Sprint Forcing Customers On Too-Good-To-Be-True Plans To Upgrade

I don’t know how Corey ever managed to secure a monthly plan that only costs $2.50–oh wait, it looks like some old offer Sprint forgot about but some of their customers found. Well, now Sprint knows about it, and they’re not happy. On the bright side, hey, no ETF to worry about if you want to switch carriers, Corey. You can read Sprint’s take-it-or-leave-it offer below.

[Update: I originally used the term “ultra-cheap” in the headline, which led some readers to believe that Sprint was raising prices across the board. That was never my intention, so I’ve changed the headline to make the meaning clearer. In my mind, “ultra-cheap” is not and has never been descriptive of any cell plan the major carriers offer. I’ve never had the benefit of experiencing a SERO plan or employee discount, so it didn’t occur to me that some readers might think they’d be targeted next. My apologies for the confusion.]


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  1. pockygt says:

    A friend of mine has a $20/month plan with Sprint from when he worked at a reseller. I wonder if he’s affected too. But $2.50? DAMN.

    • destruktolux says:

      Those plans are valid for employers of Sprint resellers. They’re pretty heavily audited, too, so they’re not easy to get.

    • lukesdad says:

      I had a $15/month plan with GTE Wireless (remember them!?), which turned to a $20/month plan when they became Verizon. This was when I worked at Radio Shack and we sold their phones. Literally two weeks after I quit working there they sent me a notice that I had to switch to a normal plan or cancel service (no ETF). So yeah, if Sprint runs their program similar to Verizon it’s probably audited pretty heavily.

  2. H3ion says:

    I’m glad the OP is a “valued” customer because I’d hate to see what Sprint would be charging if he wasn’t valued. That’s a 32X increase. He ought to check his contract and see if the term is up or whether Sprint has the right to change terms unilaterally (they probably do). Next step is to call Verizon or other carriers and see what’s available. Wow.

    • LastError says:

      It doesn’t matter: nobody has anything as low as $2.50 a month. Well, they DO, for example the ones that charge a couple dollars a day for each day of use, but those are no help if you plan to actually, you know, USE the phone.

      The lowest post-paid plans are about $30. Sprint has one for that price, which is what I happen to have. My contract is up in a few days and I need a new phone, which will mean a jump to a much higher contract if I was to stay with Sprint. So far, I am going with an MVNO plan and just going to suffer with no email or data.

      • whylime says:

        I used to have a plan on AT&T that was $10/month. I got 60 day minutes, and 250 night and weekend minutes each month.

      • EarlNowak says:

        Try Page Plus Cellular. They’re a verizon MVNO that offers 1200 minutes, 1200 text messages, and 50 megs of data for $29.99 a month. They will also activate any Verizon phone, not just the limited selection offered on their website.

      • ben says:

        Unless you’re planning on getting certain “smartphones” like the Palm Pre, which require an Everything Data plan, you shouldn’t have to change your plan just because you’re getting a new phone.

  3. aficionado says:

    Nice job Corey.

  4. CompyPaq says:

    OK. I read through the FB note, and it seems that whoever had this plan was just taking advantage of Sprint’s outsourced CS and computer bug. For all practical purposes, they were STEALING cell service. Sprint has every right to take away the plan.

    • aficionado says:

      Are you seriously implying that cellular companies don’t take every advantage they can as leverage against their subscribers?

      There is nothing wrong with a bit of cat-and-mouse. Spirit should have been paying more attention to their valid plan codes.

    • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

      How is this stealing? He continued to use the plan that he originally signed up for, and Sprint continued to charge him at the $2.50 rate. Explain which part of that is theft . . .

      • Esquire99 says:

        I agree with CompyPaq that this is at least borderline theft, possibly fraud. The people taking advantage of this plan, at least according to the FB note, are deliberately deceiving Sprint into getting its reps to put them onto a plan that they know they shouldn’t be on. They know the plan is not generally available and know that it is a glitch that they are/were deliberately and intentionally exploiting.

        • Telekinesis123 says:

          So what hat did you pull this out of because I see no info in the letter or this post that mentions anything you’re talking about.

          • Esquire99 says:

            I was confused at first too, partly because the link is kind of hidden, but click on the “Sprint Forgot About” link in the text of the article.

        • nofelix says:

          The internal policy that meant this plan was not for the general public is just that – an internal policy. Corey isn’t a Sprint employee, why does he care who the plan is meant for? Both parties agreed to the contract, so unless that included a clause about who was eligible for the plan, it’s not Corey’s problem if Sprint don’t want him on it.

          Definitely not theft. This is equivilant to asking for a staff discount in a shop, and the teller not checking if you’re staff before giving the discount.

    • jamar0303 says:

      Maybe the lesson should be “don’t outsource your reps”? Keep it in-house.

  5. rdm says:

    I wonder when/if they will start doing this to SERO customers. Granted, $30 a month for unlimited text/data and 500 minutes is no $2.50, but I know they are losing money on SERO.

    • Winter White says:

      My mom has my old SERO plan that I got in 2006. She’s gotten a new phone twice since then, and every time, they try to tell her they have to change her plan to get her a new phone. I remind them that no, they don’t, we go back and forth with CS on the phone for a few days, and finally they relent.

      Her plan is $50 for 1200 minutes, unlimited everything else. I assume she’ll be getting one of these letters around 6 months from now when she’ll be up for a new phone again.

    • Radi0logy says:

      I really hope they don’t. I have the 1250 minute/unlimited data/unlimited texting/first incoming minute free/$40 per month plan and my wife has the 450 minute/unlimited data/unlimited texting/$17 per month plan. Its been quite a ride and I would be very sad if they had to go away.

      The irritating thing about it is the wife is now talking about getting a jesusphone.. I’m like.. why in the world would you want to go from $17/mo to $100/mo for no appreciable difference other than a slick gui and touchscreen. Sigh. Oh well maybe I can talk her out of it.

      • jamar0303 says:

        Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Then again, I tried it, hated it, then jailbroke it. It got better (Osu! Totally changed my outlook on the OS) Said “screw it” after the touch panel failed, among other things after only a couple months of usage. Nice software, but the hardware needs help. And being tied to AT&T hurts them too.

    • Terek Kincaid says:

      Well, for one, SERO was a contract plan. I’m not sure of all of the legal ramifications, but if you sign a 2 year contract with Sprint, and they cancel it arbitrarily, you *might* be able to sue for damages. That is, if to get the same service you contracted with Sprint at $30/month you had to spend $80/month with Sprint *or* another carrier, you might be able to sue for $50/month for every month that got canceled. Think about it: you make a contract and set up a budget based on only $30 per month for cell phone use. Sprint just arbitrarily raises the contract price unilaterally, affecting your budget and cash flow. It sounds like they would be responsible for that.

      Now, as the 2 year SERO contracts run out, and people start using them month to month, they might start doing this. My $30 SERO only has 2 months to go, and I think there’s only a couple of months to go before the 2 year anniversary of the SERO program ending. So, this might start happening soon. But contract liability might be why it hasn’t happened already.

  6. BoredOOMM says:

    Another step to the end of once the best customer friendly cell carrier.

  7. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    This is my concern too. I’m on a very old calling plan with ATT, that isn’t offered anymore. It’s the right amount of minutes and the right about money I’m willing to pay. But if I’m forced to “upgrade” to the newer more expensive plans, I might just switch to prepaid service.

  8. kamel says:

    I signed up with Aerial wireless over 11 years ago. There was a plan called “Sweet 100″: 100 minutes a month + a data plan all for $19.99 a month. Aerial changed to Voicestream and then T-Mobile. Even thought this plan is LONG gone, they have never made me change (I mostly text so I never go over 100 minutes) and always thank me for being a long time customer. The cool part is I now have a BlackBerry and I still only pay $19.99 a month total since my plan includes web data in it. SWEET!

  9. coren says:

    A “computer bug” is very different from “Sprint has an active plan and we would like to use it”.

    • nofelix says:

      Not according to contract law. As long as you’re not breaking Sprint’s security to get to the contract, then you haven’t broken any laws. If you haven’t broken any laws then the contract is solid. Typing an address into a browser, or quoting a specific code is not hacking.

  10. AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

    You know, I’ve read Consumerist long enough to be impressed that Sprint actually notified the OP of the change, rather than just charging him the $79.99 out of the blue with no explanation.

  11. Stubtify says:

    From this link:

    http://www.dealfollow.com/deals/104061-sprint-s-free-and-clear-1000

    it doesn’t seem to be a real plan, but a loophole that was closed. To get it you needed to be actively trying to get it. Don’t see why they didn’t catch onto this sooner even.

  12. Mr_Human says:

    Yeah, this headline scared me (SERO here), but after reading through the comments and sources, it doesn’t seem to be a real plan at all, as others already have pointed out. This is more of an oddball situation. I’d change the headline.

  13. BenChatt says:

    I don’t think it’s theft, but I also don’t see what’s wrong with Sprint making him pay a price commensurate to his service. I’d drop them like a rock (or perhaps a pin?) and go to another carrier–no way I’d pay 80 bucks a month for cell service, but them’s the breaks when they find out you’ve been using a loophole.

  14. Bush2012 says:

    That’s not bad at all. Cell phone service for $2.50 is outrageous. Why should Sprint essentially pay him to be a customer?

    But what’s really odd is they no longer offer a 1,000 minute plan anymore. Indiviual lines go 450, 900, unlimited. Family plans go 700, 1500, 3000.

    • UsefulThings says:

      Bush2012 said… “But what’s really odd is they no longer offer a 1,000 minute plan anymore. Indiviual lines go 450, 900, unlimited. Family plans go 700, 1500, 3000.”

      No way to know for sure, but I’ll bet the average individual uses around 500 or 1000 minutes, which either gets Sprint a little extra for overages or gets the customer to buy a plan way bigger then they really need.

  15. Blueskylaw says:

    Dear Customer:

    Because we value your business so highly, we are increasing your rate by 3099.6% and if you don’t like it you can go f…, err, I meant to say we will do you the favor of not extending your contract or charging you an ETF.

    Thank you for flying Sprint.
    /sarcasm

  16. Geekybiker says:

    3200% increase in plan cost? Ouch. I think I would kick myself if I had given up SERO to try this trick. Ultimately they deserve it though. People are getting a plan that shouldn’t exist. At least with SERO there were publicly available emails you could sign up with without a referral.

    • nofelix says:

      The plan “shouldn’t” exist? There isn’t some natural order to phone contracts which was violated by these customers. Sprint offered the plan, customers took them up on it, Sprint accepted and provided service, then realise that they’re dumbasses.

      Any rules that a company has about who can and cannot have a particular service are internal; only for their employees. Customers are not bound by them, customers are bound by contracts – like the contract for the Free & Clear 1000 plan.

  17. schmutze says:

    I once had a $5/mo plan from Sprint. For various reasons, I both couldn’t and didn’t want to continue service with them, but I was still under contract for a few months. They weren’t able to cancel my service, but they were able to offer me a… I think they called it a “Vacation Plan” that was essentially no service. It got me out of an ETF. This customer probably had something similar.

  18. wvFrugan says:

    I have a 600 minute per month plan that PAYS ME @4.00/month for the past year. I like it and it suits my limited needs. I think my deal beats this one that COSTS $2.50/month. I don’t pay any 911, regulatory cost recovery fee, or any other BS either. I keep waiting for them to catch on to my code stacking and clever tax/fee avoidance, even though it’s all legit.

    • sonneillon says:

      I would like to know more.

    • David in Brasil says:

      I would like to subscribe to your newsletter…

    • Esquire99 says:

      You no longer get to complain about companies screwing consumers, ever. You’re blatantly and intentionally defrauding Spring. You know what you are doing is wrong and I suspect you engaged in some level of deceit to get your plan setup the way it is. You can tell yourself all day long that it’s “legit,” but I’m sure you know, deep down at least, that what you are doing is despicable. Some on here wonder why corporations are always “out to get” customers; it’s because corporations are run by people, and some people, like wvFrugan, are immoral and will do anything they possibly can, including lying, cheating and stealing, to get ahead. Consumerist should have a Golden Poo award to give to consumers; you sir would certainly be a finalist.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        This is no different than what companies do to the American taxpayer with their “creative” accounting, tax loop-holes, stock swaps to get out of paying capital gains, offshore headquarters, etc. They will game the system to squeeze every last penny they can and will say they are operating within the “spirit of the law”, just like wvFrugan is doing.

        • Esquire99 says:

          I have no problem with corporations taking advantage of loopholes, etc. to squeeze every last penny of profit they can out of their revenue. That is, until they engage in deceit. Based on what I know and have read about how people get on these kinds of plans, it always involves at least some deceit.

          • jamar0303 says:

            And “taking advantage of loopholes” doesn’t?

            • Esquire99 says:

              Not necessarily. One can exploit a loophole in the tax code without deceiving the government. What vwFrugan did (most likely) involved deceit in his conversation with the Sprint representative. Read the FB note on how to go about getting the $2.50 plan added; it almost invariably requires some form lying or misrepresentation to the Sprint representative.

              • jamar0303 says:

                Can’t; it’s blocked here. Oh well, I think I have an idea what you mean, and in that case, I’ll say that it isn’t that hard to imply something without outright lying and reach the goal (in this case, getting a “glitch” plan that shouldn’t be obtainable as such). About the same as taking advantage of poorly written tax laws in my book. Omission is all it takes.

          • trujunglist says:

            There is no difference. One will loosely apply interpretation of law to justify this or that, and the other will try to find codes, obscure contract language, etc. to justify this or that. the only difference is that the corporations rape america for much, much more money.

            • Esquire99 says:

              What you’re describing doesn’t involve active deceit. Using vague language, loose interpretations and poorly written codes isn’t the same as lying to accomplish an objective. Once deception is involved, things change rapidly.

      • jamar0303 says:

        I know that in the heat of the moment you want to get your “message” out, but it’s “Sprint”. And he didn’t even mention what provider’s “paying him to use their service” (I think it’s a low-cost plan but the removal of taxes/fees by whatever method put the service fee negative). I think of it on the same level as me roaming into the US instead of getting a US service contract- for my usage pattern roaming is actually cheaper (free incoming texts, cheaper per-KB data, cheaper per minute for my low usage compared to a basic plan or prepaid) and I get the coverage of every GSM provider in the country (heck, if i had an unlocked Boost/Nextel phone I could stick my SIM in that and roam on Sprint-ewww, iDen). I feel like I’m doing something similar due to the fact that American providers for some reason charge an order of magnitude more for their customers roaming to China; how can it be cheaper the other way? Then I remember the last time I dealt with AT&T. If they’re losing money on this, I’m going to keep doing it.

  19. sonneillon says:

    Sprint had an oversight that the guy took advantage of.
    Good for him
    Sprint caught the oversight
    Good for them
    No laws were broken, Sprint gave service per agreement as long as the guy paid.
    It is not stealing if you give it to them, it is not smart business but it is not stealing.
    Both parties are blameless.

  20. elizass says:

    Why don’t we call this article: “Customer takes advantage of Sprint loophole; gets caught.”

    Or is that just too honest for dishonest “writers” at the Consumerist?

    This would be such a better resource if it wasn’t so disgustingly one-sided.

    • LEXISNEX says:

      I fail to see anything dishonest in this article. Perhaps you can point it out for me. In fact Sprint is “… Forcing Customers On Ultra Cheap Plans to Upgrade.”

    • Sneeje says:

      I understand this is your first time on the internets, so I’ll help you out… this is a blog. That’s B-L-O-G. Blogs are generally written from a particular point-of-view. For example, this blog is written from a consumer advocate’s point-of-view and covers items of interest to consumers. There should be no expectation of corporate or business advocation on this blog and each reader will have to decide if the information is presented in such a slanted way as to be useless. And then the reader ought to choose another source of information in which to invest their time. The internets are pretty cool, huh?

      In this case, it is of consumer interest that a company has decided to change the terms of a plan they offer to consumers. If you read the above post carefully, you’ll notice that no real bias or bent was presented, just a post to describe the event with casual language to make it more interesting for us the readers.

      • NeverLetMeDown says:

        They never offered this plan to consumers – it looks like it was a coding error combined with an internal developer rate. To get it, you basically needed to social engineer a rep to add a specific code to your account (the instructions to get it say that you might need to make up a story to get it done, and that you needed to use the less well-informed offshore call center reps to get the account). It’s not really theft of services, but it’s certainly ethically in the same range as auto-charging credit cards based on practically invisible fine print.

        At very least, this deserves a “bad consumer” tag.

      • admiral_stabbin says:

        I respectfully disagree. Using the word “forcing” in the context of the headline is definitely tacking some opinion (and side-taking) onto the story. I don’t see anything wrong with that as you and others have pointed out very eloquently.

        I also don’t see anything wrong with Sprint shutting people down that game them…even if they (Sprint) are shifty bastards with those stupid ETFs. Personally, I think ETFs should be illegal if they did not subsidize the phone cost (e.g. I provide my own phone I bought on eBay). Alas, I am digressing…

        • Sneeje says:

          Huh? Sprint is in fact, “forcing” current members of the plan to either switch or leave. That is fact, not opinion. What would you have written instead, “Sprint sends letter to consumer with delicate question”?

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      You seem to have an attitude and a perception problem. This article does not take a side. The customer is probably upset that he’s losing this amazing deal, which is understandable, it was awesome. Chris did not write “Shame on Sprint”, he said “You can read Sprint’s take-it-or-leave-it offer below.” and the Consumerist has always posted responses to allegations by companies when they choose to respond.

      While it’s your right to complain, you’re look like an idiot for trying to call the Consumerist “one-sided” based on your perceptions of this story.

      Go be a troll somewhere else.

  21. LEXISNEX says:

    Let’s just say that folks got these plans, not as a result of trickery or theft, but as a result of internal mismanagement by Sprint. If the plans were not intended to be offered, it was Sprint that should have made absolutely sure they weren’t. Sprint, by way of its agents, allowed the plan to be offered and customers bought devices and entered contracts under the impression that for at least two years they’d have the plan. Customers did not just add these plans to their accounts on their own. Internally, Sprint’s left hand was/is totally unaware of the actions of the right and in the end, the customer suffers.

    This type of action by Sprint should not be allowed to proceed unchallenged. Don’t get caught up in the price of the plan as it’s not the true issue here.. Anyone with Sprint who maintains accounts with grandfathered plans (SERO, Free and Clear, Fair and Flexible, Unlimited Incoming, etc) should watch this closely. Left unchallenged, this type of unilateral action sets a dangerous precedent and given the written justification for the forced change (no longer offered to new customers), you guys could be next.

    All you SERO holders just replace the “$2.50″ with $30.00 and the “$79.99″ with $960.00 and your letters will be no different. “Your plans are not offered to new customers anymore so take this new $960.00 price plan (minus that free data you were getting, mind you) or hit the road.

  22. NeverLetMeDown says:

    Looks reasonable to me. No real difference from a store that realizes they priced all the $60 video games at $6.00, and goes out and corrects the price stickers. They’re not going after people who bought the games for $6 and telling them “you owe us $54,” they’re just saying “we’re not going to sell any MORE games for $6.”

    • nofelix says:

      But a service contract is a recurring purchase, not a single one like a game. Sprint agreed to a $2.50/month contract.

      • destruktolux says:

        It’s pretty clear this was never a publicly offered plan and whoever got this plan did so less than legitimately. All cell phone providers allow for materially adverse changes in the contracts on the company’s part to allow the customer to cancel without termination fee, and this letter specifically says that.

  23. nucwin83 says:

    Cingular did the same thing to me when they realized that an employee signed me up with a low minute account and then ‘N/C’ added everything he could to my account. I don’t think they checked until he left the company, but eventually I got a bill with a letter attached explaining that there was an error on my account, and they corrected the error but would let me close the account without any further charges if I so chose. So I did. No big deal.

    Why people would be angry at Sprint for moving people off a plan that was not meant for the public is beyond me.

  24. Corinthos says:

    I used to have a 9.99 plan on ATT until about 2 years ago. It was 50 minutes but was good since I only used sms and barely used my phone. I never went over my minutes once. They sent me about 5 letters over several months telling me to call them because it was discontinued. I just ported my number out about three days before it was due since I was no longer under contract.

    I was put on it when I called to cancel it a long time ago when it was still year contracts. The guy in retentions put me on it..

  25. czechmate66 says:

    I had Sprint cell phone service at the retail rate for about 5 years (I had long ago fulfilled my two year agreement) about two years into it I started working for Sprint in the DSL department. Towards the end of my time working there they finally started offering employee plans at $10/month so I signed up. After I quit my job (on good terms to take another job which quickly fell through) they just disconnected my cell phone and my home phone about a week later even though the bills were always paid on time without giving me any kind of notice. They gave both of my telephone numbers to someone else while I was looking for a job, and they told me that I would have to sign a 2 year agreement to get service turned on with my existing cellphone to pay the retail rates even though I had already been month to month long before I started working for them. I would also have to pay the highest possible deposit to get my Sprint home phone (landline) turned back on. They couldn’t just increase the monthly rate; they had to completely screw me over first. I have been with Cingular/AT&T ever since.

    Against my advice my mother later got a Sprint cell phone and her first bill was $800. When she called them they said that when she bought the phone from a junk mail offer without talking to a human that they had activated her new phone under a new two year contract in “Vacation” mode and the rate was $1.20 per minute and that since she had used it that way that she had to pay the bill..

  26. dolemite says:

    The reason I went with Sprint years ago is they were one of the few carriers offering reasonable low-end plans. I had like 400 minutes for $35 a month. Sorry, I don’t need data, text, video, 1200 minutes, and the $80-$100 a month bill that goes along with those, just for a *phone*. But over the years, they’ve cut plans and deals so the best I’ve got now is $70 a month for 2 lines and 450 minutes, even though we still only use 200 minutes a month. I used to also get a “good customer” discount for being a long term customer, but they’ve cut that out on me in the past few months, and I had a 5% discount for signing another 2 year contract, but apparently that was good for only a year. I’ll seriously be shopping around in June. They are pricing themselves out of a customer and don’t seem to care (as I’ve called numerous times to see what they can do for me, and they are totally inflexible now).

    • Bush2012 says:

      You should probably just get prepaid, because Sprint has some of the cheapest plans in the industry, unless you count Tmobile. But then again, I rather have Net10 than Tmobile.

  27. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Doesn’t this constitue breach of contract? Where’s the $400 he gets because Sprint cancelled his plan prior to the contract being up for renewal? Why isn’t Sprint, and all companies, required to live to the same expectations they pose against us?

    • nofelix says:

      Hear hear!

      Whether he was meant to have the plan or not is irrelevant if it wasn’t stipulated in the contract.

    • Esquire99 says:

      Could easily be construed as Fraud in the Inducement, which renders a contract voidable.

      • floraposte says:

        Interesting. Is that the anti-bait-and-switch notion? Would that get the OP anything that an ability to end the contract based on material changes to it wouldn’t?

        • Esquire99 says:

          I should have been more clear; I think the OP fraudulently induced Sprint, thereby allowing them to void the contract without repercussion.

    • RandomZero says:

      Because once you get past the legalese, the Sprint service agreement basically boils down to “We can do what we want, when we want, and you have no recourse except to bend over and take it or fork out even more money to us.”

      (Seriously, I once spent about a week going over the thing with a fine-toothed comb in my downtime. There’s absolutely NOTHING without an escape clause for them in it – you’re even expected to pay their costs if you do take them to the mandatory binding arbitration. It’s a work of art, and I’m sure several lawyers have a special section of Hell reserved for them due to its creation.)

  28. boxoroxs says:

    I think Corey is the one who posted it to Fat Wallet or Slick Deals in the first place….

  29. t0ph says:

    I am a member of the popular Sprint forums whee people trade information of how to get these plans and what codes to ask the representative to use to get them, and I think that is just stealing. It is so apparant that the $2.50 plan is not meant for the public, it is an internal plan that fell thru the cracks.

    Sprint’s plans are so cheap and these people spend so much time trying to get over, that it boggles my mind.

    And I recall correctly, people with these plans were warned MONTHS ago that they will be converting to the new plan in the near future.

    • KingCoop says:

      So I guess you think people who are on slickdeals.net and fatwallet.com that look for deals daily to “get over” are also stealing? Because in essence they are doing the same thing, which is looking for a way to get a product cheaper than the intended normal price. The only difference is that users on these forums are looking for a continued monthly discount. Sprint sticks it to every customer every month with unnecessary Sprint surcharges that they pass along to each customer that is not a required government tax, so they should have it stuck right back to them.

      What boggles me is how certain people think it is stealing just because people look for ways to pay a for-profit company a cheaper price for service.

      • t0ph says:

        Are you on fucking crack? Are you honestly telling me that you think that if you figured out a way to get a cell plan for $2.50 you wouldn’t feel like you were doing something wrong?

        And no, I do not think that all the people on slickdeals and fatwallet are all trying to steal. The people that got this $2.50 plan actively tried and succeeded at gaming a poorly managed system/business.

        And said poorly run business doe s NOT deserve to be taken advantage of by it’s customers,, it goes BOTH ways.

        And Sprint does not add any surcharges that all the other carriers do not charge as well, so they should not be singled out from the rest of the carriers.

        A $2.50 cell plan is ridiculous, you know it and I know it. Only a total asswipe such as yourself would argue that is should be legit. The customer got away with it and they should be happy they did for as long as they have. End of story,

        • LEXISNEX says:

          I excuse your comment as it is based on an outside looking in perspective along with the fact that you and many many others here do not know the true history and factual turn of events surrounding the subject of this article. There’s a lot more going on here than the article and the attached letter would lead one not in the know to believe.

          That being said, when you don’t have all the facts, don’t publicly make yourself appear foolish by making such harsh comments.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      “Sprint’s plans are so cheap…”

      What are you smoking? $80 for a *telephone* is “cheap”?

      It may cost less than other carriers, but I’m with Chris on this one. Someone charging slightly less-*extortionary* fees for something doesn’t make it reasonable, it just removes the asterisks.

      I pay $25/mo for mobile internet access. To get the same access on a smartphone, it would cost me $80. That’s no voice, no messaging, just data+tethering.

      • NeverLetMeDown says:

        That price differential sounds pretty fair, given that you can use FAR more data on a smartphone (particularly a tethered one) than you could ever reasonably use with just a phone-format device.

        As a comparison, I’m sure that, if gas were sold on an “all you can use per month” basis, then the plans would be different if you had to buy it in shotglasses, and carry it home to fill your tank, than if you could show up with a tanker truck.

      • t0ph says:

        I pay $70 for 450 minutes, unlimited data and text messages. I use a ton of data & texts on my smartphone. Plus they have Any Mobile, so I never even dent my minute allowance. It could be $20 cheaper (like T-Mobile), and I am sure it will be eventually.

        I think its a fair price in a RELATIVE sense.

    • Mr. TheShack says:

      Yeah, that was kind of dirty to do, even if they are a big corporation.

  30. Dissonance says:

    No free nights and weekends, roaming or even mobile to mobile.
    If you want data that’s another $15.

    To add these features a-la-carte and make this a “normal” plan costs another $30.
    Not a very good deal at $110/mo!!

  31. eyecon82 says:

    darn…the plan was good while it lasted :)

  32. Ronis says:

    Sprint updates existing pricing plans as well as introduces new pricing plans regularly and we make every effort to allow customers to remain on the plans they are signed up for. However, many of the customers who were on this plan were actually not eligible for the plan. We are also no longer able to continue the plan at that very low rate. We are working with each customer in the hopes of finding a plan that will meet each of their wireless needs.

    Roni Singleton
    Sprint PR

    • LEXISNEX says:

      Nice to finally hear a response from Sprint. Generously, Sprint’s letter offers the customer the option to disconnect their service and incur no resulting ETF. Given the circumstances involved, if a customer accepts that offer and cancels, is Sprint willing to refund the cost incurred by the customer in purchasing the Sprint device for that line (if even on a prorated basis)? I mean, what use does it have for the customer anymore?

  33. Dissonance says:

    Roni,
    It’s certainly understandable that Sprint would want to increase a plan at that price point, but if that letter is accurate then all you’re offering is the biggest rip off I’ve ever seen!
    Why in the world would anybody choose to pay $79.99 for 1000 minutes and text messaging?

    The plan doesn’t include:
    -ANY night & weekend minutes at all
    -Mobile to mobile
    -Data
    -Roaming

    If I understand your pricing of these add ons it would cost an additional $35 to add these to that plan.
    If you want to “work with” these customers then come up with a legitimate offer (such as the Sero plan- or is that going away too?)

    From my point of view it looks like you’re hoping to gouge these people for a month before they leave.

    • ultimatum says:

      Exactly, Dissonance…

      What kinda ultimatum is here’s the shittiest value plan we can offer for our mistakes??

      I can definitely see this happening to SERO users within the next year or two. SERO was another one of Sprint’s regrets.

      I wonder how Sprint plans to stay in business without customers…

  34. ultimatum says:

    This is bull crap.

    I saw this deal posted on FatWallet, so I decided to throw away three of my SERO accounts… AND NOW I CAN’T GET THEM BACK?!?

    Now Sprint is pulling this bait and switch tactic that probably WAS planted by them in the first place on FW.

    What a bunch of lamers. They can’t even put me back on my old contract?? What a bunch of jerks. How can anybody say what they’re doing is fair when I only did what anybody else would do if they found that deal on FW??

    This all happened from a screw up by Sprint (maybe even possibly an INTENTIONAL screw up), and now all the customers who got the deal are the ones getting screwed?!?!?

    Gimme a break. Sprint just wants to play the blame game for the reason they lose a million postpaid CDMA customers every quarter.

    Why doesn’t Sprint rectify the situation in a fair manner? Am I the only one who finds their ultimatum a bit sketchy? How can they offer me less features than an Everything Data plan for a higher cost than the Everything Data plan? Why go to that extreme, when I have made no mistake.

    OK, well, I guess I did make one mistake, which was choosing Sprint’s SERO plan a couple years back. What a joke of a company. Guess Sprint’s #1 advocate will be turning to PagePlus’ #1 advocate, or maybe T-Mobile’s #1 advocate. Sprint hasn’t made a profit in YEARS… and their action with this letter puts the nail in the coffin for Sprint itself. Sprint has no interest in keeping customers, and I’m sure another carrier WILL.

  35. bmoses555 says:

    So i’m currently on the SERO plan (for perhaps the next two days) because my phone “died” a few days ago. This wouldn’t bother me because i’ve got the fancy insurance, and they would just send me a refurb and i’d be sent on my way. Right? WRONG!

    Sprint did send me a refurbished replacement phone. They even overnighted it to me, but last night when attempting to activate it online, lo and behold, they’re making me switch my plan to a more expensive plan!!

    From sprint:

    Your current plan

    SERO F&F 500
    Sprint Fair & Flex Caller ID
    Adjustable Anytime Minutes Call Waiting
    Three-Way Calling $30.00 Minimum Monthly Charge
    Voicemail Nationwide Long Distance Included
    Unlimited Night & Weekend Mins. Included Nights: M-Th 7Pm-7Am Wknd: F 7Pm-M 7Am
    Unlimited Mobile To Mobile (Pcs To Pcs)

    Compatible plans:

    Everything Plus Referral Program – Data Plans

    Everything Plus Referral Program plans are designed exclusively for referrals of Sprint employees. For your new phone to work properly, you may be asked to reselect your plan.

    SERIOUSLY??? For my phone to work properly? As part of the arrangement of sending a refurb, they send you an equivalent phone to what is being replaced. WTF?

    I’ll update with my conversation with sprint today when I ask for my old model back so I can keep my plan. (btw, if I get my old model, it will be the 4th HTC phone they’ve had to replace because it was so defective, the technicians could not fix them and another was sent to me)