Feeds

FCC questions Verizon's early termination fees

Wants info on 'accidental' data charges too

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

US regulators are demanding that Verizon Wireless explain why it's doubling early termination fees for smartphone customers and why subscribers without a data plan are charged for inadvertently accessing its mobile web service.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sent an open letter on Friday to the country's largest mobile phone company asking it to provide details on the policies.

Last month, Verizon hiked the early termination fee for "advanced devices" from $175 to $350.

Verizon had said that the extra charge was needed to help recoup costs of free or discounted smartphones.

The FCC wants to know what information about the higher early termination fee is provided to prospective customers, and whether customers are provided a grace period in which they can discontinue the service without being hit with the full $350 charge.

Verizon's policy does let customers who agree to pay full price for a smartphone to avoid paying a full early termination fee. Smartphones such as the BlackBerry or Droid that are discounted under a service contract are subject to the $350 fee for bailing out early.

The FCC also requested that Verizon provide details on its policy of charging customers $1.99 for accidentally accessing Verizon Wireless's Mobile Web without a data plan.

The Commission points to a recent report in the New York Times that suggested the company is using shady tactics to profit from customers who accidentally push a dedicated Mobile Web button on Verizon phones. The NYT article cites a person who claims to work for Verizon admitting that the company purposefully places the button in a location where customers are likely to inadvertently activate it. Any data sent over the mobile web network results in a minimum charge of $1.99.

Verizon was given until December 17 to respond to the FCC. A copy of the letter is available here (PDF) ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.