UPDATE: Sprint reached out to us with an official statement on this whole situation with RingPlus: “We value our relationships with more than 100 MVNOs, and our top priority is to ensure we are delivering high-quality service and support based on each of our agreements. Sprint has fulfilled every aspect of its agreement with RingPlus and we expect the same from our customer. Sprint will do its best to resolve this. With its 15-year history in the MVNO business, Sprint serves 100+ MVNOs and supports millions of subscriber connections.”
ORIGINAL: There’s some drama happening in the world of prepaid phone service.
MVNO RingPlus is suing Sprint, who provides service for RingPlus, in a California court. RingPlus is accusing Sprint of fraud, breach of contract, extortion, attempted extortion, trade dress infringement, patent infringement, unfair business practices and competition, and unjust enrichment, and the MVNO is seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.
In its complaint, RingPlus says that it entered into an agreement with Sprint to invest in a project to grow the RingPlus Model, and part of that agreement required that Sprint and its affiliates get licenses to RingPlus’s two patents. The MVNO claims that Sprint rendered the agreement voidable by knowingly placing RingPlus on a system that produced unusable call delay and couldn’t handle the high volume of API transactions needed to sign up the number of customers included in the projections of their agreement.
RingPlus goes on to say that it developed new tech to fix the call delay issue, but that Sprint refused to compensate RingPlus for the development. The MVNO claims that Sprint then asked for more money from RingPlus for Sprint’s system and that if RingPlus didn’t pay, Sprint would shut off RingPlus’s service and its API for signing up new subscribers.
RingPlus says that it worked with Sprint to modify their original agreement and that it said it’d pay Sprint money when it could, and that Sprint then accepted its payments for the past eight months.
On January 31, 2017, RingPlus says that it received a notice for breach of nonpayment from Sprint. Then on February 1, Sprint told RingPlus that it would turn off RingPlus service in 10 days. RingPlus says that Sprint has already shut off its APIs for adding new subscribers.
As of now, Sprint is planning to shut off RingPlus service on February 11. RingPlus has asked Sprint to delay the shutdown for 30 days to give RingPlus customers more time to switch service. If Sprint doesn’t agree, RingPlus plans to file a motion for an injunction to stop Sprint from shutting down RingPlus service.
A RingPlus forum member has uploaded the full complaint against Sprint, and you can get it right here.