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  1.    #1  
    Get this: my bill is $234.58 for the period of 2/22/02 through 2/28/02.

    I am paying for:

    Nation 350 ($49) *they dropped the price $10!
    Wireless Internet ($6.99)

    I use my Treo so that my servers and networking equipment can send me health checks periodically via email. You can imagine the testing I was doing to send email from my servers to my Treo when I first got the thing. Now I'm literally going to have to pay for it!

    Apparently, Cingular charges for SMS text mesages sending AND receiving!!! Wicked!!!

    ARGGGHHHH!
  2. #2  
    Holy crap is right.

    I knew some plans charge extra for SMS, but that's ridiculous. I would highly recommend NOT paying that bill right away. Call them up and see if they offer an unlimited SMS plan, or one with an insane number of messages allowed. Chances are, it will be less expensive than the total bill, and if they have half a brain they'll let you retroactively apply the new service to the old bill. My dad did something similar, but with regular plan minutes on his Verizon account. He has used much more than expected, and his bill was gigantic. One call to Verizon had him on a new plan which retroactively took care of the big bill, making it much smaller.

    Tip for everyone else: check your plan for ALL applicable fees, *especially* SMS allowances and charges!

    -Greg
  3. #3  
    VS allows you to add 500 SMS (they call ping pong service) for 2.99. A great deal.
    Sorry about your bill - that definitely puts a damper on a new toy!
  4. #4  
    As always, it's wise to read the fine print on your phone deal.

    Cingular will have to pry my current plan out of my dead hands. 400 anytime minutes, and I think unlimited evenings (7pm-7am, not 9pm-7am) and weekends, free long distance, free email and SMS.

    I got the plan about a year and a half ago when they were trying to push products. Obviously, now with more subscribers and traffic, they have to limit some things.

    Although I hear current or soon to be current plans may offer free roaming.
  5. Rob
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    #5  
    Originally posted by AndrewB
    As always, it's wise to read the fine print on your phone deal.

    Cingular will have to pry my current plan out of my dead hands.
    Even promotional offers usually are at most for 2 years. They didn't actually offer you a 'lifetime' plan, did they?
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by eddien
    Get this: my bill is $234.58 for the period of 2/22/02 through 2/28/02.

    I am paying for:

    Nation 350 ($49) *they dropped the price $10!
    Wireless Internet ($6.99)

    I use my Treo so that my servers and networking equipment can send me health checks periodically via email.

    ARGGGHHHH!
    I just looked at your 6.99 add on plan:

    Includes 0 SMS and is billed *each* way at 10/cents a message.

    You get 1MB of data, then it is billed at 3cents/KB.

    So, assuming this is not a new account and there for not pro-rated....

    49.99 + 6.99 + probably about 7.50 in taxes means you had a base cost of about 64.50. So, you had about 170 dollars in Wireless internet charges.

    So, I can assume you didn't recieved 1700 SMS health messages over the time you indicated. But, lets assume you get 2/hour. So, 24 hours/day, that is 48sms/day*6 that is 228 SMS messages @ $22.80. Then, lets assume you received an additional 30 SMS over the 6 days from people.... which comes out to $3.00.

    We are now at $25.80

    So, you had 4806KB worth of email or other data,
    ($144.20 / .03KB ) Which is about 4.8MB. This
    does not include the 1MB included with the 6.99.

    So, seeing 5MB of data between email and web browsing over 6 days would not be that hard.

    In addition to the call timers people have been asking for, it would be interesting to byte counters for data services....

    But, I have to wonder if they double bill SMS as data.... that would suck, but you have no direct way of testing that.

    Man, that is pretty expensive.

    Now, remember the content of your emails, including the headers you see, may not be quite that much --- but Cingular probably bases its charges on the total datagram size (which includes header/addressing information you don't normally see).

    Anyway, sorry to hear about your bill.

    -henry
  7. #7  
    no matter how you slice it, he got royally ripped off and he should make a helluva stink with them for such a horrendous bill. There's no way they expect people to pay that kind of money for less than a week of use. Sure he probably used a LOT of SMS and "data minutes" but even broadband doesn't cost that kind of money. ****, that kind of money would be over a grand for a month of the same service usage?!? I don't think so.
    I sure hope he doesn't just take this one in the rear, but instead gets some major reduction in the bill and a whole new rate plan with much higher allowances (unlimited SMS!)

    -Greg
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by GregGaub
    no matter how you slice it, he got royally ripped off and he should make a helluva stink with them for such a horrendous bill.

    -Greg
    I aggree he got ripped off! It is unfortunate, but the Wireless industry (Have you looked at AT&T billing practices in Seattle?) is going to a by the byte modle We never saw that practice here on modem nor broadband because our landlines we regulated.

    But in Europe, and other parts of the world, people are use to paying these kinds of rates. I don't know about recent years how that is changed, but I do know 3-4 years ago, being online in Europe over a dialup was EXPENSIVE because the unregulated phone companies could charge what they wanted and could make policy that distinguished between a data call and voice call.

    Note how carefully they are marketing the GPRS as the data services, and conviently overlooking the ability to just dial into an ISP as a voice call on demend. They can't count bytes that way, and for many users, it probably makes more sense to use voice mins rather than pay for a data plan on top of a voice plan that they don't use 100% of.

    What will make the GPRS services profitable is both those customers that go over the limit BUT also those customers who are at least 20% under there limit.

    Efficent customers are the *least* profitable.

    So, they are counting on both the over utilizers and the under utilizers.

    Damn shame.

    Well, I bought a visor phone real cheap today. Now, I am going to sign up with VoiceStream see if I like the the data servies with my Palm during my "72" hour trial period. Then cancel. If I like it, I'll but a Treo VoiceStream hates that.

    -henry
  9. #9  
    but like you said, they can't tell the difference when you use the phone to dial into an ISP that isn't theirs (VoiceStreams).

    What's stupid is that if I called Voicestream and said "I want to connect to the internet with my Palm through my phone." They'd probably sign me up for the $19.99 iStream service, which only works with GPRS. Since my phone doesn't support GPRS, nor will my Treo for a little while, I'll still be dialing into my ISP and using my normal minutes, while paying $20 a month for a service that I'm not using. Fudge that!

    What really worries me is what happens when we upgrade to add GPRS to the Treo? Will I still be able to dial into my ISP using my regular minutes, or will the Treo be forever connected to the 'net with GPRS for which I'll be paying through the nose? I'd imagine it can be enabled/disabled in the network or connection settings, but I don't like to make ASSumptions. ;-)

    -Greg
  10. #10  
    GPRS has been designed to make it as easy as possible to use existing software to connect, without needing anything weird; so there are some GSM AT command extensions that make it possible.

    Chief amongst these is a modified dial command, which you use to connect to the 'always on' service. The shortest form is simply to dial *99#, though other options may be needed, depending on the network.

    By doing things this way, it means that you don't have any problems with needing new comms programs - tho obviously the device, in this case the Treo needs GPRS capable firmware - and unless Handspring have gone down a completely weird route, which is unlikely when they're using standard wireless chipsets, then it also means that you'll have a choice. If you want the always on connection, you set your net settings to use the GPRS number, and then leave it connected. Or you put an ordinary number in there and use circuit switched data to make an ordinary ISP call.

    Nigel.
  11. #11  
    FYI I have a GPRS phone with VoiceStream (Motorola P280). You are still able to make a 9.6kbps data "circuit switched" data call if you want to dial an ISP and have it come from the bucket of minutes. I image the Treo will work the same.

    Also- my guess is that eddien likely went over his minutes alotment or is just getting tagged 15 cents per minute, per data call. I thought the 1MB restriction only applied to GPRS which he isnt using. Each data call I make, no matter how limited in purpose (quick email etc.) takes at least 2-3 minutes from my alotment. This adds up quickly.

    With my Visorphone (on Voicestream) I never went over my 800 national minutes, but I also didnt use the data all that often. I would hate to have to pay overage or a separate data charge per minute. My GPRS phone on the other hand is metered by MB usage. I havent gone over limit on that either.

    Just my two cents.
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by prismenvy
    FYI I have a GPRS phone with VoiceStream (Motorola P280). You are still able to make a 9.6kbps data "circuit switched" data call if you want to dial an ISP and have it come from the bucket of minutes.
    My point is, though, that VoiceStream, Cingular, etc are not clearly making it clear to average customer what service they
    are buying and why. And the way they are selling the GPRS
    serivce, I believe, is misleading.

    And the reason it is the cell industries responsiblitity? Because they refuse to use industry standard terms, not only to make it easier for customers to compare services, but for customers to understand what service options they get. Not all customers would want to pay for always on Internet Service via GRPS because they don't need it. Me? I am cheap, and would just assume have my device call my ISP either on demand or via a timer.

    Some don't care.

    Some will care, particularly when they learn they have been
    paying for a service that didn't work with the Treo until Handspring releases the driver/utils for GPRS. Currently,
    unless someone is beta testing the GPRS stuff, all those connections are going through CSD service.

    -henry
  13. #13  
    "Happy are they whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned"

    Romans 4:7

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