Tracfone has been taking a lot of heat this year for the fact that their MVNOs Straight Talk and Net10 have been advertising capped services as "unlimited." Users on both Net10 and Straight Talk are capped and throttled after a set amount of data, usually to around 2G speeds. Not too surprisingly this surprised many customers, and Tracfone was the subject of a class action lawsuit launched back in August.
Tracfone has since been busy clarifying whenever possible that their definition of unlimited may not match everyone elses. The company came forward this week to note that whenever TracFone says the word "unlimited" they actually mean 2.5 GB:
quote:A TracFone spokeswoman said in a statement that Straight Talk's 30-day $45 "unlimited" plans and $60 "unlimited international long" plans include 2.5 GB of high-speed data. "After reaching that usage, data will continue at 2G speeds for the remainder of the 30-day cycle," she said. "High speed data is restored once a new 30-day service plan is added. For further information refer to StraightTalk.com." The company said in reserves the right to terminate service for "unauthorized or abnormal usage," as many wireless carriers do.
Instead of getting rid of the word unlimited, TracFone appears to have chosen to simply take their small print and make it larger (see the image above). After a decade of a steady flow of this kind of confusion, you would think companies would simply stop using the word unlimited and be done with it. While it's true many customers might have no idea what a gigabyte is, it just seems simpler to clearly state how much bandwidth you're actually selling.
This is why I laugh whenever I see a ticked off Verizon customers say they're going to Straight Talk because they have "unlimited" I laugh. And even if it was truly unlimited it's limited to 3G. Seriously. Kind of like saying dial-up internet is better than my cable internet because it's uncapped.
2013-Sep-30 3:51 pm: ·
ArrayList netbus developer Premium join:2005-03-19 Evanston, IL
T-Mobile actually does have an unlimited data plan for both prepaid and postpaid though. On lesser plans that aren't really unlimited they tell you upfront that you get a certain amount of data at up to 4G speeds then it is throttled down.
On a side note, I recently switched from Verizon postpaid to T-Mobile prepaid. On Verizon I was still using a feature phone (Samsung Reality) and the grandfathered 450 minute $40 plan, along with $10 for 500 texts and $10 for 75MB of data (forced data). After taxes I was paying just over $66 per month. I hardly ever used voice minutes and I rarely touched the data. Switching to a new "Share Everything" plan would cost even more. I wanted to upgrade to a smartphone and at best their lowest prepaid plan for that would cost the same, but I'd still be paying for something I rarely use... in that case "unlimited" voice. Plus Verizon's data prices are horrendous. They don't give you enough plan choice, certainly less than they have before. So I switched to T-Mobile prepaid and brought my own unlocked smartphone that I purchased separately. I went with their $30 plan with 100 minutes talk, unlimited text, and 5GB of up to 4G data (throttled after limit). Paying less than half of what I did with Verizon and getting more of what I want to use. I should have made the switch a long time ago as I was just pissing away money. -- Photos By Greg Strong
if you have: 1) ideal network conditions 2) better than good signal 3) no congestion and other users on same channel -- Suffolk County NY Police Feed - »www.scpdny.com PS3 Gaming Feed - »www.livestream.com/elitedata
2013-Oct-1 4:46 pm: ·
King P Don't blame me. I voted for Ron Paul Premium join:2004-11-17 Franklin, TN
MVNOs like Red Pocket Mobile, H20, etc actually state how much data you get. Both services are 3GB of HSPA+ data, after that, data simply stops working. I'm hoping they'll offer LTE soon, now that Straight Talk has LTE. AIO Wireless also offers "unlimited" data, much like T-Mobile does. X amount of MB/GB of "high speed" (either LTE or HSPA+ depending on LTE availability), then you are throttled to 256Kbps (high end 2G, low end 3G) until the next month. -- My Music blog: »www.zunetracks.net
How about we just label the product for what it actually is instead of redefining the language to mean the opposite. Don't advertise "unlimited" when it's obviously not. You don't have to clarify -- just don't do it to begin with!
The service is unlimited. You can use it as much as you want, it will always be there
The SPEED is not unlimited. After xxx amount of data you will be slowed down.
They all say this in their microscopic fine print that no one reads. Tracfone (because of the lawsuit) is stepping up by making that small print not quite as small as it used to be, but still, majority will not read it.
We all know why they do this. If they made it easy to actually compare prices and service, people might gravitate to the best service/price instead of the misconceived offers they try to tell us we want/need. -- Follow Your Bliss -- Joseph Cambell I reject your Reality and substitute my own! -- Adam Savage, Mythbuster
2013-Sep-30 4:51 pm: ·
Yippz Premium join:2005-05-04 Fort Walton Beach, FL
No issues with the AT&T version NET10 card
That's why you stick with an AT&T version NET10 card and you get full unlimited data, talk and text. They switched their data from unlimited to 1.5G and back to unlimited.
As long as they don't cut you off or bill overages, it's still unlimited.
If there was a truly unlimited wireless service, then you would have spectrum issues with people running torrents, Netflix, and servers on their MiFis. Some applications are best left to fixed line networks. Wireless has limited bandwidth too. Then you start knocking public safety and other wireless networks offline.
linicx Caveat Emptor Premium join:2002-12-03 United State
I would say this
My Tracfone is absolutely unlimited, but there is a caveat. I am neither capped nor throttled, or choked by a two-year contract. I am only limited by the two B's: Battery and Budget. -- Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
Now that ST is offering ATT Sims that work on LTE and bandwidth transparency, I personally am moving back to Straight Talk from T-Mobile. $60 vs $45 (even less with discounted re-up card) is a no-brainer.
Latency is very slightly higher, but transfer rates appear to be the same more or less on LTE regardless ATT MVNO vs ATT GoPhone vs T-Mobile. While I don't really need ATTs superior coverage area, it's nice to know that I'll have full use of my phone almost everywhere.
If I'm not happy... I'll just switch back. That's the beauty of GSM.