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Thread: SpeakOut mobile browsing NOT unlimited, not even close -'Fair usage' = 2Gb MAX

  1. #1
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    SpeakOut mobile browsing NOT unlimited, not even close -'Fair usage' = 2Gb MAX

    Hi all,

    This is just a heads up for other SO users who may have not experienced it yet, as well as those considering switching to SO. I had my service disconnected, without prior notice, on November 14. I received the following messages that afternoon:

    (438) 288-0531
    YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE UNLIMITED BROWSING FAIR USAGE POLICY. THE FEATURE HAS BEEN REMOVED. YOU CAN VIEW THE POLICY IN TERMS AND CONDITIONS ON OUR WEBSITE.
    Nov 14

    (647) 725-2570
    SHOULD YOU ATTEMPT TO RENEW THIS FEATURE AND CONTINUE TO VIOLATE THE FAIR USAGE POLICY, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE CLOSED AND ALL FUNDS WILL BE FORFEITED.
    Nov 14

    I called 611 for customer service to ask for an explanation. I was told I had exceeded 10Gb of usage… back in SEPTEMBER. I didn't dispute that. I told the female CS agent I thought it was unlimited. She told me usage was subject to a "fair usage" policy and that I had exceeded what was considered fair. I asked her what that was exactly, since I did not think 10Gb was excessive for a plan that is marketed as UNLIMITED. For context, WIND Mobile, which also has a capped data plan they used to market as UNLIMITED, only starts to throttle your speed at 10Gb (update: apparently WIND lowered the level at which they begin throttling to 5Gb).

    The CS told me I could find it on their website. I told her I could not look it up on their website, as they had just disconnected my only immediately available internet connection. I asked if she could find it and tell me what it was, given the fact they'd just disconnected AND threatened to close my account based on that policy. She said she would look for it and get back to me. She took a LONG time to find it (the call lasted 28 mins). When she finally got back to me, she apologised for taking so long and told me she had a hard time finding it herself. Which is interesting, given that is a policy customers are assumed to know.

    Long story short, she told me 2Gb is what the company considers fair usage, and that it reserves the right to suspend or outright cancel your service, and retain any remaining credit in your account, without notice.

    So if you are like many SO customers who initially jumped in with a $100 top-up (using that promo where SO gives you an extra 20% on $100 top-ups), then only added the falsely-advertised unlimited browsing option, then had your account canceled for violating the ridiculously low "fair usage" cap in your first month, you would be out $100 or more.

    How ridiculously low is that 'fair usage' data limit? When I told the customer service rep that I thought 2Gb was rather low to advertise something as 'unlimited', she herself was surprised to learn it was that low. Ba dum bum.

    I suspect the real reason my account was suspended was because I had called a few days earlier, November 3, to ask how my balance had gone below $10, causing my unlimited browsing add-on not to automatically reivew. I had barely used the phone after my $25 top-up in October. I asked the customer service rep to provide me with my usage details so I could compare it with my call logs. She started going through my details when the call was suddenly interrupted. Apparently someone monitoring the customer service reps' calls told her she was not allowed to provide me with my usage history.

    I was then transfered to speak with the call monitor person, who informed me that customer service agents were not allowed to provide users with usage history. I told her I thought there was probably a legal requirement to provide customers with the details of what they were being billed for, especially if they were asking. I said I did not care to waste their time and would be happy if they could simply send me an electronic copy of my usage history. I was told they would not do that either. At that point I said I was pretty certain that charging customers without telling them what they were being charged for was illegal. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was repeatedly refused, with the call monitor person telling me there wasn't one available. I then asked where I could call to speak with one, and was told that I would have to leave my name and number and one would get back to me. When? Apparently their policy was to get back to customers within 5 business days.

    To end this sad episode off and tie the November 3 and 14 calls together, I closed the November 14 call by asking the customer service rep if her records showed anyone had tried to call me back regarding my November 3 billing inquiry. She said it was indicated that someone was supposed to call me back, but no one had. Presumably they figured I was one of those diffucult customers - you know, one of the ones that wanted to know what they were being billed for - so they figured they'd rather cancel my account than tell me how I was being billed.

    You stay classy, SpeakOut.

  2. #2
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    Ummmmm....

    So what kind of phone do you have and is it rooted? Do you have autoproxy on it? How do you get around the limited ports?

  3. #3
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    Meh whatever. You're just an abuser, then complainer. What is it now? 3 service providers that you've been disconnected from? Same crap you've been posting all over the internet.

    You abused data on the other networks, and now you abused SO by circumventing the UMB terms of service and complain yet again.

    Bottom line is you get what you pay for and you are complaining that you can't get blood out of a stone.

  4. #4
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    Well said. People like him are out to abuse any service they can, then cry and whine about it when they get cut off. No wonder he's been kicked from 3 providers. His past history speaks for itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamdrumming View Post
    Well said. People like him are out to abuse any service they can, then cry and whine about it when they get cut off. No wonder he's been kicked from 3 providers. His past history speaks for itself.
    That's cool. At least the corporate trolls aren't disputing the facts. Attack the messenger if you don't like the message is a tired corporate trolling bit. FYI, I canceled the previous service I had (Mobilicity) that did something similar (throttling on so-called 'unlimited' data plan) and received a flood of e-mails and texts begging me to come back. And the SpeakOut account is still active, just no longer subscribed to the browsing option given what I now know. I'm sure when I cancel it, I'll get e-mail and texts asking me why I left and begging me to come back. That's how companies like that, especially ones in any way affiliated with Rogers, work. They treat their customers like crap, then beg them to come back after they leave.

    And FYI, those complaints to CRTC that I (and presumably others) filed along with the negative feedback on this and other forums had Mobilicity (and WIND) change their practices. They now clearly indicate the bandwidth caps on the data plans they still market as 'unlimited'. It looks kind of silly having 6Gb or 20Gb advertised right beside the word 'unlimited', but that's their marketing issue. At least their customers now know up front that their services are not 'unlimited'.

    That SpeakOut intentionally neglects to mention its usage cap on the info page for the "Unlimited Browsing" add-on - especially given the fact that it's nowhere-near unlimited at 2Gb, then sends out corporate trolls to attack a customer for pointing that out is kind of pathetic.

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    Calling me a "corporate troll" is pathetic on your part. I do not work for them. I am a customer of theirs like everyone else. As I stated above, some people like yourself just like to abuse the system, then complain once they get cut off. You're running out of providers (and forums) to get booted from
    Last edited by iamdrumming; 12-05-2012 at 07:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iamdrumming View Post
    Calling me a "corporate troll" is pathetic on your part. I do not work for them. I am a customer of theirs like everyone else. As I stated above, some people like yourself just like to abuse the system, then complain once they get cut off. You're running out of providers (and forums) to get booted from
    Only corporate trolls wanting to maintain or reduce already low caps to increase profit margins would spend so much time trying to convince customers that 10Gb usage on a plan that is advertised as 'unlimited' is abuse. Whether it's 2, 10 or 20 Gb, you can rest assured that they're making a healthy profit on it, since it likely costs them a few cents per Gb. (Assuming wireless data even costs 10X the cost of wired, you're looking at $0.30/Gb)

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    Re: SpeakOut mobile browsing NOT unlimited, not even close -'Fair usage' = 2Gb MAX

    I'm with hrtab on this one, a carrier CAN'T reasonably claim unlimited if they are going to cancel you at 2 GB -- that's not unlimited, that's 2GB of data, which other carriers & MVNOs are apparently capable of listing properly as 2GB. I doubt hrtab's going to find what he wants if throttling is also unacceptable, but nevertheless the carrier's in the wrong here.

    Sent from my SCH-I405 using HowardForums

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    hwertz - exactly the point. After likely more than a few complaints (including from yours truly), the new guys (WIND, Mobilicity) started advertising the caps on their 'unlimited' plans. The down-side is they made them hard-caps instead of soft-caps with throttling after you reach the cap. I don't have a problem with throttling, as long as it's to a usable browsing speed. The reason customers complained about throttling is that their speeds would drop from 4-7Mbps to less than a 100Kbps - 90's dial-up speed. If it went down to something more reasonable like 250-500Kbps, I doubt they would have received complaints. Anyhow, they decided to go with hard-caps. But at least now they advertise whether it's 5, 6 or 20 Gb up front. They still market them as 'unlimited', which looks kind of silly right beside a usage cap, but that's their marketing issue.

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    Unlimited is purely a marketing term. Shame on you for actually falling for it.

    UMB was created in an era where phones were crappy and SO had phones with built in browsers that were crap. UMB is ending (especially at $10) you just hasten it. UMB was made so that useage would have been under 500mb i'm guessing. You think that 'data' rates are 30c/gb? That's pretty irrelevant. How much do you think Rogers charges SO for the 'data'

    Phones these days are DATA hogs. Purely crippled without a data connection. And UMB is NOT the same thing as 'data' when it's restricted to port 80 only.

    Port 80 is easily circumvented as you prove.

    UMB is dead, I long for the day of 20c/mb pay as you go.

    Pay as you go by the big telcos are all thinly veiled monthly plans. Get rid of a plan that can be easily abused and jeopardizes the low cost model that works for me.

    If you don't like paying that much, then stop complaining about the small guy. Complain about the big companies FFS.

    But one should realize, that canada will never have the price rate of the US or Europe or Asia. Just not the same density of people.

    Their business model is to hold you captive, and pull out at least $50 from you every month. If you're complaining about the costs, then stop being such a consumer and cut the cord. It sends a very real message.

    SO's Voice profile is meant for infrequent users. Their UMB model is meant for PORT RESTRICTED DATA ONLY, as you insist on calling it data.

    Proxy all you want, let's get rid of it and have truly pay as you go data.

    I don't want to pay $10/mo for 50 minutes of calling, so why would I pay $10 for 2gb of data.

    20c/min, 20c data. Done perfect straightup, and shuts up the people who seem to think that the fine print doesn't mean anything if it doesn't fit your argument.

    Unlimited is irrelevant.

  11. #11
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    htrab1 is the kind of person who looks to abuse any system. Even if there was an advertised, set in stone, hard cap, he would try to bend the rules and see how much he could get away with. Then when he got booted once again, he would cry even louder.
    Last edited by iamdrumming; 12-08-2012 at 10:11 AM.

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    Yeah there is no comparison between an old-school UMB plan and providers that actually sell premium smartphones with data plans. UMB plans are supposed to be "all the data you can consume on a crappy dumbphone", so when they promise unlimited you should not actually expect that to mean massive overflowing buckets of data.

    I have a grandfathered UMB SIM from PC Mobile and I know full well that one day the jig will be up and they'll cancel the plan. I don't know if that will be a month from now, a year from now, three years... so I'll enjoy it while it lasts, report to the forum if it ends, but I won't go whining about it.

    And for those of you who are left with a large balance on your SIM that you can't reasonably spend: In the holiday spirit, look up a charity of your choice at Mobile Giving Canada and make some SMS donations. You will even get a tax receipt.

  13. #13
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    That is a good idea, but Mobile Giving Canada uses short codes for donations, and using short codes with SpeakOut is not possible/supported.

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    Re: SpeakOut mobile browsing NOT unlimited, not even close -'Fair usage' = 2Gb MAX

    Quote Originally Posted by iamdrumming View Post
    That is a good idea, but Mobile Giving Canada uses short codes for donations, and using short codes with SpeakOut is not possible/supported.
    Darn, was worth a try.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using HowardForums

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmstlist View Post
    Yeah there is no comparison between an old-school UMB plan and providers that actually sell premium smartphones with data plans. UMB plans are supposed to be "all the data you can consume on a crappy dumbphone", so when they promise unlimited you should not actually expect that to mean massive overflowing buckets of data.
    Which would be swell, except they market their service as available FOR THE PHONE OF YOUR CHOICE (their CAPS, not mine):

    Name:  136-1208-280x251-SIM-promo-w4-280x251.jpg
Views: 1857
Size:  25.8 KB

    If you check out the phones page, it looks like they're getting out of phone sales all together and going BYOD.
    Last edited by htrab1; 12-08-2012 at 04:03 PM.

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