updated 10:00 pm EST, Thu December 17, 2009
Carrier questioned regarding $350 smartphone ETF
The FCC has granted Verizon additional time to finalize an explanation of the new fee structure for early contract terminations. The Commission raised questions regarding why the carrier doubled the ETF amount for "advanced devices" such as smartphones.
Verizon previously maintained a $175 ETF for all of its devices, however the terms recently changed to $350 for smartphones. Critics claim the fees have been inflated to retain customers for as long as possible, although many carriers argue the increases are necessary to help cover the subsidization costs associated with more expensive handsets.
Verizon will also have to explain its reasoning behind the $2 web connection fee that is frequently added to bills, even for accidental key-presses. This has been a common complaint voiced by subscribers that do not realize pressing the VZ Navigator button will lead to a charge, even if the interface is exited before the services are used.
The FCC originally asked for the issues to be addressed by the end of the day on Thursday, however the extension adds three additional days.