Have a Sprint Family Plan With a Discount Applied? Get Out of Your Contract ETF Free


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.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Cool.  I don’t want to leave Sprint, but I’d like to get them to offer me an early upgrade so I can get the Galaxy Nexus when it comes out.

    1. same here

  2. Old news lol

  3. That’s amazing. But once cancel you have to go to Verizon, ATT or T-Mobile, or Sprint again right? The only benefit is if you want a new phone.

    1. If Sprint operates like T-Mobile, then from what I understand getting a “contract fulfilled” status is different from getting an early upgrade. 

      For example, on T-Mobile you can get a contract fulfilled status, but you still don’t qualify for an early upgrade. The system shows you don’t qualify for the upgrade despite being able to fulfill/get-out of your contract early. Which is really silly, because you can just close all current accounts and go into a store and sign up for new accounts with new phones. Then again, for grandfathered customers, you would lose out on grandfathered plans. 

      So it’s not really a win for grandfathered customers unless you want to switch carriers. Getting a contract fulfilled status but not an upgrade is the same as just waiting your contract out. Then again, I guess you could always use that against retention and say, “hey I’m not in contract anymore, either give me an early upgrade or I’m gone.”

  4. Can I call and have them add a note that the etf be waived because I don’t wasn’t to lose my number and port it elsewhere.

  5. When I left Sprint for the GNex, I got them to waive my ETF because I was using a HTC Hero. I told them it hadn’t gotten an update in a year and a half, which was not only bad for performance, but also for security.

  6. Good luck, thats all I am allowed to say regarding Sprint and their ability to abide by the legally binding terms of their own contracts.

  7. so how much will my $129.99 family plan with5 lines go up????

    1. Try reading the article again, slower this time. You obviously missed “Any additional lines beyond the first two are irrelevant” and the few sections about how to come up with the new total.  No one else but you can do the math because we don’t know how much (if any) you’re being discounted.  -_-   Just look at the numbers on your Sprint bill.

    2. if you don’t have a a corporate discount, it wont go up at all.  If you have a monthly discount, it will only go up a few bucks most likely.. they will take your discount percentage off of $110 instead of $130.  So If it goes up, it will most likely be in the 3 to 6 dollar range. 

  8. What if I just upgraded using 2 of my 5 Family Plan lines (which I did, to 2x Samsung GSII ET), along with 2 new 2-year agreements, Sprint would just let me leave for free with the (new) phones?  That seems costly for them to do.

    1. You can buy phones from any retailer (Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc), thus Sprint doesn’t really lose money on the sale of it’s phones. You leaving hurts them because you’re canceling that bill they collect monthly. 

  9. I want to be clear here. This is kind of exciting…

    My wife and I have 4 lines currently (mine, hers, and our two kids), and we’ve been with Sprint for over 7 years. Our contract isn’t “up” for another year and some days.

    So, my question is: If I were to call them and ask for a “Contract Fulfilled”, thus cancelling out our ETF, would we both be eligible (just on our two lines) for the 2-year upgrades? We don’t want to leave Sprint at all, but I wouldn’t mind upgrading both of our phones very soon.

    Can this be confirmed?

    1. Getting a “Contract Fulfilled” does not make you eligible for an upgrade. It merely means that you are no longer bound by the ETF. You could cancel your current lines and add new lines which would be eligible for new/upgrade prices, but you would likely lose your current phone number. If you were to go to a different carrier, you would then be able to port your existing number to that carrier and receive their promotions, but getting new/upgrade promotions on Sprint would require the changing of phone numbers.

  10. Schweet!  My friend and I both have this plan with discount so we’re both going to give this a try.  Thanks for the heads up!

  11. Sweet! I don’t want to leave Sprint but I would love to know I can get a subsidized Samsung Galaxy S3 Epic LTE touch when it comes out

  12. What is ETF and I have a discount because of the employer I work for does this count?

    1. ETF = Early Termination Fee

  13. It worked for me, I called sprint and at first the guy
    laughed at me, then he came back to the phone and told me I was right, that I would
    be getting charged more. So he transferred me to his supervisor, and she told
    me I was right, that my contract would be breached. She told me I have 45 days
    from my new bill to cancel with no ETF. So in a week when my bill posts, I will
    be able to cancel. Let’s hope she didn’t lie when she said she documented my
    conversation with her.

  14. I just talked to an account services rep who told me that they would not be able to give me contract fulfilled status, but they would not charge me the early termination fee if I cancelled my line between February 1st and April 1st.

    Can anyone verify that they have been able to get “contract fulfilled” status? And how they talked them into that?

  15. I called Sprint yesterday and had no real argument from them. They knew exactly what I was talking about. Told me I had until April 15th to cancel, as that is the deadline.

  16. I could not get a 
    “contract fulfilled” sprint said they do not have that option.

  17. I just tried to get a contract full filled status and they wouldn’t give it to me, but they did give me a $100 credit on next months bill. My contract is fairly new, only 7 months, so I wasn’t hoping for a whole lot. So I’m satisfied with $100.

  18. And just a crummy postcard in the mail after all of these years. Thanks, Sprint.

  19. ok we have 4 people on our family plan along with a disc. from work. all lines were contract fulfilled but we are being charge just 5 bucks extra a month with the feb change. at least no etf’s if we choose to leave.

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