Following rumors that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 might arrive on Sprint’s cellular network at launch, a leaked internal Sprint document has surfaced suggesting that Sprint will raise their early termination fee (ETF) on September 9th to $350 ahead of the iPhone 5 launch.
ETF’s are the fees imposed by carriers when a customer looks to cancel their service contract before it is due. Sprint’s previous cancellation fee was $200. If the rumor is true, T-Mobile USA will remain as the only major US carrier that didn’t dramatically increase the ETF fee. The fee spike will only apply to new contracts entered after the announcement, and the ETF fee will still be pro-rated based on how much time is left in the contract.
Sprint follows AT&T and Verizon, both of whom were quick to raise their ETF fees once smartphones like the iPhone and Android handsets began to become extremely popular. Carriers justify the increased ETF’s by stating that the costs for subsidizing these phones is higher, and that they’d lose money of they didn’t increase the fee.