The government is just about the last place we'd look for helpful pointers on much of anything, much less when shopping for a new phone -- but that didn't stop the FCC's Consumer Task Force from whipping up a PDF of things you can to do prevent yourself from getting burned with a multi-hundred dollar early termination fee when buying the handset of your wildest dreams. There's nothing in here that isn't obvious to a seasoned phone buyer -- buy the phone at full price instead, ask about a trial period, look into proration, and so on -- but it goes without saying that these are the kinds of tidbits average consumers should know before setting foot in the store. Perhaps the more interesting thing about this effort on the FCC's part is that it indicates the feds haven't forgotten about the stink it made about rising ETFs not long ago -- and AT&T's move to hop on the bandwagon can't be helping to smooth things over in Washington. Anyhow, go get your learn on before some seedy carrier sales rep takes advantage of you, won't you?

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FCC offers 'simple' 'tips' for avoiding pesky early termination fees