No ETFs for Breaking Sprint Contract Due to New $4.99 Monthly Charge
Effective January 10, 2010, Sprint is charging certain "lucky" wireless customers a $4.99 monthly fee. Why? Because Sprint is afraid that these "lucky" customers will not pay.
The Account Spending Limit Program places a maximum spending limit for your Sprint account. While Sprint markets this as an optional “service,” Sprint enrolls many customers on this program based upon the customer’s credit score. [See Sprint Spending Limit Program brochure.] These customers are not given an option to enroll in the program. [See Sprint Spending Limit Program brochure.] Once enrolled in the program, Sprint demands a monthly $4.99 Account Spending Limit charge for the service from the customer. [See Sprint Terms and Conditions.]
There are two ways to avoid paying the $4.99 fee: (1) enroll in monthly recurring automatic payments, or (2) have 18 months continuous service with Sprint. [See Sprint Terms and Conditions.] However, these are not options for every customer. For example, some customers do not have accounts that are eligible for monthly recurring automatic payments. Additionally, new customers who have been with Sprint for less than 18 months are limited only to the automatic payment option. This is unacceptable.
This is another example of how Sprint takes care of their paying customers--by charging them extra fees on top of their monthly bill. While an extra $4.99 may not seem like a lot of money, you will pay an extra $120 of the course of a two year contract (approximately $5 per month is $60 per year, $120 for 2 years). If your Sprint wireless bill is $60, it is like Sprint is charging you the equivalent of two extra months of service over your two year contract. And for this extra $120 payment, you receive NO additional benefits!
On the bright side, because of this new charge, some customers have had luck breaking their Sprint contract without paying any ETFs (Early Termination Fees). However, you must act quickly, as you only have 30 days from the date you were billed with the new Account Spending Limit Charge. [See Sprint Terms and Conditions.] From an e-mail with a Sprint customer service representative:
"We sent notification out to customers that this fee would impact on December 9, 2009 and January 10, 2010. This notification was to advise the customers of the fee and their options. We advise our customers that the fee would go in to effect after 1/10/2010. Due to some customers having later billing cycles, some customers were not billed until after 1/10/2010. In those cases the customer has 30 days to cancel from when it actually appears as a charge on their bill."
If you have been charged an Account Spending Limit fee, you should contact Sprint as soon as possible.
Are you one of these "lucky" Sprint customers? Were you able to break your Sprint contract? Please leave a comment with your experiences with the Account Spending Limit charge.