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Cell Phone News: Sprint Offers Man 50 Percent Discount... For Dying
      01/07/08 11:36 PM

A Framingham, MA family said that it's being forced to pay for the cell phone of a deceased loved one.

"I wondered how many other people had just agreed. You're tired and exhausted, and the last thing you want to do is fight with the cell phone company," said Tracey Stewart, of Framingham.

It was a tough holiday season for Stewart. Her 66-year-old father died on Dec. 21 after a brief illness. This week, her husband, Bill, called Sprint to cancel his father-in-law from the cell phone family plan.

"They said his contract wasn't up and to pay the fee or keep it activated," he said.

"He came in and said my father had upgraded his phone, so we can't cancel unless we pay the early termination fee or give the phone to somebody else," Stewart said.

They didn't have someone else, and they said that the suggestion offended them.

Bill Stewart said Sprint did agree to reduce the monthly fee for his deceased father-in-law's phone from $20 to $10 until the contract ends in September 2008.

A Sprint spokesman said that company policy is to request a death certificate.

"We want work with the customer in this time of sadness," said Mark Elliott, of Sprint. "And typically within five business days, we will cancel the account, waive any early termination fees."

The Stewarts said that the experience has left them with bitter feelings about their long-time cell provider.

"More disbelief than outrage. My father was the type of man who you'd expect people to do the right thing," Stewart said.

Sprint wouldn't discuss the case in question because of privacy policies. But the spokesman said Sprint will resolve the situation within the next few days.

The Stewarts are still considering switching to a new cell service provider.

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