"I have a subsidized phone charge on my bill for $25. I was wondering what this is or what does it mean??"
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.
"Where is this fee disclosed?"
When viewing a plan page on Sprint.com such as the Unlimited Freedom page, look for verbiage about discounted devices.
I changed my plan and now I have this fee. Why didn't I have it before?
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.
"Why wasn't I told about this fee when I upgraded at the Apple store?"
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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