As is being discussed on the DansDeals Forums, effective 01/30 Sprint will be charging $10 per month per line that has any new (or used) smartphone put onto it. This currently is only charged on new 4G phones. This change was stealthily announced by Sprint just days ago, without any warning being given to customer in their previous month’s bill as is required per the Sprint contract.
The change even includes very old smartphones, like the venerable circa-2007 Palm Centro!
They won’t charge the $10 fee if you already have a smartphone on the line. However if you activate one on the line the $10/month charge will be incurred. Even if you just break your current phone and want to activate an old smartphone or buy another Palm Centro off ebay you will have to pay the $10/month fee.
It’s even worse for folks with legacy Sprint plans who are holding onto older plans that are much cheaper and have much better benefits than current plans. These plans aren’t compatible with the $10 charge, so you will have to lose your legacy plan (Free & Clear, Fair & Flexible, etc) and upgrade to an expensive everything plan just to activate even an old phone on your line.
Frankly, it’s a despicable move on Sprint’s part and I urge my readers to complain to the FCC about it. Charging customers that are locked into a contract or forcing them to give up their legacy plan just to activate an older phone that you own already should be illegal!
It’s unknown whether Sprint will let people out of their contract because of this change. I’m sure they’ll argue they don’t have to (after all they’ll claim that you don’t have to pay the $10/month fee until you change phones.) Balderdash I say, this is definitely a materially adverse change which clearly allows you to cancel your current contract for free. If my smartphone breaks and I want to replace it with an older smartphone that I have lying around the house I’ll be subject to a $10/month fee! If Sprint refuses to let you out of your contract be sure to write to your state’s attorney general office (a great place to file any complaints you have and expect quick resolution) as well complaining to the FCC about this new Sprint policy.
SERO plans are not affected by this change.
Read more here:
Smartphone Premium Data Add-on FAQ