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
there's a catch. Here it is, buried in fine print in T-Mobile's terms
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
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.
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:
data usage in this billing cycle has exceeded 10GB; Data throughput
[speed] for the remainder of the cycle may be reduced to 50kbps or
is alleging that the throttling renders the phones "essentially
useless for anything other than making or receiving phone calls
and text messages.”
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.
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.
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.