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

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: disagree about *
By Lerianis on 8/11/2010 4:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
Reasonable? 10GB's in a world where a high-quality video to watch on your phone can be 500MB's or more? Not reasonable to me.

It's time that these companies had the smackdown put on them, and were told "Unlimited means unlimited! No data caps, no throttling, no NOTHING! Just the full speed of the network that you can use it at! Same thing for 10MB, 8MB, etc. service. That is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, no throttling!"

Someone needs to tell these companies that while this pay be per se legal, it is anti-consumer and it is not going to be allowed.

RE: disagree about *
By heffeque on 8/11/2010 5:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
You DO know that, if everyone started using HSPA and LTE as their normal internet broadband, telco's would have to basically install an antenna every couple of homes, right? That doesn't seem too logical to me. It defeats the purpose of wireless communication if you have to wire up the whole country with antennas every few meters.
Oh, and the fact that people don't like to have cellphone antennas nearby, let alone dozens of antennas.

RE: disagree about *
By tech4tac on 8/11/2010 6:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you didn't see the part where I stated relative to the other 3 (5GB for Verizon & Sprint, and 2GB for AT&T), but since the other 3 don't advertise unlimited anymore you may have a point. Just what do you think will happen if this guy wins? Will it benefit you and other T-Mobile customers or just him and his lawyer?

I can imagine what will happen next. Soon, T-mobile will fall inline with it's peers and no longer advertise or offer "unlimited" plans. They'll bring their cap way down and offer 2GB/month like everyone else (or specify 1GB like they did with the initial G1 launch) and squash tethering. You'll get to be right, consumer "protection" laws will be followed more tightly, T-Mobile will get to charge more, and everybody else gets to be unhappy. It's a win-win situation!

RE: disagree about *
By sprockkets on 8/11/2010 6:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
Reasonable? 10GB's in a world where a high-quality video to watch on your phone can be 500MB's or more? Not reasonable to me.

Yeah, that's 20 movies a month, or maybe 10 if your cap is 5GB, and even then, you still can download and watch them without any extra charges, just not stream them.

Why would you want to watch 20 movies on a 4" screen anyhow? Because you want to go blind? Who streams these kind of movies for mobile devices easily anyhow?

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki