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Verizon to Double Early Termination Fees: Statement by Consumers Union

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 4, 2009 (WASHINGTON, DC) Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless phone service provider, is doubling its early termination fee to $350 for advanced devices such as smartphones. Joel Kelsey, policy analyst for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, said Verizon’s move makes it harder for customers to shop around for phones and service plans.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Verizon, the nation’s largest wireless phone service provider, is doubling its early termination fee to $350 for advanced devices such as smartphones. Joel Kelsey, policy analyst for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, said Verizon’s move makes it harder for customers to shop around for phones and service plans.

“When people want to switch wireless services, the biggest cost they face is early termination fees,” Kelsey said. “These fees do not save customers money, as some companies have claimed. These fees hurt consumers, and they make the wireless marketplace less competitive. Early termination fees are designed to lock people into long-term contracts and stop them from getting better deals. Verizon’s move is painful proof that it’s time for lawmakers to crack down on these fees.”

Media Contact: David Butler or Kristina Edmunson, Consumers Union, 202-462-6262, dbutler@consumer.org or kedmunson@consumer.org

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.