Returning your Nexus One? Prepare to pay up to $550.
Thinking of returning Google’s Nexus One phone? Customers may think twice after confronted by penalties from both Google and service provider T-Mobile that could amount to $550 in early equipment return and contract cancellation fees.
Full price for the phone without a contract is $539, not including service fees by T-Mobile, Google's first service partner.
The early contract and equipment penalties come as the Federal Communications Commission reviews an increase in early termination fees, or ETFs, for Verizon Wireless smartphones. The nation’s largest cellphone operator raised its penalties for smartphones to $350 from $150, sparking questions from the FCC about the increase.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said last week that Verizon’s explanation for why it increased fees “raised more questions than answered them.” Verizon said in a letter last month that its increased fees were to recover the costs of more expensive devices and for the costs of marketing and operating stores.
Here's how the fees break down:
T-Mobile charges a $200 ETF for customers who purchased a subsidized version of the Nexus One phone for $179 with a two-year T-Mobile contract. That fee would drop to $100 for customers who terminate with three months to six months left in their contracts. Customers who cancel with three months left would be charged $50.
But those fees are in addition to Google’s equipment recovery fee of $350 between 14 days and 120 days after purchase. Within 14 days of purchase through Google, Nexus One customers won’t be charged the penalty.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson described its equipment fee:
This is standard practice for third party resellers of T-Mobile and other operators, and you will find similar policies for other mobile service resellers. The T-Mobile early termination fee is separate and handled by T-Mobile.
January 13, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories: Early Termination Fees , FCC
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