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159 responses to “Sprint & Team Up To Help ETF Out Go Smoothly”

  1. Kyle

    If I’m part of a multi-line plan, can I just cancel one of the lines and get out of the ETF for that line?

  2. Matt

    Wow, I just canceled without ETF, not an issue at all, took me 5 minutes. I was prepared for battle and they just said okay.

  3. Bruce

    Quote Kyle: “I’m part of a multi-line plan, can I just cancel one of the lines and get out of the ETF for that line?”

    Don’t think you can. I think it is connected to the Account, not the individual lines. It is an all or nothing deal.

  4. Kyle

    Thanks for the reply Bruce. One thing that I think might allow me to cancel just the one line is in the increase fee notice it says this, “Effective 1/1/10, the Regulatory Charge will increase to $0.40/line.” The $.40 increase is for each line, which I think would entitle me to be able to cancel service for that one line. I guess I will have to call and find out.

  5. i like dan hesse

    Kyle – Let us know what you find out. I have several lines and I want to cancel one or two

  6. Lee

    I have been trying to cancel my service for the past 4 hours without any luck. After calling the cancellation department and maintaining my position that their notification of change is grounds for me to cancel my contract without ETF, they still refused because ‘You must receive your bill first with the new regulatory fee’. That is a lie! The notice itself is enough to cancel the service!

    PhoneNews, help me out here.. this is very frustrating!!

  7. Casey

    Lee, I am in the same situation! I have been trying all day and trying to explain it to reps and supervisors to no avail! They keep saying i need to wait for my next bill which isnt for another 3 weeks

  8. Mike

    I have read all I can find on this issue. Some people are being told they have to wait for the bill this month and some aren’t.

    I argued with 4 reps and 2 supervisors and each time am told they can’t cancel until my bill comes in 2 weeks. How has anybody gotten around this argument?

  9. Sammy

    Same damn thing I heard after over an hour and a half. The last guy read me the internal document they had about this issue. Sounds like Sprint isn’t exactly playing nice on this one. And it’s complete BS. The argument went “well, we don’t know if you’ll be affected so you may not be allowed out without an ETF. We have to wait until it’s billed…” I asked repeatedly where in my contract it said anything about needing a change to be billed, assessed, charged, etc, before I could terminate without an ETF.

    We went round and round about what appeared to me to be pretty clear language in the Terms and Conditions. We had 30 days from the effective date of a change. The effective date, according to my bill, is 1/1/10, word for word. They just kept saying that the ETF waiver would only be in effect once there was charge on my bill. Ridiculous.

    It’s fine because I got the guy to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that I would have 30 days from the time my next bill is generated (around 1/11/10) to cancel without an ETF. I said to him, “so, if I cancel before Feb 11th, 30 days after my bill is generated, I should be able to get out without an ETF? I mean between Jan 31st and Feb 11?” He said “yes”. Of course, I know that’s complete BS, but it was fun to get him to admit it. He tried to walk it back.

    I’ll just call back in 2 weeks. All 3 of the reps told me that I’d be able to get out without an ETF once the change “hits my bill”. They’re just thinking I’m going to forget. Fat chance after an experience like tonight!

  10. Christopher Price

    All customers affected should have seen it in their notes section on their last month’s bill. The vast majority of Sprint customers did receive this notification.

    The easiest way for you to confirm is to log-on to and pull up the PDF version of your bill, and look in the notices and changes section (usually on the first few pages of your bill).

    We have run into some customer service representatives that claim that customers haven’t been notified of the change, when they in fact have. That is why we stress that you should politely call back and start over again with a new representative, if you run into trouble.

  11. Sammy

    I read them the notice on my bill and had them read it back to me, as well. It doesn’t matter. They’ve got an internal memo stating that they are not allowed to waive the ETF until the bill is generated. This is per the 3rd supervisor I spoke to during my marathon phone call. My guess is that they’re not going to let anyone out easily.

  12. Casey

    Chris, I can confirm that there is an internal memo circulating that reps have been told to wait until the January bill is issued, the one where they actually charge you the new fee. I have received the notice of the raise in my December bill and also read it directly to them to no avail. Four reps and their supervisors all told me today that I cannot cancel without an ETF yet. They really seem to be digging in their heels on this…

  13. Mike

    Today I had a manager tell me I can cancel within 60 days with no ETF, and made a note of it on my account.

  14. F1

    Happy “2010” to all !

    Christopher Price:”That is why we stress that you should politely call back and start over again with a new representative, if you run into trouble.”

    I also would like to add the following steps to that, do not drop the ball, it is not over until you have ported your #, take the time to take following steps, to seal your success:

    1.Note the “Time & Date” of the agreement

    2.At the very least note one of the following:
    Employee Name/Title/Department/Employee ID/location

    3.”The zeroed out Contract” confirmation # !

    4.Double check “contract status”:
    By either calling *2, asking them what your contract status is, in other words what is it showing on their screen, is the contract for certain “zeroed out” ? Note name/date again!
    By going to a SPRINT Corporate store and/or maybe even a Best Buy mobile department, ask the manager/clerk to check your contract status independently, better certain than sorry!

    5. Be prepared for contradictory responses, remain calm and yet keep it short, do not waste your energy on the hopes of a “no2yes answer conversion”, try the next one !

    6.Best of luck to you in reaching the desired resolution, remember to keep your eyes on the prize!

    Thank You

  15. Steve

    I’m glad I found this and will be leaving ASAP. I joined Sprint in March 2009 because I wanted a simple limitless plan and I loved their Samsun Instinct phone. It turns out that the Instinct phone is an absolute disaster. It’s the buggiest POS I’ve ever dealt with and that includes various flavors of Windows. I have the “Simply Everything” play for “only” $99 a month which then comes to $117 after all their hidden fees and taxes. I get more and more angry with them all the time. My email functionality periodically just breaks for weeks on end, the Navigation system is horrendous, and the web brower is basically unusable. Why am I paying $117 a month when so much doesn’t work?

    I’ve really wanted to leave and start fresh somewhere else, but I couldn’t afford a $200 ETF. This will be my way out and I will find another company to overcharge me for phone and texting. I’m done with general data, however, and will simply live with a standard phone for now on. These fancy-schmancy phones are just too buggy and way too expensive per month.

  16. Larry

    I, too, was told that nothing whatsoever can be done until the raised fee actually appears on my next bill.

  17. Sammy

    I just want to remind people that this shouldn’t be, first and foremost, about getting out of a lousy plan or phone. This should be a consumer rights issue – Companies don’t have the right to change the terms of our contracts without consequence. My desire to get out of this contract without ETF is not indicative of my happiness with the service. I do this as a matter of course whenever a company tries to change terms on me. I let them know of my disagreement the only way they’ll listen.

  18. Don

    Can I cancel my 5-line family plan with Sprint under these terms and still remain a month-to-month customer or must I actually leave Sprint? If I have to take my 5 lines and leave, can I come back to Sprint immediately with a new contract or must I wait until I am considered a new customer again?

    Ideally I’d like to stay with them but just be off contract.

  19. Steve

    Damn you Sammy! Your principles are now making me feel guilty about leaving Sprint because the only reason I am leaving is due to the expensive plan and lousy phone I have.

  20. Sammy

    @Steve – no reason to feel guilty about it. 🙂 On my part, I’d prefer to stay with Sprint because I get good service and have a very affordable (SERO) plan. They told me that ending the contract and staying month to month isn’t an option, so I’m putting my money where my mouth is and moving to a more expensive provider. Priciples aren’t cheap! So, between your situation and mine, the karma in the universe is balanced. 🙂

  21. Nathan

    Just wanted to add my $0.02…

    The first time I called today, the gentleman said that I had to wait until it showed up on my bill.

    I just called back, and the guy marked my account as fulfilled. It now shows on my account that my contract end date is 01/03/2010.

  22. JJ

    I called and canceled one of my lines without a problem. I still have 3 other lines with them but they are all sero and are too good to let go. I have no issues with them when it comes to coverage but I canceled the one line to be able to get a better phone with Verizon. You just have to be professional as soon as you get on the line with a rep. If you show the rep respect he will show you respect and more likely will cancel the account on the first run at it. Hopefully the iphone will be released on verizon and can be used to its fullest potential.

  23. Steve


    I no longer feel guilty! I just had my phone swapped to an identical model through Sprint’s warrenty program. My data was supposed to be transfered but my downloaded visual voicemail is gone. These voicemails had no way of being manually backedup anywhere else. So that means I have a phone where:

    1) …my email sporatically decides not to work for up to a week at a time.
    2) …my default web browser is more-or-less defective and requires installing the Opera Mini browser.
    3) …my “state of the art” design imposes 1980s style limitations on the calendar and note functionality
    4) …my navigation system almost always freezes up while loading an address and will sometimes dump me into an infinite loop of U-Turns miles from my destination.
    5) …my alarm clock will sometimes go off at a random point in the day (very bizarre)

    Basically the only thing that does work on this phone is the phone, contact list, and text messaging!

    It pretty much costs me $1400 a year for service and every month or so I give up on yet another feature. I know a lot of this is Samsung’s fault for not fixing these problems but it’s Sprint’s job to light a fire under their a** when they become unresponsive. I call Sprint at least every 3 days over yet another problem because I decided that when problems arise I’m not just going to take it any longer, I’m going to make it their problem as well.

    Upon second thought, I’ve realized that Sprint has not been satisfying their part of our agreement for months and therefore they’ve already voided the contract.

  24. F1


    I am also considering the possible VZW iPhone, since Wimax 4G is not coming to Los Angeles until early 2011!

    @ Christopher Price

    As Sammy said: “They told me that ending the contract and staying month to month isn’t an option,….”

    Question: So what will happen after the 30 days?

    Doesn’t the “regulation fee double to $.40”, until one decides to leave at will, since you are now legaly “off contract” ?
    In the past I have been out of contract for as long as 18 months, waiting for a better phone, to maybe resign, however this time it seems like they are changing the rules once more and pushing/forcing people to leave.

    I had 9 out 10 SPRINT employees saying that I am now on a “month to month”, the remaining one who was at Retention/AccountServiesDepartment, said I would have to port my # , but did not give any deadline, typical SPRINT inconsistency !

    Why would a Company, want to get rid off good paying accounts??
    This would not be the first time that SPRINT, decided to go against the tide of logic!
    (Forced “plan change” for “phone of choice” / spending $35 billion on Nextel etc)

    Thank You

  25. DT

    Steve – Why blame sprint for not doing research on a phone? You should be mad at Samsung for making a crappy phone. If you want email get a blackberry. The 117 is probably 99.99 for the plan 7.00 for insurance the rest arent hidden fee’s they are clearly stated on your invoice

  26. TJ

    I wonder how often Steve check his wireless bill, as local and state taxes can be very significant.

    I’ve tried A900 and the Ace on Sprint, and the experience has been below par. My brother-in-law has the Instinct, and his experience is pretty much the same as yours. I’ll never, ever use another Samsung phone until I see others giving it 4+ feedback on website.

    No doubt Sprint shouldn’t have approved those POS at the first place, but the Samsungs may work for some but apparently not everyone. Now, if you choose to leave Sprint, please spend time to research the network before jumping ship, and I’ve got to say there’s only one that may be worth going to, if you want quality that comes with hefty, HEFTY price tag. Others are either too expensive for what you get, or doesn’t provide decent service to be worth considering. And no, I’m not going to tell you who they are.

  27. Jen

    I called on Wednesday Dec 31st at 12:54 AM to ask to cancel due to the material change. I spoke first with Julia, who transferred me to an acct. mgr, called Myrtle. I said that I received their notification of change in my Dec statement and that this was grounds for me to cancel my contract. She said I had to wait, ‘You must receive your bill with the regulatory fee increase’. I said that this was inaccurate and she asked if I wanted to speak to a supervisor. Justin, who spoke so quickly that I don’t know how he got in customer service in the first place, said that I couldn’t cancel until the charge appears on my statement. He said that the notification was sent to all customers, but that not every geographic region would see the regulatory fee increase applied to his or her account. I took this to be a way for them avoid closing my account then and there. I will call back after the increase appears on my account on Jan 8th and cancel. I don’t want to waste anymore time interacting with their ‘customer service’ reps.

  28. Mike


    I fear that by making me wait they are going to not put the charge on my bill and then not let me cancel? Is it possible that because of the interactions I have already had with customer service they will cancel this change and not let me get out of my contract?

    Also how is everyone achieving success in getting around the you must wait excuse? I feel like now they have logged comments in my account and I stand no chance of canceling successfully.

  29. reshab

    @ Christopher

    Can you please also confirm, if we can zero out our contract, i mean just get our contracts fullfilled and den be with sprint month to month. or we have to cancel and then port the no to some other carrier.


  30. Jen

    @mike I wouldn’t be surprised if Sprint did that, but I wrote down the times and names of the reps I talked to so I could fight it if they do!

  31. Shaun

    I also had to fight Sprint Jan 2nd and escalate to a supervisor. They kept telling me I had to wait for the charge to show on a bill. It was very frustrating since I had already spoken to a rep 2 weeks ago who told me to call back Jan 1 but to call before my next bill cycle date to avoid another month’s charges. The supervisor did relent and even gave me the important timing info on my port out. However, he made sure to tell me I was wrong several times and insist he was doing me a favor. I pointed out the wording was consistent between when the change was “effective” and my contract allowint only 30 days to cancel from when the change is “effective.”

    I worry for the people with later bill cycle dates since they will only have 30 days from Jan 1st. If they get their first bill showing the charge in the mail Feb 1, Sprint can just tell them the 30 days are expired. So why are they telling so many people they have to wait until they see the charge?

  32. KN

    I called three times today to cancel without ETF. The first two times I was told I need to wait for the fee increases to show on my next bill. My billing cycle started Jan 3rd, so I won’t see changes until Feb 3rd. I didn’t want to take the chance of calling back on Feb 3rd to be told I only had 30 days from Jan 1st to cancel. The first two reps offered me 20% discount, but I politeley said no thanks I will wait for my next bill.

    The third time was a charm. The rep named Cindy did not give me the runaround. She did however ask me the “real” reason I wanted to cancel becasue surely $.20 per line fee increase can’t be the reason. I stuck to my guns and said the fee increase is the only reason, and she simply said ok. All three lines on my account are scheduled to be cancelled after this cycle. The rep also asked me if I wanted to port my numbers to a different carrier, which I declined… I didn’t want to take any chances of things getting screwed up in Sprint’s system.

    Unfortunately for me I will still have to pay for the month of January, but I did get her name, dept, confirmation #, and an email confirmation.

  33. Don

    What happens if they do cancel the contract and you don’t port your numbers? Will you then be month-to-month automatically or will they just shut you down?

  34. Christopher Price

    Protocol at Sprint is that if you do not port out/cancel by the end of the billing cycle, the contract is supposed to go back into effect.

    In reality, it’s all how the rep codes it in. However, I would not risk that the rep said one thing, but meant another. If you are canceling the contract, port your number out or have service set to cancel before the next bill.

    Understand that you have a (hard-fought for) choice here. You are either saying that the contract’s change is acceptable, or it isn’t. The carrier would be open to abuse if everyone could opt-out of the contract, and then go month-to-month. That isn’t the intent of the material change out option, nor is it supposed to be implemented that way.

  35. Eric

    Well, I think this may have finally worked for me.

    After wrangling with two belligerent asses at Sprint, I called back and spoke to another dude who complied immediately and without hassle. Amazing.

    The first two kept going on and on about needing the reg charge to show up on my bill before doing any thing. But they were very happy to cancel my account and charge me the $200 ETF.

    They kept me on hold for a long time, kept referring to notes, kept saying that their own memos state that they can’t do anything about this until the “charge shows up”.

    Then of course, I call back again, and now speak to a polite but jaded sounding dude who clearly has done many of these non-ETF cancellations.

    He requests the “real reason” for my cancellation because surely, the $.40 charge can’t be the true reason. I stick to my guns and tell him that that is the only reason and to again, please cancel without ETF. He did it.

    Took a good 1 minute, where the other d-bags kept me on hold for 20 minutes.

    Keep trying guys!

  36. Joe

    First try: shot down, rep said I have to wait until the charge shows up on my bill.
    Second try, minutes later: rep said this does not apply to SERO accounts.
    Third try, TBD.

    So Sprint’s idea of “helping ETF go smoothly” is to have their customers call repeatedly until we reach a rep — a rep who must be having a good day nonetheless — that agrees to help?

  37. Dan

    I spoke with a supervisor who was very nice and explained the change to read that once your bill has charged the fee (taken effect), then you can opt out and they will notate the account. This fee will take effect on your billing cycle date. So when some people in this forum say they had no problem, most likely their bill date was on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd etc. For me, I have to wait until the 29th for it to take effect and therefore reverse/opt out the new fee.

    Does anyone know if you can opt out and keep service, just go month-to-month? I forgot to ask.

  38. Thomas Bates

    I just attempted to port it out, and the person from Account Services said that they’re allowed to increase the fee, it doesn’t signify a change in the contract.

    Anyone here this? Are they just ‘stalling’?

  39. Roni Singleton

    If customers have questions about the regulatory charge notification they received, we encourage them to contact us. We will then review their contract terms to determine if the material change to their contract applies to them, as well as ensure that they are well-informed about the change and satisfied with their service.

    We believe our customers understand our need to make a small increase in the fee because they recognize they are getting the best overall value in the industry when they factor in the cost of Sprint’s all-inclusive pricing plans.

    Roni Singleton
    Sprint PR

  40. Joe

    Dear Roni:

    Please fix your customer service so we get the same, clear message no matter who we talk to. Having to call multiple times to simply be able to cancel is ridiculous.

  41. Ripp

    Roni, I appreciate you writing in to help, but with respect, your comments provide little to no information.

    You encourage us to “call in”? We have, and have gotten tons of run around from different reps.

    Who should we call?

    Why don’t you provide a *specific number* to a higher up, well informed supervisor who has the power to fulfill our requests the first time?

    Sprint changed its policies / regulation charge and now we as consumers have the right to void our contract without ETF, as per stated in your Terms and Conditions.

    Be a responsible company and also consumers to opt-out without hassle!

  42. Ellen

    If I call to cancel my account, would I be able to port my old number over to another Sprint account? In other words, add my old phone number to my husband’s phone line?

  43. Christopher Price

    Ellen, you cannot port back to Sprint for 90 days after cancelling a line of service. The best thing to do would be to port the number out to a prepaid carrier. Then port back to Sprint after 90 days.

  44. Ellen

    When I cancel, they won’t cancel it right away, correct? I’ll have some time to get a new carrier/phone?

  45. Ellen

    FYI, I just called and they told me I have to wait until my next billing cycle. I got the notice in my most recent bill, but the actual new charge isn’t on there yet. So, I have to wait to be able to show two bills with different charges.

    Does that sound right or should I try again?

  46. Keith

    I’ve called 3 times so far and each time they told me that I would have to wait until the charge shows up on my bill to be able to cancel and port out. My bill will be posted in the last week of January. I may try calling a few more times until then with the hopes of getting a rep who is willing to help me out.

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