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Print 41 comment(s) - last by serialjoepsych.. on Aug 18 at 2:55 AM


  (Source: intomobile.com)
Carrier throttles data for users who exceed 5 GB or 10 GB of usage

While AT&T has done away with no-limit data plans in favor of tiered, capped plans (with Verizon expected to follow suit shortly), T-Mobile has continued to offer its customers unlimited* data services on all of its devices, including bandwidth-gulping smartphones.

Except there's a catch. Here it is, buried in fine print in T-Mobile's terms and services:

To provide the best network experience for all of our customers we may temporarily reduce data throughput for a small fraction of customers who use a disproportionate amount of bandwidth. Your data session, plan, or service may be suspended, terminated, or restricted for significant roaming or if you use your service in a way that interferes with our network or ability to provide quality service to other users.

And there is no asterisk next to "unlimited" on any of T-Mobile's merchandising. If you don't read all of the fine print, or a forthcoming sales rep doesn't warn you of the carrier's ability to throttle your data speeds as it sees fit, then you're stuck finding out the hard way, like one Trent Alvarez.

Alvarez has filed a class-action lawsuit in California against the nation's fourth-largest carrier, alleging he was misled by a T-Mobile sales representative to believe that the service plan he was signing up for truly was unlimited, ConsumerAffairs reports. Alvarez purchased two smartphones last year under two-year contract agreements. In May, he received this text message from T-Mobile:

Your data usage in this billing cycle has exceeded 10GB; Data throughput [speed] for the remainder of the cycle may be reduced to 50kbps or less.

Alvarez is alleging that the throttling renders the phones "essentially useless for anything other than making or receiving phone calls and text messages.”

The lawsuit demands an injunction that would prevent T-Mobile from advertising its plans as "unlimited," as well as restitution for the cost the class spent on smartphones.

The suit is similar to one brought against Verizon in 2007 by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who alleged invisible limits on what was marketed as "unlimited data." Verizon settled that lawsuit for $1 million.



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RE: disagree about *
By eskimospy on 8/11/2010 1:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, right. I just went to T-Mobile's website and went through the entire normal phone/service purchasing process up to the point I would actually give them my card info. I saw several mentions of unlimited web access and not a single mention of any throttling or maximum usage. I'm sure it mentions it on there SOMEWHERE, but not where their average customer would see it.

I'm not sure why anyone would defend practices like these. They are bad for the customer, and in the end they are bad for business nationwide. If customers feel like they are at the mercy of shady provisions that they have to dig out before they purchase something, they are less likely to do so. That's bad for everyone. One of the great strengths of the US system is its consumer protection law. It makes people want to buy things here, because they know they won't get screwed.


RE: disagree about *
By sprockkets on 8/11/2010 6:21:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah, right. I just went to T-Mobile's website and went through the entire normal phone/service purchasing process up to the point I would actually give them my card info. I saw several mentions of unlimited web access and not a single mention of any throttling or maximum usage. I'm sure it mentions it on there SOMEWHERE, but not where their average customer would see it.


Just go to the data plan section here.

http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/Cell-Phone-Plan...

Link for the terms of the data plan are right there.

Sorry, no excuses for this person. He shouldn't complain either since instead of charging overage fees he just get's less bandwidth. Rather take that than a speed hit.


RE: disagree about *
By sprockkets on 8/11/2010 6:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
I mean, a price hike, like the losers at Att.


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