In 2008 Sprint offered a $69.99 unlimited everything plan. If you, like me, purchased an Evo "4g" or similar device you were told there would be a $10 "add-on." Ok fine. It was my choice to purchase the phone so I had to pay the piper. 3 years later, 4g coverage is spotty at best and miserable at worst. The reasons we've all heard for the "add-on" were... 4g = more data transmissions, faster usage and better quality use of a 4g capable phone. Ok.
January 2011, Sprint announces it will charge the "add-on" to ALL smartphones whether they are 4g capable or not... So, the "add-on" that was meant to defray costs of more use on a 4g phone on a 4g network by 4g users is being charged to 3g phone users. This clearly made the reasoning supporting the "add-on" to begin with meaningless as it applied to 3g users. Still Sprint calls it an "add on."
Coincidentally in October of 2011 numerous credible sources report, and Sprint confirms, that Sprint acquried the right to sell the Iphone; which at the time was a 3g only phone. What does this mean? That the millions of expected customers that would subscribe to Sprint would also pay the "add-on" on their new Iphone - an "add-on" Sprint could not have charged them had they remained in line with their original reasoning; that it was for 4g use.
Tax: a sum levied on members of an organization to defray expenses.
Fee: a sum paid or charged for a service.
Semantics: the language used (as in advertising or political propaganda) to achieve a desired effect on an audience especially through the use of words with novel or dual meanings.
Truth is the "add-on" was nothing more than a fee applied to those who chose to purchase and use 4g phones. The FEE was then converted to a TAX on all smartphone users. Sprint played its customers from the beginning. Sprint especially played all Iphone users they knew they'd attract once they began selling the Iphone, the world's best selling phone. At least, Verizon and AT&T are upfront about their charges.