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  1.    #1  
    Ok, to any developer who thinks they want to make a Treo app, there's a desperate need for one now. I'm sure others will agree with me that an application that can track voice AND data calls is a necessity. Currently, the Phonebook only tracks incoming and outgoing voice calls. I can't find anywhere that data calls are tracked. It doesn't make sense to me, so I'm hoping I'm just missing something.

    Anyway, why is this important? Well, if no one else noticed, Voicestream applies ALL data calls to your "whenever" minutes. Weekend minutes do NOT cover data calls. As such, anyone with a basic rate plan who thought they could use their weekend minutes for modem calls and be home free is going to get a very NASTY wake up call when their bill comes. I know I did, and it took a half hour on the phone with Voicestream to find out why. The end result is that data calls count toward whenever minutes, whenever they are made. See?

    As such, without a way to track data calls, there's no way to track how much time you REALLY have left on your plan minutes to know when you're gonna start paying through the nose for over use.

    If anyone feels clever enough to make this much needed application, here are some things that should be in it at the very least:

    - must track ALL calls, incoming, outgoing, voice, data, voicemail, everything!
    - must be able to enter plan information: billing period with start and end dates; number of whenever minutes; number of weekend minutes; amount of data transfer allowance
    - must be able to determine which calls are going to be billed based on when a call is made, if it's voice or data, and if the plan minutes are used up. counting down the available plan minutes would be super!
    - must be able to clear out call history between dates, not just "older than a week/month" crap.
    - additional view/listing filters would be great, such as voice only, data only, incoming, outgoing, all, etc.

    That's pretty much it. My biggest gripe is not being able to track data calls.
    Seattle Palm Users Group!
  2.    #2  
    just hit PalmGear as I do every day (multiple times a day ;-) and noticed this application: Call Plan Tracker

    It doesn't do data calls right now, but the author is planning to work that into his program. Hopefully he'll be able to do that, and my wish will come true!
    Seattle Palm Users Group!
  3. #3  
    are you connecting through the voicestream isdn service or through a different ISP?

    the reason i ask is because on my old visorphone, when i connected on a data call to an external ISP, voicestream could never for some reason tell that it was a data call -- i had foolishly purchased datastream minutes, and none of them were EVER used because voicestream thought they were always voice calls - resulting in me calling them up month after month to get call credits.

    anyway, since moving to the treo and switching over to using the voicestream isdn config, i've noticed that data calls are being logged correctly about half the time - the other half the time they're appearing as voice calls to someplace in connecticut (i live in PA). (of course i don't have datastream any more so all call types come out of my minute pool).

    i haven't experimented with switching back to an external ISP to see if that gets flagged as a data call or not. i also haven't studied my bill to see if my data calls are free on weekends or not, though next bill i get will definitely be scrutinized.
  4. #4  
    this is the first month of my voicestream service and I'm really shocked to know that my data calls will be charged to my whenever minutes. I initally took $19.99 plan then upgraded to $29.99 plan. Last weekend I used close to 150 mins thinking my weekend minutes are unlimited.

    Now I'll try to use voicestream isdn as my ISP. I also frequently logon to my office network using RAS. This is a 1-800 no. I don't know whether it is going to be charged to my whenever minutes or weekend minutes.

    sprintpcs provides data call service(wireless web) with a additional $5. If voicestream provides night and weekend minute plans like sprint pcs they will be more competitive and get more business.
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by gr_joseph
    Now I'll try to use voicestream isdn as my ISP.
    sorry that is a typo. Now I'll try to avoid using voicestream isdn as my ISP.
  6.    #6  
    Originally posted by gr_joseph
    Now I'll try to use voicestream isdn as my ISP. I also frequently logon to my office network using RAS. This is a 1-800 no. I don't know whether it is going to be charged to my whenever minutes or weekend minutes.
    I'm positive that the current policy is that data calls are covered only by whenever minutes, and NOT by weekend minutes.

    I've been dialing into a 3rd party ISP, NOT the voicestream "ISDN" thing, and they know it's a data call. It's marked as such on my bill, both the printed and on-line versions. They know, because it goes through circuit switching to connect your phone to the ISP. they call it CSD (circuit switched data) service. To have your weekend minutes cover CSD calls, you have to pay an additional $10 per month, but that service is only available to business and government employees or something. Consumers can't get that coverage. As such, make sure your whenever minutes are enough to cover your data calls AND weekday voice calls, or you'll be paying extra.

    Also, 800 numbers are free calls for land-line phones, not cell phones. There's no long distance fees to worry about, but the call still comes out of your plan minutes. Any time you use your phone for anything (pretty much) it's going to come out of your minutes somewhere. Yes, there are special free call numbers, but only stuff like 911 and news alert numbers and such that are payed for by other agencies.

    I hope you all making tons of data calls on weekends are ready for a big bill. Be sure to call voicestream about it, if course, and get those charges refunded this time around. You'll probably have a hard time getting them refunded again in the future, though.

    so, like I said, we need an app that can track ALL calls. Hopefully Call Plan Tracker will fill that need soon. If not, hopefully someone else will be able to.

    Seattle Palm Users Group!
  7. #7  
    I don't know how uniform voicestream's policies and call data tracking are.

    As I said before, I am CERTAIN that my data calls when I use(d) the visorphone were NEVER EVER recognized as such. Voicestream was TOTALLY IGNORANT that these were data calls when I called them up to complain.

    Even now, as I mentioned, my data calls only get flagged as such on my bill about half the time.

    I think that their technology isn't uniform across the country, and as such the precision in tracking this stuff varies region to region. I will be checking my past bill and my next bill to figure out if my weekend data calls came out of my anytime minutes or not.
  8. #8  
    In my voicestream online bill, for all data calls, the feature field says "E". What does this mean ?
  9.    #9  
    the E stands for Data/Fax call. If you see a call with an E, that means they know it's a data call, and it will be covered by your anytime minutes as a result.
    Seattle Palm Users Group!
  10. #10  
    With all due respect, I've had VoiceStream for about two years, and my calls come out of the time period in which the call is made regardless of the type of call (csd/voice).

    I agree with hyperenough. It may be a regional issue. I have the $39.99 plan in the Balt/Wash area, and I'm using my own ISP.

    Ya better bet I'll keep an eye on my next bill, though.
  11.    #11  
    It certainly could be regional. I've been with Voicestream for more than two years now, but I've only had a phone that can be a modem for about a year and a half or so. With my other phone, I never made so many calls that I went beyond my whenever minutes anyway. When I got my Treo, I naturally assumed that weekend calls would come out of weekend minutes. At least for the Puget Sound Washington area, that is not the case, at least not without paying the extra $10 for the service that allows it.

    Here's a question for you, though. With the $40 service, you certainly have a few hundred whenever minutes. As I recally, you should have about 600 of them. Have you ever actually used up ALL your whenever minutes before the month is up? Have you then ALSO used your modem on the weekends to verify that those calls do or do not come out of weekend minutes? My point is, you'll never be able to tell if that's happening until you've used ALL your whenever minutes with weekday voice calls, and data calls any time. Have you ever used up all your whenever minutes?

    My plan is the cheap one, with only 60 whenever minutes. It wasn't hard for me to use those up. And by using them, I found out with a very unpleasanct surprise that weekend minutes don't cover data calls.

    Again, maybe it's regional, but I'd be surprised if it were. :\
    Seattle Palm Users Group!
  12. #12  
    That's a good point. I do get the 600 'whenever' minutes. I started to sum my minutes based on data/whenever/weekend categories, but it wasn't making sense.

    Some of my data calls, as mentioned by others, were listed as E/data/fax and others weren't. I wasn't sure which to count and which not to count.

    I do recall coming close to the 600 minutes in the past, but as you said, I'm not sure if those were all actual weekday-whenever minutes.

    I think I'll start paying close attention. I do know that I've done some heavy surfing on the weekends, and I haven't ever managed to go over my whenever minutes limit.

    Wait- I just realized that my weekend minutes totals are normally very high and I don't make anymore voice calls than I do during the week. This would suggest the data calls
    are coming out of the weekend minutes. Mmmm.... I'll start paying attention. Like you said, the first time should be a 'gimme'.

    All that said, nothing would surprise me with VoiceStream.
  13.    #13  
    If you're counting minutes, do it like this:

    all weekday voice calls
    + all weekday data calls
    + all weekend data calls
    total calls that count toward whenever minutes.

    Don't bother counting weekend voice calls, because on your account, you probably have unlimited weekend minutes for voice calls. If you break 600 minutes in the above calculation, then I'm betting additional data calls, even on weekends, will be billed.

    All that aside, I've had a couple e-mail with the author of the Call Plan Tracker app, and he believes he'll be able to add data call tracking. I've also asked him to enhance the plan setup such that Voicestream plans such as mine can be accurately tracked. If he can do it, it will be one of the few apps I ever am willing to pay for, because it can actually SAVE me money by helping me stay under my plan minutes.
    Seattle Palm Users Group!
  14. #14  
    I am a Voicestream customer in the Atlanta area and I have been using my visorphone since October. My $39.99 plan has 500 weekday and 2000 weekend minutes. So far, my data calls (using my ISP and sometimes the Voicestream ISDN) on the weekends have never been charged to the weekday minutes. I did have a nasty first bill because Voicestream charged all my calls to my 500 weekday minutes even when calling on the weekends. I got it straighten out quickly, but I keep copies of all my past bills, just in case.
    B'Alerted ( is a call tracker that is being developed for visorphone and treo. It's still beta. It doesn't track data calls, yet. What is it with Handspring that the call history does not track data calls?
  15.    #15  
    B'Alerted doesn't do much more than the built-in call history thing. I much prefer Call Plan Tracker since it accounts for your plan minutes and billing cycle to help you keep track of how much you're using. Are they actively developing it and adding features? Is there a beta list or something I can look into?

    As for the Handspring database, it only tracks phone calls because that's all it does. The Phone app is not part of the data call process. The only thing that app ever sees are voice calls, therefore, no logging of data calls. Whoever makes a way to log data calls will have to tap into the connection program to track when/where/how-long data calls are made with that program, then add that information to the phone log somehow.

    Seattle Palm Users Group!
  16. #16  
    be very careful with voice stream they have history of lumping data minutes in with your reg usage minutes i have datastream which i pay an additional 29.99 for 1400 data minutes and i find they lump those minutes in with my reg usage then charge me for an overage. i have to call customer care waste a good hour of my time to get it corected it is third time it happened to me.
  17. #17  
    I downloaded Call Plan Tracker yesterday & I like it quite a lot. The only thing that it's missing, as Greg noted, is a way to track data calls.
  18. #18  
    Has anyone configured Call Tracker for one of the voicestream services that includes unlimited weekends? Can they share how they did it? I think I've got it, but for some reason I don't think I'm doing it right. The way I did it I have one or two weekend hours that count towards my total.

    All in all, however, a very nice, and very simple program.
  19.    #19  
    Unless Call Plan Tracker has been updated in the last couple hours, it doesn't support weekend minutes. It's currently designed only for peak and off-peak minutes and only provides designators for hours of the day, not days of the week. Until weekend minutes are supported, we won't be able to get as much out of the application as we need. I'm encouraged by the response I got from the developer and I look forward to enhanced versions of his app in the future. Hopefully sooner than later. ;-)

    Seattle Palm Users Group!
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by GregGaub
    Unless Call Plan Tracker has been updated in the last couple hours, it doesn't support weekend minutes. It's currently designed only for peak and off-peak minutes and only provides designators for hours of the day, not days of the week
    Not 100% true. The plan configuration screen does allow you to set peak and off-peak times for both 'weekday' and 'weekend'.

    The calling plan configuration as it currently exists works fine for the Cingular plans, because Cingular lumps off-peak weekday and all weekend mintues into the same bucket.
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