I have the same problem as many of the folks here are experiencing.
I had a pieced-together and grandfathered plan that included three handsets, an Airave and a MiFi card. The MiFi was being billed to me at $39.99 through special arrangement and was truly unlimited data. I've had that particular part of my plan for over a year. No problems.
I called telesales last week about the new EVO. I asked them all kinds of information about the phone (I already researched the specs, capabilities, saw and read reviews, etc. about the device itself), its features and costs. I told them (and I talked to several different people because we kept getting disconnected) that my plan was to streamline my account by getting rid of the MiFi card and its monthly bill, getting the EVO to replace that because it already has a built-in hotspot feature, etc. They agreed it was a good idea. At NO point did anyone ever interject with "Just so you know, there's a $29.99 monthly fee to use the hotspot feature."
Remember: I talked to three CSRs and two supervisors, asking the same questions and getting the same answers.
I was told I had to migrate out of my old plan and into a whole new, totally different (and "better, according to the CSRs and account management) plan. My old plan was pretty much the same as Everything Data Shared Family Plan with unlimited everything, but all put together piecemeal over the years (I've been with Sprint for nearly 10 years). In the end, what I got was about 500 more minutes and a couple of small things. Anyway, the rep was eager to change my plan over to the formal Everything Data Shared Family plan but I wasn't sure at the moment because I couldn't get my hands on an EVO handset, as it was sold out everywhere. This was especially true with the fact that the billing cycle was ending in a few days and that would put an end to my MiFi plan. The rep set it up so that the MiFi line wouldn't shut off....just maintained at a $8 monthly fee to keep it alive in order to avoid the disconnect (and thus the early termination fee-but that should't apply to me anyway because I live outside of the Sprint service area). She said that everything was all set and I would get the EVO at a total net cost of $199, after taking into account the $150 upgrade I was eligible and the $100 mail-in rebate I would have to send out in 30 days or so. I asked her to tell me what my bill would be every month after that. She told me. Then I asked her "are there any more fees? Any extras I need to know about?" She said "No. That's it. You're done. Just get your phone from Best Buy, Radio Shack, the Sprint Store, etc. and they'll look at the notes I made on your account and set you up."
Rather than wait for a lengthy, unspecified period for the phone to be stocked on the shelves locally (Best Buy was a great option because they apply the rebate at the point of sale), I decided to call Sprint a week later to order the phone and have it shipped to me. I was told that I would have to deal with the mail-in rebate, which I decided was a small trade-off in getting the phone sooner than much later. In three days I got the EVO and I'm very happy with it.
When I activated the phone, I was told there was a $10 "premium" charge for it. I'd heard about this and all the talk surrounding it over the internet. I asked what it was about and the explanation was that it was for the privilege of using 4G. Okay. Fine and dandy. Except for one thing: I live way up in the foothills of the SIerra Nevada mountains and the nearest market that may have (yet?) 4G is Sacramento, 1.5 hours south of my area. I would have no access to 4G anyway. The reps said it was mandatory. Okay, I said. I told them I was very happy to have my EVO because I could use it as a hotspot instead of having to tote around the extra device (the MiFi) and its additional expense. They were pleased to hear it and agreed. But, once again, NOBODY interjected with "Uh...there is a $29.99 fee to use that feature" or something like that. I didn't even think to ASK about the existence of such a hotspot fee because I thought, all this time, it was part of my EVERYTHING DATA SHARED FAMILY PLAN.
I played around with the phone, set it up and then set up the hotspot with my iPad. Worked fine. Continues to work fine. Earlier this morning I was participating in a message board/chat, discussing EVO features when someone brought up the $29.99 hotspot fee. That was the first time I ever heard it even existed. I was confused. I asked around, because I thought my current overall plan covered that. Some folks insisted I check out my bill, etc. So I called Sprint and asked them. THIS time, someone came right out and answered me with "Yes, in order to use the hotspot feature, you must pay a $29.99 monthly fee."
So now, I'm going to be paying an EXTRA $19.99 a month for the phone, $10 a month for the privliege of using 4G even though I can't even GET it here (if it's also for 3G, it's a rip off because I already GET 3G as part of my over all plan, or was I lied to about THAT, as well?) and $29.99 a month just for the hotspot feature. Had I known about any of this extra stuff last week when I was talking to all of those people from Sprint, I would've stuck with my old plan and just rode it out until better deals came along.
Interestingly enough...I NEVER once got any letters from Sprint talking about these $10 and $29.99 fees. I NEVER saw any brochures, signs, disclaimers or any documentation before, during and after my transaction, even with fine print, stating that in order to use the hotspot feature-one of the big selling points of the EVO-I had to pay an extra $29.99. NOTHING. Now, all of a sudden...it's coming out of the woodwork???
So I don't want to hear anyone giving me that lame "You didn't do your research, otherwise you would've known about it" stuff. I DID. I ASKED SPRINT DIRECTLY NUMEROUS TIMES DURING THE PROCESS OF THE HANDSET SALE AND PLAN CHANGE!! Nobody-I repeat, nobody said word one about the $29.99 hotspot fee. As for TV and print ads, I saw NOTHING that indicated to me that a $29.99 fee was associated with the hotspot feature. Otherwise I would not have pulled the trigger on the EVO and the new plan (I can't go back to my old plan now, even if I reverted to my old gear...it's gone forever now, so I'm kind of stuck). No, it's NOT just a case of "you chose to ignore the ad." That's a lame argument.
On top of all THAT....I was told this morning I was NOT going to get my $100 mail-in rebate amount, even if I submitted it correctly, for some unexpelained reason.
Talk about being steamed! I saved the chat transcript and included it in a nice letter to Mr. Hesse. I also filed a complaint with the BBB. Next stop...the TV and newspaper consumer action editors. After that? Find an attorney to file a class-action lawsuit.
Message was edited by: mtnmedic64
REPLY TO S.C.B. 1898
I have NOT been living under a rock. How dare you.
I've been with Sprint for 10 years and have dealt with ALL KINDS of erroneous information, confusion, CSRs not being on the same page and so forth. I'm not new to to this. This stuff is par for the course with Sprint because the giant is so big the left hand really doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
My life with Sprint has been excellent most of the time EXCEPT whenever it comes to dealing with CSRs involving any changes to my account/plan, no matter how small. Every time, something major gets screwed up. That's been my mantra. In fact, this isn't the first time I've had issues like this. The last time occurred in late December/early January when I bought my new Touch Pro 2. Because two reps got all the information wrong, I went through hades and lost a lot of money and time getting things sorted out. It was such a mess. All because it wasn't a matter of ME not knowing the details...it was a matter of SPRINT CSR PEOPLE not knowing the details!!
Don't assume everyone having these problems is ignorant. It only makes you look ignorant, yourself.
Message was edited by: mtnmedic64
Message was edited by: mtnmedic64
Sorry for the double-post. I deleted the content. It was meant to be a reply to a specific post but somehow ended up at the end of the thread.
Message was edited by: mtnmedic64
First off I did my research... I knew what I was getting into before I bought my EVO. That doesn't mean I have to swallow the bad with the good and play nice. It also doesn't change the fact that other carriers are now offering features for free that Sprint is NOT. If Sprint wants to keep the new customers they acquired because of a new device they may want to adjust their service to match. There's no such thing as customer loyalty when the grass is factually greener on the other side. These phones can be returned just as easy as we opened our wallets to buy them. Start using the intellect you think you have and tell me how paying for something is better than getting it for free. Sprint has already confirmed the rooted hotspot loophole is getting closed in the EVO's July update. Enjoy your free service till then, we'll let you rant with us intellectual common folk later.
People who want something for nothing amaze me.
Leave for your greener grass. There is no uncapped 3G/4G hotspot service for free anywhere. Heck, the EVO's plan is more generous than the standalone hotspot, with has a 3G cap.
Like every human, I'd like things for free, but while I read all this posts I wonder: how come no one says nothing about the mandatory charge of $30 for the i-phone, and to think that i-phone doesn't give u anything extra. The EVO charge is only $10 much cheaper then i-phone.
Like on every aspect of life, you pay for the convenience and luxury, so if you want to have the luxury to use your phone as a hot spot (which I belive almost more then 90% of ppl posting here will not even use) you must pay for that convenience or you can depend on free WIFI that nowadays is everywhere.
Stop crying ppl. 3-4 years ago you didn't even dream about all this hi-tech, wait about 2-3 years and I do belive that a hot-spot issue wont even exist anymore.
according to this article http://www.androidcentral.com/comparing-palm-pre-htc-evo-4g-sprint ,if reading it right, you can turn the hotspot service on/off and pay $1 dollar a day on the days the hotspot service is used. I searched the sprint web site but came up empty.
Really? That's interesting. If that IS the case, then I'll feel a lot better about it. I have no need to run the hotspot ALL of the time...only when I need it and that's just a few times a month and typically for one or two devices, most of the time being when Wi-Fi is unavailable (i.e, during one of our many power outages here) or when AT&T's 3G stinks (using my iPad).
I spent a couple of hours on the phone with a manager from the Executive and Regulatory offices at the headquarters, who also fields BBB complaints and correspondences that Mr. Hesse gets. She actually responded on my BBB complaint. Two things we discussed I'd like to point out:
1) She confirmed that the $10 fee everyone is griping about is NOT related to the 4G (or even 3G). It's for the unique FEATURES on the EVO device itself that other phones don't have. Hmmm...only two features stand out in my mind: a 4G (WiMax) radio and the hotspot capability. I can kind of see it for the 4G capability....but again we're back to the same problem: many of us don't even have access to 4G markets (and probably never will) so we're really paying for something we don't get the benefit of. They are adamant about this fee and will not budge one iota on it. Will they apply this $10 monthly fee to the new Samsung Epic when it comes out? Only time will tell. Of course, this is all old hat by now.
2) She said the $29.99 is also something they will not budge on. It IS an "optional" feature fee, as everyone figured out, but she said it would be billed at a per-month rate and is not prorated at all. To get and use it, you would have to call in and have a CSR activate that feature for you (they enter some codes in) and you can call back to remove it, just like any other "add-on" feature.
This bit about the DAILY on-demand activation and de-activation is something I didn't know about until I read the last follow-up in this thread this morning. Had I known about it yesterday, I would've brought it up with her during our conversation. Has someone CONFIRMED this with Sprint? In writing would be great because my problem with Sprint is almost invariably someone will say one thing and the next person will say something completely different and a third will say the other two got it all wrong OR "on no...that's not how we do it here/we never said that."
The on-demand activation/reactivation of the hotspot billing would be the ideal way to handle this, IMHO.
So, the the bottom line of those two things is: We're being stuck with a bogus $10 monthly fee just for the privilege of having a 4G radio and a hotspot feature built into the phone-both hardware items that, if added to any other phone/service anywhere else, it would just simply bump up the overall handset purchase price PLUS we're paying $29.99 monthly fee (albeit optional) just for the extra BANDWITH in using the hotspot (3G and 4G). Okay, I understand the point behind the latter, but a flat monthly fee is ridiculous because functioning as a hotspot is just something any phone, even the EVO, isn't going to be asked to do all day long, every day (or most days) of the month. However, I'm sure some people will try. For those who do: GET A FREAKIN' MiFI CARD OR A DECENT WIRELESS ROUTER AND CABLE/DSL IN YOUR HOUSE and quit abusing the system, which only hurts everyone in the end!
Message was edited by: mtnmedic64
Message was edited by: mtnmedic64
I think is true we need to research before buying a phone, but the info about the extra 30 dollars for the add on (hotspot) should be more advertised. When you see the commercial on TV you can’t really tell it says anything about the extra charge.
They just need it more up front, what is bad is the way you find out about it, like I did, trying the application for a good hour with out success until I called customer service. After you loose the illusion of getting it for free the fact of the charge is not that bad compare to the plans of any carrier broadband card for internet.
I just spoke with a senior manager at Sprint headquarters in the Executive and Regulatory Services department about this $29.99. This is what is CONFIRMED:
At this point in time, the $29.99 is a FLAT MONTHLY RATE that is NOT pro-rated. It is a flat add-on rate for the hotspot feature. There is no per-day billing rate or structure in place. The cost is $29.99, whether you activate it on the 1st of the month, the 15th of the month or the 29th of the month. (So the suggestion at this point is...if you're going to use the feature for any given month, activate it at the START of the month!) In order to get it, you have to contact Sprint to add it on like any other optional feature and then contact them to take it off when you don't want it.
However, I explained to this manager that:
1) Sprint is not doing a good job informing people that the hotspot feature-one of the big selling points of the EVO-is actually an optional add-on feature (although it exists physically on the device) and requires a $29.99 monthly fee to use. I told her that a lot of people are passing on the EVO because they're finding out the hotspot feature is an optional add-on when all of the advertising is making it seem as if that it's an included service. Furthermore, folks like me who purchased the phone from telesales (and I suspect some Sprint Stores) are simply not informed of the of the add-on rate (even though the subject of using the EVO as a hotspot is discussed!) and we end up learning about it after the fact. As a result, more unhappy customers.
2) Such a flat rate is a big turn-off to current and potential customers who look to the EVO as a means of having a temporary portable hotspot to use from time to time. I reasoned that a flat rate is good for something that you'd potentially use constantly throughout the month, like the MiFi in some cases. However, the EVO-like any handset-is primarily a phone and the majority of folks would use the hotspot feature on an occasional basis, unlike the way a dedicated hotspot (i.e, MiFi, home wireless router/access point, etc.) would be used. Therefore:
3) Instead of having just the all-or-nothing $29.99 montly rate, why not ALSO have a daily on-demand $1 rate? Something similar to the way they've been billing for the use of Sprint Navigation. When you fire up Sprint Navigation (mostly on the older phones that don't include the service), it notifies you that you can either pay something like $10 or $15 for the whole month or $1.99 for a day's use, on-demand. I said, take that $29.99 (why does everything have to be one cent short of a nice, full number, anyway???) and break it down to a $1 daily full use on-demand rate. That way, most people would be be WILLING to fork out the dough to use the feature rather than pass it (or even the EVO altogether) up entirely because of the daunting $29.99 monthly non-prorated fee.
The manger said these were very good points and she agreed that a daily on-demand rate structure is a good idea. She said that she IS in a position to bring it up with the big bosses, which she will do and get back to me as she learns more about it.
She is misinformed. On both accounts. I can add it online from my account page(And remove it also).
6:08:12 PM : Connected to sprint.ehosts.net
6:08:13 PM : Session ID: 649379
6:08:13 PM : BROOKS: Initial Question/Comment: If I added the Hotspot to the evo for the weekend and took it off monday would I be charged the whole $29 or for just the days used?
6:08:18 PM : Please wait and the next available specialist will be with you shortly.
6:08:19 PM : You are next in queue...
6:08:19 PM : If you are chatting today for Technical Support, please call (888) 211-4727.
6:08:33 PM : If you are a corporate business customer and need assistance with your account, please call (800) 927-2199.
6:08:48 PM : Thank you for waiting. At Sprint, we take your account security seriously; please be prepared to provide your account PIN or security answer. If you haven't created them yet, please visit Sprint.com/pin.
6:08:49 PM : John K has joined this session!
6:08:50 PM : Connected with John K. Your Reference Number for this chat session is 649379.
6:08:51 PM : Thank you for contacting Sprint. My name is John K.
6:08:58 PM : BROOKS: Hello
6:09:04 PM : John K: Hi
6:09:14 PM : John K: I will be happy to assist you.
6:09:19 PM : John K: I understand your question.
6:09:59 PM : John K: Please allow me a few moments while I check this for you.
6:10:10 PM : BROOKS: Ok, Thanks.
6:11:24 PM : John K: Thank you for chatting with us. Have a nice time
6:11:39 PM : John K: Please ignore my previous statement.
6:12:20 PM : BROOKS: More then one chat window open? I understand.
6:12:39 PM : John K: Thank you for your cooperation.
6:13:24 PM : John K: Yes, you can use the Hotspot and you will be charged for the days you used the service.
6:14:47 PM : BROOKS: Just the days activated correct, Example - Friday to Monday = 4 days, I'll just be charged $4 give or take and not the whole $29? correct?
6:14:54 PM : John K: I assure you that you will not be charged for the whole month.
6:15:13 PM : John K: Yes, you are absolutely correct.
6:15:37 PM : BROOKS: Thank You, That is all I needed to know. Have a great day!
Optional add-ons like Mobile Hotspot can be added and removed on a daily basis, but they are not supposed to be. Much like plan changes should be done on the billing cycle (to prevent proration which causes a ton of calls into Care), but they don't have to be.