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AT&T Raising Smartphone ETF’s To $325 in June

AT&T ETF WTF ETF’s are a carriers first line of discouraging customers from cancelling their contracts. Verizon was the first to raise their ETF’s through the roof to $350 and they received a FCC investigation over the subject. It seems like that has quieted down with no hard feelings so now AT&T wants to jump on the bandwagon.

The Wall Street Journal (Paid subscription) got the details on the proposed raise. AT&T will be raising their smartphone ETF from $175 to $325 while non-smartphones will actually see their ETF drop to $150. This only applies to new contracts so current contracts are safe.

So what do you think of the increase? What really irks me about ETF’s is that carriers claim they are meant to help them recoup the subsidies they provide on devices. The problem is that the subsidy is nowhere near $350. For example, If you pick up the new BlackBerry Bold 9700 for the current price on AT&T’s website you pay $199.99. Add the $350 subsidy fee to that and you have $550 paid for a $450 retail price phone. The math just doesn’t add up. Especially since carriers are not paying retail…

via IntoMobile

4 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Impending release of iPhone 4, and BlackBerry 9800. Coincidence? I think not!

    • the release of the 9800 on AT&T is a ways off on the horizon. AT&T usually tests new phones on their network for about 3 months. Testers have yet to receive the 9800 for field testing. So, I suspect that the release is a lot less impending then we would like to think.

  2. Maybe it has something to do with the iPhone that’s coming to Verizon soon. Maybe they’re trying to discourage they’re customers from jumping ship when the iPhone finally debuts on Verizon. I don’t know…

  3. I agree. The carriers seem to want regulators to forget the money spent up front.

    In general I have no problem with an ETF that is financially fair. AND that decreases fairly per month. On ATT you would still owe an ETF of $95 at month 23 of 24 and on Verizon you would owe $120 still at month 23 of 24. Over and above what you paid up front. Crazy.

    IMHO this is both carriers first step towards a Rogers-like 36 month contract on smartphones.

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