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Sprint Announces Customer-Friendly Early Termination Fee

October 31, 2008

One of the biggest black eyes in the area of mobile service providers is that of the early termination fees. Sure, these fees are in place to maintain a hold on the customer base, but one has to wonder if these fees are only there to alleviate the need for high quality customer service.
 
On the other hand, there is a strong push no matter what service provider you deal with to try and get your business. And, when switching providers is often as easy as a click of a mouse, these companies need to have some way to keep their customers – right?
 
Sprint is one such provider who relies on these fees, but the company is now taking a different approach where its early termination fee is designed to be customer-friendly and pro-rated. Could this be the start of a new trend in the industry?
 
Set to take effect on November 2, 2008, Sprint’s (News - Alert) ETF of $200 will decrease by $10 increments per month beginning in month six of a wireless customer’s contract. Nine months later, or the 15th month of the contract, Sprint customers have the lowest pro-rated ETF fee in the industry of $100. In addition, this fee could drop as low as $50 before a customer’s contract term expires.

The pro-rated ETF policy will apply to all new service agreements beginning on or after November 2, 2008, for both new customers with a new service agreement and existing customers who have renewed their service agreement. It does not apply to service agreements entered into prior to November 2, 2008.

“This policy gives customers additional flexibility, as every month of service a customer completes after month six, the amount of their ETF is reduced,” said Will Souder, vice president for Sprint operations and business planning, in a Friday statement.

“We are giving wireless consumers more reasons to choose and stay with Sprint by providing the best customer experience in the industry through customer-friendly policies, simplified and industry-leading pricing such as Simply Everything, and the Now Network, which gives customers exceptional communication services in an instant.”

Sprint also plans to continue its policy of giving customers 30 days to try Sprint service. With the Right Plan Promise, a customer that is not completely satisfied with Sprint can simply return the undamaged phone and deactivate service within 30 days. Sprint returns the customer’s activation fees and waives the early termination fees, and customers are only responsible for charges based on their actual usage.

Today’s announcement is one in a series of new or recently launched initiatives and programs designed to improve the customer experience.
 

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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