Home - , , - Updated - Sprint MVNO Zapp Unlimited Goes Belly Up - PrepaYd Wireless Denies It Has Merged With Zapp

Updated - Sprint MVNO Zapp Unlimited Goes Belly Up - PrepaYd Wireless Denies It Has Merged With Zapp

Zapp Unlimited has apparently shut down, The Sprint MVNO, which launched last year with very inexpensive pay as you go plans, mediocre unlimited plans and the ability to use any Sprint phone, has sent the following email to current customers.

"Zapp Unlimited has merged with Prepayd Wireless.

All Zapp Unlimited devices are now eligible to be activated on Prepayd Wireless.

All new activations, and replenishments must be done with Prepayd Wireless.

You will be receiving portal access within 24 hours.

All BYOD phones that were added to Zapp are now on the Prepayd Wireless system, as well as all purchased Zapp Unlimited devices.

Prepayd Wireless also offers a hassle free BYOD Program inside there (sic) portal
"

Prepayd (actually spelled "PrepaYd") Wireless (web site) is another Sprint MVNO startup that launched just last year. PrepaYd has unlimited plans which range in price from $35 for talk and text only to $60 for one that includes 4G WiMax data. Besides the WiMax, PrepaYd is notable for including unlimited international text messaging with all plans.

Update 8-Aug-2012: PrepaYd has issued a press release  denying that Zapp has merged with them. It doesn't sound like PrepaYd will be taking over Zapp's users either. The release "...recommends that if you are a Zapp Unlimited customer you contact the merchant you purchased your phone at and have them review your options with you." Of course that won't help customers who bought phones or activated BYOD phones directly through the Zapp website which is now down.

When Zapp launched it was unique for two things.
  • It was the only Sprint MVNO that officially supported BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Zapp would activate any Sprint phone for a one time fee of $20
  • Their pay as you go plans were the ultimate light use or "glovebox phone" plans. $10 bought you 200 minutes good for a year (5¢/minute, 83¢/month). A $15 plan, also good for a year, included 400 minutes (3.75¢/minute)
Those plans were apparently too good to be true and in March of this year Zapp replaced them with more expensive ones with shorter 60 day expirations.

Although Zapp called it a merger, the PrepaYd denial makes it look more like a forced shut down and possibly a failed transfer of existing accounts to PrepaYd. The Zapp website at www.zappunlimited.com is now a ad filled parked page, which isn't something you would expect to happen with a merger or even  a well planned shutdown.
    If you are a former Zapp customer, feel free to leave a comment and lets us all know how the shutdown has effected you.

    Sources: HowardForums and PR Newswire

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    23 comments:

    Comment Page :
    1. Will Leap(Cricket)be next???.....looks like it.

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      1. Leap is in trouble for sure. But they have spectrum, infrastructure and 6 million subs. I think someone, either Sprint or a private equity firm, will acquire them at a bargain price.

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    2. I think PrepaYd is very shaky as well, I wouldn't bother with them ( or any Sprint MVNO's) you can get the same plans and prices at Boost.

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      1. Generally true with the exception of PlatinumTel which has been around for many years and has excellent customer support and the lowest pay as you go rates in the industry.

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      2. Kajeet is Sprint too and also seems to be doing well too with their niche product, kids phones with parental controls.

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    3. I think the prepaid market is now saturated. This won't be the last one to go belly up.

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      1. There will be more mergers and business failures, but not because the prepaid market is saturated.

        Prepaid is the fastest growing segment of the US mobile industry. The majority of new US mobile subscribers since 2011 have been on prepaid. In Q1 2012 postpaid subs actually declined slightly while prepaid grew by 15%. There's plenty of room for more growth too. Currently only 25% of US mobile subscribers are prepaid, compared to 50% in Western Europe.

        The reason there will be more mergers and business failures is that prepaid is an extremely competitive business. There's a price war going on in the unlimited prepaid segment. Prepaid customers can switch operators relatively easy in search of a better price. MVNO's are particularly vulnerable as MNOs seek to offset falling or stagnant postpaid subs with more aggressive prepaid offerings of their own.

        As in any other highly competive business, the companies with the best combination of adequate capital, smart management, low internal cost structure, competitive retail pricing and excellent customer support, coverage and device options will survive.

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    4. PrepaYd doesn't support BYOD and they didn't merge. PrepaYd has been firing up nationwide since they launched and have a debit card product that's been around for years. wouldn't be surprised if other Sprint MVNOs try partnering with PrepaYd they have unique distribution and 24 hour support.

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      1. You sound like an insider. So what's the real story with Zapp and PrepaYd?

        Did PrepaYd acquire Zapp's customers or not?

        If they did, is PrepaYd migrating former Zapp customer's numbers, cash balances, remaining days of service, phones and plans? This a great oportunity for PrepaYd to gain some good will by treating former Zapp users right.

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      2. No if that were the case there wouldnt be any headaches with having to switch customers over to new plans. If it was a merger it would be a seamless process but companies like PrepaYd, Ptel, and Total Call have been making strong gains on the retail side with indrect dealers. Time will tell...

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    5. Sprint mvnos equals no byod equals no way.

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      1. I never understood the aversion to BYOD that Sprint and its MVNOs seem to have. The ability to activate any compatible CDMA phone would be a huge selling point. BYOD seems to be working pretty well for Straight Talk and Page Plus.

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      2. Sprint is anal about the phone subsidies, this will all change once LTE is maintstream.

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    6. Well I took a chance on them re-activating my phone and waited the 24 hours as their new payment form says and it never happened , I think the zapp owner is stealing credit card numbers and scamming his customers, I had to call my bank to get my money refunded and get a new checking card and my bank is launching an investigation....

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    7. What happed to current ZAPP customer, ZAPP website is down, phone 977-992-4768 can not get through

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    8. Zapp has shut down leaving its users with no service. If you bought your phone or service from a dealer or store, contact themabout refunds or alternatives.

      If you bought directly from Zapp using a credit card, contact your credit card company and do a charge back for non-delivery of service

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    9. I'm relatively new to the prepaid world. This is exciting stuff, not in a good way, but just how common is this? Does this happened regularly in the prepaid world? Kind of puts me off to using lesser known prepaid companies but how does one find out which are financially sound and will be there to fulfill the services they have sold?

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      1. Well, you can always sign for a prepaid plan with the carriers themselves, and prices are very competitive with their MVNO's.

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    10. The ONLY Sprint coverage (Native) MVNO I would recommend would be Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile. Virgin Mobile is the better deal over all between the two as far as plans go. Nither offer any type of of-network Roaming at all. So coverage is very limited to Major Metropolitan cities and Interstate Hwys. So keep that in mind. The only Sprint network MVNO that I know of that actually offers Roaming off-network (Voice/Text ONLY) is Ting. But their plans are junk, and their phone selection is WAY too expensive.

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      1. Virgin and Boost are not MVNO's, they are fully owned by Sprint.

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      2. Credo Mobile is a Sprint MVNO which offers what looks like postpaid coverage (Sprint + Voice/Text/Data roaming). However their plan offerings are entirely postpaid as well (credit check required).

        For new customers, they do offer some lower cost wrinkles for light users compared to postpaid Sprint plans. For families, the cheapest monthly service starts at $59.99/mo for 2 lines & 550 voice minutes & 9a-7p N+W (versus Sprint family plans which start at $69.99 for 2 lines & 700 voice minutes & 7a-7p N+W).

        Also noteworthy is that a $24.99/mo unlimited shared text add-on is available for family plans (versus the $20 unlimited text add-on per line for Sprint family plans).

        So it's possible to build a family plan with 550 anytime voice & N+W voice & unlimited family texting ranging from $42.49/mo per line (for 2 lines) to $23/mo per line (for 5 lines). Note that all pricing is before fees & taxes, and also no data is included ($1.99/MB PAYGO instead).

        This may be good value for those who need an unlimited family texting plan for up to 5 lines with Sprint postpaid coverage, and are willing to accept subsidized 2-year contracts (for older Sprint handsets). Possible alternatives are (1) Cricket and (2) MetroPCS.

        (1) Nationwide Cricket offers a $25/mo individual no-contract plan with 300 minutes & unlimited SMS & mobile web (CDMA 1xRTT). At this pricepoint, only 4 handsets were available in my market, but I suppose that more choices are available within Crickets home AWS markets. The discounted $39.99 ZTE Chorus is intriguing, but may require the Muve Music add-on. Note that the Samsung Chrono only has dual-band CDMA 800/1900 radio onboard. For the time being Cricket offers nationwide talk/text/web roaming onto native Sprint coverage so that their coverage map resembles Boost/Virgin. Caveat: Cricket's future outlook could be described as "questionable".

        (2) MetroPCS offers individul no-contract plans with unlimited voice/text/web (CDMA 1xRTT or AWS LTE) starting at $40/mo. There is an option to add up to 5 lines into a family-style bundle with a $10 discount for each additional plan added. This allows a range of $35/mo per line (for 2 lines) to $32/mo per line (for 5 lines). MetroPCS's nationwide coverage looks like native AWS MetroPCS overlaid with native PCS Sprint for talk/text and limited web. In addition, it appears that unlimited SMS text is included on postpaid Sprint coverage! A wide variety of handsets are available, and many recent models have "quad-band" CDMA 800/1900/1700/2100 radios onboard.

        PS: I did not intend to write a novel, but congrats for getting to the end of this post!

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    11. Platinumtel is a viable alternative to Virgin and Boost. They have reliable customer service, and have added better phones lately. They have the best overall pay-go plan, and their dealers offer two additional well-priced TnT plans for $20 or $30/month. One major distributor in FL, A_ _ _ will hook up your clean Sprint phone for $40 including $10 in pay-go airtime (net $30). This BYOD includes 4G phones, but no newer BB or iPhones.

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    12. To update all this, there are more and more Sprint mvnos with byosd/Bring Your Own Sprint Device. Eco, Prepayd and Kajeet all have it. Ting will get it soon. Boost Mobile is supposed to be launching it too. What a difference a quarter makes. From zero byod to several mvnos and a Sprint prepaid division getting it. Crazy.

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