Sprint has confirmed that it will be increasing its ETF, Early Termination Fee, to $350 beginning September 9th, reports Phone Scoop. The company had previously charged $200 for those looking to exit their contract ahead of time.
Beginning September 9, Sprint is introducing a new pro-rated policy for ETFs for customers purchasing advanced devices such as smartphones, tablets, notebooks and netbooks. Customers with these advanced devices will be subject to a $350 ETF, which will be pro-rated based on the number of months remaining, should they decide to cancel service before the end of their service agreement.
Should a user decide to get out of their contract later on in the term, the ETF will decrease based on how many months they have left. Although this increase is unwelcome by any standards, it’s not unheard of as AT&T and Verizon both already sport $350 ETF’s.
A higher ETF is considered to be a barrier for users wanting to make a move to another carrier and is often followed by an increase in rates. Sprint is one of the last carriers to offer a truly unlimited data plan, something that data hungry smartphone users find attractive.
This move brings Sprint up to market parity with the other major carriers when it comes to ETF fees, so it could just be a move that is a long time coming. The timing is interesting though, as AT&T increased its ETF just before the introduction of the iPhone 4 and Sprint has recently been rumored to be carrying the next generation of iPhone.