A surefire way to avoid an early termination fee

It’s stories like this that make us think: Why didn’t we think of that? After all, we’re always looking for ways to get out of cell phone contacts, because they’re close to being pacts of slavery. But it appears that former Verizon subscriber Corey Taylor has thought of an idea to beat them all: faking his own death. Yes, the consultant from Chicago had a buddy fax Verizon a forged death certificate, thereby eliminating Mr. Taylor’s obligation to pay Verizon any further money. That is, until they inevitably picked up on the hoax. The whole thing is basically a treatise on the presence of company-friendly contracts that routinely screw the consumer. This is no new news, though it is the most extreme case we’ve heard of an attempt to flee a contract.

“In the end, I forked over the money,” Taylor said. “But I bet I sent a definite message about how much people hate being strapped to a cellphone that doesn’t work.”
Honestly, we think this statement actually dilutes Mr. Taylor’s argument. First, he admits to paying the early termination fee, which is the issue he found appalling in the first place. Second, he strokes his own ego by amplifying his own contribution to the cause. Now, if Mr. Taylor had rounded up a group of unhappy Verizon customers to send in forged death certificates — and declined to pat himself on the back for the effort — then we can see a real message being sent. But as it is, Taylor just looks like a madman who wanted to make the news. (Which he obviously did.) The article as a whole, though, is a good thing for the slow elimination of unfair contracts. We’re already seeing mandatory arbitration clauses being struck down. Now let’s get greedy and work for more. [Washington Post]]]>


  1. D. Loerzel on August 22, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Verizon is the worst abuser of this, if you don’t get good service where you live they don’t care you can’t get out of their contract!

  2. Joe on August 22, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Right on! The worst part is that when you sign up for the service, they don’t make any differentiation in your specific area. If there is service in your ZIP code, they say you have service in that area.
    However, after talking to Verizon employees, we know that they have a more advanced system of tracking signal strength. Why they don’t use it to better serve their customers right from the beginning is baffling.