Consumer Protection

Early Termination Fees


Are you thinking about changing your satellite, cable or other television service provider before your contract expires? First, be sure to check with your service provider, or you may have to pay an Early Termination Fee (ETF).

Many companies require customers to commit to service with them for a certain number of months, usually 12 to 24. If you terminate service before the expiration date, you may be charged a fee for early cancellation. The amount of the ETF varies greatly depending on the service, product and provider.

Tips:

  • Ask about the cost of the ETF prior to signing any contract.
  • Research the reputation and service of the service provider to ensure their service will meet your entertainment needs.
  • Be prepared to commit to the service provider for one to two years. Also, ask about the cost of service without a long term obligation and without an ETF, especially if you may move within one or two years.
  • Ask the service provider if they have a policy of pro-rating ETFs. Pro-rating refers to reducing the amount of the ETF based upon the length of time remaining in the contract term. Not every service provider allows pro-rating of ETFs.
  • Ask the service provider if they allow risk-free trials. Keep in mind that although you may avoid an ETF with a trial period, other fees may apply.
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