Avoiding Verizon's $350 ETF for smart phones?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Anthony T, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Anthony T macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    So I have a BlackBerry Tour, which I will probably ditch when the new iPhone comes out. But I want to avoid paying the $350 ETF for smart phones. $175 I can handle, but $350 is a lot.

    So, I was thinking. What if I say that I lost my BlackBerry (I have no insurance or extended warranty on it), and I activate a spare phone that I have to use in the meantime. This spare phone is not a smartphone. Can I then sell my BlackBerry and pay the regular $175 ETF since the phone I will be using is no longer considered a smartphone?
  2. icyfire macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    Nope, not at all. The ETF is based on the phone you originally purchased when you renewed/signed your contract, not your current phone.
  3. thecellar macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2008
    i think the Droid is the only one that has a 350 early termination fee. I think blackberrys are 175. not sure though?
  4. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
    So wait

    how about this I lease a Lamborghini drive it use it then a couple months before my lease is up, lets say my Lambo gets stolen! So then lets say I find the lambo but I sell it! then I buy a chevy Nova So can I turn a Chevy Nova instead? really the things people try to come up with! :rolleyes:
  5. icyfire macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    if you purchased your Tour before they increased the ETF, then you will only have to pay the $175 ETF (minus $5 for each month since your contract started).
  6. Flhusky macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2007
    You can also 'give' your contract to someone willing to take over it.
  7. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    A little Googling found this list of the phones that have the higher ETF:

    Advanced Device List (aka the $350 ETF ones)

    (It's half the size it originally was. They removed feature phones from the list a few weeks ago.)

    The Tour is on that list. Remember, the ETF drops by $10 each month for those phones, though. How long have you had it?

    Of course, if you plan on moving carriers, you should never sign a two year contract with an expensively subsidized phone. Better to buy a used one off eBay or even Craigslist.

    Well, there's an idea anyway: you can always sell the Tour to help pay the ETF, especially if you kept it clean and still have the original box etc.
  8. Flhusky macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2007
    *However, phones purchased before the increase(Dec?) are not affected by that list. My `Droid is $175 ETF because it was purchased back in early Nov.
    I have the 5' long receipt/contract with the $175 highlighted by the VZW drone.
  9. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Indeed. If you're not intending to fulfil the contract then don't sign it!
  10. TsuaSai macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2006
    A bit off topic but does ATT EFT drop any for every month you have the phone too?
  11. APPLEFAN8 macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2007
    Pretty sure if you bought it after November 2009 you would get charged the 350 but I bought mine in July before it went into affect so it will cost me 150 when I drop them in June.
  12. thetexan macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2009
    First call Verizon to see what the ETF would be. They'll tell you what it will be should you cancel today. The call shouldn't take no more than two minutes.

    Second, pay the ETF and quit looking for a way out. It's not that big of a deal. Verizon honored their end of the contract by giving you a phone at a subsidized price and offering you service at a price you agreed to. Now honor your end by keeping the phone 2 years or paying the fee to cancel early.
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    You cant avoid it, you will have to pay for it one way or another.
    Sell the phone to make up for some of it or find someone to take over your contract.
  14. bossxii macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    Yes. I think the contract states for the 175 ETF it drops 5 per month. I don't have one in front of me but login to your ATT account and check out the terms and conditions.
  15. jesterscourt macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2009
    Honestly, Americans have no clue about how subsidies work. FREE PHONE?!? No, you'll pay for it :)
  16. Anthony T thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    Oh, please.

    You're talking about a multi-billion dollar company. If I found a way to cut my ETF in half, I doubt it would put them out of business. :rolleyes:

    Not to mention they are the only wireless carrier that charges DOUBLE the amount of the usual ETF for specific phones...Verizon is a ripoff, and they deserved to be ripped off for once. :)
  17. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    You agreed to it when you signed a legally binding contract. Stop trying to cheat them. Because if you think it's OK for you to rip them off, then everyone else will think it's OK to rip them off and they will no longer be a multi billion dollar company.

    You signed the contract. You got the subsidized phone. Now either finish out your contract or pay the damn ETF.
  18. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003

    Nice sense of entitlement. :rolleyes:
  19. thetexan macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2009
    Good luck finding a way. Considering the ETF change went into effect just a few months ago why'd you sign a new contract? Did you recently discover they are a ripoff? Verizon isn't a charity, they didn't become a multi-billion dollar company by giving people breaks. You won't find a way and you'll have to pay it so you should start saving money now for this summer. Once you switch you can sell your Tour on ebay to make some money back.
  20. Str8edgepunker macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2001
    Philadelphia, PA
    Actually there is a way to do this that may work. What you'd have to do is to look carefully at your bill when it next comes in. What you are looking for is anything that talks about rate changes for things like SMS text, administration charges, fees, or anything that causes you to pay more to Verizon due to a change they made. This is potentially a way out of the contract. If you see things like that you could claim that Verizon has made an "adverse material change" to the contract which would technically allows you to "opt out" of the contract.

    I am not an expert in this and I am not advocating that you do this. In fact, I would suggest that you finish out your contract, and then buy your iPhone. Chances are that the model that comes out later than the one you'd buy now would have features that you would end up selling your other iPhone for (The 3G to 3GS switchers). So just be happy with what you have.
  21. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed, why do some people find this so difficult?
  22. pvmacguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2009
    If you change the device from a smartphone to a dumb phone, your ETF will re-rate. I have seen it done in our system.
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    your thread is inaccurately titled. You should have put how can I defraud Verizon by findnig a way to avoid the ETF even though I willfully signed a contact agreeing to the terms
  24. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    You used to be able to claim that you were moving outside of coverage and therefore unable to complete your contract. Usually that'd let you off the hook. You'd have to have an actual address to give them and then they'd check that with their maps. If you have a relative overseas that would help you then that could work.

    PS: make sure it's someone trustworthy as your final bill is sent to the address you give them.

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