Scratch Wireless Drops Unlimited Offering


Scratch Wireless is a Wifi-first prepaid company with a model very similar to the slightly more popular Republic Wireless. Customers can use services for free when connected to Wifi but the company also sells monthly or daily passes to access Sprint’s network as needed. However, it looks like Scratch has run into some trouble and will soon be changing the pass options available. According to Howards Forums users, Scratch Wireless sent out emails last Thursday to inform customers that it intends to cease offering unlimited 24 hour data passes an  unlimited monthly data passes. According to a Fierce Wireless article, Scratch Wireless representatives said that a few people were abusing the system and that Scratch needed to “enforce limits to ensure our unique business model continued to be profitable.” Scratch told Howard Forums users that its customers were on Wifi 84% of the time, and that the model was still competitive. Personally, I’m not convinced. The new data pass rates haven’t shown up on Scratch’s website at the time of publication, but here is what they are reported to be:
  • $1.99 – 50 MB data for 24 hours (formerly unlimited)
  • $14.99 – 500 MB for 30 days
  • $24.99 – 1 GB for 30 days (formerly unlimited)
Scratch also has voice passes available. I don’t think that the voice passes are going to change any but here is what those prices look like as of publication:
  • $1.99 – unlimited minutes for 24 hours
  • $6.99 – 100 minutes for 30 days
  • $14.99 – unlimited minutes for 30 days
It’s a shame to see Scratch forced to reduce its data offerings so drastically, and I can’t help but think that these options are nowhere near competitive or even all that useful. 50 MB is a heck of a reduction compared to unlimited, and I don’t see most people even bothering with that option. Regardless, if you’re an extremely light user or you have nearly constant access to Wifi, Scratch is still a decent option. In order to use the service, customers must purchase the Motorola Photon Q, the only device currently supported. Fierce Wireless suggested that the company might be preparing to offer additional devices and may be looking into finding a software alternative that would allow customers to bring their own devices. Scratch Wireless has made no such announcements. For more information on Scratch Wireless, visit the website.]]>

Posted in