It looks like Sprint is preparing to make a change in their contract terms, and yes that means users will be able to (in theory) cancel their current contract without having to pay an early termination fee. Of course, I say “in theory” because your individual mileage may vary, as it usually does with these sorts of changes. In other words, your ability to cancel will likely be determined by how nice you are, how good of a case you present and most important the agent that you are speaking with. That said, it cannot hurt to try.
Anyway, according to the details, which are coming courtesy of PhoneNews, Sprint will be increasing the regulatory charge to $0.40 and is currently in the process of changing terms.
Regulatory Charge/Ts&Cs Changes
Effective 1/1/10, the Regulatory Charge will increase to $0.40/line. Visit Sprint Ts&Cs or sprint.com/taxesandfees for details; also effective 1/1/10, the Sprint Terms & Conditions (Ts&Cs) are changing. Please review them carefully at sprint.com or on request.
According to Sprint’s Terms & Conditions;
If a change we make to the Agreement is material and has a material adverse effect on Services under your Term Commitment, you may terminate each line of Service materially affected without incurring an Early Termination Fee only if you: (a) call us within 30 days after the effective date of the change; and (b) specifically advise us that you wish to cancel Services because of a material change to the Agreement that we have made. If you do not cancel Service within 30 days of the change, an Early Termination Fee will apply if you terminate Services before the end of any applicable Term Commitment.
The key part being “materially adverse change of contract.” Of course, what this means is that you should be able to cancel without paying an ETF as long as you do so within 30 days of notification. In addition, Sprint is also going to be adding an additional $4.99 fee to accounts with spending limits.
This time, I think I just may give this a try, just to see what happens. Fortunately, or unfortunately I have a contract with Sprint that I am not particularity attached to (thanks to having a Google Voice number) and may try and cancel and switch over to Verizon.