Over the course of the past two weeks, Sprint has begun to charge $18 ESN swap fees to customers. Sprint calls this an “upgrade fee”, as it is only applies to phones that have not been activated in the past. This is different from past ESN swap fees charged, which applied to all ESN swaps regardless of device history.
Because this is a material change in your service agreement, you do have 14 days from the next bill you receive to call customer service and cancel service without paying an early termination fee.
Certain retailers, such as Radio Shack are not participating in this fee, and upgrades sold at those locations are fee-free. Handset upgrades with rebate are charged the full $36 upgrade fee.