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Sprint Raising Early Termination Fees September 9 – Anticipating Influx Of iPhone 5 Customers?



SprintFeed got a tip that Sprint plans to raise their early terminations fees (ETF) from $200 to $350 for smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks. These fees apply when you decide to leave your (usually) 2 year contract with a carrier and is supposed to compensate for the amount your device was subsidized. This new fee will only apply to customers who sign up with Sprint after September 9th when it goes in to effect. Why the change? Possibly because the carrier is expecting an influx of new subscribers… like for a Sprint iPhone 5?

Screenshot of a document showing ETF change at Sprint

After the official announcement, but before the iPhone 4 went on sale at Verizon Wireless, that carrier also made a major change to their contracts, ending the unlimited data plan for new customers. Verizon expected a significant number of people to switch, and they didn’t intend for those people to get all the data their iPhones could hog. This move by Sprint may reflect similar thinking. Up the disincentive for breaking your contract and keep those voracious iPhone 5 loving customers as long as you can.

The iPhone 5 may not be the only culprit. After all, the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch will be available around that time and consumers are expected to snatch them up fast, too.

Of course, this won’t affect people who tend to ride out their contracts, anyway. And it seems existing customers will be grandfathered in to the old fee when they renew, justas  Verizon customers who already had unlimited data got to keep it (for a while…). But if you’re a carrier hopper, the price just got a bit higher.

Image Credit: SprintFeed



  1. Ben Lang

    08/31/2011 at 3:03 pm

    Or it could be that they won’t be getting the iPhone 5 and don’t want people leaving to other carriers for it…

    • Boomhauer

      08/31/2011 at 3:55 pm

      Ben, your short explanation makes much more sense than the long winded article above.

    • Jacobmayorga010

      08/31/2011 at 9:58 pm

      That’s exactly what I was thinking.

  2. person287

    08/31/2011 at 3:19 pm

    The ETFs in the UK are way worse. You basically save no money cancelling compared to just leaving it run without using it. They’re a ripoff, but it’s what people signup to.

  3. Roni Singleton

    09/01/2011 at 2:48 pm

    Read the article and to clarify the new ETF policy for advanced devices will apply to new and existing customers who purchase devices such as smartphones, tablets, notebooks and netbooks beginning Sept. 9.
    Also with the Sprint Free Guarantee, a customer can change his or her mind within the first 30 days of signing up for new service and cancel their Service Agreement by returning their undamaged phone and contacting Sprint to cancel service.  Sprint will return the customer’s activation fee and waive their early termination charges.  Visit for full policy details for new and existing customers.

    Roni Singleton
    Sprint PR

    • Istinson

      09/17/2011 at 11:13 pm

      I have been getting the run around since Sept. 9. They told me then that if
      I was actually impacted and I would be able to cancel with etf’s.  However,
      this is not the case, when they called back (after the chat) I got passed
      around by four different reps.  I have been told several stories on why
      they can’t do it. The newest one is the 1.99 increase per line clause. When
      they called me today they actually said that they can charge me up to 1.99 for
      each line for each month until my contract expires!!!!  I was floored.
      They will not allow you to record the conversation either.

      I did file a claim with the BBB, FCC and the TN State Attorney General’s
      Office today, I strongly suggest everyone do the same. This is a matter
      of principle! They must accept their own Terms and Conditions. Do not
      allow any company to lie and mistreat you. Sprint does not allow us as
      consumers to file class action law suits but there’s power in numbers. Complain
      to everyone!

      Tell ALL your friends, blog about it, and post on facebook. The
      more attention we bring to the issue the more impact we will have. I will also
      be contacting my local news channels to see what assistance they can give.

      Don’t take this lying down, if you do, you deserve what you get!

  4. Istinson

    09/17/2011 at 11:18 pm

    Wanted to mention, this increase is the new $1.50 increase that went into effect Sept. 9, 2011. This is an administrative fee, not imposed by a goverment body but by Sprint. I didn’t sign up for this!FROM SPRINTS TERMS OF SERVICEOur Right To Change The Agreement & Your Related Rights

    We may change any part of the
    Agreement at any time, including, but not limited to, rates, charges,
    how we calculate charges, discounts, coverage, technologies used to
    provide services, or your terms of Service.

    We will provide you notice
    of material changes—and we may provide you notice of non-material
    changes—in a manner consistent with this Agreement (see “Providing
    Notice To Each Other Under The Agreement” section). If a change we make
    to the Agreement is material and has a material adverse effect on
    Services under your Term Commitment, you may terminate each line of
    Service materially affected without incurring an Early Termination Fee
    only if you: (a) call us within 30 days after the effective date of the
    change; and (b) specifically advise us that you wish to cancel Services
    because of a material change to the Agreement that we have made.
    If you do not cancel Service within 30 days of the change, an Early
    Termination Fee will apply if you terminate Services before the end of
    any applicable Term Commitment.

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