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  1.    #1  
    I've been using "Wireless Modem" with my Mac OS X Powerbook to connect to Vision through Treo for about 3 months. I've used this arrangement everywhere, in school labs with no WiFi access, the car (not while driving), in airports. This week, on vacation, I've suddenly managed to rack up an astonishing 200 minutes in "Casual Wireless Web Usage" that are not included in my billing options and are billed at 40 per minute. Roughly $82 dollars on top of my regular bill.

    Apparently, according to Sprint Customer Service, there has recently been a change in billing policy, and if you're using your Treo through a laptop, they may be able to detect it, and you'll be billed off Vision as Wireless Web, regardless of if your Treo was using Vision or dialed an actual PPP dial-up number. They've credited me the $82 this time, but I've been warned, so I'm warning you all too.

    I have no calls in my call history, and haven't changed any of my Wireless Modem or computer configuration using Vision over Treo. I believe it is Sprint Billing that has changed, and now Wireless Modem is looking like less of a great idea and more of a catastrophe.

    Use with caution. I hope this was just a random glitch because I really love Wireless Modem.
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by longday
    I have no calls in my call history
    That's the problem, according to one thread on sprintusers.com. Not making any voice calls puts up a red flag. Even if they do shut out everyone from using vision devices as modems, unlimited vision on smartphone is still a good deal, and if the future brings higher resolution smartphones with more horsepower to render pages faster, the laptop won't be missed.

    I've never had a pocketpc, but I do think 2032 owners should be able to receive streaming content on their phones which can, if used a lot, amount to a lot of megabytes.

    My impression is we're beta testers in that smartphones represent a small percentage of their total subs, but if that % grew in the future, Sprint would need a way to control the usage. So they put the product and the plans out their to see what resourceful folks could come up with. Then, Sprint finds ways to block it before it gets widespread or make money from the capability. Did anyone honestly expect to replace their current isp with a vision phone/smartphone?
    David
  3. #3  
    longday,

    Did you keep track of how MB you actually used in the billing cycle you were charged with wireless web? Alot of Sprint users, not just Treo users, connect their mobiles (LG 5350 etc) as modems to access vision with their laptops/PC's. According to rumors on WirelessAdvisor and Howardforums, The magic number is around 150-200 MB per month. I wonder if this is true? Basically, I would like to know how much you can use and still get away without incurring wireless web charges!
  4.    #4  
    drw, I agree with everything you mentioned in your first paragraph about the capabilities of the phone someday negating the need for the laptop, as a casual use device. No, I didn't expect to replace my ISP with Vision, it just seemed to be an option with the development of the Wireless Modem software, and I don't have a dial-up ISP account (nor have I for some time).

    gfunk magic, I have no clue how much total data I downloaded, sorry.
  5. #5  
    I had intended to replace my dial-up ISP, which I use only when travelling, as I have broadband at home and in the office. So far I have not been charged, but the longest trip I've taken was 1 week, during which I would estimate I used about 50-75 MB of traffic on e-mail and the web. I'm keeping close tabs on my bill, but would love to get any intelligence possible on the secret to avoiding charges.
  6. #6  
    Hello All,
    This concerns me. I'm going to be doing a gig in Utah for 2 months and had planned on using my pcs vision as an isp for checking my e-mail for my laptop. This prevented me from having to purchase a land-line while I'm doing the

    As this will be my only phone service during that time, I would imagine my phone usage will be higher.

    Think that might offset Sprint's suspicions?

    What a bummer.

    Michael
    Michael J. Barnes
    Associate Professor
    Wayne State University

    Visor >> VisorPhone >> Treo 300 >> Treo 600 >> Treo 650>> Centro >> Pre+
  7. #7  
    I'd be curious what the authors of WirelessModem and PalmNet have to say about this. I would imagine they'd have alot more info given the amount of testing they must have to do to get the software to work and the feedback from the customers.
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by Jedi
    I'd be curious what the authors of WirelessModem and PalmNet have to say about this.
    Add Futuredial to those two, who provides snapdialer.

    I can't speak for all three, but if it were me I'd say that Sprint's enforcement of it's TOS is virtually non-existant, however buyer beware. The software works, but it may increase one's bill. Combined with the fact that Sprint cuts the connection so frequently unless one receives continuous data, I think that is their way to tell if one is using blazer or msie/media player.
    David
  9. #9  
    I noticed a similar CASUAL WIRELESS WEB BILL, but here is the explanation I got from SPRINT customer service.
    I had downloaded a piece of code from AOL UK, which basically simulated AOL. However, in order to make the product work I had use the TREO itself as a modem, and set it to dial a landline modem on the AOL network. This product doesn't work with using a dialup.
    This product was not the aol being marketed by Handango for 19.95 (btw, i'm interested in knowing if anyone has used this product and successfully used the buddylist feature that lets you send SMS to cell phones the way the new aol for broadband does?)
    When I noticed casual usage charge on my monthly cumulative usage, I contacted SPRINT and was informed that their service detects when you use your phone as MODEM and dial a landline number. If I had used say #777 and simulated a TCP/IP environment, then I was told I would not have been charged for the CASUAL usage. I was a bit miffed only because I believe that SPRINT should not have the right to bill me for using my phone to connect as a modem. Their reasoning might be that using the phone in that manner somehow overtaxes their networks because it must maintain a more constant type of connection than is allowed for by typical digital communications for voice. I was also advised that using the TREO as a FAX modem would have incurred similar charges if i had obtained software that would allow me to use the TREO as a fax machine. . I have recently experimented with PALM NET and haven't seen any charges related to it, but I will check again and see if any show up.
  10. #10  
    One more note....
    I did speak with customer service about the CASUAL use fee,,,and i had NOT requested them to do anything and from the impression I received, no one was going to touch my account... I said I would wait for my invoice...and guess what....

    the casual use charge on the cumulative minutes doesn't show on the monthly use any longer. it just disappeared. Now I have no clue what really happened.
    Weird.
    I'll keep you posted if anything changes.
  11. #11  
    hope none of you guys are actually telling sprint you are using your treo as a wireless modem and wondering if you are being charged or not. this would surely be idiotic.
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by 003oret
    hope none of you guys are actually telling sprint you are using your treo as a wireless modem and wondering if you are being charged or not. this would surely be idiotic.
    No, but neither would it be deniable if they put a traffic log on your line and saw windows media streams or anything coming through that the treo on its own couldn't recognize. Would that be an invasion of privacy? Perhaps, however I wouldn't put it past them.
    David
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by 003oret
    hope none of you guys are actually telling sprint you are using your treo as a wireless modem and wondering if you are being charged or not. this would surely be idiotic.
    You don't have to tell them, they already know. They monitor this stuff (#777 and modem calls) as a general course of events. They also monitor bandwidth used.
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by fredeis
    I noticed a similar CASUAL WIRELESS WEB BILL, but here is the explanation I got from SPRINT customer service.
    I had downloaded a piece of code from AOL UK, which basically simulated AOL. However, in order to make the product work I had use the TREO itself as a modem, and set it to dial a landline modem on the AOL network. This product doesn't work with using a dialup.
    This product was not the aol being marketed by Handango for 19.95 (btw, i'm interested in knowing if anyone has used this product and successfully used the buddylist feature that lets you send SMS to cell phones the way the new aol for broadband does?)
    When I noticed casual usage charge on my monthly cumulative usage, I contacted SPRINT and was informed that their service detects when you use your phone as MODEM and dial a landline number. If I had used say #777 and simulated a TCP/IP environment, then I was told I would not have been charged for the CASUAL usage. I was a bit miffed only because I believe that SPRINT should not have the right to bill me for using my phone to connect as a modem. Their reasoning might be that using the phone in that manner somehow overtaxes their networks because it must maintain a more constant type of connection than is allowed for by typical digital communications for voice. I was also advised that using the TREO as a FAX modem would have incurred similar charges if i had obtained software that would allow me to use the TREO as a fax machine. . I have recently experimented with PALM NET and haven't seen any charges related to it, but I will check again and see if any show up.
    That is the problem. You were dialing an ISP with your TREO. IT does not matter if you called with the TREO or as a MODEM. Only unlimited time is via the 1xrt (Vision) network. THer TREO makes the connection and that is unlimited. You get this with the #777 call.

    THe calls to AOL, or other ISP, is not a vision call, so minutes are used. This should have just been deducted from your voice minutes.

    I still do not know if Sprint can detecte if a Vision call / connection originates on the TREO or from an attached laptop.
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by Smartphone Fan


    <snip>

    I still do not know if Sprint can detecte if a Vision call / connection originates on the TREO or from an attached laptop.
    Yes, the can and they do.
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by Maniac8888


    Yes, the can and they do.
    How?
  17. #17  
    1. They know your ESN number for the 300.
    2. They know if you are using Vision
    3. They can detect if the call is to a modem by detecting the carrier tone if you are not using vision
    4. They monitor your bandwidth utilization

    It's quite simple really. I trust you wouldn't expect anything else of a provider. SprintPCS is no different than any other.

    Thi has been well documented at HowardForums, Sprintpcs.com and other places.
  18. #18  
    I think we've lost track of the question.

    The question is not "Can sprint detect if you connect to the web by dialing an ISP rather than using Vision"

    The question is "Can sprint detect if you are using Vision for traffic on the Treo (or other phone) itself, or on behalf of some other device, like a laptop computer that is using the Treo as an internet connection." Not modem, but connection.

    I don't see how we can do more than speculate. Sprint isn't a naive company. And it's reasonable to assume that they gave Handspring some requirements. I would not be surprised if each packet has a bit that indicates if the request came from the Treo or from an external source.

    Well, I guess it's not that simple. The Treo doesn't have a built-in program for connecting a laptop, so it stands to reason that each request looks like it comes from a user application, which just happens to hand the data across the USB to a laptop.

    Yep. Speculation.
  19. #19  
    You'll love this one.
    The casual web useage fee showed up again on my bill after it was taken away for a few days - and i haven't used the web either DIALing into an ISP or #777.
    Anyway, I agree with the notion that using the treo as a self contained modem or connected to a laptop as a modem will incur casual wireless web minutes - that has been what i've discovered. I doubt they bill for PALM NET, I haven't seen it.
    I also think it should be charged against my voice minutes and i'll be taking this matter up with the people at sprint to get some clarification on this issue and get them to do it properly.
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by Jedi
    I'd be curious what the authors of WirelessModem and PalmNet have to say about this. I would imagine they'd have alot more info given the amount of testing they must have to do to get the software to work and the feedback from the customers.
    Personally I haven't seen extra charges on my bill since September or so when I dialed numbers other than #777. I really haven't used WirelessModem much in the last month or so, so I haven't racked up any minutes. I will use it for a trip in 2 two weeks.

    I haven't had any users report extra charges lately (I do, however, have a note on my website saying that I'm not responsible for charges incurred using the product!).
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