Monday, October 20, 2008

Overage Charges Coming to Sprint?

Let me preface this with a disclaimer: this information is NOT yet substantiated and is, at this point, still in the rumor phase -- so take the information with a grain of salt until we are able to make a definitive announcement one way or the other.

An EVDO enthusiast started a thread on the EVDO Forums with some unpleasant (potential) news:
According to the "source" of this post [referring to an article on the internet], Sprint will begin charging $0.05/MB for overage above 5GB. That works out to ~$50/GB!!! Wow--makes the first 5GB seem cheap at ~$12/GB.
Two other users spoke with Sprint reps directly and also heard the same information:
I spoke with my Sprint rep and got some very interesting information. I was informed that they WILL begin charging $.05/mb but the new policy won't go into effect until 11/2. However, I was assured that any accounts created BEFORE 11/2 wouldn't be affected. Has anyone else heard this?


I just checked with my Sprint rep and she confirmed the same thing...

So, if you were thinking about getting a Sprint card, get one before 11/2/2008.

By the way, this doesn't mean the accounts before 11/2 can go over 5gb, it means that Sprint will not charge you. If you are an abuser, Sprint will probably contact you to "educate".
There is no information about this on Sprint's website - all they have in terms of warnings in regards to the 5GB limit is the generic "Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred" clause - but that doesn't mean it's not true. To be on the safe side, if you were on the fence about ordering Sprint service, you might want to make your move BEFORE November 2nd so that your account can be "grandfathered" and not effected by the overage charges.

If you already have an account or get one before the 2nd, remember that even though you won't be CHARGED for overages, you do run the risk of getting into "trouble" with the gurus at Sprint if you chronically go over the limit. You will probably receive a phone call first warning you and then they may throttle your speeds or even cut you off entirely.

A lot of people get turned off when they hear about the 5GB limit, but the truth is that MOST users have no problem at all staying under the limit. You would have to send a half a million emails, visit 33,000+ websites, or download 1,250 songs from iTunes to reach 5GB in a month. Check out a breakdown of what 5G gets you here: What Does 5GB Get Me?

Another thing to point out, if the overage charges do in fact come to be, they will actually be a lot less than what Verizon or AT&T charges for overage: Verizon charges $0.25 for each MB over 5GB, and AT&T charges a whopping 49 CENTS when you go over their limit! With that in mind, the 5 cents from Sprint doesn't seem as painful, but you could still rack up a hearty bill if you don't monitor your data usage.

Moral of the story: BE CAREFUL with those 5GB... and if you're looking for Sprint EVDO service, you might want to jump on it before 11/2.