Even U.S. senators get riled up when they have to pay a termination fee to a cell phone company. But unlike ordinary citizens, they have a way to fight back.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar says the Cell Phone Consumer Empowerment Act that she helped write was at least partially in response to the fact that her husband had to pay an early termination fee on a cell phone that didn't provide service in Washington, D.C.
Klobuchar's bill would require pro-rated termination fees depending on the length of time left in a cell phone contract, and would give customers a 30-day trial period to test a company's service and coverage before committing to a contract.
The odds against the bill's passage appear to be somewhat long -- a far less ambitious bill passed in 2003 and was later overturned -- but the mere idea of it will make Klobuchar more popular with her constituents. Voters like plans that could save them money, and the image of Klobuchar grudgingly writing a $200 check to get out of a cell phone contract is both humorous and humanizing.
Even if the cell phone companies win on the Senate floor, Klobuchar already is a winner on this issue.