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How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

After 9 months of Broadband coverage, we have noted that the amount of usage Sprint bills is ALWAYS greater than the amount measured by the Overdrive device.  Since we have no access to Sprint service except through that device, it would seem that it would be the most accurate tool for Sprint to use when metering service.

It's unconscionable that Sprint refuses to make public the details of how it arrives at its usage billing, why the amounts billed are ALWAYS higher than the usage measured by other capabilities (such as NetWorx and the Overdrive device itsel)f, and why the Overdrive amounts are ignored.

20 REPLIES 20
Wizard

Re: How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

How large is the discrepancy? Has it caused you to be charged for overage?

Re: How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

It's very difficult to tell because the Sprint numbers are not as current as the Overdrive's or NetWorx', and so it's hard to compare apples and oranges. At the end of the day, however, the Sprint numbers appear to be 10-20% higher.  I guess I could stop all activity for a couple of 24-hour periods to to take some equivalent measurements, but I'm unwilling to be out of touch for that long.

It has not yet cost me money, becuase towards the end of the month I curtail access in order not to exceed the 5GB limit.

It would be better if Sprint would make public exactly how and where it was gathering its data.

Wizard

Re: How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

That's quite significant. If I had to venture a guess, I would say you may be only looking at data downloaded, as opposed to upload and download combined which is how we bill you. Do you know if that's the case?

Re: How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

I believe (but am not 100% sure) that the numbers that the Overdrive device presents are a total of both up and download counts).  I KNOW that NetWorx counts all traffic on a home network.

Another reconciliation difficulty lies in the lag time before usage shows up on the Sprint account web site.  Some time it seems to be 15 minutes or so, other times much longer.

Journeyman

How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

Kenny,

Yes, the same thing has been happening to me. For 4 consecutive billing cycles, the "My Sprint" has been as many as 8 days behind in updating usage. So from April 4th-11th we thought we were in the 3.2-4.5 gig used range, when in fact, Sprint told me we were running over the 5g limit since April 4th !!! So on the night of the 11th, 2.6 extra gig showed up....and this was after the Friday-Sunday when we didn't use it at all.

Sprint claims that the online account would only take up to 4 hours to refresh the usage balance. They tell me it could never be 8 days behind!

On top of that, you are also on to something, since we too noticed that the usage totals are completely out of sync with, and way above, the actual data used, according to own calculations, which also happen to jive very close to the actual usage indicated on the Overdrive device itself.

There's something very "fishy" afoot here. I just about had a heart attack when Sprint told me they have no way of looking at detailed usage on our account (such as per day, per week, per user/computer, etc.). Very strange that a tel-comm has no data capture protocols.....eh? But at the same time they singled out Monday the 11th and told me that there was no data usage that day through the device!! ha-ha, this is too funny.

So there's several parallel, over-lapping issues going on here, and oh, by coincidence, they are making a ton of money in overage charges from it. Doesn't give them much incentive to "fix" the problem does it. Then again, it does give them incentive to intentionally implement the structure to facilitate such fraud and deception.

- Scott T. Shier

joekool96@msn.com

P.S.

I already posted about this myself last night, April 17th. I have already filed a preliminary F.C.C. complaint regarding this...

How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

Shier:

Thanks for the input.  How does one go about filing a preliminary complaint with the FCC?  I'd also like to do that.

Sprint registered well over 1GB of use on just one day a week or so ago.  Impossible (based on the Overdrive) and hughly improbable (we were out of town for the few days preceding that date).  That single misrepresentation will probably result in our going over the 5GB allotment this month, and that means I'll have to spend an inordinate time on the phone telling them why I'm going to switch to AT&T and eat the ETF.

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Journeyman

How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

I just wanted to chime in here to report I saw the same issue recently with the MiFi that my mother is using.  We monitor the usage almost daily and there have been times, such as this past week, where we saw it jump about 1.5gb in the course of about 24 hours with just light web surfing.  Additionally, the only device that can connect to it (a laptop and the only wifi capable device in the house) was off overnight and somehow we racked up another 500mb this past night.

I'm guessing there's a glitch on Sprint's side somewhere, but will they fix the glitch and notify customers of the issue or will they claim there is no problem?

Re: How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

So far, the only responses I've had from Sprint are along the line that "We don't post usage until sometimes as much as four days after the event, so what we report online won't necessarily [Ha!  Ever, more like it ...] match what's shown by the Overdrive."

We were talking here this AM about this problem.  It turns out we have other facilities we use at the house where we pay by the usage: water and electricity.  And you know what?  Those companies put a meter at the house which is used to measure the usage.  We are at liberty to read the meter any time we want to monitor utility use, and to reconcile total use to the bills we receive.

Why can't Sprint follow that model?  An appropriately locked MiFi device (note that water, gas and electricity meters comonly have locks on 'em, too - it only makes good sense), readable remotely, would allow Sprint to eliminate all this fuss.

I'm wondering if Sprint has multiple servers where measurements are made, and when packets are sometimes rerouted they get counted twice?

All I can tell you is this: Hang in there and don't let them get away with this overbilling! And let us know what progress you make with your complaints.

Journeyman

How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

@ Kenny,

Thank you for the responses and thoughts on this. I am still trying to address these intertwined issues with Sprint. And. yes it is true that the Overdrive device IS tallying both input/output usage, not just "incoming". And  yet, my Overdrive is indicating a lifetime usage of ONLY 9.74 GB (since 9/2010), and yet according to Sprint's own billing, we are at account lifetime data usage of 37.740038 GB (incl' plan + alleged overages).

Figure that one out!!!

@ Phil,

I think there is a glitch with their "hibernation" protocols on this Sierra Overdrive. Sprint's own pages say that it is "okay" to leave this thing on, but even when all our computers are OFF, and we do have password lock protect, the device/account racks up usage anyway! NOT good at all, eh? I hope they don't claim there is no problem whatsoever...

- Scott S.

Re: How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

Scott:

FWIW, my Overdrive occasionally resets its lifetime usage meter.  I can't be sure, but it seems to be right around the time it gets to about 10GB.  YMMV.

As an update to the general situation:  Since the middle of last month (when Sprint decided to charge me with 1.5GB in 24 hours - WTF?), I've got to admit that their accounting has been markedly better.  No noticeable anomalies, and they don't seem to be more than 24 hours (roughly) out of phase with actual use.

How about the rest of you?

Re: How does Sprint reconcile the difference between Overdrive measurement of use and what it bills?

@DONALIEN:

Yes - we have been overcharged roughly $20 for excess usage in our last billing period.  We will not pay it, and have sent emails to their customer support regarding the facts of the issue and what our response is.  Although those emails were ostensibly received and read (according to the receipts we received), we have got no responses from any Sprint personnel.

I suspect that our short paying will provoke some sort of response (but I'm not betting on it ...).

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