Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions.
I mailed my letter to the CEO of Sprint on Wednesday morning and will not make any changes until I hear back from them or until June 24th, when the coverage changes.
I signed up for an Unlimited Plan including Unlimited Roaming with Sprint. I have asked them to allow me to keep that plan for the duration of the 2 year contract.
I have asked them to "offer" me a new plan at the end of my contract. Not to force changes on me.
Maybe, I want too much. Maybe I use the internet too much. Am I addicted to the internet?
Do I need to walk away and turn off the computer, and go back to reading books. Or do some sewing or some other hobbies.
I am not going to allow these companies to change the way I travel, I will figure out a way to work around it - without paying anymore per month than I am already. I have decided that I will change my internet usage habits rather than change when and where I travel. I am not going to avoid areas that have poor or non-existent internet or cell service. There are many RV bloggers that only use "free" internet - at McDonald's or in a hotel parking lot or a Visitors Centers, etc. Maybe I will do that.
I am hoping to spend a year or more in Alaska, I will check into what types of cell and internet services are available there. This will be a major deciding factor in what service I decide to go with.
I traveled with a small, very old flip phone until I purchased the iPhone in December 2011. In April 2011, I purchased Sprints hotspot, 2 days before I left to pick up my RV in Florida.
As a solo woman traveler, I feel I need to be connected to the rest of the world. I want a service that will allow me to call someone, correspond with others online, check directions, find a place to stay, find a repair service, if necessary, etc. I have even considered having "OnStar" installed on the RV, for emergency phone service only, so this will not solve the internet issues. I am really thinking about adding "OnStar" and since this has a monthly service fee, I can cut back on my internet plan and still not spend more per month. I want the security of knowing I can contact someone, if I need to - this is more important to me than having instant access to the internet.
I have considered a "satellite" phone. I have looked into a satellite dish for internet service, only. I do not own a TV, I do not download TV shows or movies with the internet. That is not what I am using the hotspot for.
If I get a satellite system, it will have to be one of those "domes" mounted on top of the RV, I don't have the patience for setting up tripods and wires and all of that stuff. If I had to do that, I would never take the dish out of storage (and I don't have anywhere to store it in a 24' motor home with no tow vehicle).
I thought the iPhone would be my solution to staying connected. When I am traveling, it is easy to use the iPhone when I pull into a parking lot or a scenic pull-out to look for directions to a campground, grocery store, gas station, etc, rather than setting up the laptop. I do not have a co-pilot sitting next to me, who is using a laptop and reading directions, etc. for me.
I rarely use the "phone" part of the plan I have. I usually "text" (currently unlimited). I don't use anywhere near the allowable number of phone minutes on my plan.
My entire argument with Sprint is with the internet service, with what they call "data" service - since I have an iPhone - the data service kicks in whenever I check the weather, check for emails, or use an "app".
The email they sent states that, when not using it, I should turn off all data services and turn off the phone or it will continue to count towards the amount of data that I am allowed per month.
The problem is that the cell phone companies promise you anything and everything and then don't deliver.
Or, they change the plan - whenever they want. I know there is fine print on the contracts, but I don't feel they should be able to change things whenever they want - and hold me to a 2 year contract. I did not want to deal with 2 different companies, as long as Sprint was offering "unlimited" roaming, I stayed with them. I could have purchased my iPhone through AT&T or Verizon and waited for the contracts on my other phones and devices to run out, then switch over. I was hoping things would be simpler keeping it all with one company. I read an interesting article today (see below) about many people switching companies when the data plans are not available to them.
Maybe I should go with a prepaid plan, Sprint states these are better for data users.
June 5, 2012, 12:38 p.m. EDT
It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb