On Wednesday, the Wirecutter posted the latest version of its guide to the four nationwide wireless carriers. By Friday, my work needed another update.
The cause was something I should have seen coming: Sprint changing its offerings. That company, more than any other member of the big four, can’t seem to pick a channel and stay with it.
To give you a sense of how often it shakes things up, here are the rate-plan changes I’ve had to factor into this guide over the past eight months.
6/30/2015: Sprint announces $60 “All-In” unlimited-data plan.
7/29/2015: Sprint revises Family Share plans.
8/17/2015: Sprint offers $15/month iPhone lease deal, with smartphone trade-in required; without trade-in, it’s $22 a month.
9/24/2015: Sprint lowers iPhone-lease cost to $1 with iPhone 6 trade-in, leaving the regular lease rate at $22.
10/16/2015: Sprint announces impending increase to the unlimited-data rate from $60 to $70 (subscribers will get 3 GB of tethering a month instead of having to pay extra, but the press release omits that detail).
10/29/2015: Sprint announces revised individual and family plans, with service starting at 1 GB of data plus unlimited text and talk for $40 a month.
1/8/2016: Sprint quietly drops contracts–and hikes the iPhone-lease rate to $26.39, also without notice.
2/18/2016: Sprint announces new “Better Choice Plans” for individuals and families, with service starting at 1 GB of data plus unlimited text and talk for $40 a month.
2/26/2016: Sprint quietly restores contracts.
On the upside, each time the folks in Overland Park, Kans., drop a new rate plan, I can bill the Wirecutter for the required work at my usual hourly rate. So: Thank you, Sprint.
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