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