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Thread: How many minutes on an "unlimited" plan is considered "unlimited"

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    How many minutes on an "unlimited" plan is considered "unlimited"

    Page Plus has some issues with kicking off "high usage" subscribers. Apparently, users with 100 minutes a day or more are considered "abusers" with "unreasonable usage" on their unlimited plan.

    I've seen reports that 5000 minutes was the cap for old Sprint mvno (and one of the first unlimited prepaid plan carriers) Airlink/Power link. I also saw one post stating that Straight Talk allowed over 40,000 minutes a month before it is considered abuse.

    So what should be a standard of what is considered a reasonable "unlimited" cap for talk. Data is pretty much 5 gigs universally for "unlimited" but for talk, it seems harder to define.

    Views please.

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    Well, as with other markets (particularly web hosting), "unlimited" does not always mean "unlimited"....it often means "until we think you're using too much, and then we can take advantage of the vague portions of our Terms of Service and boot you at our own discretion". Each carrier may end up having their own "soft limits" they set for red flags to be bouncing up and then, if it continues, consider booting the customer. Unless we hear some particular experiences out there, it'll be just tossing darts at the dartboard.

    However, to do some math on things... 40,000 divided by 30 days is about 1333 minutes a day. 1333 divided by 24 hours is about 55.55 minutes an hour. In reverse, 60 minutes x 24 hours a day is 1440 minutes a day. 30 days a month is 43,200 minutes. 44640 on 31 day months. If a person is using 40,000 minutes a month, they are connected almost constantly! Not sure how they recharge the phone.

    5000 minutes a month is about 166 minutes a day in a 30 day month. That's about 2.75 hours a day. Which is in the ballpark of what many phones have for a battery charge while in use. Likewise, 5000 minutes at say .02 a minute is about $100 value a month. I think .02 is the cheapest even Verizon does on their prepaid daily charge accounts. Depending on what a person is paying, that may be reasonable in the end. Yet, it may not.

    100 minutes a day averages to about 3000 minutes a month. What would a person have to pay to get that?

    To be blunt, I *hate* these unlimited designations that are anything but. If it's not truly unlimited, it should not be labeled as such.
    ~Michael~

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPMike
    To be blunt, I *hate* these unlimited designations that are anything but. If it's not truly unlimited, it should not be labeled as such.
    Agree beyond measure. Why not just label it as 5 gigs per month? 7000 minutes per month? Why say unlimited then backtrack? Somebody set up some claims about false advertising. Just be honest, then we, the consumers, know what to expect.

    I don't think 100 minutes per day is even close to abuse. Is that what constitutes high use these days?

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    I know someone who got kicked off of Boost iDEN for using 11k minutes in a month.

    I think that Page Plus is digging themselves a deep grave with all of these idiotic moves, ESPECIALLY WITHOUT WARNING CUSTOMERS OR DEALERS!!!

    Honestly, I think a 10k minute cap on voice is enough. Leave texting at UNLIMITED. They really can't hurt, since all postpaid carriers offer unlimited messages for $20 and under.


    Android fanboy til I die!!! G1 FTW!!! F$^k Apple!!

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    I agree PagePlus should state in writing what constitutes "unlimited" even if it's in a footnote or T&C fine print. If it's something like the 5,000 minutes mentioned on a another carrier, they could say usage exceeding 5,000 minutes a month will be deducted at standard per minute rates from your available prepaid balance or credit card on file, and send a text message or play a recorded voice warning when someone is nearing this cut-off. Or they could say usage in excess of 5,000 minutes a month will trigger an early requirement to buy another "unlimited 30 day card" to restore service. Either would be a reasonable alternative to keep a valued customer (with an obvious gift for gab) but not subject PagePlus to a loss if they are buying airtime minutes in bulk from Verizon.

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    "Unlimited" texting on some Verizon mvnos is capped at 5000. Makes me wonder if Page Plus really upgraded their previous 5000 powertext plan to unlimited or just relabelled it.

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    Did Boost refund the remaining balance in the account?

    10k would be unlimited for 99.9% of people out there probably 7200 minutes would be, thats 4 hours every day. 5,000 minutes? I don't know.

    I really would prefer an honest - this is how many minutes you actually have rather than saying unlimited. It would be easier to make real comparisons.

    Quote Originally Posted by grandhustle413
    I know someone who got kicked off of Boost iDEN for using 11k minutes in a month.

    I think that Page Plus is digging themselves a deep grave with all of these idiotic moves, ESPECIALLY WITHOUT WARNING CUSTOMERS OR DEALERS!!!

    Honestly, I think a 10k minute cap on voice is enough. Leave texting at UNLIMITED. They really can't hurt, since all postpaid carriers offer unlimited messages for $20 and under.

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    Quote Originally Posted by offthegrid
    Did Boost refund the remaining balance in the account?

    10k would be unlimited for 99.9% of people out there probably 7200 minutes would be, thats 4 hours every day. 5,000 minutes? I don't know.

    I really would prefer an honest - this is how many minutes you actually have rather than saying unlimited. It would be easier to make real comparisons.
    Nope. He only had about 2 days left in his month and they deactivated his SIM card, but let him keep his number once he called CS. Funny thing is, he's now on Boost CDMA using over 15k a month and they haven't kicked him off, yet.

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    Verizon mvno unlimited caps: Three examples.

    BMA Communications runs two Verizon based mvnos apparently. One is Flexion , a business oriented Verizon mvno . They have an unlimited plan which states that it is capped at 4000 anytime and 3000 night/weekend minutes. The other is their Myway/Lucky Wireless "Unlimited" offering, capped at 2300 anytime and 3200 night/weekend minutes.

    There is also a Lucky Wireless Unlimited 2.99 a day plan which caps it at 4000 anytime minutes. I am not clear if this plan is on days used only or if it is actually a monthly plan broken down to look cheaper (like the old Page Plus original "unlimited" talk was: 2.49 a day but charged every day). Overage is 2 cents a minute. Funny how NONE of the Lucky Wireless "unlimited" plans ever really claim to be...

    But, FINALLY some kind of figures for the unlimited caps on Verizon mvnos (even if it isn't Page Plus).

    Unfortunately, the prices on these plans are high. The Myway/Lucky wireless version is almost $90. The Flexion version is probably similar. Both supposedly offer roaming included.
    Last edited by fonezfonz; 04-12-2010 at 04:05 AM.

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    I know if AT&T capped their unlimited texting, my stepdaughter would have been kicked off LOOOONG ago.... 1000 texts in a two or three day period is nothing for her.

    I remember seeing one of the Verizon MVNO's advertise an "unlimited" texting plan, which was listed something like: "UNLIMITED TEXT MESSAGING (5000 cap)" I remember thinking, "Shoot, that's nothing for some people!"

    I am amazed that legally they can advertise anything as "unlimited" if it has any type of cap on it at all... regardless if it is mentioned in TOS or other fine-print. If everyone advertised everything as it was... Well, then, I guess you wouldn't need a Marketing department.

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    5000 texts vs. unlimited texting, 4000 minutes vs unlimited minutes

    I remember seeing that 5000 text cap too on an "unlimited" text package for more then one Verizon mvno too. 5000 may be a lot for an older adult but for a teen or young adult, it's probably just average.

    I'm not surprised that your stepdaughter's "unlimited" messaging plan on Att is seemingly unlimited as it is not an mvno but a prepaid version of Att.

    This has been brought up by others before, mvno vs. prepaid divisions and the economic advantages of a prepaid arm simply make sense in what they can offer in "unlimited" compared to an mvno.

    The 5000 Verizon mvno text plan being called "unlimited" is merely a marketing ploy. I'm really surprised they're doing it that low though, I'd think that a 10,000 or higher text pack would be more like an unlimited for a teen.

    Most "unlimited" data plans are capped at five gigs for example. This is almost universal among the Big Four carriers.

    I'm really surprised that Virgin Mobile isn't calling their new upgraded data plan for their usb stick "unlimited" instead of five gigs (which they are calling it. ).

    It's funny to see several different versions of "unlimited" from a single company like Lucky. I wonder if Straight Talk has changed their cap since they went nationwide late last year...

    Well, at least some companies don't hide anything...Looks more and more like Sprint and Verizon mvnos have a 4000 minute or higher cap (Sprint is pure anytime minutes, Verizon is anytime and /or anytime with night plus weekends depending on the carrier's marketing).

    Of course, some Hofos might understand all this, but try explaining that to Joe Average...lol. Your "unlimited talk plan is 4000 minutes." "Then it's NOT unlimited, right? I'm getting ripped off!"

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    The flip side to all of this is MOST of these debates are going on about services that are for non-commercial use and I wonder how many consumers opening violate that even if they consider their usage as not excessive. Also if they really did offer true unlimited anything including text wouldn't that make these prepaid providers(and thus less tracking) a haven for illegal spamming(via text message etc) and forwarding schemes.(permanently forward from a prison phone to an unlimited cell phone to get free calls and charge the multiple people that are using the phone on a per use basis).

    Not claiming I know that any of this is happening with latest reports of carriers cracking down but it is interesting that from the reports that some dealers seem to be highly impacted and other dealers are not impacted at all. Could it be that word of mouth/internet of illegal usage benefits has been exploited and people are recommending using particular online dealers because it would make tracking even harder?

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    My new pov on plans is, for the best per minute rates, go with mvnos. For unlimited plans that are closer to unlimited then not, go with prepaid divisions (Boost cdma/iden, Virgin Mobile, Verizon/Tmobile/Att prepaid) and independent regional carriers (Metro/Cricket/etc).

    For data, it's the prepaid divisions nearly all the way (Tmobile Flexpay monthly , Boost cdma/iden, Veirzon prepaid have unlimited data. Att has 100 megs max but none of its mvnos have any data.). Only a couple of Sprint mvnos have generous data offerings like Platinum Tel.

    Sprint mvno "unlimited" talk plans have about a 4/5000 minute cap. At least one Verizon mvno's "unlimited" plans vary from 4000 anytime minutes to 2300 anytime/3200 nighttime/weekend minutes combined to 4000 anytime and 3000 night time/weekend combined. I don't know why they have so many variations rather then they are slapping the term "unlimited" all over their heavy user plans for marketing purposes.

    Both a Sprint prepaid carrier and Verizon prepaid can easily top those caps in their unlimited offerings (even if the price for the Verizon version is rather high).

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    Airtime on Att mvnos has been confirmed on at least Air Voice Unlimited at 5000 minutes. According to AVGsm, 99% of their users use less then 5000 a month, 95% use less then 2000 a month. This is confirmed with the stat that the average unlimited user talks 1800 minutes a month or less.

    This reinforces my view in marketing that anything above 1500 minutes (except for family plans) is basically obsolete.

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    "Unlimited" is only a symptom of consumer manipulation.

    Time is a finite concept, all things have limits.

    Better to set a firm number than have to deal with the VERY few who will try to wring out every last drop and then whine.

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