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Thread: Does ST really cancel your service for overuse of data??

  1. #1
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    Does ST really cancel your service for overuse of data??

    So the one 'catch' I'm reading over and over seems to be that the 'unlimited' data is not really unlimited. But is it true that they will really just flat cut off your service for going over a limit they don't tell/warn you about? Umm...isn't that illegal? A) they advertise as unlimited; B) they don't warn about any kind of ceiling/cap; C) how can they advertise as unlimited when they are so limited as to shut off your service without warning if you go over??

    Somebody help me out. It's not that I don't believe it, it just doesn't seem legal.

  2. #2
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    The data issue has been discussed here quite a bit. The short answer is, yes they can. The terms and conditions you agree to when you sign up for service state they get to determine what the limit is. Unlimited that's not really unlimited is pretty much the norm these days. Either the carrier throttles your account to a low speed after a certain limit, or their data network is so slow to begin with there's no way you can use bandwidth intensive apps/functions without wanting to throw your phone against the wall.

    They do give you a warning first.

  3. #3
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    As has been said here many times, unlimited web browsing (which is what they actually offer) isn't unlimited data.

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    Thanks for the clarification. Good to know they at least warn you. I'm not too personally worried, I'm a fairly light user myself. Just seems kind of 'shady.' But I know what you're saying with everyone saying "unlimited" these days.

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    Take a look at anything with the ST, Net10 or Tracfone label, and you will see a reminder of your obligation to follow the T&C. Everyone has a case of selective memory or a disreguard of the limitations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hesster View Post
    The data issue has been discussed here quite a bit. The short answer is, yes they can. The terms and conditions you agree to when you sign up for service state they get to determine what the limit is. Unlimited that's not really unlimited is pretty much the norm these days. Either the carrier throttles your account to a low speed after a certain limit.

    They do give you a warning first.
    Just wanted to note here that with services that throttle you still have unlimited data.
    Most places will sell....we'll say 5gig at 4G unlimited data package. Most people think this means your entire package is at 4G speeds. When it is only the first 5gigs you get at 4G speeds after that it drops down to what ever their plan says.
    TMobile has this. 5gigs at 4G, unlimited data. once you go through the first 5gigs you still get internet, they don't cut you off, it really is unlimited. it just isn't 4G speeds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndroidPhoneFan View Post
    Just wanted to note here that with services that throttle you still have unlimited data.
    Most places will sell....we'll say 5gig at 4G unlimited data package. Most people think this means your entire package is at 4G speeds. When it is only the first 5gigs you get at 4G speeds after that it drops down to what ever their plan says.
    TMobile has this. 5gigs at 4G, unlimited data. once you go through the first 5gigs you still get internet, they don't cut you off, it really is unlimited. it just isn't 4G speeds.
    This is a good point - usually when another 'major' provider sells 'unlimited' data, it really is unlimited, it just gets throttled after a certain point, which makes it almost worthless, but still...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    Take a look at anything with the ST, Net10 or Tracfone label, and you will see a reminder of your obligation to follow the T&C. Everyone has a case of selective memory or a disreguard of the limitations.
    I will keep an eye out on the contract for the t&c - haven't actually activated my service yet, just ordered the SIM yesterday.

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    Just cut open that little book that comes with the SIM card. Get out your magnifying glass and read carefully.

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    I spoke with a ST sales rep who happened to be at Walmart the other day and he said they are working on coming out with some terms on data use. With the new bring your own program this is becoming a real issue for them. He told me we should see some terms with the next month or two. He is thinking there will be some kind of limit but he really had no info. on the details.

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    That would actually be nice to see. On my LG Optimus Q, all I do is browse the web, facebook, weather app, email and so forth and all I usually use in a month is half a gig. I don't use youtube or pandora or anything like that with it, so it fits my needs perfectly along with the unlimited calling and texting, not that I use a ton of that with it either.

    Forgot to mention that I get a good strong Sprint 3G signal with exceptional call quality in and around Portland, Oregon. It's alot of phone and service for the price in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hesster View Post
    The data issue has been discussed here quite a bit. The short answer is, yes they can. The terms and conditions you agree to when you sign up for service state they get to determine what the limit is. Unlimited that's not really unlimited is pretty much the norm these days. Either the carrier throttles your account to a low speed after a certain limit, or their data network is so slow to begin with there's no way you can use bandwidth intensive apps/functions without wanting to throw your phone against the wall.

    They do give you a warning first.
    Both the examples you used above are "UNLIMITED" - 1. Fast speeds up until a specific cap (stated or not) then throttled to slow speeds. 2. Slow data network in which it's harder to reach a huge amount of data usage is still an "UNLIMITED" plan, whether you're able to use a lot of gigs or not.

    Data usually comes in these options:
    1. Unlimited fast speeds then throttled to slow speeds (ex: T-Mobile states how much 4G data you will get before being throttled to 2G on their plans; Simple Mobile throttles on their $60 3G speed plan without stating a cap but is known to be 2GB.) Virgin Mobile & Boost also fall on this category if they are already enforcing throttling as Sprint them to do.
    2. Unlimited data without throttling - currently only offered on Sprint's network both on their slow EVDO and their Wimax 4G. Reigional carrier Metro PCS is also truly unlimited. AT&T Go Phone offers unlimited data for feature phones, Verizon prepaid offers unlimited 3G Evdo data but at a huge cost for smartphones.
    3. Specified amount of data and then the user is being charged additional amount above that cap. This is currently what Verizon postpaid and AT&T postpaid do. Additional data charges are pretty high once the specified cap is used up.
    4. Specified hard cap in which ONLY data is shutoff once the amount is reached. There are many that operate in this fashion and it allows the consumer to use a specified amount of data however they like - Air Voice, H20, Red Pocket, Jolt, AT&T Go Phone for smartphones, Page Plus, etc.

    The problem here is that Net10/Straight Talk are the only ones advertising UNLIMITED that is in fact not anything close to what options 1 & 2 mentioned above are, they are simply shutting off ALL the services after 100 additional MB's passed the warning phone call.
    The warning isn't really a warning, it's just a message that we are about to shutdown all your services and throw you out in a few more MB's and not allow you to keep your #.
    If Net10/Straight Talk wouldn't advertise a specified cap but would only suspend data when they feel you are abusing their terms and conditions then this whole case wouldn't be much of an issue.
    But instead of suspending only the data until the next bililng cycle (the way Simple Mobile used to do) - they are in fact throwing people off, banning them, and setting their # off into a recycling pool preventing a number portability initiation. THIS IS JUST WRONG AND SOMETHING MUST BE DONE ABOUT IT!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hesster View Post
    The data issue has been discussed here quite a bit. The short answer is, yes they can. The terms and conditions you agree to when you sign up for service state they get to determine what the limit is. Unlimited that's not really unlimited is pretty much the norm these days. Either the carrier throttles your account to a low speed after a certain limit, or their data network is so slow to begin with there's no way you can use bandwidth intensive apps/functions without wanting to throw your phone against the wall.

    They do give you a warning first.


    Just because it is in the terms and conditions does not make THEIR deceptive practices legal, it is cowards that don't write complaints to the FTC, FCC, States Attny, and their US Congressional reps that get ran over. Someone just sewed AT&T in the last week or two and got something like 500 dollars back in small claims court. I promise you, if they have to start responding to hundreds of FCC complaints, and small claims cases, they will lose enough profits to lawyers and administrative staff and they will be influenced. We don't have a consumer lobby (per sey, see consumers union) but we can easily be a pain in their ars right back.

  13. #13
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    I am aware that the examples I gave in my first post are unlimited in the sense that you're not charged extra for data. I meant that 'unlimited' always comes with compromises. There are plenty of land line ISPs that advertise unlimited data but have the same type of soft cap as ST where they cancel your service if they decide you use too much.

    And BTW, unless VZW has changed their policies since I last worked there in 2009, if you have an 'unlimited' data plan and the system decides you're using too much data it throttles you down to 1X speeds until the next billing cycle. Seeing as how this is Verizon, I'd expect to see pigs fly first.

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    I agree with DannyNY's position on their practices, out of principle. I mean, what ST does isn't even close to on-the-level, IMO. My personal solution though is to treat ST's $45 plan as unlimited voice, text, and 2MB of data, instead of total unlimited anything. At $45/month, compared to other mainstream plans, it is still a steal. And since I am not a huge tetherer/power user, 2MB should be enough for my iphone needs.

    While I am personally fine just adopting this mindset and enjoying ST service, I would prefer that they offer this upfront for what it really is. IMO, it would still be a good deal, and they wouldn't come off as shady.

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    Oh DannyNY - are you using ST in NY? on what phone? And are you happy with the service?

    I mean, besides the shady "unlimited data" thing lol.

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