The Service Is Only Unlimited If You Can't Count To 5,000

from the not-this-again dept

We had thought that service providers had figured this out already, but apparently not. After plenty of stories over the past few years with service providers offering "unlimited services" that were anything but unlimited, it had looked like providers were starting to be more honest and not promising something they couldn't deliver. However, Om Malik is pointing out that Verizon's VoIP offering, VoiceWing, promises unlimited service, and the fine print says that unlimited really means 5,000 minutes, or about 3 hours a day. There's nothing wrong with having a limit, of course. The problem is advertising it as "unlimited" when there really is a limit. That's false advertising, plain and simple.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    SkyGuy, Sep 30th, 2005 @ 4:48pm

    Telecommunications Providers Are Liars

    The subject says it all. Name one that hasn't screwed over its customers in some way. Cell service, landlines - they're all cut from the same cloth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Rikko, Sep 30th, 2005 @ 6:22pm

    Read your contract!

    Really, your contract you sign should say it all. I have "unlimited" internet access, but now my ISP has implemented a bandwidth cap monthly which is loosely enforced. Since my account was opened over 7 years ago, the contract is still "unlimited" access, and no addendums were ever sent - they just had new customers sign a new contract.
    End result is that I get the odd email about "too much traffic", but it remains them being concerned that we're infested with spyware and not just normal usage.
    Thus far I've always said "yeah sorry I left open too long" and they say no problem. The day they try any sort of limiting of services for a contract I didn't sign, they are going to get an earful.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2005 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Read your contract!

    The day they try any sort of limiting of services for a contract I didn't sign, they are going to get an earful.
    Wow, I bet they're really afraid of that!

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2005 @ 10:03pm

    Re: Telecommunications Providers Are Liars

    It's not lying, it's marketing!

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Philip Schroeder, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 12:24am

    5000 minutes doesn't equal unlimited

    In the real world, that one outside Verizon, unlimited would mean between 40,320 and 44,640 minutes, depending on the month. It would be nice if they would just play straight.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    secolliyn, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 3:59am

    Re: Read your contract!

    I did read my contract and it states that i get unlimited internet useage so thats what i use i got a call from my ISP the otehr day and they told me that out of all the customers they have(small town ISP local customers only) that i use about 54% of all the bandwidth monthly not i took that as hay hes asking me to slow down and i told him simply i only Take what you give me he laughed and i reminded him of our contract that it was unlimited strickly speaking and he said he knew that he just was wondering what i was useing the bandwidth for

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 7:03am

    Re: Read your contract!

    wHat dO you usE your bandwidth four?

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anon, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 7:53am

    Just like some eBay auctions.

    I see many hosting companies sell hosting on eBay starting at $1 bids for unlimitted bandwidth hosting.

    There's probably 100% truth to them as well. What you won't find out until it's too late is that you get the equivilant bandwidth rate of 1/4 of a 56K dial up modem, and you'll be sharing the server with 10,000 other websites fighting for 1Ghz of processing power.

    You get what you pay for. Unlimitted, regardless of the type of service, is bullshit, plain and simple. Not even oxygen is unlimitted. The day you find a truely unlimitted service is the day you find an honest AND popular politician.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    AZ, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 9:50am

    Re: Just like some eBay auctions.

    Well maybe saying unlimited is easier than saying 40,000? I dont understand why they cant just be honest. After all we are the ones the paying customers who make there biz possible arent we?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Seth Brundle, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 10:16am

    It is impossible to not have a limit

    If you dont have a limit, then a denial of service attack is perfectly acceptable usage.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Secolliyn, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 10:48am

    Re: Read your contract!

    I work on videoswith people back east so we have to get the updates and new builds to each other the movie we are doing now is only a total of 65.63 Gb big..... yes i said only they only get bigger

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    c.pete, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 11:35am

    math

    excuse me, but i'm pretty srue 5000 minutes is not 3 hours.... which is 180 minutes

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    cpete, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 11:36am

    No Subject Given

    wops sry do you mean about 5000 mins a month? thats crazy

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Aleks Y., Oct 1st, 2005 @ 12:36pm

    The definition of the term

    And yes. That is false advertising. And I bet the guy in the marketing department doesn't make too many calls, so he figures, why in the world would anyone talk over 3 hours a day for? Nevertheless, there are a lot of people who do. And thats just what service providers do not need; the heavy users.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 1:23pm

    Re: math

    Umm.. its 3 hours A DAY

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Robert Taylor, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 2:45pm

    Re: 5000 minutes doesn't equal unlimited

    unlimited would mean between 40,320 and 44,640 minutes, depending on the month
    That's ASSUMING: 1 second incremental billing (the best plans have a minimum of 30 seconds with 6 second increments after that) and one person making one phone call at a time (no call waiting, no 3-way calling, no multiple extensions). Meaning...it's worse than you think!

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Kent Iler, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 5:38pm

    Re: 5000 minutes doesn't equal unlimited

    Well, has someone actually been dinged for using more than the 5000 minutes? I use verizon voicewing, and with the unlimited, you don't see how many minutes you really use, so I'm not sure how close to the 5000 I am coming.

    I'd consider moving to Vonage, but they can't port my number yet, so I have to stick with Verizon.

    --Kent

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    navno, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Telecommunications Providers Are Liars

    it is lying. plain and simple. unlimited means unlimited. Anything else is intentionally misleading and should result in a fine.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    tad is the name, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Telecommunications Providers Are Liars

    lying is lying, plain and simple, unlimited is only unlimited if it is enforced. stiff fines have a habit of making these mega companies do what they don't want to do. write to your congressman and give that person an earfull. if enough of us do that , it will work.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2005 @ 2:48pm

    No Subject Given

    As long as the consumer stays ignorant. They can pretty much do as they please. Seems to me there are plenty of them these days getting away with far too much. Plenty of people complaining about it, but doing nothing. Which is the norm, when it comes to business. The tuff stuff no one tackles. But slip on a bananna peel and see how many lawyers come out of the wood work. Easy money.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    elee, Jun 5th, 2006 @ 1:17pm

    FTC Complaint

    Write the FTC every time you see or experience sometning like this -- they work on volume.

    Verizon -- for their false advertising and bizarre interpretations of their TOS -- must be stopped.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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