Oh Sprint. It just seems you can’t do anything right nowadays. It’s even gotten to the point where listing your inadequacies seems like a low blow. But now you’re entangled in a lawsuit, and if the allegations are true, I can’t really feel bad for them. Apparently, they’re being dragged into court because they defrauded their wireless customers. Well, every carrier does that, so what makes Sprint so special? All kidding aside, the case stems from them extending customers’ contracts without their permission.
“Defendants have misled and deceived consumers by extending consumers’ contracts for up to two years without providing adequate notice or obtaining meaningful consent to a contract extension when consumers made small changes to their telephone service, such as adding extra minutes or purchasing a new telephone; when they responded to solicitations by defendants for additional products and services; and when the consumer received ‘courtesy discounts’,” stated plaintiffs in the 23-page complaint.
Now I’m going to change gears for a minute. No, Sprint shouldn’t be able to extend your contract when you add minutes to your plan. They’ve done it, as have most wireless carriers. They’ve since stopped. However, here’s the thing with buying a new phone. I’ve been over the topic of subsidies a number of times. You don’t want to pay full retail price for a phone, so the carrier discounts it for you. In exchange, you pledge two years of service to them. When you buy a new phone and you get a subsidy, you should expect to sign a new contract. In fact, as far as I know, when you take the subsidy, you actually have to sign on the dotted line. I just got a new phone a few weeks ago, and that’s what I had to do. I’m not sure if this was the practice employed by Sprint. If it was, I’m wondering where this case has any teeth. [RCR Wireless News]