Friday, August 1, 2008

Sprint's ETF Lawsuit Loss Could Shake the Industry!

It been a few weeks since I've made a post here. The wireless contract scene has been quite so There wasn't anything to write about. But that's not the case right now. I've just found out that Sprint lost a lawsuit on its ETF wireless contract policy. Let's explore the details of this story.

Apparently, Sprint's early termination fees has violated a state law according to a California state judge when he ruled against the company. The members of the class who sued Sprint for it's ETF were awarded a total of $73 million in reparation for the fees.

The judge's tentative ruling says that Sprint will have to pay $18.3 million to customers who sued over the fees. Sprint should also credit $54.8 million to those who were charged but did not pay the fee. Well, Sprint seems to be in a bind now but the company does have two weeks to contest the ruling.

Not on to the bigger picture. The judge is also considering other lawsuits against telecommunications companies over mobile phone contract policies covering early termination fees. And recently, Verizon Wireless agreed to pay $21 million to settle an identical lawsuit. Overall, things are not looking well for mobile phone carriers.

FCC representatives refused to release any comment on this pivotal court decision however they did indicate that it will not affect the agency's plans on ETF. Currently, the FCC is dealing with lobbying over how best to handle the ETF policies in the wireless contracts of carriers.

The FCC has been asked by various Telecommunications companies to regulate the fees. They want the agency to protect them from class action lawsuits in state courts. The FCC has released information on a plan in which the cancellation fees would be reduced over the life of the contract.

Customers and consumer groups have continually assailed the ETF policies in the mobile phone contracts of cell phone carriers. Perhaps this important decision will fuel the efforts to regulate this troubl;e some fee. Tune in to this blog for more wireless contracts info, news and updates.

1 comment:

Ted said...

I am earlier just got a BlackBerry from Sprint. At the time of activation of the BB, I did not know that BB service charge is separated as $30.00 per month. I told Sprint Rep, Kathleen, that I don’t want BB and want to return it. However, Kathleen agreed to bill me the service charge is $10.00 per month – because I already have Sprint Vision Pack.
When my first bill came, it was charged for $30.00. I chat with Sprint Rep or Customer Service (Jeremy) through my account and Jeremy also agreed to credit back the overcharge (he did) plus reset $20 credit monthly so my BB’s service charge would be $10.00.
However, the next bill came. There is $30.00 charge and there is no $20.00 credit monthly as Jeremy promised to fix it. Again, I when to my Sprint account on the web and started to chat with Sprint Rep. This time is Lauren handling my case. I described my case. Lauren told me that the best she can do is making a once time credit of $240.00 for entire a year period. I told her it is not the same as original contract which I & Kathleen agreed. I told Lauren that if she completely cannot fix the issue, I want to return the BB (too much trouble so far). Lauren said that Sprint will charge me early termination fee (ETF).
My bottom line is Sprint commit a very bad crime. Sprint train its Representatives to get customers into a contract which they cannot delivery (or breach a contract) and use their own written contract to lock customers to get out of the service contract (the breach contract).

Well, I need some advice or can I join to any current open class action now.