just another fee Verizon assesses.
The reps may argue with you, they may tell you information that is not accurate, they may give you the runaround. Sometimes they’re misinformed, other times they’re just under extreme pressure not to let anyone leave without paying the toll. Don’t be afraid to hang up and try someone else or escalate to a supervisor.
Worst comes to worst and they refuse to abide by standard contract law, you can take them to small claims court.
You only have 60 days from July 1st to make the cancellation because after that it is assumed that you have accepted any change to the contract.
Here’s the relevant information from Verizon’s customer agreement
Can Verizon Wireless Change This Agreement or My Service?
We may change prices or any other term of your Service or this agreement at any time,but we’ll provide notice first, including written notice if you have Postpay Service. If you use your Service after the change takes effect, that means you’re accepting the change. If you’re a Postpay customer and a change to your Plan or this agreement has a material adverse effect on you, you can cancel the line of Service that has been affected within 60 days of receiving the notice with no early termination fee.
To help buck up your confidence, here are a few success stories and tactics from people who have successfully used these fees to get out of their wireless contracts without paying an early termination fee:
After Battle, Marie Gets Escapes Verizon Contract
“Lesson: booting your issue up to the VP of Customer Service really works.”
Verizon Makes Customers Fax In Old Contract To Cancel Service Without Termination Fee
“Once the supervisor saw the fax she didn’t argue with me at all. I would recommend this tactic for anyone having trouble.”
Script For Escaping Verizon Contracts Without Fee, Based On Text Message Rate Raises
“Use this aggressive step-by-step script for leaving your Verizon contract early, without paying $175, in under 30 minutes.”
Cancel Verizon Without A Fee Even If You Have A Txt Msg Plan
“Reader Jonathan writes in to tell us how he canceled his Verizon contract without an early termination fee…even though he has a txt messaging plan.”
Script For Escaping Cingular Contracts Without Fee, Based On New Arbitration Clause
“We’re not sure if it will work but this information comes to us courtesy of a very disgruntled customer who says he used it to cancel his contract after 8 years of service.”
So give it a shot and let us know how it goes!
(Thanks to Peter!)