Starting this February, Sprint will be changing the way they discount your lines and it turns out that their changes cause a material change in your monthly rate. I have had someone go through the process of cancellation using this change and they successfully got their contract cancelled, ETF free.
Who it applies to
I should note that this will only apply to those of you who were with Sprint before the notice was made. Those who signed up this month may be affected but anyone who signed up earlier than January should be eligible.
Again, this is only for those who have at least a two-line family plan and had a discount applied to that plan since before January. I was not able to confirm whether or not accounts with more than two lines would be eligible for waived ETFs since they were never affected by the discount to begin with but that is something to consider when/if you call.
There might be a clause in your contract which states how long you have since the change to cancel your contract. For most it’s 30 days but it might be different depending on how long ago your contract was signed. Oh, and from what I’m told it does not apply to SERO or EPRP users. If you have those you may be ineligible even if you meet the other conditions.
What’s changing and why it’s grounds for a waived ETF
As it stands, Sprint “combines” the rate charges for lines one and two – $130 for the cheapest plan – and knocks however much your discount knocks off. Any additional lines beyond the first two are irrelevant.
In February, they will be splitting the charge up between the first two lines and will only be applying the discount to the first line. For a $130 plan, the first line will be $110 and the second will be $20, Sprint’s standard “add-a-line” price.
Let’s do some math. Let’s assume I have a 27% discount. Currently, a family plan for the $129.99 going rate would be discounted to $94.89 following the aforementioned 27% discount.
Sprint’s logic is that since the rate plan is still the same base price after the change, your discount is not going to save you more or make you pay more. That is absolutely wrong.
The $110 users will pay for line one will be discounted by 27% and will leave you with $80.30. Add on the $20 from that second line (which isn’t being discounted at all) and you’re paying just over $5 more than what you were paying prior to the change. This is considered a material change and should be grounds for free cancellation of your contract.
How? And will it work?
My friend, who let me in on this information, told me of this change and was pretty sure that it was grounds for a waived early termination fee. Being the curious soul that I am and knowing someone who wants to leave Sprint when their contract ends, I decided to have someone give it a go.
They called and asked to speak to a retention agent so that they can cancel their contract. Before they allowed them to process the cancellation they were sure to tell them that they wanted to request that their ETF be waived on the grounds of changes being applied in February. They then explained to the rep why they thought Sprint breached contract. The rep was naturally resistant.
They told me that the rep is trained to insist that you’re not paying more than what you were before. Using the math mentioned above, my friend eventually got them to add it all up and agree that this was indeed a material change and was grounds for a waived ETF should you cancel.
Be patient, persistent and clear to them on what’s changing and how. They’ll know about the change but since Sprint doesn’t say anything about the increased rates some reps will just assume that you won’t be paying any more or less. Be adamant in showing them otherwise and don’t submit to pressure. Do all of this nicely, though, so as to not affect yours or the rep’s judgment.
From there you should be good to go. If any of you happen to try it, let us know what they end up deciding in the comments section below. Here’s the phone number if you need it: dial *2 from your Sprint phone or 1-800-927-2199 from any phone and ask for a customer retention agent so that you may cancel your contract. [Thanks _____!]
[Update]: And here’s a SlickDeals thread chock full of people reporting success. Others are reporting difficulty but as I said before, just be persistent and patient. Being courteous and nice goes a LONG way, too.
[Update 2]: Some are saying that you can simply ask for a “contract fulfilled” status so that while your ETFs are waived, you won’t need to leave Sprint. You’ll pretty much be on month-to-month as if your ETFs evaporated on their own.