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Sprint Cutting Unlimited 4G Data Plans

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the too-good-to-last dept.

Wireless Networking 325

itwbennett writes "In a notice posted Thursday on the customer support section of its website, Sprint said it would impose monthly data caps on plans for all tablets, laptops, netbooks, USB and PC Card modems, and mobile hotspot devices — everything, that is, except smartphones. The caps will begin with each subscriber's next bill following notification, the carrier said."

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325 comments

They better stop advertising it as "unlimited"... (1, Redundant)

DotNM (737979) | more than 2 years ago | (#37813974)

They better stop advertising it as "unlimited" since it's not really truly "unlimited" anymore

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814010)

Yes they are. Smartphones still are and will be unlimited for the foreseeable future. They never advertised unlimited for the USB modems. Stop trolling.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (5, Insightful)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814148)

Smartphones still are and will be unlimited for the foreseeable future..

until next week?

until next month?

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814180)

You are such a dune coon. Your questions do not matter even if they are relevant.

Sprint is doing what you want them to do if you like to invest in successful companies. Why do you hate capitalism?

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (-1)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814240)

Whoopity fucking doo! A smart phone alone isn't justification enough to pay these high ass data prices. I appreciate the reminder that I need to tell Verizon to jam their data plan in their ass. I like my smart phone but it's not worth the cost. If I can't have it off of the data plan, then fuck 'em. I will just chuck the damn thing in a drawer and get a "penny" phone from the same carrier I put my dear old mother on. That or I need to figure out how to unlock it and put another carrier's chip in it, and turn off the data part.

Either way, their wanting to get rich off of the data flow is pissing me the fuck off. When you corporate cocksuckers get through or tired of trying to fuck us all in the ass, get back with me on the "smart phone" issue. Until then, FUCK YOU! I can live with a cell phone just being a cell phone. I remember back before we even had cell phones. Hell, I might even go one further and just drop the cell phone as well. I can hop on wifi and use VOIP and save myself a ton of money each month. Sweet Jesus, what a concept!

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814272)

Take whatever pill you want, but read the directions this time

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (-1, Troll)

taoareyou (2468090) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814498)

What do you do to make money? Whatever it is, you too should stop making money. Because you make a lot more money than other people in this world which puts you in the same category of "those getting rich". *ding* Oh look, your hot bowl of hypocrisy is ready in the microwave.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (4, Insightful)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814646)

Look dickweed, I don't begrudge someone making money, but for what they charge for their "unlimited" data to a fucking smart phone is akin to what you can buy REALLY unlimited via your cable, dsl, etc. I know you are going to say, "But it comes magically through the air to you!" Really? No shit? This happens so often with technology is pisses me off. They come out with something they can rape you on, they get together and set the prices to so they can all rape you together and until too many hungry fuckers get in the game and screw it up for them, they keep raping away. Remember back when we paid a quarter a minute on the phone, or higher? They had the tech to make it a flat fee and make plenty of damn money off it, but is that enough to make great money? Fuck no, they have to make OMFG money, and it's easy with these pussy politicians that they buy lock stock and barrel at prices that would make whores blush.

Don't give me your pretzel logic for defending this horseshit, unless you work for these cocksuckers. Then I understand.

As far as making money, how about someone comes over to your house and kicks your teeth down your throat if you don't give them whatever they want? That's "making money", are you going to whine about that? Of course you will, because it's WRONG. You see, that is the beauty of living in something called a "society", we get to make up the rules of what is "wrong". But of course that is currently bullshit, because we don't get to make the rules anymore, the corporate cocksuckers do because they OWN the rule makers. This is why every time you turn around to buy something or pay a bill you are getting FUCKED, they all want as much out of you as they can possibly squeeze.

But if you don't "get it", I understand. Untold fortunes have been spent to brainwash Americans into a disgusting "serf mentality" to be good little drones and wish someday they too will be like those they are told to idolize. I can't undo that kind of brain damage in a couple of posts. Sweet Jesus, if I could I would be the savior of mankind wouldn't I? Who wants that? You end up on a cross or something.

So, Fido, be a good dog and pay that high price just to check your email for more dick enlarging spam or tweeting what you had for lunch to the other dogs. Holy fuck, you sure don't want to miss out on a nanosecond of Facebook, so by all means, don't let me get in your way. I am so damn sorry I bothered to protest the high price of a trifle of data. What was I thinking? I will go gouge out my eyes with a spoon in shame for such atrociousness. Set me on fire with a flame thrower please.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814276)

Actually, they did advertise unlimited 4g on their PCS cars (USB modems). They didn't advertise 3G unlimited, but they said if you had 4G coverage, and your device was in 4G mode, then it was unlimited data.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (3, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814474)

Smartphones still are and will be unlimited for the foreseeable future. They never advertised unlimited for the USB modems.

Given that a modern smartphone is pretty much a 3G/4G modem with a screen, and connection sharing is built into most of those devices, that's a pretty blurry line.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814694)

Did they advertise "unlimited for smartphones" or "unlimited"?

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814014)

Yeah, I just saw one of their advertisements today.

Uh-oh, Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do!

Free market my ass. There's no such thing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814030)

They better stop advertising it as "unlimited" since it's not really truly "unlimited" anymore

I hope your shiny new consumer protection system is better than here in Canada. Bell Canada got away with that lie (advertising "unlimited", but having - get this - secret caps for years on the DSL side and never got their nuts rapped for it.

Obama isn't beholden to the telecoms the way he is to Wall Street, is he?

Re:Free market my ass. There's no such thing. (2)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814288)

That depends on if they have enough money, but a safe bet would be yes.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (0)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814032)

Funny, I just saw an ad on TV about their "unlimited" plan today. I love how corporations take common words and turn their meaning around. "Yeah, Mr. Judge, it's unlimited, but unlimited really means up to 2 GB a month"

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814064)

I love how corporations take common words and turn their meaning around.

Its called "lying".

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814094)

Here in Australia, the majority of internet providers for home (a)DSL/Cable provide capped plans - but don't charge anything once the plan is exceeded, they simply throttle the connection speed right down (to 64 or 128k speeds). Is that the same in the US, or do ISPs generally just go to a $ per Gb model? The mobile broadband here does generally charge per Mb once a mobile plan goes over the limit however, so a phone bill can very quickly become astronomical.

I am curious if this is the same over in the US/Canada. If a user is merely throttled down to a slower speed once the data limit is reached, it seems like a lot of fuss over something quite small?

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814150)

If you've ever tried to use throttled internet here in Australia, its like trying to shave with broken glass. I don't just mean it's slow, pages just never load.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814198)

Actually I have on many occasions used throttled internet here in Aus, probably more in the past rather than recently, but I never really had an issue with it. I was always with decent providers though (such as Internode) and not the likes of Dodo or TPG. Perhaps that makes the difference?

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814192)

Never heard of that practice, and no why would they. It is not like they really care how much we use they just want to make more money so throttling is counter intuitive unless you are on a unlimited plan.

And it is more like $ per Mb.
My plan for example is $.015/Mb (about $500/30GB) over 5 Gigs.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814396)

Well, many years ago, everyone charged per Mb over the plan limit, but I think the ACCC [accc.gov.au] got involved after a number of "outrageous" bills made it into the news and told ISPs to clean up their act - or perhaps it was bad publicity over the crazy bills people were refusing to pay, but for the most part ISPs now just throttle down. A heavy user will still get the bigger plans, but users won't suddenly get slugged with a $50k bill (there were a few in this price range for a single month).

Sure, it's not really in the interest of ISPs, but it isn't an unreasonable request of them - and they all seem to do it now.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814478)

On another note: I wish, 128k is 1.3 gigs a day which is not bad (you could have a new movie or a few TV shows every day on that speed) and even the 64k is not horrible.

In the US and Canada is seems more like we are moving to super high speed, super low caps, and huge charges for going over and no notification.
Personally, I do not really care what my speed is, as even around dailup speed you can still get a decent amount per month downloaded. But it is easier to get a 50Mb connection, that you can only use for 6 hours straight on full speed before you ran out then get anything unlimited.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814274)

Marketing vs Truth. Marketing should be illegal.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814320)

The commercials are talking about smartphone plans, which are exempt. I'm not a fan of capping anything, but you should probably make sure you know what you're complaining about or people who don't agree with you will probably dismiss you.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814390)

Yes, but they are trying to apply this to existing plans. Not grandfathering in existing mobile hotspots, but screwing everybody.

Not going to happen. I will cancel, write the attorney general if I have too, and shove the ETF straight up their fucking asses.

3GB is absolutely worthless for a cap. I only have that cap on 3G right now and I don't care because I have it locked to 4G. It's a problem for business too. Verizon and Sprint just don't get it. Average use, and I mean average, would be around 20 gigs per month at least.

If the caps were anything near reasonable I would be cool with it. Unlimited is impossible, I can accept that. Or at least that truly unlimited would have higher associated costs.

These fucking carriers are either unlimited or set you to a small teeny weeny trickle of data. It's stupid as hell. Clear was great for a while till they overloaded their infrastructure and banned VPN. Of course, they won't admit it, but their quality speaks for itself.

This whole thing sucks ass. I got to call up and cancel tomorrow.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

theskunkmonkey (839144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814332)

But it's still unlimited. You can use it 24/7 365 days a year! We don't limit when you can use it so we can still call it an unlimited plan!

Isn't marketing speak fun?!

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814050)

You bet they better! I just saw one today during NFL football. I think boasting about it then going back is worse than capping it to begin with.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814108)

They call this Unlimited* in the UK. Notice the asterisk. That asterisk points to a Fair Use Policy (FUP) that pretty much says: "it's unlimited as long as you don't use it much, but if you do, we'll burn a hole in your bank account - that will teach you to want Internet access, you... you... paying customer you!".

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (1)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814286)

Fair use policy?? This is a fair use policy. [copyright.gov] What sprint (and every other telco) is doing is called a 'Fuck the Users' Policy.

Re:They better stop advertising it as "unlimited". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814308)

How can the first post be redundant? Why is that even a mod option for the FIRST post...

Bait and Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37813976)

Glad I don't have to depend on them for anything but phone service, and will get rid of that when contract ends. Buh bye, Sprunt.

Re:Bait and Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37813984)

Who will you go to that's any better?

A government official, for collusion. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814000)

A government official that will force the carriers to unmeter data.

Hold the carriers feet to the fire enough, and they'll provide it.

Re:Bait and Sprint (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814046)

Honest off-topic question from a non-USAian. Why is it deemed necessary to miss-spell a person or an organisation's name to convey displeasure or digust. Are terms like "rethuglicans" and "libtards" really perceived as clever? Where did this practice originate?
In your case, would it not be more satisfying to say, "buh bye, Sprint, you bunch of cunts?" Is the verbosity that off putting?
The beaverisation of America is getting way out of hand.

Re:Bait and Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814092)

While I do agree with what you said. I think that was just a typo, as I and U are right next to each other.

Re:Bait and Sprint (-1, Troll)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814102)

Well, tell us why you choose to use the term "non-USAian" when the correct term is "American"? Makes you look like a bigoted moron.

Re:Bait and Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814156)

Becuase Non-USA describes.... pretty much every other country in the world, not just in America?

Retard

Re:Bait and Sprint (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814354)

Then that would be "non-American", not "non-USAian".

You just went full retard. Never go full retard.

Re:Bait and Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814400)

"Non-American" is the proper terminology. The word "American" has more than one meaning, just like many other words in the English language. It should be obvious from context which meaning is intended. Also, the word you want is "misspell." Feel free to make up all the words you like. It's English, so we'll probably even understand you. But you do look stupid right now.

Re:Bait and Sprint (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814572)

I took it to mean that the poster is an American who's currently not living in the U.S, which would explain the USAian usage. It also conveys they element that not all people who live in the U.S.A are American and to me that's a good thing.

Re:Bait and Sprint (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814554)

And additionally non-American could be misunderstood as excluding e.g. Brasilian, Chilean, Peruvian or Canadian...
Yes, despite what you USAians like to think, they are American too.

Re:Bait and Sprint (0)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814182)

The beaverisation of America is getting way out of hand.

Was that a trolling? Frankly we do it because we are comfortable with it as our primary form of communication language. Hence we can jumble it up and it makes perfect sense to each other, and can convey extra meaning if you do it right, thus making it multidimensional. I.E. "rethuglicans", is a good example. It shows how some of us perceive Republicans are thugs; thugs meaning brutish, violent and of low mental capacity. I am sure it might be confusing to someone to whom the language isn't first nature.

Are we trying to be confusing to others on purpose, no. Do we care that we are, no, we seriously don't. Our web dialog can be confusing for even some of us. Things like LOL, or ROFLMAO, or FFS, or STFU aren't understood by some or many. They sometimes just go along with it the best they can, others just bite the bullet and ask what it means. Personally I will bite the bullet and ask you what you mean by "beaverisation"? Was that your try at it? If so, it has to be catchy to someone, not overly cryptic. Like if I were to call Republicans "Republicootyfangs" it sounds kind of retarded, and confusing, down right juvenile in fact. It really doesn't flow with the mood or moment, unless Republicans all came down with bedbugs or something.

Yes, English is the universal language of the world now it seems, for the time being, and we take crazy license with it. Feel free to join our reindeer games.

iPhones seem to herald the end of flat-rate data. (3, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37813986)

Seems like when the iPhone comes, unlimited data always goes despite the baseless concerns on data usage. All this should do is just make people figure out how to make everything look like a smartphone.

Welcome back to yesteryear when everything is nickel-and-dimed, since nobody will provide flat-rate data.

Re:iPhones seem to herald the end of flat-rate dat (3, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814002)

Welcome back to AT&T of yesteryear where douchebag hipsters on their iPhones hog all the bandwidth

Re:iPhones seem to herald the end of flat-rate dat (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814034)

Hook, line and sinker. Bandwidth is there to be used.

Hogging the network is a cop-out.

Re:iPhones seem to herald the end of flat-rate dat (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814068)

But where will we ever get more bandwidth from? Have you seen how hard that stuff is to mine?

Re:iPhones seem to herald the end of flat-rate dat (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814098)

Yeah, I mean, how are we going to build all those tubes? If it were just a dump truck, we would be all set but, alas, we are stuck working with tubes...

Re:iPhones seem to herald the end of flat-rate dat (2)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814238)

You can build as many tubes as you want. Airwaves are a bit more limited, and probably a lot more expensive.

Re:iPhones seem to herald the end of flat-rate dat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814278)

As opposed to douchebag assholes who have nothing better than to complain about the so called hipsters with iPhones?? I have yet to see anybody use the term hipster who isn't just an asshole with nothing to contribute.

You're no better, just some cum stain who thinks he is superior for not having an iPhone.

Go crawl back under your rock.

I'd hate to be a CLWR share holder. (2, Interesting)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37813990)

I wonder what this is going to do to Clearwire's stock price. This is clearly a vote of no confidence in their network capacity.

Re:I'd hate to be a CLWR share holder. (3, Informative)

todrules (882424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814048)

They've already stated that they're ditching Clearwire.

Re:I'd hate to be a CLWR share holder. (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814220)

Goodbye Clearwire, hello LightSquared!

Re:I'd hate to be a CLWR share holder. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814632)

Goodbye Clearwire, hello LightSquared!

Only if Lightsquared's mystical filter can really work at blocking it's signals from GPS. Considering the difference in signal strength (GPS is only about .00000000008w by the time it arrives on earth) I'm not holding my breath. That means bye bye low power sat band hello new money sink buying bandwidth for terrestrial stations. Plus reengineering costs to switch over.

This (1)

jimpop (27817) | more than 2 years ago | (#37813992)

This makes me want to switch to a Sprint smartphone plan.

Re:This (2)

Dracos (107777) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814306)

Out of all the tier 1 US carriers, Sprint's plans are IMO the best. Except for the stupid $10/month "smartphone data" fee, which is bullshit.

Unfortunately I live in the taint of the country, and don't have any hope of actually getting 4G data on my 4G phone until Sprint completes their LTE network vision and I get an LTE capable phone.

Hopefully Gingerbread will finally go OTA this week and make me forget these things.

Re:This (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814364)

In NYC my Sprint 4G smartphone doesn't get 4G hardly anywhere, and outside NYC I have yet to see it get 4G. Much of the time the phone doesn't even get 3G.

Sprint's plans are just about the cheapest, especially for 4G. But you don't get what you don't pay for.

I fully expect LTE to be even worse. Not technologically, but because Sprint has always sucked and reamed its customers, and gradually lowers expectations even more.

Still unlimited for phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814006)

This only applies to "mobile broadband device such as a tablet, netbook, notebook, USB card, connection card or Mobile Hotspot device" and hotspot apps and tethering for phones. Normal smartphone use is still unlimited.

Re:Still unlimited for phones (2)

Macrat (638047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814118)

Normal smartphone use is still unlimited.

For how long?

Re:Still unlimited for phones (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814164)

Until some show-off at Sprint decides it would be funny change a contract all by itself?

Re:Still unlimited for phones (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814176)

The letter I got said different. I have 4 lines, all phones. What bothers me is that I dump my contract, they can charge me a fee, but from the letter I got, they can dump the contract at will. I don't remember seeing that on the contract at all, and the sales person said nothing about it.

just jail brake your phone and make it a hotspot (3, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814018)

just jail brake your phone and make it a hotspot

Let's see how long they allow it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814054)

I think ATT and others have been tracking this and are stopping it for the users that still had unlimited data. I wouldn't be surprised if Sprint does the same. (I have a jailbroken sprint android phone which i use hotspot all the time.)

Tweak the TTL & use a jailbreakable phone. (2)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814166)

The big reason carriers want to lock phones is that you drop off the radar for data usage.

Re:just jail brake your phone and make it a hotspo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814556)

just learn to spell

Title is a bit misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814026)

The title is a bit misleading here - Sprint isn't cutting the Unlimited access they advertise on TV (they specifically show phones in the ads I've seen). The cut is being made to other devices. Not that I like that a whole lot better....

An opportunity to get out of your plan (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814036)

They've made a material change.

Cast your contract into the fires of Mount Doom.

Only there can such evil be unmade.

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (5, Informative)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814110)

Yep. Anytime they change your contract, you can opt out without any penalties what-so-ever. It's the law. Those guys hate it, and certainly will never tell you about it, but it's true.

To repeat: ANY time they alter your agreement/contract, you may cancel it with NO penalties. This is by FEDERAL LAW.

No, I'm not a lawyer, but I've used this little gem myself when a provider decided to screw up things.

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (1)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814292)

Apparently, Verizon doesn't have to abide by 'Federal Law' as they have changed my contract three times in the span of the year I've had it. Every single time I've attempted to cancel it, I've been hit with the 'You will have to pay an ETF to cancel the contract' regardless of -what- change they made.

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (5, Insightful)

theskunkmonkey (839144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814340)

They made an unenforceable threat and you caved instead of calling them out just as they expect. Grow a pair next time and don't let them bullshit you.

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814362)

They made an unenforceable threat and you caved instead of calling them out just as they expect. Grow a pair next time and don't let them bullshit you.

word

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814352)

Dude, they bullshitted you.

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814418)

Anytime they change your contract, you can opt out without any penalties what-so-ever. It's the law.

Without any penalties whatsoever?

Of course having to change provider may be penalty enough in some areas, but let's say you the contract involves a bundle.. i.e. you get Phone X together with Plan Y for the special price of $N/month with a commitment to 2 years. Say they change it after just 6 months. You can cancel - but do you get to keep the phone? Usually not - so wouldn't that also be a penalty? (having to get a new one, re-configure it, etc.)

Yes, you may not have to pay an ETF - but to say it's "without any penalties what-so-ever" is a bit much.

( I guess the product in this particular story is not usually sold bundled, especially not for the devices affected. )

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814512)

Say they change it after just 6 months. You can cancel - but do you get to keep the phone? Usually not - so wouldn't that also be a penalty?

Having to be committed to the plan for the 'free' phone is a term in the contract. Contracts are bidirectional, not unidirectional. If they change it then the old contract is terminated and you have to sign the new one. If you refuse the new contract then they either have to honor the old contract or that's it. Unless you are renting the phone, the phone is yours and when the contract terminates, it stays yours. (There is no obligation that they unlock it for you though, if it only works with their SIMs then you're screwed anyway)

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814636)

Most likely the answer is already written into the contract. Chances are, you'd owe a prorated portion of the early termination fee.

If it isn't currently in the contract, you are permitted to decide your own remedy for their breach of contract. Generally, returning any property and paying prorated service fees is considered reasonable (they are switching at the billing cycle so there should be no prorating). Since the phone is "free" after contract, it is in a bit of a grey area. If you are close to the beginning of the contract, return the phone. If you are close the end, you might want to risk keeping it.

If they decide your remedy is unreasonable they can take it to civil court. If they convince a judge that your remedy was unreasonable, you will owe damages. If your remedy isn't outrageous, it'll typically just be actual damages (like the suggested prorated early termination fee). If your remedy is completely unreasonable, you may face punitive damages too.

Re:An opportunity to get out of your plan (2)

Glendale2x (210533) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814316)

And replace it with who now? Verizon? AT&T? Oh so many wonderful choices.

I don't have 4G reception anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814070)

I ended up moving into a Sprint dead zone anyways. I pay my 4G bill month after month with not a single kilobit of of 4G used.

What about Sprint source? (2)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814076)

I use Sprint at home, and go through quite a bit of data (in both 3G and 4G areas). I checked TFA for a source at Sprint, but it just said the "announcement" was buried in the support pages. Does anyone have a better source than this "article"?

Re:What about Sprint source? (1)

jftitan (736933) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814234)

I am of the same concern. I have long past my two year contract with sprint. Let alone I've been a loyal sprint customer for 12 years.

    My 3G/4G Overdrive modem has gone through 3 batteries within its two years of use, But I've relied on its Unlimited data plan because of my constant traveling. When Sprint began to throttle its 3G speed I was forced to move to 4G, adding the extra 20 bucks a month to add it. I haven't been unsatisfied with the 4G speeds thus far, but this 'announcement' takes the cake.

    Every other company has dropped their unlimited plans, and went with caps, and overcharges. I Seriously WILL leave Sprint if they pull this 'announcement' to the public eye.

    I read the article, because I seriously do rely on the unlimited data part of my mifi data plan. I have no need to use my phone as a hotspot, when I rely on a mifi device to provide internet access to 5 devices. A smartphone will not provide that type of reliable service. ANd Clearwire is a joke. When Sprint is going to dump WiMax for LTE in a few years, I fully expect the 4G/LTE spectrum to be tested for all users. By now all these companies should know what the end user wants/needs/expects from a full speed wireless connection being advertised as the next step solution for cutting the wires.

  If they promote this service in the beginning, and then turn surprised when people use it, Its not the consumers fault the CEOs, and Marketing didn't consult with the Engineers correctly.

    This is just outright show in tell, for how the media industry does not want media provided equally through internet devices. This shit got to stop.

  I'll wait to see what I receive in the mail from sprint. Two months ago, I finally received my letter stating Sprint finally recognizes me as a Gold Premier member (as a loyal customer of 12 years, and monthly billing of 120, etc, etc... only to receive a new letter a week ago saying Sprint will be eliminating that membership program soon. IM FUCKING PISSED, if Unlimited is ended on MiFi devices.

Speeds aren't fast enough anyway. (1)

Crothers (1288120) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814106)

I don't see how they need caps when everyone I know on Sprint in southwest Michigan can't get anymore then 150-250Kbps anyway. They're doing a great job keeping it unlimited by keeping our speeds low. If my phone wasn't paid for by my job I would have ditched them, but I can't seem to justify $100+/mo for a decent provider with the features that are offered to me on my company plan.

Re:Speeds aren't fast enough anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814154)

It sucks that the towers in your area are so dodgy, but you cant blame that on Sprint in general. I have excellent 4G reception, even when im at work. Its good enough to stream netflix videos without any re-buffering. Im getting unlimited, and with the 4g WIFI tether, its not uncommon for me to download over 5gbs in one day, via the hotspot. Point being, just because it sucks for you, doesn't mean it sucks for EVERYONE else..

Re:Speeds aren't fast enough anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37814224)

No you can blame sprint because the deal clearwire and sprint had fell through, so sprints 4g coverage for popular phones like the Evo and Epic is dead in the water. If you currently do not have great 4g coverage (which is barely anywhere) you never will. They are going to go with LTE instead now. They charge me an extra $10 a month for the privilege of using 4g which I will never see, but it's still $50 less than Verizon would charge me for the same plan per month so I put up with it.

Just like with oil... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814170)

We are ever the first to use "it" (whatever "it" is), we roar and soar for a while, and then the monopolies began to form...although since monopolies are now forming that impact the use and spread of information and technology, we are likely to be technology followers from here on out.

Typical carrier garbage (1)

pedrop357 (681672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814216)

What's the rational behind capping one type of use, but not others? If it's network congestion, why does it matter how the network is being congested?

If I manage to download 11GB on my phone is that somehow less stressful on the network then if I downloaded 11GB on my laptop tethered/hotspot(ed) to my phone?

Considering opting out of my contract because of this. That, or maybe push for a discount.

Re:Typical carrier garbage (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814252)

Perhaps they want to push other devices off the network by making them redundant. Why support a stand alone hotspot when most of the phones support the feature?

Re:Typical carrier garbage (1)

dragonsomnolent (978815) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814434)

I think the rationale is that it is somehow "harder" to pull a lot of data through a phone. Why they think this is beyond me, While it may be true that most people don't use their phone as their primary web-surfing device, I know some people who don't have computers, and use their phones exclusively. And with the power of phones these days, I think the rationale is shot to hell

Smartphones Unlimited Until the sales dry out (4, Insightful)

Petersonz (753708) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814228)

What are the odds that after the smartphones, particularly the iPhones, become capped/metered just after sales die down, and the majority of the customers are in a 2 year contract.

Sprint Cost Saving Cuts and Fees (5, Informative)

jmhysong (1560115) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814264)

Sprint has been cutting back on features and raising fees for a while now. It's getting out of hand. They're probably doing it all in an effort to make up for the $28B they paid Apple to sell the iPhone. Here is a list of some of the changes.

* Removal of the Sprint Premiere Membership Program and the removal of all its benefits
* Using your phone as a Mobile Hotspot no longer has unlimited data but is now capped. It still costs the same $30.
* Adding a $10 a month 4g charge to every 4g line on an account regardless of whether you get 4g reception or not. This charge was then expanded to include all smartphones on the Sprint network, even if they weren’t capable of 4g.
* No more Billing to Account.
* An increase in administrative fees per line.
* Raising the Early Termination Fee on an account by $150 to $350 for each phone line.
* Changing the arbitration rules for settling customer disputes in a way that heavily favors Sprint.
* Stopping people from leaving Sprint because of the arbitration changes without being charged the ETF, even though Federal Courts have ruled that changes in arbitration rules are a material change in the contract.
* Eliminating unlimited 4g data from it’s Mobile Broadband plans.
* Dropping WIMAX for their new LTE 4g network. This not only means that if you do not have 4g currently, you will never have it for your current 4g phone but also that all Sprint 4g phones being sold today, even if you are within a current 4g area, will stop operating as 4g at the end of next year because they will not work on Sprint’s new network.

Sprint sucks.

Re:Sprint Cost Saving Cuts and Fees (1)

kodiaktau (2351664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814280)

Really - I hate Sprint. It used to be the best company but as you mentioned they have thrown out all of the differentiators. The business lost its focus on customers and superior service. I am thinking that throw-away phones might be a better solution when my contracts come up.

Re:Sprint Cost Saving Cuts and Fees (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814432)

Sprint is TRYING to die, and TRYING to get bought out by either AT&T or VZ. That is the ONLY conclusion I have to the boneheaded moves by the #3 player. It is almost like Sprint is saying "we suck more than the other guys". I used to be with Sprint, left them years ago, and I am so glad I did.

More proof... (1)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814304)

That abandoning cellphones as a primary method of cost-effective communication is a great idea. NetTalk/Ooma. $35 a year, landline service.You can just damn well wait till I can check my email/phone log at -home- . Beats the $250 a month for the absolute 'bare minimum' plans that Verizon will allow for two cellphone lines.

Limited 4G Smartphone Coverage (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814318)

Sprint 4G to smartphones has always been limited by the really crappy 4G coverage. Even in NYC I hardly ever get a 4G signal. It seems like even a 7 storey apartment building is enough to block 4G.

Any way you look at it, "unlimited" 4G has been a scam from Sprint.

And why does Sprint get to unilaterally delete features from its contract? What's the point of a contract then, except to force the consumer to pay and take Sprint's abuse?

Good-bye sprint? (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814328)

Well some of us have what they call grandfathered data plans. I have $59 per month unlimited plan on my data card which I signed up for about 4 years ago. They stopped offering that 2 years ago but my plan keeps going despite contract being ended a while ago. If this limit applies to the likes of me, it will be good-bye sprint.

Getting tired of being nickel and dimed... (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814374)

And T-Mo just cut off tethering for their smartphones, unless you want to pay another $15/month. Seriously, getting to the point to finding $100/month a little ridiculous (and I only use around 1gb/month in data with tethering).

Maybe I should just go back to POTS. Leave me a fucking message on my answering machine.

Re:Getting tired of being nickel and dimed... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814386)

Even if you have an old plan?

I thought they applied that only to new plans, and only if you weren't smart enough to tweak TTL and such.

Re:Getting tired of being nickel and dimed... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814504)

How do you cut off tethering on an unlocked smartphone?

They don't need new customers anymore (2)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814440)

Competition is drying up faster than Lake Meade!

cheaper NFL jersey (0)

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I Wish They'd Bring 4G Into My Area (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#37814590)

So they could cut it. I was thinking of writing an "Sprint Android 4g Enabler" app that just turns on and says "Searching for network" and then "Couldn't find network", which is all Sprint's 4g button has ever done on my phone. Assuming I can get any coverage at all, which is pretty hit or miss. Seems like we need a better solution...
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