Cancel U.S. Cellular Over Text Message Rate Change Without Early Termination Fee?

US Cellular is changing its pay-as-you-go text message rates from $.15-$.20 July 1st, potentially giving customers a chance to exit contract without early termination fee.

This kind of rate change could count as a materially adverse change of contract. These are when the provider changes the terms of your contract in a negative way that could have affected your decision to enter the contract in the first place, like with a price increase. Numerous cellphone customers have used these text message rate changes as a way to escape their contract without paying the usual $175.

You can’t use the change, however, if you have a text messaging plan.

Read our slew of previous posts on this technique to learn more. Full scan of the notice inside.

(Photo: scentzilla)

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US Cellular Terms Of Service

— BEN POPKEN

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  1. enm4r says:

    Every time this is mentioned, they say “But not if you have texting plan!!!” but I really don’t understand this line of reasoning. They’re still changing the overage rate, which is about as materially adverse as it is texting in general is to someone without a plan.

    Dropping the legal debate, a dollar extra a month isn’t going to affect someone someones decision to enter into the contract, and it’s not what most would consider “adverse.” But certainly if we’re saying that it is, it should hold true for someone who has a plan and would potentially go over by the same amount as someone with no plan.

  2. bastarre says:

    What I don’t get is why all of the sudden (last six months) have ALL the carriers raised TXTing prices. Has it really gotten that expensive to support the SMS infrastructure or are all of these companies just greedy beyond belief? And we let them do it. I don’t have a SMS plan since I don’t text that much but by the time that they’re $.50 each incoming/outgoing, I might as well. Bastards.

  3. RonDiaz says:

    Thats’s their plan. I remember when text was 5 cents. I only do maybe 10 text a month I don’t want a plan, I like alacarte but they want to price you into that 5 bucks a month.

  4. graphikartistry says:

    IF you any of you are thinking that Starbucks gives a shit about you, your family, or any other living thing-you are kidding yourselves.

    I visit SB once sometimes twice every day, and two things keep me coming back.

    One, the organic milk… Until another caffeine source, other than my kitchen, figures out that mystery I am going to SB.

    Two, the BARISTAS… Typically, in fact I can’t think of a single instance in my experiences this isn’t true, these men and woman are saints. They wake up at the crack of dawn, and stand there putting up with all the whinny, ill-tempered, and otherwise ridiculous behavior people throw their way. I sure as hell couldn’t do it.

    Part of their responsibility obviously is the protection and utilization of SB procedure. Even at the cost of customer satisfaction. This is a losing proposition for the worker-if they give in to the customer’s “demands,” then they risk termination. If they refuse they risk pissing off the wrong person, the one who calls management. That situation could in some cases also lead to termination.

    “juicy” anything is adspeak for cheaper, more sugar and usually fake…
    (disclaimer, i haven’t read the ingredients, just going by experience with other products)

    Be pleasant with people. They are working hard, and deserve to be treated as such-even if they can’t accommodate your every whim… Don’t be the asshole, even if you are right…

    Rant over.

  5. markedward says:

    Good thing my brother doesn’t have that service plan. His cell phone plan is $0.10 per text message, and he’s got over $30.00 in a single weekend. Just call the person, numbskull!

  6. I am okay with this only because I use my US Cell phone as a pager for system alerts. The free incoming text/pages are wonderful. that and i can’t text.

  7. ragefrost says:

    US Cellular is “NOT” going to let you exit contract without early termination fee.
    over this change.
    trust me ive called them two days in a row over this change. they state its an option.
    ive spent two hours on the phone talking to sup’s and even an hour on the phone talking to Headquarters: Telephone: (773)399-8900
    and they all state its an option and does not fall under the ETF waiver….
    we have no txt package on the plan “pay as you go”
    if someone is able to get out of the ETF for this plz post. cause i well tip my hat off to you.

  8. ragefrost says:

    us cell is not letting people out of their ETF for this ive spent two hours talking to sup’s the past few days. “they say it is an option”
    if anyone get out of their etf plz post cause this is insane.

  9. mistaketv says:

    I just spoke with U.S. Cellular customer service and was told in no uncertain terms that they would not waive the ETF for the per-use messaging rate increase. Somehow, I knew it was too good to be true.

  10. Joe Trotter says:

    I just got off the phone after an hour and came away with an on-call manager’s number, who won’t be in til Tuesday. Same crap like “it’s optional”, “it’s not part of the contract”, etc.

    However, I’m not giving up. I’m in the Midwest, and when I’m in New York this weekend, there’ll be A LOT of three-hour-long roaming calls…mmmm free roaming.

  11. deanr says:

    I tried to cancel, but was turned down as well. After having my phone call sent to a manager, and not getting a response to a registered letter sent in early July, US Cellular said it was only a feature. I reminded them about an incident I had with customer relations earlier this year as another reason I wanted to cancel. My wife went to spend some time with her father as he was terminally ill. She called US Cellular hoping to buy some pre-paid reaming minutes. The customer service rep asked a lot of unnecessary questions. She inquired as to what type of family emergency it was, and how long we had to be there, and which family member is ill, and how sick he was. Frankly, that was none of her business, and we resent being asked such personal and irrelevant questions.

    The good news is that Verizon offers an 18% discount at the university. Maybe that will make up the termination fee.

  12. simplesimon25 says:

    I tried to cancel U.S. Cellular for hard ship reasons, I have recently retired and my income is limited and they refused. As soon as my contract expires, I am finished with U. S. Cellular. I also will let others know that they have some of the worst Customer Relation Reps. RW