This is topic Sprint Class Action Settlement in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :

I got this email today:
THIS NOTICE PROVIDES LIMITED INFORMATION ABOUT A CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT. Your rights may be affected by a proposed class action Settlement of claims against Sprint, Nextel and/or Sprint Nextel. The Settlement would resolve lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege that the Sprint, Nextel and/or Sprint Nextel flat rate early termination fee (‘ETF’) is illegal or was illegally charged. Plaintiffs brought this suit on their own behalf and on behalf of all Sprint, Nextel or Sprint Nextel subscribers who entered into a personal fixed-term subscriber agreement for a Wireless Service Account for personal or mixed business/personal use, with Sprint, Nextel and/or Sprint Nextel between July 1, 1999 and December 31, 2008. Sprint Nextel denies the allegations. Sprint Nextel has agreed to pay $14 million into a common fund to be distributed pursuant to the Settlement benefit rules set forth in the Settlement Agreement. Sprint Nextel has also agreed to provide qualified Settlement Class Members up to $3.5 million in Non-Cash Benefits. Sprint Nextel has also agreed to not insert a flat-rate ETF provision into its customer service agreements for personal wireless service in the U.S. until January 1, 2011, but may charge a pro-rated ETF during this time period. The Settlement will release all claims that customers may have against Sprint, Nextel and/or Sprint Nextel relating in any way to its flat-rate ETFs and term contracts, and will bar future claims, unless the individual excludes him/herself from the Settlement. To receive a benefit under the Settlement, you must timely complete and submit a Claim Form. You may obtain complete information about the Settlement (including a Long Form Notice) and a Claim Form, and information about deadlines, by visiting, telephoning 1-800-916-6940, or writing the Sprint ETF Settlement Administrator, c/o Gilardi & Co., PO Box 6002, Larkspur, CA 94977-6002. This settlement does not apply to Government or Corporate Accounts. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE PART OF, OR IF YOU WISH TO OBJECT TO, THIS SETTLEMENT, you may exclude yourself or file an objection with the Court. To exclude yourself, you must mail a Request for Exclusion Form, postmarked no later than October 7, 2009 to Sprint ETF Settlement Administrator, c/o Gilardi & Co., PO Box 6002, Larkspur, CA 94977-6002. If you do not submit a written Request for Exclusion, you will be bound by the Final Judgment entered in the class action. To object to the settlement, you must file an objection with the Court by no later than October 7, 2009. The Court, located at 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey, will conduct a hearing on whether to approve the Settlement, and if so, will determine what fees and expenses should be awarded to class counsel. The hearing is presently scheduled for October 21, 2009, but may be changed. Any Settlement Class Member may enter an appearance with the Court through an attorney. If you have already submitted a claim form, or excluded yourself from the Settlement, you need not take any further action.

Posted by Goody Scrivener (Member # 6742) on :
I got this as well but haven't had a chance to read any of the settlement paperwork.
Posted by andi330 (Member # 8572) on :
So, I'm not a Sprint customer anymore (and when I was I cancelled after my contract was over and was therefore not subject to an ETF) but from what I can tell, a bunch of people who wanted to break their contract were upset because they had to pay an ETF, even though they agreed to it when they bought the phone. They are also upset because they are supposed to use arbitration to settle agreements, something else they agreed to when they bought the phone, and are therefore suing Sprint. They are arguing that they were forced into the ETF because the agreement is "take it or leave it" meaning they can't negotiate the contract and that they therefore should not have been forced to pay, regardless of the fact that they agreed to it when they purchased their service.

And ultimately, that Sprint decided it wasn't worth the cost of going to court over it and so they're paying people to shut up. Never mind the fact that, as with all class action suits, the settlement is not worth it. Especially since the purpose of a class action suit is really to change something about the company and Sprint has had a pro-rated ETF for almost a year now.

Basically, from reading the papers it looks like people who had an ETF and paid it will get between $25 and $90 depending on how far they were into the contract when they cancelled, and/or (not sure if it's both or either or but I think its or) a waived activation fee if you activate a new 2 year agreement and 100 bonus minutes a month for a year. Those who refused to pay will have their debt lowered by similar amounts if Sprint still owns the debt. If you either have no proof of your payment but sign under penalty of perjury that you paid it, or if Sprint no longer owns your debt you can have a waived activation fee and 100 bonus minutes a month for a year if you sign back up with them, or you can have a 90 minute prepaid long distance card.

Of course, if you sign back up and get that waived activation fee, you will again be subject to an ETF if you cancel early. (They do prorate it now though.)
Posted by Traceria (Member # 11820) on :
So, what if you do nothing? I've still got my Sprint phone and account and plan to hold onto it through my contract date. Do I absolutely have to respond one way or another? It seems an awful hassle.
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
No, you're not being represented in the class-action, since you were never charged the ETF, you just signed the contract saying you'd pay it. No damages = no payout.
Posted by Traceria (Member # 11820) on :
Good. I guess they just lumped everyone's email into the message about the class action, past and present customers.
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
That would make the most sense.
Posted by Goody Scrivener (Member # 6742) on :
Thank you for the synopsis, Andi and Orincoro. Now I know I can ignore it since I'm still an active customer and therefore not a class member.
Posted by Nick (Member # 4311) on :
I don't know why people make such a fuss over these ETFs. I was a Verizon customer until recently. I bought the BlackBerry Storm in March, hated it, wanted to give it back since it broke 3 times. Verizon said no. I simply sold the phone on eBay for 215, easily paying the ETF.

Everybody wants something for free. [Roll Eyes]

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