AT&T Raising Contract Termination Fee

Over the last few weeks, AT&T has released numerous statements regarding their confidence that their loyal section of consumers will not be jumping ship if ever Verizon gets the iPhone 4G. For one, legal documents have been found recently which confirm that the device will be sold exclusively under AT&T until 2012. Some unconfirmed reports state that the exclusivity contract will run until 2011 or end of 2010 at the very least. Pending reports to confirm that Verizon would get it much earlier, we will stick with 2012.

The company also seems unfazed with the reports of a chance that hordes of their customers will be heading for Verizon anytime soon, pointing to their numerous plans. According to Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T, 80% of their total customers are on various discounted family or business plans.  With family plans, it would be difficult to move numerous devices to different carriers. The same goes with corporate plans. There is also the company’s attempts with various prepaid and data plans which may draw more consumers to their company.

With all that talk, it is surprising to see AT&T raising their early contract termination fees to almost twice the original fee. Starting June 1, the Early Termination Fee will be raised from the original $175 to the newer rate of $325, forcing existing consumers to think twice about leaving.

In reality, the new AT&T rates are just the same as Verizon’s rate for the ETF. This move would just make the second largest US carrier follow a somewhat more standard rate. The company affirms that this move is not in any way related to Verizon’s plans of getting the iPhone 4G. The world is waiting of Apple’s plans with their iPhone 4G. Regardless of the reason, current consumers only have a week left to decide whether or not they will leave the carrier.

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