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Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up

NINJAMUNKY Regular Visitor
Currently Being Moderated

I signed the "Everything Messaging" Plan back in March because Sprint had a good price and offered me a discount through my employer.  Picture messaging is not a huge deal to me, but it was kind of a nice perk of the plan... or so I thought.

 

The first month went fine.  The bill didn't reflect my discount, but I had been told that that could take up to three cycles to reflect, so I didn't make it an issue.

 

The second month I got charged for ~3,000kb of casual data usage at ¢3/kb which amounted to about $75 in extra costs.  I called up Sprint and disputed the charge, thinking it was some firmware that I was prompted to download, which the phone needs to operate.  I had also sent one picture message, but I didn't think it was that...  Now, my second-to-last bill had another charge on it, which was about the same.  I went into my local Sprint store and began to explain my problem and the girl knew exactly what I was saying before I even finished.

 

Apparently, the "Everything Messaging" Plan includes "Unlimited nationwide, text, picture and video messaging to anyone on any network."  However, here's the kicker, it doesn't include data.  When I try to add an attachment, the NetGuard even asks me if it can connect to Sprint's Data Services...  So how are you supposed to send "unlimited" pictures and video without data?

 

To further my frustration, I called Sprint Customer Service.  The first guy was great (I think he was in Finance), but then he forwarded me to another department (which I believe was the actual Customer Service).  I spoke to the next person on the line and she didn't seem to get the issue.  She tried to tell me what someone must have sent me a message and I "clicked a link" and browsed the internet to see the picture, which was completely false.  I sent and received messages to and from my inbox, no internet involved.  So I got to her supervisor and this guy tried to tell me the same thing.  He was insistent on not understanding.  In fact, I felt like they were just trying to shoe me away with that "you must have clicked a link" nonsense.  So I went to his supervisor and after a few more minutes, she just told me that since they had already done a courtesy adjustment, they would not do another.  I even told her that I was going to break the contract and go elsewhere, which I am still going to do as fast as possible, and that didn't even phase her.  So after using 45 of my 450 minutes, I got nowhere with Sprint Customer Service.

 

None of these people tried to help or understand the situation, save the first one.  In fact, they missed the issue entirely, and just tried to up-sell me to the "Everything Data" Plan.  It's not even like I care about picture messaging, but if it's in the plan, it should be in the plan.

 

This plan sucks, your "Customer Service" sucks, and Sprint, you suck!

  • 1. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    GUERILLASTEW Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    If I am not mistaken Everything Messaging applies only to sending and recieving texts but only recieving picture mail. I got hooked by the same trap a couple of years ago before I upgraded to a web browsing phone.
    If you send picture mail it requires an Everything Data Plan to avoid the charges per kb.Sorry you got burned by the fine print,

  • 2. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    allikona Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    You can "receive" the picture mail for free online when you access your account...however, if you try to view your unlimited picture messaging on your phone, you also get charged for data usage. I was told by a Sprint employee in a Sprint store that this is the case because the company considers you to be taking the extra step and "downloading" the images to your phone. I agree their policy and services are ********! I'm actually right now trying to view my picutres online and can't get in b/c they have the wrong number now listed as the main one on my account. Wonderful. I never had problems with Sprint until they merged with Nextel by the way....

  • 3. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    MPSuperAgent Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    I had this problem as well, and whole heartedly agree that Sprint customer service is wretched. However, once I went to the Picture Mail website (to get to it, I have to google "Sprint Picture Mail website" since I can't find a link, but maybe I'm just blind) and registered there things changed. I still see the casual data charges appear for a day, maybe less then they just merged in as additional text messages. I think that Sprint neglects to mention that to not be charged for the KB usage you have to use their Picture Mail website as a buffer. I hope this helps.

  • 4. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    allikona Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thank you!!! You just helped me see the 1st pictures of my new nephew! I tried getting to the site through my sprint account and they had my secondary phone number in there. I tried it your way and no problems at all! Thanks again.

  • 5. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    NINJAMUNKY Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    Well, apparently they throw around the terms "picture messaging" and "picture mail" with little or no discretion... if not interchangeably.  If you see the attached description of the plan, it says "picture messaging" which to me, and I would even say anyone else on any network, means phone-to-phone.  I could see how "picture mail" could be reserved to mean an online storage site, which I have seen by the way and I do believe it's a piece of ****.

     

    The issue remains.  Upon signing up, I was promised picture MESSAGING, not some half-assed website.  The proof is in the specs of the plan.  I think that they should either make good with their customers (yeah, that's not going to happen), or else just take it out of the specs, or put an asterisk at the least and change it to unlimited picture MAIL and additionally explain the ****** website.

  • 6. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    Levi4u Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    Sprint Clears Up 'Unlimited Messaging' Confusion

     

    Sprint's Everything Messaging plans include unlimited text, picture and video messaging at no additional charge. With these plans, there are no charges for data usage associated with using picture or video messaging. However, it has come to our attention that a few customers have received charges for data usage that may be related to picture messaging. Sprint is investigating these situations and in most cases has found that the data charges are being billed for other data usage, such as checking email, downloading ringtones or visiting Web sites. In a very small number of cases, charges of 4 to 9 cents per message are mistakenly being billed to the customer. Sprint is conducting testing to fix this issue for those customers affected. Customers on Everything Messaging plans who feel they have been mistakenly charged for sending or receiving picture or video messages should immediately report the issue to Sprint Customer Care at 1-800-Sprint1 in order for their usage history to be researched

     

    -------------------------------------------------------

    http://support.sprint.com/support/article/Know_if_you_will_be_charged_for_using_Picture_Mail/case-wh164052-20091218-170107

    -------------------------------------------------------

     

    Picture Mail Options (Included) Will not incure charges.

    Picture Mail Phone Menu Options

    1. Take a picture from the phone.
    2. Select Options.
    3. Select a contact name, phone number, or e-mail address to send the picture.

    Picture Mail Text

    1. Text message notification 'You have new Sprint Picture Mail'.
    2. Select the message.
    3. Open the link in the message to view the picture on the Picture Mail server.

    Upload to Sprint Picture Mail Web Site

    • Picture Mail plan users only.
    1. Select Picture Mail option on the phone.
    2. Upload the picture from the phone to an album.

    Post to Service Menu Option

    1. Access Picture Mail on the phone.
    2. Choose Post to Service.
    3. Select a Web site type such as Facebook orMyspace.
    4. Continue with posting pictures.

     

    Data Usage Options (Not Included with PictureMail) Will incure charges.

    Compose e-mail with Picture Attachment

    1. Compose an e-mail from the internet web browser or e-mail application on the phone. (AOL, hotmail, Yahoo!, etc).
    2. Attach a picture from the phone.
    3. Send.

    Pictures Using the Web Browser

    1. Access the Web browser on the phone.
    2. Locate Web pages such as social network sites like Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, and PhotoBucket.
    3. Log in to the Web page (if required).
    4. Post, view, make comments, or download pictures to the phone.

    Web Browser to Find Pictures

    1. Access the phone Web browser.
    2. Type a URL or select an option such as google.com.
    3. Search the Web site for pictures.

    Downloading/Viewing a Picture Using Web Browser

    1. Access the Web browser on the phone.
    2. Type a URL or select Digital Lounge.
    3. Locate the picture.
    4. Download the image and agree to any download charges that may apply.

    Downloading a Picture from Text Message

    1. Access the standard text message (not notified as Picture Mail).
    2. Select the included URL.
    3. Purchase and download the picture from the Web site.
  • 7. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    123louisev Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    I just used the chat feature to try to clear this up.  Now I find this message and I'm so confused about the whole thing.  Again!!!

     

    I have an Everything Messaging Plan.  The "chat person" told me I could only send/receive pictures via SMS (Short Message Service) without incurring a charge. There is a limit to the picture size I can send using this system.  If the picture is too big (using too many kb's), it would have to be sent/received via picture mail and would incur a data charge.

     

    I was very clearly told I would get charged for sending a picture mail because it uses data. Now the article says there is no charge to "Send a picture to a contact's phone number or e-mail address using Picture Mail". So which one is right?????? I don't want to experiment because that might end up costing me a lot of money!

     

    I would just like to be able to use the features advertised for my plan without having to pay extra!

  • 8. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    NINJAMUNKY Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    This still doesn't make sense... it says unlimited picture messaging.  And yes, I recall, during last month's bill I did get a picture message from someone on AT&T and I viewed it.  But the features of the plan say "unlimited picture messaging to anyone on any network."  They don't explain this convoluted system of do's and don'ts.  I have yet to pay my bill and my phone service has been shut off which is a minor inconvenience, but I just tried to send a picture and it was working.  I cancelled it for fear of getting more charges.  I am able to add pictures as attachments to text messages, but that's the only way that my phone lets me send pictures at all, no picture mail menu or whatever.

     

    This is pretty messed up. I filed a complaint with the FCC like another guy did who went through the same run-around.  Hopefully Sprint contacts me soon about that.  We'll see.

  • 9. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    NINJAMUNKY Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    I have the Sanyo Incognito (SCP-6760)... and it does not have picture mail on it. I found this list of compatible phones and it does not appear on it.

     

    http://shop.sprint.com/en/services/power_vision/picture_mail.shtml (at the bottom)

     

     

    Sanyo
    3100
    3200
    5600
    6750
    7400
    7500
    8300
    8400
    9000
    Katana®
    Katana® II
    Katana® DLX
    M1
    Pro 200
    Pro 700
    SCP-3800


  • 10. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    thevillesprints Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    I've been having the exact same problems.  I've spoken with several people on the phone and I've been to 2 stores.  Everyone on the phone and 1 store told me that picture messaging is included in the Everything Messaging plan and that there is a way to decipher if data is being used for browsing or picture messaging.  They tell me that the data i'm using has not been related to the picture messaging but that I'm accessing the browser, which is completely false.  The first store was extremely nice and helpful.  They understood my problem and were confused as to why I was being charged.  They agreed I should not be charged and they ran tests on my phone to try and see what was going on.  They came up with nothing and concluded that the only way to prevent the charges was to block data, which also means blocking picture messaging.  The second store was not helpful at all and basically told me that picture messaging means I can upload to sprint.com and then email it from there, not send it to another phone.  They said they can't do anything and looked at me like I was crazy, so I told them it doesn't make sense and I politely left. I've had them research my account and they came up with nothing.  No one seems to know what is going on and I hear different things from everyone I speak to.  I've been told I can get a discounted price on adding unlimited data to my phone, but to me that would be pointless because I would only use it for picture messaging which should be included as it is.  I've also been given the "you clicked a link" talk several times and I know that is false as well.  I'm very frustrated with Sprint right now and really just want an official answer from someone who actually knows what is going on and what really is included in my plan and I want to stop being charged for data that I am not knowingly accessing.       

  • 11. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    NINJAMUNKY Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    paulamark,

     

    I filed with the FCC, like another guy on these forums and shortly after I got a letter saying they were looking into it.

     

    I talked with someone on chat and it didn't work in my first browser, Google Chrome (The agent was sending messages but I could not reply - POS chat), so I used Internet Explorer. He was just like a clone from on the phone, all the same lines, and then he ended the chat VERY abruptly. I didn't even know that he had responded to my last message until I was e-mailed the transcript. I blasted him on my survey afterward, answering all things with "no" or "very unsatisfied."

     

    So, I resorted to e-mail. I'm keeping a file, which includes screenshots and links to the pages that explain the specs of the plan, and I also noticed my Sanyo Incognito is not listed as PictureMail capable (which is the service they tried to tell you to use). Here is a list of compatible phones:

     

    http://shop.sprint.com/en/stores/popups/picture_mail_phones_popup.shtml

     

    Essentially, if yours is not on there, you MUST attach the picture to a text. I know no other way.

     

    The e-mailing has been going very much like everything else, the same lines, abruptly "solving" the problem and then just pushing the customer satisfaction survey without the rep ensuring that you're actually satisfied and your problem is actually solved. Plus, I received responses back from 4 different people, which was absolutely frustrating since I basically had to re-establish the situation for each new person every time. I asked explicitly what the charge was on my June invoice for nearly 3MB of data and the rep could no tell me, other than that it was accessed through the "Vision Software" or whatever - that I had been on the internet or downloaded a ringtone, again false.

     

    Anyway. I looked at my account details and took a screenshot. Somehow, I guess when I updated my phones PRL (which should be free), I accumulated $7 of charges... but I sent myself a picture that is 320kb in size and I've been looking for that to show up and it has yet to show up. Going to do some more logical testing, like the guy who filed the complaint with the FCC did, by sending and receiving messages of known size and times.

     

    I hate Sprint and I've been on it for less than 6 months. Invalid fees and penalties, horrible and pushy customer service. I'm ready to beat someone's head in over this. I want to see about opting out of the "spending limit" charge each month, but not with this **** going on.

  • 12. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    MADCAPMAGICIAN1 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    So I guess my question would be why wouldn't you simply upgrade or switch to an unlimited data plan. We have been with Sprint for years, I have checked competitors prices several times and no one can beat them. We have a three lines on a shared family data plan, which allows UNLIMITED texting, picture messages and DATA of all types (picture mail, internet browsing, etc) and we pay less than $150 a month for all three lines.

  • 13. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    NINJAMUNKY Regular Visitor
    Currently Being Moderated

    Actually, I've been monitoring my account for a few days and I have sent two picture messages spread apart by a couple of days each and no charges have shown up. Now I'm especially confused. I'm not stupid, I didn't go on the internet. So I don't know where these charges came from exactly.

     

    I would love to have the Everything Data plan. At the time that I signed up I didn't have a lot of money and this was supposed to be about equivalent in price to my old carrier's plan but with more features (picture messaging included). Problem is, if I'm going to spring for that extra couple of bucks each month, I'd rather have something that I could actually get the full use out of the internet, like an HTC Hero. And at this point I'd be paying full price for one out-of-contract.

     

    I don't know. I'll be keeping an eye on my account and possibly soon just be upgrading to the next plan. Still not happy about those charges and how I was treated by customer service.

  • 14. Re: Had I known, I wouldn't have signed up
    vanhalen2004 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

    I completely agree with you.  I thought the same thing you did when I signed up for this plan.  To me "unlimited" is what that means...unlimited!!  I am always afraid of getting socked with a bill so when I first got the plan a year ago....I sent a couple of pics and me too....I had to pay to send them.  Because you can not send them w/o connecting to the internet....which means, of course, having to have data.  When I saw I was chgd for sending two pictures, I asked them also why.

     

    So, yes, it is VERY misleading.  Finally after a year, I switched to Everything Data...ONLY because I wanted to get my two teenage sons some phones.  I could not add them to my plan so had to change to a different plan.  I get an employee discount also from my employer.

     

    All I can say is....I feel for ya man!!!

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