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T-Mobile slammed with a class-action lawsuit for misleading clients on unlimited data plans

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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T-Mobile slammed with a class-action lawsuit for misleading clients on unlimited data plans
A T-Mobile customer from California is the chief plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against the carrier's deceiving practices for its so-called “unlimited” plans. He claims that he bought two smartphones after having a concrete verbal confirmation from the sales rep, that the plans he intended to lock himself into for two years, are truly unlimited.

It turned out that the unlimited part doesn't really refer to the download speeds, since the plaintiff received a message that he has reached 10GB of data usage, therefore his access will be restricted to 50kbps until the end of the billing cycle. Calls to customer service resulted in refusal to lift those speed limits.

The lawsuit is similar to what Verizon settled in 2007 after advertising unlimited data plans, but actually throttling speeds down once an invisible cap was reached, and this is a well-known practice of many carriers.

Now, we know these class-action lawsuits are usually a dime a dozen in the corporate world, and the companies' lawyers usually quickly dismiss the charges. Moreover, there has been fine print at the end of the T-Mobile brochure, which states that the carrier reserves the right to restrict download speeds if the network is overloaded, etc.

What we can hope for, is that such lawsuits result in these warnings being made more prominent, with actual examples explained, and the data caps clearly stated, so users know what they are dealing with upfront.

source: ConsumerAffairs via Electronista



29 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:47

1. psn1819 (Posts: 41; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)


Yea why do we have to find out in a random message that youve gone over...T-mobile was hiding the cap like it was government secret lol

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 09:30

2. Homotechual (Posts: 65; Member since: 27 Oct 2009)


Really? The guy is an idiot if your going to use more then 10gb of data get internet at your house. Instead of being cheap and tethering something T-Mobile doesn't even charge for ANYWAY and then file a lawsuit. Dumba$$ I'm sure now T-Mobile will either block or start charging for tethering. There is no way that guy hit 10gb using his phone.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 09:45

3. remixfa (Posts: 14140; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


most carriers cap at 5g before they charge you or throttle you down. This jacko is complaining about 10g? what the heck was he streaming to use 10gig? most people dont use that at home, much less their cellphones.. And just like H pointed out, tmobile doesnt charge for tethering, and they are the only major carrier not to. so, hes getting the cheapest data plan, with that usage id assume he's in HSPA territory, not paying for tethering, has a 10g cap instead of 5 like everyone else, and still wants to sue for unfair practices?!?!?! LOL. I-D-I-O-T.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 11:22

7. WKlingbeil (Posts: 215; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)


Thank you, 10GB is insane on a smartphone, God only knows what the guy was doing on it to run up 10Gb of usage. It's people like this moron that caused the mortgage crash, thinking they shouldn't have to have responsibilities in any services they use. I'm normally on the consumer's side because companies like to throw their weight around, but it's consumers like this that make companies have crooked policies. I hope they countersue him to show him that he's an idiot.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 12:32

11. JackFace (Posts: 190; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)


I 100% agree with you. People like this cause companies to put more restrictions on usage and everything else One persone (or a small group of people in most cases) screw things up for everyone else because of their greed and their retardation. People are absolutely amazing sometimes....

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 13:57

14. skymtich89 (unregistered)


i hit almost 12Gb of data use on my phone last month just by watching videos and downloading large files. it isnt that hard to reach over 5Gb when doing that.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 10:17

4. Sniggly (Posts: 7182; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Huh. Didn't know about the speed cap. Then again, I'm never in 3G coverage so it's pretty slow around here anyway. :D

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 11:00

5. THEOG (Posts: 20; Member since: 12 Jul 2010)


Agree this dam jackoss. I hardly use that much data at home let along on a mobile network. I mean 10gb? I have an evo and most people after the frist moth use a ton of data playing with there new toy. But now i'm somewhere around 400mb - 1 Gb a month. To use that much you'll have to be hooking up a notebook downloading movies while he's at work. And I dont know who would want to do that because it would be so slow downloading it.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 11:15

6. GHOUSE (Posts: 6; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)


This guy probably started downloading a bunch of huge files on purpose to find a data cap and file this lawsuit. try to make some easy money.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 11:47

8. messiah (Posts: 433; Member since: 19 Feb 2010)


would love for them to pull his records and reveal in court he was streaming child porn, then the douche goes away for life and walks awak with scorching herpes.... dumbass sucka...

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 11:56

9. messiah (Posts: 433; Member since: 19 Feb 2010)


my car has unlimited driving.... but if it runs out of gas, i have to push it to the station.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 16:34

17. Daryl209 (Posts: 18; Member since: 27 Jul 2010)


^^This

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 12:11

10. hawk62 (Posts: 320; Member since: 21 Nov 2009)


He totally did it to find the cap. ATT limits to 2gb? and that covers like 98% of their customers. SO this ass is 5 times over what 98% of att ppl use. The story doesnt even say how far into the month he was. How long of a charger does he have, cause that phone had to be plugged in all the time.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 12:56

13. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


at&t does not, purposely throttle speed and just buills 10.00/GB for overages. STill, what a dumb lawsuit. TMOBILE should counter-suit on the fact that this customer is an arse.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 12:43

12. PhoneUser (Posts: 77; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


Well technically the rep didnt lie about the Unlimited part. The customer ask if it was unlimited internet and the rep answered honestly and said yes. The customer never asked if there was a download cap on the unlimited internet. This can go either way because well for one who really uses 10GB of internet???? Second the customer needs to do his own research and READ THE CONTRACT AND/OR BROCHURE!!! The contract will tell you everything your getting into and he is "supposed to read it" when signing the contract he state he has read and understands the terms and conditions to his service. This guy is just looking for a quick buck cause he probably is not getting paid what he would like so he wants to sue Mcdonald's cause the coffee was Hot........ Get a a life and know what your getting into.....I always do.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 13:59

15. skymitch89 (unregistered)


i've hit over 10Gb for the past 2 months and never got any message saying that my speed was going to be reduced. in fact it seemed like my speed actually increased. i've got the everything data plan through sprint and have never had a problem with that yet. and i dont even pay the tethering fee either.

posted on 10 Aug 2010, 15:39

16. Daryl209 (Posts: 18; Member since: 27 Jul 2010)


10GBs.....on a phone.....yea this guy is off his rocker. That's way too much data for a phone. Plus that much data being downloaded on one phone will cause congestion. And technically, it's still Unlimited, he's not being charged for extra data and they didn't block his data. Gotta love the great state of California, we sue everyone lol.

posted on 11 Aug 2010, 05:02

18. jimster (unregistered)


wow this guy has really lost his mind! i hit the 10gig mark before... after trying 3 months in a row!!! i watched videos all day, tethered my phone and played ps3 online, downloaded torrent, etc... i barley hit the 10gig!!! this guy really needs to do something better in his life. im sure he is one of those retards that everybody hates. and now look... he now has thousands more that hate him! lol FAIL!

posted on 11 Aug 2010, 18:50

19. pingpong (Posts: 145; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)


This guy seems like the type of person that does stuff to ruin things for everyone else. Now thanks to this jackass everyone else will most likely have to see some sort of consequence for their internet usage. Hope he gets hit by a bus.

posted on 14 Aug 2010, 14:03

20. Sega10 (unregistered)


I went over my Unlimited Data Plan this month also...well I excedded the 10gb limit and early this morning T-Mobile sent me a text saying that my Data was being throttled t o 50 kbps....Im not bothered like that guy because I was tethering and download ALOT of computer software and such..in the end that guy is a idiot because most likely he was halfway through his billing cycle..which means his speed would have been returned to normal.

posted on 17 Aug 2010, 00:40

21. tyjaw (unregistered)


You people are all lost. 10GB is nothing and can be used very quickly. Also does not mean that the guy uses child porn. I hit 10GB and was very shocked when I got a text message. You want to be lawyer types who say read the fine print are crazy. The fine print is not clear. It should state "unlimited up to 10GB * " with notes below about speed. Why are you defending t-mobile? They simply want to make as much money for a little as possible. They will sell contracts until the network is so overloaded that it sucks for everybody and then make you pay a $200.00 dollar fee to term your contract. And no they don't charge for tethering but if they don't want you to do it, then don't sell a phone that does it. Those of you who use 1GB don't really use a computer period.

posted on 15 Oct 2010, 18:47

24. Carlos M (unregistered)


I totally agree. A great deal of energy can be spent talking and analyzing what the meaning of “unlimited” means to users as well as the companies that throttle or cap the data plans. Furthermore, I consider that T-Mobile’s statement that only 1% of users will be affected is nothing but a crock of cow brownies. The company equates the usage to about 125,000 yahoo page visits, but that example is only to cover up the real truth. I have an HTC HD2 and the only thing that made me go into the realm of 5Gigabytes of data, was after I downloaded about 9 movies. In this case they were MP4’s, The real truth that the carriers do not want people to think about is just why would anyone want to buy one of the newer 4G type phones, whether they be Windows Mobile, Android, or anything else. Since the newer phones shall make it easier and faster to download and also stream data, such as movies, televisions shows and the like, why would I want to spend extra money on a phone that I will hit the 5Gigabyte barrier faster, and then get frustrated with a speed that is practically useless, and be charged a high fee for extra bandwidth. My phone bill makes money for the carrier company because I only have been using practically 200 to 300 minutes of a 1500 minutes plan. And my texting allows for 400 messages and yet only wind up using about 30 to 90 a month . I was told by T-Mobile that I would find the access to the web slowed, but the reality is that it has been slowed so much that many pages even either do not load or I am yanked off their servers because my request basically is stopped altogether by the throttling. So please explain to me why I should buy one of the newer 4G phones coming up when I will not be able to finally enjoy using it. I do not mind paying for extra mileage, but the T-Mobile’s pricing will have to become better and more enticing for me to fork over more money for both more Gigabytes and newer phones. The same goes for all the other carriers.

posted on 25 Aug 2010, 20:48

22. Trent A (unregistered)


Hello everyone, I am the guy who started this suit against tmobile. I was not tethering, and using my phone as anyone else would, normal usage, youtube, googlemaps,etc. Also, it wasn't until i got my nexus one that my data usage surged and went over 10gb, many other people were having this same issues with these new advanced android phones. Bottom line is tmobile shouldn't advertise unlimited data at 3g speeds when it is simply not true, I was un aware there was any invisible "cap" in place. Tmobile has moved that cap to 5gb for new customers. I have internet at home and yes, 10gb is actually pretty easy to use up on today's best smart phones... just watch youtube for a few days and BAM your over 10gb. If tmobile cant handle it they need to upgrade their systems or not be so deceptive in their advertising. Verizon lost because they were in the wrong, just as tmobile is in the wrong.

posted on 23 Sep 2010, 23:08

23. jedigman74 (unregistered)


YouTrent A I'm with you bud. I had the same thing happen with me. I loaded jetflicks app and watched a few videos . It cost $9.99/ mo. To use and I reached my capp the same day I signed up. Now my phone is useless for the next two weeks in regards to data as it is so limited in speed any action results in "connection erro". So I pay a full months data service plus a $10 subscription I can't use for 2 weeks. How can I join your lawsuit efforts? I signed up for service over the phone and had my G1 and my wife's phone mailed to us. We never received any copy of a contract explaining any limitations. You can contact me at gman_araujo at yahoo

posted on 16 Oct 2010, 11:09

25. Carlos M (unregistered)


I had a talk with a T-Mobile rep last night and I asked several questions that maybe others might like to know the answers. I asked if the 5Gigabyte cap is set on all of the accounts or only a few.....Answer: To the "best" of their knowledge, everyone is capped at 5Gigabytes. I asked if T-Mobile has other extra payment add-ons that a customer can individually pay for to lift the cap higher...Answer: No! I asked if T-Mobile was going to lift the 5Gigabyte cap to a higher level in the future when new and more powerful phones they will be selling become available, and not to mention the availability of their much faster service HSPA.....Answer: No! I asked how is it that with the new phones coming which will make streaming videos, music, television shows, movies, or just about anything else faster, easier and with more detail which will make the users hit the 5Gigabyte barrier much faster and earlier in their billing cycle, can cope with the 5Gigabyte cap on the accounts.....Answer:.....Silence!!!!!!!!! I asked then if the cap was still to be in place, why would a customer upgrade to a much more expensive, faster and powerful phone if they are just going to be frustrated using the phone when it becomes incapable of giving the user its full capabilities because of the 5Gigabyte cap......Answer:......Silence!!!!

posted on 30 Oct 2010, 17:13

26. kemami (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Oct 2010)


Is T-mobile dropping your calls resulting in repeat calls and charging you an outrageous amount for the " excess minutes over the limit"???

kemami

posted on 08 Feb 2011, 21:25

27. ICYNDICEY (unregistered)


You people are a bunch of SHEEP! UNLIMITED MEANS UNLIMITED! I can't believe people are actually defending T-Mobile. People just LOVE being lied to and that's the truth. Just like there is no such thing as 4G. Yet these greedy, scum bag cell phone companies keep marketing this FRAUD to the public and overcharging people for it when it is nothing more than sped up 3G. And that's even questionable. If you don't stand up for your consumer rights against these companies you will have none left. I applaud this guy for doing it. UNLIMITED MEANS UNLIMITED! Not Unlimited until you reach 5 GIGS. The only dumb asses here are the people siding with T-Mobile. Get a backbone you spineless losers.

posted on 23 Mar 2011, 01:06

29. MystiDawn (unregistered)


*My views and opinions absolutely do not have anything to do with the opinions of T-Mobile as a company in whole*
As a CSR at T-Mobile, I can honestly say that less than 5% of the accounts I touch use over 2gigs, let alone the new throttle point of 5. And, the data access IS unlimited, unless you are on the 200MB plan. You still get to download as much as you want, you're not getting charged for it, but people that use so much data are throttled so we can keep the speeds fast for the users who don't use the data feature that much. How would you like to be a customer using 400-600mbs, and get slowed down in the middle of the month because someone else used up the rest of your 3 or 4 gigs??? Really. Think from a business stand point instead of complaining because you're one of the 5% who need to get off your phone or computer and go have a life.

posted on 10 Aug 2011, 16:03

30. Pramod (unregistered)


I got Mytouch 4g in Feb with Unlimited Data only plan. called Android 4g messaging plan at $49.99 No voice at all. I did not want minutes. So this plan was advertised as UNLIMITED text, unlimited web, unlimited data for Mytouch 4g with the phone advertised as you can use it as hot-spot. I switched to Tmobile with the unlimited option. There was mention of no overages after 5gb but speed may be reduced. However almost everymonth i got messages when i reached 5GB that the speed is lowered. I checked it throttled down to 56Kbps download and less than 30kbps upload. Now this phone and hotspot becomes useless everymonth. I talked to T-mobile but all in vein, they do not help. UNLIMITED (with no asterisk and with no clear mention of 56kbs or less speed will be provided) is complete misleading the consumers. Do not ask what we do with data only plan and no voice and how does it go beyond 5GB. Any professional will go beyond 5gb. In this plan they do not mention that you can not use it as hot-spot. rather they says mytouch 4g can be used as hot-spot, that means you can use it for wifi hotspot and use the phone itself with chats video audio calls etc and give connection to your laptop.

These thugs should be straighten down and should be restricted to use word called UNLIMITED in any advertisement.
At present i am switching to SPRINT and disconnecting T-mobile as Spint gives 44.95 plan true unlimited 4g with 3g cap of 3GB if no 4g connection available.
I will be happy to know if this case can be referred or joined with any other class action suit.

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