Early Termination Fees and Beta Hardware: Playing a Fool for a Fool

Google and T-Mobile have teamed up to create a double whammy for Nexus One users. Essentially, T-Mobile’s ETF ranges from $20 to $200 and Google is charging a $350 Equipment Recovery Fee if you cancel within the first 120 days. This comes on the heels of Verizon upping its Early Termination Fees after releasing the Android based Droid.

Some will say, hey, that’s the price of living on the bleeding edge and wanting the latest and greatest. I say phooey. Quit releasing Beta Hardware, fix the service so that it works out of the box (some users are reporting issues with 3G reception-somewhere AT&T is smiling. And apparently Google just realized they will need to add customer service to deal with the issues), and then we’ll talk about the viability and legitimacy of imposing ETF’s and ERF’s. I fully expect new releases of hardware and services to have some issues, let’s face it, they all do. But a customer shouldn’t be penalized because a company can’t deliver what is advertised and they want to return the purchase. Lemon laws exist for auto purchases, and perhaps they should for gadgets as well. Especially when companies are essentially charging big money and tying you into contracts for essentially Beta Hardware and services.

Via Engadget