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Change in ETF
wilsedw
Member

Hello, all:

 

I have three voice lines and a data card with Verizon. My data card had been month-to-month for a while and in early July, I decided to upgrade my data device (Sierra Wireless AC595 installed in a Linksys router) to a 4G hotspot in anticipation of VZW's 4G rollout in my area later this year. I initially had the Samsung 4G hotspot, and it was almost completely useless. I have to have a reliable Internet connection for work and the Samsung couldn't hold a connection long enough to transfer information reliably. A second Samsung device had the same problem. At the suggestion of a VZW technician, they switched me to the Novatel MiFi 4G. It was a little better than the Samsung but still couldn't hold a reliable connection. In the end, I switched back to the Sierra Wireless/Linksys combo in late July and have enjoyed reliable service ever since.

 

I have since found out about a turnkey wireless broadband company that sells a 20 gigabyte 3G plan for the same price as Verizon's 5 gigabyte 3G plan (uzing Verizon's network, no less). Out of respect for VZW, I will not post the name of the other company on its own forum. Suffice to say I ordered service through the other company and I'm looking to terminate my VZW contract, which previously had an ETF of $175 (both when I had the 4G hotspot and after I switched back to the original 3G plan). Now, suddenly, the ETF is listed at $350.

 

I have received the following communications in my Account Documents area: 

 

July 21st, 2011 (this is when I was switched to the Novatel device)

Plan name: 4G Mobile Broadband 5G then $10/GB plan for $50/month

Text: Thank you for your continued loyalty to Verizon Wireless. This letter confirms your request to upgrade your equipment for wireless number (618) 317-7931 on July 18, 2011. We havealso listed the details concerning your wireless service below.

Important Cancellation Information: If you decide to cancel your service prior to July 11, 2013, an early termination fee of up to $175 will apply. For details, please review the "What Happens if My Postpay Service isCanceled Before the End of My Contract Term?" section of your Customer Agreement.

 

August 3rd, 2011 (this is when I re-activated the Sierra Wireless device and switched back to the 3G data plan)

Plan name: Mobile Broadband USA Only 5GB then $0.05/MB Plan

Text: Thank you for your continued loyalty to Verizon Wireless. This letter confirms your requestto change your calling plan for wireless number (618) 317-7931 on July 31, 2011. Asdiscussed, this change went into effect on July 27, 2011. We have also listed the detailsconcerning your wireless service below.

Import Cancellation Information: If you decide to cancel your service prior to July 11, 2013, an early termination fee of up to $175 will apply. For details, please review the "What Happens if My Postpay Service is Canceled Before the End of My Contract Term?" section of your Customer Agreement. 

 

August 12th, 2011 (I hadn't contacted VZW since I re-activated the Sierra Wireless device)

Plan name: Mobile Broadband USA Only 5GB then $0.05/MB Pla

Text: Thank you for your continued loyalty to Verizon Wireless. This letter confirms an updatemade to your account information for wireless number  (618) 317-7931 on August 6, 2011. We have also listed the details concerning your wireless service below.

Important Cancellation Information:  If you decide to cancel your service prior to January 20, 2013 an early termination fee of up to $350 will apply. For details, please review the "What Happens if My Postpay Service is Canceled Before the End of My Contract Term?" section of your Customer Agreement.

 

Firstly, I absolutely understand that I signed a contract and I'll have to pay an ETF to be let out of the contract. I have no problem with this. I don't understand, however, why my ETF increased to $350 from $175 when I haven't made any additional changes to the account. Also, I'm not sure why my contract term now expires in January 2013 as opposed to July. I was told by VZW customer service today that I'd need to pay $280 to be excused from this contract. When I brought up these discrepancies, the representative said the $350 charge was because I initiated the contract with a 4G device and those have higher ETFs. That would be an acceptable answer if the initial ETF with the 4G hotspot hadn't been $175, as shown above. She said she wasn't able to see my above account documents and wasn't able to offer any other explanation. 

 

If you've managed to read through this entire post without falling asleep, thank you. I'd appreciate any help anyone could give to shed some light on this situation. If you need to know any other details, just ask and I'll be happy to post them. I've been an extremely satisfied VZW customer for 8 years and I plan to keep my voice lines with them, but I have to say I was extremely disappointed with the fact that their 4G devices seem completely unready for prime time. I was even more disappointed with their responses to my problems with these devices--tech support didn't know what to do and it was like pulling teeth to get them to take the devices back. Now I have this increased ETF with no apparent explanation. 

 

Thank you again for reading and thank you in advance for any help you might be able to provide.

 

Ed

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Re: Change in ETF
wilsedw
Member

As an update, I called VZW customer support again, thinking that maybe a different rep would have some other ideas. The rep transferred me to customer retention. Customer retention was able to explain that the $350 ETF is because I used this line's upgrade to get a Droid X for my dad. The Droid X line's upgrade was used for the data card line. Apparently it just took them a while to realize this and apply the $350 rule to this line. The new contract still applies to the data card line, even though I went back to my original device. I'm not altogether happy with this, but I did go through several devices before deciding to go back to the original, so I can understand it. 

 

Customer retention did make some efforts to keep me, but the rep wasn't surprised that a third party company was essentially re-selling VZW's network for less cost. He said he wasn't able to match the other company's offer, but that he would definitely pass on to management the fact that I found a better deal elsewhere. The rep did say that they'd be happy to refund my ETF if the new company didn't measure up and I wanted to come back to VZW. I was really happy with this rep...it's very unfortunate that the customer service folks seem to be so inconsistent at VZW. Some of them are truly great (like this one), and some of them seem as though they don't really care if they do a good job or not. 

 

All in all, VZW's network is still the best, so I'll just keep on keeping on. Additionally, the company isn't Cricket. It's a very small operation based in Oregon. I interrogated their customer service person (the only one they have, apparently) for a good twenty minutes before I finally decided to try their service. :smileyhappy:

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Re: Change in ETF
budone
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

I hope the wireless company is not Clear.

 

They throttle when they feel like it.  I have not heard one good word about them.

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Re: Change in ETF
wilsedw
Member

Thanks for your reply! No, the company isn't Clear. I've heard awful things about them, as well. The provider I'm switching to is a turnkey reseller of broadband using the Sprint and Verizon Wireless networks. Sprint isn't in this area (Sprint uses Verizon's network in thsi area), so the service will be using the same Verizon cell site I'm using now. 

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Re: Change in ETF
Ginsberg
Novice
hopefully not cricket either , be prepaid for customer service to the phillipines .
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Re: Change in ETF
Ginsberg
Novice
not prepaid, *prepared
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Re: Change in ETF
budone
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

Ginsberg, FYI, you can click the 'Options' button on the post with the word Prepaid, and correct it within an hour of posting the message

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Re: Change in ETF
wilsedw
Member

As an update, I called VZW customer support again, thinking that maybe a different rep would have some other ideas. The rep transferred me to customer retention. Customer retention was able to explain that the $350 ETF is because I used this line's upgrade to get a Droid X for my dad. The Droid X line's upgrade was used for the data card line. Apparently it just took them a while to realize this and apply the $350 rule to this line. The new contract still applies to the data card line, even though I went back to my original device. I'm not altogether happy with this, but I did go through several devices before deciding to go back to the original, so I can understand it. 

 

Customer retention did make some efforts to keep me, but the rep wasn't surprised that a third party company was essentially re-selling VZW's network for less cost. He said he wasn't able to match the other company's offer, but that he would definitely pass on to management the fact that I found a better deal elsewhere. The rep did say that they'd be happy to refund my ETF if the new company didn't measure up and I wanted to come back to VZW. I was really happy with this rep...it's very unfortunate that the customer service folks seem to be so inconsistent at VZW. Some of them are truly great (like this one), and some of them seem as though they don't really care if they do a good job or not. 

 

All in all, VZW's network is still the best, so I'll just keep on keeping on. Additionally, the company isn't Cricket. It's a very small operation based in Oregon. I interrogated their customer service person (the only one they have, apparently) for a good twenty minutes before I finally decided to try their service. :smileyhappy:

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