Escape Sprint ETF-Free Over Administrative Fee Increase

Want to break your Sprint cellphone contract without paying an early termination fee? On January 1, 2009, Sprint will increase the Administrative fee to $.99 per line. Because this is what is known as a “materially adverse change of contract,” and because of the basic contractual principle that you can’t change someone’s contract without their explicit permission (not the tacit, “opt-out” kind), you can use it to argue that the fee renders your contract void and you can end service without a termination fee. You do have to be willing to argue without giving up with a number of different Sprint employees first, like Matt did…

Here’s the fee notice:

Administrative Charge
Effective Jan. 1, 2009, the Administrative
Charge will increase to $0.99 per line. For
details on surcharges, please see Sprint Terms
& Conditions or visit

And Matt’s story:

I called sprint with the bill (with the exact wording) open, and their taxes and fees site ( First I got a normal CS rep, asked about getting an ETF waiver because of this “materially adverse” change, she said no, but that she would transfer me to an “account specialist” (retentions).

Was transferred to retentions, got a woman who also said no. We debated a little bit, me asking why it wasn’t materially adverse, her saying because its a fee, etc etc. Once I realized I was going no where with her I asked to speak to somebody else. Apparently I got to talk to the King of Retentions, or something.

I remember this part the best, because he picks up the phone and says “Hello! I heard you had a question about one of our government mandate fees?” This really set me off. I had been saying the whole time it was their administrative fee and picture message increase. Anyways, we debated, a lot. Basically the only key was to never stop. He kept saying they could change their fees at any time, it even says so in their T&Cs. I pointed out how that was not valid, and how it was the whole point of a contract that both parties agree to the terms as presented, and how could you agree to terms in advance? After about 10 minutes of this I said “is there anybody else I can talk to” and he said “no, I’m the end of the line before you cancel”, and then he said “Do you want the number to legal” and I said “yes!”.

I was put on hold for about 10 minutes, when he came back he was much much nicer. He said they couldn’t ETF free it now because it hadn’t affected the account. I told him the reason I called now is because I wasn’t to make sure paying the Nov bill is “agreeing” with the change (I’m sure if I called back in Jan there would have been nothing that could have been done). I said ETF free in Jan was reasonable, and asked him to put the note on the account to let me cancel ETF free in January if the account was affected by the change, he obliged.

Called back the next day, and the note was there.

Yes, the account is still not canceled. Yes, that note could mysteriously disappear. But Matt was able to go most of the way towards getting it ready to be cancelled once that new fee starts hitting the account. He just needs to go the next step. He needs to argue with them that it doesn’t matter if it hasn’t hit the account yet, the terms of the contract have changed. That alone gives him sufficient reason. If they respond by waiving the surcharge, he should insist that the contract has still been changed.

Just because it’s in the terms and conditions that they can change the contract doesn’t make it so. Ski lodges can make you sign death waivers but if you really do bust your leg up, the lawyers know you still can sue and probably will win. If
contracts could really be changed like this mid-term, then car dealerships could decide 6 months into your lease that you need to start paying a $300/month administrative fee.

Whether or not they obviate the effects of the contract change, the contract was still changed without his consent. If you stab someone, and then put all the blood back in the wound and put a band-aid over it, you’ve still stabbed them.

Administrative Charge Increasing Jan 1… [Howard Forums] (Photo: your_favorite_mart ian)


Edit Your Comment

  1. asujosh1 says:

    Anyone know of a ‘materially adverse’ change to the AT&T terms and conditions? I would really love to get out of my contract there.

    They can keep their fricking $18 ‘upgrade fee’ and I’ll take my business elsewhere…

    • dweebster says:

      @asujosh1: Hasn’t AT&T yet been deemed “materially adverse” to common decency?

    • Anonymous says:

      This isn’t all Sprint’s doing to you. Check your bills very carefully. Since they switched to their new “improved” billing system there hasn’t been a month I haven’t spent at least 3 hours trying to get errors corrected. This month it’s a really major problem…. I have a company group employee discount (25%) AND I negotiated a 15% discount for re-upping for 2 years. All was well until last month when the 15% disappeared. Hours of calls later, it was explained. All of the codes for putting 2 discounts on an account have been taken away from the CSR’s. Now you can only have the higher one. All others are automatically removed. Great, I says….. “You negotiated the 15% with me for a 2 year renewal contract so if I don’t get the discount, then remove all ETF’s from my account.” “Oh, no. Can’t do that but perhaps we could pay your a bulk adjustment credit. We”ll check on it and get back to you.” Been 3 weeks now and still no call. I think I’ll call and pound on them again tomorrow.

  2. Davan says:

    I hate when this happens… makes me wish I didnt like my Sprint service so I could cancel it :P But honestly, anyone with a SERO account will attest that theres no better plan out there in the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      1000 anytime minutes/mo
      unlimited nights and weekends
      unlimited text and data
      nights and weekends starting at 7
      26% corporate discount….
      On 2 lines


      Yeah, SERO Rocks!

    • dweebster says:

      @Davan: SERO was the #1 reason to stick with Sprint’s crappy customer support (mainly because once you have SERO you rarely need to deal with them). Unfortunately, SERO’s no longer offered except to employees they “let go.” It’s been replaced with a plan that costs twice as much, has some additional stuff added that few people who have SERO would ever want, and removal of a few things they did want.

      R.I.P. Sprint.

      • dewsipper says:

        @dweebster: I didn’t mind Sprint when I lived in actual civilization. However, Sprint = useless where there’s no coverage.

      • Gadgetgirl says:

        @dweebster: Ain’t the truth about SERO! I’m not going anywhere anytime soon, but then again I have great service and believe it or not the customer service *has* been better than the past.

        I can see folks with regular, non discount Sprint accounts using this as a ‘Get out of jail free’ card but SERO folks will probably accept the $.24 increase without pause.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Davan: You should still call and hagel with their cancellation dept. I got a touch for nearly free last year.

  3. Confuzius says:

    Does this sort of thing work in canada, or is “materially adverse” something spesific to US law?

    • unobservant says:

      @Confuzius: I’ve been wondering the same thing every time I see one of these articles. Especially when it comes to Rogers.

      Halp Canadian Lawyerz!

    • k6richar says:

      @shepd: That is allowed because the text message rates where not in the contract. there is nothing to prevent them from charging anything they want for text messages.

      • SpruceStreetPhil - in a new Pine flavor says:

        @k6richar: I assume your contract law is probably near the same as ours, maybe even closer to the UKs. Both derive from common law so I think it would be safe to assume that one party in a contract cannot change terms. When it comes down to it a contract is an enforceable promise, NOT an enforceable changeable promise or else you could change it to whatever you want and in turn change it to no promise, which is just dumb.

  4. Cankles says:

    Yum, armpit shot right before lunch.

  5. SegamanXero says:

    hmmm im gonna have to show this to my girlfriend. She is fed up with sprint, and is gonna terminate her contract with sprint tomorrow and go with Tmobile and get that new G1 phone.

    • volenti non fit injuria says:

      @segamanxero: tell your gf to have fun… it’s only a matter of time before she comes running back to Sprint… I had TMo for two years and a few of my friends have it… worst service EVER… no signal anywhere except while hoppin on one leg with tin foil wrapped around your head and A BUNCH of dropped calls.. i love Sprint :)

      • dweebster says:

        @es ay eL from en jae: Have to agree, Tmobile seems to have nicer customer service but lousier (tier 3) service in the US. Dead zones in the middle of major cities. Only useful if you do a lot of travel to the UK or other places where they are tier one.

        If Sprint would stop working so damn hard screwing their customers they’d be a very good company. Their coverage has come a whole way closer to excellent the past few years.

        But what they gain in coverage they lose by doing all they can to piss off their paying customers. This article is simply a small example of their evil ways, their customer “support” is their darker art.

  6. bastion72 says:

    I used the last “materially adverse change” to my account to upgrade to a $50 Palm Centro and a SERO like account. I was ready to cancel if necessary.

    • dweebster says:

      @bastion72: Just wait until Sprint decides your “SERO like account” has “excessive credits” and begins changing the price and terms of the agreement unilaterally (while maintaining that you would owe them an ETF if YOU don’t like it).

      I think that new Sprint CEO Hesse is going to drive that company into the ground. They want to charge like Verizon while still screwing and lying to their customers worse than “Best” Buy.

      I stick with Sprint because my plan is somewhat reasonably priced and I’ve already invested over 40 hours in a year and a half to keep my plan *close* to what I was promised. But I’ve stopped working on getting even more friends and family over to their “service” as the mobile-to-mobile credits aren’t worth the loss of sanity dealing with the idiotic “system” that prevents Sprint from honoring anything they promise (other than to collect an ETF if you leave them).

      BTW – your account note *WILL* “disappear.” I have had representatives swear to me they put a note on my account to clarify what was promised, and what they had done. Not long after – the note ALWAYS becomes non-existent, and the Sprint representative usually uses that as evidence that you are lying and making things up. RECORD the conversations if they have given you notice that the conversation may be recorded – then YOU have evidence and don’t drive yourself mad.

      • bastion72 says:

        @dweebster: It hasn’t changed in a year, but I’ll keep an eye on it. Thanks for the heads up. I also agree with a lot of your opinions. Sprint is not good at keeping records. One month after I sealed the last deal I got a call from “Mary” asking, in an indian accent, if I wanted to upgrade my phone.

        • dweebster says:

          @bastion72: Ah, yes – the multiple “free phone” solicitations have begun. Good times. I was getting 4-5 a day, even after telling Sprint to give them a rest for a while.

          One trick (some) Sprint people will do is tell you their logon ID and tell you that you can call “any” representative and they’ll email that original rep and they’ll call you back. What REALLY happens is that you still have the problem so you do what that rep said – BUT the representative you reach will refuse to email that other rep and instead force you to deal with THEM – someone entirely unfamiliar with the situation you have spent a couple hours with the other rep trying to fix.

          Sprint is hell on earth, and now they are increasing the price of heat!

    • cougarnav says:

      @bastion72: I did that last time too. 1500 Minutes, 500 texts and unl. data for 36.99/month and I still get my 20% corp discount on top of that. I also got my data card for $45 before the discount. Sprint Rocks.

  7. ajresch says:

    Does anybody know if there is currently any way to cancel my Alltel account without an ETF, now that the merger with Verizon has gone through?

    Or even if it would be possible to upgrade my phone to just a Verizon phone, without having to pay an ETF through Alltel, since I want a new Storm, but don’t want to have to wait until next May when my contract expires?

    • CMU_Bueller says:

      @ajresch: If your contract expires in May, you should be eligible for an upgrade in February if that makes you feel any better.

      • ajresch says:

        Oh yeah, I just checked, and my upgrade date would be Feb. 10, which is less than 3 months away, which isn’t too bad.
        I’m just hoping by then the merger is worked out, because I like Alltel’s coverage, but Verizon has far superior phones.

    • Ninjanice says:

      @ajresch: Alltel and Verizon haven’t merged yet. They just got approval to merge from the FCC. They still have a long way to go before they are “merged”. I think when Sprint and Nextel merged, it took about 3 years from the time that their intent to merge was made public. Plus, you’re probably better off waiting a little bit on the Storm. It sounds like it’s going to be a great phone, but there are always glitches in new phones, especially when it’s a new technology for a company. Let somone else find all the bugs for you, then get the phone after all the bugs have been worked out.

  8. tedyc03 says:

    Your Sprint contract says the following:

    “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.”

    These stories are nice except that it’s not a change under the contract which you can use to get out of it.

    However, if you call and talk to the Sprint Consumerist Hotline, they might prorate or eliminate your ETF as a courtesy, if you’re really nice.


    • dweebster says:

      @tedyc03: I still have no clue as to how a contract like this can legally be enforced. Oh yeah, “binding arbitration” clause – in other words you get to argue it out not in front of a judge but an “arbitrator” that just happens to benefit financially from Sprint’s business. No possible bias there…

      I commit to paying an ETF even if Sprint decides to jump their “administrative fee” $100.00/month per line? Whether it’s 25cents or $300.00, it’s still a material change to the contract. If money isn’t “material” to Sprint – just try paying them $0.00 for a few months and see how “immaterial” it will be to their provided phone service.

    • dweebster says:

      @tedyc03: Please, Sprint. Don’t screw me!!! I beg you!!!

    • tedyc03 says:

      @tedyc03: Hey, I don’t like it either. It’s just the way it is.

    • William Chuang says:


      Good job pulling up the contract, but your interpretation overly favors Sprint. The increase to the Administrative Charge does not fall into any of the three expressly non-material changes. (Compare the contract to the web site at The change to the Administrative Charge is not a change in to Sprint’s policies as in (a) or a change in taxes or government-required fees as in (b). It isn’t a Surcharge as in (c)–it is clearly an Administrative Charge. Sprint’s web site distinguishes Surcharges and Charges, so they cannot be the same. (The Sprint Taxes and Fees Web Site lists Surcharges, Taxes, Fees, and other Charges.) An Administrative Charge is a Charge and not a Surcharge as in clause (c).

      Too complicated? Probably. But Sprint drafted the contract so it should be interpreted strictly against it.


  9. deadandy says:

    Discussions of getting out of ETFs always interest me because many people seem to be looking for ways out of these contracts.

    I’m curious: Is it because the service isn’t as you expected, or because you’re just tired of it?

    Also, where do you cross the line into unethical ways out of a contract? Granted most companies will screw you eight ways to Sunday if it is in their financial interest, but to what lengths will you go to screw them? Will you lie?

  10. magstheaxe says:

    What is a SERO account?

    • tande04 says:


      It was a referal account that ended up being open to all.

      • dweebster says:

        @tande04: Yup, originally only something to be referred by Sprint employees, Sprint officially opened it up to all comers. $30 for 500 minutes, included unlimited text and data. Damn good plan, even made it worth dealing with the Sprint stupidity juggernaut.

        It’s gone to the “Everything Plus Referral” plan, twice the charges with all the negatives of dealing with Sprint. If you don’t mind being screwed with for years and years, go ahead and sign up with Sprint to save a few bucks:


    • elmuchachos says:

      a really cheap plan…30 dollar 500 anytime min, unlimited everything else.

      covers all phones but BB’s and instinct. bb add on can be added so plan is 30 + 30BB add on for $60 total.

      my plan with my BB curve on sero cost me
      =$34.75 before taxes for 500 min with unlimited everything including BB service.

  11. West Coast Secessionist says:

    From the OP:

    “He kept saying they could change their fees at any time, it even says so in their T&Cs. I pointed out how that was not valid,…”

    You had a minor semantic failure in disputing this. Here’s a great way of making the situation clear:

    They do put in the contract that they have the right to change anything at any time for any or no reason. This is their right and it’s perfectly valid (under the crazy funhouse laws we have). YOU however can also exercise YOUR choice under the contract which is basically a simple “take it or leave it” choice. If you don’t like their changes, your one and only recourse is to cancel, and yes, they can’t legally charge you an ETF in that case.

    Another angle you can point out is that if you signed a contract at $30 a month, and the second month they exercised their right to raise your rate to $530 a month, then obviously you would not be forced to pay that rate for 2 years. And it would be their fault you couldn’t pay, because they raised the rate so the ETF is completely unwarranted.

    Once you have their agreement that a $500 a month increase in costs would be grounds to cancel, then ask them, what about $100 a month? What about $50 a month? What about $20 a month? $5? And finally, in your case, $1 a month. Who are they to tell you what an adverse change is? Any increase in prices at all is enough to cancel over.

    Good job to the OP for playing hardball and good luck to all who read this in getting out of cellphone contracts.

  12. SabreDC says:

    “If you stab someone, and then put all the blood back in the wound and put a band-aid over it, you’ve still stabbed them.”

    Yes. But if you give them a disclaimer like “I reserve the right to stab you at any time”, it is okay. Right? :-)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Damn, I got excited when I read this as I really want to switch off of sprint to a family plan with my fiancee over at AT&T (and get the Iphone)… Jan 1 2009 huh? My Sprint plan ends Jan 28th 2009. Ah well =)

  14. Chris H says:

    Price is always material. Even a small price change is material, because it goes to the basis of the bargain.

    I got my girlfriend out of her contact with Verizon through this process. I had to write a letter to do it–they wouldn’t accept the argument over the phone.

  15. dweebster says:

    Appropriate picture regarding Sprint.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, your statement of the law here is most likely wrong. But if you irritate them enough they might let you cancel anyways.

    The ski lodge example is totally off; limitations on the ability to waive liability for personal injury are often void as a matter of public policy. That has nothing to do with a fee increase. I doubt Sprint could include a term in the T&C that says it can increase fees, and then increase the fee to something extremely high. But if it’s in the T&C, and the increase is reasonable, I doubt it breaches the contract.

    But like I said, if you whine enough about it, they’ll probably let you out. You don’t always need a good reason.

  17. J.Heck says:

    My mother has Sprint and she is so happy with them. My husband and I are with Verizon and there are days I wish I could tell them to shove it, but we don’t pay the Verizon bill (his work does).

    My mom’s best friend lives in Florida, on the edge of Everglade City, where Verizon, Alltel, etc., don’t work (but Sprint does!). This lady is very ill and is being screwed around by the wonderful government of Florida to get her disability. Anywho, when the hurricanes went through this summer, my mom lost contact with her. My mom contacted the Everglades City police chief and asked him if she mailed him a cell phone, would he get it to her (she’s so far out that all she had was a PO Box)? He had no problem with that. We went to the Sprint store to set up an additional line on the spare phone my mom had after she upgraded. After telling our CSR why we were setting up the new line, he got his manager, and she told him the story. The manager decided to give her a brand new phone to send down to Florida. Then he had us write her a note to include with the phone, we popped it in the phone’s box, and the manager used the Sprint shipping account to send the phone overnight (from Ohio to southern Florida), no charge to us. He also added unlimited roaming to my mom’s account, free of charge, for the remainder of her contract, just in case the phone would roam in her area (but it doesn’t). The next evening, my mom got a phone call from her friend – she was safe and so grateful.

    See? Not all Sprint experiences are bad ones. Maybe just our store is awesome, I don’t know. Maybe I just have too much faith. :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    The real question here is… after you cancel your service and get out of the ETF, then what? You’re going to sign another contract with another shady, horrible service phone company and be right back to square one? What’s the point. They all suck. The grass is always greener.. yadda yadda yadda

  19. Anonymous says:

    I can tell you, Sprint is a beast to get out of ETF free. I did it successfully with about a year left on my contract because I wanted to go to ATT/ iPhone.

    Anyhow, I was having many difficulties with going into roaming pretty much all over the city I lived in. They checked the towers, opened tickets, everything. I built up a case with them and finally called one day with another roaming complaint.

    On the last call, the retentions woman came back at first with a pro-rated ETF, which I said no dice to. She put me on hold for another 15 minutes and came back with a free ETF. I was ported out within the day.

    I did get a final bill for a couple hundred dollars, but due to an administrative issue it was reversed because I was promised zero ETF. Even had them send me an email stating so in case they came back saying I owed them money.

    I did reference the contract back and forth with the Sprint folks and it worked. I’m sure in this case referencing the contract due to a fee increase would, too, work. My advice is this: keep detailed records of your conversations and have them note everything on your account. Call back to confirm the notations were added. You will get out free, but it takes persistence.

  20. solarpowerspork says:

    I found it a lot easier to get my ETF waived by T-Mobile by charging my last statement to AmEx and issuing a chargeback with a letter with the dates, names of CSRs, and specific problems/”solutions” that T-Mobile gave me. AmEx fought the problem for me, and in about 6 weeks, I saw my $200 get credited back to my AmEx. Might not work for everybody – I don’t know if this’ll work for the “materially adverse change” in service people, but it’s worth a try if you’re sick of dealing with CSR run-around through your provider.

  21. calchip says:

    Been with Sprint since 1997, when they had coverage in only one city (San Diego.)

    I’ve been out of contract now for 4 years and every time I call, they try to entice me into signing a new contract. I already have a pretty amazing deal (1300 anytime mins /unlimited text-internet-evening for $50) so they never manage to offer a better plan, and my phone just got replaced with a new model when the old one died… so now they’ve started offering cash. The last time they offered me $100, which I turned down. (I like the freedom to be able to leave them without arguing about an ETF.) If the cash is worthwhile, I might re-sign, but so far they haven’t offered up enough.

    Honestly, I’ve found the service to be decent, and the price to be fair, so never felt any reason to go elsewhere. I’d get an Iphone in a second if it wasn’t on the ATT network. Several friends have them and love the phones, but the service is godawful.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The good news for everyone is that ETF are finally becoming pro-rated, as they should have been all along.

    The REASON there are ETFs is that wireless carriers subsidize the cost of your phone when you enter into contract! It’s funny how everyone is clamoring to get out of ETF but I haven’t heard ONE PEEP from anyone about how much is sucks to get a phone for FREE or have $150-$250 knocked off the price of their fancy phone upon initial purchase. Are you all so ignorant or illiterate to your precious contact? You seem to spend a lot of time researching loop holes in how to get out of it but fail to read the details as to why that fee is there to begin with.

    Hey everyone, try this out next time you are searching for a better carrier: Tell the salesperson you will pay RETAIL cost of the phone and in return you will be under no ETF contract. They’ll do it every time. The only reason to sign customers under a 2 year contract is to get the subsidized money back out of you (which is why pro rated ETFs are more fair) and give them a chance to build a business relationship with you.

    Face it, you have the power; it’s just that you want something for nothing. Buck up or shut up.

  23. PermanentStar says:

    so…whate if your contract says that they reserve the rights to change their rates and charges? That means that you can’t get out of it b/c of materially adverse changes, right?

  24. nybiker says:

    Maybe if Sprint didn’t waste money on the racing car sponsorship, it wouldn’t have to raise its admin fee. Like wtf is an admin fee and why is it separate? I use VZW and I think they do they same thing (doesn’t mean I like it with them either).
    As someone else said, when you cancel with one you’ve got to go with another and you’ll probably not be happy with their customer service after awhile either.
    It all comes down to which service works where you spend the most time.

  25. sephiroth_4 says:

    We’re loving our Touch Pro and Centro on the Sero 500, gladly signed up for a contract extension for a discount.
    How about helping Sprint because they offer the best digital network and data plans available instead of article after article of how to dump Sprint.
    If there is any other plan better than Sero, that deserves a consumerist write up, but till then, call me when it’s 2010.

  26. bthurgood says:

    Just called sprint. They told me that it is a government imposed fee. They told me that not a chance on getting out of the ETF. I told them that was a lie, and they hung up on me!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Called a few days ago! First time, I was blow off. Second time I spoke to an extremely rude manager who I eventually got to escalate the case. Got a call from Carlos. He was awesome. Had my account canceled with no ETF in a matter of mins!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Annunziata…or anyone else that can help…After calling sprint and getting the ETF waived/cancelling your contract, is it still possible to keep your phone number on another carrier? I’ve had my number for a long time and think the $200 ETF or waiting it out would be more practical than saving the money. Thanks to whoever can help!

  29. Anonymous says:

    just called sprint and spoke with a fairly helpful CSR. she suggested (on her own initiative) that if i was uncomfortable with this $.24/mo charge on my account, i could opt out of the contract w/o ETF. and this with my monthly billing of $80 for two lines on a single account, no late payments, no issues.

    she did mention that i can’t terminate the contract right now, but will have to wait until after the new charge is effective – jan 1 2009 – and cancel within 30days of the change.

    so, it looks like sprint’s pretty much ready to say goodbye to users who would like to opt out… without an etf.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I was able to terminate my contract effective 1/1/09 without a ETF via the sprint chat. It took 8 minutes. The rep said I could not do this at first and all I said was “that this is a material change in our contart that is not mandated by law.” She returned to say that her supervisor corrected her and I was off the hook of any ETFs. I only had 3 months left but it is worth it to make a change sooner.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I tried Matt’s approach after they had changed my contract without my authorization (its a long story, all I wanted removed was txt messaging since it never worked on one of our phones) any way, to my surprise, as of December 31, 2008 at 11:59:59 pm my contract with Sprint/Nextel morons is done. Just do as Matt had done (I only got as far as the first CS person, had to argue with them a little bit because they tried the “Govenment” taxes when on the bill it strictly says that administrative fees are there sole dicresion of recouping some monies.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been trying to cancel my contract with Sprint all day today! I want to cancel because I rarely ever get service in my apartment, parents house or at my work and its just awful

    I called them 5 times telling them it was unfair for me to be in the contract because the service was so bad but they wouldn’t let me cancel without a $200 ETF. I am also half a year into a 2 year contract

    I found this and saw that indeed they were going to charge me the extra 24 cents at the 1st of January

    I called them and expected to do a lot of arguing but surprisingly the first person I spoke to said there wouldn’t be any problem closing the contract and also asked if I wanted to keep my number! I couldn’t believe it! No arguing nothing! He said my balance with Sprint is at $00.00 and I have until January 8th to switch to another provider.

    I really couldn’t believe it was that simple!

  33. Anonymous says:

    For what it’s worth….A simple complaint to the Better Business Bureau will get the same result without having to argue with Sprint. I had a dropped call issue and got fed up, called Sprint with no luck. I contacted the BBB and explained the situation, they filed and 2 days later Sprint agreed to waive the ETF.

    • s0c0m16 says:

      Doesn’s always work to file BBB complaint. I had tried that and also filed a complaint with the Michigan Attorney Generals office. Sprint could have cared less. I had so many dropped calls since moving about four months ago, I couldn’t use my 3 phones at all. I explained to them that I counted on my phones to be sure that my son got home from school safely while I was driving home from work and they basically called me a bad parent for having to go to work and allowing my son, whom they had no idea his age, to go home by himself. That was when I actually started to go off. I asked the guy if he was calling a bad mother and he said “those words never came out of my mouth” so I asked if that was what he was inferring… Also, asking for their legal department seems to bother them – extremely! I work in a law office so I was able to pull some legal stuff on them. As soon as I asked for their resident agent in Michigan they told me they didn’t have one – several reps told me that!- they have to tell you that information. It is illegal for them not to allow you to talk to their legal department – everyone told me to have my atty call them for this info but according to their precious contract you can’t have an attorney represent you! I was also told that I was getting service because 671 calls had been made on my contract. When I asked the guy to look at the ratio of how many calls were less than 1 minute compared to longer he said he didn’t know how to do that. There were 671 calls because any call you tried to make on my 3 phones were dropped and you had to call back to finish your call! Anyway, asking for their legal department seems to get thir attention.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I used this method:

    1. Called Sprint using *2 on my phone and requested to speak to Cancellations when the CSR answered. She transferred me right away. (The phone tree didn’t mention cancellation anywhere.)

    2. A Retentions specialist answered, and already had my account information pulled up and used my name. I asked politely for him to end my contract before the change in admin fees takes place, and he asked why. He used a lot of Retentions tactics, asking me why I disputed a .25 cent increase, and I said I didn’t agree to it and left it at that.

    3. After a lot of questions that sounded like “I am just trying to understand why” which I stoppered he put me on hold, and then came back and told me he could move my contract end date to 1.25.09, which he said is before the admin fee change takes effect. I asked if there was a fee for changing my contract, and he said no, the Early Termination Fee only applies when you cancel your service before the contract ends.

    4. He confirmed that I would get a letter with the new contract end date, and answered a few other account questions for me. He thanked me for not being demanding.

  35. Anonymous says:


    They said that on my bill (Im a business customer), that I am not charged by the Administrative charge. I looked on my bill, and this is correct, i dont get charged the fee.

    So they said since it does not materially adversely change my contract, i cant cancel it without the ETF waiver?!?! WTF?! What do I do?! Is what what they say true?

  36. s0c0m16 says:

    thank you so much! wasnt getting service in my area at all – every call would drop sprint didn’t care. called them with this info and they cancelled without an etf!!!!!

  37. Anonymous says:

    I work for Sprint, and a rep from AT&T called me today because he sold a customer an iphone, telling him that since he read on this site the admin fees went up, the customer would be able to cancel for free…this interested me so I spent my day at work trying to figure out the truth in this statement. Here it is straight from the horses mouth. If you notice that the admin. fee is effecting your bill, and you call the retentions dept BEFORE you pay it, you may get out of it, but once you pay it, you are agreeing to it. Lesson to learn, before someone at the phone company tells you that you can cancel for free, look into. We work on commission and some of us are less honest than others and will do anything to sell a phone.