Friday 4 May 2012

Why can't unlimited be unlimited?

Why can't unlimited be unlimited?

   Now I am not sure if this is the case in your part of the world but here in the UK we have a problem and it seems to revolve around the meaning of the term 'unlimited'. Some companies like to slap unlimited on something they sell when in fact their is a fair usage policy attached and I must say now it is not T-Mobile who are exclusively the issue here. Actually every provider apart from Three and some of the MNVO's are the problem.

   On my own contract I get 900 Minutes, Unlimited texts and Unlimited Data. Yes, the texts are unlimited, I am allowed to use as many texts as I can muster. But, the Data has a little star next to it which leads me to the terms and conditions. The terms and conditions reads with words to the effect of 'you can browse web pages and receive emails as much as you want a month' (my synthesis not an actual quote) but, with regards to streaming I have a 'fair usage limit' of 500MB a month and I get a warning at 75% of this limit and when I get to 100% I have my streaming ability effectively removed unless I switch to Wifi, which is what they recommend I do.

   Now, I don't mean to be pedantic here but the dictionary definition of 'unlimited' is:

  • not limited;  unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.
  • boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.     (Via

   Yes, I probably am being silly here but this really bugs me. Apple have been in the news lately for their use of 4G in iPad advertising when it is not capable of 'doing' that, so why should this be any different?

   The reason I bring this up is because today I was looking for broadband for my house that I will be moving into in July and T-Mobile have started offering what is essentially Orange broadband as of today. I looked at their deal, it is and I quote;

Broadband & Anytime Calls

great for staying connected anytime with unlimited internet and calls
  • a month
  • for T-Mobile customers*
  • plus £13.50 line rental

   I would just like to highlight the fact it says 'unlimited internet and calls'. Yes so without limits there is no star there on 'unlimited' but their is a link at the bottom of the webpage which says 'the legal stuff you need to know' and as a force of habit I had a look. This is what it says;

"You can call for up to one hour, redial as often as you like and calls are subject to our fair use policy of 1000 minutes a month."

    It appears this isn't unlimited either!

   To be fair to T-Mobile, because I am picking on them quite a lot here, most providers have some sort of statement like this, but this whole 'fair usage' thing really, really annoys me. I don't understand why companies can't just tell the truth with their products? How hard is that and also, I have to question why Ofcom hasn't done something about this already!

   Now these are just my views and shouldn't be taken as any more than that, but people should be told what they are getting upfront, we should not be lied to.

   I would like to leave on a positive because there is at least one company who tells you what you're actually getting and they are Three UK. They don't do 'Unlimited' contracts because they noticed what I have. They offer people 'All you can eat data' so you can use as much as you want in any way you want to. They don't do 'unlimited texts' they do a maximum of 5000. They don't do 'unlimited minutes' they do a maximum of 2000. They don't lie to their customers any more. Way to go Three!!!!!

These are just personal opinions and should only be treated as such!


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