Understanding Xfinity Early Termination Fees

Is Xfinity charging you a bogus Early Termination Fee? FairShake can help.

"What you should know about early termination fees"

If you are trying to leave your Comcast Xfinity service and switch to another provider, you might see early termination fees on your final bill. Many people don’t know what these fees are or why they are being charged. We explain.

Why does Comcast charge early termination fees?

Early termination fees, sometimes called early cancellation fees, are fees that Comcast Xfinity may charge you when you cancel your service with them prematurely.

But let’s take a step back. When you first sign up for service with Comcast Xfinity, you create an account with the company. This account comes with a contract and that contract includes a start date, when you sign up for their service, and an end date. The end date is usually one or two years after the start date, based on the type of plan you choose.

Comcast Xfinity can reasonably rely on the profit from your monthly payment every month for the duration of your contract. However, they can’t force you to stay in business with them. What they can do is charge you when you leave to make up for the money they would have otherwise made had you stayed.

Are early termination fees legal?

Yes. Reasonable fees are legal according to the FCC because they are designed to help the company get compensation for situations where customers might take advantage of promotions or discounts and deals and then leave.

But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t situations where the fees are excessive and can be fought. For example, a graphic designer in Nashville moved to another area of town where his current Comcast service didn’t extend. Upon canceling he received a bill for $2,789 in early termination fees from Comcast.

Why? Because Comcast designated the early termination fees for businesses such that businesses have to pay 75% of the remaining monthly fees for the whole of their contract. This meant he didn’t just pay a flat fee because he was leaving, he owed a large percentage of what you would have paid over the course of your entire contract. 

Can I avoid or reduce early termination fees?

There are some situations where you can try to circumvent the early termination fee such as negotiating with customer service ahead of time to remove it from your contract in exchange for foregoing another promotional deal.

You can cancel your service within 14 days of starting a new contract and return any equipment to Comcast Xfinity and avoid the fee.

You can also fight them if you were given misleading information about the terms and conditions of your service such as the price, the length or cost of promotional deals that were touted as free, or the cancellation policy.

What if I get a contract buyout?

A contract buyout is something that’s offered by some companies in exchange for switching services. This means that they will pay any balances and your early termination fee if you switch to their service. Most of the time buyouts take place as part of a promotional deal so you might not be able to use them just because you switch service, you have to use them when you switch because of a promotion. 

Even then, there are usually strings attached to these promotions. For example, service providers like Comcast Xfinity or others will typically only pay up to a certain amount and they will require that you sign a new contract meaning if you try to cancel with your latest service provider, you will be in the same boat. 

How do I know if my contract with Comcast Xfinity has an early termination fee?

If you want to know whether your contract with Comcast Xfinity has an early termination fee, you have to look at the terms and conditions and read over each line of your contract.

You might not realize that your account for residential services comes with a termination section under the subscriber agreement. This termination section refers to how you are able to terminate and stipulates that if you end your contract or you terminate some of the services you have under your contract before the end of the term, you get charged an early termination fee. This fee is based on the amount of time you have left in your contract and what services you were canceling. They typically charge $10 per month for every month remaining on your contract, for every service you are canceling.

I’m being charged an early termination fee but I shouldn’t be, what can I do?

If you are charged an early termination fee but shouldn’t be, you have legal options. At FairShake we can help you fight back with consumer arbitration.

Start your claim now…

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