Understanding Cricket Early Termination Fees

Is Cricket charging you a bogus Early Termination Fee? FairShake can help.

"What you should know about early termination fees"

If you are trying to terminate your contract with a cell phone provider and switch to Cricket Wireless, or you are looking at your Cricket Wireless bill, you might notice something called an early termination fee. But what is it and under what circumstances do you have to pay for it? 

Why do phone companies charge early termination fees?

When a carrier offers a discount on a phone or they give you the opportunity to make monthly payments, you sign a contract. In most cases these contracts are 2 years long. This can be seen as a guarantee that your company gets the money back that they technically loaned you when you signed up and got the new phone. 

That said, the concept behind the early termination fees is that of insurance and profit protection when companies enter a contract. But no-contract cell phone providers like Cricket Wireless usually don’t have early termination fees because they don’t have contracts, and they don’t give you things like a $50 smartphone that you pay over the course of 2 years. Instead, you buy the phone outright at full price and then pay for the service as you need it. 

Are early termination fees legal?

Yes. Early termination fees are legal as long as they are included in the terms of your contract. 

However, if you opted to go with a prepaid cell phone plan from a company like Cricket Wireless, you don’t enter into a contract and that typically means you don’t have to contend with early termination fees, in part because cricket isn’t subsidizing your phone.

How do I know if my contract with Cricket Wireless has an early termination fee?

Review the Cricket Wireless terms and conditions of service as well as your individual contract if you have one.

When do I have to pay an early termination fee?

The terms and conditions will tell you under which circumstances you have to pay an early termination fee but in most cases it boils down to the same thing: you have to pay if your contract is terminated prematurely.

Note that this includes situations where you canceled prematurely or where your carrier cancels prematurely because you aren’t paying for your service.

Can Cricket Wireless charge an early termination if I don’t owe it?

Under the termination section of the terms and conditions, you can end your service with Cricket Wireless at any time, for any reason. Until such time as you completely cancel your service you are responsible for any charges and you can ask that they transfer your existing phone number to another carrier which could come at a different cost, however there is no mention of an early termination fee at all. You might still find other fees which are nonrefundable, like the device upgrade fee, the activation fee, or the reactivation fee. 

I’m being charged an early termination fee but I shouldn’t be, what can I do?

If you are charged an early termination fee but shouldn’t be, FairShake can help. We work with clients who regularly see final bills replete with bogus charges especially for early termination fees. We can help you pursue legal recourse. 

Get started today…

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