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Sprint reneges on a written offer

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Anonymous
October 6, 2004 5:30:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

I am on a month-to-month agreement with SPCS. Have been since '99. Wanted to
add a 3rd line for my son. Called retention, was offered the following deal
by a representative --who gave me her name and employee ID # for
confirmation:

3 lines
1100 shared minutes
Unl. N/W starting at 7 p.m.
Unl mobile-mobile calls
2 year contract required
$85.50 ($90 less 5% discount for the2 year deal).

When I called back later to sign up, was told by a supervisor that SPCS
would not honor the deal --even though it had been noted in my file that the
company had agreeed. "She made a mistake," was the response. No way would
they honor it. Instead, they told me the charge would be $109 -- or $25 a
month more than I was told.

I have stood by SPCS for five years, and gave them first shot at holding me
for at least 2 more. They dropped the ball big time, and did not seem to
care.
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 4:16:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Igel" <rigel@hotpop.com> wrote in message
news:9VH8d.6098$gs1.5586@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> I am on a month-to-month agreement with SPCS. Have been since '99. Wanted
to
> add a 3rd line for my son. Called retention, was offered the following
deal
> by a representative --who gave me her name and employee ID # for
> confirmation:
>
> 3 lines
> 1100 shared minutes
> Unl. N/W starting at 7 p.m.
> Unl mobile-mobile calls
> 2 year contract required
> $85.50 ($90 less 5% discount for the2 year deal).
>
> When I called back later to sign up, was told by a supervisor that SPCS
> would not honor the deal --even though it had been noted in my file that
the
> company had agreeed. "She made a mistake," was the response. No way would
> they honor it. Instead, they told me the charge would be $109 -- or $25 a
> month more than I was told.
>
> I have stood by SPCS for five years, and gave them first shot at holding
me
> for at least 2 more. They dropped the ball big time, and did not seem to
> care.

Written offer? What written offer? I don't believe I've ever seen a written
retention offer in my 6 years with SPCS. When you say you spoke to
retention, did you get transferred to the retention / cancellation dept, or
did you just speak with regular customer service?

Bob
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 11:17:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Igel" <rigel@hotpop.com> wrote in message
news:9VH8d.6098$gs1.5586@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>I am on a month-to-month agreement with SPCS. Have been since '99. Wanted
>to
> add a 3rd line for my son. Called retention, was offered the following
> deal
> by a representative --who gave me her name and employee ID # for
> confirmation:
>
> 3 lines
> 1100 shared minutes
> Unl. N/W starting at 7 p.m.
> Unl mobile-mobile calls
> 2 year contract required
> $85.50 ($90 less 5% discount for the2 year deal).
>
> When I called back later to sign up, was told by a supervisor that SPCS
> would not honor the deal --even though it had been noted in my file that
> the
> company had agreeed. "She made a mistake," was the response. No way would
> they honor it. Instead, they told me the charge would be $109 -- or $25 a
> month more than I was told.
>
> I have stood by SPCS for five years, and gave them first shot at holding
> me
> for at least 2 more. They dropped the ball big time, and did not seem to
> care.
>
>
>

This basically happened to me recently. Around 5 months ago I signed up for
a retention deal, which I thought it was a good deal ($50/1000). Several
days later I realized that I might need a higher minute plan so I called
Sprint to see if they had something for me, and I was offered a $100/2500
deal that included Vision and a 2nd line. This seemed like a really good
deal to me but I wasn't ready to spend this much monthly, so I thanked the
rep and said I'd get back to them.

A couple of days later I decided to go for it (I figured that with the extra
1500 minutes I could dump my landline and the savings would pay for itself)
and called Sprint. I said that I wanted to sign up for this deal, but was
told that there was no such plan, and that the rep I spoke too must have
made a mistake. They quoted another plan that would have been around $20
more. I thanked them and hung up, and called back, hoping to get another rep
who knew about or was able to offer this plan. I had to do this 5 or 6
times, each time getting the same "no such plan" response, before I finally
got a rep who was able to offer me this plan, which I signed up for and have
been on ever since.

I'm guessing that either Sprint doesn't tell all of its reps about its best
plans, or authorize them to offer them, or their reps know about these
plans, but play hardball and try to offer less attractive plans, until you
demonstrate that you won't settle for anything less but their best plans.
It's kind of like buying a car: do your research, know what their bottom
line is, and don't relent until you get the plan you want. Keep calling and
you'll get this plan, and perhaps an even better one if you're really
persistent (and lucky).

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Related resources
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 11:23:30 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

I'm wondering why Sprint "allows" people with unlimited Vision to access the
internet via a laptop and cable, even though it's forbidden under the TOS,
so long as you don't abuse this (which at present seems to be no more than
300-500MB/month).

Is it because:

1 - It's not worth their time and expense to go after people who don't abuse
this "policy".

2 - They don't want to risk losing non-abusing customers by going after
them.

3 - They believe that this "look the other way" policy actually attracts
customers, and gives them an incentive to sign up for unlimited Vision.

4 - They're tracking this usage in order to develop a profitable business
model for charging for such usage, which they'll eventually roll out.

5 - Some other reason?

Just curious.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 11:25:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Sorry, I meant for this to be a new post, not a response, but hit the "Reply
to Group" button by mistake. My mistake. Ignore this reply, respond to new
post instead.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 11:56:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
news:SCX8d.342590$Fg5.24837@attbi_s53...
> I'm wondering why Sprint "allows" people with unlimited Vision to access
the
> internet via a laptop and cable, even though it's forbidden under the TOS,
> so long as you don't abuse this (which at present seems to be no more than
> 300-500MB/month).
>
> Is it because:
>
> 1 - It's not worth their time and expense to go after people who don't
abuse
> this "policy".
>
> 2 - They don't want to risk losing non-abusing customers by going after
> them.
>
> 3 - They believe that this "look the other way" policy actually attracts
> customers, and gives them an incentive to sign up for unlimited Vision.
>
> 4 - They're tracking this usage in order to develop a profitable business
> model for charging for such usage, which they'll eventually roll out.
>
> 5 - Some other reason?
>
> Just curious.

Could be any one of these answers.

Bob
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 2:01:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

The reps in the Retention/Cancellation department have access to
plans that the regular CSRs don't have access to.

--
John Richards


"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message news:TwX8d.191801$MQ5.163108@attbi_s52...
[snip]
>
> I'm guessing that either Sprint doesn't tell all of its reps about its best
> plans, or authorize them to offer them, or their reps know about these
> plans, but play hardball and try to offer less attractive plans, until you
> demonstrate that you won't settle for anything less but their best plans.
> It's kind of like buying a car: do your research, know what their bottom
> line is, and don't relent until you get the plan you want. Keep calling and
> you'll get this plan, and perhaps an even better one if you're really
> persistent (and lucky).
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 8:34:02 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"John Richards" <supportdesk70-NO-SPAM@NO.SPAM.sbcglobal.net> wrote in
message news:%WZ8d.14755$Qv5.14594@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
> The reps in the Retention/Cancellation department have access to
> plans that the regular CSRs don't have access to.
>

The original poster said that he spoke to retention when he got the offer he
mentioned, so that's not the issue.

> --
> John Richards
>
>
> "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
> news:TwX8d.191801$MQ5.163108@attbi_s52...
> [snip]
>>
>> I'm guessing that either Sprint doesn't tell all of its reps about its
>> best plans, or authorize them to offer them, or their reps know about
>> these plans, but play hardball and try to offer less attractive plans,
>> until you demonstrate that you won't settle for anything less but their
>> best plans. It's kind of like buying a car: do your research, know what
>> their bottom line is, and don't relent until you get the plan you want.
>> Keep calling and you'll get this plan, and perhaps an even better one if
>> you're really persistent (and lucky).
>

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 3:42:26 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:
> I'm wondering why Sprint "allows" people with unlimited Vision to access the
> internet via a laptop and cable, even though it's forbidden under the TOS,
> so long as you don't abuse this (which at present seems to be no more than
> 300-500MB/month).
>
> Is it because:
>
> 1 - It's not worth their time and expense to go after people who don't abuse
> this "policy".
>
> 2 - They don't want to risk losing non-abusing customers by going after
> them.
>
> 3 - They believe that this "look the other way" policy actually attracts
> customers, and gives them an incentive to sign up for unlimited Vision.
>
> 4 - They're tracking this usage in order to develop a profitable business
> model for charging for such usage, which they'll eventually roll out.
>
> 5 - Some other reason?


Probably more like:

6 - There's no definitive mechanism to determine whether someone is
really connecting a laptop or just really into using Vision services.
So, they go after the users that anyone would clearly know could not
possibly have transferred 600, 700, 800 megabytes, 2 gigs - by just
browsing away on their vision phones.


--
E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 4:33:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
news:_G39d.135630$wV.87711@attbi_s54...
> "John Richards" <supportdesk70-NO-SPAM@NO.SPAM.sbcglobal.net> wrote in
> message news:%WZ8d.14755$Qv5.14594@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
> > The reps in the Retention/Cancellation department have access to
> > plans that the regular CSRs don't have access to.
> >
>
> The original poster said that he spoke to retention when he got the offer
he
> mentioned, so that's not the issue.

Kovie, have you noticed the subject header ... yet? I'm still waiting to
hear back on the *written offer* he received from a phone call.

What's more, who's to say who he spoke to on the follow up call to SPCS. He
said he spoke to a supervisor. I'm under the impression that the retention
dept doesn't have supervisors, that they are all on top of the CS dept.

Bob
October 7, 2004 6:53:57 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Igel" <rigel@hotpop.com> wrote in
news:9VH8d.6098$gs1.5586@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net:

> I am on a month-to-month agreement with SPCS. Have been since '99.
> Wanted to add a 3rd line for my son. Called retention, was offered the
> following deal by a representative --who gave me her name and employee
> ID # for confirmation:
>
> 3 lines
> 1100 shared minutes
> Unl. N/W starting at 7 p.m.
> Unl mobile-mobile calls
> 2 year contract required
> $85.50 ($90 less 5% discount for the2 year deal).
>
> When I called back later to sign up, was told by a supervisor that
> SPCS would not honor the deal --even though it had been noted in my
> file that the company had agreeed. "She made a mistake," was the
> response. No way would they honor it. Instead, they told me the charge
> would be $109 -- or $25 a month more than I was told.
>
> I have stood by SPCS for five years, and gave them first shot at
> holding me for at least 2 more. They dropped the ball big time, and
> did not seem to care.
>

Sounds like you were given the price for the first line with add-a-phone
options, and with the two year agreement it includes the PCS-PCS and
first add-a-phone free.

An extra $20 for the third phone would make sense (not sure about the
difference between $20 and $25).

Most likely if you had taken her upon the deal during the original phone
call the error would have been discovered and she would have re-
evaluated the deal with you.

Retention or not, I don't see how they would agree to that.
October 7, 2004 6:56:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in
news:SIa9d.7058$Vm1.827@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net:

>
> "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
> news:_G39d.135630$wV.87711@attbi_s54...
>> "John Richards" <supportdesk70-NO-SPAM@NO.SPAM.sbcglobal.net> wrote
>> in message news:%WZ8d.14755$Qv5.14594@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
>> > The reps in the Retention/Cancellation department have access to
>> > plans that the regular CSRs don't have access to.
>> >
>>
>> The original poster said that he spoke to retention when he got the
>> offer
> he
>> mentioned, so that's not the issue.
>
> Kovie, have you noticed the subject header ... yet? I'm still waiting
> to hear back on the *written offer* he received from a phone call.
>
> What's more, who's to say who he spoke to on the follow up call to
> SPCS. He said he spoke to a supervisor. I'm under the impression that
> the retention dept doesn't have supervisors, that they are all on top
> of the CS dept.
>
> Bob
>
>

I think the subject refers to the fact the OP claims the retention
person entered it in the call tracking system, so not on paper until it
comes out of a printer, it was "written" on the customer history
record.
October 7, 2004 7:00:21 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in
news:SCX8d.342590$Fg5.24837@attbi_s53:

> I'm wondering why Sprint "allows" people with unlimited Vision to
> access the internet via a laptop and cable, even though it's forbidden
> under the TOS, so long as you don't abuse this (which at present seems
> to be no more than 300-500MB/month).

I get charged no matter what.
I have only used the tethered access sparingly when connected, and only
maybe 7-10 days total out of a year.

> Is it because:
>
> 1 - It's not worth their time and expense to go after people who don't
> abuse this "policy".

Not in my mind.

> 2 - They don't want to risk losing non-abusing customers by going
> after them.

Again, doesn't seem to be my experience.

> 3 - They believe that this "look the other way" policy actually
> attracts customers, and gives them an incentive to sign up for
> unlimited Vision.
>

Improperly managing expectations is just a recipe for disaster. I have
unlimited Vision (and it appears my account was modified somehow back
when they did a warranty replacement on the handset), yet get charged
for virtually any internet access. I don't even use the vision on the
handset hardly now.

> 4 - They're tracking this usage in order to develop a profitable
> business model for charging for such usage, which they'll eventually
> roll out.

Couldn't even care at this point.

> 5 - Some other reason?
>
> Just curious.
>
Anonymous
October 7, 2004 7:21:09 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steph" <CUT_skipatrol@hotmail.com_CUT> wrote in message
news:Xns957B505A47CB2skipatroluunet@24.25.203.148...
> "Bob Igel" <rigel@hotpop.com> wrote in
> news:9VH8d.6098$gs1.5586@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net:
>
> > I am on a month-to-month agreement with SPCS. Have been since '99.
> > Wanted to add a 3rd line for my son. Called retention, was offered the
> > following deal by a representative --who gave me her name and employee
> > ID # for confirmation:
> >
> > 3 lines
> > 1100 shared minutes
> > Unl. N/W starting at 7 p.m.
> > Unl mobile-mobile calls
> > 2 year contract required
> > $85.50 ($90 less 5% discount for the2 year deal).
> >
> > When I called back later to sign up, was told by a supervisor that
> > SPCS would not honor the deal --even though it had been noted in my
> > file that the company had agreeed. "She made a mistake," was the
> > response. No way would they honor it. Instead, they told me the charge
> > would be $109 -- or $25 a month more than I was told.
> >
> > I have stood by SPCS for five years, and gave them first shot at
> > holding me for at least 2 more. They dropped the ball big time, and
> > did not seem to care.
> >
>
> Sounds like you were given the price for the first line with add-a-phone
> options, and with the two year agreement it includes the PCS-PCS and
> first add-a-phone free.
>
> An extra $20 for the third phone would make sense (not sure about the
> difference between $20 and $25).

The extra $5 could be the additional taxes and surcharges to the account
with the addition of the phone.

Bob
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 12:48:32 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steph" <CUT_skipatrol@hotmail.com_CUT> wrote in message
news:Xns957B50D12C0Cskipatroluunet@24.25.203.148...
> "Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in
> news:SIa9d.7058$Vm1.827@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net:
>
>>
>> "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
>> news:_G39d.135630$wV.87711@attbi_s54...
>>> "John Richards" <supportdesk70-NO-SPAM@NO.SPAM.sbcglobal.net> wrote
>>> in message news:%WZ8d.14755$Qv5.14594@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com...
>>> > The reps in the Retention/Cancellation department have access to
>>> > plans that the regular CSRs don't have access to.
>>> >
>>>
>>> The original poster said that he spoke to retention when he got the
>>> offer
>> he
>>> mentioned, so that's not the issue.
>>
>> Kovie, have you noticed the subject header ... yet? I'm still waiting
>> to hear back on the *written offer* he received from a phone call.
>>
>> What's more, who's to say who he spoke to on the follow up call to
>> SPCS. He said he spoke to a supervisor. I'm under the impression that
>> the retention dept doesn't have supervisors, that they are all on top
>> of the CS dept.
>>
>> Bob
>>
>>
>
> I think the subject refers to the fact the OP claims the retention
> person entered it in the call tracking system, so not on paper until it
> comes out of a printer, it was "written" on the customer history
> record.
>

Which is why I didn't bother to comment on that aspect of his posting.
Thanks Steph.

Bob--you're nit-picking here and missing the point. I was just trying to
fill in the OP on the inconsistencies one can expect when calling Sprint
about previously made offers. I had a similar situation, where I was offered
a great deal by one rep, which I wasn't ready to sign onto at the time, and
then had to call multiple times before getting another rep who could give me
the same offer. Whatever one thinks of this "policy", it's the way it is and
one just has to be aware of it and find a way to work around it.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 12:56:54 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Isaiah Beard" <sacredpoet@sacredpoet.com> wrote in message
news:Gtd9d.14$Gb2.5@fe36.usenetserver.com...
> Kovie wrote:
>> I'm wondering why Sprint "allows" people with unlimited Vision to access
>> the internet via a laptop and cable, even though it's forbidden under the
>> TOS, so long as you don't abuse this (which at present seems to be no
>> more than 300-500MB/month).
>>
>> Is it because:
>>
>> 1 - It's not worth their time and expense to go after people who don't
>> abuse this "policy".
>>
>> 2 - They don't want to risk losing non-abusing customers by going after
>> them.
>>
>> 3 - They believe that this "look the other way" policy actually attracts
>> customers, and gives them an incentive to sign up for unlimited Vision.
>>
>> 4 - They're tracking this usage in order to develop a profitable business
>> model for charging for such usage, which they'll eventually roll out.
>>
>> 5 - Some other reason?
>
>
> Probably more like:
>
> 6 - There's no definitive mechanism to determine whether someone is
> really connecting a laptop or just really into using Vision services. So,
> they go after the users that anyone would clearly know could not possibly
> have transferred 600, 700, 800 megabytes, 2 gigs - by just browsing away
> on their vision phones.
>
>
> --
> E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
> Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.


I still find it hard to believe that Sprint can't tell whether Vision access
originated from a phone or from a device connected to the phone via a cable.
Surely the connections are originated differently, and data packets contain
enough information to identify which is which. E.g., the phone's likely to
have packets that identifies it as using J2ME or WAP while a laptop
connection's likely to have packets that identifies it as using J2SE or
ActiveX/COM.

As to whether Sprint bothers to look at the data to this level of detail,
I'm not so sure.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
>
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 12:56:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:
> enough information to identify which is which. E.g., the phone's likely to
> have packets that identifies it as using J2ME or WAP while a laptop
> connection's likely to have packets that identifies it as using J2SE or
> ActiveX/COM.

Not possible. As far as web browsing is concerned, HTTP is HTTP, and the choice
of technology (Java, ActiveX/ASP, whatever) is made on the SERVER. Not the client.

> As to whether Sprint bothers to look at the data to this level of detail,
> I'm not so sure.

It doesn't exist.



--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 12:59:19 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steph" <CUT_skipatrol@hotmail.com_CUT> wrote in message
news:Xns957B517051898skipatroluunet@24.25.203.148...
> "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in
> news:SCX8d.342590$Fg5.24837@attbi_s53:
>
>> I'm wondering why Sprint "allows" people with unlimited Vision to
>> access the internet via a laptop and cable, even though it's forbidden
>> under the TOS, so long as you don't abuse this (which at present seems
>> to be no more than 300-500MB/month).
>
> I get charged no matter what.
> I have only used the tethered access sparingly when connected, and only
> maybe 7-10 days total out of a year.
>

>
> Improperly managing expectations is just a recipe for disaster. I have
> unlimited Vision (and it appears my account was modified somehow back
> when they did a warranty replacement on the handset), yet get charged
> for virtually any internet access. I don't even use the vision on the
> handset hardly now.
>


Isn't this a billing error rather than Sprint policy, as others have noted,
especially if you're being charged for phone Vision access on your unlimited
Vision plan?

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 12:59:20 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:
> Isn't this a billing error rather than Sprint policy, as others have noted,
> especially if you're being charged for phone Vision access on your unlimited
> Vision plan?
Old, slow Wireless Web access is not included in the Vision plans.

However, if you're using a Vision phone, Vision should be used automatically to
browse the web.

I'd suggest to the person having problems that they speak to Sprint tech
support; something does smell fishy here.



--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 1:52:11 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:ck6vhr$gci$1@ratbert.glorb.com...
> Kovie wrote:
>> enough information to identify which is which. E.g., the phone's likely
>> to have packets that identifies it as using J2ME or WAP while a laptop
>> connection's likely to have packets that identifies it as using J2SE or
>> ActiveX/COM.
>
> Not possible. As far as web browsing is concerned, HTTP is HTTP, and the
> choice of technology (Java, ActiveX/ASP, whatever) is made on the SERVER.
> Not the client.
>
>> As to whether Sprint bothers to look at the data to this level of detail,
>> I'm not so sure.
>
> It doesn't exist.
>
>
>
> --
> JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> sjsobol@JustThe.net
> PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

I see. I'm no expert on this, but it just doesn't make sense that there's NO
way to tell the difference between phone and non-phone Vision access.
Wouldn't non-phone browsers such as IE make HTTP calls that a phone-based
one never would, at least at the current level of phone-based browser
technology? E.g. for streaming video or audio content, or for images too
large for any existing phone-based browser to handle? My point is that
perhaps there's nothing in an HTTP call that explicitely says "Hey, I'm
Internet Explorer!", but surely there's some fairly obvious indirect way of
telling what the source is?

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 1:52:12 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:

> I see. I'm no expert on this, but it just doesn't make sense that there's NO
> way to tell the difference between phone and non-phone Vision access.
> Wouldn't non-phone browsers such as IE make HTTP calls that a phone-based
> one never would,

The Vision browsers use WAP 2.0 and can accept XHTML output as well as some
other content. I guess you could check the Accept header and see if the browser
accepts WAP, but I don't think that's necessarily reliable. I have a WAP
simulator on my computer because I've created sites built for cell phones
before, and that simulator will send the same Accept header that a phone would.

> perhaps there's nothing in an HTTP call that explicitely says "Hey, I'm
> Internet Explorer!", but surely there's some fairly obvious indirect way of
> telling what the source is?

Sorta - as I mentioned, it's not really reliable.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 1:53:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:ck6vjl$gci$2@ratbert.glorb.com...
> Kovie wrote:
> > Isn't this a billing error rather than Sprint policy, as others have
> noted,
>> especially if you're being charged for phone Vision access on your
>> unlimited Vision plan?
> Old, slow Wireless Web access is not included in the Vision plans.
>
> However, if you're using a Vision phone, Vision should be used
> automatically to browse the web.
>
> I'd suggest to the person having problems that they speak to Sprint tech
> support; something does smell fishy here.
>
>
>
> --
> JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> sjsobol@JustThe.net
> PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

I might have read somewhere that this sometimes happens when someone has
unlimited Vision but for some reason has chosen to keep their old WW
service. Not sure if this is the issue here.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 1:53:51 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:

> I might have read somewhere that this sometimes happens when someone has
> unlimited Vision but for some reason has chosen to keep their old WW
> service. Not sure if this is the issue here.

If this is the case, perhaps closing out WW would help - it's not necessary to
have it, since Vision includes web browsing.



--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 3:23:01 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
news:A2D9d.330393$mD.213579@attbi_s02...
<snipped>

> Which is why I didn't bother to comment on that aspect of his posting.
> Thanks Steph.
>
> Bob--you're nit-picking here and missing the point. I was just trying to
> fill in the OP on the inconsistencies one can expect when calling Sprint
> about previously made offers. I had a similar situation, where I was
offered
> a great deal by one rep, which I wasn't ready to sign onto at the time,
and
> then had to call multiple times before getting another rep who could give
me
> the same offer. Whatever one thinks of this "policy", it's the way it is
and
> one just has to be aware of it and find a way to work around it.
>

Call it what you will Kovie, but I was trying to get an answer from the
original poster here, who by the way, hasn't replied on that point. Next, I
asked whether he had spoken with the retention dept the second time, and
guess what, no reply back on that either.

The point is that the retention dept offered that prior deal, and it's never
been made clear whether he spoke to someone in a lower tier of CS or the
retention dept, who has the highest limit of authority to offer deals.

Bob
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 5:06:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:ck72du$gue$2@ratbert.glorb.com...
> Kovie wrote:
>
>> I see. I'm no expert on this, but it just doesn't make sense that there's
>> NO way to tell the difference between phone and non-phone Vision access.
>> Wouldn't non-phone browsers such as IE make HTTP calls that a phone-based
>> one never would,
>
> The Vision browsers use WAP 2.0 and can accept XHTML output as well as
> some other content. I guess you could check the Accept header and see if
> the browser accepts WAP, but I don't think that's necessarily reliable. I
> have a WAP simulator on my computer because I've created sites built for
> cell phones before, and that simulator will send the same Accept header
> that a phone would.
>
>> perhaps there's nothing in an HTTP call that explicitely says "Hey, I'm
>> Internet Explorer!", but surely there's some fairly obvious indirect way
>> of telling what the source is?
>
> Sorta - as I mentioned, it's not really reliable.
>
> --
> JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> sjsobol@JustThe.net
> PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

Got it. Being the incurable skeptic and tinkerer that I am, I'm not
completely convinced that there's no reliable way of knowing what the source
device is (hey, we're all entitled to our innocent delusions...). But also
not being an expert on this, I'll have to take your word on it.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 6:09:12 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
news:KQG9d.331265$mD.37816@attbi_s02...
> "Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
> news:ck72du$gue$2@ratbert.glorb.com...
> > Kovie wrote:
> >
> >> I see. I'm no expert on this, but it just doesn't make sense that
there's
> >> NO way to tell the difference between phone and non-phone Vision
access.
> >> Wouldn't non-phone browsers such as IE make HTTP calls that a
phone-based
> >> one never would,
> >
> > The Vision browsers use WAP 2.0 and can accept XHTML output as well as
> > some other content. I guess you could check the Accept header and see if
> > the browser accepts WAP, but I don't think that's necessarily reliable.
I
> > have a WAP simulator on my computer because I've created sites built for
> > cell phones before, and that simulator will send the same Accept header
> > that a phone would.
> >
> >> perhaps there's nothing in an HTTP call that explicitely says "Hey, I'm
> >> Internet Explorer!", but surely there's some fairly obvious indirect
way
> >> of telling what the source is?
> >
> > Sorta - as I mentioned, it's not really reliable.
> >
> > --
> > JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> > Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> > sjsobol@JustThe.net
> > PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> > Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three
kids.
>
> Got it. Being the incurable skeptic and tinkerer that I am, I'm not
> completely convinced that there's no reliable way of knowing what the
source
> device is (hey, we're all entitled to our innocent delusions...). But also
> not being an expert on this, I'll have to take your word on it.
>
> --
> Kovie
> kovie@earthlink.netizen

Before Rob left, he mentioned that SPCS does know how to determine when data
was through the phone or a laptop.

Bob
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 7:10:59 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:cLH9d.12779$gs1.8623@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
> news:KQG9d.331265$mD.37816@attbi_s02...
>> "Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
>> news:ck72du$gue$2@ratbert.glorb.com...
>> > Kovie wrote:
>> >
>> >> I see. I'm no expert on this, but it just doesn't make sense that
> there's
>> >> NO way to tell the difference between phone and non-phone Vision
> access.
>> >> Wouldn't non-phone browsers such as IE make HTTP calls that a
> phone-based
>> >> one never would,
>> >
>> > The Vision browsers use WAP 2.0 and can accept XHTML output as well as
>> > some other content. I guess you could check the Accept header and see
>> > if
>> > the browser accepts WAP, but I don't think that's necessarily reliable.
> I
>> > have a WAP simulator on my computer because I've created sites built
>> > for
>> > cell phones before, and that simulator will send the same Accept header
>> > that a phone would.
>> >
>> >> perhaps there's nothing in an HTTP call that explicitely says "Hey,
>> >> I'm
>> >> Internet Explorer!", but surely there's some fairly obvious indirect
> way
>> >> of telling what the source is?
>> >
>> > Sorta - as I mentioned, it's not really reliable.
>> >
>> > --
>> > JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
>> > Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
>> > sjsobol@JustThe.net
>> > PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
>> > Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three
> kids.
>>
>> Got it. Being the incurable skeptic and tinkerer that I am, I'm not
>> completely convinced that there's no reliable way of knowing what the
> source
>> device is (hey, we're all entitled to our innocent delusions...). But
>> also
>> not being an expert on this, I'll have to take your word on it.
>>
>> --
>> Kovie
>> kovie@earthlink.netizen
>
> Before Rob left, he mentioned that SPCS does know how to determine when
> data
> was through the phone or a laptop.
>
> Bob
>
>

Sorry, I'm not a regular visitor to this ng so I'm not sure who Rob is. And
did he indicate what means they use to tell how you're accessing Vision
services?

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 8:28:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message news:cLH9d.12779$gs1.8623@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...

> Before Rob left, he mentioned that SPCS does know how to determine when data
> was through the phone or a laptop.

I've never seen any confirmation of that (Rob's) statement.
Even if true in a theoretical sense, SPCS apparently makes no use
of that capability.
Incidentally, Cingular is now offering an unlimited G3 data access
option (including tethered use) for $19.95:
https://www.cingular.com/media/media_purchase

Perhaps SPCS will start feeling the heat of competition with
respect to data plans.

--
John Richards
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 8:55:16 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"John Richards" <supportdesk70-NO-SPAM@NO.SPAM.sbcglobal.net> wrote in
message news:TNJ9d.7993$Rf1.7787@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
> "Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:cLH9d.12779$gs1.8623@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
>> Before Rob left, he mentioned that SPCS does know how to determine when
>> data
>> was through the phone or a laptop.
>
> I've never seen any confirmation of that (Rob's) statement.
> Even if true in a theoretical sense, SPCS apparently makes no use
> of that capability.
> Incidentally, Cingular is now offering an unlimited G3 data access
> option (including tethered use) for $19.95:
> https://www.cingular.com/media/media_purchase
>
> Perhaps SPCS will start feeling the heat of competition with
> respect to data plans.
>
> --
> John Richards

I certainly hope so. Assuming that their 3G network could support the extra
usage, I think this would be a great incentive to get more people to join
Sprint, add Vision, and add a new source of revenue. Actually, I think they
should do this in tiers, with free cable usage up to a certain MB limit, a
per-MB fee for those exceeding this limit, and unlimited usage for those
willing to pay an extra flat fee per month. Kind of like how they charge for
Vision and SMS right now.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 4:03:39 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
news:7FI9d.213773$D%.83756@attbi_s51...
> "Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:cLH9d.12779$gs1.8623@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...

<snipped>

> > Before Rob left, he mentioned that SPCS does know how to determine when
> > data
> > was through the phone or a laptop.
> >
> > Bob
> >
> >
>
> Sorry, I'm not a regular visitor to this ng so I'm not sure who Rob is.
And
> did he indicate what means they use to tell how you're accessing Vision
> services?

Rob / Osiris was a CS rep for SPCS who posted here on a regular basis. He
left SPCS right around the time where SPCS made it's deal with IBM to take
over some of the CS responsibilities for SPCS.

Bob
Anonymous
October 9, 2004 11:22:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:vsQ9d.13023$gs1.8000@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
> news:7FI9d.213773$D%.83756@attbi_s51...
>> "Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>> news:cLH9d.12779$gs1.8623@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> <snipped>
>
>> > Before Rob left, he mentioned that SPCS does know how to determine when
>> > data
>> > was through the phone or a laptop.
>> >
>> > Bob
>> >
>> >
>>
>> Sorry, I'm not a regular visitor to this ng so I'm not sure who Rob is.
> And
>> did he indicate what means they use to tell how you're accessing Vision
>> services?
>
> Rob / Osiris was a CS rep for SPCS who posted here on a regular basis. He
> left SPCS right around the time where SPCS made it's deal with IBM to take
> over some of the CS responsibilities for SPCS.
>
> Bob
>
>

Thanks Bob, but I'm still waiting for you to answer my question. ;-)

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 12:10:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
news:6UW9d.334449$mD.80113@attbi_s02...
> "Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:vsQ9d.13023$gs1.8000@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> >
> > "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
> > news:7FI9d.213773$D%.83756@attbi_s51...
> >> "Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> >> news:cLH9d.12779$gs1.8623@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> >
> > <snipped>
> >
> >> > Before Rob left, he mentioned that SPCS does know how to determine
when
> >> > data
> >> > was through the phone or a laptop.
> >> >
> >> > Bob
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
> >> Sorry, I'm not a regular visitor to this ng so I'm not sure who Rob is.
> > And
> >> did he indicate what means they use to tell how you're accessing Vision
> >> services?
> >
> > Rob / Osiris was a CS rep for SPCS who posted here on a regular basis.
He
> > left SPCS right around the time where SPCS made it's deal with IBM to
take
> > over some of the CS responsibilities for SPCS.
> >
> > Bob
> >
> >
>
> Thanks Bob, but I'm still waiting for you to answer my question. ;-)

Wish I could Kovie, but Rob didn't pass on how they determine the
difference. :) 

Bob
Anonymous
October 10, 2004 1:35:41 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:aBX9d.13452$gs1.11806@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
> news:6UW9d.334449$mD.80113@attbi_s02...
>> "Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>> news:vsQ9d.13023$gs1.8000@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>> >
>> > "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
>> > news:7FI9d.213773$D%.83756@attbi_s51...
>> >> "Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
>> >> news:cLH9d.12779$gs1.8623@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>> >
>> > <snipped>
>> >
>> >> > Before Rob left, he mentioned that SPCS does know how to determine
> when
>> >> > data
>> >> > was through the phone or a laptop.
>> >> >
>> >> > Bob
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >> Sorry, I'm not a regular visitor to this ng so I'm not sure who Rob
>> >> is.
>> > And
>> >> did he indicate what means they use to tell how you're accessing
>> >> Vision
>> >> services?
>> >
>> > Rob / Osiris was a CS rep for SPCS who posted here on a regular basis.
> He
>> > left SPCS right around the time where SPCS made it's deal with IBM to
> take
>> > over some of the CS responsibilities for SPCS.
>> >
>> > Bob
>> >
>> >
>>
>> Thanks Bob, but I'm still waiting for you to answer my question. ;-)
>
> Wish I could Kovie, but Rob didn't pass on how they determine the
> difference. :) 
>
> Bob
>
>

As a previous poster (Steve) indicated, there might not be a reliable way of
telling whether someone used a phone or laptop to connect via Vision. Too
bad Rob wasn't more forthcoming, although his lack of specifics does
indicate a possible credibility issue.

It also occured to me that one other possible way to tell is to check upload
usage. I can't imagine a WAP broswer using anywhere near as much upload
capacity as a full browser.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 12:40:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

In article <NQY9d.212100$MQ5.126220@attbi_s52>, "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote:
>
>As a previous poster (Steve) indicated, there might not be a reliable way of
>telling whether someone used a phone or laptop to connect via Vision. Too
>bad Rob wasn't more forthcoming, although his lack of specifics does
>indicate a possible credibility issue.

I believe there is no way to be absolutely certain that access is tethered
or not, and further that it can reduce to silly definitions and splitting of
hairs. For example, it is clearly possible to write a Palm app for a Palm
phone or a WinCE app for a Smartphone or PPC phone which acts like
any legit phone network app, but in fact is a proxy for a laptop via the
USB port. It would be impossible to know whether the TCP/IP packets
or data bytes were generated internally by the phone or merely passed
by the phone from a laptop.

However I think it is equally clear that given a decent set of heuristics,
that it would be possible to guess whether a phone was being used as a modem
for a laptop or not, and be right perhaps 95% of the time. For simple uses
(single tasking, reading email, simple HTTP, telnet), it would be difficult to
tell, but multitasking (interwoven POP3, HTTP, FTP packets), large bandwidth
usage, etc, are not scenerios that can readily be explained by the phones of
today.

Finally, I think part of the reason that Sprint allows modest laptop usage is:
why not ? splitting hairs between phone and laptop usage is pointless. What
costs is bandwidth, not what kind of device generates and consumes packets.
Why should Sprint care if the 10Mb/month usage is because my phone read
my emails or my laptop read those exact same emails ? It is really the big
bandwidth usage that is of concern and my guess is that if you wrote a
Palm app or a PPC app for your phone that just endlessly downloaded Gb's,
that Sprint would also be on your back even though it is technically covered
by an "unlimited" Vision data plan for your phone.
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 3:00:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:

> I see. I'm no expert on this, but it just doesn't make sense that there's NO
> way to tell the difference between phone and non-phone Vision access.

When you log into a standard ISP connection, can the ISP make
restrictions based on whether you use IE or Mozilla? No, generally not
without actually opening the packets and examining the information.
This is generally not something that people are comfortable with doing,
not to mention it tends to not be cost effective.

Likewise, Sprint probably could start sniffing packets to see what kind
of data is being processed, but the manpower/equipment required to make
that a reality for every user is unrealistically expensive, and would
cost them more than losses from the estimated number of people using
their phones for laptop connections. And it would also open up privacy
issues. Who knows, the same people up in arms over the "inconsistency"
of Sprint's policy enforcement would probably be just as up in arms if
the reverse were true, only they'd be griping about the massive invasion
of privacy that would make such enforcement effective.

> Wouldn't non-phone browsers such as IE make HTTP calls that a phone-based
> one never would, at least at the current level of phone-based browser
> technology?

From the outset, your phone makes http calls on port 80 and acts just
like any other web browser. You'd have to examine the individual
packets to get an inkling that something was different.



--
E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
Anonymous
October 11, 2004 11:36:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:

> As a previous poster (Steve) indicated, there might not be a reliable way of
> telling whether someone used a phone or laptop to connect via Vision. Too
> bad Rob wasn't more forthcoming, although his lack of specifics does
> indicate a possible credibility issue.

Rob said what he was allowed to say. Over in the VZW newsgroup I know at least
a couple VZW employees who said more than the company wanted them to say and
they are not with VZW anymore...

I can vouch for Rob's credibility. I trust him...

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 9:07:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:ckffrb$fg$5@ratbert.glorb.com...
> Kovie wrote:
>
>> As a previous poster (Steve) indicated, there might not be a reliable way
>> of telling whether someone used a phone or laptop to connect via Vision.
>> Too bad Rob wasn't more forthcoming, although his lack of specifics does
>> indicate a possible credibility issue.
>
> Rob said what he was allowed to say. Over in the VZW newsgroup I know at
> least a couple VZW employees who said more than the company wanted them to
> say and they are not with VZW anymore...
>
> I can vouch for Rob's credibility. I trust him...
>
> --
> JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> sjsobol@JustThe.net
> PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

Thanks. I qualified my statement with the word "possible" because I wasn't
familiar with him. It is interesting to note, though, that if what you're
saying is true, cell phone providers appear to be less interested in
tracking prohibited cell phone use (e.g. using a phone as a modem) than in
tracking what their employees say or don't say online on their own time. Of
course, if what Rob said was true, they CAN track usage, but choose not to,
not officially at least, for reasons of their own. I'm still curious as to
how they can track this, and why they choose not to.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 9:12:44 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:ckffrb$fg$5@ratbert.glorb.com...
> Kovie wrote:
>
>> As a previous poster (Steve) indicated, there might not be a reliable way
>> of telling whether someone used a phone or laptop to connect via Vision.
>> Too bad Rob wasn't more forthcoming, although his lack of specifics does
>> indicate a possible credibility issue.
>
> Rob said what he was allowed to say. Over in the VZW newsgroup I know at
> least a couple VZW employees who said more than the company wanted them to
> say and they are not with VZW anymore...
>
> I can vouch for Rob's credibility. I trust him...
>
> --
> JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> sjsobol@JustThe.net
> PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

Wait a sec, now I'm confused again. Earlier in this thread you said that
there's no reliable way for Sprint to know whether Vision was accessed via
the phone, or via a computer and cable. But here you're vouching for the
credibility of someone who claimed that there IS a way for Sprint to know,
but who is not in a position to say how. Am I missing something or are you
contradicting yourself here?

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 6:14:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:

> It is interesting to note, though, that if what you're
> saying is true, cell phone providers appear to be less interested in
> tracking prohibited cell phone use (e.g. using a phone as a modem) than in
> tracking what their employees say or don't say online on their own time.

I guess you haven't dealt with corporations much.

It's generally accepted in the business world that if an employee talks
about their work in a public forum, even if it is on his or her own
time, the public perception ends up being that s/he is representing the
company, even if in fact they have neither the authority nor knowledge
to do so. The employee could be totally wrong in what he or she is
saying, and could say things are potentially damaging to the company.
And the public would bve likely to buy it, whether it was true or not.
Or just as bad, they could start detailing pro[rietary information or
trade secrets, allowing competitors to make use of that info.

As a result, most corporations will go *apeshit* when an employee enters
a usenet newsgroup or other forum and starts divulging internal company
policies or procedures. The perception is that the damage that can be
done is tremendous, and far worse than a customer clandestinely
violating a policy about terms of usage.

Example: if a group of people hook up their laptops to PCS phones and
start surfing on a tethered Vision connection, that group gambles with
having their account revert to metered billing, possibly meaning a hefty
bill later on. What the trigger could be anyone's guess, and they might
fly under the radar, or they might not. The damage is containable. And
that's the way things are now. At the moment, we can make some educated
guesses at what Sprint might looking at in identifying people who abuse
Vision, but we can't be sure.

If however, Rob had come on here and cut and paste the internal policies
about when and how Sprint gathers information to enforce the no-tether
rule, then those policies - and how to circumvent them - potentially
become common knowledge of every Sprint PCS user with a laptop.
Further, that post, with all pertinent information, would be archived
indefinitely on google. If people missed the original posting, they
could just go back and look for it.

The potential risk is no longer containable at that point, because
everyone would know how to keep under the radar, meaning that everyone
is a potential abuser of the policy and causing Sprint great expense
without getting caught, rather than just a handful of power users who
are willing to take a risk and a hunch.

And that's why if Rob had been detailed in the information he shared, he
probably would have gotten the boot at Sprint much sooner than he
ultimately did (and not due to cost-cutting).


--
E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 6:29:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
news:kEJad.457535$8_6.188795@attbi_s04...
> "Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
> news:ckffrb$fg$5@ratbert.glorb.com...
> > Kovie wrote:
> >
> >> As a previous poster (Steve) indicated, there might not be a reliable
way
> >> of telling whether someone used a phone or laptop to connect via
Vision.
> >> Too bad Rob wasn't more forthcoming, although his lack of specifics
does
> >> indicate a possible credibility issue.
> >
> > Rob said what he was allowed to say. Over in the VZW newsgroup I know at
> > least a couple VZW employees who said more than the company wanted them
to
> > say and they are not with VZW anymore...
> >
> > I can vouch for Rob's credibility. I trust him...
> >
> > --
> > JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> > Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> > sjsobol@JustThe.net
> > PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> > Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three
kids.
>
> Thanks. I qualified my statement with the word "possible" because I wasn't
> familiar with him. It is interesting to note, though, that if what you're
> saying is true, cell phone providers appear to be less interested in
> tracking prohibited cell phone use (e.g. using a phone as a modem) than in
> tracking what their employees say or don't say online on their own time.

It's a hellava lot easier to see what one or a few souls say about the
company's proprietary information, than track online usage for each account.

> Of
> course, if what Rob said was true, they CAN track usage, but choose not
to,
> not officially at least, for reasons of their own. I'm still curious as to
> how they can track this, and why they choose not to.

Maybe because how they track it, is that it's none of your business? What's
more, it's more than possible that they are tracking usage, to collect data
on future plans and options, but haven't completed collecting data yet, to
formulate and create future plans and options.

If you are so concerned about getting charged for usage via being tethered
to a lap top ... don't do it. It's that simple Kovie.

Bob
October 12, 2004 8:04:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in
news:HcD9d.93687$He1.7483@attbi_s01:

> "Steph" <CUT_skipatrol@hotmail.com_CUT> wrote in message
> news:Xns957B517051898skipatroluunet@24.25.203.148...
>> "Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in
>> news:SCX8d.342590$Fg5.24837@attbi_s53:
>>
>>> I'm wondering why Sprint "allows" people with unlimited Vision to
>>> access the internet via a laptop and cable, even though it's
>>> forbidden under the TOS, so long as you don't abuse this (which at
>>> present seems to be no more than 300-500MB/month).
>>
>> I get charged no matter what.
>> I have only used the tethered access sparingly when connected, and
>> only maybe 7-10 days total out of a year.
>>
>
>>
>> Improperly managing expectations is just a recipe for disaster. I
>> have unlimited Vision (and it appears my account was modified somehow
>> back when they did a warranty replacement on the handset), yet get
>> charged for virtually any internet access. I don't even use the
>> vision on the handset hardly now.
>>
>
>
> Isn't this a billing error rather than Sprint policy, as others have
> noted, especially if you're being charged for phone Vision access on
> your unlimited Vision plan?
>



Almost certainly. But dealing with Sprint CS can be a bit troublesome -
especially given that I have a very poor signal both at home and in my
current office location - so I haven't found the time to set aside and
sit on hold to deal with it.

after arguing that a Vision charges should not have been levied on a
plan that included unlimited vision even though the computer didn't show
visionbeing signed up for; I mean seriously..... what kind of bullsh!t
is that. They were "nice enough" to take off the charges that time,
but then the next month the credits were missing and the additional
charges were still there. I spent over an hour on the cell in my yard
talking to multiple layers of support; again the charges were taken
off, but I literally didn't have the strength to remain calm and deal
with the configuration issue of the account.
Anonymous
October 12, 2004 9:01:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message news:kEJad.457535$8_6.188795@attbi_s04...
> It is interesting to note, though, that if what you're
> saying is true, cell phone providers appear to be less interested in
> tracking prohibited cell phone use (e.g. using a phone as a modem) than in
> tracking what their employees say or don't say online on their own time.

If I was a Sprint employee, there is no way I'd use my real name when
posting here. Rob could have been more forthright if he had done the same.

--
John Richards
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 12:17:30 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:

> Wait a sec, now I'm confused again. Earlier in this thread you said that
> there's no reliable way for Sprint to know whether Vision was accessed via
> the phone, or via a computer and cable. But here you're vouching for the
> credibility of someone who claimed that there IS a way for Sprint to know,
> but who is not in a position to say how. Am I missing something or are you
> contradicting yourself here?

Let me put it this way:

Aside from my duties running my small web-design company, I also now work for a
company that sells Sprint phones and service. So I do have *some* information
that others might not have. However, I do not and have never worked for Sprint.
Rob Vargas was a Sprint employee working in tech support for PCS Vision, so if
he's said something about Vision that contradicts something I've said, he's
much, MUCH more likely to be correct than I am. I have worked on the Internet
since 1995 and what I said is true of Internet/web connections IN GENERAL.
Sprint may have mechanisms in place that I am not aware of.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 12:18:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Steph wrote:

> after arguing that a Vision charges should not have been levied on a
> plan that included unlimited vision even though the computer didn't show
> visionbeing signed up for; I mean seriously..... what kind of bullsh!t
> is that. They were "nice enough" to take off the charges that time,
> but then the next month the credits were missing and the additional
> charges were still there. I spent over an hour on the cell in my yard
> talking to multiple layers of support; again the charges were taken
> off, but I literally didn't have the strength to remain calm and deal
> with the configuration issue of the account.

FWIW, if you're having trouble with the cell, you ought to call 888-211-4PCS
from a landline instead of trying to find a spot where the cell will work.



--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 1:57:21 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Isaiah Beard" <sacredpoet@sacredpoet.com> wrote in message
news:1aVad.13739$9Q3.1818@fe62.usenetserver.com...
> Kovie wrote:
>
>> It is interesting to note, though, that if what you're saying is true,
>> cell phone providers appear to be less interested in tracking prohibited
>> cell phone use (e.g. using a phone as a modem) than in tracking what
>> their employees say or don't say online on their own time.
>
> I guess you haven't dealt with corporations much.
>
> It's generally accepted in the business world that if an employee talks
> about their work in a public forum, even if it is on his or her own time,
> the public perception ends up being that s/he is representing the company,
> even if in fact they have neither the authority nor knowledge to do so.
> The employee could be totally wrong in what he or she is saying, and could
> say things are potentially damaging to the company. And the public would
> bve likely to buy it, whether it was true or not. Or just as bad, they
> could start detailing pro[rietary information or trade secrets, allowing
> competitors to make use of that info.
>
> As a result, most corporations will go *apeshit* when an employee enters a
> usenet newsgroup or other forum and starts divulging internal company
> policies or procedures. The perception is that the damage that can be
> done is tremendous, and far worse than a customer clandestinely violating
> a policy about terms of usage.
>
> Example: if a group of people hook up their laptops to PCS phones and
> start surfing on a tethered Vision connection, that group gambles with
> having their account revert to metered billing, possibly meaning a hefty
> bill later on. What the trigger could be anyone's guess, and they might
> fly under the radar, or they might not. The damage is containable. And
> that's the way things are now. At the moment, we can make some educated
> guesses at what Sprint might looking at in identifying people who abuse
> Vision, but we can't be sure.
>
> If however, Rob had come on here and cut and paste the internal policies
> about when and how Sprint gathers information to enforce the no-tether
> rule, then those policies - and how to circumvent them - potentially
> become common knowledge of every Sprint PCS user with a laptop. Further,
> that post, with all pertinent information, would be archived indefinitely
> on google. If people missed the original posting, they could just go back
> and look for it.
>
> The potential risk is no longer containable at that point, because
> everyone would know how to keep under the radar, meaning that everyone is
> a potential abuser of the policy and causing Sprint great expense without
> getting caught, rather than just a handful of power users who are willing
> to take a risk and a hunch.
>
> And that's why if Rob had been detailed in the information he shared, he
> probably would have gotten the boot at Sprint much sooner than he
> ultimately did (and not due to cost-cutting).
>
>
> --
> E-mail fudged to thwart spammers.
> Transpose the c's and a's in my e-mail address to reply.
>

This all makes sense, but from what I've gleaned from this ng, the consensus
seems to be that so long as users restrict their non-phone Vision use to
under a certain threshold, which appears to be anywhere from 300MB to 1GB
per month, Sprint will probably look the other way. I don't know if Rob was
the source of this, but by revealing that Sprint is able to detect and track
the amount on non-phone Vision use, and that it is prepared to take action
against those whose use of this prohibited usage crosses a certain byte
threshold, I imagine that he already revealed more than Sprint was willing
to be revealed about their abilities and policies. So, while I'm sure that
had he provided more specific details regarding this then Sprint would have
been even more upset with him, I'd guess that he'd already crossed a red
line with them by revealing what he had revealed. Is that why he got the
boot ultimately?

My point, btw, was not that corporations are more concerned about protecting
their secrets and public image than they are about relatively minor and
low-cost abuses of their policies, which makes perfect sense to me, but
rather that they'd go to the trouble of ferreting out potential rogue
employees in a public forum such as this. Well, I guess that makes sense as
well, given what's at stake for them, but it's certainly pretty creepy!

Then again, it wasn't as if Rob was a whistleblower revealing some deep dark
secret about his evil company. Sprint has every right to have, and enforce,
a given policy, so long as it makes it publicly known (which it has) and
that it's legal (which it is). And I suppose that the fact that, for
whatever reasons, it was choosing to only enforce this policy in cases of
obvious abuse, is, if anything, to its credit.

Still, if its unofficial policy was to look the other way most of the time,
and everyone knew this by now, I still don't quite understand why they'd be
upset with Rob if he was just saying what everybody already knew. Unless, of
course, he was one of the primary sources of this information to begin with.
But as I'd said, I haven't been following this issue long enough to know.
Was he the guy who first let the cat out of the bag?

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 5:00:58 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Bob Smith" <usirsclt_No_Spam_@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:p SRad.1086$NX5.245@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
>>
>> Thanks. I qualified my statement with the word "possible" because I
>> wasn't
>> familiar with him. It is interesting to note, though, that if what you're
>> saying is true, cell phone providers appear to be less interested in
>> tracking prohibited cell phone use (e.g. using a phone as a modem) than
>> in
>> tracking what their employees say or don't say online on their own time.
>
> It's a hellava lot easier to see what one or a few souls say about the
> company's proprietary information, than track online usage for each
> account.

Perhaps, but I think it's less a question of ease, than of usefulness. If
Sprint could track usage, and there was a good reason for them to do so,
then I'm sure that they would do it, regardless of cost. Obviously, though,
they do find it useful to monitor their employee's usenet contributions, for
reasons others have pointed out in this thread.

>> Of course, if what Rob said was true, they CAN track usage, but choose
>> not
>> to, not officially at least, for reasons of their own. I'm still curious
>> as to
>> how they can track this, and why they choose not to.
>
> Maybe because how they track it, is that it's none of your business?
> What's
> more, it's more than possible that they are tracking usage, to collect
> data
> on future plans and options, but haven't completed collecting data yet, to
> formulate and create future plans and options.
>
> If you are so concerned about getting charged for usage via being tethered
> to a lap top ... don't do it. It's that simple Kovie.
>
> Bob
>
>

Bob, I'm not that concerned with Sprint's cracking down on me for tethered
usage. I rarely do this (or need to do this), and even if I did this more
regularly, I'd be careful to not exceed a reasonably threshold of usage
(~300MB/mo seems about right, from what I've seen here). I was simply
wondering if they CAN track this sort of usage, and if so, why they choose
to not enforce their no tethered use policy, and what they ARE using this
ability for.

Sure, of course, this is none of my business, and as someone else pointed
out in this thread anyone who works for Sprint who reveals such information
is subject to disciplinary action. But I'm not asking anyone who works for
Sprint, or who is privy to inside information, to tell us what they know
about this matter. I'm just asking people what they think might be going on
here, in a speculative, just out of curiosity way. And I see no harm in
that, or reason to get upset over it.

I just think it's interesting that Sprint supposedly has a way of tracking
tethered use, yet chooses to not enforce a policy that specifically states
that you cannot do this, and simply wonder how they do this, and why they
choose to not enforce this policy. Sort of along the lines of how do they
get the cream inside Twinkies without obvious seams or holes.

That's all, no need to make a federal case of it. ;-)

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 7:59:33 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:cki6js$g99$1@ratbert.glorb.com...
> Kovie wrote:
>
>> Wait a sec, now I'm confused again. Earlier in this thread you said that
>> there's no reliable way for Sprint to know whether Vision was accessed
>> via the phone, or via a computer and cable. But here you're vouching for
>> the credibility of someone who claimed that there IS a way for Sprint to
>> know, but who is not in a position to say how. Am I missing something or
>> are you contradicting yourself here?
>
> Let me put it this way:
>
> Aside from my duties running my small web-design company, I also now work
> for a company that sells Sprint phones and service. So I do have *some*
> information that others might not have. However, I do not and have never
> worked for Sprint. Rob Vargas was a Sprint employee working in tech
> support for PCS Vision, so if he's said something about Vision that
> contradicts something I've said, he's much, MUCH more likely to be correct
> than I am. I have worked on the Internet since 1995 and what I said is
> true of Internet/web connections IN GENERAL. Sprint may have mechanisms in
> place that I am not aware of.
>
> --
> JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> sjsobol@JustThe.net
> PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

So, you're saying that none of the mechanisms that you are aware of that
could potentially be used to determine whether Vision is being accessed via
phone or computer are reliable enough in your opinion to be able to do this
with enough certainty to be very useful. At the same time, though, you're
not ruling out that there might be other mechanisms, perhaps propietary (but
not necessarily), that only Sprint might be privy to, that could be used to
determine this. Correct?

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 7:59:34 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

Kovie wrote:

> So, you're saying that none of the mechanisms that you are aware of that
> could potentially be used to determine whether Vision is being accessed via
> phone or computer are reliable enough in your opinion to be able to do this
> with enough certainty to be very useful. At the same time, though, you're
> not ruling out that there might be other mechanisms, perhaps propietary (but
> not necessarily), that only Sprint might be privy to, that could be used to
> determine this. Correct?

No. I'm saying that it's not possible based on my relatively extensive
knowledge of how the web works in general, but Sprint may have some proprietary
ways to figure out what type of devices are being used - proprietary methods
that I have no clue about.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
October 13, 2004 10:05:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Steve Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:ckia5r$gv3$1@ratbert.glorb.com...
> Kovie wrote:
>
>> So, you're saying that none of the mechanisms that you are aware of that
>> could potentially be used to determine whether Vision is being accessed
>> via phone or computer are reliable enough in your opinion to be able to
>> do this with enough certainty to be very useful. At the same time,
>> though, you're not ruling out that there might be other mechanisms,
>> perhaps propietary (but not necessarily), that only Sprint might be privy
>> to, that could be used to determine this. Correct?
>
> No. I'm saying that it's not possible based on my relatively extensive
> knowledge of how the web works in general, but Sprint may have some
> proprietary ways to figure out what type of devices are being used -
> proprietary methods that I have no clue about.
>
> --
> JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
> sjsobol@JustThe.net
> PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.

No need to explore this in great detail but isn't this pretty much what I
said? I.e., you don't know of any known and reliable way to do this, but
Sprint might have a proprietary method that can.

--
Kovie
kovie@earthlink.netizen
Anonymous
October 14, 2004 1:36:55 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.sprintpcs (More info?)

"Kovie" <kovie@earthlink.netizen> wrote in message
news:5rYad.460017$8_6.126853@attbi_s04...
<snipped>
> Still, if its unofficial policy was to look the other way most of the
time,
> and everyone knew this by now, I still don't quite understand why they'd
be
> upset with Rob if he was just saying what everybody already knew. Unless,
of
> course, he was one of the primary sources of this information to begin
with.
> But as I'd said, I haven't been following this issue long enough to know.
> Was he the guy who first let the cat out of the bag?

No, he wasn't. No one let it out of the bag. We figured it out by ourselves
before Rob came onto the group. As for Rob leaving the company, his
particular service center was being downsized, and IIRC, he left before the
downsizing took place voluntarily.

Bob
!