A few years in the technology world have made me believe that there is no such thing as a ‘happy customer’. There may be a temporarily satisfied one, but never happy. And that is exactly what Verizon realized, which has made them charge an increased ‘regulatory fee’ for their outgoing customers. It may just be a paltry 3 cents, from $0.13 to $0.16, but that allows you to get out of the Verizon contract early and not pay the dreaded Early Termination Fee (ETF).
Verizon thinks that if you can’t lure them, at least give them a decent goodbye. And that tactic might just work. Customers who stick to Verizon do so for a reason, because time and again they have proven to have the best coverage and fastest 4G in the country. And still if you aren’t satisfied, there is an easy exit at 3 cents, provided you want to take it.
You will need is to familiarize yourself with a clause in their contract called “material adverse change of contract”. This clause, according to the standard contract law, can render the contract void if you don’t agree with these changes. According to a customer who protested against the hike, Verizon said that the ‘regulatory fee’ is not something they charge, but it is levied by the government; which is absolutely false. This is charged as a sort of an exit fee by Verizon.
While sticking firmly to your guns, you mustn’t be afraid of arguing with the Verizon reps, and going up to a Supervisor, and patiently waiting through their out-of-tune ‘hold’ music. You should tell them that this extra 3 cents is a materially adverse change to the contract. You can also check what Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and even prepaid carriers like Cricket and MetroPCS have to offer, just to get a market survey.
To add to the 3 cent woes is also Verizon’s new data plans, which are a burden more than a plan. The 3 cent rise is so minuscule that it need not be worried about, but the hidden agenda is such that once customers quit over the unnecessary increase in an exit rate and leave the service; if they choose to come back to it, Verizon will put them on their data tiers, and not on the unlimited plans. So, even though it looks like Verizon is betting against itself, the truth is that it has long term plans for a long haul profit margin. So, if you take the plunge and exit Verizon, it is quite likely, knowing other cell service plans, that you will literally come crawling back to Verizon and pay back the 3 cents at a much higher price, along with your dignity.
To quote Verizon, “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”.
So be very careful what you decide to do, protest or meekly accept. And, if you have a better mind game to play on Verizon, feel free to share it with other users too.