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DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

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Journeyman

DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

I thought it was a great idea to use this device in lieu of my usual cable internet.  BAD IDEA.  Even though I have good 4G coverage in my area, the Overdrive keeps dropping the signal and NOT reconnecting until I remove the battery and reboot the device.  It has been a very frustrating period!  I have called Tech Support and followed their instruction.  The device has not lived up to its billeting.  Of course, this happens when I am in 4G only mode.

When I switch to 4G Preferred mode, the device is allowed to switch to 3G which it does quite often WITHOUT switching back to 4G...until I reset the device.  Why does it switch in the first place with a strong 4G signal?  Why won't it switch back until it is reset?

My belief is that this is a money generating scheme.  Users of 3G through the Overdrive are capped at 5GB per billing cycle while 4G is unlimited.  So, as cost conscious users, we go to 4G only mode which is unreliable (through the Overdrive only since my 4G phone keeps on rolling in the same spot at the same time).  In order to get seamless connection, the device has to be allowed to switch to 3G.  The user (most times) will be unaware of it and as a result, keeps on using the data stream.  This racks up your 3G data usage and once over the 5GB limit, Sprint will skewer you right in the wallet.  Terrible business practice.

I figured it out too late.  3 days over the 30 day period.  I am stuck with the decive, trying to figure out how to make it work, and the $60 per month charge for spotty performance.  Swell.  Stick with good ole Cable internet.  It will save you frustration and money!  Cheers!

38 REPLIES 38
Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

I also had mixed feelings when I "upgraded" to the Overdrive. It's been a rocky relationship. A few months ago, there was a firmware update for the Overdrive that resolved a lot of it's problems.  For example it now consumes less power, it operates cooler, turns-off when it's supposed to, etc.

So make sure that you're running with the latest software. From the Advanced Settings page, Device tab, Basic page, click on "Check for updates now". Hopefully the update will reduce your hate of the device some.

Good luck.

Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

That is helpful.  I have run all the updates and the device has the most up to date software.  No change.  I will just have to suffer until I make more money to afford a seperate cable internet service or until the 2 year contract expries.  HURUMPH!!!

Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

wait til a subcriber finds out after the fact that the new phone number being created for your new Overdrive (which also in my case didn't perform as promised) is in fact the way they 'cancel' you're existing subscriber plan of unlimited data usage without overage charges for their 'newer' version which does charge for overage usage past 5 GB

when activating the Overdrive the CS rep outright lied to me in telling me nothing in my plan (which Sprint themselves committed to renewing in Nov) would change

when the Overdrive fell flat on it's face performance wise and I asked to be reverted to my old card and setup I was informed 'with regrets' you're old plan is obsolete so sorry no can do

8 years I have been a customer and never an issue in one week they have performed the classic bait and switch ripoff with a product they can't support nor will even work

Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

I'm having issues with mine also. I got it three months ago and for three months the 4g was fine. Then all of a sudden Friday night, nothing! It will connect to 3G which is painfully slow and even though it shows a 4g signal it will not connect. It will search for 4g for a extended period of time then it will eventually go into 3g mode. On the occasion it does connect to 4g it send my laptop into "Local Only" mode. I've called three times about this and the first person told me there's nothing they can do "the device has to find a signal on its own". And just two hours ago I called again and we did a factory reset. The 4G worked at full signal speed for 10 minutes then went out. I'm going to have to cancel my account because as of now the device is useless to me.

Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

"My belief is that this is a money generating scheme."

I completely agree. That is the only reasonable explanation. If it were a software or hardware issue it would have been fixed by now.

Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

Hmmm, your "local only mode" comment connects with my experience. I have a Mac, however after anywhere from ten minutes to half an hour, my laptop would not be able to connect to the internet, and would not be able to maintain a wifi connection to the overdrive. The only solution I had found was to power cycle the overdrive, but that would work for ten minutes or so and I'd be dead again.

I did some serious spelunking, and found a setting -- acknowledged by Sprint customer service is NOT currently documented for them -- that solved my problem. See attached screen shot for the exact location and setting. Note the last sentence in the help text on the top right.

I hope this works for you as well as it did for me.

Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

I noticed in the screenshot that your Overdrive is set to turn off WiFi when connected via USB. I noticed on mine that when it was connected to the car charger, it thought it was connected via USB. Turning this setting to Off fixed my WiFi issues.

Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

Your experience shows why there is no simple answer for all of us. My car charger, actually Ford Sync's iPod USB port, is recognized as USB according to the Overdrive's display, but it still works over wifi, just like plugging it into its AC adaptor. It seems your charger is somehow convincing the overdrive that it is in tethered mode. No idea why, although I have a second car USB charger that will not charge my iPhone, but works with just about anything else.

It seems there is as much voo doo as there is science around these devices.

Message was edited by: DavidMackler for grammar

Journeyman

Re: DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

Yep, I can identify with all these posts.  I'm on my fourth overdrive, with the formost issue being "Port Damage".  The sheer weight of the usb power or connection cord, over time, is enough to cause the port prongs to become seperated from the circuit board.  After multiple trips to the sprint store, and hundreds of dollars sent to Assurion, I'm fed up.  I have removed the cover plates, and it is clearly visible that the amount of micro/laser solder, applied, is clearly and obviously insufficent.  We keep our overdrive velcroed to the wall, with the power cord lead directly down to the outlet, yet still the seperation occurs almost like clockwork.  After the same thing happened to our second, replaced but "new" overdrive, I went in and resoldered the port, and glued and braced it back down.  This bought me a month or so, each time I have done it.  Note, it is not a small undertaking, by any means, and not for the uninitiated.  After speaking with numerous sprint technicians, and being able to speak their language due to knowledge of their own product, I have come to learn that they are well aware of the issue, and even had a rep agree that the port connection is "underspecced."  I have been a Sprint customer for 16 years, and this is coming to a head.  While I understand that this is Sierra's device, Sprint (and others) signed off on the fact that it was adequate enough to offer to their customers.  Unfortunately, they must have hurried this to the market, wwithout longitudinal testing.  Today's Overdrive issue was a WSOD, or "White screen of death."  The device will power on, the power button will blink three times, then freeze up without initializing and searching for a signal.  An hour and a half on the phone, and the 1st tier of sprint technician (think "newbies") told me that it must be a software issue on my end.  I asked her what she was getting, back at her end, signal wise, and she claimed the ping test proved all green.  Well, I have 5 wireless devices, that aren't receiving a signal from the overdrive unit, so clearly it is a hardware issue.  A second tier technician came on, and although well versed in the product and very helpful, was only able to suggest I switch to a product no longer available, and just as problematic.  The trip to the Sprint store was, as usual, difficult.  While I have an eticket, with all of the Phone tech's conversation notes, I was told that it was probably not covered, but they will take it back and have a tech look at it.  Before handing over the device, I regurgitated every excuse they've given me, after looking at devices previously, and explained I didn't want to hear any such line.  The product is inefficient, expensive, extremely fragile, and the support is practically worse.  Forget the fact that here, in downtown Chicago, a sprint 4g advertised area, that we can't seem to get 4g, but take into account the misleading info from the sprint reps that claim "Ohh, you will never go over you 3g, if it does switch over, unless you are watching videos all day and nite."  What they fail to mention is that the "4g preffered" option on your overdrive, is constantly receiving update packets, from 3g, and going over the 5gig monthly is almost imperative, in my and many other's situations.  Sadly, I have no better news, and nothing else to offer, other than do not accept the first Tech's answer, and stay on the phone till you get to the second or third tier (this was explained to me by the sprint  2nd tier tech himself.)  Relatedly, after an in depth conversation with the second tier tech, he offered up a phone number for the "MDR Department."  Evidently, per this Sprint Rep, "MDR" stands for multiple device replacement department.  Well, after calling the number, it is the same old number, and anyone who answers has no knowledge whatsoever about this ficticious department, or how to access them (must be like SPrint Black Ops, I take it.)  Ultimately, for anyone who has the presence of mind to research before they buy, be extremely careful, not to mention mindful of customer's previous experiences, before diving into the overdrive.  The one thing Sierra and Sprint did get correct is the name of the unit, as clearly the device drives over all of a customer's expectations, and parks in neutral in what was explained to me as "the fast lane of the information superhighway."

Journeyman

DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

Does anyone else have the problem of it kicking itself back on??  When ours is done charging itself back-up to full charge it will automatically TURN BACK ON TO THE INTERNET!!  We shut it off (we thought) before we left to go out to eat and do some errands one day, and when we came home IT WAS ON6 hours it had been on!!  Later that month when we got our bill and  they tried to tell us we owed them for 200 dollars of overages!!  TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS.  I thought maybe it was because we used it so much for our small business and even tried to see if they had a "business plan" that we could sign up for to extend our amount of "bytes" and I was on the phone for 45 mins getting transferred from dept to dept because "they weren't sure about that" and "let me transfer you to blah-blah dept and maybe they can help you there".  I was furious by the end of the call when I finally got an answer of...and I quote..."We don't have anything like that, sorry". 

    We were also told that it would only be 40 dollars extra a month on our bill....that's it.  That's the ONLY reason we got it.  I was told by the operator on the phone that the only way that happens is if you are in a 4G area.  We LIVE in a 3G area.  "I can't help where I live", I told him.  His only answer was "well, I'm sorry ma'am there's nothing I can do."  We've been customers since 2007 and the only reason we've stayed is because of the unlimited data plan.  NO ONE else has that.  We've brought people in to Sprint and we feel it's the best for the money.  BUT this Hotspot thing is not. 

    The only other complaint I would say I have is there is NO communication between the stores and the call center.  At All.  That is all.

Journeyman

DO NOT BUY the Sprint Overdrive!

I am absolutely ashamed to admit that I have anything to do with Sprint.  I used my modem flawlessly for 30 days exactly.  The very next day, my service went caput.  I am fully disappointed with my decision to sign any contract with Sprint and I am certain that I will not be dealing with them anymore.

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