Ofcom Slams Carriers For Misleading "Unlimited" Plans On Text, Broadband, And Calls

Posted: Mar 21 2011, 10:33am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Ofcom Slams Carriers for Misleading "Unlimited" Plans on Text, Broadband, and Calls
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Wants carriers to call plans what they really are

I have been very surprised that for years the FCC and other state agencies have allowed the mobile wireless and broadband industry to call plans unlimited only to tell customers and shoppers in the fine print that there are actually limited plans with fair use allotments. This is sort of like going to an all you can eat buffet and finding out once you get to the line you can only have two servings.

The problem is that these mobile and home broadband plans are billed as unlimited and then you find out that after what the carrier deems "fair use" you can be charged significantly for any extra data use. One some networks even a few gigabytes of extra data can cost you hundreds of dollars in overage charges.

In the UK Ofcom and other industry associations and companies are condemning the use of the word "unlimited" on plans that are anything but unlimited. The claims of unlimited are misleading to the customer and make them think they are getting something they are not actually getting.

Broadband Geni is one of those coming together with Ofcom to condemn the so-called unlimited plans. Broadband Geni editor Chris Marling said, "There is no excuse for advertising a broadband product as 'unlimited' - suggesting you can download as much as you want - and then bury the times you are allowed to do that in the small print. The same goes for texts and minutes on mobile phones. While the recent 'up to' recommendations from Ofcom to the ASA took the headlines, this is another significant announcement that will further help consumers get some transparency in the broadband deals they are offered. Complaints about speed are born of frustration, but those about bill shock can have very real consequences."

Ofcom said, "It is clear some consumers are currently being misled by the use of the term 'unlimited' and that many consumers signing up to such packages are not made aware of the relevant fair usage policies." It concludes, "Ofcom recommends that this term only be used when a service has no usage caps implemented through a fair usage policy."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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