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Sprint Settles ETF Lawsuit For $17.5 Million
May, may not prevent larger suits from moving forward...
by Karl Bode 09:09AM Friday Dec 12 2008
Thanks to tough state-level laws, the occasional mean Attorney General and class action suits, wireless carriers have been forced to change their ETF policies, and now usually reduce the early termination penalty by a certain amount each month you're under contract. Carriers still faced class action laswuits in several states, which they unsuccessfully tried to kill by lobbying the FCC to pass wimpy federal-level guidelines that would pre-empt tougher state laws. When that didn't work, carriers began to settle -- Verizon settling their suit for $21 million, while Sprint yesterday settled for $17.5 million in an effort to derail a nationwide $1 billion ETF suit.

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pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

What Is The Problem?

I still fail to see any problem with any ETF provided that the terms are clearly spelled out and they are being enforced fairly.

If someone agrees to a contract with an ETF, then he/she shouldn't whine when the carrier decides to enforce the ETF. Given that it is trivially easy for someone to get a cell phone with no ETF, there really is no excuse for the states to get involved at all.
--
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty

jhboricua
ExMod 2000-01
join:2000-06-06
Minneapolis, MN

2 edits

1 recommendation

Re: What Is The Problem?

said by pnh102:

I still fail to see any problem with any ETF provided that the terms are clearly spelled out and they are being enforced fairly.
That's the problem, they weren't spelled out clearly nor enforced fairly. Sprint was notorious for extending contracts WITHOUT telling their customers when they made trivial changes to their plans, making the ETF an almost non expiring matter. I know they tried to pull that crap with me, twice. They deserve every single lawsuit coming their way.
--
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - Albert Einstein
Jose A. Hernandez * System Admin * MPLS, Minnesota, USA *

joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6

Re: What Is The Problem?

said by jhboricua:

said by pnh102:

I still fail to see any problem with any ETF provided that the terms are clearly spelled out and they are being enforced fairly.
That's the problem, they weren't spelled out clearly nor enforced fairly. Sprint was notorious for extending contracts WITHOUT telling their customers when they made trivial changes to their plans, making the ETF an almost non expiring matter. I know they tried to pull that crap with me, twice. They deserve every single lawsuit coming their way.
I agree. The same thing happened to me. I have been having massive service issues and they offered to send me a free replacement phone. At the same time they extended my contract by 2 years without telling me. Yes I did get something in return, but they never told me about it. Had I been given the option, I probably would not have accepted if they were up-front about their offer. When I tried to dispute this Sprint did not want to hear any of it. Even worse, they sent me a "return kit" to send back the old phone, what they didn't tell me is that they were sending me a free phone outright and that I had no obligation to return the old phone. So Sprint got a perfectly good phone (the issue was the coverage, not the phone) that they probably sold to someone else as "refurbished."

BTW: That phone they said would fix my issues didn't -- the problem is the coverage and nothing will fix that short of rolling out more towers.

I also have had massive billing issues, as far as Sprint saying I called my bank and disputed the charges. I did no such thing and the charges were never reversed. It took more than a month and it was finally fixed as a "courtesy." I think many of these contracts are very one-sided... you can't sue the company even. If you look at case law, in many cases advertisement for products and services is usually considered an extension of the contract. When you take that into account the providers need to be more lenient to the consumer. The cellco's can promise all these great things and not really deliver and when you call and tell them that your service is not as promised you are told too bad pay $200 if you want to switch "you agreed to the contract" But what about all the promises of "largest network," or "best network," or "fewest dropped calls?" The mobile carriers are barely held to their claims.
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09:F9:11:02:9D:74:E3:5B:D8:41:56:C5:63:56:88:C0
centsofhumor

join:2007-01-20
Two Rivers, WI

Re: What Is The Problem?

Thank the idiots that pushed for digital

hjgjgjgj

@rogers.com
so I guess then if its spelled in the contract then if I was told also spelled out and said on TV Unlimited then I guess I should be getting unlimited not a Unlimited with a cap???

BBN2083A

@cox.net
It isn't cut and dry black and white - Just because someone agrees to something, doesn't automatically make that something legal and enforceable or fair. It's similar in principle to their pro-rated minutes and SMSs - you sign up on the 15th, you only get 1/2 the minutes, and 1/2 the anything on the plan. Why should the ETF be any different? You can't have the pro ration on one thing, and not on the other, especially when it's to your advantage. Pro rate the ETF as well as everything else charged - it's really not that hard of a concept to grasp when you plant yourself in the shoes of the "victim".
djhexer

join:2002-10-07
Reno, NV
Heres an off topic question.

ETF's are supposed to be to offset the cost on equipment correct?

Then why is it I AM stuck with t-mobile for the next year and a half w/o getting a new phone. all because they lowered my plan by 10.00/mo

I did NOT agree to a 24 mo extension just to save 10.00/mo but they said I did and if I get a new handset now. the 24 mo starts over again

jhboricua
ExMod 2000-01
join:2000-06-06
Minneapolis, MN

Re: What Is The Problem?

said by djhexer:

Heres an off topic question.

ETF's are supposed to be to offset the cost on equipment correct?

Then why is it I AM stuck with t-mobile for the next year and a half w/o getting a new phone. all because they lowered my plan by 10.00/mo

I did NOT agree to a 24 mo extension just to save 10.00/mo but they said I did and if I get a new handset now. the 24 mo starts over again
What, you didn't see that buried one-liner comment on your bill regarding this???

This is a prime example of what I consider unfair practices by the wireless providers. It's funny that only when the specter of regulation by the Government shows up they suddenly become 'sensitive' to the issues their customers are complaining off.
bigpapae35

join:2002-10-25
united state
kudos:1
you technically shouldnt care about paying the etf of $175, since you are saving about that much in the course of two years.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH
You area free to upgrade your phone with TM. Buy a phone from someone else- CL, eBay or where ever and just put your SIM in it. Hell even get the iPhone and use it as long as you put Jailbreak on it.

TM isn't stopping you they just fail to tell you that you can get a phone without going directly through them. And you should be glad they lowered your plan they didn't have to do that but TM's customer service is one of the best out there.

Also you can call Customer Service get the fax number for Customer Relations Department (yes they will provide that number to you) type them a letter in Word print it and take it to your Local TM Corp. Store and have them fax it. They will call you back. That is the only way to talk to that department though. And the store MUST be owned by TM to get it faxed for free.

BIGMIKE
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Westminster, CA
said by pnh102:

I still fail to see any problem with any ETF provided that the terms are clearly spelled out and they are being enforced fairly.

If someone agrees to a contract with an ETF, then he/she shouldn't whine when the carrier decides to enforce the ETF. Given that it is trivially easy for someone to get a cell phone with no ETF, there really is no excuse for the states to get involved at all.
California Unfair Practices Act

Spelled out in black and white on »www.yuricareport.com/CalifRecall···Act.html

joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6
Well I called today to cancel a line with Sprint where the contract ends 01/10/2009 and I wasn't given much hassle and as promised by three previous agents -- I was NOT charged an ETF (within 30 days of the "real" contract end date). However, Sprint does not pro-rate charges.
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09:F9:11:02:9D:74:E3:5B:D8:41:56:C5:63:56:88:C0

dumwaldo
Premium
join:2001-03-12

Sprint should drop dead

I used to have Sprint with 5 lines of service spread across two separate accounts and none of the lines of service were obligated to a contract or subject to ETF.

I wanted to merge the lines into one account so I was forced to renew the contract I was under and renew the agreement for one other line as well. No new equipment was purchased and no subsidies were given.

Shortly after that I wanted to upgrade my phone at full retail price however Sprint informed me that THEY would no longer honor my existing contract if I purchased a new phone and I would now have to pay extra for services I currently had included in my contract.

I tried with great diligence three times and was refused all three times. Even though it was Sprint that was refusing to honor the contract, I still had to pay $400 to move to another carrier.

Screw Sprint and I hope they get sued into bankruptcy, they would completely deserve it.

DW