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Verizon Makes It Easy To Go Over Your Data Cap

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the as-it-was-as-it-ever-shall-be dept.

Cellphones 166

jfruhlinger writes "Verizon Wireless has revamped its video service; many Android phones can now stream full episodes from a number of current TV shows. You can even choose to just buy access for a day if you don't see yourself using the service often. Sounds great, right? Well, except for the part where all of Verizon's current smartphone plans have data caps — and the new service makes it awfully easy to go over them and incur overage charges."

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Not all plans (3, Insightful)

Nialin (570647) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188914)

...all of Verizon's current smartphone plans have data caps

If you've got an Unlimited Data plan (as I have), this won't be an issue. The throttling of your service will be, however.

Fuckers.

Re:Not all plans (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189688)

But even the "unlimited" plan is capped @ 5 GB. How is that unlimited? And that is going away so no new customers can sign up for it. 4G speeds (which are pretty decent) plus any cap is just trolling for overage fees by Verizon. They refuse to upgrade their infrastructure to support more downloading at increased speeds. I deal with Verizon directly all the time because I work for Public Safety in my city, and some of the crap they pull on their own network amazes me to this day.

Re:Not all plans (2)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189714)

even the "unlimited" plan is capped @ 5 GB.

No, it's not. Verizon can throttle the top 5% of bandwidth consumers, but there's no "5 GB" cap. Poke around, and you'll find people who have used 40+ GB in a month.

Re:Not all plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189746)

Read your terms of service "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. "

Re:Not all plans (1)

crashumbc (1221174) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189960)

Citation? That line doesn't exist in my T.O.S.

Re:Not all plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189886)

Not any more - they got rid of that plan. As soon as you get a new phone or do anything else to change your account, you'll lose your *unlimited* and won't be able to get it back.

Re:Not all plans (2)

crashumbc (1221174) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189994)

Citation? Currently (subject to change of course) your grandfathered if you're on the unlimited plan. Changing phones does not mean you lose your current plan.

As an aside there are still people on Verizon that came from Alltel 6-8 years ago during the merger, Verizon STILL honors the Alltel plans those people are using.

Re:Not all plans (1)

OffaMyLawn (1885682) | more than 3 years ago | (#37191064)

This has been my experience as well. My wife's line just came up for upgrade from her original Motorola Droid and after upgrading her line is still on the unlimited data plan.

Re:Not all plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190358)

In July I used 56GB on my Verizon plan.

I got a nice letter.

Re:Not all plans (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189908)

It's unlimited in that you can trickle out data all you want, 24/7. There's no difference in bits gathered between 8:00am and 5:00pm, and bits gathered between 8:00pm and 12:00 midnight.

So you can ping your router all day, with no extra charges.

To the telecoms, unlimited is a reference to time, not bulk.

Re:Not all plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189978)

But to people who aren't absolute bottom-feeding scumsuckers, unlimited means AN ABSENCE OF LIMITS.

Re:Not all plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37191134)

It's unlimited in that you can trickle out data all you want, 24/7. There's no difference in bits gathered between 8:00am and 5:00pm, and bits gathered between 8:00pm and 12:00 midnight.

So you can ping your router all day, with no extra charges.

To the telecoms, unlimited is a reference to time, not bulk.

Verizon's unlimited data plan on your smartphone is unlimited. The 5GB limit applies to tethering or 3G modems used in conjunction with a computer where you can blast through data a lot quicker.

Re:Not all plans (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190056)

Unlimited plans were grandfathered in when they implemented the cap. So the only people with capped plans are the people that signed up with VZ or added a data plan after July 7th. So unless VZ had record #'s of people signing up for service in the last 6 weeks, a vast majority of VZ customers are not impacted by the caps.

Re:Not all plans (1)

padraic2 (2432584) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190522)

But even the "unlimited" plan is capped @ 5 GB.

For the millionth time, this isn't true. Please stop repeating this. I am on an unlimited plan. The data is unlimited. That said, I am grandfathered in and new customers won't be able to get this plan.

Welcome to Australia (2)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188916)

Our telcos have been doing this for years.

Re:Welcome to Australia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188956)

You pussies also gave away your guns, it's no wonder everyone thinks they can fuck you up the ass.

Re:Welcome to Australia (5, Funny)

Zouden (232738) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189002)

This is correct. We banned automatic weapons in 1996 and look at us now: data limits on all our broadband plans. I hope this can be a lesson to the rest of the world.

Re:Welcome to Australia (3, Insightful)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189454)

no [wikipedia.org] , you banned semi-automatic weapons (and pump shotguns) in 1996.

Re:Welcome to Australia (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189628)

Hmph. I've still got the 12 gauge pump and both the .30-30 and .300 lever actions, very useful. They'd have to come get them.

Re:Welcome to Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189488)

In Australia when you pay for extra content directly from the provider the extra data is NOT counted.

Telstra provides Foxtel (streaming TV)over the air to mobiles which you pay to access, but the extra data is not charged. Optus has sport and Sky News streaming which again you pay for, but you don't pay extra for the data.

Re:Welcome to Australia (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190058)

Uh, mobile data plans are capped in MOST countries. This isn't just an Australian thing. It's the caps on wired (DSL, cable etc.) plans that are less common (although still not unique to Australia either - not that it really matters anyway given that there are caps available upwards of 1 TB/month now on major ISPs...)

Stream over 3G ? (0, Redundant)

InEnacWeTrust (1638615) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188942)

Who the hell is crazy enough to try to stream a full show episode over 3G ? Get a grip, people, use wifi like everybody.

Re:Stream over 3G ? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188958)

Umm... Me for one. I used a tethered phone as my only internet access for a couple of months. I used 12GB one month and 9GB the second month.

Re:Stream over 3G ? (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190210)

I do it from time to time, but not every day. I do use my T-Mobile TV or Netflix but when I do so, I'm usually at home or near some other wireless router.

Re:Stream over 3G ? (3, Informative)

f0rk (1328921) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188966)

Who the hell is crazy enough to try to stream a full show episode over 3G ? Get a grip, people, use wifi like everybody.

People who live in places where bandwidth isn't overpriced. I live in Sweden and I pay about 15$ for unlimited data. I could also pay less, and get 5,10, or 20GB and a throttled pipe if overdrawn. 3G is fast. It's fast enough to stream video. Heck, I even resort to setting up a portable hotspot some times just to torrent stuff.

Re:Stream over 3G ? (1)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189014)

what about places that don't have wifi? didn't have any net access in my ex's house, streamed tons of shows. do you live in a place with full wifi mesh coverage or something?

Re:Stream over 3G ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189180)

Why? Are the 3G bands so delicate that they can't handle video streaming? Do they wear off and get damaged? What's special about Wifi that you recommend using it instead of 3G?

300M (1)

_GNU_ (81313) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188968)

um... the more expensive $20/mo option is ***300M*** ? what the heck are you doing over in that development country you call the states? ;)

I have no problem hitting 300M/day just using the mobile web browser when I'm away from home.... a few gigs on a slow/rainy day.

Not to mention tethering.

Re:300M (4, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189048)

Three in Ireland just launched free internet up to 15GB per month on a pay as you go scheme. Top up by 20 euros and you get internet, free calls to other Three users and other stuff for a month, plus the 20 call credit for landline / other network calls. Not bad but I don't know how their broadband will work in practice since it's likely to be swamped with new subscribers.

Re:300M (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189134)

GiffGaff in the UK gives you unlimited texts, *ACTUAL* unlimited internet and a lot of minutes for £10+ a month with no contract and runs on O2's network which is pretty good (if a bit congested in London). They seem to keep prices low by crowd sourcing their technical support and offering large discounts to customers who help out, keeping their permanant staff down to ~16 people
I'm not acutally a customer yet but I am switching as soon as my crappy £35/mo contract with Orange, which offers me way less, runs out. Looks a very interesting way of doing things!

Re:300M (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189602)

It's not unlimited, the fair usage limit is 12,000 and after that they charge you 12p per SMS.
I only know as I was going to use it for my arduino project, lol.

Re:300M (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189200)

um... the more expensive $20/mo option is ***300M*** ? what the heck are you doing over in that development country you call the states? ;)

I guess we're mostly busy learning how to fucking read. You should try it some time.

Re:300M (2)

_GNU_ (81313) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189210)

"Does it seem strange to anyone else that Verizon is releasing their upgraded video service just a month or so after introducing bandwidth caps? Or at the same time they're field testing 300 MB, $20/month data plans?"

Re:300M (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189418)

Wow, you really are fucking retarded, so I'll try to stick to small words. 300MB for $20 is a trial for a new, low cost data plan, aimed at users who just want email and simple browsing. Thus it is not the "more expensive option". Their tiers are: $30 for 2GB, $50 for 5GB and $80 for 10GB. And please spare us the "In my country we get unlimited data for 5 pounds/euros/krugerands", we all know you're full of shit. There are more unlimited data plans in Europe, but the normalized cost is the same (sorry, normalized was kind of a big word but I think you'll figure it out).

And since we're continuing this discussion, maybe you could explain what the fuck a "development country" is.

Re:300M (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189224)

I've had an android with Verizon for a year and a half, and it hasn't been till the past month or two that I've broken 300MB/month. But then, I don't stream video, the sites I visit are pretty phone-friendly (mainly text, few images), and I often have access to either wifi or a "real" computer. And, I am grandfathered onto Verizon's unlimited plan.

Re:300M (3, Funny)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189282)

what the heck are you doing over in that development country you call the states?

Apparently doing something other than messing around on our phones all day. Put the porn down and step away from the phone

Re:300M (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189660)

Yea 300M data cap is crazy. I don't download video so I asked for the smallest data cap offered by my provider to save a few bucks and it was 500M. The typical data plan is 4Gig. Can't believe 300M is an upgraded plan.

Re:300M (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189670)

um... the more expensive $20/mo option is ***300M*** ?

First off, you have the plans confused - Verizon (our most expensive carrier) has 300MB for $20 as their lowest-tier plan.

Second, Europe has a different pricing model for mobiles. In Europe, you get charged extra for calling TO a mobile from a landline. In the US, there is no difference between calling landlines and mobiles.

Both systems have their merits, but you can't just compare what the mobile users are paying without also considering what the callers are paying.

Re:300M (1)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190774)

I don't know how the bandwidth distribution works in other countries but in the U.S., the auctions of frequencies and mergers of many large players have concentrated power in a few hands. The bandwidth auctions are basically a hidden tax on the people that works like this: Company borrows a LOT of money to secure rights to use frequencies. This money is like a large voluntary tax the companies buying the rights agree to pay in advance, and then collect from the customers, with the right to keep all of the money since they have already pre-paid the tax. Company builds (minimal?) infrastructure. Company has loans to pay for buying frequencies (prepaying the tax) and building the infrastructure. Whenever the loans are paid off, the company has a near monopoly, customers have gotten used to paying high prices, and with no competition, they get to continue charging high rates.

I'm not sure if the companies still hold the debt or if they've paid it off at this point, but mergers are going to continue to prevent competition going forward even if the debt to secure the frequencies is paid off.

Can someone tell me what happens? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#37188980)

Scenario 1, you get a message saying your bandwidth is used up and internet stops. No great problem.

Scenario 2, the net keeps working and there is no indication but you silently get a huge bill [whirlpool.net.au] at the end of the month. This is really bad

Which is it?

Re:Can someone tell me what happens? (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189072)

2.

*slowly strokes my unlimited plan in hong kong*

Re:Can someone tell me what happens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189514)

Mostly 2, but with a small twist: even before moving to the capped plans, Verizon TOS gave them the option to throttle heavy users for 2 billing periods (I have seen no report that they removed that provision). And the way it was defined (heaviest 5% of users), it's possible to be throttled before or after hitting your cap.

Think of it like the lottery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37188994)

A tax on the stupid.

So? (5, Insightful)

vipw (228) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189006)

At least that is network neutrality. Would it really be better if they waived the bandwidth charge when using their movie service but made customers pay extra when using competing services (e.g. Netflix)?

Just think about what you're complaining about, and what it really means. The only problem is that the data caps are low and the overage charges are high -- and that is exactly what one should expect given the competitiveness of wireless service in the USA.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189256)

do people still pay insane rates for calling cell phones from landlines in europe??? Because I keep paying even though my call to Europe is unlimited via broad-voice. Seams you can give people low prices just to get the big bucks from the idiots who call them.

Re:So? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189598)

Seams you can give people low prices just to get the big bucks from the idiots who call them.

You stay away from me. I don't want any of your seams. That's some regular wacky doctor shit.

Re:So? (1)

vipw (228) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189862)

Yes. Calls to cell phones cost much more than calls to land lines. I'm not sure if it could be classified as insane, but it's usually about 10 times higher (roughtly 20 cents per minute instead of 2). The reason is simply that in Europe mobile phone users don't pay for incoming calls.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189466)

And that is why I refuse to buy one.

Re:So? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189614)

At least that is network neutrality.

When I think of "network neutrality", I think of connections outside of their own network - control of their pipe to the larger internet. I definitely don't expect sites outside of the ISP's network to load as quickly as those inside, and I don't object to them setting up things like caching servers inside their own network.

Re:So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190806)

Just think about what you're complaining about, and what it really means.

You've apparently totally missed the point here - what the article is complaining about is that Verizon is heavily advertising a service that (based on the data caps) they clearly don't ACTUALLY want you to use.

Sorry state of affairs. (3, Insightful)

protodevilin (1304731) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189128)

I'm about to return to the United States after living in the UK for 3 years, and enjoying the benefits of its highly competitive GSM cellular market. There are over half a dozen major carriers to choose from out here, each with a wide and unique range of devices and plans to choose from, resulting in overall much greater value for the consumer than is currently available in the US.

I'm not at all looking forward to choosing whether to lie back or bend over before I get rightly screwed by whatever carrier I go with when I return. We've really let these telcos run amok unchecked, and now look at us.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (4, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189190)

I'm not at all looking forward to choosing whether to lie back or bend over before I get rightly screwed by whatever carrier I go with when I return.

Don't be ridiculous. You have lots and lots of choices in the US, when it comes to your cell phone service.

You get to choose how much, what colour, what scent, what taste, what manufacturer and what type of lube they use when they're raping your ass. That right there is hundreds if not thousands of combinations and choices.

What more could you possibly ask for?

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

protodevilin (1304731) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189278)

True, but I hear it's very easy to exceed Verizon's lube cap nowadays...

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (2)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189448)

Sprint - they still have unlimited data. If people would stop with the "they're all the same" crap and actually move to the carrier that still offers unlimited data, the market would reward them for it. Instead, non-geeks don't know enough or care about data caps, and geeks complain that Sprint doesn't have "real" 4G (as if WiMax wasn't more than enough bandwidth for streaming video).

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

YoungHack (36385) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189638)

I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the country, but if I actually want coverage (i.e. radio signals) my list of carriers is basically 2, US Cellular or Verizon (or competitors who buy access to their networks like Page Plus).

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189912)

I'm actually migrating away from Sprint because the coverage is actually getting worse in my area. Their unlimited plan was nice, when I could answer the phone in my living room. Now I have to walk outside to actually have a conversation with anyone.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190022)

It's nice talking with your neighbors, isn't it?

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190584)

Me too, there's 4G service to the south of us, but for some reason, just north, where there are high income neighborhoods, and a freeway, there is no service at all. I don't understand it.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

nutznboltz2003 (832752) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190012)

I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the country, but if I actually want coverage (i.e. radio signals) my list of carriers is basically 2, US Cellular or Verizon (or competitors who buy access to their networks like Page Plus).

I'm in the same boat as yourself. Those are the exact two carriers I have access to. That being said, I have been talking to one of my friends who works for Verizon. Apparently, due to companies like Straight Talk (sold by Walmart), Verizon will be offering a pre-paid unlimited text/talk/data plan. Their information sheets show it available for $50/month. Now, this is on their prepaid plans only, but what is interesting, is apparently any VZW phone can work with this prepaid plan, which means I can take my Droid when my contract ends and move to prepaid. Yes, there will be data throttling after 5GB, but honestly, I don't stream videos or listen to Pandora over 3G anyways. Heavy lifting for me has always been done via WiFi, so this won't hurt me at all. I'm guessing VZW will find a way to block tethering, similar to what they are doing now, but who knows if a rooted phone will solve that issue I am curious how people manage to actually use so much data without tethering. What are they doing?

Sprint coverage map: pure fantasy. (1)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189982)

I tried a Virgin Mobile prepaid phone a few weeks ago (which uses Sprint's network and no other) - and found myself completely unable to activate the phone because there wasn't a signal, in spite of what the coverage map showed. I ended up returning the phone for a refund.

I'll stick with my TracFone for now - since I rarely text, and don't use it often, I can keep it going for less than $7/month, and I can get a decent signal just about anywhere. It sucks in other ways, though - the camera is craptastic, and the phone is deliberately crippled so that you can't get pictures in or out except via MMS, but I can live with that.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190030)

I used Sprint until their customer service essentially told me I was crazy when I tried to help them resolve a bug in their usage reporting.

I've heard that their customer service isn't in absolute last place anymore, but I've been pleased with the service I get at T-Mobile, and I'm grandfathered into an unbeatable plan.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190144)

No one I know uses Sprint. No one. (And yes, I'm the kind of guy who asks.) Why? No coverage anywhere near here (Northern Virginia, 30 minutes from DC). You're lucky to get a strong enough signal to send a text message. Calls are dropped more often than not. If you're inside, you learn to turn your phone off because otherwise it will kill it's battery looking for a signal that doesn't exist. You will never see 3G. If you actually have to go into the city, it's worse.

But then, I haven't owned a Sprint phone in a year and a half. Maybe it's gotten better. Maybe their coverage map isn't a total lie anymore. Yeah, right.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37191312)

I'm in MD, near DC (I live inside the beltway), and Sprint actually seems to have some of the best coverage around here. Sprint phones should usually roam onto Verizon also (though your data will be slow then), so overall coverage should be good. I have a Virgin Mobile phone, which only uses Sprint towers, and have always had good coverage except in the sticks. For the price, I'm totally happy with VM - no overage charges, unlimited text & data. Sure their phones are not the latest & greatest, but they do what I want.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189492)

The UK is a completely different market. It's much more compact, much more population dense, and has much less rural area. The costs of providing wireless service are much less than in the US (except for possibly "metro only" providers).

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189558)

So what? The UK and elsewhere in the world have functioning markets. You have service providers and devices. You can mix and match at will. You can chance service by swapping a SIM card. You can buy a top end smart phone off contract and stick in a PAYG SIM.

Population density arguments are *always* from American's making lame excuses about why their providers are so crap. Clue: Hillbilly coverage doesn't matter. There's no excuse not to have the best available in the dense areas and cities.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189774)

You're right, I'm afraid. I just did a back of the envelope calculation and AT&T is making about the same amount of profit per square mile as O2.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190054)

Err, he's right I'm afraid. Clicked wrong response.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189808)

so you're a "Hillbilly" if you don't live in an overcrowded, polluted shithole of an american city?

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190032)

Yes, that's the public perception, ergo it must be true. We've seen the documentaries e.g. House of 1000 corpses, Duel, The Hills Have Eyes etc.

Of course, Hillbilly country exists in other places too Scotland for instance. For our American cousins, Scotland is a hamlet slightly north of London. They are perfectly lovely people who speak English with a slight twang that requires sub-titles in (US-made) films.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190256)

Have a look at Finland.

Lower population density than the US, but with better coverage and lower prices.

Stop making excuses for the telcos and sort yourselves out.

New York population density is what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190276)

How about Austin, TX? Mass?

You have huge swathes of bugger all. But where you have a high population density, you have one carrier, two if you're lucky, not owned by the same company.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190018)

Count yourself lucky you're not returning to Canada. Our cellphone, internet and TV options are even worst.

Re:Sorry state of affairs. (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190332)

I'm about to return to the United States after living in the UK for 3 years, and enjoying the benefits of its highly competitive GSM cellular market

It's sort of OK, but (perhaps because of the obscene overvaluation of 3G licences when they were sold for over £20b, years ago) I only get 1GB of data per month for £25/mo, with Three - the network that boasts about how great its 3G internet is. Just don't try to really use it for a day. I've already used 950MB and I'm only halfway through the month.

Keeping track (0)

Mike6181 (2445134) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189152)

Regardless of carrier, go to http://www.pageonce.com/ [pageonce.com] and you'll be able to track usage directly - email alerts when approaching max allowed. Mike http://www.sceniccostarica.com/ [sceniccostarica.com]

Re:Keeping track (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189686)

Don't most carriers supply this? I have a little app from my cell provider on my blackberry that tells me exactly how much I've used and can purchase additional plans if I want

Sprint (2)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189244)

I just had to replace a phone (canoe accident) and Sprint said the hardware replacement meant my previous unlimited data plan was no longer extended. I assume the phone companies are all watching to see what one another gets away with. At least there is competition. Most USA cell phone users give me a blank stare when I allude to "Ma Bell".

Re:Sprint (1)

thejynxed (831517) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189452)

That sounds like the perfect opportunity to swap carriers.

The problem isn't necessarily the service we pay for, it's the nickel-and-dime shit they pull behind our backs. They've been able to get away with highway robbery for so long - and I don't know how half of the nonsense in their contracts (and their willingness to violate the terms, but watch out if you do) is even legal.

Re:Sprint (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190060)

At the moment, Sprint seems to be the best phone company in the Midwest. They're the only one whose unlimited data plan is unlimited.

Re:Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190880)

Not sure about availability in the Midwest, but Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile both offer real unlimited data plans.

And...? (1)

myneknoturs (1937926) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189246)

At home- wifi, work- wifi, friends houses- wifi. Granted the app doesn't support it now, but if that's the only thing eating your data plan and you're always going over it consistently then you could always find something else to do aside from watch tv all the time. "Waaa.... Verizon is making it expensive to be lazy... WAAAA"

falling gargoyles sign of inane design flaws? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189322)

makes it easy to see how the never ending holycost just gets bigger every minute? the fatal distraction continues whilst millions of babys etc... continue to starve &/or be killed in the worlds' wars, deserts etc... on to mebotuh? the monkeys think we're nuts?

Consumer Credit Schemes (2)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189398)

It looks like the mobile industry is using strategies from the consumer lending playbook...get people in with cheap services and make the penalties extremely high if you go over your limit/late payment. This is a money-making strategy that took the consumer lending industry by storm. Watch this: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/creditcards/view/ [pbs.org]

Cry more (1)

Llian (615902) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189412)

So, people are expected to know what they sign up for and be responsible for it. I fail to see the news, other than a company is going to show just how many stupid people there are in the nation, and ones that do not take responsibility for themselves or their habits.

Re:Cry more (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190038)

I agree. This is all spelled out very clearly in the agreement for service. Does it suck? Yes. Is it shady or illegal? I'd have to say no. The issue here is that Americans are so used to blindly signing anything put in front of them without reading it. When I bought my house and it came time to sign the mortgage paperwork which consisted of probably no less than 20 signatures, the girl they sent to my office with the paperwork was annoyed that I wanted to actually read it before signing. I told her if she didn't want to wait, she could take it back and tell her boss to send me a copy for review like I originally requested, and we could reschedule the closing. That shut her up pronto.

But seriously, Americans in general believe that most companies have their best interests at heart and don't believe that what's in the TOS actually applies to them. All the way to the collections department.

Re:Cry more (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190074)

Exactly.

It's the same tactic that car hire firms use when you exceed the maximum number of miles within the hire agreement. Your average Joe would not be affected by the clause but seeing as we are talking about adults entering into binding agreements it would appear that customers are seeking to rely upon the "I am thick as pig-shit defence".

I blame the parents...

diden't V-cast used to be on it's own? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189560)

with it's own fee and no data plan needed?

Where's the concern about heavy bandwidth users? (1)

hexagonc (1986422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189664)

This puts the lie to any claim that the primary problem with people who tether is their bandwidth usage. If Verizon was so burdened by the top bandwidth hogs then why would they roll out this service, thus making more people hogs? It should be obvious to anyone that the real reason is greed. They want to charge for every possible use of their (ours if you consider the publicly owned airwaves that they were leased [broadbandreports.com] ) spectrum. Verizon has already eclipsed AT&T as the carrier I hate most. And to think that I was almost enticed to Verizon for their fast LTE network.

Waiting for contract to expire (1)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 3 years ago | (#37189676)

I am sick of this whole game with the major cell service carriers in the US. Verizon's whole attitude towards their customer is 'you need us', not 'what can we do to make you be/remain our customer'. I am waiting for my contract to expire in two months, but unfortunately my phone bit the dust over the weekend and I decided to reconsider getting a new contract in order to get a discounted phone, so I go to the local Verizon store and had an experience that completely reinforced this perception that I have of them.

Upon entering the store I observe that there is only one other customer and he is at the back of the store being assisted by a Verizon salesperson. Eight feet to the left is a desk with two Verizon employees behind it, neither is currently involved in any task. Four feet in front of me is a small round table where two girls, not in any type of uniform. They are using iPads and have computer stations. The closer girl asks how she can help me and I let her know that I am interested in looking at new phones and discussing my current plan and options. She says "I will need to check you in, and someone will be able to help you shortly. I look to the left a the salespersons behind the desk. They are looking straight at me. My internal voice is saying, "You have got to be kidding me". I look back to the girl... "Okay". "What is your name?". I tell here my name and she writes it down on a pad and then hits some keys on the computer. I look to my left, one of the sales associates looks at the monitor in front of them, walks around the desk to the small table, picks up the notepad, looks at me and says "Are you ?". Once again, my internal voice kicks in with "You know that is my name, you just stood there and listened to me and say it" and "You do not know me. You should refer to me as Mr. ...". From my perspective, the whole scenario was setup to reinforce the idea that I need them ,not that I am a valued customer and I immediately resigned myself to not staying with Verizon and waiting out my contract.

Once I am out of contract, I will switch to a no-contract carrier and I will be upgrading to an Android phone and I do not anticipate needing more than 100 MB of data per month, so my total cost will be less than my Voice only plan that I currently have with Verizon.

This is why I got an ipod touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37189740)

All the smartphone-i-ness while being completely independent of the the cellular carriers.

File a consumer complaint (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190010)

What if eveyone on Slashdot that is concerned about this issue were to file a complaint against these telcos here [justice.gov] I wonder what would happen? I think that would be interesting to watch these telcos squirm their way out of this practice once justice comes a knocking.

Re:File a consumer complaint (0)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190318)

Yes, clearly we need government involvement to protect us from the big bad companies who want to sell us stuff. I mean just yesterday I was in a restaurant, and the men had a description of an item that sounded so good I just had to get it, even though I knew it had too much fat and calories to be good for me. My first thought was '"Someone should call the justice department to prevent them from making this yummy item". Then I saw an ad for a really cool looking car, so I cashed out my 401K so I could buy this car. If only the government had prevented them from selling that car...

If you're too weak-willed to control your usage of a service, no matter how attractive they make that service, don't use it. There is no need for government involvement.

Re:File a consumer complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190724)

Then you realized that yummy looking meal was made from meat tainted with salmonella, the kitchen was full of roaches and the cook would sprinkle the meal with cocaine just to add a little addicting flavor. Oh yea and the car had electrical problems that would randomly make it catch fire at high speeds, but the company assures the consumer its just a flaw in a couple of the vehicles and only if your driving really fast, no big deal, just control your speed.

In all seriousness, how exactly are you weak if your not aware of your usage?

I understand that most techs can find apps to monitor their usage, but how many every day people have those apps installed? When people hear about unlimited service and Internet access, they aren't thinking there is a cap that they have to pay a fee for if they go over. Companies do not make this clear when they sell their services and unless they are given constant updates, people really have no ability to monitor this. How many people sit around and can tell you exactly how much electricity they are using a day or how much tap water they are using? Yea many utility companies charge an overage fee, but due to those government regulations and consumer protections you seem to be against, they are manageable.

A government's responsibility is to protect its citizens, a companies is to ensure a profit. Please don't confuse the two.

Re:File a consumer complaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37190464)

It wouldn't do anything. In the old days bribery was illegal but now it's called lobbying. You can complain all you want but the only thing you can do is vote with your wallet.

Verizon: That Was Easy! (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190156)

I think I just found VZ's new marketing campaign.

They just need to license it from Staples first.

Scared (1)

U8MyData (1281010) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190238)

I'd comment but I am using my Verizon phone for internet and I'm affraid they will see. ;-)

scumbag verizon (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37190504)

Buys up all the spectrum, drops unlimited data plans.

Hate to give Verizon the benefit of the doubt (1)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 3 years ago | (#37191230)

Verizon is an evil cell phone company and all but I don't think this is quite as sinister as the summary makes it out to be.

It sounds to me like the marketing department came up with a plan for a service and the billing people set the data caps. This is one of those situations where Hanlon's Razor applies pretty well, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

TV is for idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37191358)

If you even want to watch TV, let alone stream it on a phone, you deserve whatever you get.

If I was in charge, you'd be taken to a camp for sterilization, because society cannot carry the load
of idiots like you any more.

Cookies Make it Easy to Go Over Calorie Cap (1)

InitZero (14837) | more than 3 years ago | (#37191380)

I don't see anything wrong with Verizon offering content that is so irrestable that they end up making more money. In fact, I'm pretty sure that is their sworn duty.

Grandmother's chocholate chip cookies make be deliciously irresistable but it is still my fault if I fall off my diet.

Cheers,
Matt

Its all just incremintal steps to pay as you go... (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37191394)

Got a letter from Cogeco Cable Internet the other day. Was told that not only were they increasing the speed of my service and slightly increasing my bandwidth, that they would also be increasing the cap to which I pay when I go over my actual bandwidth cap from 30$ to 50$.

I see a movement to a model where you have to go over, and all the profit is from making you do so, and charging exorbitant rates at the same time. So while the bandwidth curve of need is an exponential curve of X, the cap curve will be much lower and Y, the shaded difference is all profit at 1.5$ a GB or what ever it is by that point... Because you know that 50$ will become 100$, and then there will be no limit, and cap will be zero GB...

That is where we are headed. That is where the ISP want to go. It seems pretty obvious to me, that they are just doing it in baby steps and small increments so as to not upset anyone or get the rabble all roused up about how much they are getting hosed.

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