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  1. #1
    Rick
    Guest
    I signed up for a "$35/month" plan with Sprint PCS(brand new
    customer). Turns out with all fees and taxes, my base minimum monthly
    charge (assuming I use no extras and stay below my minutes allotment)
    will be $44.34. That's effectively a 27% upcharge over the $35
    "price".

    Verizon tells me the taxes and surcharge would bring *their* $35 plan
    to about $40. That's a lot less upcharge than Sprint, assuming I am
    being given a straight story (and based on coversations with and posts
    from a few Verizon customers, that sounds at least fairly clse to
    truth). I used a monthly prepaid service awhile back, and even though
    they have a reputation for scewing people over, their upcharge
    percentage was even less than Verizon's -- about 10%: $40 -->
    $44.28). And this carrier used the SPCS network to habdle its calls!

    Sure sounds to me like Sprint may be using fees to allow them to quote
    a competitive price but in actuality charge more.

    In a way this reminds me of a stuation in most U.S. (not Euoropean)
    restaurants, namely that they don't list beer, cocktail or soft drink
    prices -- only wine. Few people bother to ask, and they can end up
    paying extremely jacked-up prices. (I sometimes ask, and the servers
    usually don't know and seem surprised anyone would ask -- "the
    computer prices it" -- and they sometimes balk at checking.)
    Apparently Sprint, more than some other providers, is using this same
    "hardly anyone one will bother to ask THAT" angle to ratchet up their
    profits. And, BTW, I had to go through several CS reps before I could
    even get an answer about the all-inclusive cost.

    Partly due to this, I may cancel while I'm still in the no-penalty
    cancellation period.



    See More: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)




  2. #2
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)


    "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I signed up for a "$35/month" plan with Sprint PCS(brand new
    > customer). Turns out with all fees and taxes, my base minimum monthly
    > charge (assuming I use no extras and stay below my minutes allotment)
    > will be $44.34. That's effectively a 27% upcharge over the $35
    > "price".


    Which plan did you sign up for, the Fair & Flexible plan, or the flat 300
    min. plan? Did you buy an extra option like 7 PM N & W, or PCS2PCS, or F &
    CA?

    >
    > Verizon tells me the taxes and surcharge would bring *their* $35 plan
    > to about $40. That's a lot less upcharge than Sprint, assuming I am
    > being given a straight story (and based on coversations with and posts
    > from a few Verizon customers, that sounds at least fairly clse to
    > truth). I used a monthly prepaid service awhile back, and even though
    > they have a reputation for scewing people over, their upcharge
    > percentage was even less than Verizon's -- about 10%: $40 -->
    > $44.28). And this carrier used the SPCS network to habdle its calls!


    Taxes and surcharges average around 20%. Some areas are higher, some lower,
    depending on the state and local taxes applied. Instead of listening to
    Verizon customers, why don't you call Verizon directly and find out from the
    horse's mouth?
    >
    > Sure sounds to me like Sprint may be using fees to allow them to quote
    > a competitive price but in actuality charge more.
    >

    The only fee that SPCS might charge that Verizon might not, is a porting fee
    to recapture their expenses, and that $0.40 / a month.

    > In a way this reminds me of a stuation in most U.S. (not Euoropean)
    > restaurants, namely that they don't list beer, cocktail or soft drink
    > prices -- only wine. Few people bother to ask, and they can end up
    > paying extremely jacked-up prices. (I sometimes ask, and the servers
    > usually don't know and seem surprised anyone would ask -- "the
    > computer prices it" -- and they sometimes balk at checking.)
    > Apparently Sprint, more than some other providers, is using this same
    > "hardly anyone one will bother to ask THAT" angle to ratchet up their
    > profits. And, BTW, I had to go through several CS reps before I could
    > even get an answer about the all-inclusive cost.
    >
    > Partly due to this, I may cancel while I'm still in the no-penalty
    > cancellation period.


    It's your decision. You might supply some additional details on which plan
    and options (if any) you took, along with where you live (city & state), as
    some additional information can be passed on to here.

    Bob

    Bob





  3. #3
    thunder
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)


    "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I signed up for a "$35/month" plan with Sprint PCS(brand new
    > customer). Turns out with all fees and taxes, my base minimum monthly
    > charge (assuming I use no extras and stay below my minutes allotment)
    > will be $44.34. That's effectively a 27% upcharge over the $35
    > "price".


    I just received my bill today, I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and this is what
    it shows for the break down as far
    as taxes and surcharges go..

    Federal tax 1.55
    Hamilton county sales tax 0.52
    Ohio state sales tax 3.11

    Federal universal service 1.02
    Federal E911 .40
    Federal wireless portability .40

    $7.00






  4. #4
    Chris Russell
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    And that is about what you'd pay under every wireless carrier at your
    current location. In my case I don't have a county tax.

    Chris

    "thunder" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> I signed up for a "$35/month" plan with Sprint PCS(brand new
    >> customer). Turns out with all fees and taxes, my base minimum monthly
    >> charge (assuming I use no extras and stay below my minutes allotment)
    >> will be $44.34. That's effectively a 27% upcharge over the $35
    >> "price".

    >
    > I just received my bill today, I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and this is what
    > it shows for the break down as far
    > as taxes and surcharges go..
    >
    > Federal tax 1.55
    > Hamilton county sales tax 0.52
    > Ohio state sales tax 3.11
    >
    > Federal universal service 1.02
    > Federal E911 .40
    > Federal wireless portability .40
    >
    > $7.00
    >
    >
    >






  5. #5
    Rick
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    Shortly after starting this thread I got some new info, but had to
    wait until the first post appeared before adding the follow-up (I
    haven't seen the responses yet, if any):

    It appears that the CS rep who very quickly and confidently told me
    that my monthly all-inclusive costs would be $44.34 simply took the
    $9.34 in taxes and fees I was charged on my first invoice and added
    that to the $35.00 monthly base.

    I began to wonder if maybe I was also charged tax on the one-time only
    activation fee of $36 that also appeared on the first invoice. I
    called another competent-sounding CS Rep and asked if the activation
    fee was taxable. He quickly said yes. I then called a local city
    official and asked if the city and state taxes were levied on
    activation fees. He also said yes. I'm guessing that's probably true
    for federal taxes, too (which were a lot lower, by the way).

    So doing a little number crunching -- namely cutting taxes by a little
    more than 50% and leaving fees and surcharges constant -- I come up
    with a total monthly charge of only $40.30 instead of $44.34…about the
    same as the all-inclusive estimate Verizon gave me pronto for *their*
    $35 plan. (I actually get another 5% discount that Sprint offers to
    USAA members, bringing the overall monthly total to about
    $38.40…although I won't bank on *anything* until I see next month's
    invoice.)

    Anyway, that incorrect all-inclusive of $44.34 I was given by the
    first "quick and confident" CS Rep could have caused me to take
    advantage of my two-week cancellation period and move to Verizon, by
    tipping the scales when added to a few other mild reservations I have
    about SPCS and the phone.

    Aren't CS reps trained in all apspects of invoice questions --
    including to follow up with a supervisor when necessary instead of
    making uneducated assumptions (in my case, that ongoing taxes will be
    the same as the first month's taxes)?

    So far, my experience with SPCS CS (on an admittedly small sample
    size):
    -- Overall, better than CS for many (non-wireless) Telecom and
    other-industry companies…but that's not
    really much of a compliment these days
    -- Usually pretty easy to get hold of, wait times short-to-moderate
    -- Generally pleasant and courteous
    -- Email CS pretty good and quick (although one wrote back that there
    was no way he could estimate the all-inclusive monthlyt charges
    -- Telephone CS Rep profile:
    A. 50% sound like they know what they're talking about and
    actually do
    B. 25% sound like they know what they're taking about but are
    actually clueless
    C. 25% sound clueless and *are* clueless

    "B" is actually the most dangerous category from a customer
    perspective, of course.

    (And dammit, I *still* want to know what the beer prices are when I
    order at a restaurant! I believe listing those prices is actually a
    LAW in many European countries, which makes sense. Why should
    Americans be pushovers? OK, I know this has nothing to do with cell
    phones, but at least the general concept kind of applies to my
    topic…and I don't know where else to get on my soapbox about it.)



  6. #6
    Rick
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    "Bob Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > I signed up for a "$35/month" plan with Sprint PCS(brand new
    > > customer). Turns out with all fees and taxes, my base minimum monthly
    > > charge (assuming I use no extras and stay below my minutes allotment)
    > > will be $44.34. That's effectively a 27% upcharge over the $35
    > > "price".

    >
    > Which plan did you sign up for, the Fair & Flexible plan, or the flat 300
    > min. plan? Did you buy an extra option like 7 PM N & W, or PCS2PCS, or F &
    > CA?


    The flat plan, which they call Free & Clear now. No extras.
    >
    > >
    > > Verizon tells me the taxes and surcharge would bring *their* $35 plan
    > > to about $40. That's a lot less upcharge than Sprint, assuming I am
    > > being given a straight story (and based on coversations with and posts
    > > from a few Verizon customers, that sounds at least fairly clse to
    > > truth). I used a monthly prepaid service awhile back, and even though
    > > they have a reputation for scewing people over, their upcharge
    > > percentage was even less than Verizon's -- about 10%: $40 -->
    > > $44.28). And this carrier used the SPCS network to habdle its calls!

    >
    > Taxes and surcharges average around 20%. Some areas are higher, some lower,
    > depending on the state and local taxes applied. Instead of listening to
    > Verizon customers, why don't you call Verizon directly and find out from the
    > horse's mouth?


    I did. That's what I meant by "Verizon tells me..."

    > The only fee that SPCS might charge that Verizon might not, is a porting fee
    > to recapture their expenses, and that $0.40 / a month.


    I don't think they did. I just posted a followup that I think solves
    my issue, namely why I think the all-inclusive price CS quoted me was
    wrong, i.e. higher than I'm actually going to get billed. But I
    thought I'd answer your questions anyway since you took the time to
    reply.

    > It's your decision. You might supply some additional details on which plan
    > and options (if any) you took, along with where you live (city & state), as
    > some additional information can be passed on to here.


    Again, no options selected. And I'm in suburban Chicago, where, per
    my discussion with a city official (see my later post), state tax is
    7% and city tax is 1%. Again, this is all fyi, since I think I've
    solved the issue.



  7. #7
    Rick
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    "thunder" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > I signed up for a "$35/month" plan with Sprint PCS(brand new
    > > customer). Turns out with all fees and taxes, my base minimum monthly
    > > charge (assuming I use no extras and stay below my minutes allotment)
    > > will be $44.34. That's effectively a 27% upcharge over the $35
    > > "price".

    >
    > I just received my bill today, I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and this is what
    > it shows for the break down as far
    > as taxes and surcharges go..
    >
    > Federal tax 1.55
    > Hamilton county sales tax 0.52
    > Ohio state sales tax 3.11
    >
    > Federal universal service 1.02
    > Federal E911 .40
    > Federal wireless portability .40
    >
    > $7.00


    Assuming you're also on the $35 flat-rate plan w/no extras, it looks
    like your total up-charge is 20%. As I mention in a followup to my
    own post, I think that CS's quote was wrong and that my actual ongoing
    bill will have about a 15% upcharge instead of 27%. Hard to believe
    the tax in Cincy would be higher than in suburban Chicago, but again
    I'm not certain what your monthly base+options is.



  8. #8
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    Rick <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Assuming you're also on the $35 flat-rate plan w/no extras, it looks
    > like your total up-charge is 20%. As I mention in a followup to my
    > own post, I think that CS's quote was wrong and that my actual ongoing
    > bill will have about a 15% upcharge instead of 27%. Hard to believe
    > the tax in Cincy would be higher than in suburban Chicago, but again
    > I'm not certain what your monthly base+options is.


    Someone's gotta make up for Ohio having some of the lowest telecom
    prices in the known universe.... (Not necessarily referring to cellular
    here, but the landline/data tarriffs the telcos have filed in Ohio tend to
    be ridiculously cheap...)

    Seriously - don't bother asking someone in a call center that probably isn't
    even in the same state as you are, what your taxes are going to be. They
    won't be able to answer accurately.

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / [email protected]
    PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
    Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.



  9. #9
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)


    "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "Bob Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message

    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > > > I signed up for a "$35/month" plan with Sprint PCS(brand new
    > > > customer). Turns out with all fees and taxes, my base minimum monthly
    > > > charge (assuming I use no extras and stay below my minutes allotment)
    > > > will be $44.34. That's effectively a 27% upcharge over the $35
    > > > "price".

    > >
    > > Which plan did you sign up for, the Fair & Flexible plan, or the flat

    300
    > > min. plan? Did you buy an extra option like 7 PM N & W, or PCS2PCS, or F

    &
    > > CA?

    >
    > The flat plan, which they call Free & Clear now. No extras.


    Ok. Out of curiousity, why didn't you go with the F & F. If you go over your
    monthly minutes, it's much cheaper for a low end user. If you were to go to
    maybe 350 AT minutes in a month on the F & C plan, it would cost you $20
    more ... plus tax. If you were on the F & F plan, it would cost you just $5
    more ... plus tax. Here's a web page where you can compare -
    http://tinyurl.com/3znlv

    Glad to see that you were able to figure it out on the taxes for your area.

    Bob





  10. #10
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    Rick <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Aren't CS reps trained in all apspects of invoice questions --
    > including to follow up with a supervisor when necessary instead of
    > making uneducated assumptions (in my case, that ongoing taxes will be
    > the same as the first month's taxes)?


    They *should* just refuse to estimate at all. I don't see how they can
    accurately estimate with the HUGE number of possible combinations of
    city, county, state and federal taxes out there, and I guarantee... ain't
    none of 'em CPA's.

    > phones, but at least the general concept kind of applies to my
    > topic?and I don't know where else to get on my soapbox about it.)


    Other than Bennigan's listing Guinness at "Market Price" (!) I don't know
    of any place that *doesn't* list beer prices.

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / [email protected]
    PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
    Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.



  11. #11
    thunder
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    I am on a retention deal, I have 1000 anytime minutes(national) unlimited
    nights and weekends starting at 8pm. for $50 a month.

    >
    > Assuming you're also on the $35 flat-rate plan w/no extras, it looks
    > like your total up-charge is 20%. As I mention in a followup to my
    > own post, I think that CS's quote was wrong and that my actual ongoing
    > bill will have about a 15% upcharge instead of 27%. Hard to believe
    > the tax in Cincy would be higher than in suburban Chicago, but again
    > I'm not certain what your monthly base+options is.






  12. #12
    Thomas T. Veldhouse
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Rick <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I signed up for a "$35/month" plan with Sprint PCS(brand new
    > customer). Turns out with all fees and taxes, my base minimum monthly
    > charge (assuming I use no extras and stay below my minutes allotment)
    > will be $44.34. That's effectively a 27% upcharge over the $35
    > "price".
    >
    > Verizon tells me the taxes and surcharge would bring *their* $35 plan
    > to about $40.


    It varies by state. I had nearly identical charges on my Verizon bill
    as opposed to my Sprint PCS bill. The only thing bigger on my SPCS bill
    was the pooling and portability charge for WLNP, but that has just been
    reduced to $0.40 per phone [from $1.10].

    >
    > Sure sounds to me like Sprint may be using fees to allow them to quote
    > a competitive price but in actuality charge more.


    I have to disagree whole heartedly.
    >
    > Partly due to this, I may cancel while I'm still in the no-penalty
    > cancellation period.


    Well, if you go to Verizon, you will be in for a surprise. They charge
    more for EVERYTHING, and you will find the taxes very comparable.

    - --

    Thomas T. Veldhouse
    Key Fingerprint: 2DB9 813F F510 82C2 E1AE 34D0 D69D 1EDC D5EC AED1

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  13. #13
    Rick
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    Steven J Sobol <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > Other than Bennigan's listing Guinness at "Market Price" (!) I don't know
    > of any place that *doesn't* list beer prices.


    Wow! Maybe California has a beverage price disclosure law like many
    of the European countries? Except for Chinese restaurants,
    order-at-the-counter places, some small mom-and-pop joints and a
    handful of the national chains, restaurants around here usually don't
    list beer prices unless it's a pitcher or a special.



  14. #14
    Rick
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    "Bob Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > Ok. Out of curiousity, why didn't you go with the F & F. If you go over your
    > monthly minutes, it's much cheaper for a low end user.


    Based on my current usage patterns, I'll virtually never exceed 300
    peak-period minutes, and I didn't want to lock into the two-year
    contract required for F&F. Got a one-year for F&C.



  15. #15
    Rick
    Guest

    Re: Sprint Plan Prices Deceptive? (Free & Clear)

    "thunder" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I am on a retention deal, I have 1000 anytime minutes(national) unlimited
    > nights and weekends starting at 8pm. for $50 a month.
    >

    Oh, then the Cincy upcharge % is about the same as here in my
    Chicago-area burb (assuming my predictions turn out to be correct when
    the second invoice arrives).



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