For several months, the FCC has been studying early termination fees (ETFs): those fees that wireless carriers charge if you sign a long-term contract and cancel it early. Generally, in return for signing a contract with an ETF, wireless customers can get substantial discounts on their handheld devices. With the advent of smart phones, many wireless providers have increased both the discounts and the ETFs. Other contractual services, including some broadband services, now have these early termination fees as well.
You can read about our work on ETFs, including the correspondence we’ve had with wireless carriers and our survey on consumer awareness of ETFs. Now we’d like to give you a chance to join the dialogue. Please comment to this post to let us know your views or your experience with these common fees.