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Georgia Legislator Takes Aim At Cell Phone Contracts

One of carriers' favorite marketing tools is the long-term contract, which charges users heavy fees should they want to break it. They justify this by saying they're necessary to ensure they make back what they shell out on handset subsidies, which is true to some extent. But many carriers require customers to renew contracts when they make all sorts of other changes to their service, even if it's a simple change of plan. Now, a Georgia state legislator has introduced a bill that would prohibit carriers from forcing people to extend their contracts just to change their calling plans. Operators, of course, say the legislation is unnecessary and that the long-term contracts actually help consumers in some way. Contracts are a constant source of complaints from consumers, but they do help bring about the cheap handsets people like so much. Of course, operators would love to reduce or eliminate handset subsidies, but it's too much to expect them to eliminate contracts and high ETFs should that happen. As usual, they want their cake and to eat it too.

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