Sprint surprises customers with new limits
Sprint’s recent commercial series focuses on how “truly unlimited” the Sprint Network is, featuring children disappointed by parents nearing their data limits choosing apps over their performances, like below:
But what Sprint really means is that data is “truly unlimited” for their entire Sprint Network, except for Mobile Hotspots, after years of promoting the service, and even promoting the idea that several users can be on the same Hotspot simultaneously. The company gave users a tasted, got them hooked, and is now announcing1 that starting this month, and effective on users’ next bill, their phone or tablet’s Mobile Hotspot on-network data allowance will be limited to 5 GB. “Truly unlimited?”
Truly unlimited fail.
According to the company, the changes include:
- A monthly 5GB of 3G and/or 4G data allowance will apply while on the Sprint network and display on your next bill. This 5GB is in addition to your phone or tablet plan’s monthly on-network data usage.
- You have the option to receive notifications from Sprint as you approach the monthly 5GB on-network data allowance. See Additional Use Notifications for enrollment instructions.
- If you choose to continue using above the monthly 5GB on-network allowance, additional data usage charges of 5¢/MB will apply.
Sprint says that what is not changing is the monthly charge for the Mobile Hotspot, and that unlimited data usage still applies to smartphone and tablet use, just not Mobile Hotspot use. Off-network roaming data usage is a combination of Mobile Hotspot or Phone as Modem and phone or tablet and monthly data allowance stays the same: 300 MB for phones and 100 or 300 MB for tablets depending on your tablet plan. Additional off-network roaming data for tablets is 25¢/MB. Tablet customers will continue to receive off-network data usage notifications.
Sprint says it will alert users when they have used between 75 and 90 percent of their monthly data allowance for their Mobile Hotspot, but only if they subscribe to notifications. If Sprint was not promoting how unlimited their network was, this change would be no surprise, but users will likely feel that the wool is being pulled over their eyes, especially regarding how hefty the overage charges are.
If Sprint allowed users to keep their Mobile Hotspot at the same unlimited plan for the remainder of their contract, that would also not be a problem, but because users can’t notify Sprint that they’ve decided they’ll pay 20 percent less each month because they need to conserve – Sprint would say adios, just as some people will likely do as Sprint has pulled this quick surprise without warning.