How To Cancel Sprint Without Termination Fee Over New Text Message Rate Change

If anyone is looking for a cheap way to escape their Sprint cellphone contract, you can use their raising of the pay-as-you-go text message rates from 15 cents to 20 cents as an excuse. Here’s the step by step procedure to follow…

1. Your plan must not include a text message package. (actually, it applies to both plans AND pay-as-you go)
2. You must call within 30 days of the rate change.
3. You must specifically cite the text message rate change being a material adverse change of contract as the reason for cancellation.
4. You must not pay your bill that reflects the new rates until AFTER requesting cancellation
5. If they offer you a grandfathered text rate or free text messages attached to your plan, you must refuse.
6. If the rep is poorly trained and wants to hot-potato you to a supervisor rather than transfer you to account services, you must insist that you want to cancel service despite any potential fees so the rep gets you to the group that actually knows the correct procedures.

Materially adverse changes to contract are when one party changes one of the basic terms, like price, in a way that harms the other party. It’s a basic tenet of contract law that this nulls the contract but cellphone companies do it all the time anyway. Lucky for you it means, if you insist, insist, insist, that you can escape your cellphone contract without paying the usual ~$200 early termination fee.

(Thanks to Nick!)

Comments

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  1. aparsons says:

    ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! Text messages increased ANOTHER 5 cents in the past three months? At this rate, the cost to send a text message will soon exceed 50 cents. BULLSHIT.

  2. enm4r says:

    They’re really pulling out all the stops to get people on their $5 a month text plans. This is insane.

    I have Verizon, no text plans, because over the long run my general average is way below the plan, even if I rarely hit $5 or above. At this rate I’ll be suckered into their plan by next year.

  3. castlecraver says:

    Almost half what it costs to mail a letter. Ludicrous.

  4. bambino says:

    Fuck Sprint. Their CSRs were so rude to my girlfriend when she tried to change her plan earlier this month that they put her in tears of frustration. You hear me Sprint? FUCK YOU. oh yeah, your KRZR SUCKS TOO. Can’t wait til I’m out of their bullshit.

  5. FullFlava says:

    I thought advances in technology were supposed to make shit like this cheaper as time went by.

  6. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    any way to get out of my cingular contract?

  7. Bourque77 says:

    @bambino: Well i got called an idiot and was told to sue them so i feel her pain. My contracts up in 3 days and i already have switched to verizon. Ill use a damn pay phone before those bastards get another dime from me.

  8. aparsons says:

    @Cassifras: if you remember they increased text messages from 5 cents to 10 cents a few months ago across all wireless carriers. In a matter of days Cingular and Verizon will follow suit. Just wait a few weeks and you’ll get your letter too.

  9. Jasmo says:

    I’m curious … consumerist always gives us sneaky ways to get out of our wireless contracts – but where are we supposed to go? All these companies seem to suck in one way or another … can you do some research and give us the lowdown on who is “best” (not like that’s easy to define) rather than new ways to get out of these stupid contracts?

  10. Ickypoopy says:

    “1. Your plan must not include a text message package”

    Question about this statement. According to the graphic above, it says that there will ne an increase from $0.10 to $0.20 for the “additional text” rate. Isnt that an increase for text messaging overage with a texting plan? Therefore isnt that STILL a material change even if you have a plan?

  11. Cowboys_fan says:

    @Ickypoopy: I believe you are correct. This is a little sketchy though. I say that b/c when I was a t-mob csr, there was no way this angle would have worked on any supervisor I had, and I was repsonsible for cancelling most accounts. Basically they would have told you to take it to mandatory arbitration. This is only an issue I’ve heard of in the last 6 or so months, after I quit, so maybe it does work today.

  12. arsenal4 says:

    @Ickypoopy: Yep. You are correct.

  13. Sogarth says:

    Just curious, though: there’s a section in the Terms and Conditions about changes to the agreement:


    The following, without limitation, will generally not be considered changes to the Agreement as contemplated in this provision and will not result in the waiver of applicable Early Termination Fees: (a) changes to our Policies; (b) changes to rates or charges that are not a core part of the rate plan package for which you contracted – for example, incidental, occasional or casual use charges and other options that do not require a Term Commitment; (b) changes to Taxes & Government Fees; or (c) changes to Surcharges, including assessing new Surcharges.


    That makes it sound like that the texting fee change doesn’t apply, since it’s a “casual use charge”.

  14. dfellars says:

    So riddle me this… today is 8/15. If I remove my text messaging plan, send some messages at $0.10 and then try to cancel, will they let me out. Someone tell me it doesn’t work this way.

  15. enm4r says:

    @Jasmo: Best is completely up to the individual. I have Verizon, and I love it. I get amazing reception everywhere I go (travel numerous times a year, spanning east to west coasts) and I get a corporate discount (not a verizon employee discount) that drops the prices to reasonable levels.

    I had Cingular before this and hated them with a passion. Horrible reception where I travelled and horrible service. I realize there could be people who have the complete opposite experience, and I wouldn’t expect them to value one experience over another.

  16. skechada says:

    The FTC is up Whole Foods’ ass while shit like this continues to happen. Just look at the popular sentiment with any single carrier and you’ll see nothing but hateful opinions similar to those expressed here.

    And the companies are only screwing us worse with time. Christ.

  17. Black Bellamy says:

    So you get out of the contract and so what next? Now you need another contract. Same shitty contract. Sigh.

  18. travisw says:

    You’re OK to go if you live in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Bell Wireless does not require a contract. Better yet, you can change your rate plan at any time without penalty!

  19. zenmeta4 says:

    Does anyone know if this would permit you to get out of the contract, yet keep sprint service?

    I have the Sprint Employee’s Referral Option (SERO), and I am and have been very happy with my Sprint Service.

    I called Sprint and they said that the only way out of the Early Termination Fee was if I canceled service completely.

    Thoughts?

  20. adamondi says:

    I am so glad that my contract with Sprint expires in a little less than three months. I won’t need to jump through all of these hoops; I simply need to be patient. Although my reasons for wanting to cancel are different than some other people, I still want to jump to another carrier. I am just stuck trying to choose the lesser of the four evils, however. It’s almost a no-win situation for any consumer who wants wireless service.


  21. I just spent 15 minutes on hold to get the nice sprint lady (that I got through by requesting billing on the voice prompt)to block the sending and receiving of text messages on my phone.

    I was willing to spend 10 cents for one of my friends to text me a “whats up” while drunk in a club at 3am… 15 cents was pushing it…

    20 cents? Are you F-in’ kidding me???

  22. DjDynasty says:

    According to Sprint’s latest change in the terms and conditions AFTER they increased from 10 cents to 15 cents, text messaging data & directory assistance is no longer considered a material adverse change.

  23. Nick says:

    @Sogarth: The T&Cs do indeed say that, but I believe that is illegal and unenforcable. It is still a material adverse change to the contract, so they still need to let you go without an early termination fee.

    @zenmeta4: No, I don’t think this is possible, since the plan is only offered with a contract. The only way to be “out of contract” is to let your contract run its course and then refuse any upgrades/extra features/discounted handsets/etc. that would cause a new contract/contract extension.

  24. BeastMasterJ says:

    On an unrelated note, didn’t Consumerist do a post on how you should used use plain black squares to mask sensitive personal information when posting copies of bills, becuase the blurry squares (like the one’s they just used) can be “reversed-algoithm-ized” into readable characters?

  25. Nick says:

    @Sogarth: I don’t think that is enforceable; contract law supersedes Sprint’s policies. It is not Sprint’s decision to dictate what is and isn’t a material change to the contract.

  26. fluffycow says:

    I just called to cancel based on the text message rate increase and was unsuccessful. First, I got accused by the CSR of trying to weasel out of my contract and he offered me 300 free text messages. I told him how upset I was at his accusation and said I needed to speak to someone else and got his supervisor who said that the rate of text messages isn’t part of the contract so increasing the rate isn’t a “material change.” I told them I would be filing a report with the state attorney general’s fraudulent business division and the better business bureau and all he had to say to this 8-year loyal sprint customer was “I’m sorry to hear that.” Off to the AG’s office and BBB for me. Hope the rest of you have better luck.

  27. SOhp101 says:

    @schwnj, nick2588: Yes contract law does supersedes the contract itself however it doesn’t mean that Sprint will give you a load of crap to deal with just to get them to obey the law.

  28. diggitydoc says:

    I just canceled my Sprint account very easily. I was lied to by the “friend” who worked in a sprint store and duped into a two year contract even though i expressly stated one year. Long story short, all i did was call them and tell them i was moving in a week to somewhere they didn’t provide service… in my case i chose Mosquero New Mexico. they asked for an address and i gave the only one i found on Google maps. worked like a charm, no service fee at all.

  29. dethl says:

    @fluffycow: I had to report Sprint to the BBB last month for their roaming charge increase because they wouldn’t let me out of my contract without an ETF. Still haven’t heard a response from them (and the BBB expects one by August 23rd…be prepared for a long wait).

  30. dethl says:

    @zenmeta4: They’re still going to charge you for international text. This applies to you still.

  31. Lavanaut says:

    @Fluffycow: Looks like you overlooked step 6 of the manual…

    6. If the rep is poorly trained and wants to hot-potato you to a supervisor rather than transfer you to account services, you must insist that you want to cancel service despite any potential fees so the rep gets you to the group that actually knows the correct procedures.

  32. Cowboys_fan says:

    @Black Bellamy: @bambino:
    You guys ever notice you are on Ben’s “Hit List”, (Don’t worry, so am I), along with smarty and justaguy2? Also Thrust is there too but been banned. Maybe I’m wrong but I doubt Ben bans friends. Don’t believe me? Click on Ben’s friends comments.

    Speaking to my old tmobile friends, this is a tough arguement to win with.

  33. Charles Duffy says:

    @Jasmo: Well, going with a smaller provider that doesn’t require a multi-year (or even multi-month) contract is probably a lot safer — that way if you’re dissatisfied, you don’t need to worry about finding an out. Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS are among the companies that do this (and with affordable fixed-rate, all-you-can-eat plans).

  34. blahblahwoofwoof says:

    2. You must call within 30 days of the rate change.

    Since this goes into effect on 10/1, does that mean I have to wait until 9/1 to cancel based on these conditions? Or does that mean within 30 days after the new terms go into effect, i.e. November 1st?

  35. attrep says:

    If their policies are anything like at&t’s this wouldn’t work because it’s not a subscribed feature. Pay-per use isn’t a subscribed feat.

  36. weathernut says:

    I successfully canceled my account after 10 minutes on the phone. At the voice prompt, I said ‘Billing’. Then I told the rep that I wish to cancel my account. She immediately transferred me to the accounts department. The rep there asked me why I wanted to cancel, and when I told her about the increase in text rates, it was news to her. She put me on hold, told her supervisor about it, then returned to thank me about letting her team know of the changes!! Then she even remarked how, looking at my bill, it doesn’t seem like I’m a frequent text user, and I told her thats only because they are increasingly becoming so expensive. Then she offered me 500 free text messages, and I refused. Then she informed me that my contract isn’t over yet, so I’ll have to pay ETF. I told her about materially adverse changes, as in my contract and that the ETF should be waived for me. She again put me on hold for a few minutes, and then returned to tell me that she’s cancelling my account and I wont be charged any ETF. That’s it, and I was done!

  37. J. Gov says:

    I just called and the CSR in account services stated that there is no such thing as a materially adverse change permitting contract cancellation because the contract states that “everything” is subject to change.

    Except the end date, it would seem.

  38. blahblahwoofwoof says:

    I hope this thread hasn’t died yet… I was hoping someone would post saying that they successfully canceled their contract this way… I’ll have to try later and let you guys know my results

  39. lunadam says:

    Didn’t work for me.

    The rep was very pleasant but said that their legal team told them that a lot of customers have been calling stating the same thing that I did and that all accounts were auto-grandfathered in and I would have to pay the ETF. I was on the phone with him almost 45min and he still wouldn’t budge.

    However, he gave me a 5% discount on my bill every month, lowered the bill by another $20 and unlimited text msgs. Soo…not a bad thing that I called overall.

  40. G.Mosh says:

    Just called and the CSR said that everyone is granfathered in and that you can’t cancel based on the new rate because it doesn’t affect you anymore. I’m going to call back tonight. Maybe I’ll be getting a nice letter from Sprint letting me out of my contract because I call them too much.

  41. dfellars says:

    tried the other night as well and also were told we were grandfathered in. At this point, I may just pay the ETF. $200 is starting to seem like a deal to get out of Sprint.

  42. Zosyn says:

    Just canceled my Sprint contract without EFT..

    I have over the past couple of months used roaming and I do not have roaming included in my plan.

    I dialed *2 and said “cancel”

    I got an american CSR and explained that I occasionally roam and cannot afford the increase in the new rate. I was very polite and asked to be let out the contract without the EFT(pointed out this was not what we agreed upon when I started service). She pulled up my account and noted that I do roam and then proceeded to look for the rate increase.

    I was put on hold and she came back after about 2 to 5 minutes and informed me that I could indeed cancel the contract. She first tried to offer me a roaming plan and tell me that I just signed a new contract this June (I hadnt).

    I still had more than a year left on my phone contract with sprint (and this was a family plan with two phones)

    They told me I have about a month to port my numbers.

    I think the key is being calm, getting an american csr, apprearing sincerely knowledgable and reasonable.

    This took about 15 minutes total.

    I hope this helps

  43. blahblahwoofwoof says:

    I just tried to cancel and they told me that I do not qualify to have my ETF waived because I do not have a text messaging package, and that the casual/pay-as-you-go rate only applies to pay as you go cell service, no pay as you go text message rates.

    so I hung up and called back to add a text messaging package, effective immediately. As soon as it shows up on my online account statement, I’ll be trying to cancel again… I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

  44. jwpaco says:

    I just called Sprint. The CSR quickly sent me over to the Account Services Dept. where I explained my situation to the rep. She claimed that I was not effected because I did not have a text messaging plan and it did not effect casual messaging. Well, I pointed here to the exact note on the statement where it specifically says it effects casual users and overages by people that have plans and she insisted I could not cancel on those grounds because it is my choice to not have a text messaging plan and if I had a plan I would not be charged. I was fed up with her argument so I asked for her supervisor. He came on the phone and argued that I was not affected. He said if I had a text plan and had overages, then I could cancel without ETF. My argument is, how am I not affected. If I send a message, my rate will be 5 cents higher. I think they are full of crap. I spent 1+ hrs. on the phone and finally asked for a corporate number which I was denied. I am tired of arguing tonight so I am going to call in tomorrow morning.

  45. BrianH says:

    Am I the only one on Consumerist who dials outside the US?

    I do a lot of business in Germany and call internationally quite often.

    The note in the bill also says “International long distance rates and mobile termination fees will change – visit sprint.com/internationalrates for details.”

    I actually some kind of plan that allows me to make lots of international calls cheaply, so it’s part of my “plan”.

    Unfortunately nowhere can I find what these flipping “changes” are?!?!?

    Anyway:

    a) Can someone tell me what these changes are???

    b) Is this also grounds for getting out of the contract?

    c) I know this is kinda unrelated, but what is the process for keeping your phone #? Do I have to line up new service before canceling the old service? Is there a window of time (reference please if so).

    I hate cell phone plans.

  46. mattinnyc says:

    Another twist to this that I don’t think has been mentioned so far…

    I tried this approach for cancelling without ETF, and the argument that Sprint gave was that the text messaging plan (I have the 100 messages for $5/mo plan) is a “bolt-on” feature. As such, it is not subject to the terms and conditions of the larger contract.

    Despite the use of the phrase “materially adverse change” about a dozen times, and their own admission that the change would indeed effect me, they flatly refused to waive the ETF. Both the initial CSR and a supervisor kept repeating that they “do not waive termination fees for text message changes.”

    It seems rather arbitrary for them to suddenly define text messaging plans as not subject to contractual terms and conditions. Has anyone else encountered this same argument?

  47. [Si]dragon says:

    @mattinnyc, had a nearly identical and equally unfortunate experience. After getting denied a waiver, I called back and requested documentation supporting their claim. If the email never appears, I will make another attempt. Failing that, it has been suggested I file a complaint with my county consumer protection agency (and possibly inform them I would do so in my follow-up). I will be sure to provide updates!

  48. [Si]dragon says:

    Following upon my previous post, I think I can safely put this thread to rest. I believe Sprint has the upper-hand in denying the early termination fee waiver under these circumstances. The only chance of success comes from contacting a representative who is uninformed and not willing to investigate the matter. (Considering they annotate your account regarding your exchanges, multiple attempts may only decrease the likelihood of favorable outcome.)

    It is, after all, clearly spelled-out in the PCS Terms & Conditions. See section “Our Right To Change The Agreement & Your Related Rights”, paragraph two, for the debilitating article to which we all agreed when singing up.

    The following, without limitation, will generally not be considered changes to the Agreement as contemplated in this provision and will not result in the waiver of applicable Early Termination Fees: (a) changes to our Policies; (b) changes to rates or charges that are not a core part of the rate plan package for which you contracted – for example, incidental, occasional or casual use charges and other options that do not require a Term Commitment; (b) changes to Taxes & Government Fees; or (c) changes to Surcharges, including assessing new Surcharges. [sic]

    (Emphasis mine.) Article b (the first; note the mislabeling) seals this shut. The article—by my understanding—applies directly to text message services, especially as they may be changed without renewing the contact. I am not a lawyer (as my unfriendly CSR rudely insisted), but it seems that unless someone finds a loophole, I would not bother making an attempt at cancellation with this angle.

    If we are lucky, Sprint will alter their any-time minute allocation tiers, or something nearly as drastic or broad, then most of us should have a viable escape. Until such time, I am eagerly counting down the 350 days, 8,402 hours between me and cancellation without penalty.

  49. [Si]dragon says:

    On the bright side of all this, the very conditions I previously referenced also contain the following under section “SPRINT PCS SPECIFIC SERVICES”, paragraph two.

    Roaming-Included Plans: Not available with single-band phones, or to customers residing outside an area covered by the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network. Sprint may terminate service if (1) more than 800 minutes, (2) a majority of minutes or (3) a majority of data kilobytes in a given month are used while roaming.

    (Emphasis mine.) I suppose this should be a relatively painless way out, provided the service is used only during nights and weekends. Better still, there is precedent for it! Any comments regarding this “brute-force” approach?

  50. 4ster says:

    Interesting. I thought Sprint’s data (at least on my Treo) did not work while roaming).

  51. wearly1977 says:

    I tried all of this and it did not work. I need to find something else to help me get rid of this satan company known as sprint. I called 4 times and was told to consult an attorney. The first three times the accounts people hung up on me when the work cancel came out of my mouth.

  52. Sideburnt says:

    It worked for me! Called and asked for billing, got hassled for a bit then left a voice mail with the supervisor and now my account ends on Sept 6th…Off to go sign up for SERO!

    Good Luck to everyone!!

  53. bachstrad says:

    Any workarounds for this? I *finally* talked to a senior supervisor and was told no one was (or has been) being released from their contract because the text messaging rate was not a part of the plan. It is an addition to the the plan. Please help.

    Thanks

  54. spookyjon says:

    I called today and was on the phone for about 20 minutes, having talked to a call center rep who told me I could not cancel without the ETF, another person in billing who told me the same thing, and his supervisor who also told me the same thing. He then put me on hold and the call was dropped (go Sprint!).

    The second time I called, I talked to a different rep off the bat who gave me no hassle at all and my account was canceled without the ETF in less than five minutes. Sweet!

  55. bachstrad says:

    every rep and supervisor has stated text messaging is not part of the contract, only my plan minutes are a condition of the contract. please keep this thread alive and help if possible.

  56. wearly1977 says:

    I tried the other night and maybe because I have three lines they do not want to lose 600 bucks. I am currently roaming my phones on weekends so I can get out that way. I hate Sprint. My calls are dropped half of the time.

  57. rcsfca says:

    This past weekend i was at the beach and as expected my sprint phone did not work (there was no signal). However, I have an older Nokia phone that allows me to switch the type of network I use, so I choose analog, which caused my phone to go into roaming. I’ve see post on consumerist in the past advising that a way to get out of a contract is to roam as much as possible, so sprint can cancel your phone line. With that said, I am now keeping my phone on analog, so that all my calls are made while roaming, thereby hoping that sprint will cancel my contract.

  58. CaliRajkumari says:

    I’m in the same situation as you WEARLY1977.
    We currently have 3 lines with sprint and I’ve been lurking on this site and I have to say that I am impressed with it. That’s why I joined.

    Anyway, I am too looking for a way out of my sprint contract. I will try the roaming calls. Also I have made numerous calls to CS and no luck! They put me on hold, and then my call is dropped.

    Also, according to [rcrnews.com]

    “Sprint Nextel Corp. is upping its casual text messaging rate by five cents as of Oct. 1, from 15 cents per message to 20 cents per message. And the carrier said the change-which is permissible under its terms of service-will not allow customers to slip out of their contracts without paying an early termination fee.

    The news is notable since Sprint Nextel increased its casual text messaging fee from 10 cents to 15 cents just 10 months ago. At the time, the carrier said the move would allow affected customers to get out of their service contracts without paying an ETF, as the changes affected service costs.

    This time, however, it appears Sprint Nextel’s current terms of service do allow for changes to text messaging fees.

    According to Sprint Nextel’s current contract terms, only a “material” change in rates would allow customers to abandon contracts without paying an ETF, and the carrier said the most recent change does not make the grade.

    “This casual text messaging rate change does not qualify any of our customers for any kind of early termination fee waiver,” said Sprint Nextel spokeswoman Roni Singleton.

    According to the carrier, casual text messaging fees starting next month will be 20 cents per message sent or received. Overage SMS charges for customers who have a texting package will also increase, from 10 cents to 20 cents per message.

    Sprint Nextel was the first carrier last year to raise its casual text messaging fees from the longtime industry standard of 10 cents per message to 15 cents per message. Shortly after the move, the rest of the nation’s major carriers also raised their casual text messaging fees from 10 cents to 15 cents.

    Sprint Nextel’s Singleton said that the company began notifying customers of the increase to 20 cents per message in their bills for this month. “

  59. Seandals says:

    I was surfing around the Sprint site and also came across this …

    [nextelonline.nextel.com]

    “Roaming rate change effective October 1st for calls made and received in Mexico.
    Beginning October 1, 2007 all calls placed or received in Mexico will be $1.49 per minute*.
    Note: When calling to mobile devices in other countries, a mobile termination fee may apply.
    *Customers residing in border communities currently receiving a discounted rate for calls made and received in Mexico will be billed a new rate of $0.99 per minute.”

    Would this qualify as a material change? I live in Arizona and I am really looking for a good way to get out of my contract. I plan on calling Sprint tomorrow to give it a shot.

  60. Seandals says:

    @Seandals:

    Edit : If your looking for a little bit of ammunition to throw at the CSR while on the phone. AT&T offers 99 cent roaming to Mexico for all customers.

  61. Naproxen says:

    Here’s what happened when I tried to get my contract cancelled:
    1. Call Sprint, got bounced between holding and reps 4 times before the last one hung up on me.
    2. Call again, said “Cancellation” to the automated system.
    3. Spoke to retention. The stupid rep tried to convince me that the changes do not affect me despite the fact that I make long distance international calls. He insisted that since I have the long distance dialing plan the rates won’t affect me. At which point I told him that I intend to cancel the plan anyways so the rates will affect me. At that point he offered to give me the international rate plan for free, which I refused. I argued that the core terms of my contract is changing. In addition to the text messaging and international rates, the TERMINATION FEES are changing. He kept claiming that it doesn’t affect me materially and then tried to claim that Sprint can change their terms at any time. At which point I said, “Yes Sprint can do that but I can cancel my contract without an EFT.” He disagreed. At that point, I asked for his name. He gave me his first name. I asked for his last name he gave me his “screen name”. Then I asked for a case number and he gave me an interaction number. I told him that I ‘m about to call the California Public Utilities Comission and asked him to state for the record that if my plan was cancelled after 10/1/2007 I would still be charged an EFT. He stated that if I cancelled before the 24 months were up I would be charged an EFT, which is basically saying the same thing but he’s being a bastard and not answer specifically what I asked.
    4. I called the California PUC. The rep was very polite and asked that I talk to the Sprint “Executive Services” department before filing a complaint. I agreed and was transferred to Sprint. I got a rep on the line asking how to direct my call and I explain to him that I wanted to cancel my plan because of the changes to my terms. He was about to redirect me to retentions again but I told him that I spoke to him and was redirected to him by the California PUC. At which point he said, “Let me direct you to the executive services department.” I spoke to the rep at executive services and explained the situation. She put me on hold for 5 minutes to look over the terms and my plan. After she came back on the phone, she told me that they will waive the fee by giving me the credit for the EFT. She then ask if I was transferring my number to another company and I said that I’m planning to so she told me that they will keep my account active until the transfer happens.

    So the California PUC really helped. I haven’t transferred yet so I don’t know if Sprint will follow through with the promise. I plan on transferring after October 1st and calling Sprint just to be sure. My plan number is to switch to Virgin Mobile who doesn’t have a contract and going the pre-paid route if they can port my number over.

  62. Fili says:

    I had previously tried the roaming rate change argumento to no avail since my plan includes roaming. Now I tried this one and was also told that the wouldn’t do it because of the clause in the T&C that say:

    “The following, without limitation, will generally not be considered changes to the Agreement as contemplated in this provision and will not result in the waiver of applicable Early Termination Fees: (a) changes to our Policies; (b) changes to rates or charges that are not a core part of the rate plan package for which you contracted – for example, incidental, occasional or casual use charges and other options that do not require a Term Commitment; (b) changes to Taxes & Government Fees; or (c) changes to Surcharges, including assessing new Surcharges. [sic]“

  63. wearly1977 says:

    I roamed about 4000 minutes last month.I am on track for about 5000 minutes this month. I have free roaming, and I will make Sprint pay. I hope they send me a letter soon saying I am canceled. THen I will have a party.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I was told by a supervisor this morning that this was untrue. My next recourse is a letter. Any advice as to the best way to attack this?

  65. Anonymous says:

    I did it. I took many hours, I complained to the BBB and my state’s public utilities commission, but I am out of the contract. I had to go through account services, executive services and finally an email to three of the CEO’s of Sprint. Resolved. I hate sprint. Good Luck and may God speed.

  66. foster_child says:

    Okay so I am experiencing the same problems with Sprint. My primary phone line started October 28, 2005 and then I added a secondary in October of 2006 (which I also upgraded my phone for the primary during this time too) so my contract is now extended for both lines until October of 2008. I emailed and sent a letter to Sprint to let them know that I did not agree with the increased text message rates (I have a 5 dollar 300 text plan for each of the lines). I was told by the rep (on two separate occasions via email and then again by a live rep) that replied to my complaints that my lines would be charged the ETF ($400 total) if I canceled prior to the contract satisfaction date, I went ahead and filed a complaint with the Attorney General and the BBB. Oh, the reason the rep couldnt waive the fee was because the “system” wouldnt allow it…hmmm…..anyways…I received a response from a woman who was in the executive and regulatory services who stated that my fees would not be waived because the changes only applied to casual users (with an increase of 15 cents to 20 cents). I replied stating that she neglected to mention how the additional texts would DOUBLE from 10 cents to 20 cents which did affect me. Her response was that since I hadnt gone over my text plan in the past then this change doesnt apply to me…but we all know how fast text messages are used and it happens that the bill that informed me of these changes used 298 of the 300 texts available on one of my lines….and then the next bill after I requested cancellation used 315 of the 300 available texts…which consequently resulted in $1.50 worth of extra charges…which would have been double if present on the next bill. well luckily I attend a university that provides inexpensive legal assistance I am going to pursue this issue further. We’ll see how it goes…

    Also…something i found really interesting…

    the whole clause that waives a text message rate increase from being included as a material change must have been added at least after 9/10/07 because i made a print screen of the contract to verify the clause that was going to release my obligation to the ETF and it has NOTHING about certain rate increases being excluded from the material adverse change. I even looked at a complete contract that I printed on 8/31 to see if the information was elsewhere…but it was not. I also looked at the most recent contract (go to sprint.com and enter “terms and conditions” into the search bar in the upper right, then click the first link available) which completely excludes the information about terminating early without the ETF. This one must have really caused Sprint some grief.

    If you read a portion of the contract…(i don’t know about any revised versions) it says that if you even USE the service then you agree to the new terms…i canceled both of my lines and I will be charged the ETF. I am disputing the charges and hopefully a lawyer will get me somewhere

  67. phazephuture says:

    Just to add… I just got off the phone with sprint cancellation department… No go on the waiving of the fee because of material change highlighting the change in text messaging charges. Basically they said that because texting is an optional usage by the customer, it does not fall under a material change. When I asked what does, he said the only material change that could get you out of your contract without having to pay the ETF would be if Sprint changed your actual plan. For example,lets say your plan is 1500 minutes for $89.99/mnth and Sprint just decided to raise it one day to $99.99/mnth… that would do it. So basically any changes they make that you can avoid paying by not going over your minutes or messages allowed is not going to get you out of your contract for free any time soon. GOOD LUCK… Please let us know if you have succeeded…

  68. asillasitgets says:

    Just called, and got out of my contract (4 Lines) without an early termination fee. I spoke to 2 reps ( who were less than helpful, 2 Supervisors ( Again less than helpful, and one Executive Services Rep ( Number to reach them at 703-433-4401).

    I was calm and courteous, and made my case. I pointed out the 3 current changes, as well as the roaming rate change made this summer and the text message rate change from last year.

    I declined there offers of free text messages and so on. At this point the rep referred to the

    “The following, without limitation, will generally not be considered changes to the Agreement as contemplated in this provision and will not result in the waiver of applicable Early Termination Fees: (a) changes to our Policies; (b) changes to rates or charges that are not a core part of the rate plan package for which you contracted – for example, incidental, occasional or casual use charges and other options that do not require a Term Commitment; (b) changes to Taxes & Government Fees; or (c) changes to Surcharges, including assessing new Surcharges.”

    I pointed out that this was not listed on the contract that I received (and singed) when I last renewed my contract. The rep asked me to fax him in a copy of my contract, which I did. The next day on my follow up call, the Rep informed me he would waive the ETF and I had until the end of my billing cycle to port my numbers.

    You should contact a few regular reps and at least one supervisor before calling the executive services number. If you do not have your original contract you can find a contract without that paragraph located here

    ([nextelonline.nextel.com]).

    It is the Nextel terms and conditions, but it is located on there website and it worked for me. Every person I spoke with at sprint was a complete moron, with the exception of the executive services rep. Hope this helps. Good Luck.

  69. fancyface630 says:

    Finally got it done. I have bben tryting since 10/1 to cancel this contract. I finally treid the number above after speaking to over 8 different people. The rep said my call sheet was the longest she had seen. I too was told that they can change the rate, but i also was granfathered into my contract wich i had still. I really wanted to cancel this phone because my service was terrible i had over 350 dropped calls in one month…and what is even worse is i exceeded my texting this month by over 1000 texts…so guess what? sprint is still gonna get their 200.00 anyway.
    -KEEP TRYING DON’T GIVE UP (but it must be done by 10/31/07)

  70. fancyface630 says:

    one more thing…DO NOT TRY ROAMING…if you use the roaming ption to get out of your contract with sprint they can cancel and you are still responsible…read that wording carefully it states:

    You will be charged a fee (“Early Termination Fee”) for each line of Service that you terminate early (i.e., prior to satisfying the Term Commitment) or for each line of Service that we terminate early for good reason (for example, violating the payment or other terms of the Agreement).

  71. wearly1977 says:

    roaming does work..i was just let out of my contract and charged nothing….do not listen to the above post

  72. jvn3 says:

    I just got off the phone with CSR. I followed all the advice and they gave me free unlimited texting for the remainder of my contract (13 mos). When I said I still wanted to cancel they stated that I couldn’t use the texting price increase as materially adverse due to the fact that they were GIVING me free text…unlimited! I guess they got me there but on the flip side, I do have free, unlimited texting. Down side, I also still have Sprint…at least for 13 more months.