Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sprint cancels "unlimited"

WARNING:  don't buy anything from Sprint

I have had a Sprint cell phone account for many years, at least 10 years or more.  I am considered a "preferred" customer.  I have 4 phones and a mobile hotspot on my plan.

I was notified today, that at the beginning of my next billing cycle, they would no longer offer unlimited data.

I purchased an iPhone less than 6 months ago. I purchased it because of the unlimited service.

They advertised on TV and the radio that they had the only "true" unlimited iPhone data service plan.

The location I am living/working is "roaming" with Sprint, all of my internet and data services have been unlimited on the iPhone.  I have not been using the Sierra Wireless Hotspot because the data plan on that is not unlimited when roaming.  I used up the roaming allowance on that unit after 3 days at Mesa Verde.

Currently my roaming is unlimited, soon they will limit my roaming to 307,000 kb and I will get 5g in the Sprint service areas. 5g is more than enough if I am not "roaming".

I checked my account today, from May 25th to today, I have used 1,233,970 kb while roaming.  I do not want to pay extra $$ per kb.

I don't know when I will be in the Sprint service area again, I am contracted to work here until October 26th.  I plan to work at other National Parks or to volunteer at Wildlife Refuges.  I don't think Sprint will have any service in these areas.  

My main problem with this is that they are limited the "roaming", its not my fault they have not added more towers or whatever.

Let them change contracts for new service or new customers, I should be allowed to keep my current service as long as I have a contract with them.  They can change their end of the contract but I can't change it on my end.  Totally UNFAIR!!!

I called customer service today and the first person I talked to looked at my account and said its unlimited. I told her I know its unlimited today - but what about after June 24th - she was not aware of the new policy.

I asked to be transferred, the Supervisor told me I could send my iPhone back to them and they would cancel everything without a penalty to my contract, since I am now living outside of their service area. I have to fax her proof that I am living here - guess I need a "note from my mommy" to prove that I am here.

I laughed at her, I said you want me to send you the iPhone that I paid for, it was not a "free" promotional phone.

I have just composed a letter to the CEO of Sprint, I will wait and see if I get a response before my next billing cycle, which starts on June 24th. 

I have to replace my wireless hotspot, I am sending it back to get out of that contract. I have never  been happy with that piece of garbage.  That is why I started using the iPhone as a "hotspot".

Any and all information about what you are using for internet will be appreciated.

AT&T is supposed to work here. I can probably switch my iPhone to AT&T or keep my cell phone and just buy one of those "mi-fi" things to replace the one I am returning.


  1. It seem internet conections are a big problem for full time RVers. Makes you feel like you live in a third world country. But wait, they all have cell phones don't they...

  2. For the best information on internet and phone services ... go to the blog

    And yes ... it sucks

    I was grandfathered in AT&T for my unlimited data package.

  3. Call Verizon - they have the best coverage, and so far unlimited coverage, which is going to change this year. See if you can get a 2-year contract with the unlimited data.

    My 2-year contract is up in December, and I sure hope I'll be grandfathered in. I'll happily sign up for another two years if that's what I have to do. I'll stay with them anyway because of their coverage.

    This change is a real pain in the neck for us RVers. I use my phone as a hotspot, and the unlimited data is really nice. I'll sure miss it if they take it away. Or I'll have a very expensive phone bill. Or, I guess, I'll read a lot more!

    Good luck - let us know what you find out and end up doing.

  4. Maddening, isn't it.

    Have you ever looked at They use the big carriers' towers but charge much less for monthly data, and they don't charge taxes or any hidden fees. Their unlimited data plan ($70/month) uses the Sprint network, I believe. I know their 20GB plan (either $60 or $70/month depending on device) uses Verizon, which is important for us in our travels because they have the best coverage.

    I'm currently grandfathered in on Verizon's unlimited plan but fully expect that to go away in the near future. We'll be moving to millenicom's 20GB plan. No new Verizon customers can get the unlimited data plan.

  5. we used the trac phone system during our winter in fl, ms, and various other areas in the US...I think they have some good plans..I was on prepaid and everytime I bought minutes they doubled for sucks when these carriers use 'unlimited' promotions to hook the customer then fall back on the contract..I think I'd fight this like you are doing...good luck...please keep us updated..

  6. In the winter I pay an additional $20 to Verizon for a 2GB hotspot and when I go over, always, have to pay another $20 for each additional GB. On top of that I was dropped constantly last winter, but not the one before. At the canyon I have to have a landline phone and DSL because the cell won't work under the pines where I live.
    I met a guy towing a Casita in the campground that has a booster antennae called a "Wilson" which I haven't checked into yet. My Verizon contract, up in Oct, does give me unlimited data on the phone but that qwerty board drives me crazy. Hope you can fight Sprint on this. Keep us posted.

  7. Dave and I have Verizon service. I used to use PDAnet to get internet. When our phones got updated, PDAnet went away, so now we use FoxFi which turns our phones into a hotspot without a monthly fee to Verizon. We only use it when wifi isn't available.

  8. Teri,
    I have never liked Sprint, my kids had it and they alwasy got charged for things they didn't even have or they change the plans all the time. Like you mentioned they can do it but not the customer. I don't like Verizon either but I had no choice after I canceled my home phone service. I use Straight Talk for my cell phone. Yes it is run by Verizon but it is unlimited everything and with tx. comes to $50. It can also be used for internet but I never bothered with that. All these iphones and Ipads are to much for me. I just like it simple. Good Luck.
    BTW Straight talk can be purchased from Walmart. I have had it for 3 yrs.

  9. It must be bed time.
    I have Mifi its just ok. Up here I have free wifi so I don't even use the Verizon.

  10. Hi Teri:
    Lots of good suggestions here. Being a part-time "full-timer" and working from the road for the past few years, I've had both AT&T and Verizon. I skipped Sprint after reading the fine print about their 300mb roaming cap (that's only about 1 day of my bandwidth needs when working!). A really helpful iPhone app that the Tecnomadia folks created is called "Coverage?" and shows overlay maps for each of the major carriers so you can easily compare who has the better coverage in areas you're interested in traveling to. The differences (particularly west of the Mississippi) are striking-- AT&T, Sprint, and TMobile offer their "3G or faster" coverage only in major metro areas. AT&T's range is a bit more than the other two, but if you venture off the beaten path too much, AT&T only offers their old "Edge" service (i.e. dog S-L-O-Wer than 3G). The only carrier than provides 3G speeds across the largest rural areas is Verizon.

    I used to have an AT&T iPhone and a Verizon Mifi. Time and time again, I'd find myself in an AT&T dead zone or with slow Edge-only service, and in just about every instance, when I turned on my Mifi, I'd get a faster 3G signal. So, when my iPhone contract was up w/AT&T, I moved to a Verizon iPhone and have been very pleased (no dropped calls either!).

    Millenicom is a great solution if you think you'll need more than the standard 5GB/mo that Verizon offers. They re-sell various carrier plans, so chat w/them first to confirm which carrier applies to each plan. While they don't require a 2-yr contract, they do make you pay a bit more for your device.

    You might also look at a Wilson booster if you plan to be parked in coverage "fringe" areas a lot. Here's a post I did about my Wilson set up:

    If Sprint doesn't offer to buy your phone back, you might see if they'll let you cancel the contract without giving them the phone-- there are a couple of online electronics recyclers that will buy back newer iPhones (and market is good on eBay and Craigslist too). It might come out cheaper than paying roaming fees each month.

    A final option might be to keep Sprint as a minimal "phone only" plan and then move to a Verizon or Millenicom data plan and let your iPhone (or laptop) connect to that via Wifi. A Mifi device would be the easiest option if you go that route.

    It really stinks that carriers can change their contract terms on a whim. Hope everything works out for you and you find a better solution.

  11. I think this is why I have never gone to the smart phone stuff etc...not that I really need it because I don't travel as much. Every thing is going to be outrageously expensive and we will think "Oh I can't do without it" etc....In fact I just got a cell phone last year for my birthday present from my niece...she had to beg the guy to go to the back room to find a simple flip flop phone..ha!..she knows her auntie well. Anyway,,,I learned a lot from this post and all the comments..

  12. I have been with Sprint for six years, and the air card has worked at all of the NWRs I've volunteered at except one on the Outer Banks of NC. I do have a Wilson amplifier and antenna however.

    Right at the moment I have unlimited roaming, but I guess that will change soon. I've only had to use roaming once or twice for brief periods of time.

  13. Verizon has very good coverage, you might see what they have to offer. I hate it when you have a good set up and then everything changes!

  14. If you already have a contract for unlimited roaming I don't see how how they can that until the contract expires. Maybe it is just for new service??? I would certainly ask the question. You are penalized if you break a contract before the expiration date...that works both ways.


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