Monday, January 31, 2011

Sprint Surcharges, Taxes, Fees and other Charges

A look at your monthly mobile phone bill will tell you that one needs to pay for surcharges, taxes, fees and other charges in addition to your usage. You are obligated under you cell phone contract to pay these surcharges, taxes, fees and other charges. However, understanding and knowing about these charges may one understanding the need to pay for them. Let's look at some of these charges that are included in your Sprint monthly bill.

Now, these surcharges, taxes, fees and other charges may vary according to your wireless service and your geographical location.

Administrative Charge: this fee is applied per line, per month by Sprint to help defray various costs imposed on Sprint by other telecommunications carriers. It not required to be collected by law and the calculation for this charge are subject to change from time to time.
Regulatory Charge: This fee is collected to help defray costs of various federal, state, and local regulatory programs. It not required to be collected by law and the calculation for this charge are subject to change from time to time.

Gross Receipts Recovery: This fee is charged to recover receipts taxes and excise imposed by some states, counties, and cities. It not required to be collected by law.
State & Local Taxes: Some States, counties, cities, and special taxing districts assess various taxes on Sprint communication services and/or the sales and rentals of wireless phones. These charges are remitted to the jurisdiction that is assessing the tax.

State & Local Required 911 Charges: Some states and localities require wireless carriers to collect a fee for 911 funds. These fees vary by state and locality.

Federal & State Universal Service Fund Assessment: All interstate telecommunications service providers are required to contribute to the Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) and some states may require Sprint to contribute to a State Universal Service Fund (USF).

These are just some of the surcharges, taxes, fees and other charges that are included in your monthly bill. I hope you'll get a better understanding of these fees after this post.

Stay tuned for more mobile phone contract related topics.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Android Update Delay Causes Class Action Suit Against Samsung and T-Mobile

It's has been some time since we featured class action suits in this blog. The last one was on November of last year. But here's a new one filed against the 4th largest US carrier. This new class action suit filed against T-Mobile also involves Samsung and one of the manufacturer's most popular handsets.

If you own a smartphone, then you probably know that software update releases can take a long time. Now, were not talking about fix updates but new versions of operating systems. The Samsung Galaxy S has been notorious for delays in software updates. In this case it's T-Mobile's versin of the Galaxy S, the Samsung Vibrant.

It appears that one user has finally had enough and has filed a filed a class action lawsuit against T-Mobile and Samsung. This complainant claims that both companies have violated the law concerning Unfair and Deceptive Consumer Business Practices. The suit argues that these telecom companies have the deceived users regard ing the hardware, and software reliability of the Samsung Vibrant.

So do you think that this class action suit is valid?

I think that it shows that smartphone users are concerned with OS update delays. After all, no one wants to be stuck with a device with outdated and defective software.

Tune in to this blog for more issues on mobile phone contracts and related topics.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Verizon Wireless Ends its "New Every Two" UPgrade program

The start of 2010 brought some major changes in the US mobile phone arena. Of course, the coming of the CDMA iPhone for Verizon Wireless is the biggest one so far. However, Verizon also delivered some disappointment when it informed subscribers of the end to the popular "New Every Two" upgrade program.

But what is the "New Every Two" program anyway? Well, this program offers Verizon subscribers a credit of $30 to $100 toward a new phone every two years. So you see why it has become quite popular.

Unfortunately, this program will halt as of January 16. The company will stop offering the credit to new customers and won't re-enroll current customers in the program. Consumers can also say goodbye to the early upgrade program.

Brenda Raney, a spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, has indicated that the carrier plans to shifting to a "simpler program" in which customers will be offered promotions and discounts directly. She stated in an email that "We are a retail business so the New Every Two promotion is evolving to be more in line with how retailers work with customers today. This will include promotional offers via e-mail based on preferences that are more tailored to customers' needs."

This means that customers signing up after January 16, they will not get to access this program. However, Verizon Wireless customers under contract prior to January 16, 2011, who meet the qualifications for New Every Two program will be grandfathered so they can use the benefit one more time.

That's it for this update. Tune in next week for more wireless contract related news and updates.

Monday, January 10, 2011

T-Mobile's Phone Return and Replacement Policy

Thousands of consumers each year go though the process of returning or asking for a areplacement for a handset vis their wireless carriers. This process can be triggered by a number of reasons including defective phones or damaged handsets.

But what are the carriers' policy towards returning phones and replacement handsets? Well, let's look at T-Mobile's phone return and replacement policy.

If you want to a newly purchased T-Mobile cell phone then you have 14 calendar days (30 in CA) from the date of purchase to return the handset. However, the mobile phone must be good working condition with original contents and packaging. Otherwise, you won't be eligible for a refund of the purchase price. One must also present a proof of purchase and a restocking fee may be charged.

Yu can return a defective phone and ask for a replacement if its is still under warranty. Remember that you need to return the defective phone to T-Mobile to complete the exchange. IF YOU DO NOT RETURN THE DEFECTIVE PHONE WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS, YOU WILL BE CHARGED T-MOBILE’S REPLACEMENT FEE FOR THE NEW PHONE.

If the handset is found to be outside the warranty period and/or is physically damaged then you will need to pay a replacement charge for the value of the phone. A new T-Mobile phone, it is under warranty for 12 months from the activation date on the T-Mobile network or the date of receipt, whichever is earlier. If you purchased a refurbished T-Mobile phone, then it is under warranty from either 90 days of receipt or the remainder of your 12-month service agreement, whichever is longer.

A T-Mobile cell phone is considered defective if it has stopped properly functioning due to no fault of the user.

But what about if an upgraded T-Mobile phone does not meet your expectations? Well. you can return the phone plus all associated original contents, undamaged and in good working condition, within 14 days from the day you received it.

If your mobile phone has been lost or stolen then you should read this:
Call Customer Care immediately to suspend your service. If your phone was stolen, please provide the Customer Care representative with the police report number (if available). Ask Customer Care about phone or SIM card replacement options that may be immediately available to you.
You will be charged for any call charges made prior to when you reported your phone as stolen and you will receive a credit for any charges made after you reported the phone as stolen. Your monthly bill will be prorated based on the time that your account is suspended.
Once you have called Customer Care to report the phone as lost or stolen, your service will be suspended for up to a maximum of 30 days. If your phone has not been recovered within this time period, your current account will be cancelled to prevent any possible misuse. To avoid account cancellation, call Customer Care regarding your options for replacing the lost or stolen phone.

That's if for this post on T-Mobile's phone return and replacement policy. Stay tuned as we tackle other important wireless contract policies and related topics.