Video Tutorial: How to Get Out of Your Verizon Contract Without an Early Termination Fee

I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on my previous posts about successfully canceling my Verizon contract without paying an early termination fee. Based on the requests of many of my readers, I have made a video tutorial on exactly how to go about this process.

Send this post around to all your friends who have Verizon. Maybe some will want to consider getting out while they still can.

442 Comments

  1. Nohg

    You.

    Are.

    The.

    Man.

  2. LOVE the percentage strategy!

  3. matt

    Ely,

    Thanks for the video, I’ll try again this week. I followed the information from your previous posts, along with other successful people’s comments from other blogs without any luck so far. I spent about 3 hours on the phone with various tier 1, supervisors and managers. I was told many times by tier 1 that they could not authorize the cancellation. I spent an hour on the phone with a manager who was insisting that my only options were to accept the credit or cancel with ETF. She would not accept my statements of the facts, and after an hour of arguing she hung up on me, refusing to continue the conversation.

    I’m wondering if I’m screwed at this point, if she placed a note in my file essentially saying that I’ve already denied accepting the credit. I’m going to try again to see if I have any better luck though.

  4. Matt,

    Don’t give up! It’s all about who you talk to. You just have to get lucky. The customer service reps will do anything to keep you as a customer (even lie about what they can and can’t do).

    Don’t worry about the note in your account that you did not accept the credit. You don’t want to accept the credit. If you did, then maybe they could say that there is no material adverse effect. But you didn’t accept, so there is a material adverse effect, and you can exercise your rights per the contract.

    Stay strong. Let us know how it goes.

  5. Frank

    Nice video, good info. Thanks
    I would add the importance of taking good notes and writing down everything for your records when calling the customer service center. Date and time you called, names and positions of all the people you talk with, what was said, etc.
    Take it from someone who worked in a call center for many years. The reps leave very inaccurate log notes and often do not leave any log notes of the call at all. They will just move on to the next call and let the next Customer service rep deal with you. Take Notes…..
    PS. The most tenured experienced employees normally have the most desirable work shift. Which is M-F 7:00am to 3:30pm If you call during these hours you may have better luck finding a good rep to deal with.

  6. I actually LOVE Verizon but I watched your video anyhow. I am a real consumer guru so I really enjoyed your approach and tactics!! Brilliant! Do you have suggestions for all sorts of things? I might have to check out your website. Thanks for your time and efforts – you never know!!

  7. Thanks Varda. I’m a big believer in consumer rights. Any tips that I find, I’ll post. If something is as in-depth as this, I’ll make a video. I just think that consumers shouldn’t get screwed.

  8. Steve

    Great piece! I love my service with VzW but not all of the extra charges they add onto the bill, I have tried Nextel, AT&T and they stink in NYC-does not work everywhere as VzW does. I am not going to leave because of that but loved you informnative video anyway, keep up the great work!

  9. simcha

    Excellent Job! Keep up the great work!

  10. Earl

    Great post. Thanks. Were you able to cancel and port your number? How to you go about doing that? The porting part.

  11. I am in the process of moving over to AT&T (waiting for the iPhone to be in stock) but have had plenty of friends already do it through this same process.

    You have to have Verizon put a note in your account that the ETF is waived and then you set up a cancellation date. Call back to confirm with a new rep that the note is in your account.

    Then go to AT&T and port over. You WILL be charged the ETF and you have to call Verizon back and have a rep look at the note in your account and refund you the money for the ETF. It all works. You just have to be persistent.

  12. Earl

    thanks a bunch. I’ll let you know how it works out. I got an iPhone on Saturday- waited for 4 hours at an apple store. I love my gadgets! My advice, go to an apple store. Att stores are getting the shaft.

  13. Craig

    I’ve been with Verizon for years, and just got new iPhones. I was lucky to be out of contract with Verizon, so I know I can cancel at any time. Which is good, because I wanted to hold on to my Verizon service until I was sure the new iPhone would work out. Lo and behold, AT&T’s service is horrible here, and my phone is useless in my house and in my office. So my point is, before you commit to the iPhone 3G, maybe borrow a friend’s if you can and test it in your house and workplace. Remember there’s a 10% restocking fee if you buy an iPhone and decide to return it within the 30 day window.

  14. Earl

    hey thanks for the advice. I wanted to check out service before I committed, so I held onto my verizon phone. I’m in a big city, so service has been great. I get full 3g at home and in the office. Looks like I’ll be porting! I’ve had an ipod touch, so no problem with typing, either.

  15. Rich

    Hey Ely, I tried canceling my account this morning to no avail. I spoke with three or four CSRs, and on the last one I was talking with a guy named Rob. After giving him my argument he took a minute to look over my bill and cited that my FUSC did not raise in the past 60 days, but my Administrative charge did raise .15 back on May 6th. I therefore had nothing left to do but thank him for his time and end the call.

    Isn’t this FUSC thing something that is universal? After looking at my bill more closely I’ve found that he’s right, it is consistently .91 cents back as far as April when it was .90 cents and the Administrative charge was .70 cents instead of .85 cents. Therefore it seems like there isn’t anything I can do?

  16. Hi Rich. The FUSC change from 2% to 11% was on my July bill on the second-to-last page where it discusses rate changes.

    The admin charge is raised often and when that charge, or any other charge Verizon controls, is raised, you have the right to leave without an ETF within 60 days of them notifying you of the rate change on your bill.

    You won’t see a difference in the FUSC charge until your next bill, but the change and effect on you is occurring as we speak. Check the second-to-last page of your bill. If you see a FUSC rate hike, you’ve got a case.

  17. Rich

    Thanks for the quick and concise reply!

    In looking through my Verizon Wireless account online, I can only seem to pull up my May27th-June 26th bill. I can’t get the June 27th-July26th bill to show up anywhere and I have opted to not receive paper billing statements.

    Do you have any idea how I can manage to get this bill to show up?

    Thanks again.

  18. Rich, no idea. Call up Verizon. Maybe they can help you find that bill online.

  19. Rich

    Oh, apparently I’m just on a different billing cycle and therefore cannot view my bill online until the end of the week. I guess I’ll postpone my arguing until then.

    Thanks again for this great tip, I was getting tired of my enV :)

  20. Kevin H.

    False!

    The FUSC is a federal invoked charge and does not qualify releae you from a ET fee as does the example of the Text Message increase.

  21. Kevin, that is incorrect. The government requires that wireless carriers pay the FUSC but the government DOES NOT require carriers to pass this cost to the consumer. They all do, however. But this is clearly a Verizon-controlled charge that is stated as such in the Customer Agreement.

    Check it out for yourself in the Customer Agreement in the paragraph “Charges and Fees We Set”.

  22. Gregg

    It took me about 50 minutes, but I got the ETF waived. Since I wanted to port my number, Verizon agreed to put a note on my account saying the ETF is waived. When I do start service with a new carrier and my Verizon contract is canceled when the number is ported, I SHOULD have no ETF to pay. I’ll let you know if they renig on that agreement.

    FYI – They tried to claim I needed an FUSC Exemption Certificate in order to have the ETF waived. Since Exemption Certificates is not stated in the contract, they had to back down from that claim.

  23. Vasisht

    Looks like i’m in the same boat as a few others. My FUSF charge has gone down from 76 cents in June to 75 cents in July. The Regulatory and administrative charges as well as the Gross Receipts surcharge has gone down as well.

    Looks like I’ll have to wait until next month’s bill and hope they raise these charges then :)

  24. Gregg

    My FUSC charge went down as well. I didn’t argue the charge, I argued the charge is based off of a percentage of my bill and that percentage went up. I argued my cell phone usage was higher in June than July, so the FUSC charge would be less, however, if my usage would be higher, the FUSC charge would be higher. Anyway, the key to the argument is the percentage changed. It was 1.97% in November 2007 (that stat helps) and I did not receive notice of a change until July, so the charge was raised 25%. In the future, when you cell phone usage goes up, the increase in the FUSC WILL have a greater impact on you.

    Amazingly, when I used this argument, they did not try to fight it. It was the easiest part of the call. Oh, by the way, I used the phrase “I think we both can agree that when a percentage goes up, it will have an affect”… saying “I think we both can agree” helped.

  25. Riick

    This has to work, since you’re working (playing) within the rules *they* set.

    One thing I might do is notify THEM at the start of the call, that **YOU** are recording the call.
    (( Then record it!! ))

    Personally, I like to write, and get a written answer. When you do that *and* carbon copy the FCC or FTC they really sit up and take notice.

    It was great fun to hassle Sprint on excessive taxes that were going to the wrong State (Taxes were for my old locale, not my current residence, “based on the State where the phone’s area code is located”). — That’s a violation of FCC regulations: Illegal.
    .

  26. Vasisht

    Gregg – I guess I’m confused as to the argument then. My bill was higher in July than June because I added features but the charge is less. I looked over the last 6 months worth of bills and it wasn’t until the April 21st bill does it mention the rate going up – since it’s July, aren’t I outside the 60 day period?

  27. Gregg

    I only received notice in the July 12th bill, so I was still inside the 60 days. Only once did they try to say I was out of the bill, I told them the notification was not on the June bill, but it was on the July bill. That ended their argument.

    I also ran into a supervisor that said she did not have the power to waive the ETF. I stated multiple times the person who escalated to her said she did and that I only wanted to speak to someone who had that power. She eventually “found something” that said she was allowed to waive it.

    The key to this, like Ely says, is to know you are right. They will lie about policies/the contract, they will acted confused, they will cite non-related portions of the contract, they will say they can’t do anything, keep referring to the contract and insist you work with someone who knows what can be done and knows the contract.

  28. Gregg

    * correction *
    “Only once did they try to say I was out of the 60 days notification”. They themselves claimed not to know when they notified me.

  29. Earl

    Ely, thanks! I got out of paying an ETF and it took me all of 20 minutes. I did luck out with the people in customer service. It also helps that I’m a lawyer too, and can make an argument without losing my cool. But, your write up and video were rock solid and fool proof. If I had found your site last week, I would have hooked you up with a referral fee, but I was all set to just pay the etf. Anyway, thanks! I already ported. Hopefully, I won’t have any issues. Verizon instantly cut off my online account, so gotta wait for my mail to confirm that etf is waived.

  30. Minh

    Thanks Ely,

    Your suggestions work perfectly. I only had to call twice, and took me ~5 minutes of talking and 15 minutes of waiting. Also, as I read from someone’s post, it worked well with a male service rep, who do a little hemming and hawing, and even offered a credit. The female service rep I talked to the day before just would not budge. Anyways. Thanks for the excellent tip.

  31. Barry

    No joke – I am seriously hiring you when I need to leave a contract. Forget about Verizon – how are you with car leases? :-)

  32. Justin

    Thanks Ely for the great tutorial on the ETF waive. I want to ask you a question. Could this be done in store in person? I feel it would have a greater effect when coming forth with papers etc. After all its a lot harder to get ride of someone when in person.

    Please advise

    Thanks

  33. Justin,

    You could try. I’d just rather argue in the comfort of my own home than do it in a store. Plus, from what I’ve heard, people in the store can’t do anything out of the ordinary for you. They’ll call up the corporate number to check anything like this which means it’s just one more person to go through. But if you try, please let us know how it goes.

    Good luck!

  34. Vasisht

    Ugh 3 people and an hour later, no dice. I’m going to try again today. They’re all offering me the credit but aren’t convinced by my argument to go beyond that

  35. jenna

    is this still in effect and not over the 60 day limit yet??

  36. Jenna,

    My July bill had the FUSC change so I am still in my 60 days. Check your last bill (or two) on the second-to-last page and check when your FUSC rate was changed. I would assume you’re still within 60 days.

  37. jenna

    i was just on the phone with them about this for over an hour. A supervisor told me that it was stated on my march 29th-april 28th bill that the FUSC changed “on April 1 to 2.38 percent of assessable wireless charges, other than separately billed interstate and international long distance charges. The FUSC on these charges changed to 11.3 percent.” — quoted directly from my bill. Is this true that the 60 days have long passed? how is everyone else able to get the ETF waived so easily? The agreement does say i have 60 days to not accept and cancel my verizon account, etc.. but i am past the 60 day mark. please tell me the secret to dropping verizon!! :)

  38. Jenna, Sorry. I guess they raised the FUSC on people at different times. Mine was in July. Based on what you’re telling me, you are past the 60 days. You’ll ahve to wait for another rate hike (any rate that Verizon sets). Hopefully that will happen soon.

  39. jenna

    @ Ely I just checked my most recent bill and it does say that the rate has changed to 2.42 percent! so i guess i am eligable? ^_^

  40. Awesome. Call back and give ‘em hell….in a nice calm voice.

  41. Vasisht

    RAT %#%^#!%& of a manager just applied a $15 credit despite me specifically saying “I refuse to accept the credit”

  42. jenna

    wow it worked!!! thanks so much for the help. they kept wanting to give me all these deals, but i just kept saying, “no thank you. i would only like to take advantage of what you have stated in your contract.” yay! iphone here i come!

  43. Vasisht

    congrats jenna – the fates are smiling upon you :) I seem to get stuck with multiple supervisors who all say “I have the power to waive the ETF but I’m not going to”

  44. this really works lol after 3 phone calls we got my sister out of her contract that was supposedly extended until 2009 :) thanks so much :)

  45. Rich

    Well, I finally received the correct bill but these people are steadfast. I just argued with a supervisor for 15 minutes to find out that he applied the credit without even getting my approval! After ten more minutes of arguing he said that he removed it but I’m not sure.

    Filing a complaint with the BBB right now and intend to call again afterwards.

  46. Rich

    Did anyone manage to do this without speaking to a supervisor? The CSRs just seem completely ignorant of the contract while the supervisors understand the contract but choose to ignore it.

  47. Vasisht

    Rich – that is the exact same thing that happened to me. They applied a $15 credit w/o my consent, saying “this removes any effect, so I can’t cancel w/o a penalty”. Two supervisors told me they have the power to waive the ETF but will not do so.

  48. Rich

    Alright! So I finally managed to get a helpful CSR apparently. After talking with him very politely for awhile I got him to agree that I was right, but he still said that he couldn’t really do what I was asking. I mentioned to him that no matter what happens I’m going to cancel but in the end I am still going to be a Verizon wireless customer because I plan on getting on someone elses plan (Which is true).

    This seemed to open some sort of door because he immediately offered to credit me 1/2 of the ETF. I declined it and he offered to have someone call me back on the subject, but he also said that even if they won’t help me I can call him back directly and he will atleast cancel and credit me 1/2 the EFT, which is very good.

    Finally getting somewhere.

  49. Murali

    Thanks Ely. Your video was really helpful. It hardly took me 15mins to cancel my account. I am going with tmobile hotspot@home and a blackberry.

  50. Rich

    Everyone seems to have it so easy except for me lol Did you do anything in particular Murali? Or do you know who it was you talked to and their extension?

  51. Justin

    Worked for me!!!! 1 hour 9mins later. Also got them to post cancel my account so I can Port my number over.

    Tips to make it work…..
    *Follow the steps stated.
    *Stay Calm, Cool, and Collective.
    *Escalate it to a Supervisor
    *then Escalate it to the Assoc. Dir.
    *Say you are recording the call and threaten legal action. Have them state their full name, contact number, badge number, Also there term of employment with Verizon.
    *And Finally persistence, persistence, persistence!!! I can not stress it enough. You gotta put the time in. Only took me 1 call but never get angry and get them in the “comfort zone”. It is written in Black and white and they can not change or alter the contract in anyway.
    What I had them do is I would read the first four words and have them read the next 4 words so iterate that we are on the same page. Also helps to have them believe it is being recorded.

    Good luck to everyone. But I think bottom line is you have to have the right mentality and personality and timing to succeed. But in the end I and the few others are proof that this does work!!!

  52. Aaron

    Just tried this method and it took me several phone calls, eventually I ended up on east coast executive relations. They told me that this is a charge that falls under something that is subject to change and they have already told me that this is subject to change, and that this is not considered a materially adverse effect. The said this is NOT a reason that they would waive the ETF and that no one is going to do this for me. They took my number and will call me back within 24-48 hours. NOT looking good.

  53. matt

    I’m waiting for the supervisor I spoke with to hear back from legal about *their* definition of “Material Adverse Effect” This apparently could take up until Tuesday before I hear back from them.

  54. I’m working on em right now… waiting for a mananger to call me back “within 3 hours.” My boss is a lawyer and agrees this is a legit method and cannot legally be disputed. He also said that if they continue to refuse I should threaten small claims court. He said companies like this will not allow that to happen over a couple hundred bucks. Especially when it’s clear there will be a judgment against them. I’m thinking of just calling back (I collected direct phone numbers as I moved up) and just telling them I have consulted a lawyer and am proceeding with SCC if they don’t adhere to thier contract. I’ll update later….

  55. Bryce

    I was on the phone for about an hour and a half and no luck. Apparently there is a memo within the customer service department on how how to deal with the FUSC and people trying to opt out. Continuing what Aaron was saying, on the section “Charges and Fees we set” there is an important part which specifically deals with the surcharges.


    We set these charges. They aren’t taxes, aren’t required by law, are kept by us in whole or in part, and the amounts and what’s included are subject to change.

    The section where it says “what’s included are subject to change” is the basis of their argument. This section specifically deals with the FUSC and any governmental cost.

    “If you didn’t agree with it, you shouldn’t have signed the contract.”

    Her second point concerned the second page of every bill. The same “subject to change” of governmental cost clause is there. This is their written warning that started the same time as the contract. So, the 60 days starts in the first day of your contract with Verizon when the governmental cost is concerned.

    The “subject to change” is attached to the governmental cost to protect the early termination fee being waived. It’s not attached to the text messaging, air time fees, etc. because those are Verizon’s direct fees which qualify for the ETF waiver.

    I responded with, “So, the increase could be 11% or 5000% in the governmental fees and I wouldn’t be able to opt out without paying an early termination fee for the sole fact that ‘subject to change’ is attached to the governmental fees in the user agreement?”

    In the nicest way possible, “Yes.”

    I gave up, mostly because I was shocked at their argument concerning the second page of every bill and did not know how to respond to the term “subject to change.”

    Fack.

  56. Robin

    Ely,
    I just made my call. I was calm and cool and just kept repeating that it clearly stated in the contract that they have the right to make changes to their rates, but I have the right to cancel with out ETF, etc… But the “supervisor” I was talking to kept saying that charges that would have “adverse affect” on me are not considered “fees (or taxes)” the “right for them to change prices” only refers to my rate plan and they did not change those. I said that it doesn’t mention that specifically, (what prices they were refering to) but we still went round and round for 30 min. and I asked to talk to his supervisor and he said he’d have to call me tomorrow. Anyone have suggestions on how to argue that point?

  57. Rich

    They have certainly caught on to this and are straight up refusing most people now it would seem. I actually cannot afford to wait much longer as I have my phone on Ebay and it needs to be de-activated before I sell it.

    Fortunately I have that 1/2 off the EFT gaurantee from the one rep, which is better than nothing.

  58. Hi Everyone,

    Sorry to hear so many people are having problems. Next time you speak to Verizon and they talk to you about how they are allowed to make changes, agree with them.

    Here is the problem that I see. Verizon sees the argument you (the customer) are giving as a ‘breach of contract.’ They are acting as if you are stating, “you raised my fees, which you can’t do, so I can leave without a fee.” They’re saying, “we can raise your fees per the contract and therefore, this clause doesn’t apply.”

    They are misrepresenting YOUR argument. Verizon has every right to change the FUSC. It says so right in the contract. But by doing that, you are allowed to leave without a fee per the contract. There has been no breach of contract.

    When I spoke to Verizon, I used an example of a loan. If it says in my contract with the bank that if I’m late on a payment, I have to give them my house, and I am late on a payment, then they can take my house. I can’t give them $1000 plus some extra to cover their interest losses and call it even. The contract clearly states what happens when I’m late on a payment and doesn’t state that I can negate that effect later. Action….reaction.

    The contract clearly states that Verizon can raise the FUSC, text messaging rate, or any rate for that matter. The contract states that when they raise prices, you can leave within 60 days without a fee. Action….reaction. No breach of contract. You’re just exercising your rights per the contract.

    Regarding the comments made that Verizon is saying that the FUSC is not included…that’s ridiculous. It clearly states that Verizon can make price changes. It does not specify which price changes are eligible for this exemption right. So, by definition, any price that Verizon changes is included.

    Don’t give up people. You are right. Verizon is trying to weasel out of the contract. Don’t let them get away with it.

  59. Chris L

    Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! Your video successfully got me out of my Verizon contract. My wife and I are now happy owners of 16G black iPhones! They are so awesome I cannot even tell you. Verizon wanted to charge me for every single little application I used on my phone. Apple has it right letting people develop and share apps for free. It’s really an amazing consumer experience and I have your video to thank for it! You should add a paypal donation link!!

  60. Brian L

    Trying now (10:30am EST) – SUCCESS! 20 or so mins, right to a Supervisor…she offered me $1/mo for remainder of contract, I said I rather just cancel and she said, OK, I’ll make a note in your account!!!

    Ely – you’re the man!

  61. Kevin

    UGh… after an hour on the phone no dice. The supervisor told me that “their legal time has looked at this matter and has decided the FUSC is not something they will waive the ETF for.” Even when I said this was a blatant violation of my consumer rights the supervisor wouldn’t change his argument. What do I do now?

  62. theformerlizbook

    Ely, that is GREAT. You are a genius.

  63. Kevin

    Ely,

    I’ve got a few questions about that referral discount you mentioned.

    1)Is it $25 one time only or does it repeat every month?
    2)Does it work on any iPhone plan?
    3)How are you able to offer this? Is it something anyone with an iPhone can do? Can I get all my friends who already have an iPhone to give me a referral so I would basically get my contract for free?

    Thanks

  64. Mike

    Hey BRIAN,
    can i please get the number of the guy who you talked to. It will be great. Thanks!

  65. Matt

    Hey just grabbed your RSS… nice work w/ the Verizon CS dept. Even though I don’t have Verizon personally, I’ll pass it on the info so others can benefit.

  66. katie

    Apparently, this situation has been escalated to the top execs and the basis of their argument is that the effect is not materially adverse enough to cancel your contract. They tried to offer me the credit as well and I refused. I told them I would take them to small claims court as well as file a complaint with the BBB and the manager told me I was more than welcome to do so. I dont think they will budge whatsoever.

  67. Laura

    Great job with the video. You rock :)

  68. cameron

    You are amazing.

  69. Paul

    Hi, I don’t have Verizon, but I looked through my T-mobile contract and it says the same thing so I’m going to be trying this very soon. I’ve been dying to get out of this for awhile now and you are my savior!

  70. CBF

    Ely,

    Interesting video though there are some things that you might want to consider…

    First and foremost, I am uncertain if you are able to give legal advice (contract and statutory interpretation).

    Interpreting that Verizon contract can be tricky, especially when you emphasize the “conditions” that you read. Next, it is important to know if these are conditions precedent, conditions subsequent, or conditions concurrent. (Knowing which type will determine what party is in breach thus establishing their rights, responsibilities and remedies).

    Next, it is important to remember that cell phone contracts are contracts of “adhesion”- there is no real bargaining power between the parties. As such, there are several legal claims that an individual can make.

    The first, and least effective is that there is no mutuality of obligation between the carrier (verizon) and the subscriber. Thus if an individual wants to cancel the K, he is supposed to pay the ETF, but if the carrier wants to cancel early, are they obligated to pay the subscriber a fee? (Probably not). If this is the case, this may be a theory to show that the contract is somewhat unconscionable (substantive and procedurally).

    Additionally, ETF’s can be interpreted as being penalty clauses. Courts are reluctant to enforce a liqudated damages clause if it is seen as a penalty unless the damages were difficult to calculate from the time of contracting, and the fee’s are reasonable. In the given circumstance, if the cell phone providers wanted to write an enforceable liquidated damages fee into their contracts, they would just have to come up with a simple formula. (Note: The effects of this might actually hurt the consumer more.)

    You loosely refer to the term “materially alter.” Traditionally, that term has been looked at by courts to determine that if the prices were (at the time of contracting) what they are now, would this party have entered into the agreement (subjective), or, would a reasonable party still have entered into this agreement (objective). The modern trend is to follow the objective test. Increasing the rates by 1 or 2 cents is not likely to “materially alter” or burden the party in light of how this term has been interpreted by the courts. And while verizon can’t tell you “what does and does not materially alter”- the courts can.

    My advice, if the contract says that using the service after getting a written notice, is a waiver of your right to cancel, stop using the service after you get your written notice. It’s that easy. NO ETF, NO PROBLEM.

    Remember, you cannot have you cake and eat it too.

  71. Jay

    Looks like the Jew law student has spoken.

  72. Thor79

    Hmm…interesting video. I’m an AT&T customer (and have been for more then 5 years) with the new iPhone 3G, and I’m perfectly happy with it. I just wanted to check on my own bill (for my own curiosity) though to see if any there were any adjustments like this that I could potentially use to get our of my contract. Looking at my July and my June bills, I noticed that there was a 4 cent difference ($1.22 to $1.26) between the bills under the Federal Universal Service Charge. Looking at my Terms of Service on wireless.att.com it says:
    “IF WE INCREASE THE PRICE OF ANY OF THE SERVICES TO WHICH YOU SUBSCRIBE, BEYOND THE LIMITS SET FORTH IN YOUR RATE PLAN BROCHURE, OR IF WE MATERIALLY DECREASE THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA IN WHICH YOUR AIRTIME RATE APPLIES (OTHER THAN A TEMPORARY DECREASE FOR REPAIRS OR MAINTENANCE), WE WILL DISCLOSE THE CHANGE AT LEAST ONE BILLING CYCLE IN ADVANCE (EITHER THROUGH A NOTICE WITH YOUR BILL, A TEXT MESSAGE TO YOUR DEVICE, OR OTHERWISE), AND YOU MAY TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT PAYING AN EARLY TERMINATION FEE OR RETURNING OR PAYING FOR ANY PROMOTIONAL ITEMS, PROVIDED YOUR NOTICE OF TERMINATION IS DELIVERED TO US WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER THE FIRST BILL REFLECTING THE CHANGE.”

    (it’s in capital letters in the agreement under “Changes to Terms and Rates”)

    So my understanding is…since they changed it I have the ability to end my contract with them as a result of that change. That ability is limited to 30 days after the bill I receive which reflects the change. Might be useful for AT&T customers looking to jump ship with the new iPhone I would think.

  73. Thor79

    Just thinking about it a little more…but would this kind of change be useful in ending a contract but without ending service? Meaning you could get out of your contract with AT&T for the new iPhone if they make a change like this in the future but still keep your service intact. Or would it require cancellation of the service in order to terminate the contract.

  74. acatzr800

    Thor79.. are you the same as of GWW fame?

  75. anon

    leave it to a jew…

  76. Matt B

    AT&T has actually closed this loophole in their contract:

    You understand and agree that State and Federal Universal Service fees and other governmentally imposed fees, whether or not assessed directly upon you, may be increased based upon the government’s or our calculations.

    I hope all you new 3G iPhone owners are happy when that shiny new toy starts developing cracks in the case. :)

  77. Matt B

    @ anon,

    What a coward. If you’re going to be anti-Semitic, why not do it where everyone can find you and knows who you are?

  78. matt

    tried again today. this was my third attempt. Got lucky with some CSR. He knew it was a loophole, but let me out anyway. 23 minutes (most of it was on hold) and I was out. Got my iphone today. Hope there won’t be any issue with getting the ETF removed based on the note…

  79. Thor79

    @ acatzr800,

    Guild Wars Wiki…yeah I have an account on there by the same name…didn’t know I was famous there though :P (/me goes to check his GWW page). I go by Thor79 on many sites.

    @ Matt B,

    I looked at that part. I believe it means that you agree that there may be increases…but they still give you the option to cancel the contract without the ETF if they do raise the fees. Otherwise it would give them free range to raise your fees all the time without any measure of control. That loophole is what gives us that measure of control. It gives us the opportunity to get out of the contract if we find that the fees negatively impact us.

    And I love my iPhone…no cracks that I can see yet (had it since July 14th)…then again I have a black 16GB…so it wouldn’t be easy to see. All I see are fingerprints (which I don’t mind on the back to much).

  80. This is a great angle of attack! Have you found any clause within the contracts of other service providers (e.g. at&t, sprint, t-mobile) which ultimately may attain similar results?

  81. Nick C

    Great video.

    Is it too late to use this to my advantage and get my ETF reversed?

    I already canceled my account about 3 weeks ago right when the iphone 3g came out. Would it work to say that i canceled it because of the Federal Service Charge..Also i live in California can i just pull the its illegal thing.. since a judged ruled it to be?

  82. CBF

    @MattB and Jay

    What’s with the anti-semitism? Mad that a jew out smarted you?

  83. i’m much too lazy to venture forth with your pearls of wisdom, but thanks for the info!

  84. Chris

    Dude, awesome vid :D

    keep up the good work!

  85. Hastings

    Ditto

  86. Hastings

    @anon

    you’re a moron. sorry : (

    @CBF

    his arguments already worked. enough said.

  87. Dubya

    If a customer service rep at Verizon is rude or fails to live up to the expectations of your contract, I wonder if you should e-mail Verizon Customer Service Vice President Charlie Falco at charlie.falco@verizonwireless.com?

  88. Court

    I’m not a verizon customer and am not looking to cancel my service, but I have to give you huge credit for taking the time to go through this and then sharing it with all of us. Until these fees are illegal everywhere, it looks like a lot of us will be in for similar fights.

  89. DreamEFX

    hmm…what if you’re trying to get out of your AT&T contract…will this work too?

    I’ve never read their contract.

  90. Bravo to you, Ely. I’m a major proponent for consumer rights, and have gotten rebates and undue fees rescinded due to firm and factual conversations with customer service (biggest oxymoron) agents with cable, phone, and even credit card companies.

    I had an incident with ZipCar once after they refused to refund my entire bill after a major faux pas on their behalf. I ended up writing to their CEO in Boston outlining my experiences, and bringing to their attention certain clauses in their contracts.

    Needless to say, I got what I wanted.

    Great tutorial – I think you brought up two major points that people should appreciate when approaching customer service:

    1. be factual
    2. remain calm, coherent, and more importantly, polite

    nice job.

  91. Lauren

    Ely, thank you SO MUCH for this video!

    I’ve been a Verizon customer for 5 years and wanted to switch to AT&T. I tried to get Verizon to switch my husband’s cell number (he’s currently out of contract) to my account and finish my 2 years with that number, but they refused. I thought that was a perfectly reasonable request, so I don’t feel any guilt about canceling early via this method.

    It took me about an hour, 4 phone calls, and speaking to 6 different people, but I finally got them to agree to let me cancel without an ETF. The first 5 people were just straight-up jerks to me, one even told me I was being a bi**h and another one hung up on me. Each one tried to tell me that the FUSC is set by the FCC and not Verizon, and I heard a variety of other arguments as well.

    As you said in your video, persistence, speaking with authority, and refusing to argue with them–just stating the facts–was the key. Each time I was told no (or hung up on), I just called right back and tried with the next person who answered. The final manager I spoke with tried a lot of different tactics with me, but here’s the phrase that won my argument in the end (I repeated this MANY times):

    [Read the start of the "Charges and Fees We Set" section, then read the "Our Rights to Make Changes" section] “I am reading to you directly from the contract that Verizon wrote. Both Verizon and I signed this contract and we are both legally bound to follow it. If you do not cancel my account and waive the EFT you are breaking the terms of this contract. It is not legal for you to refuse to do this.”

    Sorry this response is a bit long, but I thought it might help others to have this phrase at hand, especially since speaking with customer reps can be extraordinarily infuriating.

    THANK YOU again for the video, it was fantastic!!

  92. John Parker

    Great advice, not only for a Verizon Contract but for contracts in general.

  93. davidlick

    Congrats on the frontpage at Digg. You have a great blog and I’ll definitely be coming back.

  94. PK

    You seems to be very smart guy! Do you have some ideas about job termination without notice and how to fight by yourself with a employer.

    Thanks,

    PP

  95. That Guy @ a call center

    I found this vid @ Gizmodo, watched it, and was blown away! Let me explain why: I work at a call center that handles VZW (Verizon Wireless) customer support calls. We are an outsourced company, and to avoid legal issues, I’m going to leave out the name of my employer. But sufice to say, you are right on in re: the vid. Now, also be aware that there are multiple outsourced companies that VZW has contracted with. There is at least one company with two call centers (one in Las Vegas & one in Madison) that are nutorious within our litle circle for being douche bags. They will routinely screw up your acct, not give you the credit they say they’re going to and we wonder why they are even allowed to has access to the same system as the rest of us. For the most part, us customer service reps (CSRs) pride ourselves on helping the customer, at least I do, personlly. But this OTHER company has been known to insult customers and even hang up on them. But I digress….

    The original point to this post is the FUSC. It is mandated by our wonderful gov’t that VZW pay this fee.

    Verizon Wirless CHOOSES to, in turn, pass this fee on tothe customer!

    The video is DEAD ON.

    We have no argument against this, I’ve looked it up w/my resources.

    Now, keep in mind that most CSRs are willing to work w/you. We are going to (or should) do everything in our power to keep you as a customer. We are a business and businesses need to have customers and money. But if you are truely hell bent on getting out of your contract, you can do so. And it appears that this is a fail safe way.

    Sorry for the long post, just thought I’d give you an “insiders” look at this.

    Later!

  96. It is all fine and dandy though, but Verizon is the ONLY cell company that has coverage in most of the country, for as long as I need a cell phone I could not dream of entering in a contract with any of the other bastard companies out there.

  97. Tim

    Ely,

    Dude, you ROCK!!

    I’m just signing up now with T-mobile, and they have some pretty hefty restrictions on their contract. (I noticed that Letstalk.com only provides 2yr contracts. And T-mobile cuts you no slack if you just want the service and no fancy new phone.)

    Does your Verizon information apply with the other carriers pretty much the same way?

    Rock on, Ely! Thanks!

  98. Zane

    I just looked at Alltel’s terms to see if the method could be used on them too. Looks like they beat me to it though:

    “A material change is ONLY a change that (a) terminates or substantially reduces the availability of a Service for you or (b) results in the increase of any charge by more than ten percent (10%) of the monthly access charge for that Service. Material changes in your Service DO NOT include the increase in, or imposition of: (1) any charge required to be collected by any governmental authority, or (2) any charge permitted to be collected by any governmental authority to recoup our expense for the provision of a service required by that governmental authority.”
    I guess I’m still stuck.

  99. Tw

    Yeah, really a nice one, man. Thanks

  100. Bobby Frick

    Hi I was just wonder if you can get me out of my 011 Mobile contract. 011 Mobile is a small business, a partner with Verizon. I just hate 011, but it has good international calls which is good for me (I am a businessman who works back and forth between the US and Japan). 011 has terrible call quality and stuff. Can you help me
    please, their website is http://www.011mobile.com

    Really nice video by the way. This what got me thinking. I will tell my friends to check this website out. Intersting stuff!!!

  101. Berto

    This worked great for me. I only had to speak with one rep and it took all of 15 minutes. I went step by step per the video and remained firm but nice and there was no problem. I called back an hour later to double check the notes and everything is set for my disconnect. THANKS FOR THE INFO ON THIS!!!

  102. Jeff

    This is my story. My wife called and tried the argument about the FUSC tax. No luck. I called and made the argument and was given the run around and was told that the tax was imposed by the govt. and that it was not a change in my contract. Talked to supervisor and was told after some heated conversation that it did not matter who or how many times I called back the answer would be the same. Found this video and called back with more ammo and it worked like a charm. I was very polite to the CSR and explained to him that the previous CSR that I talked to did not understand what I was doing. First I had him pull up my July bill and had HIM read where the rate went up, then I had HIM pull up the Customer Agreement and read the section under “Charges We Set” he put me on hold and in a few min. came back and cancelled my service with no ETF. Great Video and advice. Thanks

  103. Ben from SC

    Thanks so much, I hope V doesn’t come after you legallay, I’m sure they are getting alot of calls and I’ve seen a link to your vid on a couple sites. Thanks so much for your help. After a couple of calls I got a girl named Gretchen to look at the contract and my bill. Her manager was busy, so she stated she will call me back within 30 min to end my contract. Just waiting for her, wish me luck!

  104. Good tip. I wish I thought of this a few years ago.

    I had a problem with Verizon and it ended up being cheaper to pay to break my contract and go with another carrier in order to get my broken phone replaced at a reasonable price. In light of this “simple math” Verizon was still willing to let me go after being a wireless customer for several years.

  105. Kevin

    Talked to a supervisor for almost two hours on the topic of what constitutes a “material adverse effect” The argument was that mere pennies and a small percentage increase cannot possibly be such a big effect that it would allow me to cancel my contract under these terms. I asked him me not paying the $175 termination fee would be a material adverse effect for Verizon Wireless, he said it would be. I then preceded to tell him that last year Verizon’s revenues exceded 93.5 billion dollars, and that $175 is less than one billionth of a percent of that revenue. How can he consider one billionth of a percent to Verizon Wireless as a material adverse effect, and a tenth of a percent raise for me as not. He forwarded me to his supervisor who will call me tomorrow…

  106. Ben from SC

    My advise is to call back. Do not waste time on a call back. The girl I spoke with called me back and got her supervisor to approve the waived ETF. She even emailed me a copy of the note left on my account. If you get a CSR rep that wants to argue, you probably won’t get anywhere other than a waste of air. Call back until you get someone who will actually look at your bill than read the contract word for word. The lady that finally helped me was so nice that i almost felt bad canceling my contract…almost. Remember this is there job, be nice. Good luck to all!

  107. Ben from SC

    sorry i met their, gee its getting late. thanks again Ely!

  108. GEORGE

    hey ely is there anyway to get this to work with sprint. i have been trying for hours and it is not working. i actually got it to work and got my number ported out but then sprint still applied the charge. the reps said that this took place in januarary when a notice was given out and i could have got out of my contract then. i then pointed the rep to my previous months and showed them how the fusc rates have been changing and the rep said that i had 30 days from jan 1 2008. i do not know what to do next i am at a loss and my number will be lost soon if i can not get it released from sprint. could you email me or anyone who would know what to do with sprint my email is georget811@gmail.com…..thanks hope you can help

  109. banditto

    for what it’s worth I’m not a lawyer but trained as one–went to college but never took the bar exam. If a few people press the issues brought up by Ely and take them small claims court you will be setting a legal precendence. So in effect every case that Verizon loses (or whichever carrier) is like a bullet for the next person to use in court when trying to get out of their contract. This is in effect how they got it on the books in CA.

  110. raymo

    I tried doing this method about a month ago and it didn’t work for me. I spoke to 3 different people + 2 supervisors and they just wouldn’t budge. They offered me a credit to my account, which I declined. The last person added a note to my account that said that I declined their credit and that the ETF WILL NOT BE WAIVED. I cancelled anyway because I really wanted the iphone.

    Today, I tried calling back to see if I can get them to remove the ETF by claiming that they promised they would remove it, and now it’s on my final bill. The CSR found the note saying that I declined the credit and the ETF stands, but I told her I spoke to someone else after that who promised me that they would notate my account that no ETF will be charged. No dice. I asked for a supervisor and then I was put on hold indefinitely.

    Any advice please?

  111. GL

    Works for T-mobile too. They recently raised their messaging charges (which other carriers might have done too), so I invoked item 5 of their terms and conditions, which reads very much like Verizon’s.

    It was pleasant dealing with them. You get the same offers to keep your contract (it was expected), but as long as you insisted that you wanted to cancel your line, they relented.

    Props to T-mobile customer service…

  112. This video is AMAZING. You could have called it cell phone company PWNAGE. I have a few friends that could really use this and they have other carriers but similar rules should apply. As soon as I saw this via an RSS feed, I immidiately sent the videos out to some people. Thanks Ely.

  113. raymo

    UPDATE: I called back and asked for a supervisor right away. I explained the situation to him and he immediately put a credit onto my account for the amount of the ETFs. He said that it should be reflected on the account by tomorrow. Sweet!

  114. Hanna

    PROPS Ely!!!!!!
    This was ingenious! It took me about an hour—a long hold after i asked to speak to a supervisor, the rep came back and said “i have gone over a few things w the supervisor and we are going to credit you back for the early termination fee”
    YIPPPPEEE
    i actually ported my number out on Friday, and i didn’t see this video until late sunday night, so I had to wait til this morning and was skeptical since it had already canceled the account but it worked!!!!
    I just called back to verify the credit and its credited!!
    Thank you so much Ely!!!!!

  115. raymo

    Hanna — Did they tell you that your credit will be reflected on your bill THE NEXT DAY? That’s what they just told me, but I’m not 100% sure that I believed the supervisor. He said that he would email me a confirmation once the credit has been applied (tomorrow). I got his name and badge number too.

  116. Hanna

    I called back within 20min to verify that credit- and the rep said that it shows the credit and my account balance was $0.

    one thing i thought was kinda funny though- the initial rep i talked to- she was pretty nice, not pressing, but in the end she said ‘ i don’t have access to your customer agreement ‘ and i thought- what customer service doesn’t have a copy of the customer agreement… so that was when i asked to speak to the supervisor who would have a copy of the agreement… so i never go to speak to a supervisor but she came back and said she went over things w the sup.
    Good luck!!!

  117. Rick Matkinson

    Ely,

    I started the battle at noon today. The first lady I spoke with seemed very nice, repeated what I wanted and was possibly about to go through with it until I claimed I wanted to cancel at a specific date. I was then transferred. I continued through the ranks answering the questions laid out on your site with both your responses and the most useful arguments I found throughout the posts. Eventually I reached a supervisor who offered the credit. She stated that since they were negating the the material adverse effect by offering the credit I could not follow through with the contract. Insisting that when I signed the contract it did not state that deals could be made to void the effect and that I wanted to carry through with the contract came to no avail.

    I called back a second time stating that the supervisor I spoke with did not address my concern and I wanted to speak with a different supervisor. This supervisor further offered me credit and insisted that if I had experienced material adverse effect I could carry out the contract, however fifteen cents did not “seem to her” like material adverse effect. She was impatient with my rebuttal that Verizon hasn’t stated and consequently can’t subjectively decide what constitutes material adverse effect.

    She offered to transfer me to an associate director after she was well aware that I had recorded all conversations (mostly contradicting one another), names, and identifications and threatened small claims court.

    Do you have any advice on how to use the information I have during my discussion with the associate director. Also did you simply restate the issue in your letter to Verizon because that was the only option I was given the first time around and it certainly feels like I’m going to be hit with it again.

  118. raymo

    Just called back to confirm — and the credits ARE on my account. YES!

  119. Hanna

    Sorry to keep posting- but just to put a little humor into your life at this very frustrating time to get our $ back or not be charged ETF fee…

    you have to listen to this audio on George’s blog…. maybe you can play it as you wait on hold… hahaha

    http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/2006/12/verizon-doesnt-know-dollars-from-cents.html
    “click here for audio”

  120. JRay

    I just called…was on the phone 10 minutes..told her “you’ve probably already got a million of these calls…but, the change is an adverse effect”. I told her I read about how to argue the contract online, and can go over all the points with her if she’d like. She put me on hold, came back, offered the credit, I said now, put on hold again, said sorry to lose your business.

    Now I will wait a few minutes, call back and verify. Saved myself $350!!!! Thanks dude!

  121. Robin

    Grrrr! I am getting the same argument from a supervisor insisting that they negate the “Material Adverse Effect” by offering me a lower rate on my service plan. When I told him I don’t have to accept, he just said that is all I can do! A director is suppose to call me back tomorrow…Has anyone won that argument yet?

  122. Kristen

    Ok, heres the deal, i am with tmobile and they are increasing their text messages aug. 28, i tried to get out of it but now they have a thing where you have a choice of blocking messages, so they say i don’t have the otption to cancel without paying ETF. Is there any other way i can get out of this? Im doing research on the taxes and stuff to try and find another way, i want to port my number to ATT and get the iphone 3g. Please help me!

  123. Kristen

    Ok, I just looked up my taxes for the last 3 months, there has been changes, every month. In May I didn’t even have a Federal Universal Service Fund, and the next 2 months I have one for .88!! My State communication went from 1.00 in may to 4.77 in july!!! Along with the local communication went from .63 to 3.02 within 2 months! But, no where on my “taxes and fees” does it say anything about waiving the ETF, no where! This is ridiculous!!

  124. how do you do it for AT&T?

  125. Ryan Fuller

    Thanks for the advice. I have 3 lines and would like to cancel one of them. I just did, but it was within 30 days of purchasing. I don’t have to pay the ETF if i return the phone. Is there anyways this will still work and i can keep my phone?

  126. web

    Well played my friend. Well played.

  127. Just a quick question.
    Could I use this method to remove one line of service from a contract?
    My mom is on my plan, but wants to switch to ATT.
    Thanks, Adam

  128. John

    this really does work in a way, I did not get my ETf waived, but after talking to the manager for a while about how tthis works, he told me he would let me go for only 65 plus pro-rate my last bill towards the ETF, so around 40 bucks woop woop!

  129. Robin

    Incase anyone needs to use the argument (brought up earlier by Ely) that your carrier isn’t REQUIRED to pass on the FUS charges (like the rep I was talking to asked me to prove) Here it is, right from the FCC website:
    http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/phonebills/samplePhonebill.html

    QUOTE BELOW:
    Universal Connectivity Fee (Universal Service Fund), Federal:

    Because telephones provide a vital link to emergency services, to government services and to surrounding communities, it has been our nation’s policy to promote telephone service to all households since this service began in the 1930s. The USF helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans, including consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, schools and libraries and rural health care providers. Congress has mandated that all telephone companies providing interstate service must contribute to the USF. Although not required to do so by the government, many carriers choose to pass their contribution costs on to their customers in the form of a line item, often called the “Federal Universal Service Fee” or “Universal Connectivity Fee”.

  130. Kelley

    I just did this and it worked! I had all of the information in front of me and it took only 5 mins!

    But the guy was a little weird about when they would stop billing me.
    Thanks!

  131. Chad

    They are absolutely not budging on this, even though I had all the above arguments well organized and remained calm and patient. Several phone calls and nearly 2.5 hours and no movement. One of the supervisors admitted they have had internal meetings about this issue over the last few days. Also, each rep I spoke to has apparently “noted” the denial of the ETF waiver in my file, making it even more difficult to deal with the next person when I call back.

    One individual tried to argue that these FUSC rates change all the time, and because I failed to do anything about it the very first time it happened, I had waived my right to invoke the 60 day rule on this latest change as it related to the FUSC charge. Their logic and reasoning skills are not good.

  132. Scott

    I’m experiencing the same as Chad. They apparently have put 2 and 2 together and have gotten many calls about this. Last rep I spoke with even said they had a corporate email go out about this. It seems they are flat out denying that they have to honor the FUSC as a way terminate the contract. Anyone have any pointers? I’m not giving up yet.

  133. Alex

    Scott, Chad – I just got off the phone with these so called representatives. Talk to one Rep, one Manager, and got a call back from an Associate Director. (All Males)
    They’re not budging and they also as you said made a note on my account not to waive the ETF.
    The Associate Director gave me the FUSC # so I can call and dispute my claim than call back? I didn’t understand. I told him I had nothing to do with them and that fee is passed onto the consumer.
    I don’t know, my phone is on eBay so I may just have to take the heat. However, I kind of want to give just because he already made a note on my account and it feels like no point to make an argument.

    Let me know if you all have any incite.

  134. Mike

    Wow, just did this. Worked like a champ.

    I started off very cool and told her that i’d seen there was a change in the price and according to my contract it says if there is a change in price i can cancel within 60 days. She said she doesnt know if that constitutes a change and put me on hold and came back in 2 mins w/ some offers very politely and i told her sorry i just want to cancel that was that.

    Also watch what you say. While she was entering everything in the comp after she agreed to cancel, she asked me again what was the reason why i wanted out. I obviously said the charge but if you say something wrong there it coulda back fired. She also sounded kinda cute ;)

    I think they got alot of calls on this and if you say it the right way the supervisor knows he/she has to adhere to the contract.

  135. josh

    is the fusc based off of the amount of the bill? or is it a flat fee every month? because i made some changes to my plan and im not sure if it changed because of the changes i made or because the fusc changed.

  136. Awsome information, thanks for taking the time to figure this out.

  137. niccernicus

    Does US Cellular have this covered. Here’s an excerpt from my bill:

    * * * CHANGE TO FEDERAL USF CHARGE * * *
    The Federal Communications Commission recently announced an increase in the Universal Service contribution factor. As a result, the Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) charge will increase from 4.19% to 4.23% as of July 1, 2008. This charge is calculated as a percentage of your wireless service charge and may be adjusted quarterly.

    So, I guess using my phone after 8/1 negates that charge as it was given to me in writing, correct?

    Side question, shouldn’t the ETF amount be posted somewhere on their site?

  138. Aaron

    Ely,

    Thank you a million times over. My fiancee’s mom works for UPS and they have service through AT&T (family plan) and got free Blackberries and all I could do was envy until I came across your blog.

    It took me a few times but I finally got someone today who was willing to help and understood where I was coming from with the contract and waived the ETF for me.. She also stated that offering credits related to tax increases are not permitted. I’m thinking I may have gotten an outsourced call center the first few times I tried.

    Thanks again!

  139. Jeff

    I can’t believe this worked…

    My wife and I really want iPhones but we were stuck in our Verizon contract until October of 2009 (and our current phones are lame). I called Verizon tonight and went through a similar process. I started out by speaking to a normal representative. She read me several scripts and informed me that FUSC changes do not apply to waiving the early termination fee. I asked to be transferred to her supervisor, got put on hold for about 20 minutes. A nice man came on the phone, asked me about the issue and I explained. He similarly explained that they now have a policy against waiving the fee because of FUSC changes. I told him that they can have whatever policies they want, but that doesn’t mean their policy has anything to do with the contract that I signed. He chuckled and told me that I had a good point and put me on hold for a couple of minutes. He got back on and explained that he had accommodate my request and that after midnight tonight I will not be subject to an early termination fee.

    I then hung up and muttered to myself “… I can’t believe that worked…”

    THANK YOU!

  140. DT

    It works!! It took me two phone calls and about an hour, all together. On the second call, I got the CSR to agree to what I said, but she said that a manager needed to sign off on it. I waited on hold for a while and then spoke to Mike. Mike was super-pleasant and agreed to waive the ETF. He says I won’t even have to call back to make sure it happens… but I took his name and ID # just in case.

    Thank you, Ely! You just saved me $440 (I had 4 lines with Verizon). Can I get you a beer or something? You rule!

  141. Nobs

    Just spent about 50 minutes on the phone being stonewalled by the first two people. The first one kept trying to tell me that the increase on my bill was because my bill was bigger! I pointed out that the PERCENTAGE of the FUSC had increased. Then she tried to tell me that it was not a price change, but a Federal charge, and I corrected her on that.

    The second guy argued the semantics of the Customer Agreement. He also tried to sidetrack me and asked me to explain why I was so dissatified with the service. I told him I wanted to focus on the fee increase.

    The third was an Assoc Director who has promised to get back to me. My concern was that my 60 days are up tomorrow. He assured me that the phone call was recorded and that my account was noted. He promised me a call back on Monday, but said it may be today. Stand by for further info.

  142. This worked for me. It took one phone call and only 5 minutes of my time. If you’re worried that this “technique” is spreading too fast, rest assured. The rep I talked to said that she’s never heard anyone complaining about the FUSC, but she agreed that it was a valid reason for getting out my conctract whilst waiving the ETF.

    When you talk to your rep, and you get a feeling that you A) can’t relate to them or B) can’t really make them laugh, then hang up and try again. My first phone call was to a guy who sounded like he was having a bad day, so I hung up and tried again. The second time, I reached a very friendly woman who was happy to help me (especially after I made her laugh a few times).

    If Ely had originally lucked out by calling a friendly rep, then he probably wouldn’t have even been offered a credit or had to wait from calls from managers.

    Don’t be fooled. The first rep you talk to has full power to cancel your plan and waive your ETF.

    Good luck!

  143. Ridley

    Wow, you are annoying and you come off as a shill for AT&T at the end, you really blew your credibility on that aspect.

    Also, work on your production values, that light switch in the frame is really distracting.

  144. Tim

    Ridley:

    Get a life, you lame-ass twit.

    Ely did a HUGE favor to everyone on the ‘net, and you’re criticizing that he did a short video in his living room in “less-than-professional” conditions?

    Hey moron, it’s a HOME VIDEO. Get it??

  145. Ridley

    hahahaha he’s shilling for AT&T

    your e-rage amuses me.

  146. jimmy

    Spent 30 minutes and transferred to several people, they would not budge. The last supervisor I talked to went so far as to SUGGEST getting a lawyer and pursuing legal action. Does anyone have a name of a person they got to do it? It would be great to get someone already familiar with it so you don’t have to keep making your case.

  147. Aaron

    Just wanted to post an update on my rant from a week or so ago. I was eventually able to escalate my call to the east coast executive customer service reps and after going back-and-forth with the rep for about 30 minutes, she offered to pro-rate my last bill and gave me a credit on my account to help dampen the ETF. In the end, I ended up paying a very minimal fee to cancel. It IS possible! Just took a lot of determination. If you are really stuck, do a google search for the verizon executive customer service team, and call them up. It’s worth it.

  148. Amy

    I have to agree with the first post. You are the man. My husband and I agreed that I would call (calmer presence and all), but I was a little worried. I watched your video, and became excited for the challenge. Then I called. The initial rep I talked to tried all of the things you had said, which I had a ready answer to (Thanks!), then I went to a supervisor, who was very nice, and offered me the world. I said no, very nicely, and she made the note. Done. And I must say, in probably a record of 38 minutes. Thanks so much! Looking forward to my iphone.

  149. RECAP:

    I was able to cancel the rest of my 1.5 year verizon contract in a mere 21 minutes (beat that, Amy!), without paying an ETF. I used the FUSC method Ely outlined, and it worked like a charm.

    UPDATE:

    I recieved a messages asking to call a top verizon rep last night. I returned the call this morning. (8/13/08). I was a little concerned that they found out the FUSC thing was a ruse and a $0.15 increase in my bill was not materially adverse by common law, and would re-instate my contract because I snuck out on faulty terms.

    However, that was not the case. When I called back, a very sweet representative asked (begged) me to come back. She offered me 2 free months of service and a bunch of other perks. I politely declined. She asked me why I left. I reiterated my FUSC fee argument, threw in some info about dropped calls in surrounding rural areas and then voiced my real opinion:

    Verizon was the first wireless company that was offered the iPhone contract from apple, and they rejected the offer. I said that if they had never done that, then we wouldn’t have been in this position. I really wanted an iPhone, and I got one. Since that meant switching to a competitor, it results in another lost customer for Verizon.

    The rep then continued to talk smack about AT&T service (3G only has 45% nat’l coverage, verizon has 90, blah blah). I politely declined her offer, and she said that for every 1 person that leaves, they have 2 people come back. Seeing that my caffeine high was a little too euphoric at the moment, I didn’t feel like calling BS on her dubious claim.

    All in all, Verizon has been a great sport about this. I really think that the key to dealing with them is to be friendly, honest and succinct. Sincerely talk with these reps like you would an old friend, and the results are pretty magical.

    Thus, here is another happy iPhone user who switched to AT&T without a hitch. I really think there is a suit in a Verizon skyscraper somwhere beating his/her head against a wall because they declined Apple’s offer.

    Good luck!

  150. Erik

    Brilliant video! I was able to get Sprint to refund both $200 ETFs when my wife and I switched to AT&T for iPhones. The rep refused at first suggesting that I need to have my lawyer contact their legal department as their is no flexibility on this fee, but I held my ground and after thirty minutes of holding for a supervisor (and another 30 of arguing the semantics of their contract) the rep broke and gave me a $400 credit for both ETFs.

  151. kid

    I just went through my Verizon account and I found the following:

    Our Rights to Make Changes
    Your service is subject to our business policies, practices and procedures, which we can change without notice. UN LESS OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW, WE CAN ALSO CHANGE PRICES AND ANY OTHER CONDITIONS IN THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME BY SENDING YOU WRITTEN NOTICE PRIOR TO THE BILLING PERIOD IN WHICH THE CHANGES WOULD GO INTO EFFECT. IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE YOUR SERVICE AFTER THAT POINT, YOU’RE ACCEPTING THE CHANGES. IF THE CHANGES HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON YOU, HOWEVER, YOU CAN END THE AFFECTED SERVICE, WITHOUT ANY EARLY TERMINATION FEE, JUST BY CALLING US WITHIN 60 DAYS AFTER WE SEND NOTICE OF THE CHANGE.

    My concern is that I might have used my phone after I recieved there mail (I think so..I dont open all mail I get).

    Is this going to prevent me from opting out of Verizon contract without paying EFT?

    Please advice.

  152. Tyler

    Worked for me. The first time I called they were asses about it. The second time I called about 30 minutes later I was really nice and got a nice lady on the other end. She tried to tell me it was a tax and I read the Prices We Set paragraph and the Early Cancellation without ETFs paragraph and that was it. She put me on hold for about 5 minutes and came back and said my service was cancelled.

  153. Tyler

    I just posted. I set the record. It took me 9 minutes according to my last call timer.

  154. Alex

    Finally cancelled!! ;-D
    Called earlier in the morning and was on the phone for nearly hour and half by a women who had a terrible accent and could not make a sentence with a factual point or claim.

    Called back 1 hour later was put on hold and the phone call lasted 10 min.
    One thing I’m worried about… Representative noted to me that the Phone will be cancelled immediately however, the actual line it self will be cancelled August 21.
    Also, the bill will show a credit of $145 but, will also show a debit of $145 as well. Anyone else get this information from their rep who was successful? I also took her name and employee # down.

    Great! Thanks Ely! To everyone keep trying, I guess they don’t log their calls. Also, be calm!! My FUSC was only a change of $.02!! and they still did it! LOL

  155. bigdrock44

    great video. im planning on doing this. i looked at the FUSC rate and it went up by $.01 since last month, so technically i can cancel. do you think ill really have a chance though, with it only being one penny?

  156. Nobs

    OK. Week 2. A VM reply from the Account Exec who stated that he could not waive the ETF, and would welcome me to call back to discuss. I did not, yet. I called again and went through the same process, with a similar result of a lady promising to call me back tomorrow. Sounded a little more understanding. However, I did find out that my FUSC has gone up AGAIN on my 8/9 bill. This time a 18.75% increase. The lady pointed out that they had never sent me a written notice of the increase, and, therefore, that the agreement didn’t apply. I politely pointed out that it was, in fact, a worse situation that they had increased my FUSC WITHOUT telling me, and that this could be an issue for the FTC. She seemed kind of shocked that I mentioned that. Stand by for futher news.

  157. Geoff

    Ely,
    I watched this vid, and really became interested.
    Everything you have said makes absolutely perfect sense, and from what I read, has worked for a great many verizon customers.

    I however reside in Canada, and I’m with Telus.

    I got screwed over when my cell died. I had 8 months left to my current contract then, and really didn’t want to pay $500 for a new phone, so telus let me renew for 3 years and get a cheap-o free phone. However, I wanted a dataplan, and a dataphone. No dice.

    I have 2 years and 2 months left to my current contract. I want out. Telus has treated me (along with many others) very very poorly and are only offering me $200 off the price of a data phone (not their discounted price so I’m still having to pay something like $250-300 for the phone) and I’d still have to sign into a 3 year data plan.

    I want out, they’re jerks.
    I’m going to look over my telus bill and see if I can get out the same way you have advised people to get out of their verizon contracts.

    Any advice?

  158. Jeff

    So I tried to get out of my contract today with Verizon and all they said was that they would credit me for the amount that my bill increases by the Federal Universal Service Charge (when it does increase) I argued with the customer service rep and he said that by doing that they are removing it so there’s no adverse effect. So I tried to say no where on the contract says that and he said it doesn’t have to and I just thought that was stupid reasoning. Why should I have to strictly abide by the contract if they don’t? So I just asked to speak with a supervisor and nothing happend really happend. I guess I have to try again. =(

  159. Jon

    Has it been 60 days since this change? I called in today and they said that the changes on the charges were made on the 8th and that it had been more than 60 days already. I do not have the postcard anymore and they want me to fax it in. Does anybody have a copy of their postcard so I can fax them a copy? Thanks.

  160. Jon, I successfully did this over the weekend. The 60 days is from the date you were notified, which is based on your billing cycle. I checked and it first appeared on my July 19 bill. Anyway the change was July 1, so even if your billing cycle is on the first and they actually got the notification on there that fast, you still have until September 1.

  161. Jeff, in the video Ely addresses that argument. Don’t let them get away with not upholding their end of the agreement. At one point I said to them, “I see the part of the agreement which says there is an ETF but I also see the part which says if there is a change I can cancel by calling within 60 days.” Point out that if the ETF part is valid, so is the rest.

  162. Oh, and again for Jon: I don’t remember getting a postcard but if you look at your account on verizonwireless.com you can see pdfs of all your bills. That is how I checked when I was notified (looked at the previous 2 bills). Also, the part about whether it had been 60 days or not never came up at all for me when I was talking to them.

  163. bigdrock44

    ely,

    alright i’ve spoken to a couple of supervisors and one manager and they keep saying that since they are trying to credit me back, that no longer makes it materially adverse. i also mentioned that this could be a case for the ftc (federal trade commission) and the guy said he encouraged it. i kept saying that since they are trying to credit me back, then it is materially adverse and i should be able to cancel. but he just kept saying that they won’t cancel without an etf. what do i do?

  164. CHERYL

    I DIDNT GET ANYWHERE WITH THEM

  165. Kved

    I spent a few hours on the phone tuesday with a few different CSRs, with no results. Basically I was told that the Verizon Wireless legal team had decided that this was not a material adverse effect, and that to contest this fact I would need to have my lawyer contact said legal team. Stonewalled there, by multiple supervisors.

  166. aaron

    this is reaaly quite simple. took me 1 escalation to the supervisor.

    there are 3 main points that you need to make and stick to

    1. the federal universal service charge went up (changed) within 60 days of your call to customer service. even if it went back down, make the point it changed and it could happen again.

    2. You AGREE that verizon has the right to change that fee anytime they wish (page 2 of your statement)

    3. but you in turn (according to the contract) have the right to the cancel service within 60 days.

    THERE IS NO BREACH OF CONTRACT

    you are simply excersing your right to cancel service. you have to make sure you adhere to the fact that the only reason you wish to cancel is because of the FUSC (they will ask you for other reasons), and that you decline the credit of the difference for the remainder of the contract. if you decline, then there is still an adverse affect and you are well within your rights to calmly cancel. remain calm, factual, and it is very smooth process.

  167. CHERYL

    I TALKED TO THESE PEOPLE UNTIL I WAS BKUE IN THE FACE SHE SIMPLY SAID WE ARENT GPOING TO LET YOU OUT OF YOUR CONTRACT. MINE WENT UP OVER NINE PERCENT. CAN YOU HELP PLZ

  168. ernie

    Hey Ely!!
    I’m so excited to see that this is successful with Verizon because I’ve seen it done with other carriers. I’ve been researching and gathering up literature for the past view days and then I stumbled across your video and it just made it all concrete for me. I think I have a ticket in but I want to make sure its valid. My July 2008 bill has an FUSC change but I want to make sure its a change on my. They probably worded it weird to make me think otherwise. Here it is:

    FUSC Change
    The Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC) is a Verizon Wireless charge that is subject to change each calendar quarter based on contribution rates prescribed by the FCC. On July 1, the FUSC changed to 2.42 percent of assessable wireless changes, other than separately billed interstate and international long distance charges. The FUSC on these charges changed to 11.4 percent. For more details, please call 18886841888

    Would you mind letting me know if this is grounds for cancellation? I think it may be the exact instance that you made this video for but I wasn’t sure. Also about porting my numbers to another service provider. Do you think they’d let me do so before complete cancellation and still not try and charge me? Thanks!!!

  169. CHERYL

    I HAVE TALKED TO THESE PEOPLE
    FOUR TIMES MANGERS SUPERVISORS. THEY WILL NOT LET ME OUT. WHAT CAN I DO NOW. GOT ONE MORE WEEK.THANKS CHERYL

  170. CHERYL

    WELL I AM NOT GETTING ANYWHERE WITH THESE PEOPLE AT ALL I HAVE CALLED SIX TIMES. I GUESS I JUST AM LEAVING THEM. ON DISABILITY. CAN THEY COME AFTER ME? CAN I PAY FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH. ANY HELP I APPERICATE IT. THANKS CHERYL

  171. Scott

    Did it. Almost 2 hrs. They got mean, interrupted, yelled, said they would not waive the fee, argued, insulted me for even making the argument, said there was no one above them when there was, but finally they waived it. Escalated 3 times, 2 different managers. At one point I spent 1 hour with the same person who kept on saying “we will not waive the fee, you need to take legal action.” You can do it, you just need to be a shark.

  172. Toby

    Just called and pressed #4 ‘other options’, which led to option – ‘terminate service’. I think a lot of people are talking to CSR on first level. You need to speak to the termination people. They have the authority to cancel ETF. I was on the phone about 25 mins and he used all the arguments posted above. He came back after a brief wait and asked me specifically what was the reason I wanted to end contract (maybe because I had complained about bad reception last month). I said the only reason was because I did not agree with the price increase and that was the only reason. He said the only thing he could do was give me an ETF of half price. I knew I could probably argue further, but for a measly $70 bucks, I will gladly not waste half my Saturday arguing on the phone! So good luck, be patient and nice.

  173. Kved

    Keep in mind that they do keep track of remarks, so when you call back for further attempts, they already have some record of what has been tried. For me they basically said this has already been denied by a supervisor, and I got escalated to another supervisor, who basically cut me a deal and I ended up paying less than 1/3 of the ETF.

    Whether I was entitled to the whole thing or not, I’ll take it.

  174. ernie

    i called today as well. i battled with the tier one csr who knew absolutely nothing about the fusc for about 5 mins then was transferred to the supervisor. I then battled him for a good 15 mins as he tried to lie on me about what the fusc is. He was bent on calling it a tax but when i read him the customer agreement he ate those words. i called him out on it and he would give me a solid answer…hmmm he instead called it a charge, which it is. anyway it ended in him telling me he doesnt have the authority to waive the fee (which could very well be another lie) and that he has to put in some “request” to some legal department which will take 24 to 48 hours to get a response to…i took his info and have to wait till tuesday or wednesday for a response. I wonder what kind of bull they are conjuring up, i almost regret letting him off the phone. i wish i went higher up

  175. Pat

    Ely,

    I’m on a contract with my parents and I want to get out of my contract but my parents want to stay. I was looking through our bill and it showed that the FSUC went up on my fathers line, but not mine. Would I be able to just get out of my contract with your process or would the fee have to be increased on my line for just me to get out of the contract?
    Thanks

  176. Tired

    The FUSC is a charge that can change quarterly up or down. That being said it is not an adverse affect because this is mandated by the FCC. All communication companies have these charges, the difference with Verizon and others is they are up front with thiers. The rep I talked to had me pull out my home phone bill (AT&T) and sure enough there it was. I then had my Son show me his Sprint cell phone bill and yep, it was there. I looked the FUSC up myself on line and through the FCC website, below is an excerpt directly fromt he FCC’s website;
    Universal Connectivity Fee (Universal Service Fund), Federal:

    Because telephones provide a vital link to emergency services, to government services and to surrounding communities, it has been our nation’s policy to promote telephone service to all households since this service began in the 1930s. The USF helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans, including consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, schools and libraries and rural health care providers. Congress has mandated that all telephone companies providing interstate service must contribute to the USF. Although not required to do so by the government, many carriers choose to pass their contribution costs on to their customers in the form of a line item, often called the “Federal Universal Service Fee” or “Universal Connectivity Fee”. The link is
    http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/phonebills/samplePhonebill.html

    All companies charge a percentage of that charge to our customers. If the FCC raises our cost, it is passed on to our customers based on a percentage. Example; The FCC may charge Verizon $100 per line, Verizon charges its customers 1.3% of $100 = $1.30. The next quarter the charge the FCC charges VZW is $125 Verizon charges it’s customer 1.3% = $1.63. Verizon is well within it’s rights to pass these charges on to it’s customer just as every other communications carrier, this is the reason it is no longer waiving the ETF for these charges. Spend more time worrying about real issues in life and not arguing over a charge that may change by pennies every 3 months. If you are going to be an educated consumer look at everything, not one idiots opinion.

  177. CHERYL

    WELL THEY ARE ON TO THIS. SO DOESANT DO ANY GOOD ANYMORE

  178. VZWSUCKS

    CHERYL, you’re right. it’s NOT gonna work. I’ve called 4-5 times within last couple of days spending hours on the phone. it’s been an absolute PAIN IN THE A**. I was really calm the first couple of times, but later had to be a bit defensive. but was never rood. I’ve thrown out 10-15 different arguments, twisted mine and their words, relying on my rather decent rhetorical ability, but to no avail. they’ve obviously caught on and have made sure that there aren’t even a few CSR’s/supervisors that a lucky caller could get to have their contract terminated sans an ETF. it was a good fight, but some of us just jumped on the boat a bit too late. it hurts me to say this, but I’m afraid “the man” is coming out on top this time, fellas.

  179. CHERYL

    THATS RIGHT. I EVEN TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT OF VERIZON. CALLED MY HOUSE. I AM JUST GONNA HAVE TO PAY FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH. I DID CANCEL ANYWAY. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU DO CANCEL. I SEE YOU DONT GO TO COURT. MAYBE HAVE ALL THIS PRINTED OUT WHERE SOME WERE ABLE TO GET OUT AND OTHERS ARENT. WORTH A TRY THOUGH. GOOD LUCK!

  180. VZWSUCKS

    haha wow, you gotta hold of the president of verizon. they actually let you pay $5 a month? you’re talking about paying of the ETF right? I see you’ve already canceled. I’m canceling soon too. probably today. my pro-rated ETF isn’t too crazy, but it stil pisses me off to pay it knowing that the FUSC fee is SUPPOSED to let me off the hook. blehh.

  181. CHERYL

    NO I EMAILED HER.IT WAS ON HERE SOMEWHERE SHE CALLED MY HOME. I HAVE VERIZON HOME SERVICE TOO. SHE WONT LET ME OUT. BUT THEY ARE GOING TO GET ONLY FIVE DOLLARS FROM ME. I LOST MY JOB. TAKE IT OR LEAVE.THATS ALL I HAVE.

  182. THEY HAVE NOT CAUGHT ON.

    I sent Ely’s video to a friend, and it worked for her yesterday (8/26/08). And if they transfer you, then you did something wrong.

    The very first rep you talk to has the power to waive your ETF fee. If they transfer you, that means you’ve reached a) an unexperienced rep, b) a rep who’s tired of talking to you and wants to go on a smoke break or, c) a rep who’s really confused or offended by your claims.

    Be polite, be kind, be friendly. Hell, I flirted my ass off with my rep – I had her laughing within the first few minutes of the call.

    Talk to them like you would an old friend. They’re people too. Don’t demand, don’t complain, and don’t ever make them feel like they did anything wrong.

  183. VZWSUCKS

    Ohh ic. I can’t believe how crazy stubborn they’re being about this. I mean if others have terminated their contracts early w/o paying an ETF starting july 1st because of the change in the FUSC tax, they should be letting out the ppl making the same request as long as it’s before their rule of calling before 60 days (which it still is). so you just told them that you’re gonna be paying $5/month and they were kool with it?

  184. T-Mobile*FREE*

    THANKS for the tutorial on how to get out of a cell contract. I just got my letter today from T-Mobile that stated they canceled my account and waived an early termination fee!

    Thanks again!

  185. T-Mobile*FREE*

    oh, T-Mobile recently raised Text Messaging rates – However, T-Mobile has a 14-day stipulation in their contract so you MUST operate quickly on them if you plan the same method of attack!

  186. Janice

    So I called on Aug 26th and talked to a supervisor who wouldnt do it and then I called back and got another supervisor on Aug 27th. I was on the phone with him for an hour. Now mind you I have two lines of service so I would have to pay two ETF’s. He said they only thing he could do was waive ONE of the ETF’s and give me two months of free service. So after the two months of free service I can cancel and just have one ETF. Not exactly what I wanted but hey! better then nothing!

  187. VZWSUCKS

    Janice, so when that offered to you, was it a direct result of you arguing the FUSC fee increase too?? hmm.. maybe I should try again!!?

  188. VZWSUCKS

    oh, and do you remember your guy supervisor’s name by any chance? thanks in advance!

  189. VZWSUCKS

    Finally, it’s done. I decided to call one last time after reading JON FISHMAN’s post above. it worked, but not completely. talking to a very nice woman supervisor, she kept saying that they just could NOT waive the ETF. 15 mins later, as I was still being very polite and kinda funny, was offered to pay a flat fee of $45 (more than 50% off my final ETF) to once and for all be free of VZW for eternity! I jumped on the offer. it’s obvious that they still do have the ability to waive the ETF, but I’ll take this as a victory and move on. especially cause I’ve already canceled, ported my # over to AT&T, and picked up a 16GB iphone a few days ago =). so far, it’s as amazing as the majority of ppl say it is. thanks again ELY. good luck to everyone else!

  190. B

    I got nowhere. They told me that their legal team said this isn’t a valid charge to get out of contract. They also had the stupidity to tell me that NO ONE has gotten out of the contract using the FUSC…ha! He kept telling me over and over again that the next step I can take is to mail a letter with my complaint, but even then they won’t waive the fee because it’s not valid for ANYONE. I used all the arguments, told them that they are violating the customer agreement and so on. I got so fed up and now I don’t know whether to suck it up and pay $330 or try again later.

  191. ernie

    alright i did it but it was literally a week long battle. started the dispute on saturday was told to wait for a reply for four days and finally ended the dispute today, friday. not a total waiver but a slammin deal $195 for the cancellation of three lines. so im satisfied, plus the rep was extremely nice and tolerant and helpful. thanks for the tips. they will lie to you so be wary. I had called and reached other supervisors while waiting for the original guy to contact me back (dont do that bad decision, be patient). anyways i got two rude ladies who sounded like they would rather die than waive the fee. one was even threatening me and was like “I’m going to put it on your account that this fee does not get waived and I’m gonna make sure no one waives or lowers it”. I showed her…rude woman…

  192. rachel

    there has to be something we can do, my boyfriend and i got both got ours waived by a csr, but then he recieved a call saying it wouldnt be waived because they do not do it for the FUSC, umm BS there is proof all over the internet they do, we are going to try and fight it and tell them they cant do it for some and not others, thats not right!! they made a mistake and need to own up to it and follow the customer agreement. I argued and argued and didnt get it waived but then my bf called and got it waived in 30 min and then told the rep, about me and they waived mine as well.
    UGH.

  193. VZWSUCKS

    rachel, wow can’t believe they actually go through the trouble of calling ppl back saying they’ve “made a mistake.” the first 3-4 csr/supervisors I talked to, I too used the argument of “how am I different from others that got out w/o paying the ETF” argument as a last resort right before hanging up. and they don’t seem to respond to it too well. they’ll simply say something like “well I personally have no recollection of anyone else being let out” or even “you know someone who got out? give me their phone # and I’ll take a look and make sure to call them back to tell them their ETF won’t be waived.”

    they have the easiest time lying to you and seems like they’d say anything to get you off their backs. it’s funny cause out of the 5 total times I called, each supervisor’s explanation of why they can’t waive it was slightly different, and I made sure to argue that as well.

    just keep calling and I’d bet that by the 4th or 5th time, someone is more than likely to give in. when it worked for me the 5th time I called, it was by far the meanest sounding supervisor that did it for me (over 50% off my ETF at the time). so keep pounding away, and since you guys have 2 lines, if not getting the entire 2 ETF’s waived, partial or even just getting the ETF waived for 1 line would be the next best thing.

  194. kz

    Can we still do this? I thought it was 60 days from when we received notice, which was the 19th of July for me since the only notice I received was my bill. The agent pointed out that the FUSC was the same in June and August and slightly less in July. So I am a bit confused now.

  195. writernow

    Wow! This is hopeless. They are saying it is a business policy to just make up the difference in the fee and therefore, I can not cancel since it says in the Customer Agreement that I am subject to their business policies. I asked for the business policy and she refuses to provide it to me or transfer me higher. I have spoken with 6 people. How did you guys do this?

  196. No luck

    Well good for those it worked for. I really hate Verizon, the federal gov’t, and all other big businesses that rip off the citizens it is supposed to protect. Verizon and such companies make too much profit. The government takes a nice chunk and allows it eventhough we put them in office and they are supposed to protect us. No one cares or looks out for the general population and this is sadly what is wrong with the world today. The people who own Verizon spend this extra cash on a 300 million dollar jet rather than a 50 million dollar one. Or buy an 80 million dollar estate instead of a 5 million dollar one. at the cost of so many hardworking regular class citizens.
    More relevantly, I didn’t get out of my contract as the supervisor argued that the FUSC charge is a set rate (set percentage), hence if your monthly bill is different then your FUSC charge will change slightly. How can I argue against a supposed set percentage? It is still a set fee. I tried arguing it doesn’t state it in the contract it is a set percentage fee but they wouldn’t budge. Cell phone companies charge way too much but we all need service. they are clinged onto our pockets forever and the gov’t allows them. I am tired of being raped and abused by exhorbant amounts of money. Swindled and taken for a ride. This will never change as greed and power make the world go round! I guess it could be worse if I lived in another country and we were talking about food and water shortages. but I think we should never settle for less. The average consumer doesn’t have a lot of money and is on a tight budget. The majority of a population will always have less than the minority. Does the minority really need SO MUCH MORE?

  197. I ran acvroos this (person who claims to be a supervisor for verizone here in huntsvile al,
    here’s his coment on the al.com forum board: http://www.al.com/forums/huntsville/index.ssf

  198. oops, sorry for the bad grammar, across,verizon,comment.

  199. Jeremy

    Ok i am trying to find a charge that has changed so i can cancel my contract but the Fed Universal Service Charge has not changed so i was wondering could i like use TX State Sales Tax as any excuse to leave? cause those taxs change alot

  200. brandon

    it works took 6 calls and finally a sweet girl hooked me up….. the fist time i had a manager tell me they go off a general concencus set by the fda on what an adverse affect was .. second time was.. sure we will cancel with no ETA i was so happy. then i was told i couldnt port my numbers… what a kick ibn the pants.. i wanted to slap the guy…. the store didnt like me either.. always take names and id numbers… 3 lines ported and no ETA.. back to AT&T.. i should have never left after 10 years of service..

    Great video !!

  201. Don’t give up hope, youngsters!

    The new iPhone is amazing. I saved $175 by watched Eli’s video and getting my ETF waived; I invested that in cool new iPhone apps and accessories. See you on the road in ’09!

  202. Roger

    Screw Verizon. This did not work for me. They tried to tell me a .10 increase was not materially adverse so I told then “how do you know this?” and asked for a supervisor. She wouldn’t budge and offered me a credit which I wouldn’t take…she said no waiver. No dice here. No iPhone for me til March 2010.

  203. LT

    Hats off to Ely. After three phone calls to Verizon Customer Service and a heated argument with a manager named Andy – I decided to email the Vice President of Customer Service with my experience and complaint. Today I received a phone call from Corporate extending an apology and an ETF waiver. They also mentioned that If I Do Decide To Stay .. they will put me back on a month to month agreement.

  204. DRjr

    I will try to do this. My Blackberry rates were raised from 29.99 to 44.99 and I am going to use this clause of the contract to get out of this contract.

  205. Chad

    Can anyone help me out here on “order of operations”?

    I want to use this as an out for getting my ETF waived, and my next FUSC change should be this month. And I really want to keep my number.

    If I get my iPhone and port the number over, how long until Verizon is notified and terminates my account? At that point I would be calling to dispute the ETF as a result of my leaving the contract. Which really is the way to give the argument the most accountability because you actually did leave and you could say it was because of the contract rights. But what’s their incentive to help you??

    Or, if I make the iPhone transaction and call Verizon right away and “initiate” the cancellation, will they not know yet? Then, little do they know the deed is done, but maybe they’d at least try and appease me.

    The other scenario is that I may want to get the iPhone sometime between now and when my contract is up in March. Has anyone tried getting out of their contract w/no ETF and moving to month-to-month?? You would really think this would be the easiest way to get the ETF waived, because they keep you as a customer. I just don’t know if they’d do it and/or I’d be afraid they’d screw it up and terminate the service.

    I’d like to be able to “protect” myself and make sure I can get my ETF waived before I get the iPhone, but I think the only real way to do it and be sure you keep your number is to port your number first then call to dispute the ETF when its assessed. Or try and get moved to month-to-month, but I’m wondering if anyone’s tried that.

    Sorry for the rambling, but I’m just struggling with the best way to get the ETF waived and keep my number.

  206. Mark

    Well wanted to chime in and give thanks to everyone posting; took me over five calls and going through rude and resilient customer service reps and supervisors. Last night I finally got a hold of a really nice lady that was very helpful and after a short 10 minute call everything was taken care of and my account was terminated and the ETF was waived (credited my account for the ETF amount)

    Thanks again everyone I’ll stress what others have said, read the contract word for word with them if they don’t want to budge. Stick with the fact that this is the only reason your canceling due to the FUSC changing; nothing else.

  207. Praveen

    Thankyou Ely for your great video and thanks a lot guys for ur posts. I want to get out of Verizon for an iphone and my last bill has the following in second-to-last page.
    FUSC Change :
    The Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC) is a Verizon Wireless charge that is subject to change each calendar quarter based on contribution rates prescribed by the FCC. On October 1, the FUSC decreased to 2.39 percent of assessable wireless charges, other than separately billed interstate and international long distance charges. The FUSC on these charges continues to be 11.4 percent.

    My question is can I use the above change as a reason to get out of Verizon. I am confused if there was really any change. If there is no change why would they mention that(well I am just curious not so worried why they need to mention that). Thanks again to everyone. Please reply

  208. Praveen

    I just called them and the rep is not ready to accept, that the decrease in FUSC charge doesnot cause any material adverse affect. I told him that the charge has been increased in July and now it got decreased and I never know when it will increase again. He agreed that he would have did something if it was before 60 days for my July increase, and now he cant do anything. He sounds like, he is okay to waive my ETF if there is increase in price but not decreased :(
    I will bug them again…

    By the way anyone had similar experiences plz share.

  209. andrew s

    can you go into the store and do this? because it seems like it would work better if you went into the store.

  210. jennie

    here is a new change starting Jan 1 09

    Beginning January 1, 2009, the SD Gross Receipts Surcharge will increase
    from 0.0975 percent to 0.11 percent. This surcharge appears in the
    Verizon Wireless’ Surcharges” section of your bill. This surcharge is a
    Verizon Wireless charge, not a tax, and is subject to change. Please refer
    to the “Our Rights To Make Changes” section of your Customer
    Agreement for information about changes.

  211. Gill

    Jennie,
    Are you sure about this change in SD Gross Receipts Surcharge?

  212. Josh

    any new info on charges that are increasing?

  213. John

    I have looked at my bill and see that the FUSC has actually went down for the month of Jan and so have the other charges as well. Any news on when these will change or are there any other way to get out of my verizion plan. I am having issues with broken phones, bad service, ect.
    Thanks,
    John

  214. John

    Here is my Bill for Dec. Do I have any room to argue or is the rates going to go up again in Jan-Feb Bill. Help Me. I want to get rid of this stupid service from Verizon.
    thanks,
    John

    NOV 08

    Verizon Wireless’ Surcharges
    Fed Universal Service Charge 1.32
    Regulatory Charge .07
    Administrative Charge .85
    HI Public Srvc CO Surcharge 2.53
    HI State PUC Fee .21
    HI General Excise Surcharge .80

    DEC 08

    Verizon Wireless’ Surcharges
    Fed Universal Service Charge 1.13
    Regulatory Charge .07
    Administrative Charge .85
    HI Public Srvc CO Surcharge 2.23
    HI State PUC Fee .19
    HI General Excise Surcharge .68

  215. Mark

    My FUSC has not changed for the past 60 days so I have no argument on that ground…but, my original contract with Verizon is from Georgia. I currently live in Minnesota, have changed my phone number, and updated my account. However, the taxes on the bill are still paid to Georgia rather than Minnesota. Is this an arguement for early termination without a fee?

  216. chad bobik

    @jennie

    hi jennie,

    I read your jan 1, 2009 change but how do you know this and where can i find it? I’m just looking for a change and don’t know where it is.

    thanks,

    Chad

    please email me

  217. My FUSC charge was raised 95 cents this months bill cycle am i good to cancel or what

  218. MK

    Have there been any changes in the last 60 days that I can utilize to cancel, and by the way you rock for doing this!! is it state by state or what for changes?

  219. Blaine

    You are a genius man, with the economy the way it is, all I had to say was “man, you know how it is” and the guy was like “yeah, these days everybody’s tight on cash” and shabam. You are awesome.

  220. HI Ely..good info. I am trying to use the same strategy to get out of my Sprint contract. I need to take better notes on your video but it will not play past 44 seconds on any site.
    Is there somewhere I can go to see it in it’s entirety?
    Thanks, Shelli

  221. Whitney

    Hi…I have a family plan and I am trying to switch to at&t so we can get iphones and I was just wondering if there have been any increases in price so that I can get out of my verizon contract without any fees.

    Thanks

  222. Anonymous

    @Whitney
    Has anyone actually successfully used the January increase in FUSC as a means of canceling?

  223. Anthony

    After speaking with only a total of 3 reps, I was able to cancel 2 lines with Verizon without having to pay the ETF! I’m pumped – iPhone here I come. I was going to use the FUSC tactic but my charge has actually decreased the last two months. So I instead played on the Administrative Fee change even though it has been more than 60 days. It took about 35 minutes on the phone and a call back from Tier 3 CS Rep. Tier 1 (who answered the phone) basically just listened to me for about 5 minutes and then transferred me to Tier 2. #2 told me that even if she wanted to, she could not waive the fee. So you have to get to the Tier 3 rep (who apparently has the authority to waive the ETF) and you have to stick to your guns – just like Ely says. And he is right, the hardest part is overcoming their offer for some type of credit. Just keep saying no. GL!

  224. Anonymous

    @Anthony
    Which admin fee are you talking about?

  225. Does anyone know about Alltel and if their contract has similar loop holes. I just paid $200 to cancel (oops, too late) but am waiting to bring my wife over to AT&T and the glorious iPhone. I look forward to any comments from Alltel customers who have tried and been successful with this kind of approach. Thanks!

  226. Thank you very much – these look great!

  227. Mark

    @Trust Seals

    Alltel does not have any loopholes that I know of. I got out of a Verizon contract pretty easy by moving to an area that does not have Verizon coverage. Alltel told me when I moved again, too bad, we haven’t changed anything…too bad. And they are true. If you figure anything else out, let me know. Even with the Verizon and Alltel merger, they are willing to honor the contracts, so no out there.

  228. Liz

    This did not work for me. I tried using the FUSC as my argument. It increased .04 cents between two months. I talked with 3 supervisors and 3 service reps. They refused to waive the ETF stating that the FUSC is a percentage of my total bill and that has not changed.

    I think I’ll wait for them to change something else like the administrative fee. They wouldn’t budge for me and I spent over two hours of my day arguing over the phone.

    This sucks.

  229. Michael

    I really want to get the iPhone. I want to leave Verizon and get on AT&T and get the iPhone.

  230. Immy

    Hey everyone,

    Is anyone able to assist me in the termination of my bell contract? I tried to read the contract but I cant find exactly where anything similar may be. All contracts are the same no matter where you are in Canada for bell. I would really appreciate any help! I am seriously tired of 55 a month.

    Thanks!
    -Immy

  231. Evan

    @Liz
    If the FUSC is a percentage of your total bill, and the FUSC gone up, then your total bill must have gone up. There’s no way they can argue that nothing has changed. SOMETHING has to have changed for them to have increased your FUSC payment. If the FUSC percentage went up, then that is still a change in contract.

  232. Robert Forgette`

    I have been following your instruction verbatim and to no avail… They tell me that the notice was sent a year and a half ago telling me the Federal Universal Charge is based on my current months bill and I had 30 days from that notice to appeal. Despite all my efforts, they won’t budge. I’ve even been asked to fax over what I’m reading in their contract… LMAO Only to be told they won’t budge. I’ve been a Verizon customer for more than 7 years and have been continuously overbilled throughout the timespan. I’ve even had credit checks mailed to me on 2 occasions for more than $700.00 per check. My last bill was even credited more than $130.00. Seems I have to call in every 2-3 bills for these types of adjustments. I have 6 lines of service, one of which is a wireless internet card. I’v e recently switched to a Blackberry on my main line and am using LESS services and applications than ever. Also, 2 of the phones are now just sitting in a drawer and yet, my bill is almost $200.00 higher. I am being taken advantage of and wish I could get further, personalized help from you ASAP. Please tell me you’ll help me or I’m thinking I will be paying $175.00 X6. Ouch!!!

  233. Reese

    Can this get us out if we pay for the unlimited video and pictures?
    “Picture and Video Messaging Pricing Change
    Effective 05/03/09, when you send a picture or video message to multiple
    recipients, you will be charged once for each recipient. If you already have
    a messaging bundle, these messages will apply towards your bundle
    quota. If you are on a Pay-as-You go plan or exceed your bundle quota,
    you will be charged $.25 per recipient.”
    Thanks,
    Reese

  234. Reese

    I just did it. Changed our plan to have a limit on messages, and only spoke to one person, using the old “adverse affect” clause. After fighting them for 6 months, 4 hours on the phone, and even writing the regional manager by actual mail, this: the new increase in fees for picture and video messaging, is what FINALLY WORKED. Hurry up and do this, as you only have until 05/03/09.
    - Reese

  235. @Reese
    Reese
    when was the notice sent for the picture message rate change?

  236. bwcorb

    @Liz
    Yeah – the FUFC rate has to change… the tough part about looking now is – the ammount on the bill changes for January, February and March – but i think thats due to the change in lengths of months.. I’ll be trying Reese’s “out” this weekend.

  237. MK

    Thanks E, I got out. Its so nice to know my rights as a consumer and be empowered to change things when I want to without eating some bogus charge!

  238. Kara

    After stumbling upon your blog, due to my search on how to get out of a verizon contract, I would have to say I am impressed at the wide range of topics you comment and are up to date on. I have a question in relation to this post though. I have been wanting to get an iphone but due to costs, I recently bought a cheaper smartphone phone with verizon thinking I would be just as happy by avoiding paying extra for internet/data usage. I just recently bought a palm centro because this type of smartphone does not require you to purchase a data plan, as does a blackberry or iphone. But after receiving my first bill, I found out that I have to pay to send pix/flix messages because it is considered data usage, which is of course not part of my plan. I have an unlimited text/pix messaging plan but still get charged a data fee sending picture messages is considered transferring data on my palm centro. I was not aware of this until after I purchased my phone and called in after seeing the extra charges on my bill. I have already talked to verizon and tried to tell them I wasn’t aware but because of the wording they used and what they said, I didn’t know how to get around it and ended up paying for what I thought was part of my plan in the first place. I am still frustrated and had more charges on the most recent bill for data usage. So my question is, is this considered the same change of contract that you address in your video? If so, after already talking to verizon and having paid for my bill, do you think there is still a way to get free data usage on my phone or be able to cancel my contract by calling in a complaint?

  239. @bwcorb
    let us know if it works

  240. thomas

    i just called and they told me that they are “just fixing a loophole”. according to what they are saying, before 5/3/09 if you sent the same picture or video message to multiple people, you will be charged for one message. however, after 5/3/09, you will be billed 25 cents for each sent or if you have a text bundle it will count for multiple sent as opposed to 1. they said that because they are not changing the contract and are not increasing the charges of pic/video messages from 25 to 30 cents, it is not a material adverse effect. i tried arguing that if i sent the same picture message to 5 different people, i would be charged 25 cents today. and that if i sent the same message to the same people in june, i would be charged 1.25. i told him that it was a 400% increase in the charge and it was going to affect me. however, both the customer service rep and the supervisor were reluctant to terminate my contract and told me to take this to court.
    Dont give up guys!! TAKE A STAND AGAINST BIG BUSINESS!

  241. adk

    I wasn’t able to get out of my contract either due to the pricing change for picture and video messages. However, according to the USAC, the FUSC charge is going up for second quater 2009 raising from 9.5% to 11.3%. I’m sure that will mean that the FUSC charged passed along by Verizon will increase starting tomorrow. You can check it by calling 888.684.1888. Check out the article at http://www.usac.org/fund-administration/tools/latest-news.aspx#033109 I’m checking and then calling first thing tomorrow to get out of my contract if it indeed does go up!!

  242. Hanh

    I looked under the Verizon Wireless Surcharges and there were no changes EXCEPT CA State P.U.C Fee. What is that? Its also under Verizon Wireless Surcharges section. Would that count?

  243. MovingOn

    I just used the video and picture messaging change to get out of my Verizon contract. The first guy I spoke to put me on hold for 20 minutes. He tried to tell me that the change was not valid because it was effecitive in April 2008 – I guess he thought I was talking about the text messaging charge from last year. Then he told me that it wasn’t actually a pricing change. I reminded him that on my bill, Verizon defines this as “Video and Picture Messaging Pricing Change.” So regardless of how they try to play it off – Verizon calls it a pricing change. He put me on hold and never came back to the phone. This arguement worked when I had to call back the second time. The woman was very nice about it and apologetic that I was left on hold for so long. I asked her to set my cancellation date for the end of my billing cycle – 4/16. She did. I have to call back today to double check that the note is there, but all seems well.

  244. nick

    @ MovingOn

    I have a family plan, with three lines. And I was wondering how I could use the picture and messaging clause. I was wondering if anyone could help me with what to say? Thankss.

  245. SC

    IT WORKED!

    I just ended my 2 year contract with NO termination fee using the “Picture and Video Messaging Pricing Change” which will charge media text messages PER recipient starting 5/3/09

    You have to be persistent and very CONFIDENT that this is your RIGHT. I quoted the customer agreement several times “Your service is subject to our business policies, practices and procedures, which we can change without notice…IF THE CHANGES HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON YOU, HOWEVER, YOU CAN END THE AFFECTED SERVICE, WITHOUT ANY EARLY TERMINATION FEE”(within 60 days) I also mentioned that my friend had terminated their account for the same reason a few days earlier.

    Good luck everyone! This pricing change should be legitimate grounds for cancellations up to 60 days after 5/3/09.

  246. SC

    Correction – you can cancel UNTIL 5/3/09, it is 60days from the notice of change in surface I believe.

  247. SC

    oops, change in SERVICE. lol, I’m tired.

  248. gm

    guys, do you have to have a message bundle before you call? right now I pay a fee for each message. thanks!

  249. bigg dee

    awesome advice. worked great.

  250. SC

    @gm
    No, you don’t have to have a message bundle. This will affect you also, if you send a picture to more than one person, it will charge per person instead of charging as a single text message, like it does now.

    The notice of the pricing change is buried on the last page of your March bill.

  251. Ryan

    What about if the FUSC goes down? Is there still eligibility to get out of the contract despite a decrease in the percentage?

  252. JH

    I wonder how I can port my #’s and get out with no etf. If I cancel using the message bundle, then can i port my current #’s?

  253. we did it. “Picture and Video Messaging Pricing Change”

    the guy we got was really nice and it didnt take more than 10 minutes to cancel it. We called back and doublechecked to make sure they added the note on our account.

  254. Ryan Johnson

    was there a recent change with Picture and Video Messaging Pricing Change that I could use?

  255. @Ryan Johnson
    Yes, that is what we used. The guys didnt even dispute it.

  256. nl.

    Ok. So all you have to do is bring up the change in picture messaging. And how it has a adverse effect on you, and they will cancel without ETF? What should I say?

  257. @nl.
    1. Call Verizon customer support
    2. Mention the picture messaging change and due to that you want to cancel the contract
    3. they will try suggesting a bunch of options
    4. dont budge, keep mentioning the change and how you want them to waive the ETF

  258. Jill

    I have the unlimited messaging..will they still cancel because it really doesn’t effect me? I really want the iPhone!

  259. nl.

    So, After 4 reps, and 2 supervisors. I did it. At first, they acted like they didnt know about the pricing change at all. But I got to a superviosor, and he waived 3 lines, on a family plan. I dont know how many stinking other options they tried to give me. But, It wasn’t to hard.I just called back a couple times to make sure that they noted my account. And now, I’m about to be verizon free(: At&t, here I come.Thanks for all the help!

  260. @Jill
    Jill you need to change that before you call for cancellation.

  261. Jeff

    Well I got through Level 1… but now ive been on hold for nearly 30 minutes. I wonder if anyone will ever get back on the line or if i should just call back… All worth it for the iphone!

  262. Vishal

    will this work with the Federal Universal Charge that Verizon increased? when did this go in to effect? if i do it today will i still be able to cancel? what about my number?? i would like to keep my number when i switch to at&t….sorry about all the questions. :-)

  263. Jen

    Hi, I want to cancel my contract with Rogers wireless… they are putting the cost of the package I have (voicemail, call display) up from $11 (that I agreed to when I first got the cell phone) to $12 next month, I haven’t recieved any notices I just noticed it on their website, I wasn’t sent a copy of the contract since I never actually signed anything, I was called by a rogers agent who was rather pushy even after I told her several times I wasn’t interested, but I eventually agreed and they mailed me the cell phone, I tried to cancel within the 30 days that the sheet that came with the cell phone said I could but the lady I talked too said I couldn’t so I was stuck with it, I really can’t afford it and I’d like to know if this will work with Rogers, if its in their contract.. or where I can find a copy of it since I don’t have one, thanks.

  264. Vishal

    so i call verizon CSR and they said that they would get abck to me in 24 to 48 hours because they have to check to see if the Federal Universal Charge that they increased is a computer error….any ideas on what i should do? please help!!!

  265. Vishal

    @nl.
    Hey nl….did they increase the picture messaging?? if so, when? would i still be able to use that…i tried the federal universal charge that Ely said on his youtube video. verizon told me that it is a computer error. should i keep calling?

  266. ang

    on hold for 45 minutes ,so far

  267. Patrick

    Followed the steps precisely. Took about twenty minutes but mission accomplished. The rep couldn’t have been any nicer about it. Had to walk him through it all as he hadn’t heard of this before. Checked with his manager, they agreed. Done. Great stuff! Off to the iPhone!

  268. gm

    what’s the last days we can call to cancel, regarding the Picture and Video Messaging Price Change? I got this on the bill date March 20th, 2009, so even though the change takes effect tomorrow (05/03/2009) does this mean I can cancel until May 20th?

  269. Please read my story at

    http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/452/RipOff0452294.htm

    the tittle is Verizon Wireless Loyalty Dept I was told i could get out of my contract with no early termination fee because price changes affected me.. but Lakanja Jones denied me Florida Nationwide

    i just updated with the last call i made.. where i recorded one of the reps acknowledging that this change is affecting me adversely but somehow her manager doesn’t have a copy of the contract nor access to the verizon wireless website

  270. Eddie

    @gm
    That’s what I’m trying to figure out. SC said “Correction – you can cancel UNTIL 5/3/09, it is 60days from the notice of change in surface I believe.”

  271. MS

    I know we are talking about Verizon, but I have a similiar problem. I am trying to get out of my Direct TV contract. I recently recieved a notice that they changed the customer agreement, I thought this would be a perfect chance to get out of my contract, no luck. Everyone I talked to say that I would still have to pay the cancelation fee. I looked in the customer agreement after seeing your video but in there it says that directTv have the right to make changes to the agreement It says I have the right to cancel but I may be charged a deactivation fee. And like I said none of the people I talked to would budge on waiving the deactivation fee.

  272. In the contract says 60 days from the day you received notice of the change. i received the notice on my march bill So i’m very close to the last day.. I already called like 4 times so they can’t say i’m past the date because i called before the 60 days..

    On another note this month Increased their FUSC fee which i have also brought up.

    I suppose to get 3 call backs from 3 different managers yesterday. According to their 72 hour call back policy. So far no one has called me except another stupid rep giving more excuses. here is teh email seh send me after our conversation part of it

    “Fernando, thank you for taking some time to speak to me. In speaking to you, you stated that you receive our notice to you, regarding your messaging service. Previously, when you sent one picture message to more than one recipient, it counted as one picture (or video) message. Per the letter you received, you will now be charged for picture/video messages delivered to each recipient. I am truly sorry for this inconvenience.

    I am sorry that the changes mentioned in the letter you received did not impact the terms of your service agreement. Therefore, there is no compensation ( or waiving cancellation fees) to you, in the event that you decide to cancel your service. Please accept my sincere apology in this matter. ”

    I filed a complain with the FCC and the BBB

    https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/getstarted.aspx

    http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

  273. fernando

    I have updated my rip off report.
    http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/452/RipOff0452294.htm

    and I’m very happy to announce that i just received a call from verizon telling me that i can get out of my contract with not EFT. She was very apologetic about the mixed information i got from the other reps. She gave me her number and extension and told me whenever i finish porting my number to give her a call and she also noted my account.

    For a moment i questioned myself for wanting to get off verizon but that moment was shortly lived since i remember all the rude and obnoxious reps i talked to before. And because i want an iphone..

    Note to Verizon abide to your contract and don’t ever ever F with me again

  274. Cory

    @gm

    Question:
    I checked and my Federal Service Charge went up two months ago from .76 to .88. I’ve paid my bill twice now, and used my phone. Is this going to prevent from using this tactic? Should I wait til my charge goes up?

  275. Thanks for this post. I’m going to be doing this shortly because I will be getting the new (not-yet-released) 32 GB iPhone when it comes out in June. I have two questions, though:

    1. Can I simply cancel the contract and stay with Verizon month-to-month until the new iPhone comes out in June or July, or do I have to cancel my service immidiately? (I only have until the 27th to get in on the newest text price increase.)

    2. How do I handle porting my number to AT&T?

    Thanks.

  276. Ok, I am trying to cancel a business account with five lines and go month to month.

    I really only need one line cancelled so I can get the iPhone, but might as well get out of the contract on them all and go month to month while I am at it.

    I called to complain about the increase in the Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC) and i got hung on the last excuse of this video.

    They kept trying to credit the FUSC back to me to “remove the material adverse effect.” I kept insisting to the supervisor that this provision is not in the contract and that I have the right to withdrawal.

    He would not budge after literally 30 minutes of me saying I am not happy with that resolution. He insisted the people have never been let out of their contract because of a FUSC change.

    What do i do? Do I play phone roulette and hope for a different supervisor?

  277. @Chance
    Just call back. I had a really great rep in the cancellation department named Phyllis. She put me on hold for maybe 10 minutes while she consulted with her supervisor, and when she came back she said that as long as the number port is complete and the account is closed by June 1, I won’t have to pay the ETF.

    I have five AT&T phones being shipped (should get here today), so once they’re activated, the VZW account should close. Once the new iPhone comes out next month, I’ll just re-up the 2-year contract.

    Good luck!

  278. Thanks for the reply. I will give them another try.

    Just one clarification, I only want to move one number to AT&T. My parents want to stay with Verizon. Verizon tried to say if I did this to cancel my contract that I could not keep my numbers. Is this true or would I be forced to port all of them?

  279. @Chance
    Porting/closing the account is initiated from AT&T, so I’m guessing all you should have to do is have Verizon put a note on the account that the number being ported should not have to pay an ETF because of the FUSC.

    The only complication could be if the number you want to port is the primary number on the account. If it is, you can have VZW change the account so one of your parents’ numbers is the primary. The catch is that will probably end up renewing the contract on the modified line.

  280. Steve

    Trying to do this and they arn’t biting at all!! They are saying in no way shape or form is a .16 cent increase a material or adverse affect and they have now said twice they will go to arbitration. Now waiting on a manager

  281. miles

    Did anyone recently have success getting out of their Verizon contract?

  282. Kyle P

    Hey so I was wondering if you have any idea if that its either once the new charges are to take affect or if its 30 days around the change of fees

  283. Mike E.

    So I just jumped onto my own contract from my fathers. I was wondering if any of you guys know of any new changes on verizon rates. I have a Blackberry Storm and Hate it!!…I noticed on the bill it said that I was charged $29.99 for email and internet last month…and for this month they are charging me $49.99. I dont know if the $29.99 was for the half a month I didnt use or not, and now they are charging me the actual price. Is that grounds for getting out of my contract. If not what changes are coming that may give me a chance to get out of the contract.

    Thanks

  284. Refreshness

    Thanks for the Video Ely…great to have people like you out there to help. I work in the Verizon buliding in downtown LA and we do not get cell reception in the building. Very ironic if it wasn’t so sad. However, as you may know, they do not guarantee cell reception at all…even in their own building. I also cannot get reception outside on the street near the building which they said would allow me to cancel…at first. I called in March and they started a Trouble Ticket but never followed up. Now they are doing it again but said I wont be able to get out. I am appalled at the awful customer service and want out. I need to be able to use my phone at work and not have to go out and walk 2 blocks to use the phone.

    Have there been any recent changes or fee increases that I can use to get out as I am willing to try anything at this point? Anyone? Thanks!!!!

  285. I called trying for 2 hours. 1st call unsuccessful in the 2nd one they kept offering me a $2.48 cent credit and I tried your arguments finally he told me I’ll have a supervisor call you back. 15 minutes later I get a call and the lady is pissed off she is like you kept my rep busy for 2 hours (this one was really like 40 minutes but whatever) and she says I have to call the legal department and that it isn’t her job even though the “customer” agreement says to call her and then eventually she is like why do you want to change so I was like I hate the service and reception (lie) so she goes fine I’ll cancel your service and waive the early termination fee you will get your final bill in 7-10 days. DONE! Now to get my new phone yer!

  286. Jim

    Have there been any changes in fees recently? I want to get 2 phones out of a verizon contract bc they have terrible phones and want to get the palm pre. Hopefully they have changed something recently!

  287. Monica

    I would also like to know about any recent fee changes! I’ve been wanting to cancel with Verizon for a long time now. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take advantage in the picture messaging fee change since I have unlimited texts ‘n whatnot. I have absolutely awful service at the place I just recently moved to and I’ve called time and time again arguing that my phone calls are constantly being dropped, my text messages can be held for hours before being received, etc. They’ve even sent out a technician and gotten back to me with “Your area is a LOW service area, not no service” not allowing me to cancel without paying the ETF although they have waived overage charges due to the dropped calls and have also credited an extra 250 mins on my account. I just want to cancel! I need help!

  288. Amy

    First and foremost we should all be thanking Ely for doing such a detailed and even video tutorial for all of us to learn from and use for our own benefit. So THANK YOU Ely for all the trouble you went thru & for everything! This was the BEST news I heard in a long time.

    After reading this entire thread along with additional links that have been posted here I went looking to see when I got my notice and now that its June 12th 09 its too late, I really only had til about May 20th 09 to use the messaging price change as my way out of my contract. So I started reading everything on my more recent bills (that could still be within the time line (60 days) to work) I noticed two things on my last two bills (April & May 09), I just don’t know if it’s really enough to cancel my contract w/o the ETF and still be able to port my number, the notifications that I received in my bill are copied and pasted word for word below. Please let me know if this will work or if I should believe the BS that the Verizon reps will give me when I do try to call and cancel… I think since I didn’t receive my April bill until the 26th I think it means I’ve got 60 days from that date to cancel since there’s been a change in the service, and maybe fees? Not too sure. I can’t seem to figure their numbers on the FUSC fee’s either. Can someone read the info below and let me know if this can still be used starting today??? I want out of my contract for both lines so badly but I would like to have the one number ported and the other just disconnected, also both my lines are in my friends name so its really his acct then I’ve got a split off from that. Do you think it’s even possible to cancel just my 2 family share lines and leave his separate lines alone while porting my number? Also does anyone have an e-mail address that could be used to contact Verizon so I could get our entire correspondence in writing? Anyone’s help at this point would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer me.

    My April Bill

    “FUSC Change
    The Federal Universal Service Charge (FUSC) is a Verizon Wireless charge
    that is subject to change each calendar quarter based on contribution
    rates prescribed by the FCC. On April 1, the FUSC for products other than
    the Verizon Hub changed to 2.39 percent of assessable wireless charges
    except for separately billed interstate and international long distance
    charges. The FUSC on these charges changed to 11.3 percent. The
    Verizon HUB FUSC changed to 7.33%. For more details, please call
    1-888-684-1888.”

    “New Picture and Video Messaging functionality – (This was on April & May’s bill)
    Effective 06/01/09, you will be able to send Picture and Video Messages
    to friends on certain international Wireless Carriers. Picture and Video
    messages sent to / from International Carriers will cost $.50 per recipient
    to send and $.25 to receive. These messages are not included in any
    existing messaging bundles. For more information on what countries you
    can now send Picture and Video messages to, visit the International
    messaging page at http://www.verizonwireless.com/internationalmessaging.
    Standard messaging rates will continue to apply in the United States and
    to Canada.”

  289. Very interesting video – I too am leaving Verizon and getting the IPhone. You mentioned that you have a $25 off for the service agreement? I would be interested in that. Can you email me? gregcindyholman@comcast.net

    Thanks so much!

    Cindy

  290. Earl Jones

    Don’t know if this is going to work or not but I initiated the trail of calls this morning to try and cancel my Verizon contract. On my bill that I received for June the last page has a “Notice of Administrative Charge Increase”. Seems like this rate effects everyone and all plans (except pay-per-user) would be included.

  291. Jacci

    I also received my bill fot this month and at the end it had teh “Notice of Administration Charge Increase”….does this mean I can cancel since thye are upping the rate?

  292. Jeremy

    All “Verizon Wireless Surcharges” (ie. FUSC, Regulatory & Admin. Fees) have remained exactly the same on my April thru June bills. Is there any hope that one of these might increase any time soon so I can get the new iPhone 3G S or has Verizon locked these in?

  293. Nicole

    So I just called and they said the Federal Fees fluxuate. It is a percentage of the bill so it not considered part of that rule in the contract?!? What do I do now???

    HELP!

  294. Anthony

    If I cancel my service with Verizon today, it will shut off my two phones. Is there any way that I can take my numbers with me to AT&T once I cancel with Verizon? Someone please help! Thanks so much Ely for this video!!

  295. Casey

    I just called in and used the Administration charge to get out of my contract. It took me less than 20 minutes, and I only had to talk to one person to get it done. I told them to leave my plan open until June 30th so I have time to port my number and had them notate the account saying there was no ETF. :-) It was the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had with VZW actually. Hint: Be super nice and polite to the customer service rep- being one, it definitely helps!

  296. I had been dreading the cancellation call to Verizon for so long that I had gotten an iPhone before I ended my Verizon contract. I have had two phones for two months, just because I didn’t want to have the phone fight with them. Needless to say, that was absolutely ridiculous.

    Thanks to Eli and his four argument rebuttals, I was on the phone for 30 minutes and out of my contract in no time. I’m so relieved. Thanks so much!

  297. N

    My wife and I have both spent hours talking with multiple VZW reps and supervisors regarding the recent administrative charge increase effective July 1, 2009. We are being told that we cannot have the ETF waived because they will credit our account to offset the charges and any adverse effect. I’ve emphasized per Ely’s clip that it makes no mention in the service agreement that we have to accept this offer. Moreover, part of the last paragraph in the agreement reads “This agreement and the documents to which it refers form the entire agreement between us on their subjects. You can’t rely on any other documents or statements on those subjects by any sales or service representatives, and you have no other rights with respect to service or this agreement, except as specifically provided by law.” However, the consistent answer they’re giving us is that we will have no MAE because of the credit and therefore cannot terminate without paying an ETF. Has anyone figured out what to do? I’ve threatened arbitration and told them I would email the VP of customer service (barbara.trinko@verizonwireless.com) and file a complaint, and they just say go ahead. I’m so sick of talking to these idiots and am at the point of exasperation here. Can anyone who’s had success share the name and location of the person who helped you out and can I use you as an example? Please help…

  298. M

    I also made several calls with no luck. Spoke with a manager several times. They offered the credit which I turned down and said they will not waive the etf. They gave me the name and number of their legal department and said I would need to hire a lawyer if I wanted to go further.

  299. Beth

    I Love you ELY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Oh my gosh that was soooo easy. I used the very recent Admin Charges just published in my June bill to cancel. I did EXACTLY what you said & in less them 10 minutes I was done !!!!!!!!!!! Yahoo ! You deserve an award for your brilliant service. I have been trying to get out of the contract for awhile because we want to move to a new service. They did offer the credit but I refused it. Happy dance….I’m free at last.

  300. Beth

    Crap….I spoke too soon. They called me back & said they made a mistake & won’t do it….I am on hold right now. Will update later with success or failure.

  301. Jason

    I called Verizon earlier today with changes in my Administrative and FUSC fees. I was on the phone with a supervisor who simply would call out section titled “Taxes, Fees and Surcharges We Don’t Set” and said “we don’t have to notify you of the changes and as it is spelled out in the contract ‘We may not always give you advance notice of changes to these items” Talk about a pain. I was on the phone with them for nearly an hour and then had to ask her to send me to someone else. She noted that she cannot simply transfer but have someone call me. It’s been nearly 3 hours and no word back. I’m calling them again.

  302. Jason

    I just got off the call with Verizon again and their supervisor was very upfront with me that since Verizon has offered a $5 credit to cover any material adverse affects, that they are not responsible to not charge an ETF. When I pressed them even more, I was told to contact their legal department. At this point, the supervisor would not budge.

  303. Melvis

    Same thing happened to me. They would not budge at all and sent me to the legal department.

  304. This is what I am seeing on my bill…

    “Notice of Administrative Charge Increase:
    Beginning July 1, 2009, the monthly Verizon Wireless Administrative
    Charge for voice and email plans will increase from $0.85 to $0.92 per
    line. For Mobile Broadband plans, the charge will remain at $.06. For
    information regarding this charge, call 1-888-684-1888. Please consult
    your Customer Agreement for information about rate changes. ”

    I am calling in the morning to get this ball rolling.

  305. Robert

    I am on hold as we speak to try this my self.

  306. Robert

    no joy.. I will be calling them back though.

  307. Kelly

    Just got off the phone with Verizon. Escalated it up to a 2nd level supervisor after no luck with general rep and 1st level supervisor. Their line is that they are within legal bounds to offer a credit to the bill for the remainder of the contract as that eliminates the existence of a material adverse effect for me, thus allowing them to refuse to honor the ECF free cancellation. I pushed and pushed, insisting that nowhere in the contract did it state that they were permitted to offer a credit to negate the increase, etc etc, but she wouldn’t budge. Crap! :(

  308. David

    They did this to me as well — i pushed and pushed and push i have 5 lines with VZW and they will not go, i followed each step and argued for 5 hours with 3 different supervisors i’ve now submitted a complaint to the BBB. i moved up and got a higher level supervisor call me and leave me a message i missed her call cause i was on the phone with another supervisor :( i’m so very frustrated with this issue. they raised the FUSC and Admin charge. and they keep saying it isnt an adverse effect. although i state and read the difinition to them of an adverse effect. i don’t know where to go. i’m calling them again in hopes ot get yet another supervisor.
    So far
    STu-Matt-Connie-Todd are the supervisors i spoke with.

  309. Karla

    I tried Ely’s tips to no avail today with Verizon. The rep quoted the line on the bill about the FUSC charge increase as of July 1. She asked what customer service agreement I was reading…told her 9/08/09. She said that the comments on the bill indicated the charges and cannot be let out of EFT because of it. I will try again.

  310. Mony

    Wow, I just tried this with the new FUSC (July 1,2009) charge, and…it took no more than 5 minutes!

    Now I have a note on my acct saying that when I decide on canceling (& port my number), my ETF is waived.

    Lovely!

  311. Anonymous

    @Mony

    Mony– What exactly did you say? What was different that you were able to have the EFT waived? Thanks.

  312. CR

    Just tried to get out of my contract using the Administrative Fee change. I spoke to 2 supervisors with no luck. I was offered a credit and that’s it.

    Any lawyers that can help with Verizon’s new plan of attack of offering credit as a way to “fix” any material adverse issues?

  313. jake

    i tried 3 times and each call was at least 30 minutes, all 3 times they offered a credit but; first time they referred me to the legal bored and said i could write a letter.

    second time the manager was rude and said that the federal charge “RATE” did not change even though on my two bills there is an increase. he said if the “RATE” changes then he could waive it. but since it just went up .23 cents it is not a rate change. so im confused, do we have to get a letter stating there is a rate chanage? or is it when we notice the federal universal service charge goes up. i.e. june bill was 1.75 and july was 2.03 also the admininstrative and regulatory fees went up a lil.

    supervisors are suppose to call me back, but they have not yet.

  314. Ken

    It seems as if the cat is out of the bag and Verizon is now “used” to these calls. I tried for a few hours, calling back numerous times.

    I recently visited Canada and they tried to tell me my roaming charges affected the FUSC which I know they don’t, and that the amount of minutes I use, whether I go over my alottment or not effects them. So I added all them up each month to prove there was no coorrelation and then called the questions department, not the cancelation department. A very nice rep explained to me that I was correct and explained, as I suspected, that the gov raised its taxes on july 1st and that is why there was an increase. SHe also emailed me the graph which was nice of her.

    However none of this helped because when I called back and spoke with two separate supervisors both denied my request, despite proving them wrong over and over. Their policy is to repeat their argument, despite the fact that you prove it false until their blue in the face. Both supervisors used two separate arguments. The first argued that the credit argument, which despite refusing, still did not work. The second argued that since it says ‘rates are subject to change” on my bill it means it is not included in the user agreement. BS

    We’ve had problems with our fios and haven’t received our 150 cash back yet. Overall I am not impressed with the way Verizon goes back on their word. I understand this is a loophole and I don’t blame Verizon for doing everything in their power to prevent customers from getting out of their contracts early. Its bad for their buisness. But they should do it correctly. They should make ammendments to the user agreement to correct the wording and get rid of the loophole, to prevent future customers from being able to take advantage of it. But they should honor their agreement with their current customers.

    Once out of contract I won’t be using Verizon again.

  315. adam

    @Darrell
    Darrell,
    Did you get out

  316. Mike

    thank you so much! i just got off the phone with verizon and they cancelled my contract with no ETF!!!! the whole process took about 20 minutes. first i was on the phone with a regular tier 1 rep and then asked to speak to a manager. all done, thanks so much again!!!

  317. @Mike
    did u just get of the contract so i can get out of it 2

  318. adam

    Anyone had any success with no ETF and porting phone #?

    I’m debating to quit VZ and go to ATT and get an Iphone, is it worth all the hype?

  319. SkeeterSPC

    I need others cell number that this worked for. trying to make the case that this is discrimination because other have had the ETF waived. Give me some numbers please.

  320. SkeeterSPC

    @Mike
    Mike, I need help, can you give me your verizon cell number so that I can prove to verizon that it is a fact that others have escaped!!

  321. SkeeterSPC

    @Mony
    I need help, can you give me your verizon cell number so that I can prove to verizon that it is a fact that others have escaped!!

  322. SkeeterSPC

    @Casey
    Casey,

    will you share with me your cell number closed with verizon. they clain that ii can not do the same. I want to prove to them that others have done so too.

  323. Mony

    My boyfriend just tried canceling his contract, but no luck.

    Once he gets home, I’m going to have to coach him on what to do and say.

    He tried but his phone conversation ended with the supervisor telling him that they do not have the ability to cancel his contract, and he should try some other way.

  324. SkeeterSPC

    @Mony
    Mony, If this worked for you it should be as simple as him stating that it is discrimination. he should provide the cell number from the account that you were sucessful with. By the way will you shre that number with me so I can do the same? you can email it to scarroll@wpa.net so it is not public.

    Thanks,

    Scott

  325. Mony

    We just tried this with my boyfriend’s account, and they wouldn’t do it.

    They continued giving us the go-around.

    They say that the FUSC charge increase is not enough “reason” to cancel without paying the ETF.

    We even argued how the FUSC is a Verizon charge, and how it’s stated under Charges And Fees We Set that “We set these charges. They aren’t taxes, aren’t required by law, are kept by us in whole or in part, and the amounts and what’s included are subject to change.”

    Also tried arguing how in the Our Rights To Make Changes paragraph says “WE CAN ALSO CHANGE PRICES AND ANY OTHER CONDITIONS IN THIS AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME BY SENDING YOU WRITTEN NOTICE PRIOR TO THE BILLING PERIOD IN WHICH THE CHANGES WOULD GO INTO EFFECT. IF YOU CHOOSE TO USE YOUR SERVICE AFTER THAT POINT, YOU’RE ACCEPTING THE CHANGES. IF THE CHANGES HAVE A MATERIAL ADVERSE EFFECT ON YOU, HOWEVER, YOU CAN END THE AFFECTED SERVICE, WITHOUT ANY EARLY TERMINATION FEE, JUST BY CALLING US WITHIN 60 DAYS AFTER WE SEND NOTICE OF THE CHANGE” arguing that yes, they have the right to make changes on the fees they impose on customers, but also the customer has the right to cancel if they’re experiencing a material adverse affect by the change in prices.

    Nothing worked!

    So, I was given to get out of this, but he wasn’t.

    So, it’s either take up with the FCC, or..lawsuit?

  326. adam

    My wife and I have been at war for 3 days. Wasted countless hours. Phone tags with management all the way up to the executive level. VZ is not budging! They give credit RE the admin fee, and claim that the material adverse effect is removed since they issued the credit.
    Alas to my dismay, I am a prisoner to Verizon until march of 2010. I suppose I can try a letter and CC BBB. Any advice is welcome.
    arsou812@yahoo.com

  327. CR

    Here’s my update. I called Verizon twice. 1st time I was offered a credit. The 2nd time I was told I had to show proof of being adversely affected. I filed a submission with the BBB. They contacted Verizon and I had an Executive Customer Experience rep (or whatever their title is) contact me. The rep said that the credit would fix any claims of being adversely affected. I told her that I did not want the credit, I wanted my contract terminated per the agreement and that I didn’t have to accept the credit. Also, the change is an amendment to my contract and I do not accept it. She told me there’s nothing more that Verizon could do. I told her I would escalate it. The next step that I the BBB has is arbitration. I really don’t want to have to take it that far.

    The credit has shown up on my account.

    @SkeeterSPC – did you get any names and numbers to show proof that others have been released from their contract?

  328. SkeeterSPC

    No. I have not been sucessful. I think we just need one cell number of someone who was sucessfull so that we can claim that we have been discriminated against also.

  329. SkeeterSPC

    @Mony
    Help us out MONY, If you were sucessful in doing this please share your cell number with us so that we can prove to verizon that people have got out of the contract.

    Thanks

  330. rafael

    Well I’ve read through this gathered all the info I need and will be calling them tomorrow at 8pm pst will update! and my UFSC just increased on July 1st. Wish me luck! :)

  331. rafael

    well the lady said under the “Charges and fees we set it says” : These include Federal Universal Service, Regulatory and Administrative Charges, and may also include other charges related to our governmental costs. We set these charges. They aren’t taxes, aren’t required by law, are kept by us in whole or in part, and the amounts and what’s included are SUBJECT TO CHANGE”

    Subject to change is the important part here, anyone else get this excuse going to try again right now see what they say.

  332. rafael

    This is NOT easy, called again adn told they’d issue me a 5$ dollar credit, he said this wasn’t a materially adverse charge. Might try again later.

  333. Whitney

    Had my husband try it. He’s an attorney so I thought it would be easy but they refused to let us out and said that they have a strong legal department should we choose to proceed with legal action. Bummed. I’m so mad at Verizon. Somehow, I keep canceling services and my bill keeps getting higher. They’ve also slipped third-party billing on my cell phone bill without even reporting it. Surely that’s grounds, right? Anyone know how to use that against them? I’d still be getting billed for it if I didn’t call and ask why my bills were going up. They were billing me for dumb services from third-party entities that I never signed up for.

  334. CC

    My husband and I have been trying for 3 days — to no avail. Have contacted BBB and will contact FCC and states attorney. I have also contacted the local news companies in hopes that they will pick up the story. I portrayed it to the news companies this way — at 7c/mo/line they are making between 70 & 100 million dollars extra each year (they tout 61 million customers) by ripping off their customers a few pennies at a time. I am contacting as many people as I can (even those happy with Verizon) to get them to call and request the credit — hopefully I will stir up enough trouble for them that they will be sorry they didn’t just wave my fee. I have a contact who is a corporate attorney and I will be involving that person in the next couple of days. A public stink will hopefully work better than these individual fights. Everyone with this problem should complain to BBB, FCC and states attorney and spread the word as much as possible.

  335. rafael

    has anyone actually had any luck over the past couple of weeks. The wont cave in and one rep. even credited my when I said I wouldn’t accept it, he even refused to give me his ID number. Remember when you call ask for ID numbers before hand. 3 times no luck, starting to think I’ll have to wait until they increase something else. One rep told me that when they increase the txting fee’s or mb charges I’m more than welcome to cancel but not for a “surcharge”

  336. CC

    We’ve had two reps refuse to get their ID number, had one refuse to give my husband a supervisor. I talked to a second level manager and as someone previously put it — I got the same arguments repeated at me even after I proved them wrong.
    I am trying to decide if we should just get out and pay the charge — If I do it will be $350 — if I wait the life of the contract I pay this corrupt company another $1000+.

  337. SkeeterSPC

    update for all. I called today. must have got the right guy. stick with the FUSC charge. Read the contact about charges they set, then read your rights to terminate. Then also stat that others have been let out of contracts due to FUSC charge change. stick to these points only. be firm about the fact that you have the right as others did and that it is discrimination otherwise. Good Luck and Keep Trying!!!!!

  338. rafael

    @skeeterSPC did you call and verify it was notated on your account? I’ll keep trying all day tomorrow thanks for the tips.

  339. rafael

    TIP!! Whatever you do DO NOT tell them the real reason you want to cancel. I almost got out of it but they asked me why and I was stupid and said because my phone broke and you don’t want to honor a manufactur warranty adn they give you the go around. ALWAYS SAY reception and bad service, don’t give details and just keep trying.

  340. Anonymous

    @SkeeterSPC

    SkeetersSPC, did you get positive confirmation that the ETF is waived?

    I have 3 lines on my account want them all cancelled. The tricky part is I need to port my #’s for my future wireless provider.

    Also for those of you who successfully got out of ETF. Can you email me your # so I can reference when I call AGAIN!!!

    arsou812@yahoo.com

  341. CR

    Update on BBB claim: I might be going to arbitration. Verizon just credited my account and said the case was closed. Next step is arbitration. If anyone is interested in providing their number so I can prove that others have gotten out, please e-mail me at essence5_2@yahoo.com. I would really appreciate any assistance that I can get.

  342. rafael

    @CR Good Luck. I’ve read ppl have been told they were waiving their ETF but after they cancel they get charged and have to fight to get the ETF removed that’s one of my fears at this point, but I’ll keep trying.

  343. rafael

    after 3 hours of fights I got nothing.
    1st rep said you’ve agreed to this it’s been more than 60 days , since you’ve signed your contract the fees have increased and she was screaming at me. I REPORTED her rude CS with a supervisor.
    2nd rep- didn’t know what to say, he knew I was right, hung up on me.
    3rd rep- said I needed proof asked for her sup got her
    Supervisor- said legal team said I can’t cancel for this

  344. adam

    Guys, I think we need to come to terms that we’ll have to wait out the contract, persue BBB/arbitration as per CR…. or pay the ETF.

    I’ve simply run out of energy. I will continue to monitor my bill for any fees or changes. I might wright a letter to VZ cc BBB and FCC.

    feel free to email me arsou812@yahoo.com.

  345. Anonymous

    Keep at it. Fusc changed as of July 1 so you are within 60 days. I did not need proof. Just stated that I know the contract and that others have been let out. If you get the right csr you will get out.

  346. James

    3 calls, 1 store visit and 1 request for a copy of my contract later i got them to cancel my contract with the fee waived.

    Thats what they told me anyway.

    I just got off the phone with them about it. so we will see. if my phone still works at the end of the day im gonna be mad

  347. Keith

    3 calls later and I think it worked. I think it is a matter of jsut getting the right rep. First call the shuttled my to sup who had to have her supervisor call me after the weekend. I wasn’t going to settle there. Called back. 2nd time I got disconnected. 3rd time the primary service rep consulted with his sup and was able to do it.

    Only catch, I am getting a bit greedy and want to portal my number, so he said he will be checking on my account daily to see if the ETF was applied so that he can then credit it. I am fully expecting to have to go through this again, but at least I have a direct number for him and an email from Verizon saying “We will be crediting early termination fees on both mobile telephone numbers on account when service is ported out”

    That gives me something. . .

    they will try hard to get you to take the credit offered to negate the FUSC and admin charge increases, but tell them that noplace in the contract does it say that a credit can negate an adverse charge. Once they raise a fee, they have breached the contract, no ifs ands or buts.

    Try using the analogy of having someone swipe $20 from your pocket and then offer to give it back to you. . . .has there been a material adverse effect from that? I say YES regardless of whether you end up with the $20 again.

    Keep trying, be prepared for them to dispute, stay calm and confident, and follow Ely’s great instructions.

    Good luck! Will update with the final outcome!

  348. Anonymous

    @rafael
    I GOT THE SAME THING! How do i get around it!?

  349. TB

    i have been on the phone for about 2 hours today on and off, first call i thought was going great, they admitted that this was their choice to bump up FCSU, told me only a supervisor could credit ETF’s. Supervisor stumbled around, but then i had to hang up while i was on hold due to work….

    called back and got a Jackie supervisor, she said : “You agree to pay all access, usage and other charges and fees we bill you or that the user of your wireless phone accepted, even if you weren’t the user of your wireless phone and didn’t authorize its use. These include Federal Universal Service, Regulatory and Administrative Charges, and may also include other charges related to our governmental costs. We set these charges. They aren’t taxes, aren’t required by law, are kept by us in whole or in part, and the amounts and what’s included are subject to change.”

    which caused me to stumble…

    WHAT DO I SAY TO THAT!???!

  350. @TB

    I just terminated 2 cell phone lines in a matter of 15 minutes utilizing this portion of text form my last statement:

    Notice of Administrative Charge Increase:

    Beginning July 1, 2009 the monthly Verizon Wireless Administrative charge for voice and email plans will increase from $0.85 to $0.92 per line. For Mobile Broadband plans, the charge will remain at $.06. For information regarding this charge, call 1-888-684-1888. Please consult Customer Agreement for information about rate changes.

  351. Aaron

    Spent 40 minutes on the phone. Would not waive charges due to them offering a credit as they said that negates the adverse effect. Though, nowhere in their customer agreement does it state that this is grounds for not honoring their contract, that’s what they offered and directed me to their legal department if I had any further questions.

    Will try again.

  352. Aaron

    Spent another 26 minutes on the phone. Their statement was, “since we are giving you the credit, this should not adversly effect you anymore.” They stuck to that and would not budge. Any sugguestions?

  353. Keith

    UPDATE:
    Got a bill from Verizon with the ETF on there, despite being told they would be credited and getting an email saying i would not have to pay it. Called them back and they have a record of the email. Am being told that the credit will appear on my account within 72 hours. .. .

    we will see.

    As for their argument that a credit negates an adverse effect, this is absolute BS from a legal standpoint. If somebody robs your house, only to come back later and give you your stuff back, there has still been an adverse effect.

    The moment that your fees are raised, they have breached the contract on their end, and there has been an adverse effect on you. End of sentence, no questions asked. Credit card companies have lost huge class action lawsuits for similar things, so stick by your guns and do not let them try to convince you otherwise.

    Update to follow when I find out if i get credited back my ETF. . . .

  354. Keith

    Success! $290 credited to my account. Bye bye Verizon. Thanks for increasing my fees. . . .

  355. Jenny

    I just saw this today – Do you think I missed the 60 days?? I think today would be it?

  356. Perfect Hedge

    I thought I would jump in here and share my experience.

    I successfully cancelled my existing Verizon service today (9/1) using the arguments outlined in the video. I based my claim on the July 1, 2009 FUSC change that was sent out in my bill dated July 7. According to the customer agreement, notices are considered sent when they are emailed to your address, or 3 days after mailing. Since I received the email on July 11, 2009, I felt certain that my claim would be made within the 60 day window.

    I spoke with a friend who is a customer service supervisor for a large company (not Verizon). He told me at least 5 times to really try to make it EASY for the reps to help you. He told me, if a customer gets too forceful or legal, he just sends them to legal – they are out of his hair. He said if the customers are really nice, then he has an easier time trying to help them. Just a thought.

    In case this matters, I called at 8:00am today. The process took about 55 minutes, but was successfully completed at that time. I received two confirmation emails from the supervisor. I just kept very nicely, and very patiently repeating the points to the rep. I played dumb (“gosh, I am a little slow today, but doesn’t that mean you guys set those prices?”). The rep did throw out a new objection: the formula/calculation of the FUSC didn’t change, so therefore they did not have to honor the “price change guarantee”. I countered with: “Sorry, it is early for me, but would you mind showing me in the agreement where it states that the calculation, and not the prices, are protected from increases?” Couldn’t do it, because it isn’t there.

    The rep did find a supervisor eventually, and she tried to redirect by opening with: “I hear you have a question about taxes”. I think this is where staying on point is key. I countered: “No ma’am, I have an question about the FUSC, which is one of the prices you control”. She did ask for the “real reason” for my departure after 6 years. I just stated that I had given her the reason, and that I did not have anything to add. Lots of silence here. I did not speak first. Her next words were, well, we’re waiving the fee effective immediately.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  357. Perfect Hedge

    Oh, and here’s my two cents on the “credit negates material effect objection” (although, I did not have to use this personally):

    Would you mind showing me in the agreement where you are entitled to offer reparations that I am then obligated to accept?

  358. Jenn Haight

    Used the change mentioned by Eric, on hold now as the Rep is cancelling my account! Good bye $200 a month!

  359. Aimee

    It didn’t work for me. I was well armed and confident but the supv got me. I was also caught by the “explanation of charges” on the bill. “These charges, and what’s included, are subject to change from time to time.” –any help on this one??
    oh and be forewarned: the original CSR that I spoke to said how they “just got an email on this from their supervisor” and this was his ‘first call’ on this. looks like the company saw this video too!

  360. Christie

    I never got any notice about the july 1st thing. I have been havng alot of problems getting service around my area and keep dropping calls is thre anyway I can use that against them??

  361. Perfect Hedge

    @Aimee
    I would have said,

    Yes, I agree that these charges are subject to change from time to time. However, will you agree that, under “Our Rights to Make Changes”, I have the right to end my service without an early termination fee if these changes have material adverse effects on me? I am only trying to exercise my right to end my service without an early termination fee since these price changes have a material adverse effect on me.

  362. Disgruntled

    i really would like to cancel, but it seems that the date to do this was september 1st. are there any more recent changes that i could use to cancel my account? also i have a family plan, so will this work to cancel all 4 of the lines? if you have any more recent price changes that i could use, or hear of any can you please email me at bungalowbill_18@yahoo.com?

    any help is great. thanks.

  363. LeVar

    I would I like to cancel as well. Would these arguments still be valid after Sep. 1st? Please let me know.

  364. Ram

    I would I like to cancel the Verizon contract..I saw your video.. its really good.. Would these arguments still be valid after 15th September? Please let me know, if it is possible now.. Thanks for your wonderful suggestions..

  365. Aaron

    hey guys so im in canada, and i use rogers, verizons equivalent.
    they have recently just cancelled my contract due to the fact it was taking me soo long to pay off 2000 dollar bill.
    but since they have cancelled my account, am i still liable to pay back the remaining ballance?

  366. John

    verizon just raised the Verizon Wireless’ and Other Charges by $.04. does that mean i can get out of it because of that?

  367. Disgruntled

    @John
    how did you find this out?

  368. lost

    I just called verizon i spoke about the increased changes to FUSC and the Administrative charge. The lady I spoke to told me she can cancel my service due to changes within these fees. i would like to know what to do she said she credited my account for the difference for the admin. fee. I said these fees have material adverse effect on me, so she said with the credit it is as if it never was there. I would like to know what to do? Im really unhappy with my storm and verizon in general.

  369. HELP

    Hey I have a problem: the FSC went down 7 cents, and I called Verizon twice and on the second call this person said she put a note on my account that I couldn’t cancel anymore without an etf. I got stuck on both calls at the point when they were arguing about the change, and how the material adverse affect was nonexistent. PLEASE HELP!

  370. erin

    I obviously missed the 60 day time perdiod. Is there any hope for me to get out of my contract without fees at this point?

  371. cari

    “AN EARLY TERMINATION FEE WILL APPLY IF YOU CHOOSE TO END YOUR SERVICE BEFORE BECOMING A MONTH–TO–MONTH CUSTOMER, OR IF WE TERMINATE IT EARLY FOR GOOD CAUSE. THE EARLY TERMINATION FEE IS $175, WHICH WILL BE REDUCED BY $5 FOR EACH FULL MONTH TOWARD YOUR MINIMUM TERM THAT YOU COMPLETE.”
    First off, what is termination for a good cause? Secondly, what do they mean the ETF will be reduced $5 for every full month you complete toward your minimum term? E.G. My term ends in January, I signed a two year contract. So does this mean I would only have to pay $65 instead of $175?

  372. Barbara

    Verizon is telling me that I have to pay $200 (not $175) per phone instead of per statement and I have 5 phones on this contract! That is not what I’m reading on the contract is that right?

  373. Disgruntled2

    I just called verizon and tried out this tactic, so far it’s looking pretty bleak. After being passed up the ladder through two supervisors, I’m waiting on a callback from a the next supervisor. (Seriously, what percentage of customer service operators are supervisors?). Anyway I’ve gone through all the arguments listed above and Verizon’s answers have all been as suggested. The last supervisor I spoke to told me that it is company policy to offer a credit to negate the effect (I of course mentioned that she had just conceded that there was an adverse effect) but she in can’t wave the ETF. She says the next supervisor will tell me the same thing.

  374. tyler ortega

    how do i know when they change something? Help please.

  375. jakehalsted

    Sounds like fun guys. Quite frankly, I don’t think its worth more than an hour or two of my time. I’d rather just pay the fee and use the hour to masturbate

  376. M&M

    ugh!!!!! 2 hours on the phone arguing a price change while supervisor argues it’s not a price change. In october rates were decreased 2.75% to 2.56% but because of usage overage my FUSC amount went up. So don’t go over my minutes, texts and the FUSC won’t go up! Asked her to point that out on my contract but she couldn’t, wouldn’t and stuck to percentage decrease isn’t a negative adverse effect. I’ll try again on Monday. Lessons Learned??? – Hang up if supervisor Amy is on the other end!

  377. joyce

    Hi Ely, i have had nothing but inconsistant ludicrous phone bills from Verizon since their take over of Altell. I have to call every month complaining about charges and taxes etc. I really want to get out of my contract that I had originally with Altell not Verizon. Do you think this will make a difference in canceling with Verizon? Also on Fox news they reported that pressing an incorrect button on your Cell that will lead you to a site you don’t subscribe to with Verizon will cause a charge like $.99. Well maybe that’s a small fee for some but with 8 million customers it’s a nice chunk for Verizon. I also think the Surcharges should be an illegal fee when it’s so obvious that we are in fact paying their taxes regardless of their contradictory statement on the Monthly Service Bill. Thanks for listening, hope I get a reply on your thoughts.

  378. britt

    I got went through two reps and administrators who were NOT helpful. The FUSC has gone up from 1.79 to 8.31 on my last bill. This is “because I have overages that made my bill high”. I do have alot of overage and whether or not this is the only reason it went up I don’t know. But I tried to argue that the CHARGE went up 464% regardless of the percentage staying the same. And there is nowhere in the contract agreement that says I can’t cancel if my CHARGE is increased as a result a percentage. All it says is something changed which the CHARGE did – and that I can cancel. It states nothing about the percentage. I feel like this should work. A higher supervisor will be calling me back tommorow. The CS supervisors were not helpful and one was just plain rude and literally kept saying I “agreed to pay the charges even if they change” ignoring my persistant references to “UNLESS I SAY THEY HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT THEN I HAVE A RIGHT TO CANCEL”. They wanted to know the “real” reason I was canceling. Does anyone else have an opinion of canceling if you are charged more fore the FUSC even if the rate hasn’t gone up?

  379. britt

    @M&M
    I’m in a similar situation..Did this work for you?

  380. Danyo

    Ummmm……………….so on My Verizon where I look at my bill there is a link that says “Need To Know Information”. As of January 1st 2010 the FUSC went up 2.3%. I have called twice and spoken to two Sup’s. The first one was stuck on arguing with me about how FUSC was a tax….she is obviously below the intelligence level of a tortise. The second Sup i talked to was Kanetra…. she said ” I agreed to the FUSC’s ability to change”, I told her “yes, i did agree to the possibility of it changing, however when it did change due to the clause above where it says “We may change PRICES” that it did not specify what prices were included or excluded so she could not tell me what that was. Also at the end of the agreement it says that the Customer Agreement is your agreement with VZW and not to listen to CSR’s or In store reps as the agreement is written out fully. So, she has requested me to contact the Legal dept with arbitration. Its bull. UGH!!! So, if anyone has any help it would be appreciated. daniel.n at msn.com

  381. Danyo

    Soo i now have spoken with 3 supervisors. I am awaiting a call back from one Manager, and a call back from one of the supervisors after he speaks with his manager. He said in his “materials” that they do not waive the ETF for FUSC rate changes. I have also tried to argue that I have not recieved notice of this change. They keep giving me the “The FCC charges us for that and we have no control over those”. I am going to escalate, escalate, escalate.

  382. Murph

    Refer the next supervisor to this paragraph from the Customer Agreement, which states clearly that Verizon sets the FUSC:

    What Charges Are Set by Verizon Wireless?

    You agree to pay all access, usage and other charges that you or the user of your wireless device incurred. Our charges include Federal Universal Service, Regulatory and Administrative Charges, and we may also include other charges related to our governmental costs. We set these charges; they aren’t taxes, they aren’t required by law, they are kept by us in whole or in part, and the amounts and what they pay for may change.

  383. Danyo

    @Murph

    I have referenced that paragraph before. I have been given multiple different excuses. Some say that in that same clause it states clearly that “the amounts and what they pay for may change.” So i respond by telling them that yes, they may change, however IF they do I have 60 days to cancel penalty-free. So far I have been expecting a call back from 3 Managers and have not gotten one. I will be visiting a corporate store tomorrow (the one in which the manager told his minion to have me speak with the legal dept but could not provide me a number….come to find out I am not “permitted” to speak with them.) and raising hell.

  384. Emily

    Has this worked for anyone recently? I am in desperate need of getting out of my contract. They put me on a quad plan and failed to mention that I would not be aboe to continue to call my home phone… also through verizon… without using my minutes. I tried arguing my point with them but htey wouldn’t budge. They never sent me any written confimation of this change. I want to try this approach but want to know if it will even work.

  385. mppaul2

    Yes, I tried this recently and they would not cancel, gave me some address to write to. I didn’t press any further, may try later, the FUSC change just occured in January, so if I feel better before the 60 days are up, I may try again. It’s so obvious the CR’s and supposedly supervisors don’t know what they are doing, but that what they get paid for to keep the money rolling in.

  386. Feola

    I am also trying to get out of my contract and awaiting a phone call back from a mediator. I was also repeatedly denied my agreement right and told the supervisor I wanted to exercise my right to go through a mediator that the company pays for. Read tem 4 and item 5 under How Do I Disputes with Verizon Wireless. Hope this helps and good luck to all.

  387. Daniel Odem

    I am really trying to get out of my contract. I am so tired of dealing with verizon. THEY ARE HORRIBLE!!! This didnt work for me. I spent 3 hours on the phone and nothing. They dont even want to think about helping me. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am waiting on a call back from a supervisor. I have spoken to 3 supervisors today. They have notated my account so much when I call and say anything they tell me that I have been told by several different reps and they are going to tell me the same thing. So I need to just realized if i want out of the contract they will let me out but I need to accept i am going to have to pay the cancellation fee. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I was told that everytime an average person calls customer service for an average call that it costs verizon $13.00. Its personal at this point I will call everyday during all of my free time to make them pay for my aggervation!

  388. bobby deneke

    I’m looking at my Verizon customer agreement and I don’t see the paragraphs you’re referring to. Likewise, we upgraded back in October 2009 for a buy one get one free and did an electronic signature at the time. Now they are saying that one of the signatures didn’t happen and by their mistake but we are being charged $400.00 for one of the blackberry’s unless we sign. It seems to me that if I sign then I fall again under the right to cancel within 30 days and can return the equipment and not be in contract any longer. That being both possible and good I would still rather get entirely out of my contract without fee’s and go to AT&T. What ever should I do??

  389. sean

    What about my situation I get bad service in my town, does not work in my home also it goes out all over town. I need phone that works, I even upgraded to a newer phone but the service still cuts out on me all the time. It is so frustrating after seeing there commercial of more coverage.

  390. kathy lummus

    thank you!! can you please send your site to smithfactor222@verizon.com thank you. even if you can,t send it . or send it to tbonekat@msn.com we realy have been fooled by verizon.

  391. Kris

    @Daniel Odem I feel your frustration. You can go down to Walmart and buy a prepaid Walmart phone that is powered by Verizon for $45 a month and get unlimited minutes, unlimited texting, and unlimited Internet and none of the hassle. I spend several hours a month on the phone with Verizon straightening out the bill and have reached the same point as you where they continue to refuse, refuse, refuse to do anything. I am sure the person on the phone is doing what they are told to do. $13 a phone call, eh? There is more than one way to get your credit I suppose, but it would be a lot of work and frustration to call those idiots.

  392. Matt Sweetland

    Called and they tried to tell me that the reason it went up was because my usage went up then I asked him to show me where it says that it is not a set price but it goes off my bill. Full Credit no Charge.

  393. Simcha Kovitz

    yeah i tried this and they offered me money to make up and i turned it down and they said to bad were not letting you out

  394. yochai

    I’ve been trying this method for the past two days, and I’ve had no luck so far. They offered me $20 once and $60 another time as a credit, but both times saying that it wasn’t to negate the affect but actually to keep me a happy customer.
    The problem is that each supervisor I’ve spoken to (4 so far) has said the same thing: That the FUSC is not a valid reason for waiving the ETF. They say that the paragraph referring to the changing of prices and “terms of service” in no way refers to the FUCS. I really don’t have an answer for this; and no matter how much I try (and trust me, I’ve tried) they don’t budge.
    Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks

    ps the Customer Agreement has changed somewhat since the original post by Ely.

  395. Jonathan

    Just got off the phone with Verizon. (38 minutes total). First rep I spoke to tried to argue that if you use the phone after notice is given, it voids the 60 day window. I was polite and firm and would not budge. Finally she transferred me to her supervisor and he tried to offer me a credit to nullify the effect. I used a mortgage analogy to say that if I don’t pay my mortgage this month, but offer to nullify it by paying double next month, I would still be defaulting on the contract. The bank could either accept my offer, or they could take my house. I thanked him for making me an offer, but chose not to accept it. The line went quiet for about 2 minutes while he did further reading, and finally said “okay, I can process that termination for you and waive the early termination fee.” I told him to process it at the end of this billing cycle so that I have time to port my number between now and then. I asked for an email, but he would not provide one. Fortunately I recorded the entire call to have proof of my claim if they try to give me an ETF. (Note: check your states laws before recording phone calls. To protect myself, I made sure that recording was on while Verizon made the “This call may be monitored or recorded” statement.

  396. kevin

    thanks this is good to know.

  397. How about the home contract? Do you have any idea how to get out of the freedom fios package? Life has been nothing but a nightmare for us with verizon and their billing dept. Countless calls and hours on the phone almost every single month but we have a contract.
    Let me know if you have any ideas it is not worth the stress of having this company any more. Thanks again Ely, I loved the video and you are so wonderful to help others with it. I will spread the word.
    Virginia

  398. That Guy

    I was on the phone with Verizon for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. When I first called I was immediatley shuffled off to a Supervisor as expected. After pointing out the key arguments of why I thought I shouldn’t have to pay the ETF, she gave me the same exact response every single time without missing a beat. Her response was, “I’m sorry sir, i totally understand where you are coming from but unfortunatley I can’t waive the ETF because you agreed that our prices may change.” My follow up to that was, “Mam, you are 100 percent accurate. I did in fact fully agree with Verizon that their prices may change, however, in the agreement it states that if any of those changes have a material adverse affect on me, the customer…blah blah blah.” She could not come up with the smallest of explanations for that part of my argument. She continued repeating her original response about the price change routine. It was actually kind of sad. She really frustrated me when she went on to say, “Sir, but you agreed that these changes would have an material adverse affect on you.” I replied to her, “No. I never agreed to that nor does it say i agreed that your price changes WOULD have a material adverse affect on me. I agreed that if they changed and as a result of those changes, had a material adverse affect on me…yada yada yada” It was very frustrating only because she wasn’t smart enough to understand the wording of the agreement. She was hell bent on her pre-set, cookie cutter answer she seemed to be reading from a guide. I told her that I had presented a complete credible argument and challenged her to prove to me in the agreement where I was wrong and told her I would gladly pay the ETF and never bother Verizon again as long as I live. She couldn’t do it for her life. There was an uncomfortable silence every single time she tried. At one point I had to tell her I was still on the line because she paused for so long. Then I told her if she “understood where I was coming from like she continued to keep saying, then she should have no problem waiving the ETF.” She told me I would receive a call from a manager within 24 hours. I won’t hold my breath. So, basically you’re wasting your time if you get a young inexperience customer service rep that doesn’t know how to interpret a simple “IF, THEN” statement, and once it turned into a pissing match I knew at that point she didn’t want to put a dent in her pride by giving in to me, the ignorant customer. WOW, it’s true what they say…you can’t fix stupid.

  399. Mike

    I have been with Verizon Wireless for got knows how long and for the time that I’ve been with them, I have paid them god knows how much. I recentley signed up with their paperless service meaning that I won’t get the physical bills anymore and they would just email it to me. Since I was used to paying from paper bill, I short paid Verizon by $11.36 because I didn’t log onto Verizon Wireless to see my balance. As you can guess, they disconnected my service… yes, over $11.36. And off-course we were on vacation and to make matters worse, we were in the middle of no-where with little battery life left. I knew if I call Verizon to reconnect, my battery would die. At the same time, Verizon charged me $15 fee to reconnect every line under my account which totaled $75.
    I was really frustrated over this so I did a little research and found out that Verizon is the most expensive wireless service out there. As you can guess, I’m ready to change but I’m stuck in a contract. So, I did a little more research and found out that I can get out of the contract without paying any fees if Verizon changes any rate on my contract.
    To make a long story short, I would like to know whom, how, and where I can go to see if Verizon has changed any rates recently such as text messaging or federal universal charges ??

  400. What is applicable for today? We got a home phone for a good deal and hardly use our cell phones. Verizon has a minimum of 700 minutes – still very expensive. suggestions??

  401. Stephanie

    Hey I just called veriozen and I’ve gone through several different people. They all have kept to their same argument even thought I proved them wrong every time. The last woman I spoke to said the reason the Federal Universal Service Charge went up was because I went over my minutes and my bill went up. She kept saying “we didn’t change the percentage, the percentage is the same. Since your bill went up the cost is going to go up.” She is supposed to call me back when she can find a copy of the customer agreement. I am going to try and explain to her that it says “charge” not percent. As in the Federal Universal Service Charge. Can anyone give me any help? Thanks.

  402. Ian

    I called and spoke with several floor reps, a supervisor, and Finally a manager. I heard a ton of different stories… that it was a tax, that the Customer Agreement only refers to Plan changes, not prices or costs, that I agreed to it when I signed the contract. Finally when I talked to the manager, he said that their legal department “defined material adverse effect” as an increase in charges, and nothing else, and that because my charges hadn’t gone up this particular month, it didn’t qualify for a waive of the ETF. I was adamant that the contract doesn’t state increase in cost, only “change in price” but he said that to discuss it further I would need to speak to a lawyer. I asked why I didn’t need a lawyer present when I became a verizon customer, and he refused to answer. I sent a very long and strongly worded letter to every verizon email I could find on Consumerist.org, and finally got a call back today from a very nice lady who essentially told me I was screwed.

    On thing that was interesting was that several reps told me that the agreement ONLY refers to plan changes (minutes, data, text) and not cost or price. If this is true, then it’s impossible for “material adverse effect” to refer to money, or that voids their whole argument. The lady I spoke with today told me that was just a mistake, and that even if that fee just goes up next month I still can’t cancel because they’ll just issue me a credit for the difference. I argued that by issuing a credit they’re admitting to a change in price, thus voiding the contract and she said “no, we’re not admitting anything, we’re just offering a one time credit on a case by case basis”

  403. Ian

    @Stephanie
    The customer agreement is listed at the bottom of the verizonwireless website, so if you want to you could copy it into a document so you already have it. If your rep claimed she was going to “find a copy” she is lying, and was just trying to get you off the phone. They have immediate access to that agreement at any time, just like you.

  404. Jeremy

    Ely,

    So, it worked……….or I was told it did. The Supervisor I spoke to told me the fees would be waived and everything was taken care of. However, I got back on my account a few weeks later after cancelling, and the ETF was still there. I called in, and now they are going back on what they said. They refuse to waive it even though THEY TOLD ME THEY WOULD!

    Now what???
    Thanks,
    Jeremy

  405. Chris

    @Jeremy
    How did you get your fee waived? Has there been an increase of a fee???

  406. matt

    please do a video on how to get out of an ETF with Direct TV….I’ve had it with these bastards!!!!

  407. Jake

    Hey, I really want to get out of my contract with Verizon, but I can’t find anything that they’ve changed recently. Have you heard anything about it recently?

  408. TJ

    They have updated the customer agreement to basically negate the steps outlined in this post :( . They can update the agreement at any according to the agreement that you sign.

  409. Tim

    @TJ They have updated the customer agreement to basically negate the steps outlined in this post.”

    How so? The agreement still states the following, which are the key terms that Ely is working with:

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/customer-agreement.shtml
    Can Verizon Wireless Change This Agreement or My Service?
    We may change prices or any other term of your Service or this agreement at any time,but we’ll provide notice first, including written notice if you have Postpay Service. If you use your Service after the change takes effect, that means you’re accepting the change. If you’re a Postpay customer and a change to your Plan or this agreement has a material adverse effect on you, you can cancel the line of Service that has been affected within 60 days of receiving the notice with no early termination fee.

  410. Johnny Nokaster

    Just pay the idiots the $350 to terminate your contract and they’ll let you out. Thats what I’m going to do and no I’m not a millionaire either. My Verizon bill is almost 300 dollars a month and when I get out of their contract I’m running to Straight Talk and getting me a phone. I want a dumb phone not a smart phone. All I need a phone for is to talk to people. I do very little texting. I don’t get on the internet on the phone so why should I pay these idiots all this money. Oh yeah, don’t buy an iPhone 4. They drop calls like hot potatoes.

  411. Amanda

    I watched the video tutorial and it was very helpful but I have a question. I called Verizon and they are claiming that the Federal Service Charge is based on a fixed percentage. They say that the reason that the charge keeps changing is not because of the percentage, but because of the charges incurred during the month. I kept telling them that the customer agreement specifically says “prices or any other terms,” it doesn’t mention anything about the supposed fixed percentage they are using; that even though the FUSC uses a percentage, there’s still a change in the overall price of the charge. Any advice/thoughts on what else to tell them? Because they are stonewalling me with this percentage excuse.

    Oh, also- say Verizon is telling the truth about the percentage they use, do you know what figure they go off of to get the FUSC? I can’t tell if they use the figure with all of the usage and data charges included, but before adding all of the other taxes.

    Thanks!

  412. Hilda

    How do I find out if they are charging me an additional fee or a more expensive fee if they never send me any sort of notice?

  413. Louie

    I would really like to know how to get out of my contract with these money grubbing SOBs but they have changed their Customer Service Agreement.

  414. Brad

    I have 1year on my cell and 17 months on my home set up. I want out! The agreement has changed and both fees are outrageous. What is the updated info on getting out from Verizon? Thank you.

  415. Lisa

    My name is Lisa and I want to get out of my contract. I have 3 lines with
    them. I have been talking, trying to work something out. I have told them that I wanted to make payments but they said no.
    I am upset that I had not heard about the price changes. I would appreciate anymore information to help me (in being more confident) in talking with this company.
    Thank you for any help.

  416. Jeremy

    I am trying to get out of mine. I have 3 lines, 2 the contracts are up and the third has 15 months left. I dont know how to get out without paying. Sucks how they screw you.

  417. John

    http://news.verizonwireless.com/news/2011/12/pr2011-12-29b.html
    New $2 fee for online bill payments affective January 15, 2012.

  418. Is your “Tutorial: Get Out of Your Verizon Contract Without a Fee ” 7/27/08 video on youtube still doable?

    and also, you mentioned emailing you so you get $50 and we get $50 if we refer when we switch carriers? still offering this?

  419. Margo

    Ely, I just found your video. Great information. We had a family plan with Alltel and we were all very happy with it. Not so with Verizon. Here’s a question for you. My son and daughter-in law and my sister have gotten new phones with Verizon. My husband and I still have our Alltel phones and I have internet. My question is since my husband and I still have the Alltel phones, do we have a “contract” with Verizon. If we don’t switch to Verizon phones, is that our out?
    Thank you

  420. sam

    if i attempt to get out of a contract using the increase in the federal or state universal service charge, will that negate the discounted phone price Verizon charged me? Will I have to pay the difference if I upgraded to a new phone recently under the contract? i got the iphone 4 less than 60 days ago. Also, if you cancel and the ETF is waived, is it just for that line only and not affecting other lines on Verzon contract?

  421. Paul

    Hi I see this is a few years old. Dose this still work? Or have the close the loop holes

Trackbacks for this post

  1. How to Port Your Number Without Paying the Early Termination Fee « Crastinate
  2. fkimplicity » How to Get Out of Your Verizon Contract Without an Early Termination Fee
  3. Video: Ely Rosenstock explains how to escape a cellular contract without paying an ETF | MostReviews.com
  4. jopettitt.com » Blog Archive » How to Get Out of a Cell Contract Without Paying an ETF in Many Not-So-Easy Steps [Contracts]
  5. How to Get Out of a Cell Contract Without Paying an ETF in Many Not-So-Easy Steps [Contracts] | F-Default
  6. How to Get Out of a Cell Contract Without Paying an ETF in Many Not-So-Easy Steps [Contracts] | Gentleman of the House
  7. How to Get Out of Your Verizon Contract Without an Early Termination Fee | AdamEntity
  8. Verizon Video Goes Viral « Crastinate
  9. Andy’s words » Blog Archive » Panoply of Phone Features
  10. Fading Whispers: The Chronicles » Blog Archive » Giving things a fair shake
  11. How to Get Out of a Cell Contract Without Paying an ETF in Many Not-So-Easy Steps « THN
  12. and back…with a Verizon Ripoff
  13. In Pursuit of Consumerism : Noah Liebman
  14. How to Get Out of a Cell Contract Without Paying an ETF in Many Not-So-Easy Steps « inkgraphy
  15. How to Get Out of a Cell Contract Without Paying an ETF in Many Not-So-Easy Steps « tipBOX
  16. Screw You Economics: My Most Hated Stealth Fees and How to Get Around Them. | Steadfast Finances

Leave a Comment