NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Verizon ( VZ) is out of touch with reality. What absolute gall to double early termination fees to $350, according to a report on Yahoo! ( YHOO). Verizon is totally out of sync with the market, with so many new and exciting mobile phone products coming out all the time. Doubling the termination fee is not in keeping with the new regulatory push to stop companies from gouging consumers with unnecessary fees. We're basically talking about a new twist on the old bait and switch routine, let's call it bait and lock. Verizon captures new customers by offering them subsidized deals on cool new phones and then wants to recoup the cost by locking them in with long-term contracts.
I understand the business logic behind that strategy, and I appreciate the opportunity to get a better deal on a phone. But two years is an eternity in the fast-moving mobile technology environment we live in. Verizon and many of its rivals made the decision to compete on phone technology by starting down the path of subsidized phones and exclusive deals with mobile technology companies. AT&T ( T) made its bet on Apple ( AAPL)'s iPhone (or maybe it was the other way around), Verizon is going big on Google ( GOOG)'s Android and Sprint ( S) hooked up with Palm ( PALM). So if they want to compete on phones, then they should be making it easier and cheaper for customers to upgrade to the latest, greatest version.