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Sprint Increases Early Termination Fees

In advance of the (rumored) arrival of the Apple iPhone this fall,  Sprint has joined AT&T and Verizon with an increased early termination fee for “advanced devices”.       We haven’t yet been able to locate a specific list of these devices, but they likely include all (or most) smartphones, tablets and data devices, which means most equipment will be subject to the new policy.

We’re working to update We’ve updated our early termination fee calculator for the new fee structure.

The new early termination fees apply to new (or renewed contracts) as of September 16, 2011.  The prior policy had been in place since November 3, 2008.

Advanced Devices:  The early termination fee for advanced devices is up to $350.  For other devices, it will remain at up to $200.    The prorating procedure has also changed.   For advanced devices, Sprint will multiply $20 by the number of months remaining on your contract, with a maximum of $350 and a minimum of $100.   This means that if you cancel within the first 6 months or so, you’ll be on the hook for the full $350.

Other Devices:  For other devices, the termination fee is $200, which is the prior termination fee for all phones.   For these phones, Sprint will multiply $10 by the number of months remaining on your contract, maximum $200 and a minimum of $50.     This prorate is actually slightly more consumer-friendly than the existing one, although, as we noted earlier, it will likely only now apply to the most basic of devices.

Sprint has also reduced the trial period for new subscribers from 30 to 14 days.  During this trial period, a customer can cancel service and not be subject to a termination fee.

We retrieved info on the new termination fee schedule from Sprint’s current Terms & Conditions (weren’t able to link to it directly, so here’s a snippet):

GENERAL TERMS: IF YOU AGREE TO MAINTAIN SERVICE FOR A MINIMUM TERM, THE TERM BEGINS WHEN YOU ACCEPT THE SUBSCRIBER AGREEMENT (E.G., SIGNATURE, ACTIVATE SERVICE, USE PHONE, ETC.). YOU MAY TERMINATE ANY LINE OF SERVICE BEFORE ITS TERM ENDS BY CALLING US, HOWEVER YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR AN EARLY TERMINATION FEE OF UP TO $350/LINE FOR ADVANCED DEVICES & UP TO $200 ETF/LINE FOR OTHER DEVICES FOR EACH LINE/NUMBER TERMINATED EARLY – EXCEPT FOR TERMINATIONS CONSISTENT WITH OUR RETURN POLICY. THE ETF IS PRORATED AND IS CALCULATED BY TAKING THE MONTHS REMAINING ON YOUR AGREEMENT TIMES $20 FOR ADVANCED DEVICES, WITH A MAXIMUM OF $350, AND MINIMUM OF $100. FOR ALL OTHER DEVICES, THE PRORATED ETF IS CALCULATED BY TAKING THE MONTHS REMAINING TIMES $10 WITH A MAXIMUM OF $200 AND MINIMUM OF $50. PAYMENT OF THE ETF DOES NOT SATISFY OTHER OBLIGATIONS OWED TO US, INCLUDING TERM COMMITMENTS WITH OTHER LINES OR SERVICE/EQUIPMENT CHARGES.

 

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