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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Goodbye Sprint

We like to stay connected, that being said, we’ve become Internet Junkies…how did we ever live before Al Gore stepped up and invented this wonderful resource?  ;c)

For years we had a Sprint air card, it worked wonderfully, but had one drawback, it could only work on one computer at a time.  So we adapted and bought a Cradlepoint router.  It worked pretty well, but with the advancing technology and the introduction of the MiFi, we decided to upgrade.

We cancelled the Sprint air card (in retrospect, a big mistake because it had unlimited Internet usage).  But we soldiered on because we wanted the latest technology and with a MiFi, we could move about with the unit in a pocket and still get on line.

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That was the theory anyway.  We signed up for a two year contract, spent $99 to buy the Sprint Mifi , signing up for 12GB/month at $87.95/month and went on our merry way.  Except this Mifi was anything but merry.

First off, Sprint has a very limited coverage area.  Even in some cities, we could not get online, or if we did, it was S-L-O-W.  Sprint boasted about its lightening fast 4G speeds.  We never experienced that, every time the MiFi went into the 4G mode, it locked up.

We spent many hours on  the phone with their technical support trying to get the unit to work.  Sometimes the technical support people were able to reset the device, sometimes we had to track down a Sprint store and get it reset by a technician.

We were very displeased with the Sprint MiFi and decided when the contract was up in March 2014, we’d look into another unit with a different company.  We couldn’t drop the contract or we’d have to pay up to a $350 early termination fee, which decreased by $10 every month.

Since we have been at the COE Volunteer Village, they provide an excellent WiFi that we use, so I was able to drop the Sprint plan down to 3GB/$35/month and just run out the contract.

Enter my eye problem.  We were at the Shaw AFB FamCamp while I recovered from my eye surgery, where there was no good Internet access.  We were glad to have the Sprint MiFi. 

Of course, enter Murphy.  The Sprint MiFi stopped working.  Marti spent a couple of hours on the phone again with Sprint technical support.  The result?  The MiFi had burned out.  Terminal. Dead.

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We went to the nearby Sprint store and decided to buy a replacement MiFi to use until the contract ran out.  First the store folks wanted to have their technician examine the MiFi.  For a $75 charge.  Uh, no, we already know it’s burned out. We just want to buy a new unit.

Sure.  $99.  Plus a $49 activation fee.  And another two year contract.  No way, Jose!

We decided to buy out the contract, which now is down to $40.  And find a new carrier.

After doing a lot of research, we’ve signed up with Millenicom.  It has a good reputation and uses the Verizon network, which provides the best coverage around the U.S.  20GB/$69/month.  Plus, get this, No Contract!  Cancel anytime if we wish or are not satisfied with the service. 

If for some reason we use more that 20GB in a month (don’t expect that to happen, we’ve never used more than 6-7GB with the Sprint account) they won’t charge extra for occasional overages.  Nice.

So hello to our new Millenicom MiFi!  We signed up over the phone and had the new unit in three days.  So far, it works very well and with its good reputation with other RVers, we look forward to a happy relationship.

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Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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14 comments:

  1. I'm sure you'll be pretty happy with your Millenicom/Verizon coverage. We've used Verizon while in the U.S. for the past 4 years and have been extremely pleased with the coverage they provide - we get a good connection anywhere we go.

    I just might check out Millenium to see if I can get a better deal than Verizon.

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  2. I quit Sprint about a year and a half ago since they cut off my service because I was on roaming. Switched to Verizon, and haven't had that issue since. There are other details, but I'll save you from those. Sprint kicked me to the curb after over six years, so I kicked them to the curb. Hope you have as good of luck with your switch.

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  3. We had one sprint and one verizon cell phone when we first started out and found pretty quickly that sprint's coverage in big cities might be fine but where we wanted to go they were terrible. Going to be really interested in how you like your Millenicom down the road in various places. We have one of the ancient unlimited Verizon contracts but even it needs a booster in a lot of places. Good luck and may the force be with you!

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  4. We've had Verizon since before we began FTing. We have the unlimited data plan, so I guess we'll just have to pay the full retail price for the phones if we ever upgrade them so that we'll be able to keep the unlimited data plan.

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  5. We've had Millenicom for almost 4 years now and are very happy with them. Hope you will be too.

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  6. We have had that exact plan with Millenicom for over a year now and we love it. Oh, you still have places where you can't get coverage...like Flamingo in the Everglades...but they are few and far between:o) I think that an occassional break from having coverage...being off the grid...is actually a good thing;o))

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  7. Sounds like you have a good deal going there. We have the Verizon Jetpack with no contract and has been working great for us in our second year. Will check out Millenicom when we need to replace this unit.

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  8. Too bad you didn't survey your blogger friends before getting saddled with a Sprint contract. We love our Verizon Mi-Fi

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  9. Nice headstone for your Sprint MiFi. Hope Millenicom works much better for you.

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  10. We have been with millenicom for years at the recommendation Gayle and Rick and we upgraded to the mifi when we moved into the condo. We do have times at the condo when it is slow but most times it works well and we can stream video on our Wii. with no problems. When we hit the road, it just comes with us so it is a good solution for us.

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  11. I have heard good things about Millenicom. Hope it works well!

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  12. We have the Millenicom service using Verizon. We've actually had AT&T and Verizon for two years. However, we are dropping the AT&T. We've been real pleased with their service.

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  13. Thanks for the info on Millenicom. I had bookmarked a page about it on "Wheeling it" blog about a year ago.

    Your post prompted me to finally do some research on them. I would sure like to cut down our monthly phone/internet bill. I have an unlimited data plan on my Droid phone, so for right now, I don't think this would be a money saver for me. I hate having such a high monthly bill, but I guess that's part of living on the road.

    Glad this is a good option for you. I

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  14. We've had Verizon for both phones and mifi and recently switched the mifi to millenicom, so far we are very happy.

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