Chad is a T-Mobile customer who used to be a Sidekick user. He also still is a Sidekick user, depending on which situation is more advantageous to T-Mobile. See, he signed a new contract and got a shiny new Sidekick last February. Earlier this year, that phone died and he bought an inexpensive Android phone to use while he waits out his contract. T-Mobile is ending Sidekick service soon, and has offered users still under contract the choice of leaving their contracts with no early termination fee, or switching to a different subsidized phone and sticking around. Chad is still under the original contract that he signed when he got his Sidekick last year, but at the same time is not under a Sidekick contract according to T-Mobile, so neither option is open to him.
Recently the people at T-Mobile announced that they were no longer going to be supporting the line of Sidekick devices and that anyone still under contract had the option of upgrading to a limited line of phones or leaving the company with no ETF.
Flash back to February of last year. It was a few months after the severe data outage they had where Sidekick users lost all of their data for a few months. I had called them and after some going back and forth they said they would give me a good deal on the Sidekick LX. I took them up on this and I was using the phone until late January of this year when it died. When hat happened I picked up a cheap phone off of Craigslist and decided to wait out the rest of my contract. About a month later they made the announcement they were no longer supporting the device.
Even though I am under contract for a Sidekick, one that broke outside of warranty, they say I must still pay a 200 dollar ETF to leave them. I have no idea what to do and I need help. I think it is unfair that I should have to pay a ETF because the phone broke. If the phone never broke then I would have still been using it and I would have had no issues.
BTW, when the sidekick broke I did not sign a new contract. I purchased the phone used from a third party.
This is one of the many reasons why mobile phone warranties should last the entire length of your contract. Back here in the real world, though, Chad could try writing an executive e-mail carpet bomb to T-Mobile USA execs: other readers have found them effective in making the company see logic.