Woah there horsey! Don’t think you can go out and break your contract today. Much like any legal struggle, this is simply a step forward in the on going battle between cell phone service providers and customers. The good news is that it’s a big step. A California judge rulled that it’s illegal for Sprint to collect early termination fees from some 2 million customers who bailed early on their contracts but didn’t pay. Furthermore, the judge ordered Sprint to pay back $18 million in collected fees to those that did pay.
If the judgment does stick, it could mean rocky waters to service providers and an increased cost to consumers looking for the latest and coolest hardware – service providers subsidize cell phone hardware via a 1 or 2 year contract. Hmmm…perhaps it is a good time to grab a 3G iPhone since that thing is subsidized to death.