Sprint Dealer Re-explains $10 charge

gizmo_guy

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Hello everyone:

I have noticed a number of people have referenced the $10 premium on Sprint and 4G. I would like to clarify on behalf of all of my colleagues...The $10 premium data add-on is not a 4G premium charge; it is an unlimited data charge. In the T&C's for Sprint it used to mention a 5GB soft cap that they could have enforced and throttled speed but never did for the sake of customer service. Instead, Sprint opted to add a $10 premium data add-on for their smartphone customers.

It is not a tax and it is not Sprint trying to nickel and dime you. Even if you add the $10 into your bill you still can save up to $840 by switching from Verizon or AT&T. I use between 7 and 11 gigs of data every month and I personally think that its a great value for the money.

On AT&T you have a 2GB hard cap and then have to buy another gig for $10.
T-mobile cuts you down to EDGE after your 2GB but you dont pay overages.
Verizon cuts you to EVDO Rev.0 after your 5 GB but you dont pay overages.
Sprint charges you $10 more per month but never throttles you and never makes you buy more gigs. You get EVDO Rev. A or WiMax at 11 GB (I do Regularly) just like you do at 1GB.

Hope you all continue to enjoy your HTC Arrive as much as I do. If I can help at all, please let me know via email.

Matt
 

kwool

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I love Sprint's service and I still fervently disagree with all reasoning behind this fee. It just makes look Sprint bad. If they need the money, they need to have the $10 charge included in the normal monthly rate.

I don't care about your clear Sprint-centric bias, nor your haphazard explanation of the fee. Sprint is charging an extra fee for no extra features on 3G phones. You talk about the cap and everything--that's great, whatever. But if Sprint were truly customer-centric, they would have charged only 4G smartphones the extra fee, as they did previously, and continue allowing unlimited data. Or they could have changed the fees for new customers.

Sprint could have a very strong position in the smart phone market, if they got rid of the fee. It's bad for their reputation and customers. It's not really about the money. It's about it being a fee, imposed upon old customers, for wanting a smartphone that doesn't even get the 4G Sprint markets so hard.
 

onemadrssn

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So Sprint used to mention a 5GB cap that was never really enforced. Now they charge $10 more for officially no cap. So to the end user nothing practical changed for day-to-day use, except they pay $10 more.

I understand that Sprint is still the best value, but how is this not a frivolous fee? You explained yourself that in practical terms nothing changed except some wording in the terms and conditions.
 

gizmo_guy

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1. Flaming is not necessary. We are all adults here.
2. IF a customer does not feel that they are receiving fair value for the money, they can always take their dollars elsewhere.
3. I sell all four carriers. I do not generally recommend one carrier over another until qualifying a customer's needs.
4. Sprint gave ample warning that the charge was coming. The increase in fee constitutes a material change to your contract and your contract may be void. (I'm not an attorney so you will need to ask yours) No one was obligated to accept the charge as there were several remedies available: dont upgrade, switch to another carrier, dont get a smartphone. In upgrading to a smartphone there was active agreement to the contract, meaning that at the time, you felt that the value of the goods and services received surpassed the cost of receiving those goods and services.


My major question to everyone that doesn't like the fee is simply this: Do you feel like you are being given fair value for the money? If yes, stop complaining, the fee isn't going away. If not, have you contacted Customer Care to see if there is a reasonable way to accommodate you so that you actually do get fair value for your dollars. I hear a lot of people complain about fees (especially in store). What I almost never hear is what people are doing about it.

I hear how awful Sprint is for charging a $10 premium data fee but 35 million people or more are still loyal customers. (Incidentally, JD Power and the ACSI both have Sprint and Verizon tied at number one for customer service.)

I also hear how awful Verizon is for charging for everything yet over 100 million people are loyal customers.

Then theres AT&T with also over 100 million customers and exorbitant fees.

These carriers stay in business for a reason. We have 4 major carriers and hundreds of regional carriers for a reason; choice. And if you took emotion out of the equation and looked dispassionately at the facts, in most cases, Sprint is a great value for the money. So is AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
 

tiny

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Oddly, they don't charge the $10 premium for SERO customers. You have to upgrade to SERO premium, which is then $40, but if it was a 4G device, it would be an additional $10 making it $50 a month.
 

kingp

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@msherro

Whoa there cowboy. First of all, Sprint gave little/no warning that this fee was coming, and then when it did arrive, they made it retroactive by almost 2 months to include smartphones activated in late december and january. How is that "ample warning"?

For customers that are in-contract, they can't just "take their dollars elsewhere" without incurring an expensive ETF. The cool thing about this, is that Sprint made this "smartphone tax" in a way so that it didn't constitute a "material change of contract" thus allowing users to break their contract without penalty, once it was implemented.

Spin this anyway you want, but this was a bad and DESPERATE move by Sprint, which looks like nothing more than a cash grab. They can tax 4G phones. I'm fine with that, but taxing 3G on the Arrive, as well as the Samsung Instinkt? That phone (Instinkt) is a terrible phone, and technically speaking CAN'T consume much more data than today's feature phones (which, btw, the Instinkt is actually listed as by Sprint). I burn up 4G on my EVO, and when a 4G Windows Phone is released (my wife has the Arrive) I'll burn it up on that one too.

Oh, and has anyone bothered to check out your bill after integrating Google Voice with Option 2? Turns out people are getting hit with overage fees, after integrating:

Some Sprint customers seeing overage charges due to Google Voice integration | ZDNet

Despite all this, I love Sprint. I've been a happy customer for the past 6+ years. I don't plan on leaving any time soon. However, I will go month/month once my contract is up, and just buy replacement/upgrade phones from eBay.
 
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kingp

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also, for those playing along at home, and thinking about getting the Arrive and moving over to Sprint, you need to check out Russ McGuire's blog. If you sign up for an Everything Plus plan (which replaced the SERO plans), the Arrive does NOT have to pay the extra $10 smartphone fee on that plan, only 4G phones do, plus it is cheaper than the standard Sprint plans, PLUS you get more minutes/mo than the standard plans.

McGuire’s Law

Only downside is that you have to be a new customer to get it, no side-grading from a standard plan to EP, and you can only upgrade your phone through official sprint stores/websites (no more 3rd party retailers or sites like WireFly/AmazonWireless/RadioShack/BestBuy).
 
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Dusteater

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Even with $10 more a month it is still cheaper than other carriers. But of course this in combination with tearing apart the Premier service makes Sprint less appealing. I am finally planning to leave Sprint this fall, and not because of the price. Their problem is they don't get their customers. They seem to think every single customer only wants Android and never wants to leave the USA with their phone. They are not diversified at all in their ecosystem offers.
 

kingp

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Not for me...

Even with $10 more a month it is still cheaper than other carriers. But of course this in combination with tearing apart the Premier service makes Sprint less appealing. I am finally planning to leave Sprint this fall, and not because of the price. Their problem is they don't get their customers. They seem to think every single customer only wants Android and never wants to leave the USA with their phone. They are not diversified at all in their ecosystem offers.

Maybe for a single user, it would be cheaper, but not for my family plan.

Considering my data usage, and minutes, a comparable plan on T-Mobile is actually 20 dollars LESS expensive than what I'm paying to Sprint right now. The differentiator is the 10 dollar smartphone fee for my 2 lines. So for 20 dollars/month less, I could be on T-Mobile.

Now, having said that, I don't plan to leave Sprint. It's still a good value for me, I just brought this up for comparative analysis.
 

foosball

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Maybe for a single user, it would be cheaper, but not for my family plan.



Considering my data usage, and minutes, a comparable plan on T-Mobile is actually 20 dollars LESS expensive than what I'm paying to Sprint right now. The differentiator is the 10 dollar smartphone fee for my 2 lines. So for 20 dollars/month less, I could be on T-Mobile.



Now, having said that, I don't plan to leave Sprint. It's still a good value for me, I just brought this up for comparative analysis.

That's the rub, there are no comparable plans on Tmobile. Unless they added Any Mobile Any Time when we weren't looking.

Which plan on Tmobile are you referring to, just out of curiosity?

Sent from my T7575 using Board Express
 

kingp

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Comparison

That's the rub, there are no comparable plans on Tmobile. Unless they added Any Mobile Any Time when we weren't looking.

Which plan on Tmobile are you referring to, just out of curiosity?

Sent from my T7575 using Board Express

Specifically, I was looking at the 1000 min. 2GB unlimited* data plan, which is actually 30 dollars less than my Everything Data plan for two smartphones on Sprint.

T-Mo- 119/mo
Sprint- 149/mo (added in the $10 smartphone fee x2 lines).

My combined data usage is less than 2GB/mo between my two lines, and my total voice minutes used (inclusive of all minutes, billed or not) are always less than 1000 per month.

Now, most folks are not in my situation and will use more minutes. I'm just saying that for my particular needs, Sprint is a more expensive option when including the Smartphone tax. YMMV.
 

PhilR8

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I love Sprint's service and I still fervently disagree with all reasoning behind this fee. It just makes look Sprint bad. If they need the money, they need to have the $10 charge included in the normal monthly rate.

I don't care about your clear Sprint-centric bias, nor your haphazard explanation of the fee. Sprint is charging an extra fee for no extra features on 3G phones. You talk about the cap and everything--that's great, whatever. But if Sprint were truly customer-centric, they would have charged only 4G smartphones the extra fee, as they did previously, and continue allowing unlimited data. Or they could have changed the fees for new customers.

Sprint could have a very strong position in the smart phone market, if they got rid of the fee. It's bad for their reputation and customers. It's not really about the money. It's about it being a fee, imposed upon old customers, for wanting a smartphone that doesn't even get the 4G Sprint markets so hard.

Amen. Sprint is trying to have its cake and eat it too with the smartphone fee. Like you, I'm very happy with Sprint, and my bill is still very reasonable even with the fee, but the way the fee was introduced and every time the reasoning behind it changes, I just feel queasy about it. Build the fee into the price of the plan or drop it completely. Sprint advertises Simple - so make it simple.
 

foosball

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Thanks kingp. Yeah since all there are so many variables its all on a case by case basis as this example shows. I end up using about 3,000 minutes per month and the extra $30 is peanuts compared to what I get. But hey if I didn't need all those minutes I'd have to join you on Tmobile and pick up an HD7.

Sent from my HTC Arrive using Board Express
 

kwool

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4. Sprint gave ample warning that the charge was coming. The increase in fee constitutes a material change to your contract and your contract may be void. (I'm not an attorney so you will need to ask yours) No one was obligated to accept the charge as there were several remedies available: dont upgrade, switch to another carrier, dont get a smartphone. In upgrading to a smartphone there was active agreement to the contract, meaning that at the time, you felt that the value of the goods and services received surpassed the cost of receiving those goods and services.


My major question to everyone that doesn't like the fee is simply this: Do you feel like you are being given fair value for the money? If yes, stop complaining, the fee isn't going away. If not, have you contacted Customer Care to see if there is a reasonable way to accommodate you so that you actually do get fair value for your dollars. I hear a lot of people complain about fees (especially in store). What I almost never hear is what people are doing about it.

(a) My previous phone was a Nokia 6016i, about seven years old. It was no longer serving my needs. Instead of being able to upgrade my phone on my current contract, Sprint forced me to change contracts. That's not a lot of choice, is it?

(b) I'm sorry, you do not tell me to stop complaining. That you have to continually explain why the fee is okay and why Sprint is still a good value shows how ridiculous the fee is. It should be integrated into the plan price. It's as simple as that.

Honestly, no, I don't feel like I get a fair value for my money. Sprint is the cheapest option, but I still feel like cell phone service in this country is absolutely outrageous in price.

Having lived in Spain for six months, I saw how comparatively cheap cell phones and data plans were there, and it made me exceedingly jealous that they basically have carriers fighting over them, whereas here in the United States, it's a game of pick the least bad of the worst.
 

SolarPlexus

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I was upset about the $10 fee at first. And even considered going to a feature messaging phone instead of going to a new smartphone. But I started thinking about it.
1) It was only a matter of time before the price was going to go up. That's just economics and the wireless industry.
2) This method is VERY fair to the tons of users who still use feature/messaging phones but need occasional data for email. so keeping them at the original price seems more fair than forcing them to pay $10 extra for data they really will never use(barring the occasional heavy YouTube user who has a LG Rumor) Smartphone users really DO use more data than other 3G phones.
3) Sprint's big mistake was not setting their rate plans like this when they introduced their current data structure a few years back. Now folks feel like their are being ripped off.
 

SolarPlexus

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@msherro


For customers that are in-contract, they can't just "take their dollars elsewhere" without incurring an expensive ETF. The cool thing about this, is that Sprint made this "smartphone tax" in a way so that it didn't constitute a "material change of contract" thus allowing users to break their contract without penalty, once it was implemented.

For me the new $10 fee didn't kick in until I activated a new phone. So, current customers should be able to ride out their contract without the fee. I hadn't heard anything about the retroactive fees, though can you link to that because it sounds shady.
 

SolarPlexus

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Specifically, I was looking at the 1000 min. 2GB unlimited* data plan, which is actually 30 dollars less than my Everything Data plan for two smartphones on Sprint.

T-Mo- 119/mo
Sprint- 149/mo (added in the $10 smartphone fee x2 lines).

My combined data usage is less than 2GB/mo between my two lines, and my total voice minutes used (inclusive of all minutes, billed or not) are always less than 1000 per month.

Now, most folks are not in my situation and will use more minutes. I'm just saying that for my particular needs, Sprint is a more expensive option when including the Smartphone tax. YMMV.

I wonder how that will change once the ATTTMobile merges is done.
 

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