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Verizon's EV-DO service is capped at 5GB per month

Verizon Wireless has gotten its hands caught in the cookie jar over the use of the term "unlimited" when referring to its EV-DO broadband service. Verizon advertised the unlimited service even though users could actually bump up against an artificial limit.

Verizon has been dropping customers for the past few years for excessive data usage, but the actual limits weren't until recently revealed in the terms of service (TOS). Verizon recently changed its TOS to indicate that the previously invisible download cap is actually 5GB per month.

In addition to the 5GB cap, the TOS also shows that, "Prohibited uses include, without limitation, the following: (i) continuous uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or games; (ii) server devices or host computer applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing; or (iii) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections." The TOS continues, "Anyone using more than 5 GB per line in a given month is presumed to be using the service in a manner prohibited above, and we reserve the right to immediately terminate the service of any such person without notice."

According to Verizon, its broadband service should only be used for Internet browsing, email and intranet access.

Verizon Wireless' Jeffrey Nelson had this to say about the change to the TOS, "Been reading and want to acknowledge that we added the 5GB language to the Ts and Cs of our "Unlimited FOR" Broadband Access plan several months ago. And, as some have noted here, while the Ts and Cs have remained the same, for those who don't go through the fine-print and get their impression of what the "plan" is just from advertising, we've been migrating the visuals away from a big "unlimited for" to providing more detailed information about our monthly broadband plan."

Verizon's website no longer uses the term "unlimited" to describe its EV-DO service.

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Can we say Class Action?
By bkiserx7 on 4/4/2007 4:28:41 PM , Rating: 5
Let's all get together and do it!

RE: Can we say Class Action?
By SeanMI on 4/4/2007 4:30:40 PM , Rating: 1
Why not? Microsoft already has one on their hands!

RE: Can we say Class Action?
By ultimatebob on 4/4/2007 4:57:40 PM , Rating: 3
Do any lawyers think that there is a chance for criminal charges as well? There has to be a "truth in advertising" statute that Verizon is breaking somewhere with despicable actions like this!

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/4/2007 4:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
What? Can you speak up, I can not hear you now!

RE: Can we say Class Action?
By BladeVenom on 4/4/2007 9:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
Cable companies do the same thing. Have they been sued?

RE: Can we say Class Action?
By evdoguy on 4/4/2007 10:55:49 PM , Rating: 4
Verizon has been canceling EVDO users for the last year, you can read about it at:

By theapparition on 4/5/2007 7:58:01 AM , Rating: 3
With just a cursory look at the facts, I do believe Verizon is in the wrong here. However, if you think a class action will make any difference, you're deluding yourself. Besides taking years, your unlikely to receive any form of direct compensation. More than likely, you'll receive discounted "future" services, which by that time-you may not even be on, or desire, any of Verizon's services.

If you legitimately feel you were wronged, I'd suggest documenting everything you can. Then contact Verizon directly, present the evidence, ask for a refund, and threaten to quit service. You'll usually find your continued business is more valuable to them than a one time refund. You also have to be realistic, can't ask to be refunded since the begginning of time (analogy: Can't refuse to pay for your horrible dinner if you already ate it).

A better way to EVDO?
By NoSoftwarePatents on 4/4/2007 5:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
Go with US Sprint. No bandwidth cap AND more high speed EVDO towers. I can take my smart device into San Diego TODAY and get download speeds of more than 500 kbits and 200 kbits upload speed consistently.

Just tether your smart device to your laptop, and you've got remote computing in major metropolitan areas in a snap via the USB connection. Prices start at $15 per month on top of whatever voice plan you choose, so you could actually be super cheap and do a minimal voice plan for $30 per month and add $15 on top for $45...

No, I don't work for Sprint. I have heard Cingular is more consumer friendly than Verizon too, but I don't know anyone who has Cingular personally for data services.

RE: A better way to EVDO?
By RyanM on 4/4/2007 6:03:48 PM , Rating: 5
I'm using Cingular's $20 a month unlimited connection for non-smartphones in an unlocked Nokia e50 and tethering over bluetooth. It's not gonna win any speed awards, but I get coverage everywhere over EDGE and it does the job I need it to do.

RE: A better way to EVDO?
By h0kiez on 4/5/2007 8:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
I used to have Cingular and a 2125. I liked it, but found out that I could get Sprint with EVDO for $30 a month (including voice). I got a PPC6700 for <$50 after rebates and my total bill is now about $34 a month (after taxes and fees) for 500 min, unlimited n&w, unlimited Sprint to Sprint, and unlimited EDVO. The service is amazing and I couldn't be happier. I'd highly recommend Sprint over others if the voice service is decent where you live. Search Sprint SERO if you are interested...

RE: A better way to EVDO?
By h0kiez on 4/5/2007 8:48:23 AM , Rating: 2
And following up on my previous comment, EV-Do with Sprint or Verizon is WAY faster than anything Cingular currently offers.

RE: A better way to EVDO?
By deeznuts on 4/5/2007 1:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in san diego, and I compared Cingular Edge to Verizon (had both cards at once) Cingular was much faster, and while driving around town dropped the signal less. My friend ended up keeping the Cingular card and giving away the verizon one to his brother. The test was we were streaming Slingbox to a laptop while running errands.

Anectdotal but that was our experience.

RE: A better way to EVDO?
By darkpaw on 4/5/2007 4:19:59 PM , Rating: 2

I think I know where I'm going next. I've just been doing comparison shopping for my next service and this has exactly what I want.

RE: A better way to EVDO?
By bplewis24 on 4/4/2007 6:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
I also have Sprint. And I coordinate all of the evdo wireless cards in my office on our business account. It truely is unlimited, and I have the revision-A Evdo card and I routinely get up to 1.2mbps down except when I was in my old apartment.

I can't comment as to Cingular's performance or customer service but, as of yet, I haven't had a problem with Sprint. I do not have a cell plan with them, however. Just a wireless card for my work laptop.


I just canceledmy plan.
By SilthDraeth on 4/4/2007 5:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
I just canceled my plan. And as for this reply being quoted below. Some of us have no choice. I used to have a choice but where I currently live I do not have a phone line, so only cellular, no cable, no DSL available etc, and Verizon was the only company I could get decent internet connectivity via a mobile office kit. Needless to say, we used it for all the things being targeted as impermissible in the TOS so I canceled.
"[Collapse Comment] Let them get screwed
By MachFive on 4/4/07, Rating: 0
By MachFive on 4/4/2007 5:05:28 PM , Rating: 0
I say anybody who doesn't know well enough to avoid CDMA carriers when it comes to data plans deserves the anal rapage, sans lube. I think the fact you can't even perform perfunctory file transfers with their highly crippled phones should be a huge warning sign to anyone looking for broadband access that doesn't bite. "

RE: I just canceledmy plan.
By RyanM on 4/4/2007 6:05:23 PM , Rating: 4
My comment doesn't apply to those with no choice, just those that don't know there are far better alternatives out there. Even Sprint is light-years better than Verizon. I feel bad for people who are stuck with Verizon and can't get anything better.

No dedicated access line replacement?
By devolutionist on 4/4/2007 9:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that's funny, 'cause I just met with one of their account teams last week that proposed using EVDO as a backup carrier solution to my current MPLS provider. Guess they forgot to get the OK with Product Management before they went cowboy with that little offer. Maybe I should buy it and get them fired...

By UNCjigga on 4/5/2007 11:00:48 AM , Rating: 2
I would check the terms with your account rep--business plans and terms of service can vary significantly from what consumers are offered.

5GB a month?
By otispunkmeyer on 4/5/2007 3:48:42 AM , Rating: 2
you might as well be on dial up.

its no major feat to do 5Gb in a day or two if you felt like it, even with relatively slow broadband like 4Mbps down line i have.

infact i think imposing a cap on any broadband service kinda defeats the object of having all that bandwidth in the first place.

i rememebr when i went with Tiscali, 2mb UNLIMITED they said. a few weeks later we had a letter saying we used it too much, there was rarely anyone in the house at the start of term because we were so busy. i am assuming there was actually a limit to this unlimited service and that we reached it within weeks and were being bumped onto a "high usage" portion of the network (a place they put all high usage customers) which basically cripples your internet during peak periods because theres to many people on the exchange

(baring in mind the service actually didnt work for a whole 5 weeks, did we get a refund for a month of paying for no internet? no, we got told day in day out that the telephone line was ok, when i actually got the supervisor and forced him to check...whatdaya know? the line was fucked)

needless to say they wont be getting my money ever again

RE: 5GB a month?
By otispunkmeyer on 4/5/2007 4:02:26 AM , Rating: 2
oh wait i see EVDO is actually more for mobile-smart phones.
my arguement still stands though, maybe its just less relavent because you wouldnt expect to be downloading that much on a small device like that unless you hook it up to your laptop.

Where the hell is the FCC?
By FXi on 4/4/2007 10:35:12 PM , Rating: 3
Where is the FCC during this kind of stuff? Or Comcast's "unlimited" for that matter what about that? Oh yes, this is the same government that can't read a weather report for Louisiana, I forgot.

The terms have to mean the terms. And our government is "supposed" to enforce contracts when the public can't defend themselves. The companies, all of them, reap the benefits of luring people in, and then don't deliver, or, even better, say change the "real terms" midway in the contract! Verizon should be forced to refund every single early termination fee they've charged since the service started. Boy would that teach them!

And Comcast, since they have been often community backed (paid for by taxes) should be forced to deliver "unlimited" no matter what the cost to themselves. And if the backbones slow down, they should be forced to increase them. No additional fees to be paid for 10 years (as a penalty) on anyone having service who was issued the "unlimited" statement. That'd teach them too!

The governments broke up Ma Bell back in the day. They paid to get cable companies to wire up cities that were poor. And they did this all on our tax dollars. And now where is that protection from predatory contracts? Freakin government is useless and overpaid.

By DigitalFreak on 4/4/2007 5:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
So what the hell can you use their service for? I think it would have been a shorter list if they used the "can"s instead of the "cannot"s.

By sprockkets on 4/5/2007 12:10:01 AM , Rating: 2
the point is no phone should be able to download 5GB of information in the first place, yet I agree, they should have put a disclaimer out there. Verizon hates the fact that for example, you can use the 700w as a modem without their authorization, otherwise you would pay much more.

There are now EVDO routers in place, yet of course those plans cost more.

Still listed as Unlimited
By Lonearchon on 4/5/2007 9:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
Still listed as Unlimited, Both on the and in the ToS. I have the Smartphone plan with verizon and in that ToS it also change to mirror the data card. Speed is the slower with sprint than verizon in this area unless you get a Rev A card/phone with sprint

By QueBert on 4/5/2007 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
I hate Verizon, they are full of crap, unlimited means just that. If you want to impose a limit then change the "unlimited" you offer to a number. 5 gigs is nowhere near unlimited, I have a Q and streaming TV or Radio over it can result in huge usage after only one day.

They do offer some $15 a month tethering account option, which ironically allows me to use my phone to connect my PC to the net via EV-DO. So really the 5 gigs a month I can use, is restricted to my phone.

Somebody PLEASE explain to me the difference between using 5 gigs on my phone only, or tethering and connecting to a bit torrent. Obviously the 2nd will result in a higher bandwidth concentration, but at the end of the month 5 gigs is 5 gigs.

Verizon is t3h sUcks! if my GF wasn't with them and i didn't love free mobile to mobile + unlimited texting I'd be back with Sprint in a heart beat

5GB? That seems quite low!
By Christopher1 on 4/6/2007 8:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
5GB seems awful low for a cap on an internet service. I could do that WITHOUT torrenting anything in less than a week!

Verizon is just trying to gouge the people and some people were stupid enough to believe that 'unlimited' means unlimited.

That is why I will be sticking with Comcast, sure the price is expensive, but when they say unlimited they MEAN unlimited!

I've downloaded one TERAbyte in a month already, and haven't gotten any complaints from them at all.

Let them get screwed
By RyanM on 4/4/07, Rating: -1
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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