Verizon last week made some changes to its policy for Early Termination Fees (ETF).
First spotted by Droid Life, the new policy now has Verizon contract customers wait eight months before the traditional $10 per month ETF reductions start to kick in.
Verizon ETFs still start at $350 for subscribers who buy a subsidized handset but will now decline $10 per month in months 8–18, $20 per month in months 19–23, and $60 in the final month of a contract term. For other contract customers, the ETF will start at $175 and will decline by $5 per month in months 8–18, $10 per month in months 19–23, and $30 in the final month of a contract term.
Any Verizon customers who entered into a contract prior to Nov. 14, 2014 will retain the old ETF reductions: $10 for every month of contract with a subsidized device and $5 for every month of all other contracts.
Verizon was vague in its reasoning for the policy change.
“We make changes from time to time on policies like this to reflect changes in our business and industry,” Verizon spokeswoman Debra Lewis said via email.
AT&T has an ETF policy similar to Verizon’s former terms. AT&T starts ETFs at $325 for smartphones and $150 for feature phones and reduces them $10 and $4 respectively for each completed month of a contract.
Sprint also charges up to $350 ETFs for early contract terminations. T-Mobile no longer offers contracts but it does require customers to pay off the balance of their device if they leave T-Mobile before their two-year payment schedule is up.
This year has seen major competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile offer up to $350 to cover the ETFs for customers who want to switch.