How to get out of your Sprint contract without paying the early termination fee?
October 9, 2007 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone suggest a good way to get out of my contract with Sprint while avoiding the early termination fees?

I am miserable with Sprint. In the past month alone they have shut my phone off 4 times although I am up to date on my bill. Every time I have called, someone with a very thick accent has assured me the problem would not occur again and turned my service back on. My 2 year contract should have ended in August but apparently they have this sneaky way of renewing it behind your back when you make changes to your plan. It's very very underhanded and I want to get out before getting fleeced any more. I have seen older forum posts that indicate that you can claim to be moving to a region that is not in their coverage area and they have to release you, is this still the case?
posted by Raichle to Technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Search, they have some of what you're looking for.
posted by iamabot at 12:27 AM on October 9, 2007

Scratch that, is what you want.
posted by iamabot at 12:29 AM on October 9, 2007

You might try this.
posted by bigmusic at 12:29 AM on October 9, 2007

Call sprint. Tell them you want to be let go of your contract today, that you're thinking of porting your number. If you're describing the situation honestly (the unnecessary shutoffs), explain while you're on the phone that they've violated your contract, and even though they've turned the service back on, that you now want out.

They'll bitch and moan, and likely, not respect you. Make sure you get the name of the agent, and ask to have the situation escalated. Get that person's name too.

Once both of these fail, you can contact (with a clear conscience) Sprint's Executive Service number.. I personally think you should 'show good faith' and go through the hoops. The CSR on the executive line has never asked me for the names of the other agents I've dealt with, but I've had them just in case.

Sprint's "executive" line was created just in response to the Consumerist's carpetbombing - that is, the calling of every executive at Sprint. Sprint decided that it was less of a hassle to deal with their customers than have said customers pester their executives.
posted by filmgeek at 5:16 AM on October 9, 2007

This is how I did it.

I called retention and told them I was looking to switch carriers. When asked why, I said because I wanted a new phone and it was cheaper to pay the ETF with them and get a new free phone with another company. They asked what phone I was looking at (I picked one of the most, if not the most, expensive models) and they offered it to me for $100. I said no, I wanted it for free, and after some lower offers ($75? $50?) they folded faster than Superman on laundry day. It probably helped that I'd been with them for six or so years.

When I received the phone, I sold it on eBay for something like $375. I then used that money to pay the ETF, still made a profit, and switched carriers. YMMV.
posted by sephira at 5:41 AM on October 9, 2007 [5 favorites]

Oh btw, claiming to have moved to an area without service will not work, as they now expect you to prove you have moved.
posted by sephira at 6:59 AM on October 9, 2007

Actually . . . I did the "I've moved to another country" thing with Sprint in 2004 and they took my word for it. Of course, maybe things have changed since then.

Still, you can still do this; you just have to be a little more creative. And have a little Photoshop skill. Pick an area where you also have a friend or relative. (For me, this would be Canada.) Get a utility bill or cell phone bill from them, then scan it at a nice, high resolution. Gingerly Photoshop your name in place of theirs, then print the whole thing out. Thankfully, the carriers allow you to fax in your proof, which means a MUCH lower dpi image arrives at their fax machine, so it's effectively impossible to see any artifacts of Photoshopping.

Oh, by the way, the above is entirely hypothetical and has nothing to do with my blood-hatred of NSAT&T or my unlocked iPhone. ;-)
posted by CommonSense at 8:33 AM on October 9, 2007

A few years ago I called and got really irate with them because even though the area I lived in was cleary marked as having service, I had no signal indoors and weak as all getout outdoors. I told them my contract was for a "Free and Clear plan" that at the moment was neither free nor clear. Perhaps it helped that I was a college student. I simply refused to pay a termination fee when their map said one thing and my signal said another. They dropped the fee for me to cancel (and this was 1st level support). This was at least 3 years ago so they may have toughened up since then.
posted by genial at 10:38 AM on October 9, 2007

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