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Sprint Ordered To Refund Millions in Early Termination Fees

Sprint Ordered To Pay Millions for "Unlawful" ETFs

You know the pain of having to suffer through the remainder of your cell contract despite crappy reception, dropped calls, less than stellar customer service, or the temptation of another company selling your dream phone. You won't cancel cause you know that means you'll be shelling out up to $200 for your mandated Early Termination Fee. Oh the horror!

So with news of mobile companies beginning to pro-rate their ETFs depending on how long you stay in your contract, is music to my ears — no more suffering with a company that you despise, and you can jump ship with a smaller, more manageable fee. But now there's even better news for Sprint customers living in California. See what I mean when you


A California judge is ordering Sprint to refund $18.25 million to customers who paid those early termination fees, ruling they were an unlawful penalty under California law by being "implemented primarily as a means to discourage customers from leaving" their contracts! Not only will Sprint be paying back prior customers' ETFs, but they will have to forgo pursuing the $54.75 million in early termination fees that went unpaid. Woo hoo! Sprint has two weeks to respond to the ruling, so hopefully we'll get word soon about when you might be getting your money back.


Join The Conversation
marichen marichen 8 years
( what is the phone on the picture? which samsung is it? Thanks! )
cordata cordata 8 years
Oh, I answered my own question: I HATE AT&T
cordata cordata 8 years
Is At&t the same? I thought the prorated payment system was supposed to take effect already but when I called AT&T they said, that I'd have to pay a $175 dollar cancellation fee whenever I cancelled. Are they lying?
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 8 years
that's good. i don't understand how you get punished with a fee when you want to leave bad service! it's like they force you to stay if you don't want to pay and you continue to be unhappy with the service. how is that fair? cable does it to and it pisses me off!
alphanoninc alphanoninc 8 years
i guess the (preliminary) ruling has it's pros and cons (besides the fact that it will probably be appealed and not set in stone for ages) --- it would be nice to be able to switch between carriers to see who has the best coverage where you use your phone or (as implied in many of the news websites about this story) to be able to purchase a phone and it isn't carrier-locked. the downside tho, is that phones would definitely be more expensive because there would be no incentive for carriers to offer the phones at a discount whatsoever -- the major cell carriers in the US purchase various phones (and in some cases the exclusive rights to a phone ie the Iphone) at full price and then sell them to customers for less then they're worth in an effort to get and retain ppl using their service. the carrier's reason being that if there's no contract binding a customer to them, why eat most of the cost of the handset? maybe cell manufacturers (motorola, nokia, samsung, lg, etc.) would start raising costs of handsets themselves so they end up with the profit?? i know that tmobile, at&t, and verizon have recently begun offering tiered early termination fees and (at least with tmobile) have become much more willing to let ppl out of their contracts if the customer has an "un-fixable" problem. also, there are rumors floating out there that the feds might be considering a government regulated early termination fee law but i can only see bad things coming from that.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
I'm with mondaymoos about the takeover. the only problem we've ever had was with a phone and that was fixed right away. I really really hope they do this with t-mobile though! lol
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
I've never had a problem with Sprint like other people have. My only complaint is my phone, but I only have a few months left til I can replace that at a discount. I hope that this payout doesn't cause problems that lead to a takeover. :(
Lindira Lindira 8 years
I really hope they make other phone companies do this. I'm very reluctant to pay the EFT to AT&T since they basically tricked me into thinking that my contract expired sooner than it did. What with their crappy reception and poor deals on phones, I'll never go back to them.
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
I have no major complaints about Sprint, but if you make ANY kind of change to your account you'd better pay extra attention to your next phone bill. They ding you for every little thing, make mistakes, and expect you to pay for it. If you catch it, they never argue and remove all the charges. But pay attention, they're sneaky!
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