If you decide you want to trade your iPhone in for an Android or any phone on another carrier before your 2-year contract is up, you better be ready to shell out some major cash. AT&T has announced plans to raise the early termination fee for smartphone owners from $175 to a whopping $325 starting June 1st. The raised ETF (early termination fee) will only apply to contracts that start after June 1st, and is thought to be an attempt on AT&Ts part to retain smartphone customers who might otherwise leave the carrier for a different handset. In an open letter to its customers AT&T explained the change:
“For customers who enter into new two-year service agreements in connection with the purchase of our more advanced, higher end devices, including netbooks and smartphones, the ETF will increase to $325, and be reduced by $10 for each month that you remain with us as a customer during the balance of your two-year service agreement. After that, the ETF will no longer apply.”
While $325 is quite the price tag to leave the carrier, it is $25 less than rival Verizon currently changes smartphone customers who choose to break their contracts.
Would an increased fee keep you from jumping ship on AT&T if better technology was available elsewhere?