Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Boondoogle: Plan to Reduce Cell Phone Cancellation Fees Draws Criticism

An AP newswire article, via The Los Angeles Times, reports that:

A proposal for the government to help cell phone customers avoid expensive fees when they cancel contracts with wireless companies may go down in flames after consumer advocates protested today that it isn't generous enough.

Cell phone companies routinely charge customers $175 or more for quitting their service early. Under a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission, the wireless industry would give consumers the opportunity to cancel service without any penalty for up to 30 days after they sign a cell phone contract or until 10 days after they receive their first bill, among other provisions.

In exchange for the government's approval, the agreement would let cell phone companies off the hook in state courts where they are being sued for billions of dollars by angry customers. If approved by the FCC, the proposal also would take away the authority of states to regulate the charges, known as early termination fees.

More here.


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