Tips & Tricks

New Verizon Fee Increase May Allow You To Break Your Contract With No Early Termination Fee


Chances are if you’re on Verizon, you’re there for a reason. Because time and time again they have proven to have some of the best coverage and fastest 4G in the country. But what if you’re still not a happy customer? Well, it has come to our attention that Verizon has increased the “regulatory fee” they currently charge customers. How much you ask? Only a paltry 3 cents but according to The Consumerist, whether it’s $50 or 3 cents, that is enough for you to get out of your Verizon contract early and not have to pay that nasty Early Termination Fee. If you want to get into some more legal talk this change to your contract is known as a “material adverse change of contract” and according to standard contract law, could render the contract void if you don’t agree with these changes.

Now, despite the name official sounding name, a “regulatory fee” is not something charged by our government and is just another fee Verizon assesses. When talking with a Verizon rep, they may try to talk you out of it, give you the runaround but don’t be afraid to escalate to a supervisor or hang up and try someone else.

Keep in mind you only have 60 days from July 1st to make the cancellation and after that it will be assumed you have accepted any changes to your contract. To quote Verizon’s customer agreement,

Can Verizon Wireless Change This Agreement or My Service?We may change prices or any other term of your Service or this agreement at any time,but we’ll provide notice first, including written notice if you have Postpay Service. If you use your Service after the change takes effect, that means you’re accepting the change. If you’re a Postpay customer and a change to your Plan or this agreement has a material adverse effect on you, you can cancel the line of Service that has been affected within 60 days of receiving the notice with no early termination fee.

So if for some reason you have been unhappy with Verizon (blazing fast 4G LTE speeds caused your phone to melt?) or perhaps you had your eyes set on the numerous new phone’s that have launched on rival carriers, now might be your time to try something new.

Thanks, KLY412!

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Monte Carlo from Orange Coming Soon To A UK Retailer Near You

Previous article

Android Overload: Ericsson Hits 1GBs Down with LTE Advanced, Evo 3D Only $150 On Amazon Wireless and More

Next article

You may also like


  1. RU serious? Ok, so I can cancel my verizon service, and get verizon again to get a new phone? You know the saying, if it sounds too good to be true, than it probably is.

    1. I suppose that MIGHT be possible.. but then you would lose your number. =p

      1. port it out to google voice…

        1. Porting out from what I understood, is different than actually flat out
          disconnecting and in fact, doesn’t fall into the ETF waiver. Play it out
          and see what happens.

    2. Uh… I think the point is you can cancel without the charges, to go with another carrier and get a new phone.

    3. Think about it like this, it’s not a deal. It’s Verizon fulfilling their legal obligation to you.

      Just as you cannot unilaterally change the terms of your contract, neither can they.

    4. The reason you can cancel your contract is because Verizon is making a  change that is costing you more money and you don’t agree with the change, so you can leave without paying an ETF. If you resign with the same number you are agreeing to the contract change and they will just reactivate your account the way it was when you left. If you try to resign with a new contract you would be responsible for the ETF on the previous line since by resigning you are saying you agree to the change. You may ask, “How would they know?” They would know when they ran your information that you had a contract you just cancelled because you didn’t agree to the fee increase. The only way to get out of your contract and get a new phone would be to cancel and sign up under someone else.

  2. I advise EVERYONE who wants to get a better and cheaper carrier to do so now because of this. This is a GRAND opportunity and these do not show up often.

    1. Cheaper is the name of the game. I’ve not had any issues with Verizon, but I haven’t with other carriers either. I don’t surf enough to need the fastest speeds on the planet, but I do like having some cash in my wallet at the end of the month. Verizon is expensive, period.

      1. Yeah well you get what you pay for. They have always been a little more expensive if you cant afford it then why did you sign up with them in the first place?

        1. You need to work on your reading comprehension skills, he didn’t say he couldn’t afford it, nor did he even allude to that; pay attention genius.

          1. Perfect

          2. I can comprehend just fine he said he likes having some money left over so if he does then go join sprint or tmo. Not to mention you used the ; wrong clownass.

          3. LOL

          4. its called a semicolon. all of those strange symbols on keyboards have names. the guy was just fucking saying verizon is expensive fuck head; leave it to a tool like you to insist that metaphors don’t exist (yes, it is a metaphor, and yes that is a proper use of a semicolon). also, scottcolbert did properly use the semicolon. his true error was the comma between ‘skills’ and ‘he’

        2. You were just looking for something to say werent you?

    2. This. For anyone pissed off about upcoming tiered data or disappointed in Verizon’s lineup or their treatment of Android, or whatever, this is the time to drop them. 

    3. I advise everyone not to take the advice of comment posters on blog sites and instead determine for yourself what your situation is and what course of action is best for you.  

      (Yes, my comment does create a paradox loop. Live with it.) 

    4. You could take advantage of Sprint’s $125 port in credit and snag an Evo 3D.

  3. Won’t work. It’s not an materially adverse affect on anyone, even a hobo can afford 3 cents ( 15 cents if you have 5 lines. )

    1. I’m so glad you are smarter than the Consumerist.

      1. Go ahead and try to cancel over $0.03. They would let me cancel, no problem, but they still insisted that I would have to pay the early termination fee. They told me that $0.03 wasn’t enough to be materially adverse. I even spoke to a supervisor that said the same.

        1. They are wrong

        2. Exactly, you just need to stick to your guns. They can’t tell you what is materially adverse to you. You can’t fall in to their trap they set like that.

    2. I did not sign this NEW CONTRACT. If they change it, even if I save money, I can disagree with the NEW CONTRACT.   Therefore, yes, it will work. BUT, I doubt you can just sign a new contract with them. AND morally, that is a bad decision.

      1. Actually I believe you can NOT cancel due to “material adverse change of contract” if the change saves you money.  That would not be an adverse affect. 

      2. Sorry forgot to mention this in the last post, but every contract that contains a “material adverse change of contract” clause has it’s own definition of what a material adverse effect is, so you would have to check Verizon’s definition to find exactly which circumstances amount to a material adverse effect.  More likely than not, though, this would only apply to price increases and not price decreases.

    3. Materially adverse =/= affordable.  In the same vein, can you change your side of the contract and just say you’ll pay 10$ less per month…certainly not without their approval.  It will work.

  4. This just sounds too good to be true? So I can do this starting July 1st? What if I’m a primary on a family plan? Could I cancel my line?

    1. Pretty sure you’re responsible for all the other lines on your account.. But I guess it’s possible…..?

      1. What if you aren’t cancelling the primary line on a family plan but just one of the add on lines. Would you still have to cancel all the accounts if you aren’t trying to get out of the contract on the primary line?

    2. No. You would have to cancel all of them. You can’t claim that it’s a material adverse change on one line on the same account and not the other. Even if you are sharing an account with some friends and everyone is paying their own part the contract is still under a primary account holder and by not cancelling all the lines the primary account holder is agreeing to the contract change and would be responsible for the ETF on any line you cancel.

  5. I just got a Thunderbolt off ebay. If this works, I could sign up for a new contract, get a new iPhone on the cheap, sell it, and reactivate my Thunderbolt before the new data plans kick in! 8D

    1. That’s awesome if it works! However, there are probably some restrictions. Rockstar323 hit it on the nail down below.

      1. Called them. After denials and me reading them the contract I got it kicked up to a Manager. He told me they were going to credit the difference, therefore there would be no materially adverse effect and therefore I couldn’t cancel without an ETF. Sneaky bastards 8(

  6. Ahh HELL no. They are not making me pay an extra $0.03. This did it. Im switching.

  7. You’re paying $90/month for service and you are going to claim that 3 cents has an adverse affect on you to void the contract?

    Thanks for pointing out how this country has gone downhill; where ethics and integrity are no longer important.

    1. +11111 so true people bitch and moan about everything. I hope these people leave and then want to come back and not be able to get unlimited data. People are such a joke and it shows with the way our country is now.

      1. Our country is the way it is now because large corporations have the money and the power to do what they want with consumers with little to no consequences and people like you and Dave pat them on the back and offer a reach around cause your macho sense of self-reliance can then be massaged until you are the ones that get bent over by the corporations and are left to wonder how it ended up this way.

        Contracts are legally breakable if one party changes the terms. In reality, only corporations are able to change these terms and tell you they can at any time. Think you could tell them the same? Fat chance.

        When they decide to do this this is your rare moment to exercise some power and exit the contract. It’s legal and I see no ethical issue. 

        Get off your high horse and stop defending the large corporations. They have armies of lawyers and lobbyists that are doing just fine at that!

        1. Contract Changes = Something you didn’t agree to. Period. You can back out then. Amounts don’t matter. It could SAVE you money, but you still didn’t agree and can therefore “disagree” and cancel.

          Corporations aren’t the problem. Government control and supported monopolies are the problem…

          1.  No… in order to cancel without penalty, there has to me a material *adverse* consequence.  (And that’s the way it should be, btw. If companies ran the risk of people breaking contracts if they did something to *improve* their service – or cost per service – they would not ever do so.)

    2. The issue is not the amount, the issue is that Verizon is changing the terms of the contract AFTER you’ve signed it.

      Sure, right now it’s 3 cents. But what if next time they decide to limit when you can and can’t receive picture messages? You still have the ability to use them, but maybe just once per hour. When you signed up for their service that was not part of the deal. Shouldn’t you be able to get out of the contract when they were the ones that changed it?

    3. “Ethics” went out the window when the cell companies decided to break ranks with all other business, and deceptively list normal costs of business as separate line-item “fees” worded to make you believe they’re something that they’re not.

      In all other business, all these things are just the cost of business, and are factored into the singular final price of the product. You don’t buy a coffee for $0.99 and pay a $0.03 wages fee, $0.02 water regulation surcharge, $0.01 electrical services fee, etc.

      If the cell companies can play dirty, then the consumer can play dirty right back. If they want “ethics”, they can make the first move.

      1. Agreed. Problem is we’ve let them get away with it. 

      2. Men you just hit a home run with the bases loaded, i agree with you 1000%.

    4. Get off that high horse for a minute and pay attention. It’s not the .03 cent increase but the fact that Verizon is changing the contract. I thought that was simple enough for anyone to understand, guess not. 

      1. High horse? that man’s on a pony with downs. 

    5. Dave_B23 you make it sound like the cell companies are honest angels who always abide by these “ethics” you seem to think us common folks just crap on. 

      Do you honestly think that Verizon, or any other cellular, banking, credit card company, etc. would hesitate for an instant to break a contract over 3cents?

      You better believe they will ALWAYS take advantage of any legal loophole or minor tenant of a contract if it is remotely to their advantage.

      There is NOTHING unethical here. If you choose to pursue this then you are simply exercising your rights under a legal contract. 

      I suggest you get off your high hoarse and hope that Big Red doesn’t bend you over over 3cents some day, cause if they can they will!

    6. So using your logic, I should be able to pay 3 cents less for any purchase of $90 or more.  After all, it is only 3 cents.  So in your world, I can simply walk into verizon after signing a contract and state “I decided I am not going to pay you my full balance going forward.  You will be receiving 3 cents less from me every month going forward.”  You will quickly find your service suspended and your account in collections.

      1. Only $.03 yeah your right.  102.2 million subscribers.  It only means an extra $3.66 million MILLION DOLLARS in Verizon’s pocket per month.  Get a clue only $.03.  pfft

    7. This isn’t fucking church camp.  It’s business. 

      Besides, if you juxtapose the Eurpoean pricing and the prices charged by American companies it’s clear that we’re already getting screwed.  Why not take advantage of something when it is part of your contract.

  8. The issue at hand here is that they are not at liberty to decide what is materially adverse to me. So you just need a pair of balls and a hour of your time to stick it to them over the phone till they gave in. Rules are rules folks.

    1. Actually they do get to decide for you.  When a “material adverse change of contract” clause is put in a contract that contract also defines what can be considered a material adverse change.

      1. Accept they don’t define what that is, because they can’t. And it’s not there any way in the user agreement telling me how much is allowed before I am effected in a materially adverse way.

  9. Thanks for the heads up, just the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been on the ropes about canceling my service with Verizon but now that I do not have to pay an ETF I’m out!. Can’t wait to start saving money!

  10. Poultry? o.O (Paltry)

    1. LOLz at that mistake

    2. 3 cents per chicken sounds like a good deal! LOL!!!

  11. im no contract lawyer.. but in the previously linked service contract.. theres this paragraph:

    Government Taxes, Fees and SurchargesYou must pay all taxes, fees and surcharges set by federal, state and local governments. Please note that we may not always be able to notify you in advance of changes to these charges.

    I believe they could have a leg to stand on if they really wanted to.

    1. No.

      That is referring to Federal, State, or Local Government charges. The price increase in the article is coming directly from Verizon.

      1. i dont think i got that email.  would i just call customer service?  is there a time limit?

        1. Yes on both questions. You have 60 days to cancel starting July 1st.

  12. Don’t look at the price increase. It could be $.01 and it would still be a material adverse effect. They are changing the contract you and Verizon both agreed on when you signed up for service by making a change that it is costing you more money than you originally agreed on when you signed your name on the contract. If you dont leave in 60 days you are saying that you agree to the change and the new contract terms.

    If you try to cancel and resign you are agreeing to the terms of the contract change and one of two things can happen.

    1. They just reactivate your old number and old contract the way it was before you left.

    2. Let you sign up, get a new phone for new activation pricing but charge you the ETF on the original contract.

  13. This is an old post. Research carefully before putting your trust (or hopes) on this information.

    1. If you’re referring to when Verizon changed the per text message cost from $.10 to $.15 and they weren’t allowing people to cancel without an ETF you’re somewhat correct. That was a material adverse change and not everyone was able to get away with cancelling their contract ETF free. That was Verizon not holding up their end of the contract though. Some people tried to cancel citing material adverse change and had an unlimited text package so the charge increase wouldn’t effect them therefor no material adverse change. If you were to cancel citing material adverse effect and they still charged you an ETF you legally don’t have to pay it. However, that doesn’t stop Verizon for still charging you the ETF and sending you to collections if you don’t pay it. You would have to fight it, in court possibly. You would win but it would be a pain in the ass which is probably what they were counting on. My best advice is keep calling CS and escalating till you got someone who cancelled your contract without an ETF. If you do decide to cancel and they say you will be charged an ETF then I would record the call, say that the reason you’re cancelling is because the new charge is a material adverse change and even repeat their own line in the contract posted in the article above verbatim. 

  14. This doesn’t work for a reason to actually cancel your contract because Verizon can offer you a courtesy credit to offset the “adverse effect” the change would cause.

    1. That’s what they did to me. 8(

  15. “Only a poultry 3 cents”

    3 cents per chicken???

    Perhaps the word you are looking for is “paltry”?????

    1. The level of incompetence in the writing on this site is beyond sad.

      1. And here you are, reading it!

  16. Would love to be a fy on your wall when you douche bags call Vzw and try to sound confident as you state that .03 is materially adverse to you. Good luck with your mcdonalds lawsuit because they made you fat too!

    1. The amount doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they have changed the terms of your contract. Which requires them to let you be able to cancel your contract without charging a fee.

    2. No need to call.  Simply port and get the ETF waived after the fact.

  17. Can I just use this to bypass my upgrade wait time? I guess I could go the route of cancel contract and sign a new one for new phone?

    1. I hope you cannot. As I think that is morally wrong and I hope considered FRAUD.

      1. You can think of it what you will but it is certainly not fraud.

  18. it’s not just a chance to leave the carrier, but if you have been wanting to upgrade your phone, but can’t do so because you’re not available for upgrade, here is your chance.  end your contract, and upgrade.  the only real question is this new contract starts july 1, however when does the tiered data plan start?  could be the magical time to get an early upgrade.

  19. I’m very happy with Sprint!

    1. says the one person.

      1. i am too…so make that “two”.

      2. Make it three (: Can’t beat my EVO 3D Man

        1. Me too. I started using Sprint a month ago in parallel with Verizon and I am very happy with them. I will now take advantage of Verizon breach of contract and will dump them.

  20. I guess losing the number is the main issue. The Customer Agreement states that you have 60 days to CANCEL the line of service. Canceling the line of service sure sounds like canceling the number with that line too. Read the article linked to The Consumerist…they make it very clear that the key is strictly staying with “material adverse effect.” If you give the CS rep the least idea that you’re cancelling for any other reason, they’ll not cooperate (“This increase will have a material adverse effect for me…btw, can I port my current number over to the new phone I am going to buy now?”)…not sure, but I’m guessing that’ll equal “avoiding etf…FAIL!”

  21. This is a new rule? 

    Couldn’t they just change it weeks later and you “amend you’re contract”. The Cell providers. Damn sneaky. “WHAT YOU DIDN’T HEAR ABOUT THE HIDDEN FEES”.

  22. Keeping your current # is simple.  After 7/1 port the current number to  Tracfone or similar cheapy phone,  Then get a new line/phone with VZW and port the old number back in from Tracfone.  Done.

  23. Oh, and do this before 7/7 to still get unlimited data. :-)

  24. Now is your chance! Get out of your Verizon contract and hop on with the winners….Join AT&T!!!!

    BAHH I couldn’t keep a straight face through that one.

  25. Has anyone actually called yet and tried to have the fees waived yet?

    1. I’ve written them via my online account and have asked to be able to go month to month now.  Will let you all know….

      Suggest others do the same.

      1. Please do. I have a family plan and would love to get out of contract now that they are changing to the tiered data package

      2. IIRC, Month to Month is not an option, you have to fully cancel, I tried this last time they had a change and wouldn’t let me go month to month.

        1. I can see where they would not allow that. If that’s the response I get I will ask that my non acceptance of the terms be noted in my account history prior to me porting out.

  26. An I the only one that is reading that they may change it up to $.16 per line. In other words, INCREASE it by a max of $.16 on top of the $.13 they charge now.

    I wouldn’t be surprised.

  27. my bill is $300.
    4 moto dx’s 
    data ,insurance, 
    i still have 18 months to go on two phones.
    this would be a great opportunity to start fresh. 
       i would get a new contract under my wifes name.
    i love the quality of big red.
    4 new 4g phones does sound great.
     18 months is a long time to wait for an upgrade

  28. Poultry. Jesus, why are you writing again?

  29. I want to know the exact same thing as Doctagadget.  My girlfriends dad just used her upgrade and i was planning on moving her over to sprint to be on my employee plan, but not for a 350 dollar cancellation fee (only 200 at sprint btw)

    Can i use this .03 cents change to cancel only her line.  I feel like Verizon would rather lose i line than all 3

  30. Remember all those who cancelled their contracts because of a knee-jerk reaction to tiered pricing, only to find out that they would have been grandfathered? Understand what you’re doing before you do it. Check with VZ. Be persistent if need be, but don’t just take the flippant advice you read on a blog.

  31. Better do it before tiered pricing (july 7).

  32. O_o

  33. I tried getting them to let me go contract free and was denied. I’ve now asked to have Retentions note that I will not be charged an ETF when I port out on 7/1. Awaiting their response.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *