I have been reading and watching what is being said about all of this for about 2 hours now. It is nothing short of confusing and complicated. Not that it surprises me in the slightest. After all, Sprint is in the business of making money and keeping customers, not letting them walk Scott free on an agreement. So let me try my best to break down what I am gathering from the things I have read mostly on the Sprint Community webpage, but also a few other sites.
According to a Sprint rep/moderator, As of June 30th, Sprint is in the process of de-commissioning all of their Nextel towers. He also states that, “As a matter of fact all Nextel towers will be completely shut down effective June 30th, 2013.” Mind you, this was posted in the community forum on June 10th. There is then talk about the T&C changing on July 1st but that “None of these updates are materialistic and will not effect the cost of your bill in any way.”
The thread picked up some steam with a lot of various explanations, arguments, success stories and contradictions. Heck, a few posters are even giving you the fire power to get out of your contract as advised by a lawyer. There seems to be a lot of chatter around how and why you can exit your contract with no ETF. Focusing most of the energy around the “material” aspect. Following along the lines stated by the Sprint rep, a change was made in the T&C that outlines WiMax, here is the wording -
“New Agreements on the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) Network: Your Service on a device activated on the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) Network may require a new one or two-year Agreement per line. Sprint expressly reserves the right to migrate your Service during this Agreement term from the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) Network to the Sprint 4G LTE network to complete your Agreement term. Reasonable advance notice of the Service change will be provided to impacted customers, who can then select one of the following options:
(a) Choose to complete the Agreement term using your existing device without 4G (WiMAX) capability
(b) Elect to complete the Agreement term by contacting us after receiving notice from Sprint to transition to the Sprint 4G LTE network with no additional term commitment required (Transition Option)
(c) Deactivate service. Deactivations because of this Service change will not result in an Early Termination Fee (ETF). Transition Option: If you select the Transition Option, you will receive a free standard Sprint LTE capable device and can maintain your existing Service plan, if available. During the Agreement term, Sprint may provide other offers that are separate from the Transition Option, and these offers will be subject to a new two-year Agreement per line.”
Which, to me, sounds like that if you happened to still be sporting a contract with a 4G WiMax service plan and/or device, you can walk with no ETF. On a more legal side of the coin, any written changes to a contract after your initial signing gives you the right and the ability to exit the contract without penalty if you choose to do so. There are a lot of legal loopholes and catches though. For instance, if you pay your bill in July, then you are accepting all the changes to the T&C and agree to the changes and are not able to cancel. Or so I have read. There have been a number of other wording and language changes to the contract that took effect July 1st.
Don’t expect to call up and cancel because you might not like your device or your service of course. Also, don’t expect to call and cancel without a fight. At least you now have some small amount of legal backing to put under belt if you choose to do so. We would implore you to read through the General T&C through Sprint and through the comments and chatter happening on the Sprint Community website before you pick up the phone and start tossing around words like “Cancel” and “Waive my ETF.”