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SPrint's new No Contract Data Plan.........A First Look (Long)


techwrench
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I just received the new Tri-Band Hotpsot and have been dying to try it out and see if the 4G LTE service is up and running in my area yet. I thought it would be a good time to try the new "No Contract" data card plan plan that is available on 4 devices including the Tri-Band Hotpsot to see if it was a viable option for my business which intermittently needs a second data modem. If had to describe the experience with one word it would be "FRUSTRATING!!!!!". I thought that it would be good to describe my experience for other potential users of this service to try and help them avoid some of the pitfalls I encountered. I also leaned a few interesting things about Sprint's data plans that I will pass along as well. Hopefully this will keep someone from losing the 4 1/2 hours I lost trying to get the plan to work on the Tri-Band Hotpsot.

 

1. No one at Sprint support seems to know know or understand this plan as it relates to the Tri-Band Hotpsot. I don't think this would be an issue with the other 3 devices on the plan as they are data modems. I would describe this service as not ready for prime time as it relates to the tri-Band Hotspot. The biggest issue is that the "No Contract" service is designed to work through Sprint Smart View which is not used with Hotspots. Hotspots load a set of drivers to interface with the computer where the data modems rely on the Sprint Smat View to provide this interface. I don't know how many times I was told by multiple different support personnel to open my Hotspot through Sprint Smart view. I had to show them it wouldn't work before they would even attempt troubleshooting. How can you support a device when you don't even understand how it works?

 

2. The store service center can't help with this issue. This is a ploy used by support to get you off their backs when they can't solve an issue. This was the answer I was given most by the support personnel in every department. The service center won't even look at a device for this issue. It has to be handled on the phone with Sprint.

 

3. The rates and data allowances for this service are not that good. Sprint would really rather have you on a contract or with a competitor than on this service. The standard monthly 3GB data plan gives you twice the data for roughly two thirds the cost of the "No Contract" monthly service. The competition offers the same data allowances on both plans with about a 15% price difference.

 

4. If you own a device (no contract or bought outright with no discount) you don't have to sign a two year contact to use it. That is a sales tactic to lock you into a monthly plan. You can get service on a "month to month" basis at the regular rates without having to sign a contract. I found this out in the cancellation department, of all places, because I got transferred there when they decided to get rid of me in support. They are very good at finding a resolution to keep you from leaving Sprint in cancellation. The lady I talked to was amazed that NO ONE offered to put me on the no contract month to month plan as it is a documented plan to serve people who own their own equipment.

 

I hope you find this helpful!

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I just received the new Tri-Band Hotpsot and have been dying to try it out and see if the 4G LTE service is up and running in my area yet. I thought it would be a good time to try the new "No Contract" data card plan plan that is available on 4 devices including the Tri-Band Hotpsot to see if it was a viable option for my business which intermittently needs a second data modem. If had to describe the experience with one word it would be "FRUSTRATING!!!!!". I thought that it would be good to describe my experience for other potential users of this service to try and help them avoid some of the pitfalls I encountered. I also leaned a few interesting things about Sprint's data plans that I will pass along as well. Hopefully this will keep someone from losing the 4 1/2 hours I lost trying to get the plan to work on the Tri-Band Hotpsot.

 

1. No one at Sprint support seems to know know or understand this plan as it relates to the Tri-Band Hotpsot. I don't think this would be an issue with the other 3 devices on the plan as they are data modems. I would describe this service as not ready for prime time as it relates to the tri-Band Hotspot. The biggest issue is that the "No Contract" service is designed to work through Sprint Smart View which is not used with Hotspots. Hotspots load a set of drivers to interface with the computer where the data modems rely on the Sprint Smat View to provide this interface. I don't know how many times I was told by multiple different support personnel to open my Hotspot through Sprint Smart view. I had to show them it wouldn't work before they would even attempt troubleshooting. How can you support a device when you don't even understand how it works?

 

2. The store service center can't help with this issue. This is a ploy used by support to get you off their backs when they can't solve an issue. This was the answer I was given most by the support personnel in every department. The service center won't even look at a device for this issue. It has to be handled on the phone with Sprint.

 

3. The rates and data allowances for this service are not that good. Sprint would really rather have you on a contract or with a competitor than on this service. The standard monthly 3GB data plan gives you twice the data for roughly two thirds the cost of the "No Contract" monthly service. The competition offers the same data allowances on both plans with about a 15% price difference.

 

4. If you own a device (no contract or bought outright with no discount) you don't have to sign a two year contact to use it. That is a sales tactic to lock you into a monthly plan. You can get service on a "month to month" basis at the regular rates without having to sign a contract. I found this out in the cancellation department, of all places, because I got transferred there when they decided to get rid of me in support. They are very good at finding a resolution to keep you from leaving Sprint in cancellation. The lady I talked to was amazed that NO ONE offered to put me on the no contract month to month plan as it is a documented plan to serve people who own their own equipment.

 

I hope you find this helpful!

 

I'm not clear on your exact situation, but in store we are unable to do a new line of service without doing a aggrement on most plans. The only exception is Sprints Business Freedom plans which you pay a higher MRC so you do not have to sign an aggrement. Now changing equipment on a line is a totally different story. Account services has been know to be able to do things we can't.

 

EDIT: You are correct in their offering of no contract plans, I verified in our system however that if we try to activate one of these devices directly on one of the offered rate plans, it only gives us the contract options, however there should be a way that we could get you on it without contract. On a seperate side note I discovered this device does not support any 800MHz not even the typical 800 cellular bands.

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Sorry I wasn't clear about the plan. This is the one I was talking about below.

 

Get mobile broadband with no long-term contracts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3G/4G without the commitment

 

Pay for service only when you need it, without any annual commitment. And since your service automatically ends when your time or data limit is reached, you won't have to worry about any surprising overage charges.

It's currently available on select devices, but others will be compatible in the future. To get started, or to check out your data pass and pricing options,click the appropriate tab and we'll walk you through.

 

Try it for free

 

Just enter the promo code of Free Day, when you get to the appropriate step, and you'll get a free day of service.*

 

 

*Free Day: Promo code is valid for 1 time use per device. Limited time offer, ends 12/31/2012 or while supplies last. Day, Week or Month Data Pass: Once either your on network, off network or time allowance has been reached your session will end. Customer required to purchase additional service at the end of the period or when data is reached.

**Other Terms: Coverage not available everywhere. Sprint 4G network reaches over 70 markets and counting, on select devices. Sprint 3G network reaches over 274 million people. Add'l terms and restrictions apply. Offers not available in all markets/retail locations or for all phones/networks. Pricing, offer terms, fees & features may vary for existing customers not eligible for upgrade. Other restrictions apply. The HTC logo, and HTC EVO are the trademarks of HTC Corporation. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

 

Now, let's talk about your data pass and pricing options:

 

Tablets

Type* Price** Month $19.99 Allowance3G/4G On Network 1GB Allowance3G Off Network Roaming 100MB

 

 

Laptops, data cards & Wi-Fi hotspots

Type* Price** Day $14.99 Week $29.99 Month $49.99 Allowance3G/4G On Network 150MB 500MB 1.5GB Allowance3G Off Network Roaming 50MB 100MB 150MB

 

*Day, Week or Month Data Pass: Once either your on network, off network or time allowance has been reached your session will end. Customer required to purchase additional service at the end of the period or when data is reached.

**Charges exclude taxes and fees.

***Other Terms: Coverage not available everywhere. Sprint 4G network reaches over 70 markets and counting, on select devices. Sprint 3G network reaches over 274 million people. Add'l terms and restrictions apply. Offers not available in all markets/retail locations or for all phones/networks. Pricing, offer terms, fees & features may vary for existing customers not eligible for upgrade. Other restrictions apply. The HTC logo, and HTC EVO are the trademarks of HTC Corporation. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

 

Now available on select tablets

 

Get it on these devices (will be available on others in the future):

  • HTC EVO View 4G™
  • ZTE Optik™

How to get it

 

Ready to try it out? As long as your tablet hasn't been activated with a monthly plan, you can follow the steps below to start surfing on your terms:

  • Turn on your tablet. When it tries to activate, via the Hands Free Activation screen, press the Activate button that appears.
  • This will launch Sprint Zone, Once there, look under the Activate My Device section and press the Click here to activate link.
  • Select the New Customer radio button under Activate My Device.
  • Select the No commitment radio button under Activate My Device.
  • For a day pass on us, select the Enter promo code radio button, instead, and then enter Free Day in the field you see.
  • On the next screen, select the pass type you want, enter your payment info and agree to the purchasing Terms & Conditions.

 

Please note:

  • If you cancel this process at any time on the initial setup of your device, no worries. Simply launch your Sprint Zone app and start back at step 2 above.
  • If you made a previous day/week/month purchase, that's fine too. Just launch your browser and start back at step 3 above to make another purchase.

Don't have a compatible tablet (yet)?

 

Just call us at 1-800-SPRINT1 (1-800-777-4681) to get one, at the regular price and without a plan, and then follow the same steps.

 

 

 

Now available on select laptops, data cards & Wi-Fi hotspots

 

Get it on these devices (will be available on others in the future):

  • Merlin CC208 3G/4G 2-in-1 Card by Novatel Wireless
  • Sprint 3G/4G Plug-in-Connect USB
  • Lenovo IdeaPad™ S205s
  • Sierra Wireless 4G LTE Tri-Fi Hotspot

How to get it

 

Ready to try it out? As long as your device hasn't been activated with a monthly plan, you can follow the steps below to start surfing on your terms:

  • Plug in or connect your device to your computer, and launch Sprint SmartView to connect to the Sprint network.
  • Once on the welcome screen, select the New Customer checkbox and then the No Commitment radio button.
  • For a day pass on us, select the Enter promo code radio button, instead, and then enter Free Day in the field you see.
  • On the next screen, select the pass type you want, enter your payment info and agree to the purchasing Terms & Conditions.

 

Please note:

  • If you cancel this process at any time on the initial setup of your device, no worries. Simply launch your Sprint SmartView and start back at step 2 above.
  • If you made a previous day/week/month purchase, that's fine too. Just launch Sprint SmartView again and start back at step 2 above to make another purchase.

Don't have a compatible device (yet)?

 

Just call us at 1-800-SPRINT1 (1-800-777-4681) to get one, at the regular price and without a plan, and then follow the same steps.

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EDIT: You are correct in their offering of no contract plans, I verified in our system however that if we try to activate one of these devices directly on one of the offered rate plans, it only gives us the contract options, however there should be a way that we could get you on it without contract. On a seperate side note I discovered this device does not support any 800MHz not even the typical 800 cellular bands.

 

 

Not true. The device specifications list that it will work on 800 MHz. I think at this time the software doesn't support it.

 

 

Transmit

PCS: 1850 to 1910 MHz

Cellular: 824 to 849 MHz

LTE: 1910 to 1915 MHz

WiMAX: 2495 to 2690 MHz

 

Receive

PCS: 1930 to 1990 MHz

Cellular: 869 to 894 MHz

LTE: 1990 to 1995 MHz

WiMAX: 2495 to 2690 MHz

GPS: 1575.42 MHz

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Not true. The device specifications list that it will work on 800 MHz. I think at this time the software doesn't support it.

 

 

Transmit

 

PCS: 1850 to 1910 MHz

Cellular: 824 to 849 MHz

LTE: 1910 to 1915 MHz

WiMAX: 2495 to 2690 MHz

 

Receive

PCS: 1930 to 1990 MHz

Cellular: 869 to 894 MHz

LTE: 1990 to 1995 MHz

WiMAX: 2495 to 2690 MHz

GPS: 1575.42 MHz

 

I think there is a miscommunication. If the reason why it doesn't support 850 Cellular is because of a software issue, it would still be proper to say it does not support 850MHz. So the use of "not true" is probably not the best response, because it is true, but further explanation should have been used by the poster (assuming if he knew the reason).

 

On another note, the downlink frequencies of 824-849 are 850 Cellular. Below that is the 800 SMR band. We typically refer to 800 and 800MHz as only the SMR band and Cellular frequencies as 850 and 850MHz to avoid confusion.

 

Some people still refer to Cellular bands as 800, but thankfully that use is starting to fade away. The last offender I have seen of that is Apple with the CDMA iPhones that say they support 800, when in fact they only support 850 Cellular. I have almost one post a month around here where someone with an iPhone thinks that it supports Sprint's 800 SMR band. They are very disappointed when they find out it does not.

 

Robert via Kindle Fire using Forum Runner

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My apologies. I should learn not to type before my first cup of coffee. The last two posts have had numerous words and sentences left out.

 

Also thanks for the clarification on frequencies. I am still a newbie at this as my electronics experience lies in another field. In my field the bands are typically an entire 100Mhz spectrum. For example the 100Mhz band includes everything from 100 to 199 Mhz when we talk about it.

 

I like this forum because there is a lot of information and people here who help me get up to speed!!!

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It must be very frustrating that for whatever reason you were getting pushed into a contract.

 

I wonder if it has to do with the commission structure. If an individual buys a device off contract, I know there is no commission... so I am assuming that if they do month-to-month there is no commission there either.

 

Sometimes sprint really fails at training employees... or employees just have zero incentive to sell you off-contract (that's happened to me).

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It must be very frustrating that for whatever reason you were getting pushed into a contract.

 

I wonder if it has to do with the commission structure. If an individual buys a device off contract, I know there is no commission... so I am assuming that if they do month-to-month there is no commission there either.

 

Sometimes sprint really fails at training employees... or employees just have zero incentive to sell you off-contract (that's happened to me).

 

You know I had wondered that as well when I was talking to sales. Of course a salesman's job is to sell you so I kind of expect that. I have a lot of respect for the salesman that can sell you and do it honestly.

 

On the other hand technical support should not try and push you into something just because they can't make a plan work with the equipment it is advertised to work with. I think this happened because Sprint does not field test the equipment to iron out the bugs.

 

Part of my job is field testing equipment to find the bugs in both the equipment and support. This helps build the support database and find the problems that need to be ironed out or modified before release. It is a lot easier for companies to start with a small tester group and work out the problems with people that are trying to work with them than springing it on the public with a "engineering on the fly" mentality.

 

On looking back at the entire event, now that my brain is starting to recover, I realize that the from the way my call was being handled that this plan I listed (not the equipment) is being handled by a new division because even sales transferred me to talk to the people handling this plan. It seems to me it may be running on a separate (or different) computer system than the regular sprint plans.

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