I see that many people in other forums have the same problem with data charges associated with pictures and videos as I have just encountered (recently changed my Sprint plan to the 1500 anytime minutes Everything Messaging Family).
Upon having doubt that I was going to have the same problem as others, I called Sprint customer service and expressed my concern before the plan even took effect. Well I think many of you on here know how that goes... The rep told me that all text picture and video messaging would be included and I would be billed nothing in addition to the text/pic/vid service that was completely unlimited. Not satisfied that he knew what he was talking about, I did the online chat and got the same answer (which I was expecting), but I just wanted a transcript of the conversation in case they tried to screw me on the data charges. I highly recommend to everyone to do the online chat and save the transcript for proof of what the rep says you will not be charged for. After all, it's easier to fight a battle when you have ammunition!
Well guess what happened while sending pics and videos... I was watching my account online from day one of using the text, picture mail and video mail and I saw the dollar meter spinning out of control very quickly for data usage (note that text only messages did not incur a data charge.) I should have expected this problem anyway since I read posts on the bait and switch before I even changed my plan. I called Sprint this time to tell them about the charges and they said they could not see the charges until my bill cycle ended. I did not say this to the rep, but was thinking ---> What the ****??? You mean to tell me that I have more detailed info on my account visually and readily available to me than the rep who works at the company supplying my service??? Anyway, they said I would be issued a credit for the data charges. Though the rep could not clarify why I was getting charged for data. At the end of the conversation I asked if these charges would continue to re-occur and he was not sure and transferred me to tech support. I spoke with the woman in tech support about the issue of data charges when sending pics and videos. She told me that anytime I connect to the internet for any reason I would be billed for data unless I have a data pack!!! She actually tried to get me to add the data pack for $15.00!!! I told her that the only way to send a pic or vid was to connect to the internet! I explained exactly that I have a LG Lotus and the steps to send a pic are 1) take the pic, 2) select the send button, 3) select a contact from my address book, 4) send... Well at that last step is where it needs to connect to the internet... I told her that my plan states that it includes unlimited text, pic, and vid messaging. She was silent for a few seconds (probably since she did not know what to say). Then she said that the $0.20 message charge is what is unlimited, but the data is not. After that I just told her to block the internet and we will just use the text messaging which is the only messaging that will not include rip off charges!!!
I also want to add that after looking very closely at my contract terms of service, I did see this as quoted.
"Messaging (text, picture and video): Standard message rates are charged when a message is sent or received, whether read or unread, viewed or unviewed, solicited or unsolicited. Unused monthly plan messages do not carry forward. Certain messages, including those to 3rd parties to participate in a promotion or other program, will result in additional charges. International messaging rates may vary. There is no guarantee that messages will be received, and we are not responsible for lost or misdirected messages. Most text messages are limited to 160 characters. Messages may incur an additional data charge of 3¢/kb."
What do you mean "Messages may incur an additional data charge of 3¢/kb"??? Is that the dialog that Sprint's marketers or lawyers stuck in the contract that protects them from a class action suit? Sure looks like it to me!!!
So, everyone on here with the problem of having something that you can't use... I share your frustration! Quite honestly all the data use charges and data packs are a load of crap! Technically everything that the phone transmits and receives including voice IS DATA, as it uses digital technology to function. They just break everything down as feature services to charge more... Check out http://forums.buzzaboutwireless.com/baw/board/message?board.id=OffTopicRantsandRaves&message.id=7471#M7471 I have a version of this comment on that thread as well. Look at the tread from page one... Good luck to everyone who has to go through these ridiculous hoops of frustration and wasted time to get the product you were supposed to be buying.