Preparing for my upcoming Canada trip, I initiated an online chat with a Sprint rep to find out the roaming voice and data rates. Sending an average-length email would, according to the agent, cost somewhere between a few cents and a few hundred dollars. Transcript below the jump.
Me: Hi, I will be going to Canada this week, and wanted to know what the voice and data rates are with and without the Canada package.
Lakisha: Hi, my name is Lakisha. Thank you for your chat request. Please wait while I review your information.
Lakisha: I will be more than happy to assist you today.
Lakisha: While roaming in Canada with your Sprint device all calls will be billed $0.59/minute, data service is $0.002/KB. Sprint does offer a Canada Roaming plan for $2.99 per month; this plan reduces the voice rate to only $0.20/minute.
Me: But not the data?
Me: And data is 2/10 of one cent per KB, is that right?
Lakisha: Data is $2.00 per kb.
Me: $0.002/KB is very different from $2.00/kb – could you please confirm the rate
Lakisha: $0.002/KB is the same as $2 per kb
Me: $0.002 is 2/1000th, right? Which is very different from 2.
Lakisha: The data rate if you were to use it will be $2 per kb.
Me: Above, you wrote $0.002/KB.
Lakisha: Which is the same.
Me: You’re kidding, right? So, a 5KB email is $100 or 10 cents?
Lakisha: It will not be 10 cents because you will pay $2 per kb.
Me: Can you please review the transcript above. The first thing you said is $0.002/KB.
Lakisha: I do understand
Lakisha: The data rate within Canada will be $0.002kb which is compatible to $2 per kb.
Lakisha: Would you be activating the Canada reduce rate plan today?
Me: 1 cent = $0.01 ! There’s a difference between using 1000KB and being billed $2 and $2000
Lakisha: You can always call our toll number which is 8882267212
Lakisha: Thanks again for choosing Sprint Worldwide chat. Have a great day.
Lakisha: has disconnected.
So, $1=$0.001 (=1/10 of one cent), and 1 kb = 1 kilobit = 1 KB = 1 kilobyte (=8 kilobits). Using Lakisha’s “is compatible to” operator (you’ll learn about it in higher-level math classes), a 5 KB email costs 1 cent, which is compatible to $80.