Verizon Wireless has updated its terms of service, which could increase the amount you're paying in early termination fees, or ETF, depending on when you wish to defect and leave the carrier. According to the new terms, if you sign a new two-year contract with Verizon and decide to leave towards the beginning of the contract term, you'll be out more money as your early termination fees do not see any reductions until eight months into your contract.
Under the old contract agreement, your ETF charges of $350 would be reduced by $10 for each month you've fulfilled your obligation to Verizon. However, the change, effective for customers signing on or after November 14th, would hold the $350 fee without any reductions for seven months straight. Starting on the eighth month, Verizon would take $10 off your $350.
Here's how the new ETF breakdown works depending on when you decide to leave:
Months 8 through 18: $10 reduction for each month
Months 19 through 23: $20 reduction for each month
Final month: $60
Here's the language from Verizon:
If you cancel a line of Service, or if we cancel it for good cause, during its contract term, you'll have to pay an early termination fee. If your contract term results from your purchase of an advanced device on or after November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $350, which will decline by: $10 per month in months 8–18, $20 per month in months 19–23, and $60 in the final month of your contract term. For other contract terms entered into on or after November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $175, which will decline by: $5 per month in months 8–18, $10 per month in months 19–23, and $30 in the final month of your contract term. If your contract results from your purchase of an advanced device prior to November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $350 minus $10 for each full month of your contract term that you complete. For other contract terms entered into prior to November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $175 minus $5 for each full month of your contract term that you complete. Cancellations will become effective on the last day of that month's billing cycle, and you are responsible for all charges incurred until then. Also, if you bought your wireless device from an authorized agent or third–party vendor, you should check whether they charge a separate termination fee.
It looks like Verizon wants to hang on to those contracts, especially if they are subsidizing those smartphones for you.
Source: Verizon Wireless