Wednesday, August 6, 2008

There Is A Hidden Cost To The Rainbow: ETF FEES

Post 40:

This entry relates somewhat indirectly with my entry on cellphones that should just be phones. However, my desire for an IPhone is eating my words from that entry...

I recently have been shopping around for high speed home Internet (as I move into my apartment next month) and have been looking at switching from Verizon (which I highly recommend as a cell phone carrier) to AT&T so that I can use the IPhone 3G. While I was looking, I noticed that if I canceled my service prior to 6/23/09 then I would be charged 105$-5$ per extra month starting now. That appalled me; I know that it was in my contract that I would pay that if I left early, but I really do not really think it is worth that much. I already know that I will need to keep service for a few months after I change so that I can redirect phone calls (via my answering machine) to my new number. I really do not understand why they would charge so much, I already paid for the phone plus some on the monthly bills, plus, of course, the initial payment of the phone.

So, I am out here shopping for ways to get around this fee (I could argue based on the smallest changes Verizon made, or try and convince AT&T it is worth their time and money to get me and absorb the fee) when I came upon the website CELLSWAPPER which offers a way to transfer your contract to another person and thus ignore the fees. The benefit for the other person is that they do not need to pay the insane activation fees. Frankly, I think that this is a good idea, and I think that phone companies should start to use this.

So, why do companies not offer this. I think that they would get far more customers if they offered a service (say, for a 9.99$ fee of course, plus the new phone charge and miscellaneous charges) that would let you switch out of your contract and give it to somebody else. They would make money from people who currently could not get a new phone plan but want to switch. They could make deals with other companies, making the switching to the other easier (in exchange for returns) and would never lose money. Frankly, this seems like a good idea because the phone companies would always make the amount the thought they would, regardless of when YOU ended your agreement.

Now that a California court has ruled the fees illegal (this will be overturned quickly), this seems like a good idea for companies to do...

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Robert M. Barga,
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Ghazala Khan said...

Interview Request

Hello Dear and Respected,
I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Internet surfers. I am Ghazala Khan from The Pakistani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan in the world. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the webosphere. Our aim is to foster peace, progress and harmony with passion.

We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you don't mind. Please send us your approval for your interview at my email address "ghazala.khi at", so that I could send you the Interview questions. We would be extremely grateful.


Ghazala Khan
The Pakistani Spectator

Anonymous said...

This is so timely. I have a Sprint service I would like to get out of ... I'll have my son research it. I think it's a crime to make people continually sign up for two years. It becomes a catch-22 and you can never get out of the service. Let me know if you are successful.
I hope I don't get a virus from ghazala khan ...

Barga said...

You can do month by month plans, they cost 5$ more per month i believe
you can also do 6 month and 1 year plans

Check out Cellswapper, it is a good idea

Hajile said...

They charge you those ridiculous fees so you think twice about leaving.

Also, AT&T is better anyway.


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