Although Sprint still arguably offers the best value for mobile subscription services, it's about to lose that title for early termination fees. According to a reportedly leaked internal memo posted on Sprintfeed.com, Sprint will start charging $350 to customers who cancel their smartphone, tablet, or netbook contracts.
That price matches AT&T and Verizon, both of which upped their fees to the shock-worthy $350 amount within the last year.
Of course there needs to be a penalty for canceling a service contract early. When you buy the latest Android phone for $200, the actual transaction that takes place is that you pay $200 and your mobile carrier pays for the rest of it, because you'll be making up for it over the course of the next two years in service payments.
The actual retail price of most smartphones is outrageous, reaching $600 to $700 in some cases. The ETF is a way of paying for that difference if you don't want to stick to your monthly payments.
To some, though, $350 may seem like a bit of overkill, especially if you've already had your contract for some time.
T-Mobile is the only carrier that hasn't raised its ETF fee to match the other three providers.
According to the leaked document, the new Sprint fee will go into effect on September 9, so if you've been itching to get out of your Sprint contract, now's the time to do it.
Of course, this has no effect on Sprint's service plans. It remains the only major carrier to offer unlimited data packages for new customers.