Cell Phone Company Sued for Early Termination Fees

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Boise, IDT-Mobile USA, one of the largest cell phone companies in the United States, is facing a lawsuit over the company's early contract-termination fees.

cell phone early termination feesThe lawsuit, which was filed in Idaho on November 10, argues that the company's early termination fees violate consumer protection laws in 13 states. T-Mobile currently charges a $200 flat fee for early cancellation.

The $200 fee is always charged, regardless of whether a customer cancels at the beginning or near the end of a contract, and even if the contract is cancelled because of poor service.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that consumer protection laws require T-Mobile to figure out the damage incurred by a broken contract on a case-by-case basis rather than charging one standard fee for everyone. For example, a person who cancels later in his contract should be charged a smaller fee than someone who cancels during the early stages of the contract. Furthermore, lawyers contend that the cancellation fee is illegal when contracts are cancelled due to unsatisfactory service.

The lawsuit also alleges that the termination fees are used to discourage subscribers from considering switching cell phone carriers.

Lawyers are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, which would enable it to cover customers in 13 states, meaning that hundreds of thousands of people could be included in the lawsuit.

If the courts find the termination fee illegal, repercussions could potentially be felt by all the other cell phone companies that charge standard early termination fees.

The lawsuit, which currently covers over 100 people and is seeking damages of more than $5 million, was filed on behalf of an Idaho law firm that tried to cancel its T-Mobile service after discovering its attorneys could not get any service in parts of Idaho where they did business.

The thirteen states that could potentially be represented if the lawsuit is certified as a class action are Idaho, Washington, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

If you live in one of those states and have paid a cancellation fee to T-Mobile, you may be eligible to join the class action suit. Contact a lawyer to discuss your options.

Cell Phone Companies Legal Help

If you have been charged undisclosed termination fees, please contact a [Cell Phone Companies] lawyer who will evaluate your claim at no charge.

Reader Comments

Posted by

Tmobile a bucnch of crooks my mom passed away I was told by them to sent copy of death cert and bill and they would take care of everything. As you know they did no such thing they just want me to pay:

May 20, 2014



RE: T-Mobile Account Number: 762344236

Dear Ms.

T-Mobile USA Inc. (“T-Mobile”) is in receipt of your correspondence regarding the recent passing of

your mother, (MOMS NAME ). We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and appreciate the

opportunity to be able to assist you.

If you need to make any necessary changes or inquiries regarding the balance, you have been added

to the above-referenced account as an authorized user. Though you are able to make certain changes

and inquiries, being an authorized user does not constitute a change of financial responsibility from

the account holder to you. As of the date of this letter, we have processed your requests, canceled the

account, and adjusted the Early Termination Fees which incurred at the time of cancellation.

Additionally, we have found that there is an active Equipment Installment Plan for the DEVICE. When

the account cancels, the remaining balance of the Equipment Installment Plan will be charged to the final

bill. If you or a family member wishes to utilize the device on your account, the Equipment Installment

Plan balance must be paid in full. This will allow the device to continue service on our network without


If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at the address listed above. Customer

Care is also available to assist you from 3am - 10pm PST at 800-937-8997. Thank you.



Patricia Carrington

Customer Relations

Posted by

I too am long time customer of TMobile. I had a good plan $39 for 600 min and unlimited wkends. I called Aug. 2011just to get info..big mistake..they told me they had a promo deal for unlimited talk/text/photo for $54.;99. $5 off regular price..I had a bad feeling but went with it anyhow. They have been chging me $59.99 ea. month...not $54.99 as promised. I have called 20+times. ea. time they say they will adjust it. and each month it's the same. I have been just taking the $5 off myself. I asked to get out of contract less than 10 min. after I signed up because I saw commercial on TV for same thing for $49. I even wrote to the CEO, Phillip Humm. got a letter from cust. rel. saying it's $59.99 not the $54.99 I was told. I feel they breeched the contract and I should now be free of it because that's fraud to claim one thing and do another. I will win, I plan on it. They lied, committed fraud and that is a crime punishable by fine and imprisionment.

Posted by

One star, only because I cannot give it a negative 10. God, give me the strength to let go of the utter and complete hatred for this company.  I have been a client of TMobile, a happy one at that since 2001. These people, and I am not talking about a specific location, but TMobile in General. This company is scum. Lowest scum of the Earth, right up there with Quest(phone) and  Dish Network. I moved home a year ago to find that within a 5 mile radius of my home, my cell had not just the standard no bars, but a red circle with a line through it. No phone, no text, no data. The "wireless"  feature didn't even help. I had the droid so the mandatory $100 phone bill was required. I called and called and called. I was always such a happy client.  They were so gracious and happy to help since I had been such a loyal client for almost a decade. Finally, after troubleshooting hell for months they send me a replacement phone to see if it was my phone.....nope, troubleshot that phone too.  They send me a new phone and I SPECIFICALLY ASK, Don't do this if you are going to extend my contract...oh no no.
Nothing worked, they look up my address on their special little map and every time, "Ooooo no you really don't have service do you"!?
"NO, I literally have to drive 4+ miles down the road and sit in my car to make a phone call or run to the end of my driveway and stand there and wait for a text to go through."
They admit I have no service.
I am paying them $100 for ZERO service. I couldn't even call my mom 1/4 mile away when my colon abscessed and I needed a ride to the hospital, I drug myself out to my car and drove there.
So, I say, TMobile, can I just get out of my contract, I have done everything you asked, troubleshot to death, tried everything to keep my amazing grandfathered package with you, but how about you cut me loose? Uhm, no they can't do that. I will have to pay $200 like everyone else. I can write a snail mail to Albuquerque to ask the mysterious people that I don't really think exist, to let me out of my contract.  I mean, Snail Mail? No phone? No email? No anything, just a PO box to nowhere. It almost seems mob-ish. At this point it is principle. I deserve to be let out. I have paid over $600 in service for zilch. Nothing. Shit service, and I'll be paying another $100 by the time the 5 page letter gets to them across the country and a reply is sent back to me. I started out with how amazing their service was all the years I lived in Colorado. The customer service was always amazing, blah blah, but then straight facts and a request to just let me out of $200 and a contract. A month later, I get a letter and basically it said too bad, so sad. You are in a contract. Maybe you can troubleshoot and they will be happy to help me work out the problem. Soooooooo, basically, ass-hat didn't even read my letter.  I'm surprised I even got a response. It also said that I could pay $200 like everyone else to be free of my red circle with a line through it forever. Otherwise my bill of $96.87 would be due on the 22nd of that month. I'm pretty sure fire shot from every surface in my head, I am surprised my face didn't melt off.  So, I let it go know that I had been told that my contract was up in Jan 2012.  I only had 4 months to go...just deal with it. Well, tonight I call and ask when the exact day is the contract is over so I can cancel, and I am told APRIL 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost threw up, followed by an explosion. I asked for a manager. They have no record of any promises to not extend my contract with all those "upgrades" I had to "help me out". I said you are lying.  I said I want a copy of ALLLLLL the service notes from the last 12 months of my service, and guess what, I can send a written request to the same P box in New Mexico to ask for them.   I asked if he even cared that they were screwing me over? I asked if he liked working for a deceitful company who prayed on it's customers by taking their money and changing their contracts behind their backs without their approval? I asked if he even heard a work I said. He repeated that I had an upgrade and my contract ends  in April 2013. I said I heard you. You and your company are scum. Scum of the Earth. If I would have known you were going to screw me like this I would have thrown $200 at you 6 months ago, but now I want to lawyer up and sue the shit out of you. Then, I hung up.
Anyone know how I can do that. I wish I had money, just useless money, then I could use it for good and take this scum company down. I feel like this was a complete illegal extension of contract, except if they didn't note everything  nothing matters and they can probably go in and change the notes.

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