When Is Unlimited Quite Limited?

from the truth-in-advertising? dept

Last year there was a lot of attention to Comcast's "unlimited" cable modem service that had some very real limits, even if Comcast won't tell you what they are. Despite calls for Comcast to change that policy, they've kept at it. It seems that AT&T Wireless is taking a similar approach. Their recently announced Mobile Internet Unlimited PDA Plan actually appears to have some very real limits. The fine print points out that if you use over 100 MB in two consecutive months, they'll shift you to a much more expensive plan. 100 MB is not very much at all, and it's hardly "unlimited." It seems like that's false advertising.

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  • identicon
    Doug, 27 Apr 2004 @ 6:11pm


    I think the disconnect here is that ISPs traditionally used the term "unlimited" to mean "no time limits". This would be in contrast to many early pricing plans which were on the order of "20 hours a month, then $3 an hour after that."

    Nowadays time-limited access plans are pretty much unheard-of, and ISPs need to catch a clue that consumers are getting the odd notion that the term "unlimited" means "without any limits."

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

    • identicon
      beck, 28 Apr 2004 @ 5:24am

      Re: Unlimited

      This chart has a column entitled "Included Megabytes", and shows plans with 1 MB through 50 MB of data per month, and then the "Unlimited" plan. So they are clearly advertising that the monthly megabytes of data are unlimited. You have to follow a trail of footnotes and links to get to the additional fine print that tells the real story.

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

  • identicon
    NOBODY, 28 Apr 2004 @ 8:21am

    No Subject Given

    I would like to know where these supposed comcast limits are. I've been known to download ten gigs at a time during peak hours, and not had any trouble. So I actually called Comcast about this. They said that the only time they will ever turn off a connection or block anything is when people are running FTP servers with warez or something like that. They said "It sounds like you're not getting the whole story here." Their words. Not mine.

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

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