Last year I wrote about a user getting disconnected from Verizon’s “Unlimited” EVDO plan by using over 5GB of bandwidth in a month. That post can be found here, and I stated that another customer found the 5GB limit in a phone brochure. CyberNet recently reviewed the Terms of Service (TOS) and found that it is stated there as well. Here is an excerpt from CyberNet’s page, with the interesting items in bold:
Unlimited Data Plans and Features (such as NationalAccess, BroadbandAccess, Push to Talk, and certain VZEmail services) may ONLY be used with wireless devices for the following purposes: (i) Internet browsing; (ii) email; and (iii) intranet access (including access to corporate intranets, email, and individual productivity applications like customer relationship management, sales force, and field service automation). The Unlimited Data Plans and Features MAY NOT be used for any other purpose. Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation, the following: (i) continuous uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or games; (ii) server devices or host computer applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine–to–machine connections or peer–to–peer (P2P) file sharing; or (iii) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections. This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services and/or redirecting television signals for viewing on laptops is prohibited. A person engaged in prohibited uses, continuously for one hour, could typically use 100 to 200 MBs, or, if engaged in prohibited uses for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, could use more than 5 GBs in a month.
For individual use only and not for resale. We reserve the right to protect our network from harm, which may impact legitimate data flows. We reserve the right to limit throughput or amount of data transferred, and to deny or terminate service, without notice, to anyone we believe is using an Unlimited Data Plan or Feature in any manner prohibited above or whose usage adversely impacts our network or service levels. Anyone using more than 5 GB per line in a given month is presumed to be using the service in a manner prohibited above, and we reserve the right to immediately terminate the service of any such person without notice. We also reserve the right to terminate service upon expiration of Customer Agreement term.
Slashdot and GottaBeMobile also picked up on this story and the posts can be found here and here. Warner Crocker at GottaBeMobile sarcastically tells Verizon that he is now a customer for life.
Verizon, I will be a customer for life. Life is defined as when the duration of my existence on this planet coincides with any point in your corporation’s existence where you choose to cease sneaky, misleading, and manipultive business practices in order to make a buck. I reserve the right to protect my self from serious financial ruin, which may result from serious cash flow issues caused by your willingness to unilaterally change our agreement, and the English Language, without proper notification, or upfront and proper information being presented at the point of sale or at any time during the life of our agreement.
These tactics really get me mad, and Verizon isn’t the only big company that are playing these games. How long will this go on until a class-action lawsuit is started against them? Or because they state all of this in the fine print, it is okay to deceive in marketing, and tell customers that they have “unlimited” service?