It's simple. The big three (ATT, Verizon and Sprint) offer premium plans with premium services. Although "everyman" seems to foolishly buy them, IMO, these plans are priced well beyond the means of your average consumer.
If you cannot afford a premium plan, don't care to pay for a premium plan, or don't need the premium services, then a prepaid (off contract) plan is the way to go. Prepaid plans use the same "big three" networks, but they do not offer the premium services (e.g., roaming, free minutes, unlimited texts/data, unlimited services, convenience extras, free or discounted phones).
I guess it's too late for you now, but if you were to buy an unsubsidized smartphone from Virgin Mobile, there's a smartphone voice and data plan which runs on the Sprint network (same one) for $30 to $35/mo. But there aren't any premium services included (i.e., limitations on voice and texting, data and roaming caps, limited "extra" customer services, and no subsidized phones).
Sadly, the forum users endlessly complaining about money, bills, and prices either cannot afford a premium plan (i.e., it's unreasonable considering budget and income) or don't know what other options are available. A few users are located in areas where service (signal and/or bandwidth) is poor.
It's really unfortunate you got sucked into this, especially when your plan far exceeds your needs. I'd downgrade to a flip phone and get an iPod Touch to carry me over, then get on prepaid. Live and learn…
Choosing a carrier is a choice. A choice a customer has to willingly make, not something they get 'stuck' with.
Premium data is not a scam, all carriers are charging more for the data portion -- whether or not it's as an add-on fee or a package or a shared package -- it's being charged just the same no matter the carrier. In Sprint's case, the pricing is generally still less than others as in my example above. It's also unlimited, yes 3G for most of you, Wimax 4G for some, and 2013 4G LTE for most.
Each carrier has different credit approval acceptance standards and they are also raised or lowered over time. VZW/ATT have generally had more stringent approvals and require higher deposits for lower credit customers, or no approval at all. Sprint has traditionally had a good approval standard for lower credit customers. The ASL when it came out, allowed lower credit customers to still choose any plan and any phone and gave them a limit on their account balance and the option to 'graduate' from ASL with good payment history -- this limited Sprint's risk. The ASL fee came out of, I'm sure, a way to try to get better payment collection from the ASL base. Sprint like any company was looking at ways to be more financially responsible, including taking away bill to account (bta) on most consumer accounts. I'm glad Sprint gave a way to opt out of the fee with auto pay. And of course as mentioned in the forums there is prob another way to get around it creatively so you can still make your own one time payments each month without the ASL fee and auto pay.
Not saying ASL customers don't pay on time, even high end credit customers sometimes wait for that 'pay your bill' text every month.
And really, an admin fee comparison. lol.
And ATT/VZW are the real gougers over the years and nickel/dimers, prone to want 'closed' systems and more control. Nothing wrong with that, just a diff carrier strategy that sometimes the big 2 can afford. It is in Sprint's best interest as 3rd largest, to be as customer friendly as possible.
You're paying an extra $10 for "Premium Data" which is a scam. My guess is you're paying an ASL fee, if you're not allowing Sprint to suck the money out of your account automatically, and Sprint's admin fee is $1.50 when every other carrier that charges it charges $.99.
Sprint doesn't have many customers compared to VZW and ATT, so they need to gouge you for every penny they can get.
Hi Superpowers335, thanks for reaching out to us. I completely understand your standpoint regarding your monthly service charges. Although you may not use all the features that come with your plan, you pay for always having access to those features. Also keep in mind that you have the Any Mobile Anytime feature. This feature allows you unlimited talk with other cells phones (incoming or outgoing) while on our network. This sometimes is easy to miss when reviewing how many minutes you've actually used.
If you feel you can downgrade to a basic phone, we may have a more cost effective plan for you. Please visit this part of our site for plans: http://shop.sprint.com/mysprint/shop/plan/plan_wal
If you need to see if you qualify for a discount based on your employment, please visit this site: http://mysprint.sprint.com/verify/?ECID=vanity:ver
We do appreciate your continued patronage with Sprint. Please post if you have any other questions or concerns.
Sprint Social Care Team
Become a "VIP" or work for a company that Sprint is the handler on their phone network .
I know it sucks. Though if Sprint finally brings LTE to Las Vegas, I woudn't be nagging about the prices, if its all about
"data". Though i have horrible service even at home, when i have a sprint store a street away. w.t.f. I should call sprint and nag at them for so many dropped calls, and roaming, ive' gotten.
It's not about minutes. It's not about texts. It's about data; and it's about all of it together in one premium package that the carriers can still charge. Prepaid is less -- there are pros and cons, many different prepaid strategies being played out in the market right now -- they are slowly getting better.
Postpaid is still great though. And Sprint is the better value most of the time.
One example pictured.
Also, do you get a discount on your Sprint service monthly?
My bill comes to around $95 per month. There's just no reason it should be so expensive. It wasn't close to being this bad when I first signed up. My "plan" is $69.99, but of course you're required to have premium data if you've got a smartphone (which was expensive enough to purchase as it is) so that's $79.99. By the time they're done factoring in taxes and the insurance, it's almost $100 per month. I don't even use close to 450 minutes per month but of course I can't get less minutes for a reduced price. In fact recently they added a "300 extra bonus minutes" and that doesn't even include free nights and weekends and free mobile to mobile. I don't even 300 texts per month but of course my only option is a plan with unlimited minutes. Everyone seems to think I'm crazy for paying this much a month on a phone and my bill's been slowly getting higher since I originally signed up.