Earns Sprint Nextel

Sprint just had a pretty bad day, sending its stock down 5 percent after some troubling news. The Wall Street Journal reports an FCC official confirmed the regulatory body is preparing to fine Sprint, the nation’s third-largest mobile carrier, a record $105 million after allegations it charged consumers for unwanted text message alerts and other services.

During the FCC’s probe from August to October 2013, it received 35,000 complaints from consumers in regards to the unwanted charges that stemmed from text message alerts, horoscopes, sports scores, ring tones and other unwanted services. It has become known as carrier “cramming”.

Sprint isn’t the only mobile carrier to take part in “cramming”, as the the nation’s second-largest carrier AT&T recently settled with the FCC for $105 million in October – the same amount the FCC wants from Sprint. T-Mobile is also being sued for bogus services.

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It’s not clear if Sprint is currently in settlement talks with the FCC, as neither the regulatory body nor the mobile carrier have offered a statement regarding the allegations first reported by the National Journal. If the fine is given final approval – likely, after it was for AT&T – consumers that think they’ve been overcharged by Sprint would be eligible for compensation.

In other Sprint news, the mobile carrier announced on Tuesday it’s ending the sponsorship of NASCAR’s premier Cup Series it has held since 2004. It will not extend its NASCAR sponsorship when the current agreement expires in 2016.

“As we look to the future, Sprint is focused on investing in maintaining a competitive edge and providing consumers with the best value in wireless,”Steve Gaffney, Vice President of Marketing for Sprint, said. “Sprint has long benefited from the unprecedented level of brand integration available in NASCAR, and the passionate fan base that is the most loyal in sports. Without question, the NASCAR sponsorship property has been a valuable investment for us and will be for our successor.”

Sprint’s stock was down 5.93 percent on Tuesday, following the FCC and Nascar news and a broader market selloff.

A chart released by Business Insider Intelligence on Tuesday showed how close fourth-largest mobile carrier T-Mobile is on closing in on Sprint’s marketshare.

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  • Jonathan

    I don’t even know anybody who uses Sprint..

    • Sprint users call my store all the time. The most common reason is to unlock their device so they can switch networks and keep the phone.

    • JayDee917

      I was just thinking the same thing. But apparently there’s still way more Sprint users than T-Mobile. I just don’t know why.

      • coLin

        unlimited data

    • Jayy

      I use sprint, and I have no issues here in Boston! no dropped calls, for what I use my internet for is not slow, streaming movies / music. I have never had a dropped call. and the price is good as well as unlimited data

  • Lordrootman

    Thank goodness hopefully they charge them more than that for their slow 3G and they call it LTE

  • Chris Buck

    Just wondering….where does this FCC $105 Million go????

    • Dani Hayes

      The carriers have to send out an alert of some sort letting customers, that qualify, know about the settlement and how they may be refunded. Some money goes to the FCC for regulatory fees and other stuff they make the carriers do with it.

  • Freddie Webster

    This bill is over $300 with three lines… is that too much with unlimited all?

  • AnoNymouz

    I had T-Mobile and was happy. Only in certain areas. Sprint is really coming up, especially here in Chicago. I had my family on sprint and I switched between the 2 all the time. But recently left tmo bc I seen my family was receiving way better coverage than me. So now I’m sticking with sprint. This is sprint spark on my iPhone 6.

    • bsquarewi

      Agree. Those are the same speeds I’m seeing from SPRINT here in Milwaukee as well. They are quietly rolling out their Spark network, I think. Yes, there are some spots where Sprint falls WAY short in coverage. For some reason they have dead spots around both Miller Park in Milwaukee and Lambeau field in Green Bay. Maybe they don’t like sporting events…

      Even with the few spots of coverage gaps, it’s simply a trade off. I would gladly take the 60GB family share plan I’m on for the same price as the ATT/Verizon 15GB family share plan. I don’t see how anyone could share 4 phones and 2 tablets on an ATT or Verizon plan, it would cost over $300 to get a reasonable amount of data. Hopefully the aggressive data plans Sprint is offering will eventually push to the big 2 and their prices will get more reasonable.

    • Steve R.

      I wonder what the wireless market will look like in 2 years with the competition and progress that Sprint and T-Mobile are bringing forth.

  • Isaac_Porter C

    The options UI on iOS is clear, plausible, and provides you with all of the choices you need. Androids is missing half the options youll actually need, their all over the position, and the system just makes it charge cluttered