Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sprint's New Customer 30-Day Trial Wireless Contract Policy

Here's a note worthy change instituted by Sprint. The carrier has announced a new wireless contract policy on its 30-day trial period for new customers.

New Sprint customers will benefit from the carrier's new "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Money-Back" wireless contract policy. What does this new policy entail? Well, new customers who wish to cancel will have all fees returned to them as long as they are in the first 30 days of the wireless contract.

Yes, tha's right. new consumers who wish to cancel before the end of the 30-day trial period will get their money back from device and activation fees, the early termination fee, a full refund for service plan monthly daily charges, all associated taxes, and all Sprint surcharges associated with these charges.

This new "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Money-Back" policy is more consumer-friendly than the previous one which enforces fees on customers canceling in the first 30 days.

Consumer Lifestyle Advisor Jennifer Jolly comments on the "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Money-Back" from Sprint,
"This is a big win for cost conscious consumer . We want this kind of honesty and transparency. We want to know there's no more sticker-shock or bait and switch, that when a company promises us something, their word is good. Can you imagine if we could test drive a bank, health insurance, a credit-card, or any of the other things we spend our hard-earned money on every month - free for 30-days? This is a big step in the right direction for Corporate America and we savvy shoppers are the ones who will benefit the most."
That's it for this post. Tune in next time for more wireless contract news and updates.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wireless Contract Termination Awareness

I've been surfing websites on wireless contract disputes recently and I have noticed a disturbing trend. Some of the consumers hit with ETF's were not aware that their phone was still under contract.

These cases usually occur when consumers move or transfer to an area that is not covered by their existing provider. They thought that their handsets were no longer under contract since their present location is not being served by their service provider. Unfortunately, they letter from a collection agency stating that need to pay a certain amount to cover the early termination fee that the incurred.

Here's a story of a customer who suffered this fate. This article was published at Here's a brief teaser:
Shirley W. was aware that her phones were under contract but was told her early termination fee could be waived. It was almost a year before she learned that her fees were not waived and her account was sent to collections.
Fortunately, lawmakers are aware of this problem. The Cell Phone Early Termination Fees (EFT) bill introduced by Sen. Klobuchar includes a provision that forces carriers to notify customers in a clear way about ETF. Wireless service providers will be required to spell out the EFT instructions at time of purchase and at various times during the duration of contracts. This way a customer will be aware that he or she is in danger of incurring the fee and be given a chance to deal with the situation.

That's it for this post. I hope that you'll stay aware of the contractual status of your handsets and won't be hit by a nasty early termination fee.

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Wireless Contract Disputes And Complaints

It's been awhile sice we posted conflicts between consumers an carrier's on this site. Let's revisit the halls of Consumer and look at recent contract disputes.

Here are a trio r recent contract related complaints.

Tobin of Coralville, IA August 5, 2009

I have attempted to get some satisfaction on 4 different occasions, twice by calling their help line and twice in person at the store. I am paying full price for cell phone service that does not work at my home; so, my friends/family/work have to try both my cell and work numbers (if they think of calling both) to reach me. The first time they sold me a new phone, the second time told me something to try that didn't work, and tonight they told me I'd have to pay 155 early termination fee because their service is so bad I have to get another carrier.

That's it for this post. Tune in for more wireless contract disputes and complaints on this blog.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Verizon Wireless Hit with Class Action Suit Over Data Fees

Verizon has another wireless contract dispute on its hands and it involves the issue of data fees. The major wireless carrier is facing a class action lawsuit from the law firm of Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C. in the state of New Jersey.

Verizon is being accused of charging its non-smartphone customers for data service that these customers never used. According to the lawsuit, the carrier has forced consumers to pay for alleged 'accidental' charges that could accrue if a non-smartphone user, that is a user who is not paying for a data plan, accessed the Web or other data services. Verizon Wireless charges non-smartphone users without a data plan $1.99 per megabyte.

The folks at Goldman Scarlato & Karon, P.C. wants to reimburse people and businesses should it turn out that these alleged Verizon charges were improper.

However, Verizon has previously commented on these alleged accidental charges and explained that simply opening the mobile browser on a phone does not incur any charges. The carrier explained that users will only be charged when they navigate away from the Verizon Wireless home page and access other information, applications or services.

Well. let's see how Verizon deals with this wireless contract disputes. Perhaps, the consumers will get lucky as in the recent case where AT&T decided for a settlement.

That's it for this post. Standby for more news and information on wireless contracts.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Google Defend ETFs

Several weeks ago, the FCC sent out letters of inquiry to major wireless carriers and Google to ask for explanations regarding the controversial early termination fee or ETF charged on wireless contract terminations.

Well, all four major U.S network operators (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless) together with Google has responded to the FCC's wireless contract inquiry. Here are the highlights of the companies' defense of the ETF:

  • customers are well-informed about ETFs before committing to wireless contracts
  • consumers are aware that they have plenty of choice, given the wide range of pre-paid providers also serving the market
  • customers have a minimum of 14 days to test products at the onset of their contracts before the ETF becomes mandatory.
  • the mobile phone industry is highly competitive, and ETFs are needed to recoup fees that go towards customer acquisition and equipment subsidies.
  • Verizon plans to clearly put ETFs on device cost labels, and emphasized that reduction of number of handsets on its "advanced devices" list, which require a $350 fee (compared to the standard fee of $175)
  • Google defended the equipment recovery fee it is charging Nexus One customers who break their T-Mobile contracts because it says T-Mobile pays it a commission for each customer T-Mobile acquires through Google. Google passes that commission on to the customer in the form of a device subsidy.
Well, it's the FCC's turn to respond to the united defense put up by Google and the major US carriers. Let's see if the commission stands firm in its policy of defending the welfare of US consumers.

That's it for this post. Tune in to this blog for more update on this wireless contract issue.