I guess the pressure from the Federal Communications Commission regarding early termination fees for smartphone contracts has finally paid off. TG Daily reports Google has "slashed" the fees on its NexusOne phone from $350 to $150, and a $250 fee that existing T-Mobile customers have to pay to upgrade to the NexusOne has also dropped to only $50.
Verizon was the first wireless provider to be called on the carpet for its exhorbitant early termination fees after the company nearly doubled the charges late last year. The company argued that the high fees were its only way to reclaim the cost of subsidizing the phones for customers who didn't fulfill their contracts.
Legislators have jumped in on the issue as well. In fact, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced the Cell Phone Early Termination Fee Transparency and Fairness Act, S. 2825. The bill would require providers to disclose the details of the fees to customers and prorate the fees over the length of the contracts. Moreover, the fees are not to exceed the amount of the subsidy the provider paid for the phone.
Of course, even with the changes, NexusOne users who discontinue their contracts get hit with ETFs twice, once from Google and once from their wireless provider.