Sprint is a leader in the internet and phone industry. The American company serves millions of customers with its products and services. While many are pleased with the service they receive, others have not been so happy. Sprint has had its share of legal problems through the years. It’s settled dozens of high-dollar lawsuits filed for various reasons. If you feel that you’ve been the victim of unethical or illegal business practices in your dealings with Sprint, we suggest reading the following litigations filed against the company. Here are the ten biggest Sprint lawsuits in the history of the company.
10. Samuel Rubio v. Sprint Corporation et al Settlement amount: $1.2 million
Violation Tracker reports that a civil lawsuit was filed against Sprint for employment-related offenses in 2018. The litigation was filed in a federal court in the Central District of California seeking compensation for financial harm created by Sprint’s violation of wage and hour laws. The plaintiffs claimed that Sprint failed to pay them for overtime hours worked for the company. Sprint agreed to a settlement of $1.2 million to compensate workers for their claims.
9. Sprint PCS penalized for misleading advertisements Penalty amount: $1.67 million
A Multiagency lawsuit was filed against Sprint PCS for a consumer protection violation. Sprint and other wireless carriers were all hit with a lawsuit that alleged they rendered misleading advertisements relating to service agreement terms and wireless coverage areas to consumers. further claims allege that the disclosures made with worded with unclear language. The companies were all penalized in July of 2004 with Sprint’s share at $1.67 million.
8. Sprint penalized by the FTC for a risk-based pricing violation Penalty amount: $2.9 million
In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission investigated claims that Sprint engaged in risk-based pricing practices that violated the current laws. Sprint was accused of charging customers with lower credit scores a higher fee for monthly services, without informing them in advance of the actions. Sprint’s failure to inform the customers of the higher charges for poor credit scores broke current laws. The FTC ruled that print was in violation of the Risk-Based Pricing Rule of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and levied a penalty of $2.9 million on the company for its indiscretion. Sprint tried to get around the penalty by mailing out notices, but they were too late. Consumers enrolled in their programs would face hefty early termination fees if they left because of the higher charges. It was a clear act of railroading. In addition to the FTC penalty, Sprint was required to be in compliance with the laws and to give customers the required notice within five days of signing up for the service, or to allow them to cancel to avoid recurring charges.
7. Sprint Overtime Class Action Lawsuit Settlement amount: $7.6 million
A lawsuit filed against Spring alleged that the company failed to compensate some of its workers for all hours worked. The suit further claimed that employees were forced to open and close off the clock, giving their time to the company without compensation. employees were also forced to attend mandatory conference calls off the clock in addition to performing other tasks. Sprint denied the allegations but agreed to settle the matter to resolve the lawsuit, according to Top Class Action Lawsuits. The class-action lawsuit included workers from Arizona, Colorado, New York, Ohio, and Washington. Each member of the class action suit received a percentage of the proceeds from the settlement. Each received varying amounts that reflected the number of workweeks they were forced to work without compensation for their time. Sprint is one of many companies accused of violating fair labor standards.
6. Sprint Call Center Lawsuit Settlement amount: $8.8 million
Sprint Nextel was accused of failing to pay workers employed at its call centers for overtime hours, and other compensation. Three lawsuits about these allegations were combined into one lump payment. Each was in the class action category. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in the US District Court of Kansas on behalf of workers in Lenexa, Kansas, Orlando, Florida, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Texas, and Rio Rancho, New Mexico call center workers. A suit was also filed in New York, with another in California with the same claims. Sprint Nextel offered an $8.8 settlement million to resolve all three class-action lawsuits. The case was settled in 2008 with Sprint announcing that it would cut costs by closing up to 20 call centers in 2009. Workers in New York received $325,000 of the proceeds with $2 million directed to workers in New York and $6.4 million to the workers represented in the Kansas class action suit. Sprint denied any wrongdoing in the case, preferring to settle the matters which would result in higher legal fees if it were to continue.
5. CFPB files lawsuit against Sprint Lawsuit amount: $88 million
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau confirms that it is taking action to gain redress from Verizon and Sprint for claims of illegal mobile cramming. The lawsuit was filed by the CFPB in December of 2014 in a Southern District of New York Court naming Sprint as the defendant, and additionally, naming Verizon in a New Jersey court. Sprint and Verizon were both charged with being payment processors for third parties in actions that expressly violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act policies on the prohibition of unfair practices. Sprint knowingly allowed third parties to illegally charge consumers with charges attached to its consumer bills. Sprint profited from the illegitimate charges which were made automatically and without the consent of the consumers. Both Sprint and Verizon offered services in place to block third-party charges, but they both failed to inform consumers of the plans, and neither made them the award of how to obtain such services. They disregarded consumer repellants and made no remediation, further victimizing the consumers who trusted them to provide honest and transparent services. Further, Sprint and Verizon both disregarded red flags regarding third-party vendors making unauthorized charges on consumer bills despite laws that expressly define these actions as illegal. They ignored consumer complaints and continued to allow the illegal charges to continue without remediation. They incurred millions of dollars in illegitimate charges, allowing third-party vendors to benefit, and receiving a kickback from the activities. Under the redress request, the CFPB requests Sprint to pay $50 million in consumer refunds and an additional $38 million in penalties for a total of $88 million.
4. Bennett et al v. Sprint Nextel Corp et al Settlement amount: $131 million
Reuters reports that Sprint was accused of committing fraud by inflating the stock and bond prices of the company from October of 2006 through February of 2008. The lawsuit filed on behalf of investors claimed that Sprint lied about the receipt of billions of dollars from a merger that improved its subscriber base and other benefits. The claims were false and instead, Sprint failed to disclose that it was struggling to complete the integration of cellular networks. instead of gaining customers, thousands of subscribers were leaving the company’s service plans. The writedown that ensued was just under $30 billion when all was said and done. The lawsuit continued for six years and ended when the parties met to agree on a settlement. The papers were filed in a Wichita, Kansas, federal court. Sprint agreed to pay a settlement amount of $131 million in reparation for the financial damages it caused investors because of the deception.
3. Sprint penalized for unauthorized charges Settlement amount: $158 million
In 2015, Sprint was sued for yet another lawsuit claiming the company allowed unauthorized charges to be made to consumer bills. The settlement came after T-Mobile and AT&T were hit with the same charges, costing them $105 million and $90 million for their roles in the illegal overcharging schemes. Sprint engaged in illegal and unfair business practices by allowing consumers to be charged for services that they did not request. The company allowed premium SMS providers to attach the illegal charges to consumer bills and Sprint kept 40 percent of the revenue. it engaged in the practice for several years. The Washington State Attorney General heard of the case in New York State and followed the same line of action, filing a lawsuit against Sprint for reimbursement for the 775,000 consumers in Washington State that were victimized by the illegal charges to their accounts without their consent. The illegal activities perpetrated by telephone providers were reaching epidemic proportions and something needed to be done to send a clear message to these companies to stop breaking the law and victimizing consumers. The AG of Washington State paved the way for the victims in Washington state to file their claims for refunds on the bogus charges.
2. Sprint sued for making false claims Lawsuit amount: $390 million
HSE Law reports that a tax whistleblower filed a lawsuit for $390 million against Sprint. The plaintiff claims that Sprint violated the tax provisions of the New York State False Claims Act by shortchanging New York on collected sales taxes for cell phone services it provided to consumers within the state. The highest court in New York allowed the case to proceed with a member of the public pursuing legal justice. The whistleblower went after Sprint for cheating on taxes on behalf of the government. Whistleblowers can keep a portion of the proceeds for the case. It’s a landmark case with the power to set a powerful precedent. They amended the False Claims Act in 2010 to allow individuals to file such claims. It became the first state in the nation’s history to authorize such proceedings. The whistleblower stands to profit with an award of up to thirty percent of the settlement plus interest, with the rest in penalties and restitution to the State of New York for Sprint evading tax payments. Per New York Law, Sprint could be held liable for up to three times the total amount of the taxes due as a penalty for each false claim made. It was also required to pay statutory penalties.
1. Radio Shack lawsuit against SprintLawsuit amount: $500 million
Mobile World confirms that Radio Shack filed a lawsuit against Sprint, claiming $500 million in damages for allegations that Sprint used confidential information they obtained from a co-branding venture. Sprint opened 200 stores that competed against RadioShack, and it failed to provide staff and inventory for shared locations on the joint venture. Its actions hindered the success of RadioShack. RadioShack previously filed for bankruptcy and closed its stores, but it is planning to make a comeback, and part of the funding to repay creditors would be aided by a win of the lawsuit against Sprint if they win the case. It’s making a new niche in the e-commerce sector but must first pay off its creditors under the terms of its bankruptcy. It closed over 7,000 stores. The deal with Sprint would have resulted in the opening of 1,400 joint locations had Sprint held up its end of the bargain. Instead, it opened up hundreds of new sales locations throughout the United States, causing financial damage to RadioShack by its actions.
Sprint has been taken to court on dozens of occasions, with many of the lawsuits either settled quietly or for smaller amounts of less than $1 million by private parties. Sprint has not always admitted to wrongdoing but evidence has stacked up around the telecommunications giant suggesting that they’ve engaged in numerous practices that have been unfair to their customers and illegal in the eyes of the law. If you feel that you’ve been the victim of unethical and illegal practices by this company, you have the right to file a claim and have your day in court.