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Comments on news posted 2013-08-23 09:45:53: Straight Talk, a MNVO from TracFone Wireless and Walmart, took some heat back in April after numerous Facebook users accused the company of promoting an unlimited service, then capping users at around 1.5 GB of usage. ..

page: 1 · 2 · next


IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

AT&T-like BS all over again

It's AT&T-like "unlimited" BS all over again.

Not as bad as the tightening noose of the "top 5% of users" scheme AT&T initially tried, but just as bad as the 5GB LTE cap then throttle which is marketed as unlimited.


podstolom

join:2010-01-25
Wichita, KS

Unlimited is a misnomer

that should be eliminated in favor of "metered" vs unmetered service and should be advertised as such. Any caps or throttling should come under metered service. No restriction on speed or quantity of data throughput should be advertised as unmetered. I don't have a problem with caps or throttling per se, but I do detest sleazy marketing practices. Wouldn't it be nice if marketers were just honest, instead of a bunch of self-serving capitalist predators.



FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Tracfone cust svc rep as amongst worst well earned

Tracfone has earned their reputation as one of the absolute worst cell providers in existence. This is just more fuel for the fire.
--
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."


talz13

join:2006-03-15
Avon, OH
reply to podstolom

Re: Unlimited is a misnomer

what if they advertised it as unlimited 2G service? That's what it turns into after the 1.5GB limit anyways.



carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

1 recommendation

Straight Talk

If it didn't state which type, and you get throttled back to 2G/Edge, service is still unlimited. I'm not condoning the practice, but I do fault people who don't read the TOS or the service agreement. If the company has not stated this in the contract, then they are truly at fault.

If you want unlimited fast service - look for unlimited LTE or whatever. And you will have to pay for it.

TMO did this also. I got pissed at the "MY DATA" crowd. They wanted everything for nothing. Some were using well over 50G per week, tethering and bragging about it! If you want that kind of data, then go get an account at a company that can accommodate this and pay for it. I have 2G data, and if I can't access when I need it because some pig is hogging it all, I'll be annoyed. I suppose if you look at usage statistics, most people with unlimited are far more reasonable with usage. There were all kinds of posts on the phone forums. Most didn't care for throttling, but couldn't come up with any other solution for "Piggery" except denying heavy data for these folks until off hours.

You are getting unlimited service albeit throttled.


ryderuntil

join:2001-01-31
Mocksville, NC

walmart's milking you.

i think most other companies long ago fixed their marketing, not straight talk, marketed by walmart. this throttle stuff only happened a limited number of times after that they marked your phone as a problem and cut you off permanently. they would mislead and get people to buy more service and then give them the bad news.

can you imagine being the customer who maybe bought a year of unlimited service at once to find out for example for the next 8 months you would get zero data because you did something like use the unlimited data service you paid for. it happened to lots of people.



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

At least Verizon Wireless is honest

At least Verizon clearly states there is a cap and you'll be billed for overages.

If a wireless data service was truly unlimited, the networks would collapse from being overloaded with data hungry applications. There is only so much spectrum to go around before you start disrupting other services and emergency/public safety communications. That is why caps are a necessary evil with wireless data.

Now the goal should be to develop apps that use data more efficiently like they did with voice. There was once upon a time where they had to limit voice minutes to prevent network overload but they have optimized the handling of voice calls to use network resources more efficiently so unlimited voice is now possible.

I know from experience that networks can and do get overloaded. Have you ever tried checking the weather on a 3G/4G connection at a state fair. I tried checking the weather at the Big E last year on my iPhone 4 during the Big E's 17 day run and the fairgrounds are covered by 1-2 cell towers that are not designed to handle the load of the state fair. Verizon ain't going to cough up the money to build cell towers to handle a 17 day event. They might use portable cells but those are a joke, they probably handle voice traffic ok but forget it with data. I know AT&T uses portable cell sites because they set them up by the food court.

But as long as I can use the voice and SMS on my iPhone, that is what is important. Data is secondary.

At least with this year's Big E I have the iPhone 5 so that has LTE. Maybe checking the weather might be better as LTE handles the load better.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


TWCcdman

join:2002-04-14
Kernersville, NC

Walmarts Response

If you need more service then apply for a goverment phone



whiteshp

join:2002-03-05
Xenia, OH
reply to carpetshark3

Re: Straight Talk

How about they upgrade their backhauls to account for the bandwidth demand. They claim they want to drop all copper because wireless is SO much cheaper and better than land lines for bandwidth. Yet they will not spend to fit the demand of wireless. For $60-$100/month there SHOULD be absolutely nothing wrong with 50G a month usage. It's pennies to the carrier. Yet they can flip it and blame their users so they can gouge charge them per the GB.
--
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the corporations discover that money can elect representatives to vote themselves a monopoly, buy media to blame 'The Godless' and forced price inflation on the public.



chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: At least Verizon Wireless is honest

I'm on sprint they have true unlimited data I don't have any problems useing the sprint network.


tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit

premise

The problem is Walmart advertises the so-called "UNLIMITED" everything plans as substantially similar to plans of the major carriers' 4g LTE services (which if you an still get it, cost 200 - 350% higher priced plus added taxes and fees).. that is to say you should expect to see the better speeds at a lower price....

When their marketing hype doesn't match the terms of service, that sends a mixed message where customers can sue based on advertiser (deceptive) claims. Plenty of companies do this (if you've seen ads from the nutritional supplement industry and just about ANY infomercial you happen to see), but seldom do they get caught because their TOS are generally rock solid.

** BTW, I also remember ABC running a part of their news program on how to "save money" by ditching post paid for prepaid and it being substantially the same service parroting how Walmart and Tracfone's units Straight Talk and Net 10 advertise. So, maybe they should be sued too.



dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

T-Mobile also made this redefinition of unlimited

T-Mobile earlier this or last year also made this redefinition. So now all T-Mobile plans are able to claim "unlimited." You just get throttled at different limits based on how much a month you pay.

Before you would not get throttled but you would pay an overage fee. No more overage fees and your always connected, so it is sortof unlimited.

But then that's what it should be called. 'Sortof Unlimited' plan.
--
dnoyeB
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16



buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service
reply to whiteshp

Re: Straight Talk

I kind of agree with both of your post unlimited means unlimited we should be able to use it there also comes a congestion issue in certain areas, if your going to throttle due to congestion let it be reasonable 119 kbps or less in some cases is ridiculous. Yes my phone can achieve 12- 16mbps on average when Im in a 4G ( for me thats HSPA+ over TMO) location and there's nothing on my phone I cant do with that speed, so let my throttle be somewhere between 512kbps -1.5mbps so were still able to do regular chores on our phones.

I doubt 90% of people would complain if that was the throttle threshold. the 2g 119 kbps isn not good for crap on a smartphone anymore.



buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·AT&T DSL Service
reply to dnoyeB

Re: T-Mobile also made this redefinition of unlimited

said by dnoyeB:

But then that's what it should be called. 'Sortof Unlimited' plan.

I agree well they will never use the word sortof however if you have it in the fine print as throttled then it should be called " throttled Unlimited" problem solved.

Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: At least Verizon Wireless is honest

said by IowaCowboy:

If a wireless data service was truly unlimited, the networks would collapse from being overloaded with data hungry applications.

Well one of 4 things would happen and SHOULD be allowed to happen.

1.) Carrier will invest in improving service.
2.) User's will become unhappy and leave to go to another carrier, thus freeing up bandwidth for users that stay.
3.) Someone will innovate something to make it all better.
4.) Neither 1, 2 nor 3 will happen and the consumers will just deal with it.

My main problem with your argument in general is that ALL of these companies are perfectly fine with you using unlimited amounts of data as long as you are willing to give up your first born, an arm, a leg and one of your kidneys as if when you suddenly start paying them more that "congestion" suddenly disappears and all is right in wonderland.

To me throttling is a good and acceptable way to deal with the limited spectrum. However, they should not be able to use the term unlimited in any way to associate it with a metered service as it is not unlimited. If they limit your speed because of the amount of data used, then they just put a limit on your unlimited plan regardless of how they spin it.

TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
reply to IowaCowboy

TracFone and Straight Talk are both honest. It's not THEIR Fault that customers do not read. Is it Capital One's fault that you don't read your TOS/AUP to use their card and then decide to use them???


bryan314

join:2011-10-03

Hire better programmers

Seriously, if one guy pulling a few extra gigs off a tower is affecting an entire area then they need some better Qos software on these towers. The software in the towers should gracefully degrade service across all users as demand exceeds capacity.



SHoTTa35

@kfvaluation.com

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy

Re: At least Verizon Wireless is honest

This is such crap sometimes. If they can setup COWs at football stadium using the same frequency to manage the load they can do the same with typical towers (with permits of-course which I totally understand can be a pain in the butt to get). A network is only as good as it's admin and the problem is they don't want to invest the capital back into the network but instead into pockets and portfolios.

When you go to a football stadium, everyone is using 2.4Ghz for WIFI and with 20-30users it would probably bog down to crappy speeds. The trick is having multiple antennas and bandwidth to handle the crowd. They space them out and limit power and obviously have enough bandwidth per node to handle tons of clients per node (as stadium can be up to 90,000 people in a "small" space).



trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to whiteshp

Re: Straight Talk

It's not just the connection to the tower that's being saturated but it's the airwaves themselves. You can upgrade the tower connection all you want but if you're maxing out the spectrum there's nothing you can do.

Unless someone comes up with some fancy and magical way of shoving gigabits of data through the air with relative ease and make it cheap to do so, we are always going to have spectrum issues and have to deal with restrictive use. Where's subspace communications when you need it?
--
Tom
Tom's Tech Blog



Riusaki

join:2000-09-14
Space
reply to dnoyeB

Re: T-Mobile also made this redefinition of unlimited

T-mobile is truly unlimited for me. I'm using about 35-40GB a month and my bill is still the same and no throttling at all. Sprint and T-Mobile are the only carriers who are offering true unlimited.

Stop talking crap about companies you aren't a customer of.



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to SHoTTa35

Re: At least Verizon Wireless is honest

And you would think with the frequency of football games they would just lease space from the stadium owner (the NFL) and install permanent cell sites in these facilities. Would be a much better long term solution considering the manpower needed to put up/take down a COW unit. And the NFL season runs late summer to big game Sunday so I think permanent cell sites would be more feasible.

State fairs on the other hand (such as the Iowa State Fair or the Big E) run once a year and only last 17 days so a portable cell site and the labor to run the back haul and set up the unit would be much more feasible.

Another potential use for COWs is local 4th of July celebrations but those are usually one weekend at most.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
reply to ryderuntil

Re: walmart's milking you.

Define lots of people? and also WM is part of this lawsuit as well.


TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath
reply to IowaCowboy

Re: At least Verizon Wireless is honest

The cell companies have the power and the money to operate COWs. Have you seen a VZW actually set them up? On the ground it maybe takes 3 people to set them up. The backhaul always seems to be in place on the actual towers as nothing never changes if you look at the near by towers. Take a trip to MIS and you can see there. They have well more than 17 COWs for a race. The same as Charlotte Motor Speedway- and they even have equipment IN the speedways- all 3 of them that Charlotte owns.


TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·MegaPath
reply to bryan314

Re: Hire better programmers

The thing is with that- it's not a TracFone issue. It would be Sprint as TracFone and their companies are MVNOs. In some areas they may operate their own equipment going to the Internet, but for the most part; its resold Sprint, TMO, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, depending on the phone and area you live/work/play in.


xirian
Premium
join:2003-01-26
Beacon, NY
kudos:1
reply to TWCcdman

Re: Walmarts Response

you mean Obama Phone


VerizonCynic

join:2006-10-25
Lakewood, CA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

where is the FTC?

They love to limit food labels.."organic" etc. We need a lot more policing with cell phone carriers. "Unlimited" means there are no limits. At all. Its not hard to understand. Want to tether? no problem!. Want 100 gb of data at full throttle. No problem. Dont offer that? ok stop using word unlimited. Why dont we just tell people what they are going to get and not get and get rid of all the marketing people? Let service sell itself. All the carriers do this stuff so they all think they have to use the word "unlimited" with an asterisk and 2 pages of fine print you cant read w/o glasses that says what you are getting is in fact very "limited'
--
Lakewood Accountability Action Group | »www.LAAG.us | Demanding action and accountability from local government


en103

join:2011-05-02
reply to talz13

Re: Unlimited is a misnomer

I'm on an AT&T unlimited plan.. when I go past 5GB, my device slows down to 500kbps on the download, and upload is unaffected. Latency is still low ~60ms.


VerizonCynic

join:2006-10-25
Lakewood, CA
reply to Riusaki

Re: T-Mobile also made this redefinition of unlimited

t mobile throttles after certain limits hit on certain "umlimited" plans


TWCcdman

join:2002-04-14
Kernersville, NC
reply to xirian

Re: Walmarts Response

created long before Obama
»www.freegovernmentcellphones.net···ma-phone



IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
reply to TBBroadband

Re: At least Verizon Wireless is honest

What I am saying though is it would be more cost effective to install permanent cell sites in or near facililities where COWs are frequently used (football stadiums, ballparks, racetracks, etc). The only place I could see the justification of using a COW is a once yearly event such as a state fair. And if they have to pull a permit every time they deploy a COW, then it would even be more justifiable to just put in a permanent cell tower in these facilities.

And some facilities get overlooked for COW deployment such as the Holyoke Mall during the Christmas shopping season. When I had AT&T, you couldn't make or receive calls at the Holyoke Mall during the Christmas shopping season (even though you had 2-3 bars) because the one tower that covered the mall was overloaded. If there is one place where a COW would be useful, it would be larger shopping malls during the Christmas season. And Holyoke Mall at three levels and 200 stores is no exception. Verizon is slightly better for usability under load.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.