Re: Staying with Sprint?

Mike Masnick (
Wed, 09 Jun 1999 10:34:26 -0700

Personal experience: I have the z-phone (the little one with the flip out
microphone). It's not dual mode, but I believe Sprint now supports the
dual mode version of the phone (not that I really care). I've been using
the 90peak/500offpeak plan which somehow I got for $29/month, which is an
incredibly good deal. It used to be better when I was working a real job
and didn't use the phone that much during the day. Since striking it out
on my own, I end up using the phone much more during the day and incurring
the extra charges.

Problems with sprint: the customer service is DREADFUL. For one week last
year I had no voicemail. I called them the day it happened and they
couldn't figure out what went wrong so they "reset" my voicemail, but
informed me it would take 24 hours to come back on line. 24 hours later...
nothing. I called again (one hour on hold) and they couldn't figure out
what happened, and had no record of my vm being reset. So they reset it
again (another 24 hours). Nothing. I call again, they say the person did
it incorrectly, so they'll have to reset it again. 24 hours later and
nothing. I call again... etc... for one week.

Sprint's coverage (depends on where you are) is certainly not as good as
other services I've seen as well. Also, the quality seems suspect. I've
used AT&T before and it had great quality. Sprint drops packets like you
wouldn't believe.

I had that $15/mo/share a phone thing with my roommate for a while, but it
really didn't make much sense long term so we dropped it. Check your bill
carefully because we got all sorts of random charges that made the bill
MUCH higher than it should have been and when we called them on it, they
said "oh, whoops, that's not right".

However, in the end, the price of the deal and the little tiny z-phone keep
me with them. If I ever switched I'd go over to the Nokia 6000 series
(Rohit, the new ones have a number pad cover).


At 04:21 PM 6/8/99 -0400, Steve Dossick wrote:
>Interesting that you mention this, I was about to send out a message asking
>FoRKers for any sprint experiences...
>I'm considering dropping my landline entirely for a national plan, and
>sprint has the deal sweetener of $15/mo gets you a second phone + number
>sharing the same minutes (so Carrie -- my non FoRKer better half can get a
>phone too).
>My current technogeek phone is the Motorola V3620, which is (I think) the
>current smallest-in-the-world record holder. Yes, it's analog, but it has
>message notification, and a built in answering machine. AT&T charges an
>arm and a leg tho, to the tune of $29/mo and $0.60/min roaming charges,
>with only 30mins airtime included. And every bill includes a little ad for
>their digital service plans :) I end up paying $80-$100/mo anyway because
>of the charges.
>So FoRKers, what's bad about Sprint? More imprtant, what's good?
>At 10:30 AM 6/8/99 -0700, Rohit Khare wrote:
>>It's crunch time to decide on what calling plan to keep, since I want
>>to print business cards today. I'm currently paying $50 a month for
>>500 minutes, anytime, anywhere *on their network*, no long distance,
>>and (finally!) text messaging.
>>But I'm dealing with a chickenshit carrier who can't even answer
>>their phones. I spent an hour on hold yesterday before getting cut
>>off; I've now called over two dozen times to pay my bill and keep
>>getting a busy tone. Grumble.
>>BUT --
>>Plans seem to have gotten a lot more expensive: AT&T is $90 for 600
>>minutes. Without first-minute-free, that's effectively the same as my
>>$50 plan, but I gain analog roaming for 80% more. Really worth it? I
>>don't know -- the only places I've been out of range in the last year
>>have been Chicago (now fixed, I believe), and rural I-5.
>>Airtouch and PacBell both have attractive volume plans -- including
>>very useful night/wknd plans for me -- but they're $75 for 600
>>minutes of real use.
>>They're all about 25 cents for additional minutes. All the others
>>require minimum committments, unlike Sprint. There, I could drop down
>>to a voicemailbox and use it just as a pager for $15/month. There's
>>not much to differentiate them...
>>... except handset envy. The main lure of the rival plans is the
>>Nokia 6000 series: small, 200hr standby, the usual. That looks to be
>>a $150 investment (tiny). Exposed keypad, though -- don't know how
>>long it'll survive in my pocket.
>>If I stay with Sprint, I desperately have to replace my old clunker.
>>The successor model is a Samsung 2010, a Li-ion version with voice
>>dialing and voice memo (and headset support).
>>But, the one around the corner... yes, I know it's a waiting game
>>trap, like getting strung along for a year on paging!... is really
>>cool. The Qualcomm 1960 thinphone has a built in 4-day battery and
>>comes in at 4.23 ounces.
>> (click QCP-1960, get .pdf).
>>So, I'm tending to stay. The final question, though, is should I
>>still keep my 626 area code? I got it there only because it would be
>>local to Adam, but that was long ago. He went with Sprint himself a
>>while ago, so I'm not worried about him reaching me. But all my OC
>>(949) buddies have to call LD.
>>But changing my number within Sprint could be just as painful a
>>relabeling process: there's no number portability between wireless
>>Worse, I just called and 1) got the "systems crashed" excuse for
>>customer care's non pick-up, 2) there's no number portability within
>>the sprint net, either, 3) dual-NAM -- two numbers fwded to the same
>>handset -- is "illegal", only under FCC test so far, so 4) I'd need
>>to have two handsets during a transition to keep the old number with
>>a voicemail greeting with my new number but 5) the new thin phone
>>won't be out for another month, but it ought to be $99 (so not as
>>chic as you'd think, of course :-) 6) but when it does, I *could*
>>implement the handoff strategy, because within 60 days of buying a
>>new phone, you can bring in any old, operable phone+charger to get
>>$50 service credits. So 7) I'm forced to print my business cards with
>>the old 626 number.
>>Sorry, OC folks. I'm stayin' in Pasadena...
>>PS. It doesn't seem to make sense to produce a small initial run and
>>reprint cards in 3 months -- I don't want any collateral at out there
>>floating around with a bum number, right?