Feeds

Sprint boots 200 American patriots for using their phones

You're not good enough for our 'best' service, soldiers

High performance access to file storage

Shortly after they returned home from the war in Iraq, Sprint accused 200 American soldiers of excessive roaming and summarily canceled their wireless service. At least, that's the word from one of these embattled national heroes.

According to our war veteran, who recently posted his story to the forum at SprintUsers.com, the 200 troopers were roaming excessively because Sprint doesn't provide wireless coverage in West Point, home to the U.S. Military Academy.

"Why on earth I can't get coverage at the United States Military Academy, 40 minutes away from New York City is a mystery to me," he says. He also points out that Sprint's coverage map puts West Point in the "best" category.

The 200 were re-deployed to the Academy shortly after a 12-month stint in Iraq, and when they powered up their phones, they couldn't get even a hint of a signal on Sprint's network. Several of the soldiers were already using Sprint's "free roaming" feature, which let them tap into partner networks at no extra charge - so they encouraged the rest to do the same.

Coverage was still pretty poor, but at least they had coverage. "Even with roaming, calls are sketchy at best, and very unreliable," our hero explains, "but we were satisfied to at least be able to call home for a few minutes an evening and let our families know that we were well."

Then Sprint brought the hammer down. At the beginning of July - just as the nation was about to celebrate its Independence Day - the 200 received letters informing them that their Sprint accounts would be canceled because they were roaming too much. Each were told they had until the end of the month to find a new carrier - and many had just upgraded to new Sprint phones.

"Because we recently came back from a deployment to Iraq, many Sprint users bought new phones in order to catch up to the updates in technology that we missed out on over the 12 months we spent out of the country. As we all know, Sprint phones are not interchangeable with other carriers, and these are basically going to be very expensive paper weights for many members of the unit," our hero continues. As luck would have it, he'd just ordered a new Sprint phone, and it arrived on the same day as his Sprint cancellation notice.

The overarching problem is that members of the military are constantly on the go. Excessively roaming is part of the job. The 200 will only be in West Point until mid-August, at which point they're returning to their home base, where Sprint coverage is evidently quite good.

When The Reg contacted Sprint, the company acknowledged that excessive roamers will have their contracts terminated, but claimed it will reinstate service for members of the military. "As part of a general enforcement of the roaming policies that all customers agree to under our terms and conditions, we have contacted some customers about violation of those policies, due to excessive roaming," the company said. "We understand that military customers may have unique circumstances regarding roaming, and we will not discontinue service for those customers. Any military customer contacted by us regarding excessive roaming simply needs to contact us to confirm their military status to have the roaming issue waived and to ensure continued service, and we apologize for any inconvenience."

This month, Sprint also bagged more than 1,000 customers for complaining too much

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.