Defeat Sprint’s Rate Hike Cancellation Lies

Sprint’s retention department is trying its darnedest to prevent customers from jumping out a window of opportunity that would let them cancel service without penalty.

The most common line Sprint customer service reps are using is that text messages are an “add-on,” and therefore not covered in the original contract.

This is a blatant lie.

You can still cancel without paying a termination fee, but it will take persistence and tenacity. One successful canceller threatened to file a letter with his Public Utilities commission, and then did it. He received a letter confirming he got out of contract without charge a week later.

The reps may try to tell you the change only applies to people with special text message plans, or only to people who signed up after Oct. 1. These too are bald misrepresentations.

Be firm. Be in control.

Some customers report being offered service credits or free text messaging to stay. Be aware that if you accept these carrots, you will have accepted the new terms of service and not be able to cancel over the text message rate hikes.

Canceled Sprint successfully under these terms? Trying to and failed? Share your thoughts in the comments or tips at consumerist.com

Previously: Oct31 Deadline For Free Sprint Contract Killing

Comments

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  1. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    He got a letter confirming he out of contract without charge a week later.

    Can I out of contract without charge, too?

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Brian writes:

    “I have a sprint contract that ends in May, if I cancel b/c of the text messaging does that mean I no longer have service or just that I am on a month-to-month thing?”

  3. dancemonkey says:

    anything that’s part of your service contract can be used to cancel without charge. years ago I had problems with sprint’s internet (vision) service. I stopped working on my phone, and replacing the phone didn’t help. There was something fundamentally broken about my sign-in and sprint vision. after a couple of months of this, they let me cancel without charge.

    the kicker is that i never even paid for vision, it was still in the free trial period (and the free trial period kept getting extended because it didn’t work).

  4. dancemonkey says:

    *it* stopped working, not *I* stopped working.

  5. RumorsDaily says:

    I assumed you were no longer going to get service.

  6. Sheik says:

    Jeez, enough with the grammar corrections. You got the idea that he was trying to convey.

  7. Anonymously says:

    He corrected *himself*….

    Way to stick it to the man, Ben. I think that you should have a Phone Contract Changes Alert! feature of the blog to keep us all informed of all opportunities when we can drop our contract without charge.

    How would one go about transferring their phone # if they want to get out of the contract this way?

  8. Robdude says:

    I would very much like to cancel my account – and when I heard about the rate-hike, I jumped at the chance to say my $200 dollar early termination feel.

    However, I currently have the ‘Unlimited Text Messaging’ program, for $8.00 dollars a month – but I recieve an $8.00 dollar credit for the text messaging. So, I literally get free, unlimited text messaging.

    I was told I could not cancel because it was not a ‘material change’ and as much as I hate Sprint, I kind of have to agree. Do I have any legal backing to cancel because of rate hike? I was told I could chance my texting plan at any time, and it wouldn’t be ‘smart’ to drop a free plan for the .10 cent pay as you go plan, but I don’t know of anything that says I have to be a ‘smart’ consumer.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?

  9. SupaDave says:

    You have to be ready to cancel your service if you are going to do this.

    You can’t say, I want out of my contract and expect to keep service.

    When you call to get out of the contract be prepared to cancel… Doing this will also hurt your ability to port your number. If you port the carrier you are porting to will cancel your service. It will be a tougher fight calling Sprint after the fact to talk them into crediting your early termination fee.

  10. Magicube says:

    Excellent post. It’s so difficult to believe that there’s a contract out there that actually includes its own method of self-destruction, so thanks for writing up the process and potential challenges.

  11. dwarf74 says:

    I’m looking to switch to Verizon since my work will get me a 15% discount with them. Plus, I’d be able to call my girlfriend for free – which is just gravy.

    The thing is, I want to keep my number. Portability requires me to have an active number. I doubt there’s any way to get out of my contract without cancelling, as SupaDave said. It’s a bad break, but I suppose that’s what I get for being dumb enough to sign 2 years of my life away.

  12. Bojangles says:

    I called to cancel earlier today, but ended up just accepting $400 off of a 700wx and free unlimited text messaging for the duration of my plan. I never had a problem with Sprint before, and I’m liking them much more now.

  13. nyteacher says:

    dwarf74 I am with you here. The Sprint to Verizon hop and maintaining my number but what are you going to do first? Cancel Sprint then get Verizon or get Verizon account then cancel Sprint? Any suggestions? How do we avoid losing our Sprint #s?

  14. judah06 says:

    Well, I thought I comment since you kindley posted my number on the website. I have already had this number changed today and I m looking into what legal action I can take.

    You did not have my permission to publish my personal number.. As far as your posting and comments as always most are incorrect with the ability to opt out of the contact due to a .5 cent increase..Customers need only to call Sprint to get the correct information. If you have a text messaging plan then the rate does not affect you.

  15. Fractal says:

    I qualify for the cancelation (I don’t have a text messaging plan) and I tried to cancel but they said several things:

    1) That since it was stated on my bill, and I made a text message after October 1, that means I accepted the new terms and conditions. However, since I have eBill it’s nowhere on the bill. The manager said I had to download the .pdf That’s deceptive if you ask me.

    2) That since they offered me on the phone the old rate, that instantly removes me from eligibility to waive the cancellation fee.

    So I want to know what kind of letter did that user write to his Public Utilities commision. Any help on that?

  16. Ben Popken says:

    Steve writes:

    “Successfully got Sprint to cancel my plan today (10/18/06) based on the increase in text fees. One tacit they tried was to point out that I had not actually used the text service for the past couple months and thus they said I was not cancelling for a “approved reason.” They kept trying to get me to admit there was another reason and thus I would have to pay the ETF. I simply continued to point out that whether I had used the text service or not, part of what I had it for, was to use it in the future and that per the terms of the agreement, their fee increase allowed me to cancel. I had to repeat this at least 3 times, but they finally agreed to cancel the service. Told me cancellation would be effective immediately and then they hung up on me. Kinda a rude -sour grapes- thing to do, esp. when I had been ultra polite but firm the entire conversation. I guess it shows they really don’t like this situation much. The moral is, don’t let them talk you into another reason, just keep repeating that under the contract their increase in fees allows cancellation without ETF.”

  17. pcald29 says:

    I just off the phone with them and was told that they are no longer going to charge the increase for text messageing so that I can’t get out of the account because of it.

    They first tried the add-on arguement, then the “you have not text messaged in months” but would not budge on the final outcome. Has anyone else gotten this arguement and been able to get beoynd it? If so how?

  18. Louis says:

    Today Oct. 31 I received text messages from Sprint that if I used my phones in Mexico or to call someone in Mexico I would charge a fee for that. Sprint has never let me make a free call before so why this text message notification? I called Sprint to ask if I was going to be charge for the text message that Sprint sent to me. I said that I have been charged for other text messages and I was just inquiring. I told the Sprint employee that there was no, no cost text message notification so I did not have a crystal ball and had to ask. I was told no charge. I hung up and tried to use my Sprint phones and my account had been cancelled. When I finally reached an honest person with Sprint I was told that a possible fraud flag had been put on my account because I questioned if there was a charge for their text.

  19. Rugunit says:

    I tired to get out of my contract using the text messaging rates and internet rates as an excuse, but i was shut down every time even after arguing with them for over 45minutes on one of my calls. I am very unhappy with them for this. I stated all the facts given on pcsintel.com about this topic but once they were told that legal said they no longer had to accept this as a good reason to get out, they stuck to it, and screwed us over in the process.