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Sprint’s Early Termination Fees Cost them 17.5 Million

My 2 Dollars1 Sprints Early Termination Fees Cost them 17.5 Million

Sprint Nextel has 17.5 million reasons not to charge Early Termination Fees (ETF) to customers as that was the amount they paid to settle a lawsuit claiming the charges were illegal.  This effected customers as far back as 1999 until 2008.  Sprint Nextel denies the allegations in the lawsuit, but hey, I personally pay people 17.5 million dollars when I think I’m right, don’t you?

There had been some talk that the lawsuit would seek a refund of the US$150-$200 fees between 1999-2008 – which could have amounted to around US$1.2 billion.  Maybe that explains their willingness to dole out 17.5 million large.

The interesting thing about this is that Sprint is still going to be inserting a flat fee for early termination but that wont take effect until 2011.  Until that time they apparently are still charging customer a pro-rated fee for early cancellation of service.

Unfortunately for Sprint Nextel <insert tear here> this only covers 49 states as there is still pending litigation in California for this same issue.

Sprint Nextel isn’t the only carrier to be bitten by the Oh-No-You-Didn’t bug.  Verizon Wireless also settled a class-action lawsuit over early termination fees for $21 million in July 2008


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About the Author

Daniel Black is the President and CEO of MobiMadness, Inc. Over the last 4 decades Dan has been an IT Director, Project Manager, Firefighter, EMT, and Army Staff Sergeant (retired).

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