Cell phone users may get break on cancellation fees

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- People who want to bail out of their cell phone contracts could be getting a break from those sky-high cancellation fees.

The Associated Press has learned that the Federal Communications Commission is quietly negotiating with phone companies for customer relief.

At present, it can cost you $175 or more to cancel a cell phone contract early.

One provision being negotiated would let you switch with no fee at all for the first 30 days or within 10 days of getting your first bill.

Another would pro-rate the fees over the life of the contract. The longer you stay with it, the less you would have to pay to cancel.

As an incentive for the cell phone companies, the deal would let them off the hook in state courts where they're facing billions of dollars in lawsuits from angry customers.

One of those angry talkers is Ric Causey of Allen, Texas. He says he got slapped with a bill for $600 when he tried to bail out of a Sprint contract on three phones because of poor reception.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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