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T-Mobile Hit with Lawsuit Over 'Unlimited' Data Plan

Article Comments  53  

Aug 10, 2010, 12:23 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

A consumer has filed a class-action lawsuit against T-Mobile USA in California claiming that it falsely advertises unlimited data plans when in fact there are caps. Trent Alvarez, the suit's lead plaintiff, said that in May of this year he received a text message warning which read, "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 complains that the T-Mobile associate who sold him the smartphones clearly said the data plan was unlimited. The suit argues that though T-Mobile includes language referring to abuse of the network in its Terms & Conditions, the plans are still advertised as "unlimited" despite the existence of a 5GB cap. Alvarez said that once his phones were throttled by T-Mobile, they could only be used for phone calls and text messages. Other carriers have been hit with similar suits.

more info at Consumer Affairs »
more info at T-Mo Terms & Conditions »

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Comments

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mingkee

Aug 10, 2010, 2:53 PM

This practice is popular overseas

Many carriers choose to reduce the speed once going over instead to charge more to avoid billing argument.
Moreover, there's a rule called "fair use policy" to ensure all users get equal performance, so carriers has to run some methods to discourage some abusing practice (use mobile internet as landline internet or share connection with more than one computer, or stream for unreasonable duration (more than 4 hours @ 128kbps everyday).
T-Mobile still lets you to use internet with slower speed instead of send you trillion dollars bills or instantly kill you!
The guy will surely lose whatsoever because he doesn't read T&C. T-Mobile is liberal enough to let customers to tether with $20 or higher internet. Try to do this on other 3, they may r...
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Some Cable companies do this as well. I used to be a Technician for a cable company and we could monitor the bandwidth usage of any modem on our system. I have had some people that all they do all day is download movies and music. Not the normal usage...
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trenen

Aug 11, 2010, 1:40 PM

How the hell?

Doesn't anybody question how a guy managed to download 10GB worth of data in a month without abusing the system and breaking the rules of his contract? I'm lucky to get past 2GB on my Incredible with a crapload of usage. Everyday I'm streaming, downloading, emailing, posting on forums...I don't get it - 10GB??
1 really big email? Shocked
TechWorld Observer

Aug 11, 2010, 9:40 AM

Another "Unathorized" Mobile Hotspot User...

Using his cellphone as a mobile hotspot/phone as modem to put a server. Seriously, who uses that much data on a smartphone... if so, is he using Pandora/Slacker Radio 24/7? Is he on the web 24/7? ...he needs to find something else to do. I believe is the same thing for all carriers, he obiusly has too much time on his hands if he's truly doing all this... maybe he is playing Halo on his laptop while being connected to your phone (phone as modem/Mobile hotspot... which are not covered by any carrier's unlimited data feature)



...::TW-Ob'er::...
That's my guess as well. Tethering is forbidden in T-Mo's terms and conditions. I'm not sure how else someone could use that much data. But really, whoever's side you are on, consider this: T-Mo is one of the only carriers left that doesn't have a...
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Suicidy

Aug 10, 2010, 12:39 PM

It's true

The plaintiff's claim that the T-mobile salesperson represented there was no data cap is accurate. Just last week, I was at a T-mobile store in WA State shopping for new service and was also told there was absolutely no data cap. They were quite emphatic about that fact.

It seems odd that they would train their employees to misrepresent something like this, when it will clearly lead to legal difficulties.
There is not data cap... they just throttle the hell out of it to make it super slow...

Dumb*** should not be suing... He is only going to be causing everyone else problems once T-Mobile decides to tier their data plans and limit and regulate the...
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There is no data cap. The rep accurately stated that the customer could use as much data as they wanted. He did not say that any of that was promised to be at the highest speed available.
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How much was his overage? Imagine if he had a GB cap and was over GB? How long was he downloading GB per month? So lets say he did this for a year and was over by GB and the overage is .10 per MB. This case will be tossed out.
I don't see how anyone could use this much on his/her smartphone unless he/she was using tethering. Does T-Mobile offer tethering for a separate charge, or does it allow use of tethering apps without a premium on it?
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Capping and throttling are not the same thing. Besides, the bottom line is the data rules are clearly outlined in the contract. This case has no grounds.
They don't train us to say that the webconnect sticks are unlimited, because they aren't. 5GB soft cap, which is better than any other carrier. As far as on a phone, it is unlimited. I don't see the issue with the carrier protecting their network a...
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bluecoyote

Aug 10, 2010, 3:17 PM

Yep it's true

1) Our local T-Mo store here is selling "websticks" (aka data cards) under the guise of "replace your Home DSL Line- Unlimited Websticks only $39.00/month"

I asked if there was a data cap for excessive use, to which I was told "no, it is completely unlimited." (Unsurprisingly, a bit of research proves otherwise.)


2) The T-Mo store in the mall (aka the booth that makes Verizon Wireless salesmen look like Warren Buffet) was telling me if I Jailbroke my iPhone and came to T-Mobile I could save money by not paying for home internet.
What's that? You say store reps will lie and misrepresent and not know what the heck they're talking about? Oh pshaw!
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there is no data cap...... only speeds are affected.
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I don't believe it...
A friend on mine, who is on my family plan, gets hit by 10GB soft cap even I told him about that.
This is impossible that the carrier to give 100% unlimited usage on 3G, period.
You can try to run slingbox/slingplayer on EVO (...
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kendraslappey10

Aug 10, 2010, 10:11 PM

Plans??

As a previous T-mobile customer I had to speak with a representative because the local Sales Agent informed me that I would have unlimited minutes after 7 pm or 9 pm and it was free mobile to mobile, Two days later I had exhausted all my minutes. As customer satisfaction they replenished my account to 100 minutes. T-mobile has had several problems with other customers to my knowledge, their plans and rates need to be clarified rather than someone just trying to make a 20-minute sale. They are the professionals and should take the time to provide 100% customer satisfaction!!!

Kendra Slappy
Wow thats wierd. Was that a corprate store or a key in the mall? I dont dont know of any one of our reps that would ever mess up our plans, there extremely simple. So sorry about the bad experience.
But really does nobody reaserch anything before th...
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consmonaut

Aug 10, 2010, 9:56 PM

Hmmm... next time I buy something...

I'm just going to take a salesperson's word for it, and claim no responsibility with my own decision making.

This is insane, what do people expect for 20-30 bucks a month? A reasonable amount of usage is provided for the handsets to use all the data they like, and people who tether should understand that their T&C's actually prohibit it. (Look it up)

Believe this, the 'unlimited' plan is going to be tiered on every network if this joker somehow wins.

The ironic part here, of course, is the people belly-aching about the soft cap are the ones who are going to be doubling their charges for data.
consmonaut said:
I'm just going to take a salesperson's word for it, and claim no responsibility with my own decision making.

This is insane, what do people expect for 20-30 bucks a month? A reasonable amount of usage is provide
...
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netboy

Aug 10, 2010, 4:42 PM

what a idiot!

you still getting unlimited data!!
it just now you only getting 50k/sec max download! haha
 
 
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