Sprint clarifies, confirms new Premier member prerequisites

By on January 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM.

Sprint clarifies, confirms new Premier member prerequisites

Way back on the 20th, we told you that Sprint would be tweaking its customer loyalty rewards program – lovingly known as Premier. Recently, Sprint contacted BGR to clarify a few details about exactly what has to happen for customers to qualify for the program’s restructured incentives.

Gold Level

A gold level member will receive 25% off the purchase of 2 or more accessories, customer news letters, “just because” perks, first to buy offers, and the ability to upgrade one device after 12 months of service. To qualify for a Premier Gold membership, users must have an individual monthly plan costing $89.99 or more or a family plan costing $169.99 (before any applicable discounts).

Silver Level

A silver level member will receive the same benefits as gold members — 25% off the purchase of 2 or more accessories, customer news letters, “just because” perks, and first to buy offers — but will not have the ability to upgrade a device after 12 months of service. To qualify for a Premier Silver membership, users must have an individual monthly plan costing between $69.99 and $89.98 or a family plan costing between $99.99 and $169.98 (before any applicable discounts).

Any customer, regardless of rate-plan price, that has been with Sprint over ten years will automatically qualify for Premier Gold. There you have it. Straight from the horses mouth.

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AT&T offering new GoPhone plans starting October 3

By on September 30, 2010 at 11:29 AM.

AT&T offering new GoPhone plans starting October 3

AT&T has just sent out a quick press release to inform us of several new prepaid GoPhone plans they will be launching on October 3. The company will offer an “Unlimited Daily Talk and Text” plan which will afford customers the “flexibility of unlimited calling and texting with the two dollar rate plan charge only applying on days when they make or receive voice calls, use IM or send a text, picture or video message.” AT&T will also be offering a more traditional $60 per month “Unlimited Talk & Text” plan; 200 MB of data can be added to the plan for an additional $15. Finally, AT&T will be offering a “Simple Rate” plan that bills users $0.10 per minute for calls made and received. “AT&T GoPhone unlimited plans include nationwide calling and texting, as well as texting to Mexico, Canada and more than 100 countries worldwide,” writes AT&T. Hit the read link to check out the full release. More →

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Fring launches fringOut service, landline and cellular calling on the cheap

By on September 20, 2010 at 9:40 AM.

Fring launches fringOut service, landline and cellular calling on the cheap

VoIP company fring has launched a new service dubbed fringOut. As the company’s press release explains, fringOut “enables users to make almost-free international calls to any regular landline or mobile phone throughout hundreds of worldwide destinations, with rates as low as 1¢ a minute.” The company also notes that “fringOut is easy to use and fully-integrated into the familiar fring mobile experience.” If you are interested in seeing how fringOut rates compare to those of Skype or Google Voice, you can view the company’s rate chart here. Currently, the mobile iteration of fringOut is only available for Nokia S60 devices; fring states that the service “will soon be available on iPhone and Android devices.” More →

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How WIND Mobile changed Canada in less than 24 hours

By on December 16, 2009 at 1:10 PM.

How WIND Mobile changed Canada in less than 24 hours

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For our non-Canadian readers, it might be pretty hard to understand why there’s been so much hype about WIND Mobile finally launching. It is just a cell phone carrier after all, right? Kind of. It is a business at the end of the day, and a business hopes to be profitable (they want to make as much money possible), but the reason WIND is so brilliant is because they’re capitalizing on years of pillaging by Canada’s big three mobile providers: Rogers, TELUS and Bell. We’re not going to get into why Canada’s cellular options are so bad and expensive — Canada is a huge country, 90% of the people live within a certain amount of miles to the U.S. border, people expect coverage everywhere, it’s expensive to maintain — because it doesn’t matter. What does matter is how revolutionary WIND is to the average Canadian cellular subscriber and how much money that person will save. Here’s an example of a standard Rogers phone bill for a BlackBerry:

  • $45/month for 400 minutes, unlimited calling after 9PM, and a choice of either unlimited Rogers-to-Rogers calling, my5, unlimited SMS, or an extra $100 minutes. Let’s assume you chose unlimited Rogers-to-Rogers calling.
  • $25/month for a 500MB data plan for your BlackBerry (BIS not BES)
  • $20/mo for unlimited SMS, caller ID and voicemail for a smartphone
  • Total with fees of around $93/month (excluding taxes).

Over the life of your cell phone contract of three years (yes, it’s three years in Canada), you’ll have paid approximately $3348 to Rogers, and you’d have a brand new BlackBerry 9700 for which you paid $249.99 for. All in all, $3597 before tax. Here’s a WIND plan:

  • $45/month for unlimited minutes, unlimited SMS to U.S. and Canada, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding
  • $35/month for unlimited BlackBerry data

We’re at $80/month with unlimited everything, no contract, and no fees to change plans or features.

Sure, a difference of only plus or minus $13/month might not get everyone excited, but think of it this way… you don’t have to pay $500 to cancel your contract, you can elect to pre or post-pay, and never have to ever worry about overages unless you’ve got a lot of pals overseas. The option of unlimited anything is a downright comforting thought for consumers. As long as you can get over the $200 additional entry fee for an unsubsidized but very fairly-priced handset (note: Rogers charges $599.99 for a contract-free Bold 9700 as opposed to WIND’s $450), WIND looks incredibly attractive. Plus, you won’t get tied to the tree and spanked. Metaphorically, of course.

It isn’t all rainbows and ponies, however, as we have to take coverage (when you roam on Rogers, for instance, you’ll only get EDGE as WIND uses the same AWS 3G spectrum T-Mobile uses and is incompatible with Rogers, TELUS, and Bell), customer service, and profitability into consideration. The bet is that WIND makes so much that they can continue to save you money. Funny, isn’t it? Again, they’re a brand, brand new network, but with a boatload of cash behind them, some very smart and attractive pricing, plans, devices, and services, we think they have an amazing shot. They’ve also permanently disrupted the Canadian wireless landscape for the better, and within days or weeks, you’ll start to see better pricing from red, green, and blue. Thus giving our Canadian friends something they’ve long hoped for — competition.

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T-Mobile raises overage rates; cancel your contract sans-ETF

By on September 1, 2009 at 3:21 PM.

T-Mobile raises overage rates; cancel your contract sans-ETF

They say when the cell phone gods close a door, they open a window. Such is the case this morning for T-Mobile subscribers who aren’t enjoying their time with the carrier. As of today, T-Mobile is raising its overage rates to 45¢ per minute on individual plans under $59.99 and family plans under $89.99, and 40¢ per minute for plans above those price points. Since this rate increase is carrier-invoked and it constitutes a “materially adverse change of contract,” subscribers will be able to flee without the need to pay a hefty Early Termination Fee (ETF) — just as many did with Sprint earlier this year. What do you do if you want out of your contract? Get ready for battle, that’s what. As always with carriers, odds are good the some (or even most) customer service reps won’t even know about this option. When you call, be patient while the CS rep gathers info. Make sure that when you explain why you want to cancel your contract, you specifically cite these overage rate increases as your motive. If your rep starts giving you a hard time or doesn’t sound like he/she is going to put the pieces together, ask to speak to a manager or simply call back and start over with another rep. Oh, and hit the jump for a section of the T-Mobile contract that you may want to familiarize yourself with.

Thanks, Dan!

More →

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