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CU Urges All Cell Phone Companies to Lower, Drop Number Portability Fee

For Immediate Release
Monday, Nov. 15, 2004
Susan Herold, (202) 462-6262

Consumers Union Urges All Cell Phone Companies to Lower, Drop Number Portability Fee
Verizon, Sprint lower the fees they charge to switch customers’ phone numbers

(Washington, D.C.) – A move today by Verizon Wireless and Sprint Corp. to lower the fees they charge for switching cell phone customers’ numbers was described as “good news” by Consumers Union, which urged other carriers to follow suit and lower or eliminate the fees.
“This is good news for consumers,” said Janee Briesemeister, director of Consumers Union’s EscapeCellHell.org project. “We’ve always questioned whether the fees being charged for number portability were covering the actual costs of switching phone numbers, or were simply being charged to pad profits.”
It was reported that Verizon was reducing its 45-cent monthly fee to a nickel, and that Sprint – which was charging $1.10 a month in July 2003 – would now be charging 25 cents.
“We call on all wireless providers to reduce or eliminate these fees as well,” Briesemeister said.
“Consumers should be aware that these fees are not set by the government so they can vary widely,” Briesemeister added. “We encourage consumer to check out the fees providers charge for number portability and shop around before making a decision.”