The companies, which also include Sprint Nextel Corp , Verizon Wireless and Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile, have until February 23 to tell the Federal Communications Commission how each discloses early termination fee information to customers.
The FCC said in letters to the companies that consumers must understand what they are signing up for when they choose a service plan with an early termination fee.
The absence of a standard framework makes it especially important that consumers have a clear understanding of terms and practices of individual companies, which will allow them to compare services offered by different providers on a clear and consistent basis, the letters said.
The FCC asked the companies to detail how each discloses early termination fee information to consumers in advertisements, in statements on corporate websites, in brochures and sales scripts and in monthly bills.
Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc .
(Reporting by Julie Vorman, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)