There are lots mobile users that sign up to unlimited data plans for their smartphones as we use the mobile internet a lot more now. But now some are calling for unlimited data plans to be truly unlimited, and not confusing for some users who are hit with big unexpected bills.
Many customers’ sign up for an unlimited data plan but can still run up big bills for downloading music, films, or playing games on their handsets. The Guardian is reporting that consumers often get caught out by the “fair usage” policy that many so called unlimited data plans have. When customers unknowingly go over this policy they are hit with higher than expected bills.
Operators should be clearer on what they mean by unlimited in their advertising according to communications ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith. Smith said that the problem is increasing and causes a lot of anxiety for some customers, and added that packages offer unlimited downloads with customers thinking their bill won’t go above a certain amount.
But there is often “small asterisk next to the word ‘unlimited‘ which refers to small print stating that there is in fact a limit which, if exceeded, will incur further charges”. These types of policies vary between carriers with Orange and T-Mobile allowing customers to download 500MB of data per month, while over at Three there is no limit.
The ASA has looked into the situation and thinks it is ok to use the term “unlimited” provided that the consumer is made aware of any limits. Ofcom have found that six percent of UK consumers have received a higher monthly bill because of this problem, with one-fifth getting a bill of at least £100.
Do you fell unlimited should actually mean unlimited?