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Sprint raises SMS fees, claims no material contract violation

August 24th, 2007 at 7:01 AM

Oh Sprint. Just when we think you’ve redeemed yourselves, you go ahead and pull something like this. America’s most yellow and black carrier has announced that come October 1st, pay-per-use text messaging rates will increase from $.15 to $.20 a pop. This would mark the first jump to $.20 among the major carriers, with the others still huddling together around the $.15 fire. The news here, however, is that Sprint is publicly claiming that this change in rates will not constitute a material breach of contract and, as such, will not qualify customers to be released from their contract sans ETF. Apparently, casual SMS messaging isn’t covered under the terms of contract, most likely due to the fact that it is an opt-in service, meaning that you can choose when to use it, and thus choose when to incur fees. The problem here, however, is that logic isn’t 100% sound. Sure, you can choose when to send a text message, but you have no control over receiving messages, short of barring SMS altogether. As such, we’d wager that Sprint’s statement regarding this upcoming change is more of a scare tactic than it is a legally sound announcement. That said, we’re not guaranteeing anything here. Anyone want to bet on how long it takes before the other Big 3 join the $.20 fiesta?

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