Consumer Fraud Class Action Brought Against Sprint

Consumer Fraud Class Action Brought Against Sprint
Consumer Fraud Class Action Brought Against Sprint

Sprint Class Action Lawsuit Recently Filed

A consumer fraud class action lawsuit was recently filed against Sprint over allegations that it deceived consumers over savings in a recent promotion entitled “cut-your-cell-phone-bill-in-half.” Allegations also include that Sprint failed to deliver as advertised.

A Los Angeles County woman filed the lawsuit in the California federal court. Lawsuit allegations also include that the wireless telephone company deceived her into switching her cell phone services in May, yet it failed to deliver on alleged promises that included slashing her bill in half; paying the terminations fees she alleges cost her a total of $1,500; and providing her with three Visa gift cards in the amount of $350 each, for a total of $1,500.

The woman also alleges that, had she been aware that Sprint’s “sales tactics rely on falsities that have a tendency to mislead and deceive a reasonable customer,” she would not have changed her cell phone carriers. The lawsuit also indicates that, the “Defendant misrepresented and falsely advertised to plaintiff and others similarly situated that it would provide these services when defendant had no intention of doing so.” Allegations further indicate that, “Defendant’s conduct will continue to cause irreparable injury to consumers unless enjoined or restrained.”

Statements from 2014 that promoted Sprint’s service-change enticements indicate that Sprint offered Visa gift cards of up to $350 for each line switched from another carrier to Sprint to cover consumer termination fees. The lawsuit indicates that Sprint “failed to provide … all three $350 visa cards.” Sprint allegedly provided the plaintiff with two of the cards “and even charged the plaintiff for them,” according to court documents. The complaint does not indicate how much the plaintiff paid and also does not specify the degree to which Sprint neglected to offer the promised rate; however, the complaint does include allegations that the plaintiff’s rate with Sprint was “well over fifty percent of what she had previously paid.”

The plaintiff is seeking that Sprint, “at its own cost, notify all Class members of the unlawful and deceptive conduct therein,” and to force the company to amend its advertising. The complaint also indicates that “[T]he injury suffered by plaintiff and members of the class is not an injury which these consumers could reasonably have avoided…. Plaintiff’s reliance upon defendant’s deceptive statements is reasonable due to the unequal bargaining powers of defendant and plaintiff. For the same reason, it is likely that defendant’s fraudulent business practice would deceive other members of the public.”

The product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing consumers in class action lawsuits. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a Sprint consumer fraud class action lawsuit.

This Is Not The First Time Sprint Faced a Lawsuit

Following 13 years of litigation, a Stipulation of Settlement was reached between Sprint Spectrum LP (Sprint) and a group of account holders who alleged that Sprint’s-then $150 and $200 flat-rate early termination fees (ETFs) violated California law.

The plaintiffs alleged that Sprint’s flat ETFs of $150 and $200 issued between July 23, 1999 and March 18, 2007 were unlawful because Sprint did not, prior to inserting an ETF provision into its subscriber contracts, conduct a “reasonable endeavor” to ensure that the fees did not exceed the actual harm Sprint may have potentially suffered from the early termination of consumer contracts, as California law required.

Plaintiffs alleged that by inserting an ETF provision into its subscriber contracts, and by imposing ETFs on—and collecting them from—Class Members, Sprint violated California’s Unfair Competition Law, Business & Professions Code, and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

Under the terms of the settlement, Sprint was required to pay compensation in the amount of $125 per ETF to all Class members who paid ETFs that were imposed on them for contract terminations that occurred during the Class Period. The settlement also provided for the resolution through binding arbitration of the parties’ dispute concerning attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses to be paid to the attorneys for the Class.

Sprint maintains no wrongdoing and denies the plaintiffs’ allegations. Sprint also contends that its ETFs were legal, it lost profits, and it is entitled to an award of damages due to the early termination of the Class Members’ contracts. Sprint alleged that the actual “lost-profits” damages it suffered due to the early terminations exceeds the $73,775,975 of ETFs that the Class Members paid, and that, because of this, the Class should recover nothing. Plaintiffs alleged that the “lost-profits” damages Sprint suffered, if any, were less than the amount of ETFs the Class Members paid, and they are, therefore, entitled to a net refund of the ETFs they paid.

In another litigation, a settlement was reached in 2015 in the Sprint Premium SMS lawsuit that resolved claims that Sprint customers were charged unauthorized third-party services on their monthly cellphone bills by premium SMS companies that provide services, including ring tones, wall papers, and horoscope and celebrity gossip text messages.

Consumer Fraud Class Action Brought Against Sprint
Consumer Fraud Class Action Brought Against Sprint

This Sprint Premium SMS settlement is not related to direct carrier billings or Google Play charges that are made through a Sprint wireless phone.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brought the premium SMS lawsuit against Sprint in December 2014. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a federal government agency. Lawsuit allegations include that Sprint violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act when it allegedly charged its consumers for unauthorized third-party charges. The settlement will provide monetary and injunctive relief for involved Sprint consumers.

Sprint denies all liability in this lawsuit and indicated that it opted to settle to avoid future court and attorney costs, as well as the uncertainty of continued litigation.

Filing a Consumer Fraud Class Action Lawsuit

If you or someone you know is interested in filing a Sprint consumer fraud class action lawsuit, contact Parker Waichman today. Our experienced product liability attorneys offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).