Sorry, rant post. Here we go.
Anyone tired of this oligopoly that is our mobile phone industry? I have been a Verizon customer since the first day I bought a cellphone many many years ago. But now it's just getting ridiculously expensive, and it's not only Verizon, Sprint and AT&T aren't much different. Anyone remember the good old days when you didn't have to buy a $30/month data plan? Thank God I got grandfathered in the $15/month for 150MB plan from my old Blackberry so I don't have to pay $30/month for 2GB of data. 2GB data is more data than I need in 2 years. I'm someone who uses his phone as a phone - for calls, a few texts, and occasionally responding to important emails - not someone who uses his phone as a big toy/small computer - for music, videos, web browsing etc.
So last night I did some research, looking for a cheaper carrier and fell in love with TMobile. I then called Verizon hoping to cancel my contract only to find out that I will be charged a $180 early termination fee if I cancel before my contract is over. So I went to a TMobile store today and asked the manager if they have any promotion/incentive for me to ditch Verizon. Since they're on the bottom of the big mobile service providers, maybe they'll take on more risk for a loyal customer. TMobile people said that they have had customers before switching before contract's end, and TMobile paid half of the customer's early termination fee. So I thought, great, let me call TMobile and see if I can get that. Called 3 times, got 3 different CSR, all said no.
Then I did some research online to see if there's any way to get out of contract without having to pay a hefty ETF. The things people come up with now days... Fake my own death? Tell them I'm deployed? The most reasonable one is to check the billing policy from the past few months and see if any changed. So I tried to do that online, couldn't find it, chatted up CSR for about 20 minutes to ask for Verizon's billing policy. This was extremely difficult for her to understand. After some more time, she came back and said that the only thing that changed was my data plan (it hasn't changed for years). At which point I gave up.
Any idea for me to get out of this contract without having to pay the ETF?