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AT&T Raises Early Termination Fee

AT&T Raises Early Termination Fee to $325

In what seems like an effort to keep iPhone customers on AT&T after the phone's exclusivity runs out, AT&T has raised its early termination fee from $175 to $325 for all smartphone customers beginning June 1. According to a spokesperson for the company, the increase has "nothing to do with the iPhone or any other device." So, it's just a coincidence that AT&T's iPhone exclusivity is rumored to be nearing an end and this fee is raised? Or, perhaps the rate hike is in response to so many recent complaints of poor AT&T service.

AT&T has also cited Verizon's similar price increase earlier this year as a justification of the change. Early termination fees exist because often upon signing new contracts, phones are available at a severely reduced rate. Without the fee, consumers would be free to jump from provider to provider each time they wanted a new phone. Whatever the reason, AT&T definitely has many customers roped into their existing contracts, and even if the iPhone does make the move to Verizon later this year, I expect most customers will ride out the length of their current contracts to save on fees — every month you stay in your contract, the fee is reduced by $10.

Join The Conversation
Matdredalia Matdredalia 7 years
Shinycrazy - Thank's for doing the legwork and finding this out. I would have had no idea where to look for this. And the way things are going right now, it's good to know where we stand. Not sure if I'm going to jump ship just yet, but between all the newfangled crap they're pulling due to the launch of the iPhone 4g and the fact that I was straight-up-lied-to on the phone and in store about whether or not there is 3g coverage in my area, I'm getting more than a little fed-up with AT&T's crap. Good to know I can leave without having to sell them my soul to get out of it. Thank you!
shinycrazy shinycrazy 7 years
So, I did some research and it turns out that customers that start a *new* contract or renewal on or after June 1st get stuck with $325. The rest of us with contract dates prior to June 1st are still under $175. Also, for non-smart phones the ETF actually went down from $175 to $150. AT&T Answers (or search early termination fee on their website):
ittybittyrain ittybittyrain 7 years
this is obviously cuz of iphone...they are denying it....but they are just lying. think about it, they want to make sure you dont want to switch to verizon! i mean their fee's increasing at the same time iphone will be in verizon....ummm DUH!
franciepants franciepants 7 years
It makes sense, but I thought $250 was already high enough.
karyney karyney 7 years
Wow, I cancelled my AT&T contract in March, which was about 8 months early, to switch to Verizon for a Droid. Glad I missed the ETF hike!
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