FCC adds AT&T, Google, Sprint and T-Mobile to Verizon ETF inquiry
Verizon, in particular, was also getting hurt when customers took advantage of BOGO offers on certain cellphones to play "Cellphone Arbitrage". In this situation, the customer would buy a phone, getting the second unit for free by signing a second contract. The customer would then sell the free phone on eBay, cancel the extra 2 year line, and turn a nice profit-a profit that technically came out of the carrier's pocket. Verizon replied to this by doubling its ETF on certain advanced model phones which brought on the unwanted attention of the FCC. It also recently came to light that T-Mobile customers who walk out early on a 2 year contract can end up owing more in Early Termination Fees than the cost to buy the unsubsidized version of the Nexus One. The FCC wants the companies to disclose how customers are told about the ETF in ads, corporate web sites, monthly statements and sales scripts. In Google's case, the Commission is looking into Equipment Recovery Fees charged by the Mountain View based company.
sources: FCC via Reuters, EngadgetMobile