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Wireless Early Termination Fees: Can You Hear Me Now?

In the past few months, several wireless service providers ?AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA — began prorating, or announced they would prorate their early termination fees (Verizon Wireless began this practice back in 2006). What that means is, if your contract is half-way through, you owe the carrier only a portion of the penalty someone who’s just signed up will pay. In the past, all customers had to play a flat early termination fee.

What I am curious about is, have these prorated early termination fees encouraged Americans to switch their wireless service providers more often? Are you more likely to switch now that proration is in effect? Have you switched specifically because the penalty was lowered? Or does proration not play much into your switching decisions? (If so, what does?) I’d love to hear about your experiences. Please drop me a line in the comments here (please be sure to leave your e-mail address) or at

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