Sprint responds to 5GB Bandwidth cap woes

Following our story on Sprint’s decision to cap their mobile broadband packages at 5GB of bandwidth per month, Sprint sent over an email in hopes of clarifying things a bit.

Straight from the email:

  • The vast majority of current users (about 99.5%) shouldn’t be affected. Whether it’s the 300 MB roaming limit or the 5GB limit on total data usage, that’s enough data to meet the regular monthly usage habits of almost all of our customers.
  • Going over either limit will not cause a card to suddenly stop working.
  • Going over once in a while is OK. We’ll check usage using a rolling, three-month basis. Customers would have to exceed the limit in two out of three consecutive months to face termination.
  • Initially, we are contacting customers first, to make them aware of the new limits and give them a chance to change their usage, if they want to continue using the service.
  • We’re investigating additional options for customers who need to use more data. (More details to come.)
  • The Simply Unlimited plan is not affected by the data usage cap, which only applies to connection card and phone-as-modem plans.
  • Users will be able to check and monitor their total data usage on Sprint.com beginning June 8.
  • The caps are being applied to new and existing consumer and individual-liable accounts, but not corporate-liable, business contracts, Public Sector or government contracts. We’re working on additional processes and pricing to appropriately address the needs of heavy roaming and data users among the corporate liable customer group.

Our main issue with the change is that Sprint is currently selling the $59.99 plan as “unlimited”, a word which many a carrier has tried to redefine to mean “lots, but still limited” in the fine print. When we asked Sprint if the policy change affects plans with “unlimited” usage, they responded that it does — but that they are planning to “change the plan name from “unlimited””.