Verizon Wireless has responded to the FCC’s demand for an explanation of its new $350 early termination fee for smartphones including the Motorola Droid and certain BlackBerry models.
The service provider’s defense? Advertising to get new subscribers costs a lot of money, and investing in broadband networks costs a lot of money.
Plus, Verizon Wireless added in its filing, by reducing up-front costs with a subsidy, “many more consumers, including those of more limited means, access to a range of exciting, state-of-the-art broadband services and capabilities. The company’s pricing structure therefore promotes the national goal of fostering the greater adoption and use of mobile broadband services.”
So, Verizon Wireless is doing its civic duty by helping the poor and pushing broadband use? And it’s double-charging users for marketing and network investment already considered costs of doing business?
Verizon recently hiked its ETF from $175 to $350 on certain devices, prompting the FCC to ask the carrier to explain itself. The agency may require companies to provide more information about the monthly fees their subscribers pay and could even impose consumer-friendly rules for people wanting to get out of cell contracts early.