Remember earlier this year when T-Mobile announced that it would start paying off new customers’ early termination fees if they switched over from rival carriers? Well it seems that Verizon has come up with a clever way to blunt that policy’s impact: Make it more expensive for some customers to switch.
Both Ars Technica and Droid Life notice that Verizon has delayed any reductions that you’d pay in early termination fees until eight months after you sign your two-year smartphone contract. This means that if you cancelled your smartphone contract and switched carriers within eight months of first signing it, you’ll be on the hook for the full $350 in early termination fees.
Before, Verizon’s ETFs started at $350 for within the first month of the contract and then decreased by $10 every month afterward. This means that while it would have before cost you $280 to break your contract with Verizon, now it will cost you $70 more.
As Ars notes, though, there are options other than signing two-year deals with Verizon.
“New Verizon customers can avoid contracts by paying off their devices in installments under the company’s Edge program,” the publication writes. “But that deal got worse last month, when Verizon decided to make customers pay off a higher percentage of the cost of their phones before allowing them to upgrade to a new device.”