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AT&T raises smartphone early termination fee to $325

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In a desperate attempt to keep users with them, AT&T announce a couple of days ago that they are upping the smartphone early terminiation free from $175 to$325 starting on June 1st 2010.  I wonder if this could have anything to do with AT&T’s exclusive contract with Apple’s iPhone expiring and the rumors of the next iPhone to be on Verizon.
     An AT&T spokesperson claimed in a statement that the change has nothing to do with such rumors, and is actually to keep in line with the competition. Verizon implemented a similar tiered scheme for their termination plan late last year.  Though I’m a little confused here, were you want to be better than you compitition not as bad as them.  To me this smacks of desperation, if AT&T was truely being competitive, they’d lower the termination fee to compete with Verzion.  Though the $375 termination fee will “step-down” in price as you go through your contract, though supposedly even in the 23rd month, it’d still be $95 to cancel your plan.
    If the rumor is true and Verizon does get the iPhone then this may be AT&T’s only chance to try to make money off the people leaving for Verizon.  If you’ve talked with most iPhone users, many would say that AT&T coverage with their phone is horrible with many dropped calls and spotty coverage.  Though to be honest, here in Philadelphia, I don’t have any problems with my iPhone.  People who did have a problem with AT&T’s service, that I talked to, would gladly pay that amount to be free from them.
    It sounds like AT&T rather than solving their problem and being the best in the market, would rather attempt to trap you into dealing with them then being the best phone providor.  To me this is just plain bad buisness practice.  I always learned that to compete in buisness you needed to be the best…not be exactly where your compitition is.  Maybe that mantra is dead, and AT&T would rather have your money than you.

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