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The Ugly Catch To Your Unlimited Data Plan
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The Ugly Catch to Your Unlimited Data Plan

Maybe you’ve noticed your mobile internet searches are slower lately. Or maybe you may even have received a “free” message from your wireless provider informing you that you are in the top five percent of all internet mobile (cell phone) users and your "reward" is they are going to slow your internet speed.

Whatever your situation, we all purchased our cell phone with the idea that we would have unlimited internet access. However, over the past six to nine months a quiet shift is taking place right under our noses. Now, there’s an ugly catch to your unlimited data plan.

The next time you see an advertisement for unlimited mobile internet I want you to take a minute and read the small print. What it says may surprise you and it may even be upsetting. Essentially all the big wireless firms are allowing you a limited amount of “unlimited” band width. Translated, for the first one or two gigs of data there is no penalty and it flows at 3G or 4G speed. But exceed the data cap and your unlimited plan is still unlimited but you’re now throttled down to 2G or even 1G speed. Ever used 1G or even 2G? It’s sucks! It is painfully slow. Big wireless is in effect saying, “hey you’re on the super highway, even though the speed limited is now 5 MPH, so enjoy it".

Over the past few months more online and print press has appeared on the termination of truly unlimited internet and data by big wireless. By big wireless I mean Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Basically these firms provided us a great product and then proceeded to get us addicted to unlimited internet and data like a drug dealer addicts his customers. We have all grown accustomed to using our cell phones for everything from using the GPS feature, to taking pictures and emailing them, to posting on Facebook. All of these routine activities requires data to transfer over the internet in order to work. Now, big wireless, has decided to place a catch to your unlimited data plan. Now it’s unlimited in name only.

Recently Shepard Smith of Fox News went on a tirade over this very issue. He’s right, in that this is not an insignificant violation of our rights as consumers. Like any company, big wireless firms have every right to make money. But luring the consumer in with actual unlimited internet and then shifting that to something less than unlimited is where I cry foul. Those that know me, know I’m a big free market guy. So for me to cry foul has to be about something way out bounds.

What does all the talk about gigs and data mean to the average consumer and how are you supposed to strike back? What it means is, you have to follow the money flowing from your pocket into big wireless coffers. Serioulsy, how much per year do you spend on your cell phone service? For most customers it is now well over $1,500 per year and growing!

Big wireless placed a catch on your unlimited data plan because they can get away with it and because it makes them a lot more money on data over-charges. As a big wireless customer, anytime you use more data than you signed up for, you incur an over-charge. Data over-charges can really add up! Recently an article in PC Magazine discussed how a customer using Verizon’s 4G LTE network could blow through their monthly data cap in 32 minutes!

So what are you supposed to do about all this? First you need to step back and think about how big wireless works. They lure you in with really cool phones with lower than market prices as long as you sign a two year agreement. That’s the first part of their game plan. The second part is to get you paying well over a hundred dollars a month for your service. Finally, they've changed the rules to extract more money from us for all the data we're so hooked on.

Admit it…they got us hooked like a drug addict. But we can still win out! Shop around but not with big wireless. See what other out fits are offering. Is the service national, is it really unlimited talk, text and internet with no catches? Be sure to read the small print! Do they have any incentive programs to help you lower your bill if you get a few friends to also sign up at some point in the future? You may be surprised to find there are options for those that take a little time to explore.

Street Talk

Thanks for the feedback Andy!

  about 9 years ago
Andy Yeo  

Great advice in the last 2 paragraphs, thanks!

  about 9 years ago
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