Jun 14 AT 11:24 AM Taylor Wimberly 72 Comments

Explain the EVO 4G $10 fee? “It’s like a first-class seat on a plane.”

Many members of the press were initially confused when Sprint officially announced the HTC EVO 4G launch date and plan details. Sprint revealed that every EVO customer would have to pay an additional monthly fee of $10 for what they called a “Premium Data add-on”.

But what about the customers outside of Sprint’s 4G coverage? Should they have to pay the $10 fee if they can’t physically access the 4G network?

At first we attributed the extra fee to the 4G data usage, but we later learned the charge was for the device’s high-end features like HD video recording, front-facing camera, 4.3” display, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, and 3G/4G capability. As Sprint puts it on their site, “Because we’ve boosted your data experience with this phone’s amazing services and features, you’ll need our $10/mo. Premium Data add-on”.

In other words, the EVO can potentially eat up a lot of data and Sprint wants to charge you $10 per month (or $240 over 2-yr contract) for that possibility.

One outspoken customer thinks the fee is unfair and he launched the site Explain the Fee! in order to lobby Sprint to make the add-on optional for those without access to the 4G network. The site suggest different ways that customers can voice their concern like calling Sprint, posting on their forums, and signing an online petition.

The site also documents correspondence between customers and several Sprint reps as they try to explain the fee. One example compares the Premium Data add-on as a first-class seat on an airplane.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but think of this charge as the price for paying for a first-class seat on an airplane. The rich data
experience that comes with EVO ownership puts users in a class by themselves.

With a 4.3” screen, advanced processor and an 8MP camcorder/camera; these features provide capabilities that were previously never available on a wireless device.

This device provides a premium experience like no other and is truly second-to-none. Customers will enjoy unlimited 3G or 4G data with EVO.Jack BSprint Customer Care

Even though some customers are upset with the fee, it does not appear to have slowed down sales one bit. The EVO broke Sprint’s single-day sales record and it continues to be sold out everywhere.

Do you think Sprint’s $10 EVO fee is justified? Even with the additional charge, Sprint’s unlimited everything plans are still cheaper than comparable options on AT&T and Verizon. Should Sprint make the charge optional for customers who use less data or should they maybe switched to a tiered option like AT&T? Should a carrier be allowed to charge a monthly fee for hardware features?

Source: Explain the Fee!

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Jamerson90

    It’s like paying for a first class ticket…. but you have to sit all the way in the back by the engine, and right in front of the lavatory. Excellent justification…. i guess

  • http://Website Ramon

    Hell No!

  • http://www.ICTDroids.com Mike

    That’s crap. The features they list as part of their explanation are all hardware features users pay for when they BUY the phone! I’ve got the Droid Incredible from VZW and they aren’t charging me anything extra for the 3.7″ AMOLED screen, the1ghz snapdragon processor, the 8MP camera, or anything else related to hardware! Sprint should not be allowed to charge this.. It’s criminal to call it a “premium data fee” when it obviously has nothing to do with data usage and is all about the hardware you already paid for! Stupid Sprint.. Always nickel and diming.. That’s why I left you bastards. Sucks that such an awesome phone lands on their crappy network.

    • http://Website David

      On most issue I side with the consumer but on this one I am gonna have to go with sprint. I have been a smart phone user on the sprint network for 5 years. The most data I ever pushed before getting the EVO was about 150 mb. I am on track this month to use over 3.5 gigs. I honestly have no problem paying the $10 fee which is still cheaper than any comparable AT&T or Verizon plan.

      I guess Sprint could have just raised the prices on all there data plans but that wouldn’t be very fair to people like my wife who with her BB Curve uses about 20 mb a month.

      What Sprint did is not new to the cell phone industry at all. If you want nice things in life you are going to have to pay a little extra for them.

      • http://Website nick

        However, you just got the phone. Maybe see what your data usage is like once the honeymoon is over.

        • Prince77

          Nick, he isn’t going to see a difference because with Sprint is Unlimited text, web, and calls. So the date he consumes won’t matter. So the honeymoon will continue, just with an extra $10.

          • http://Website david

            Texting takes a very very small amount of internet bandwidth and you would probably have to go to over 1000 webpages before you hit a gb. The Instinct would use about the same bandwidth as the evo except instinct doesnt have wifi. Most people with the evo would switch from sprints 3g network(which most people can use) to their personal wireless routers when they are at home using less bandwidth on the sprint network . So the evo can easily use a lot less internet than other phones on the sprint network due to having more expensive hardware and customers who purchase this hardware will have to pay more for their 3g everything plans that they are already in contract with having UNLIMITED internet on the 3g networks. BUYING a phone with a better processor, screen, camera and kickstand does NOT let you download any faster nor effect the ammount you can download. you can use a old sprint phone for a couple dollars(without contract) and share out its intenet on computer and use the max amount bandwidth that the 3g network can give you and you still dont have to pay a 10 dollar charge premium data charge…

      • http://Website jay555

        Hey David, are you one of those lucky Evo users that’s enjoying the “detactable touchscreen” feature. I hear that’s another premium feature that you guys are paying $10 a month for.

        Seriously though, I’d have less of a problem with this if Sprint said “hey, it’s a premium phone so the subsidized price is $440 w/ a 2 year contract”. But a monthly fee for the phone’s hardware is just wrong. Open your eyes friend, you’re paying twice for the phone.

        I don’t care if Sprint is cheaper or not – this fee is flat out deceptive. You’re paying a service charge without having any additional service actually be rendered to you. Like explainthefee.com says, the processor, big screen, and kickstand all work just fine without them being connected to Sprint’s network. So why lie and call it “premium data”? At least be upfront and call it what it is – a “phone hardware” fee.

        But they won’t because then people might actually wise-up and say “Why am I paying a monthly fee for the hardware? Didn’t I already pay for the hardware when I bought the phone?” And please don’t give me that excuse of “you WILL use MORE data with this phone.” I could buy a Hero and use up just as much (if not more) bandwidth than on an Evo. The phone I buy does not decide what type of user I am – I don’t care what you or Dan Hesse says.

        • http://Website David

          I really wasn’t going to reply to this since you started your reply out with a ” mature ” troll like intro but the holes in your argument are just to glaring to ignore.

          You claim the phone you use doesn’t define the type of user you are. How many videos would you stream from youtube, daily motion, etc…. if you had a 2 inch non color screen? How many videos would you upload and send to your friends if you had a one mega pixel camera that shot at best a blurry pixelated image? How many web sites would you visit if each one took 2 minutes to load( This one right here is a personal expierence )? Your phone most definitely defines you as a user.

          Honestly in a years time which phone would you guess is going to consume the most data on Sprints network? That is why Sprint is charging the fee.

          There is nothing deceptive about the fee. Sprint openly said that if you want to use the EVO on its network you have to pay the fee. What is deceptive about that? Explainthefee.com has yet to talk to anyone high ranking in the Sprint organization. Of course the call center people have no idea what there talking about. You know how much training they get? Hell I knew when the EVO was dropping before they did.

          So would it be okay if Sprint just raised there data plans by ten dollars or made some special evo plan that was ten dollars more ala AT&T. Ten dollars is Ten dollars who cares what they call it.

          Every company in the world is doing what Sprint has done with the EVO. Ever try to buy a new model car when it first debuts. Good luck getting out the dealership with out paying a mark up. How about every single product Apple has ever released and then magically after two months the price drops in half. This is pretty much how it works if your don’t like it then don’t buy it but why rain on the tens of thousands of EVO owners that are thoroughly enjoying there device right now just because YOU don’t agree.

          • http://Website jay555

            I apologize for coming off as immature. I just had to get that comment off my chest because it seems like Sprint spent more time concocting this “premium data” scheme rather than making sure the phones themselves were up to snuff. Moving on.

            The fee is deceptive because they claim its for “premium data” – there’s no such thing. It’s the same network which gets you to the same internet. And I guarantee you that a power user with a Hero or Moment can use up way more bandwidth than an average user on an Evo. The Evo’s processor and screen do not consume any more data then the other two phones I mentioned. They simply make using the phone easier. But if you want to argue with me go right ahead.

            I understand you wanted the phone so badly that you were willing to pay this $10 hardware-surcharge every month. And I’m not raining on anyone (as you say) for choosing to do this but just like Sprint, be upfront about what you’re doing. Don’t defend Sprint just because you’re trying to justify to yourself the fact that you’re willingly paying a bogus fee every month.

          • http://Website Dan

            You do realize this is a WiMax phone and it will absolutely be consuming more data faster than both of the phones you mention. The premise is that you can do more with it so you will.. Perhaps you are not in a WiMax area? if you are then you would be glad to pay a premium for WiMax.

      • http://Website jp

        It is still cheaper that VZ or ATT even with the fee so why are people complaining. If your work for a company, you might be able to get a discount on the billing statement removing the fee entirely. That is what I did. I also prepaid my bill ahead of time. Dude I have already used nearly 4 Gb worth of data. Utorrent anyone.

        • http://Website Matt

          I don’t get why people say it’s still cheaper than other plans. I currently have an iPhone. I pay 69.99/month. If I got an Evo, I’d pay 79.99. That’s more.

          Yes, IF I had an unlimited texting plan, then it might be less – but I’d never pay for a texting plan. Texting is a huge rip off and I have access to IM, email, and apps that let me use texting.

          There are a lot of good phones out there right now. I don’t think either the Evo or the Epic are $240 better than their closest competitor.

    • http://Website TPL

      Yeah, because we all know that Verizon doesn’t rape their customers with their pricing options.

  • http://Website Linc

    when you purchase a 1st class ticket you purchase a single ticket. you don’t pay every hour you’re on the plane.

  • Val-Zho

    That is about the dumbest argument I’ve heard in a while… “We, Sprint, have to charge you more per month because your phone is nicer.” ??

    Really, Sprint??

    If you got the biggest, fanciest, newest computer on the market, should you be charged a little bit extra for home internet? Should people with 72″ HD TVs pay a little bit extra for cable or satellite service?

    What this really sounds like to me is that Sprint doesn’t want to take the time and/or effort to have different levels of Evo contract … 4G and non-4G. They would rather just take the easy road and if you have an EVO, you get the EVO tax. (That fancy new 4G infrastructure isn’t going to pay for itself.)

    • http://Website Dan

      “If you got the biggest, fanciest, newest computer on the market, should you be charged a little bit extra for home internet? Should people with 72″ HD TVs pay a little bit extra for cable or satellite service?”

      actually yeah.. if you upgraded from a computer with a dialup modem to one with lan support, you would pay more for your dsl or cable service right? this is why the evo has a premium..its WiMax and you have to pay more to use it!

      likewise, if you has a small Std def tv and oyu want out and bought a 72″ hd tv, i bet you would upgrade to hd tv service and you would pay more. its the same thing when you go form a evdo phone to a wimax phone, you should pay a premium..

      if you don’t live in a wimax area,I guess you are out of luck wait till you get some 4g service then buy the evo..

      • http://Website Ryan

        Well Dan I have to say you are not an idiot. You make some compelling points. However you can not defend Sprint’s position on this AND bring up WiMax. They have made it clear that the “premium data add-on” is NOT for WiMax.

        They are very specific on this and for good reason. If they let the cat out of the bag, the same point that we all realize, then they would be obligated to remove or credit the $10 fee to all of the customers that they could not service with WiMax. Once they cover the states with WiMax then they will be in the clear and this argument will end.

        Until that point though they are digging themselves a big PR ditch to bury themselves in just like Apple is doing right now with their antenna grounding issue. If these companies were honest and had the same integrity as a mom and pop shop they would 1) refund a lot of money and piss off their shareholders, and 2) cease to be giant cold terrible monsters of capitalism. So, yeah, don’t expect the world to change without a little class-action action.

      • http://Website James

        Actually, Dan Hesse was quoted at CTIA 2010 saying that 4G will be free. Here’s the link for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-sRcRf0CbA&feature=player_embedded

        Yes, the original convention of technology upgrades would normally apply here (standard def TV to HD TV, dial-up to cable Internet).

        But Sprint’s CEO says, “4G, we can offer, because we produce the gigabyte cheaper, we can actually offer customers more” and then goes on to say “in essence what we’re doing is throwing in the HD channels (4G service) for free”. This leaves no room for Sprint to charge for 4G service, and Sprints reps are quoted multiple times in saying that the premium data charge is not for 4G service.

        However, they do say it is for unlimited data. But the Simply Everything plan, regardless of the amount of minutes you buy, already includes unlimited data. And that is my biggest point of contention. It is wrong to charge twice for the same service. Unlimited data is unlimited data.

        So based on Dan’s original CTIA comment that they can produce the gigabyte cheaper, if I’m using more data on my EVO in 4G, shouldn’t they be giving me a credit back on my bill since my data costs them less instead of charging me more? :-)

  • http://Website Haggie

    People that complain about a fee, but continue to use the product tend to have very little impact on corporate executives. If some percent of your customers aren’t bitching about your prices, they are too low.

    Unless customers are returning the EVO or switching to different carriers because of the fee or the fee puts them at a price disadvantage when Verizon rolls out 4g next year, I doubt Sprint will reverse the fee.

    • http://Website Haggie

      Maybe they should rename the fee: Call it the “Because We Can” fee…

  • http://scronk.net Dan

    If users don’t like it they shouldn’t buy the phone. The economics at hand aren’t all that difficult.

    • http://Website lolcopter


      Sprint lost me as a potential customer with this stupid EVO tax, and the $30/month wifi hotspot fee.

      Just be a dumb pipe, and quit nickel-and-dimeing US!

      • http://Website jp

        Why would you quit because of that. The 29.99 wifi feature is optional and the supposed tax still makes the thing cheaper that other carriers. It probably might get cheaper anyway and their has to be another way to make it work. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  • http://Website Nick

    I don’t agree that Sprint should be charging the extra $10 for using the EVO, but if people keep buying the phone, it may set a precedent for other carriers to charge extra once they roll out their 4G networks in the coming years.

    Yes, you could consume more data with the 4G network, but I don’t think that 4G changes people’s data consumption as much as a phone’s OS and apps do. I’ve been a smartphone used for years. With my Windows Mobile devices I probably used about 200-500mb of data a month, but once I switched to my G1 I started getting into the 3-4 GB permonth range.

    Having the EVO or a 4G network would not make that number jump since I would be doing everythign I do on the G1 but with a larger screen.

    • http://Website David

      I am pretty sure that this not the first time a cell phone carrier has jacked up fees before the release of a much sought after device. Didn’t AT&T create a separate and more expensive data plan solely for iphone users when it first dropped.

  • http://Website Miguel

    I’m using the Nexus One. I use about 3 GBs a month in data on HSPA+ (which has been found to be faster than Sprint’s “4G”).

    The Nexus One can also operate as a mobile hotspot (Froyo) and it has been discovered that it can shoot HD video (probably a future update).

    I don’t see T-Mobile charging an extra $10, and their rates are cheaper than Sprint. The fee is bogus, but subscribers deserve it because they keep signing their name on the dotted line and agreeing to pay it.

    What make it worst is that Sprint’s “4G” is mere marketing hype. It’s not available everywhere and where it is available it’s really 3.5G.

    • http://Website Travis

      That’s not right. I’ve had tmo for years, first I had a regular phone and paid $5 moth for simple web. Then I upgraded to a BB and it went to $20 now I have a G1 and it s up to $25 and the next time I upgrade it will be $30. The thing is that if they can provide a product and service that people will pay for, it dosent matter what the rest of us think. They can do what they want. I’m old enough to remember when you had to rent you home phone from SBC and it cost 50c a min to talk to the guy in the next town. before to long most cities will brodcast wifi for free and these arguments will be null. Untill then all the cell companies will rake in every dollar they can.

    • SBRSuperstar225

      you talk alot of foolishness, 4g is available in a lot of cities for sprint, and tmobile sucks and has bad reception in most place.

  • http://www.youtube.com/emogamer Christopher Chavez

    So……. I’m being charged an extra 10 bucks per month cuz I have a 4 inch screen and 8mp camera??? WTH!?!?!?

    I don’t think an online petition is the way to handle this. “Surprise!” Customers want cheaper service! What else is new?
    Someone needs to file a lawsuit and FAST.

    Plain and simple, the charge is for 4G data. If you don’t get it where you live, you shouldn’t be charged.

    • http://Website Andre

      Sprint has never once referred to 4G with new plan, though everyone else on the internet has. “4G charge” became a meme among bloggers and forums, but that term never came from anyone at Sprint. They’ve always said that it applied to 3G use as well. As Sprint rep John Taylor wrote, “This [charge] is specific to the device. It’s not related to whether you are using 3G or 4G.”

      Sprint can’t call the new data plan “Unlimited” since that’s the term they used for the previous plan with the 5GB soft cap, so they’ve cornered themselves into vague terminology like “Premium Data”. They can definitely be blamed for misrepresenting the nature of the charge, but not for charging for 4G.

  • http://Website Derek

    I was considering getting that phone. However, I will NOT pay $10/month when they dont even have 4G within hundreds of miles of me. And here in S.C. they dont even have a 3G network, they still piggyback on Alltel’s EVDO rev0 network. So their 3G speeds here top out at about 400kbs.

  • http://Website Feech

    Sprints explanation of the fee is bogus. Imagine going to a car dealer and negotiating a price with the salesman. You get to finance and they say “OK your monthly payment to finance 20,000 is 300 dollars a month plus an extra $50 for our deluxe ride package” then they say the package includes 17″ in wheel, memory foam seats, and leather wrapped steering wheel. I would assume that all of that would be in the price of the car right?

    Not with Sprint. They want to sell the phone to customers twice. The reason for the $10 fee is for what?? Hardware? You sold me that when I walked out the door..

    I bought the phone because I loved it. But the fee really has me ticked. Lets look at data usage over a average of 6 months. Anyone that has owned a Android device will not have anymore usage than that had with the previous device. Because my screen is bigger and I have a faster processor means nothing for data usage..

    • http://Website Jason D

      I don’t think you quite understand the economics involved with cell phones.

      The EVO is on sale @ Sprint for $199 + a two year contract. If you just got the phone, it wouldn’t be $199. It would be $449-599. Keep in mind that the 449 and 599 prices are sale prices. The devices probably costs a hundred more or so.

      They’re not waiving the rest of the device cost.

      Those costs are built into the contract. You really think cell service is that expensive for them to maintain? Nope. X number of dollars of every monthly fee is you paying off the rest of the hardware costs. That’s why they insist on a 2 year contract, and that’s why most places make you finish (or nearly finish) up that 2 year contract before they’ll give you a discount on another phone.

      So you’re right, they are charging you twice.

      Then $10 fee may be part of the way they’re able to offer the phone for only $199. Or, the advanced hardware on the phone may make it more taxing on their network, even when it is on idle. I can’t say for sure, obviously, but it doesn’t sound completely unreasonable to me.

  • http://Website David

    Nick your right my data will probably level out at a gig or two when I am done but honestly even that compared to what I was using before is a huge jump.

    Also I think the key point that most people are missing is that even with the ten dollar fee Verizon’s comparable plan would still cost me and most sprint users 10-15 more dollars.

  • http://Website Pete

    I really think the $10/mo is so they could hit the $199 price point. Its like selling a cheap $69.99 plan with a $439 Evo.

  • http://Website lolcopter

    Sprint manages to screw up the one phone that could possibly save that crappy company. What a surprise.

    No two-year contract for you. Idiots.

  • http://Website Pax

    Please change my ticket to a coach…thank you very much….btw, I don’t have Sprint EVO and will never get one from these vultures.

  • http://Website brandon

    I think its to cover the rest of the price of the phone i mean you only pay 200 after mail in rebate which is 100 plus the 240 you pay over the 2 years brings you to about 540 which after taxes somewhere around 590 around the same price as if you bought the phone uncontracted…sprint knew this phone would sell and they wanted every penny out of it pretty much. so there making money out da ass right now…but i guarantee you if this phone aint sell what it did and it wasnt in high demand sprint would drop the $10 amonth fee

  • weamdog

    what they should be telling their customers is this $66M from the first few days of sales over 24 months plus all $10/mo for all the continuing sales will be used to expand the network. i live in baltimore and still don’t have 4G at my house. maybe i should be the first to take my phone back for false advertisement and buy an iphone? yeah, i just made a funny, not gonna happen ;) mobody is twisting anybody’s arm for $10/mo, you don’t like it, take it back within 30 days and quit your b’chin. you knew about this fee months before the phone went on sale, geeesh.

    • http://Website Pax

      Reality meet stupid.

  • http://Website watbetch

    Samsung Galaxy S Pro: $10 Premium Data Fee + $10 Premium Usability Fee.

    You’re paying a “little” more because the Samsung Galaxy S Pro has a more usable, slideout QWERTY keyboard over the regular Galaxy S.

    Sprint, I hope you go bankrupt and soon. Maybe that’ll knock your CEO down a few pegs. 4G is so spotty and limited right now, they have no right to charge extra for *anything* data related. Extra for EV-DO Rev. A? Horseshit

  • http://Website Dre

    I agree with it if it just for data, but only because with just my Moment I eat between 1.5 and 2 gigs of data every month and if I had a Evo with limitless data I’d use it for tethering and downloading more then my current ISP, but when they say it’s for the great hardware as well then it becomes bullshit.

    But regardless I won’t care about the 10 bucks once the Galaxy S Pro is out and in my hands…..plus I’ll abuse the data like no other muahahaahahahaha :}

    • http://Website Raptor


      Abusing the data with 2GB /mo? 2.5-3 DivX movies per month? You are kidding. That’s NOTHING.

      Comcast cable has 250GB unofficial cap. And even then it is not cutting you just drop the speed.

  • http://Website Rizo

    Do we not realize that Sprint is lying to their customers? They are telling us it is a $10 additional data charge, then they come out and say that it is a $10 additional hardware charge. In reality it is just another way for them to make some extra money off of their customers by charging them a fee that doesn’t really account for anything except just that, nothing. Most consumers aren’t that tech savvy to realize there is an issue with this so Sprint just calls it an additional $10 data charge to confuse them for arguments sake so that they may take advantage of them. Sprint is really doing a hell of a job keeping customers away and losing them due to trust and horrible customer service. This is exactly why I left Sprint several years ago and will never go back. Some things never change.

    P.S. I thought Sprints ads focused on the “new” Sprint. Which highlight their new customer service and competitive pricing…? Yet another lie.

  • http://Website D.J.

    The charge is BS, but as long as the data is truly unlimited, I would be OK with paying that. But even with that extra $10 it still costs $80 which is pretty cheap considering unlimited texting and unlimited calls to cell phones.

  • http://Website .02 cents

    It’s not 4G it’s WiMax ; even Tmobile’s HSPA+ is faster!
    Dan Hesse said WiMax was cheaper to deliver then 3G
    and there would be no extra fee. Yea SURE.

    Sprint is getting away with this because people get caught up in the
    hype (marketing) ; the phone is nice but it ‘s not all that !
    Have you seen how many problems this phone has had ?
    More then most ! Check the web sites !
    You’re paying an extra $10/mo. just to have a “cool” phone REALLY ?

    Take a stand , be counted , send a message , don’t get this phone!
    If you did you have 30 days to return it and get your money back.
    If not then expect higher prices and less service. YOUR CHOICE !!

    • http://Website Kristen

      4G and WiMAX ARE THE SAME THING! Know what you’re talking about BEFORE you try to make an argument.

  • http://Website J.G.

    The fee is very deceptive. Under the simply everything plan, which the HTC EVO does fall under if you choose to select it, you’ve got both unlimited voice, data, & text. So this Premium Data fee is either one of two problems.

    a.) Double charge on your data.
    b.) Annual monthly charge on your hardware AFTER you purchased the phone.
    c.) All of the Above.

    My answer is C. All of the Above. Hence, this is a double charge on your data plan which is illegal & an annual monthly charge on your hardware. Which is also illegal.

    For those in non 4G areas, you’re being charged double for non-premium data over the standard CDMA service. For those in 4G areas, results have shown that Wi-Max has a theoretical higher speeds, but in actual test & use, the speeds are consistent with 3G service. In some places very near a 4G tower(two miles of a tower), you’ll get a slight data speed boost. However, most 4G service from Sprint has been spotty and exactly the same speeds as 3G.

    So you’re being charged more for a service that doesn’t give you practically any speed improvement, service improvement, or any real world benefit.

    I honestly was thinking bout the EVO, but now I have to pass on ALL of Sprint’s 4G phones because of this ridiculous fee. Either Sprint should designate a Simply Everything 4G service with a 109.99 plan or scrap this fee all together. Saying it’s tied to hardware features sounds like you’re charging for monthly use of a phone you bought. If they aren’t charnging for 4G service, then why the $10 a month fee. I really think the FCC should investigate this bogus fee.

  • http://Website Raptor

    Just got my new EVO. First i do — network testing. I know there is no 4G in the city yet. City is in California near the San Francisco. The heart of the world computer industry, Intel, Apple, AMD, Google, Western Digital etcetc are just 30 miles from here.

    It is interesting what Sprint 3G gives?

    - mobilespeedtest.com DL 46-78 kbps, 1500 ms ping
    - speedtest.net 130/30 kb/s DL / UL, 1560ms ping

    WTF !? Is this my “New Great Experience”?

    On T-mobile with HTC HD2 for comparison in the same place from the same tower (i see it 0.2 mile away) i have:
    - mobilespeedtest.com DL 350-600 kb/s, ping 150-250 ms
    - speedtest.net 450-850 kb/s 110-160ms ping

    Wow ! In the same city we have Clearwire running 1.5 Mbits per second and Comcast 25 Mb/s is default for everyone.

    What the hell better experience ? With such 3G? That’s like returning into ancient ages. The additional $10 (or $240 in 2 years) for WHAT specific experience? For dialup-like one ?

    T-mobile also does not extort $30/month for laptop tethering. On HD2 it is allowed by default.

    Will make a whole chart around my town and send it to Sprint CEO. For better experience.

    • http://Website Raptor

      Well, good news. After self-upgrades for new firmware and PRL the phone started get downloads much faster, almost exactly like T-Mobs. Getting 800kbps, latency though worse around 400ms. All this is 5-20 times faster then i’ve got initially driving over the whole city.

      Also saw several times the message that 4G is available, but no connection yet. Rumors are that the city will be on 4G later this summer, since Clearwire is here.

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    Hey guys, love the comments. If you have anything you want me to add to the site, please comment on the site, or email me @ [email protected]!

  • http://Website CG

    You guys are all thick. The phone is a really expensive piece of hardware. (it may not be well built re screen peeling, etc, but it’s got a giant screen and lots of stuff packed in it). Contrary to what you seem to think, phones you buy on a plan ARE NOT COMPLETELY paid off at that point. Otherwise it would cost the same to buy the same hardware on and off plan! Sprint don’t want to charge high upfront prices because people get scared (because americans are too stupid to add up 24 months of their plan and work out how much their phone is really costing). So they’re charging a higher monthly fee instead.

    How they’ve presented/named it is idiotic. If it makes you feel better, rename it ’4G expansion fee’ in your head, or something like that.

  • http://Website .02 cents


    “because americans are too —— ” WHAT ??

    Do you really think phones cost $600 or even $200 for
    a company to produce ? If you do; you should not call
    anyone stupid! I don’t know where you’re from but I hope
    people there are smarter then you !

    • http://Website I

      While the phones don’t cost that much to produce, The technology is worth it! You are paying for the next OS and the onward march of technology. Its costs money to produce new and improved anything and they have workers to pay, overhead, developers bug testers etc. Its not just the cost of making the phone that is taken into account. I will pay my bill gladly with sprint considering I have 2 phones one is Android and the other is old school flip phone and I have unlimited data text etc and tons of minutes and I pay 89.00 a month to them. The same service at ANY of the others would be at the MINIMUM over 100$! I will gladly stay with sprint and enjoy my phone and when my upgrade time comes I will gladly pay it because I am still SAVING A LOT of cash and getting unlimited data instead of being capped!

  • http://Website cg

    I didn’t say they weren’t overpriced – just that there’s no reason they should be less overpriced on a plan compared to off it. As some commenters have said above, plenty of people are still buying this phone with the fee, so they do think it’s worth the money, even if only some of it goes to actually ‘making’ the phone and the rest on branding, advertising, r&d, snazzy design….

  • http://Website Janson

    So, let’s see. A company comes out with a product, tells everyone exactly what it will cost months in advance. Delivers the product as promised at the price initially described. People buy the product under the terms of the contract which clearly describes the upfront costs and the costs down the road.

    And then wake up one morning, read literally the descriptor of the charge, and start using words like “double charge” and “lying to their customers.” Anyone who bought the Evo (like I did) and complains about the charges should be ashamed of themselves. There is exactly one thing that matters: transparency in total cost of ownership.

    And that has been there all along. Take some personal responsibility.

    If you don’t like the total cost of ownership, take advantage of the extremely generous return policy and go pay more somewhere else for a lesser product and worse return policy.

    • http://Website Kristen

      Beautifully put. Sprint tells you EVERY charge BEFORE you sign the contract. AND they have the 30 day guarantee. If you don’t want to pay the fee, return it and stop your whining.

  • krazytrixxxsta

    i was ready to jump ship for the evo, but that extra 10 dollars is holding me back

  • http://Website outrageousjon

    I waited for this phone FOREVER. I couldn’t wait for it to come out. I’ve been elegible to upgrade for over a year now, but I was waiting to use it on this bad boy. However, I won’t be upgrading if it means paying nearly 15% more for exactly the same service as I already have. That’s just foolish and my techno-lust isn’t strong enough to inspire that sort of bad decision making.

    I’ve been using smartphones on sprint’s network for years now. I routinely push nearly 5 gigs of data a month on my previous windows phone (touch pro) and my current android phone (moment). Basically I’d be able to do it with a little more style and processing speed on the EVO, but it wouldn’t change the amount of data I’m using. Also, there is no 4G here, or anywhere near here, or scheduled for rollout within the tri-state area any time soon. I liked the comment earlier about how we shouldn’t pay more to our ISP because we have a faster computer, or more for cable because we have a larger TV. We’ll still do as we do. Those that are new to this type of phone will definitely have dramatically increased data usage, but the majority of us that would be just be upgrading to the newer, bigger, better, faster toy won’t change our habits much at all.

    I won’t say that their decision to charge the fee makes them any worse than any other corporation (or phone company), but I don’t think it is right either. I already have over $5/month in “Sprint Surcharges” on my bill for various nonsense that I can’t opt out of. I could never get away with putting some fee-recovery or administrative charge on one of my customer’s invoices. For most of us that is just the cost of doing business and we have to adjust our prices accordingly. I wish they would just do that. The advertised price of a thing should be what we pay. There shouldn’t be all these sneaky little adjustments and add-ons after the fact.

    Sprint should just be more up front and honest about their pricing. This fee isn’t for a service, because I already get that same service for less. This fee can’t be for the phone, because it should already be paid for. They should either make a special EVO/4G plan that is more expensive (for no good reason) or give the phone away for free and charge a monthly hardware recovery fee that is part of the contract.

  • http://Website Kristen

    As a Sprint employee, I’d like to shed some light on this matter. Yes, Sprint has made this charge seem unfair because their “Everything Data Share Plan” is said to be “unlimited” when in fact it DOES have a 5g cap. So, yes, Sprint screwed up there. BUT the $10 charge is really truely because of the USAGE on the phone. EVERYTHING COMBINED! I think that saying that the $10 fee is just for the asthetic features is missing the big picture. YOU ARE USING MORE DATA!!!!!!! You can stick your head in the sand and pretend that when you own the HTC EVO that you’re not using extra data, but you really are. Also, the $29.99 wifi charge is OPTIONAL and if you do elect to use it, you can connect up to 8 devices. Sprint is just trying to cover their tail. If Sprint didn’t charge this, they would get raped with all the people who ARE utilizing every feature of their phone. If you owned a business, you would do it too. Sprint can’t say, “Well, you’re using more, so we’ll just charge you”. They just can’t.

    If you have a problem with it, then don’t buy it. But, you’re fighting a losing battle just posting it on a website.

    I WILL personally be getting one (even if I wasn’t an employee, and I WILL HAVE TO PAY THE FULL COST OF $449) and I will enjoy every second of owning one AND paying the extra $10 fee.

    • http://Website Belgand

      What it really does is reveal how disingenuous they are with their “unlimited” plans. Yes, everything is unlimited up until the point where they realize that you might actually be using more than they expected. That’s when they decide that “unlimited” really means “we don’t publish the limits”. It would be like if you went to an all-you-can-eat buffet and after gorging yourself far more than anyone else they came over and told you that you’d need to pay extra because what you can eat was actually more than what they expected you could eat.

      It shouldn’t matter how much data I use if I have a truly unlimited data plan. Instead Sprint seems worried that people will be using more data than was previously common on these phones and have decided that when they said “unlimited” they didn’t really mean it.

      If Sprint views it as being “raped” to be “utilizing every feature of [your] phone” they shouldn’t be in business to begin with and certainly shouldn’t sell anything as being unlimited.

    • http://Website Brandon

      FIrst off, the WiFi $30 charge is the most ridiculous charge ever. You are just piggy-backing off of the original 5GB data plan. Its not like you get extra data. All it does is enable you to use tethering (which is software based anyways) that comes standard in the Android OS.

      Secondly, you are way over-estimating how much data these phones use. With normal email usage and checking the news on my phone and an occasional app download, I’m only using 1.4 GB of data on my current Android phone. That includes a few hours of random pandora streaming..

    • http://Website Ryan

      Kristen, I really doubt you will be enjoying that last $120 when you want the phone that every person next to you has. These phones keep getting better and better. Paying $10 a month more for a year old phone that’s two generations behind is gonna suck. Just a little foresight for you.

      Additionally, the “you are using more data” screaming comment does not ring true for my wife and definitely not for my mom. They both love the EVO, but they do not use much data. They barely surf, barely use the gps, and barely use apps. But they LOVE the screen size and the camera. Now why are they paying $10 a month more for “premium data”?

  • http://Website F Sprint

    The simple solution is to dump these Sprint losers. A $240 premium over two years? F that. I was ready to get the EVO the first day it was released, but changed my mind upon learning of their ridiculous surcharge.

    When the successor to the EVO comes out and people are still using the first gen EVO, they will most likely still charge you the BS $10 surcharge. Your phone will no longer be the latest and greatest, but they will continue to jack you for the premium. Their greed knows no bounds.

    Anyways, you can’t have an EVO and complain at the same time.

    • http://Website Ryan

      Actually F, you can have an EVO and complain. I have one right now!

      I had an iPhone and loved it and complained about it. I had a T-Mobile Dash way back when. Same thing. Hell, I even has a Jeep Cherokee back in 1990 that I loved and bitched about.

      Are you married F?


  • http://Website EVO Stooge

    So, If I got AT&T’s version of “unlimited calls” with “unlimited data” with “unlimited text” and ” is 69.99 + 45 + 20 = 134.99… if I limited myself and got a iPhone 3GS (or 4),got the 900 minutes plan, paid for the 200 mb data plan, and paid for 200 texts (59.99 + 15 +5 = 79.99),
    I’ll pay the same as EVO 4G plan with the “hated charge” (69.99 + 10 = 79.99) but EVO’s plan is for unlimited calls, texting, and data (the 5 gb is a myth), and has a bigger screen with HD and more capability than iPhone? Where’s my EVO?


    • http://Website david

      I like how on the small print it also says that the mobile to mobile is not unlimited when in roaming. So if you go into roaming while chatting with someone on another cellphone it can still come out of your 450 landline minutes.. sprint is sneeky.. Also they did have a 5mb cap. Ive seen it on some small print in the past. the 10 dollar a month premium data package doesnt have the cap though..

    • http://Website david

      If you click on the speeds tab it says . “Monthly download limit applies to 3G/4G phones” in small print..

  • http://Website Doug

    $80 a month for unlimited EVERYTHING sounds like a bargain. The EVO is exclusive to Sprint, is it not? They are just recouping some of the costs of that arrangement. I also agree with the previously stated argument that EVO users generally use more data than other smartphone users. As to the guy who said that his grandmother got the EVO and just likes the big screen and camera, that would be the exception. When Sprint prices their data plan they have analysts pour over huge lists of statistics, and I’m sure one of those statistics says that on average, people who have the EVO, use more data than other smartphone customers. I personally have Verizon and I remember reading an article that said that Droid users were using up 5 times more bandwidth than other smartphone users, which is believable. The Epic 4G will also probably have the 10 dollar a month surcharge. I have no idea why people are complaining about 80 dollars a month for unlimited everything, when my phone bill for Verizon is north of 100 and does not include unlimited minutes (Just data and texts).

    P.S. In light of the results found on the study concerning bandwidth consumed by Droid users, Verizon is contemplating a switch to tiered data when LTE hits. This is not good. I would much rather stick with unlimited. I’m sure you guys on Sprint would complain more if you had tiered data pricing like AT&T does now and Verizon might have in the future.

  • http://Website Fred

    They say its like a first class ticket but don’t we pay for first class straight off the bat? These new phones cost more then the 3G phones so we are paying for it right away. Flights don’t charge you while your flying…

  • http://Website craig

    I have an epic and aside from the 4G I use it to its full potential. My fiance on the other hand has a blackberry style and is sick of the battery pulls and gliches sprints line up of phones is pathetic and glichy with the acception of the epic and the evo the phone is pricey but with good reason but for someone like her who just wants a reliable phone for phone calls facebook and texting this $10 fee is rediculous on top of the fact I’m already paying that $10 fee on 2 of the three lines I already have. I’ve have sprint for 7 years and really am just pissed about this over the top charge. I don’t even get 4G service! I payed for the phone isn’t that enough?