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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



  1. Xavier

    01/12/2010 at 1:09 pm

    So maybe I’m not getting a Nexus One….
    Ars has a very nice breakdown of the issue and the fees can run up to $550 for early termination per line/Nexus.
    I guess I’ll just get a refurb phone of some kind and a T-Bo pre-paid plan.

  2. Xavier

    01/12/2010 at 4:28 pm

    Ok, just went to T-Mobile to buy a SIM card. The no-contract plans are significantly cheaper than the subsidized/contract pricing. It works out to cost $120 less to buy the Nexus One for full price than buying it for $179 over the 2-year life span. And if you decide to return the device you don’t get screwed with the ETF.

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