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T-Mobile proposes settlement for early termination fees

T-Mobile customers who paid an early termination fee may get $125 from a class action lawsuit settlement.

Class action suits against carrier early termination fees (ETFs) are nothing new, but now it appears one case may come to an end.

Though it has yet to be approved by the court, T-Mobile has proposed a settlement in an $11.5 million class action suit filed in August 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The suit alleges that T-Mobile broke federal and state laws when charging the ETFs.

The settlement would cover T-Mobile subscribers who were charged a flat-rate ETF from July 23, 1999 to February 19, 2009, or those whose service contract included an ETF during the same time period. The settlement would resolve several other pending cases that challenge T-Mobile's flat-rate ETFs.

T-Mobile customers who file a claim form will be eligible for one of three awards, according to the terms of the settlement. Customers who paid an ETF can receive up to $125. Customers who were charged an ETF but did not pay and did not receive a full credit within 30 days, can receive up to $25.

"Non-cash" relief will be provided for customers who had an ETF in their contract. Such relief could include 50 bonus minutes a month for three months, 100 bonus text messages a month for three months, "T-Mobile HotSpot" access for three days, or the right to have your contract with T-Mobile contain a prorated ETF. T-Mobile began prorating ETFs in June 2008.