Rumor Mill: Verizon to double ETF to $350 on 'advanced devices'

Verizon Wireless is going to double its early termination fee (ETF) later this month from $175 to $350 for users who purchase an "advanced device," according to the Boy Genius Report blog.

According to the blog, which posted a leaked slide of the policy change, Verizon will institute the new policy Nov. 15. The ETF will go down by $10 per month for each month of service. It is unclear what exactly an "advanced device" is, but it likely refers to smartphones.

If true, the move represents a reasoned measure aimed at protecting the subsidy Verizon Wireless doles out for each of its high-cost smartphones, and likely would deter customers from opening a new line of service, paying for a subsidized device, canceling the line and then selling the device for a profit. Verizon is in the midst of launching several high-profile gadgets, including Research In Motion's BlackBerry Storm2 and Motorola's Droid. Such devices typically sell to consumers for around $200, a price that includes in some cases a subsidy from Verizon of as much as $300.

Verizon spokesman Tom Pica declined to comment.

For more:
- see this Boy Genius Report post
- see this InformationWeek article

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