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AT&T quietly pro-rates cancelation fees

updated 09:55 am EDT, Mon May 26, 2008

ATT Quietly Pro-rates ETFs

AT&T has without fanfare begun pro-rating its early termination fees for contracts, Unwired View notes. The plan reduces the penalty for canceling service from its normal $175 by $5 increments for each month of active service. Subscribers ending service the month before their contracts expire will each pay $60 to back out; a more realistic scenario where a user withdraws halfway through a two-year agreement will cost $115.


The option is only available to AT&T customers who have signed up for service or renewed their subscription on or after the 25th, according to the report.

AT&T's move follows up on initial plans set out in mid-October and is believed in part to be a reaction both to plans by competitors as well as to pressure from the US Senate and the FCC that would mandate pro-rated fees as well as give subscribers the choice of canceling services penalty-free within their first month.

High cancelation fees have often been cited as an evidence of unfair competition by consumer advocates and have been cited as a detriment to customers looking to switch carriers for the iPhone; until recently, virtually all major US carriers had flat-rate early termination fees that made it expensive either to switch to AT&T or else to back out in the event the iPhone proved disappointing.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. resuna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    -1

    open vs encumbered

    There's "open" and there's "unencumbered". MP3 and AAC is patent-encumbered and the AAC license is significantly higher than Microsoft's WMA license... high enough that it's hard to find digital music players other than the iPod that support it. If this codec is unencumbered or its license fee is lower than AAC's then it might even be worthwhile for Apple to use it.

    On the other hand if this format is just another wrapper and you also have to pay to license the codecs for your digital music player it may be a non-starter. Or the gimmick of a remixer in your hand (something Apple would be perfectly capable of implementing with their existing formats, but hasn't...) may push it over the top.

  1. resuna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    -1

    open vs encumbered

    There's "open" and there's "unencumbered". MP3 and AAC are patent-encumbered and the AAC license is significantly higher than Microsoft's WMA license... high enough that it's hard to find digital music players other than the iPod that support it. If this codec is unencumbered or its license fee is lower than AAC's then it might even be worthwhile for Apple to use it.

    On the other hand if this format is just another wrapper and you also have to pay to license the codecs for your digital music player it may be a non-starter. Or the gimmick of a remixer in your hand (something Apple would be perfectly capable of implementing with their existing formats, but hasn't...) may push it over the top.

  1. resuna

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    0

    "click to edit"?

    Sorry for the double post, I was naive enough to assume that their "click to edit" gimmick actually worked.

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +1

    re: click to edit

    instead of editing your post, just cancel it - at least in my browser, after cancelling your comment, the text you entered still shows up in the comments text box and you can edit it as you wish then submit it as if it were a new comments post.

    I really wish MacNN could get this right.

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