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1/28/2010
00:23 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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AT&T Settles Early Termination Fee Suit

AT&T settled a class action lawsuit yesterday for $18 million in New Jersey. If you paid an early termination fee to AT&T Wireless or any of its predecessors between January 1, 1998 and today, you may be eligible for a piece of the settlement.

AT&T settled a class action lawsuit yesterday for $18 million in New Jersey. If you paid an early termination fee to AT&T Wireless or any of its predecessors between January 1, 1998 and today, you may be eligible for a piece of the settlement.The settlement states that the $18 million will be $16 million in cash and $2 million in non-cash benefits. The form of the non-cash benefits aren't specified,

To get the forms to file your claim, head to ATTMETFSettlement.com. Right now, you have until June 14, 2010 to file your claim, but they may extend that is circumstances warrant. If you want to exclude yourself from the settlement so you can sue AT&T on your own, you have until March 24. Then you can hire your own attorney and spend thousands of dollars and recover far more than the average Joe. You might even win back your entire termination fee. Seems to me it is just easier to file the form, get the standard claim and move on. The statement also makes it clear that you do not call AT&T to handle this. The web site above or by calling 1-888-228-0885 are the only ways to get your claim in.

Note that this only applies to the fixed early termination fees, not the newer pro-rated fees.

I get the need and purpose for ETFs. Cellular companies discount phones that you purchase with long term contracts and amortize the cost of that discount over the life of the contract. The problem is those fees are often in excess of the discount and fixed fees are worse. I was ready to cancel a BellSouth Mobility contract and my ETF was more than the remaining two months on my plan, so I just got a new phone with another carrier and let the contract expire. Those kinds of ETFs punitive and the subject of this suit.

There. This is probably the first tech blog you've read in the last 24 hours that didn't mention Apple or the iPad.

Oops.

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