Sprint Nextel Class Action Settlement for Early Termination Fees

Sprint Nextel recently settled a lawsuit over the early-termination fees (ETFs) on their contracts. I believe the it was over the fact that the ~$200 fee stayed flat even if you were on the last month of your contract. You can find details at SprintETFSettlement.com.

There is a whole bunch of legal-speak in there, but it would appear to me that anyone who was a Sprint customer and entered into a cell phone contract between July 1, 1999 and December 31, 2008 should take a closer look. If you click on “File a Claim” and enter your information, it will guide you to the award you are eligible for. You’ll need your Sprint/Nextel phone number at the minimum.

In general, it would appear if you were charged an ETF and can provide documentation, you can receive $90. Even if you didn’t cancel your contract, if it was because you were afraid of the hefty cancellation fee, you can get a check for $35 for each line.

Comments

  1. I am still a sprint customer. Are there any chances that they will terminate my account if I file this claim?

  2. Quote from their Notice:
    C. Those Claimants who did not terminate their Wireless Service Account agreements early and were not charged an ETF, and either show sufficient proof that they attempted to terminate under penalty of perjury or Sprint Nextel’s records corroborate this fact, but remained a customer for the sole reason of avoiding an ETF charge shall be entitled either: (i) $35 cash payment; or (ii) if the Settlement Class Member is a current Sprint Nextel subscriber, 30 anytime bonus minutes per month (that will not rollover) for one year.

    Briefly, if you’re a current customer and never intended to terminate, then it doesn’t seem like a good idea to claim it. After all, it is very likely they just choose to add you 30 monthly minutes for a year rather than pay cash, especially if you don’t tend to use up your limit. In that case you effectively get nothing from this settlement.

  3. I put in a claim last week and did a post about this as well. I’m still a Sprint customer for a few months. I don’t think they’ll terminate my account over this but if they did it wouldn’t bother me as I want to go with a different carrier anyway.

  4. Hey, thanks for the tip. An easy $35 for a few seconds of my time.

    This helps make up for the fact that Sprint has repeatedly failed to pay back the small, negative balance on my now-closed account. It’s only a few bucks, but I’ve asked them to cut a check twice now, and both times, they’ve failed to send it. I’d like to hold them to their obligation but it’s just not worth my time anymore…so I’m glad I could grab back $35 in a matter of seconds, justice is served!

  5. Troy Brown says:

    I click on “File a Claim” and nothing happens. Anyone else experience this?

    Maybe someone can post the link that takes you directly to the claim form?

  6. $90, is that it? They shouldn’t have settled for so little. Based on the Verizon settlement (they’re supposed to be paying the full $150 to claimants) i think we should’ve gotten more from Sprint than $90.

  7. Thanks Jonathan, hope i get my $$. Sad thing about this is that even after the BS i endured w/ Sprint (thus terminating my contract with them), i ended up signing up with Sprint again later on, and i’m now Sprint customer again (although not for long now that my 2 years is up — iPhone here i come!).

  8. Ramesh – I don’t believe so. That’d just end up being another lawsuit?

    Vlad – *You* get to chose either $35 or minutes. I would imagine most people chose the money.

    Troy – Trying using another web browser, I had similar difficulty in Internet Explorer 6.

    Phoenix – That’s the problem with some industries, we’re just picking between the lesser of evils sometimes. (Airlines?!)

  9. It’s really sad that a lot of people will just try to get $35 even if they never wanted to cancel their contract.

    There’s a proverb, “Honor the tree, that gives you shelter.” Instead, even people enjoying now defunct SERO plan will sign up to get the cash thus bringing Sprint closer to bankruptcy and thus ending the benefits they enjoy so much today.

    Also, setting aside morality, it seems the phrase “penalty of perjury” doesn’t mean anything anymore.

  10. I submitted a claim. I remember calling them last year trying to cancel all three of my lines frustrated with poor service then realizing it wasn’t worth it with the ETF charge. Hope it works.

    It does say this in my confirmation:

    “Please be aware that the Final Approval Hearing is scheduled to be held on March 5, 2009 to determine whether the Settlement should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable and adequate. No claims will be paid until after the Entry of Final Approval. This website will be updated whenever new information is available. Please check back regularly for updates. “

  11. Sergei – i disagree noting the fact that we agree to pay fro these services
    but they are making a @%$#%^ of money robbing us blind on hidden fees and as the consumer any money we could get back is a moral thing to do

  12. This is a good ethical dilemma. I feel that I deserve $90 for the heavy etf and briefly thought about changing services, I still want to stay with Sprint, mostly because I love the now defunct ‘fair and flexible’ plan that doesn’t charge overage fees. Signing a new contract will mean sacrificing that benefit.

    Sergei is right about ending our benefits. I noticed a sharp drop in quality following the mass Exodus when Sprint revised its contract last January. Tons of people changed companies prematurely, sometimes just to get new phones with new companies. Whats that called when people organize to exploit a loophole and screw everyone that doesn’t follow suit?

  13. Hi, anyone have any ideas about proving the charging and payment of the ETF? I cancelled and paid an ETF in Dec06/Jan07. I have come back to Sprint since then (SERO too good to pass up), and they have assigned a new account number under their new system. A CS rep tried to get my old records and wasn’t able to. I never got anything from Sprint except a bill with the $175 on it – never occurred to me to save it.

  14. Bike Messenger says:

    Was anyone else required to pay a deposit and a month up-front? I’ve considered terminating multiple times, always put off by the fee, but also by the fact that they seem to have no record of my deposit & one month pre-charge. After my month was up i paid again- and the schedule is that i am paying for the previous month. so where did my prepayment go?

  15. I’ve in the past tried to cancel my service but the high early termination fee has made me to think otherwise. I believe every customer is entitle to a just compensation.

  16. What is the status of this claim. It is past Oct 21? I want my money!

  17. It only took until mid-2013 for checks to be sent out!

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