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Cellphones’ New Early Termination Fee: The Customers’ Responsibility Essay

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Imagine a world without cellphones. Can you think of yourself without one? As the clock ticks with Information Technology, we cannot help but run along the fast lane of the 21st century. Like a car, this development is being fueled by communication: Internet, text messaging, electronic-mails – all bundled up in one gadget, the cellphone. It is needless to say then that cellphones or mobile phones are now the roads of communication. How technology has prospered the human species, giving us with so much liberty, carries a price tag we all have to pay – Responsibility. Mobile network operators embody this responsibility in the form of a contract. Once this contract is breached, the high amount of early termination fee will be the painful consequence. This issue brings the question: Are Early Termination Fees fair to everyone? Or is this an exploitation of mobile operators?
As we know it, advance gadgets are changing faster than we can think of. Knowing that the long-awaited iPhone 4 is coming to Verizon Wireless this month, I thought of purchasing it under the deal of a 2-year contract. I am a Verizon Wireless customer using a feature phone for basic uses (e.g. calling and texting). Although I want to upgrade to a smartphone, I still have a contract with my feature phone. As part of my research, I reread my network provider’s Customer Agreement. I was horrified to know the $175 ETF I have to pay if I cancel my current contract. The ETF may be prorated, but paying around $100 still hurts my pocket. It is worse if I had a smartphone because I have to pay twice my current phone’s ETF. I cannot assure that nothing wrong will happen to the iPhone within the 2-year contract. My first reaction is ETFs are ridiculous and exploitations to ...


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...-termination fees: Taking the bite out of consumers' bark." Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [CBC] 4 Sept. 2008. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 31 Jan. 2011.
Everard, Ben. “Early Termination Fees: Fair Game or Federally Preempted?” The George Washington University Documents 7.4 (2009): 1033-1043. Print.
Paczkowski, John. “Is Verizon's New Early-Termination Fee Anti-Consumer?” AllThingsD.com. The Wall Street Journal, 7 November 2009. Web. 30 January 2011.
Silva, Jeffrey. "Early termination fees under fire." RCR Wireless News 27.26 (2008): 19. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 30 Jan. 2011.
Sprint. Early Termination Fee. Sprint Nextel Corporation, 2011. Web. 2 February 2011.
T-Mobile. Terms and Conditions. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 2011. Web. 2 February 2011.
Verizon Wireless. Customer Agreement. Verizon Communications, 16 January 2011. Web. 2 February 2011.


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