Telus Eliminates Cancellation Fees For Early Upgrade Customers

by Gaurav Kheterpal on June 21, 2011

Telus continues to bring in radical changes in its pricing policy. Shortly after reducing its data roaming fee by more than half, the carrier yesterday announced the elimination of cancellation fees for early upgrades.

Early Upgrade customers will only need to pay the device balance displayed on their monthly bill – the remaining portion of the device credit they received when they purchased their previous device. The cancellation fee earlier varied from $5 -$15 a month, depending on the phone.

Telus says it’s “yet another milestone today in its commitment to make wireless client experience friendlier for Canadians by further simplifying device ownership agreements and sweeping away high cancellation fees.” Customers who no longer wish to avail Telus’ services no longer pay costly termination charges, but instead merely pay back their remaining device balance, plus a “small” administrative account closure charge of $50.

The updated policy is applicable to wireless subscribers that signed a contract after November 21, 2010. Customers who signed up before November 21, 2010 will still need to cough up an Early Device Upgrade Fee (EDUF) of between $5 and $15 for each month remaining in the term.

So, the elimination of cancellation fee ought to be good news for Telus subscribers. But is that really the case? Vancouver Sun right points out that in some cases paying out the subsidy could cost as much as the old cancellation fees. For an iPhone 4 on a 3-year contract, the cancellation fee under the Early Device Upgrade program equals $270. In contrast, customers who signed up after Nov. 21, 2010 need to pay $290 if they are to leave Telus. If they wish to upgrade, they need to pay $240. Clearly, it’s best to calculate what works best for you and then act accordingly.

Early termination fee has often been a paint point for carriers, manufacturers and customers alike. Google messed up its Nexus One sales by announcing a whopping Termination Fee of $350 if the phone is returned after the 14 day trial period but within 120 days from date of purchase. The online search giant finally had to given in to the public criticism and the federal inquiry and it reduced the ‘Equipment Recovery Fee’ from $350 to $150. Similarly, AT&T announced last May that it will raise its early termination fee for smartphone users from $175 to $325, with effect from June 1, 2010.

It’s a tricky situation as carriers and manufacturers want to safeguard their business interests while customers want to be able to upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphones for a nominal fee.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby: RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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