FCC to Examine Cancellation Fees for Cable, Phone, Web

Agency responding to consumer complaints
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2008 1:02 PM CDT
Verizon Wireless faces a $1 billion class-action lawsuit from consumers about its termination fees.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The FCC says next month’s hearing on cell phone cancellation fees may also include similar charges leveled by cable and Internet providers. Chairman Kevin Martin hopes the hearing will ease consumer tension over the fees, which were among cell phone users’ five most common complaints last year, the Washington Post reports. The fees typically range from $150-200.

Wireless carriers have softened their policies recently, but they insist the fees compensate them for offering cheap phones to consumers. The companies, which want the fees to be part of the regular rates they charge, are also seeking lawsuit protection from disgruntled consumers. But one consumer advocate suggested companies retain customers through better service rather than “indentured servitude.”