Using Your Sprint Phone Is Enough To Cancel Your Cancellation

Uh oh. Another obstacle to hurtle over in trying to cancel your Sprint Account for hiking text message rates before their October 31st deadline. Reader Drew wrote us in, informing us that his cancellation was shot down:

    I tried and I failed. The rep told me, correctly, that their Terms and Conditions contain the following gem:

    “If you use our Services or make any payment to us on or after the effective date of the changes, you accept the changes.”

    Meaning that since I have used my phone during the month of October I have accepted the new rate and can no longer get out of it. Booo! I imagine some people were able to get out of the fee by getting through to some less-than perceptive reps. By now, though, they’ve probably briefed every one on the real deal.

That TOS wording is so weasely as to make us a bit ill. “Use our services?” Isn’t even having your Sprint phone turned on a use of their services? This contract is a carte blanche to hike rates of consumers without giving them any recourse to cancel if they don’t like it. After all, they’ve implicitly agreed to be boned just by having their telephone on. Bogus.


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  1. max andrews says:

    Well, wouldn’t the effective date of the changes be October 31st?

  2. comrade_snarky says:

    I got out of my contract today even though I used my service in October and even paid my bill on 10/11/06. You have to talk to the retention people, not the regular CSRs who will argue to the death. One CSR told me that casual texting rates are subject to change at any time, so it’s not a breech of contract (liar). Another said that using the service and paying my bill means that I accepted the new terms and can’t get out of my contract (the contract doesn’t say that accepting the new terms forfeits one’s right to cancel w/out penalty). Don’t waste your time with high school grads making $10/hr. in a call center who think that they’re Perry Mason.

    I called the 1-888-567-5528 # on Saturday and the guy was really helpful. I asked about transferring my # and he said that it’s easier if you do the transfer before canceling. He made a note in my account that I shouldn’t get charged the ETF and said that when my transfer actually goes through (like someone calls me and the new phone rings) to call back and they’ll credit my account if I was accidentally charged an ETF. Just got off the phone w/ them this morning, I’m out of my contract w/ no ETF! Woo-hoo!

    BTW … I didn’t have a text messaging plan and paid ten cents each for the 3 or 4 messages I had each month.

  3. tedonion says:

    Drew needs to read the rest of that paragraph, he has accepted the changes, but he has not forgone his opportunity to cancel!

    If we change a material term of the Agreement and that change has a material adverse effect on you, you may terminate the Agreement without an Early Termination Fee by calling 1-888-567-5528 within 30 days after the changes go into effect.

    Yea, I called em too, and did not really want to cancel so I accepted 20% off for two years and a new phone.

  4. baldguy247 says:

    I have a plan and I called 1-888-567-5528 and I was informed that because I was on a plan I was not permitted to cancel and I would be charged an ETF. F-ing blows!

  5. Trai_Dep says:

    I smell class action. Or PR nightmare.
    I have auto-pay set up (w/ Verizon, so it’s moot for me but perhaps not for others). It seems like a strong argument could be made that there’s no meeting of minds, not enforcible.
    The carriers beg, plead, entreat us to go digital, to autopay, then when we do, they turn around and us it against us? Bogus!
    Seems like Sprint is using this gotcha as a way to browbeat customers into submitting. Unless they hang tough until they’re transferred out of customer service.