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Call Kurtis: What Can You Do About Early Termination Fees?

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ROCKLIN (CBS13) – Sara Minor had only days left before her two-year AT&T cellphone contract ended.

“It was time to make a change,” said Minor, a mother who said she was fed up with AT&T’s inconsistent signal at her house.

Verizon had a limited-time deal, offering savings of $140 for her family, she said. She made the switch nine days before her contract ended, planning to just pay off the pro-rated remaining nine days of her AT&T contract.

She didn’t expect AT&T would ask for more than $400 in early termination fees, however.

“I was just frosted,” she said.

It was time to Call Kurtis.

Minor said her regular bill was less than $200, so the final bill came as a surprise.

While she was willing to pay off her pro-rated regular bill, AT&T told her she had breached their agreement and had to pay their entire fee, she said.

“Almost two decades of being loyal to them, and they can’t even do me a solid on the way out the door,” she said. “Obviously, they don’t care.”

AT&T’s contract mentions customers have options if they want to end the agreement early: Either customers can pay for the services described in your customer service summary — which is what Minor wanted to do — or pay a pro-rated early termination fee.

“There nothing even kind of fair about it,” said consumer attorney Robert Buccola, who looked over the agreement.

AT&T is not abiding by its own agreement, according to Buccola.

“This is why class-action cases are given life,” he said, “because of things like this.”

Just hours after we got involved, AT&T immediately waived Minor’s entire termination fee, but without giving any explanation.

Sara’s still disappointed it took so much effort to get her situation with AT&T resolved.

“We’re never going back,” she said.

Some cellphone companies have been known to make you special deals or even let you cancel completely if you have weak signal, and some may even let consumers cancel completely in some cases.

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