Another Reader Escapes Sprint With No ETF

Reader Jordan writes:

I recently read this story.

My parents gave me an iPhone for Christmas, and I didn’t want to pay an ETF to make the switch. I called, and like the other reader, someone picked up on the second ring. She asked for my information and reviewed my account. At present, she said she was unable to determine if my surcharges would increase (it doesn’t for all customers), but she said if they do, she will gladly refund my prorated ETF fee per phone. Then she gave me a direct line to her and my case number. My statement will be generated on January 15th, and when my fees go up (as I have already been told they will be via a postcard I received two weeks ago), they remove all charges.

Now I’m off to the Apple Store to buy an iPhone for my wife and begin my new contract with AT&T. Thank you Consumerist.



If you’re having trouble with Sprint’s regular customer service, or have a complicated issue like terminating due to a materially adverse contract change, try…

The Sprint Consumerist Hotline: (703-433-4401)

Let us know if the hotline worked for you by emailing us at


Edit Your Comment

  1. realwx says:

    Still nothing for T-Mobile…

  2. Buran says:

    @realwx: Complaining about NOT getting a ratejack … sheesh.

  3. TPIRman says:

    So far, so good, but Jordan hasn’t escaped anything yet. How many times on Consumerist have we heard the “We can’t do anything for your right now, but call us when the bill comes, and we’ll give you a refund” line? Nine times out of 10 (in this site’s non-representative sample, at least), when the time comes to actually give the customer his/her money, all evidence of the previous conversation miraculously disappears! Here’s hoping Jordan doesn’t get the same runaround.

  4. coren says:

    @Johnny: Not only that, but Jordan would likely get sent to collections and Sprint would have pretended or claimed to have canceled all charges.

  5. CrapoCrap says:

    I just called the hotline and they’ve told me that I can cancel on Friday, when I receive the bill with the changed charges on it.
    I kind of had my hopes up, but now I’m wondering about what Johnny has posted.

  6. Alexander says:

    Can’t wait for the update when he decides he wants to cancel ATT without an ETF.

  7. partyone says:

    I just called Sprint at the The Sprint Consumerist Hotline: (703-433-4401). I spoke with Janice who said that not all bills are going up. Janice stated that If I cancel now I will get hit with an ETF. So I would have to wait until January 1 to see if my bill went up if it did then I can cancel. I so smell a dirty Sprint rat here. Ill keep you posted.

  8. 3drage says:

    I was given the same line about not being able to cancel until after the bill went through, so instead I’m going to call and cancel based on the texting increase.

  9. Cyco says:

    A question for those that got out without an ETF and/or for those that are trying to. Are they doing anything to try to keep you from leaving or are they just accepting you want to leave without a fight? I’m happy with Sprint and I want a new phone. I was thinking of using the rate jack as an excuse to see if they will work with me on getting a new phone, telling them I would leave if they didn’t work with me. I want the Sprint Touch, but I don’t want the mail-in rebate. I’d rather they give me credit on my account for it or something like that. I just don’t want to take a chance of them saying good-bye and canceling me if I try.

  10. BugMeNot2 says:

    how come these articles on the consumerist are always about avoiding sprint ETFs? the other 3 carriers aggressively persue this charge just the same.

  11. tomkease says:

    i just call the Consumerist hotline and she told me that I have to wait till my bill is generated. I have had nothing but hassles between my account and my sisters. Is there anything else i should be saying when i call. Maybe something to convince them that i know what im talking about. Thanks!!!

  12. anolimit98 says:

    1st Call-
    Carissa – 4:11pm Cannot be Done, explained to her that it was a cancellation that should have ETF waived, she said they were taxes and they can go up from time to time. I read her the words of the contract and she said that the $200 ETF would apply. She offered to get me to cancellation department, accept transfer.

    2nd Contact- 4:27pm Betty- went through authenticating account info again. Because I have a discount from my school district she said that it is considered a business account there is someone else that I need to speak with, she will transfer me.

    3RD Contact- 4:45 pm Jeff- in cancellations- Said he did know what I was talking about, looked into and he said that my last bill taxes were less that previous bill, therefore I would be charged a ETF. I said that notice said that fees would be higher than taxes they replaced. He went to go look into it. He returned and said that prev month taxes were 1.61 and the current month would be 1.83. He advised that I can get out of Contract without ETF, he said that he coded it and noted on account so that I would not be charged ETF after porting over number.

    Thanks so much for, I got out of my contract on the basis of a 22 cent increase in the cost. Thanks to everyone before who put in their comments on this matter, it made me confident that Sprint would honor their word. I now got an iphone and a new service provider. If anyone comes up with something to invalidate an AT&T contract please let me know.

    Happy as a pig in a puddle right now.

  13. Free-at-last says:

    Thank you consumerist. After getting the runaround at Sprint for a few hours, I was transferred to the cancellation department and I told them that I wanted to cancel my contract due to changes in the contract imposing new administrative and regulatory fees that became effective 1/1/08. I told them I had thirty days from when the change became effective to cancel. He offered me many discounts but said I had the right to cancel without ETF fees. So it’s done and I have until the rest of the billing cycle (for which I had already paid) to use the phone and to get the number ported. I had been so angry about these contract extensions which appeared every time I phoned them, I was afraid to call them for fear of “two more years.”
    I’m getting an iPhone tomorrow. Wish I’d seen your post about the roaming charges earlier but better late than never. You saved me over $600! THANKS!

  14. Xapa says:
  15. DomZ says:

    I’m currently on the line with Mondrell. Let’s see how this goes.

  16. DomZ says:

    Mondrell @ the number you posted took care of me with absolutely no hassle. My bill was raised $0.80 and he put up zero fight giving me a confirmation number and way to contact him personally if I had any other questions.

    Call 866-398-4606 and reference his name. Real nice guy.