At an FCC meeting yesterday, Chairman Kevin Martin provided some insight into how he would regulate carrier early termination fees. Martin said that he believes there needs to be some federal oversight of termination fees rather than letting states set the rules. He would like to try to establish some rules on ETF this summer but hasn't talked to the other commissioners yet about doing so. Here's a breakdown of how Martin thinks ETFs should be handled:
- ETF fees should be based on the cost of the phone that the customer has received from the carrier, i.e. a cheaper phone mean a lower ETF.
- Contracts should be for a reasonable length of time and any contract that is renewed should not necessarily have a new ETF.
- Customers should be allowed a grace period of 30 days to receive and review their first bill before they are charged a termination fee.
- see this Washington Post article