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SOLUTION: What is the Subsidized phone charge?

 Question

"I have a subsidized phone charge on my bill for $25. I was wondering what this is or what does it mean??"

Answer

 If you were required to sign a new 2 yr contract in order to receive the phone (even a phone that is $0 up front), that phone purchase is considered subsidized. Sprint paid the manufacturer full price of the phone but sold or gave it to you or allowed a partner like Best Buy or Radio Shack to sell or give it to you for less than it cost from the manufacturer.  This is known as subsidizing a device purchase.

 

Newer Sprint rate plans like Unlimited Freedom are drastically less expensive because they're built around only the cost of voice, text and data services. This is because, unlike older plans, there's no portion built in for the cost of the phone. As a result, these plans pair best when customers lease their phones or purchase outright for full MSRP.

 

If a customer purchases (or receives the phone for $0 at the point of activation) with a two agreement, while on a newer rate plan like the Unlimited Freedom or Cut You Bill In Half, there is a $25 subsidized device fee applied to each line with a subsidized device as well as an Early Termination Fee if the contract terms are not fulfilled. 

 

Unless you are paying the actual MSRP of the phone with no discounts and no 2 yr agreement, you're buying a discounted or subsidized phone. Look for words like 'instant discount' or 'with two year agreement' as an indicator that phone purchase is subsidized by Sprint and therefore subject to the $25/line fee.

 

Question

"Where is this fee disclosed?"

Answer

When viewing a plan page on Sprint.com such as the Unlimited Freedom page, look for verbiage about discounted devices.

  • Offer is for a limited time only. Activ. Fee: Up to $30/line. Credit approval req. Sprint Unlimited Plan: Reqs. eBill & new account activation. Includes unlimited domestic calling, texting & data for phones with 10GB of high-speed Mobile Hotspot VPN & P2P data. Discounted phones subject to add'l $25/mo/line. Third-party content/downloads are add’l charge. Select Int’l svcs are included see sprint.com/globalroaming. Plan not avail. for tablets/MBB devices. AutoPay: Must be enrolled in AutoPay to receive $5/mo/line discount. Hulu: Reqs registration from Sprint phone at hulu.com/sprint. Incl. access to one Hulu Limited Commercials plan per each eligible Sprint account (excl. other Hulu plans and add-ons) while eligible Sprint plan is active and in good standing. Valid for new or returning Hulu subscribers or certain existing Limited Commercials subscribers. Select Hulu content streams in HD on supported devices subject to connectivity. Tablets may stream Hulu content via included Sprint Hot Spot or may subscribe to separate unlimited data plan for tablets. Not redeemable or refundable for cash or gift subscriptions. Hulu may place account on inactivity hold based on Hulu usage. Cancel Hulu anytime. See full offer terms at sprint.com/hulu. Quality of Service (QoS): Customers who use more than 23GB of data during a billing cycle will be deprioritized during times & places where the Sprint network is constrained. See sprint.com/networkmanagement for details. Usage Limitations: To improve data experience for the majority of users, throughput may be limited, varied or reduced on the network. Sprint may terminate service if off-network roaming usage in a month exceeds: (1) 800 min. or a majority of min.; or (2) 100MB or a majority of KB. Prohibited use rules apply — see sprint.com/termsandconditions. Other Terms: Offer/coverage not available everywhere or for all phones/networks. No discounts apply to plan. May not be combined with other offers. Restrictions apply. See store or sprint.com for details. © 2017 Sprint. All rights reserved. Sprint & the logo are trademarks of Sprint. Other marks are the property of their respective owners. 

 Question

I changed my plan and now I have this fee.  Why didn't I have it before?

Answer

If you were on an older, grandfathered plan and recently moved to one of our newer discounted plans, any lines that are currently under a 2 yr agreement will incur a $25 subsidized device fee.

Question

"Why wasn't I told about this fee when I upgraded at the Apple store?"

Answer

Employees at third party locations, including manufacturer retail locations aren't Sprint employees and generally won't be aware about plan options and/or additional fees.

 

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Last update:
‎10-01-2018 03:25 PM
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