Sprint Changing Contract Terms, ETF Escape A Possibility

Palm Pre Apple Core Ad Sprint has begun to notify customers of an impending change to their general terms and conditions customer agreement. The changes will implement an increase in certain regulatory fees beginning Jan 1st, 2010. While the stated changes are minor, (the regulatory charge will increase to $0.40/line), the alteration of terms may be sufficient enough to qualify as a "material adverse change" which would essentially allow current customers to cancel their Sprint contract without having to incur the standard "Early Termination Fee."

Sprint's terms and conditions allow customers to terminate their contract in response to a materially adverse change we make to the Agreement. Customers will have a 30 day window from Jan 1st in which they can cancel service without incurring their pro-rated ETF. The company has made similar moves in the past two years as well. UCAN.org provides a handy guide and a sample phone script for use when dealing with company agents.

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Hmmm, I wonder....

hgoldner @ 12/10/2009 10:39:44 AM # Q
Makes me wonder whether Sprint's exclusivity with Palm ends effective 1/1/10 thus the change in terms --- perhaps they couldn't make such changes while subject to the exclusivity agreement.

Could a Verizon Pre be far beind?

Just sayin'.

RE: Hmmm, I wonder....
Amroth @ 12/10/2009 11:11:53 AM # M Q
The only reason I don't have a hot little Droid in my hand right now is because, like many, I'm counting on a VZW Pre ASAP after the big, shiny ball drops on Ryan Seacrest's head.
RE: Hmmm, I wonder....
hkklife @ 12/10/2009 11:19:52 AM # Q
Jan 2010 is too late for me, sadly. My 30 day return window with this damn Droid is up, so I'm going to tough it out for the forseeable future with both a VZW Droid and my trusty old Treo 755p.

Now, if the VZW Pre DOES arrive and packs some kind of notable hardware upgrade (microSD slot etc), I'd certainly consider switching. But Palm really shot themselves in the foot by getting tied up with Sprint once again. Sprint might offer the most bang for the buck, but as the success of the Droid & the BB Tour show, there are a LOT of loyal (or otherwise obligated) VZW users unable or unwilling to change carriers and chomping at the bit for a decent smartphone offering on the big red V.

Palm also crippled WebOS software development terribly by not having a WebOS-based handheld/PDA type device out prior to the Pre's availability.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Hmmm, I wonder....
Gekko @ 12/10/2009 5:32:55 PM # Q

no silly, it has nothing to do with the Pre. this is simply a small fee change that carriers sometimes do - this one is from like 25 cents a month to 40 cents a month.
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why pay more

Gekko @ 12/10/2009 5:30:35 PM # Q

leave and pay over 50% more with AT&T or VZW?

no thanks!

nobody can touch Sprint's $99 unlimited everything plan!

RE: why pay more
Ed Lin @ 12/11/2009 12:09:46 PM # Q
That used to be true, now T-Mobile offers a similar plan for a little cheaper. Not enough to want to switch though, I just got my Pre, and after all, they'll charge me $200 if I abandon it within 181 days of purchase. :)
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RmanB17499 @ 12/30/2009 6:29:43 PM # Q
This does not sound like an ETF out for disagreeing with a materially adverse change to the contract. While, a change in price is always, by legal definition, material, and a change to the other terms and conditions of service may be considered (1) a change that you do not agree with and (2) one that your protest and and request to cancel within 30 days as stipulated in Sprint's TOS...

The important excerpt from the TOS for both 2009 and 2010 is: "SUBJECT TO CHANGE"

The number and type of Surcharges may vary depending upon the location of your primary billing address and can change over time. We determine the rate for these charges and these amounts are subject to change as are the components used to calculate these amounts

Please note the verbiage in both the 2009 and 2010 TOS that covers surcharges:

You agree to pay all surcharges ("Surcharges"), which include, but are not limited to: Federal Universal Service, various regulatory fees, Sprint administrative charges, gross receipts charges, and charges for the costs we incur in complying with governmental programs. Surcharges are not taxes and are not required by law. They are rates we choose to collect from you and are kept by us in whole or in part. The number and type of Surcharges may vary depending upon the location of your primary billing address and can change over time. We determine the rate for these charges and these amounts are subject to change as are the components used to calculate these amounts. We will provide you notice of any changes to Surcharges in a manner consistent with this Agreement (see "Providing Notice To Each Other Under The Agreement" section). However, since some Surcharges are based on amounts set by the government or based on government formulas, it will not always be possible to provide advance notice of new Surcharges or changes in the amount of existing Surcharges. Information on Surcharges is provided during the sales transaction and is available on our website.

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