Monday, August 31, 2015

When Unlimited Data Doesn't Mean Unlimited Data.

Ah, the golden age of mobile telecom. Remember when mobile phone plans came with unlimited data... and meant it? That's right, having unlimited data meant you could use as much data as you wanted, without any fear of being penalized. Those days have long since gone the way of the dinosaurs, but the use of the word unlimited has not.

Everywhere you look, major mobile providers like Verizon and T-Mobile love to advertise their unlimited data plans. I'm amazed at their amorphous use of the word unlimited though. Their data plans are in fact not unlimited -- they have various levels of data caps depending on your chosen monthly fee.

So... when did the definition of the word unlimited come to mean anything but?

Obviously, providers employ unlimited as a selling point to encourage customers to use their service. I find this grossly negligent and disingenuous, though. Instead of actually providing an unlimited amount of data, they insert some weaselly bit of fine print into the whole deal. For X rate per month, you'll receive an "unlimited" amount of data... up to X GB.


T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere, recently went on a tirade against thousands of his own customers. Why? Because this crafty group of T-Mobile subscribers has found a workaround for their mobile data caps, whether by custom-coded applications, rooting their phone or writing programs to hide their actual data usage from the network.

In other words, the CEO of T-Mobile is mad about his own unlimited data customers having unlimited data.

I can't make this stuff up, folks.

To be quite honest, I say bravo to these smart individuals whom refuse to be taken for a ride. They have the skill and know-how to receive what they so rightfully are paying for. Considering the actual cost to provide data is obscenely cheap for telecom giants like T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and others, I feel absolutely zero pity for them. It's not so pleasant when the shoe is on the other foot, now is it?

If you're going to advertise something as unlimited, make sure it's actually unlimited. Otherwise, be up front about what you're selling. It's only the right thing to do.

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