back to article Verizon sues Alltel over homicidal guinea pig

Little more than two months after forking over one million smackers to settle accusations it was guilty of false advertising, Verizon Wireless has accused one of its biggest competitors of false advertising. On Wednesday, Verizon slapped a federal lawsuit on Alltel Corp., insisting that Alltel is making untrue claims about …


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  2. Mike Street
    Thumb Up

    At Last (but not yet in the UK)

    "When consumers are promised an ‘unlimited’ service, they do not expect the promise to be broken by hidden limitations," said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

    Can someone please hit Ofcom with this particular clue stick?

  3. daniel Bronze badge

    @Mike Street

    Same here in France:

    - SFR "Illimythics" : unlimited service* (*up to 500 mb fair use then we may cut service at our discretion) - After contacting SFR, they have informed me that they - for now - to not check bandwidth use.

    - Orange iPhone data : Unlimited service* (*to maintain optimal service quality to all it's clients, Orange could limit bandwidth after using more than 500mb per month).

    - Bouygues Télécom Unlimited Blackberry Unlimited service* (*To avoid fraudulent use, we have restricted use to 50 mb per month, after which we will invoice 0.0005€ per kb).

    When will someone take thes lying showers of sh*te to court for illegal advertsing?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    AllTel's commercials are pretty compelling, I'd sign up if they had the iPhone

    I have to admit, I like their ad campaign that really shows how spiteful the carriers are to their customers. The only reason I stayed with Sprint over the last few years is because every-time I called to cancel my service, they lowered the price of my plans (unlimited data for $5 a month is hard to resist.) Of course, every time they did that, they tied me to a new 2 year contract, even though they didn't tell me, nor did they have me sign anything (it was just done over the phone, so I couldn't review the contract.)

    Anyway, I'd sign up for AllTel in a minute if they had the iPhone. But I tend to choose my carriers based on hardware anyway. Sprint originally got me with the wonderful Samsung SPH-i500.

    To avoid the lawsuit, they should just put in text at the bottom of the ad, "made in September 2007" therefore claiming that it was only an issue at the time the ad was made. I want Verizon to lose this one.

  5. Chad H.

    what? A regulator with teeth? One who's apathy isn't unlimited?

    hi? Is that the met office? Can I have a weather report for the seventh level of hell? Yes, I'll hold

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Not in Canada either

    Some day ,in a land far far away ,maybe

  7. Anonymous Coward

    "Fair Usage"

    There should be no such thing as a "Fair Usage" policy on UNLIMITED packages. They either are UNLIMITED or they aren't.

    This includes clauses such as "if you are a heavy user, we'll restrict your speed." As that becomes a SPEED LIMITED service and therefore doesn't qualify as UNLIMITED.

    What is it about UNLIMITED don't UK providers (and the ASA, Ofcom) understand?

  8. Mark Breaden

    Verizon____What more can you say

    As far as I know Verizon is the only carrier that blocks USB/Bluetooth file transfers on their phones. (If you look on the Motorola web site to download Motorola Phone Tools <> it has a note at the bottom- "Note: If you are a Verizon customer, all multimedia and Internet connection features in this software will be disabled due to carrier request. Please contact your service provider for further information.")

    This practice forces their customers to either pay outrageous rates for data usage or subscribe to plans with data included, not to mention $2 USD per wallpaper, screensaver, ringtone, etc... Bearing this in mind, as far as I am concerned they can't make ANY claims of unlimited service or customer freedom. As far as the contract extension deal- like a little kid, one kid got something, so the other kid follows suit and makes a big deal of it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hands up who thought Ofcom was independent?

    Most of the people at Ofcom are industry insiders who, at some point in their lives will probably want to return to the industry sector they came from.

    Hardly going to rock the boat and never be able to get another job, are they?

    The prerequisite for a job at Ofcom should be, not to have previous links to the industry, then we might get some action and decisions that will favour the consumer and make sense.

  10. fon

    UNLIMITED???? and how do you think YOU can maintain that????

    the problem is the greedy users!

    go on, set up a cafe, promising UNLIMITED pizza for only one standard payment per day...

    it works fine, because most cannot eat that much... until you get those people coming in, that CAN eat 50 pizzas, and then stay there the whole day, using the facilties, and then invite their mates....

    Pretty soon you have to suppy 200 pizzas(for only 4 people!) a day, all at the price you have stated....

    How long will it be before you go bust??? or will you try to reduce the quality of pizzas, limit the number of pizzas per day, say your offer only applies to very basic pizzas (so the 'normal' customer does not complain about the quality, or just stays away..)

    does this scenario seem familiar???

  11. Alan Donaly

    OK I saw the commercial

    but I never heard anyone say anything about Verizon doing anything in particular what are they basing this on.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Crap technology

    The cells can only handle about 20 people at full speed downloading. Bandwidth costs about 5 cents a Gigabyte from a Tier 1 provider inclduing hardware in a colo.

    The mobile companies have to make as much as possible from each customer without destroying the service. That's why it costs a 50 grand to download a TV show on these things.

  13. Mark Breaden


    Who isn't greedy? I'll be the first to admit it, I am greedy. If I buy a product, I want full access to it. If I pay $5 for an all-you-can-eat buffet, I want to eat all I can. The point is this: Multi-Billion dollar companies do not just set a service and make promises out of the blue. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, go into market research.

    Sure, if you go open a pizza parlor and offer unlimited pizza for a set price each day you are going to go bust. But if you do the research first and crunch the numbers, you will be able to offer the service in a manner that will make you money. So don't think for a second these big companies do anything without knowing what they are getting into and a good idea of the outcome.

    Rest assured that they are not there to help you. In the end the only concern of the company is the bottom line. ($$$) Don't get me wrong, no one can offer a service and not make money. But there should be limits. For example:

    Go to Best Buy or another store like it. Buy a Micro SD 2GB memory card. It will cost you about $45. Go to and you can buy the same thing WITH a USB Card reader for $15. Both companies are making money off it. Where is the greed here?

    So in summary, yes Users are certainly greedy. But no more so than the corperation who provide the service. Perhaps some users need to pay more attention to the fine print. Maybe the corperations should make the fine print larger and easier to find. Bottom Line--- Everyone is GREEDY, User and Corperation alike.

  14. Duncan Lundie


    the problem is the greedy users!

    How dare they expect to receive what was advertised! Here's a simple solution to the probelm of "Greedy Users": Don't offer "unlimited" packages. State up front, and in plain english, what the package provides. End of problem.

  15. Matt

    @Duncan Lundie

    Nail on the head mate!

  16. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Is lying in an advert illegal then?

    If it is, there must be a pretty narrow definition of "lie". There must be exemptions for anything that is merely shown rather than stated, anything that is merely a logical consequence (however inevitable) of something that is stated, and anything that a sufficiently well-informed person would know *couldn't* be true and must therefore be a joke (however unfunny and even if most people aren't so well-informed). Merely being false or overwhelmingly likely to mislead doesn't seem to cut it.

  17. Matthew


    1. Pizza Hut seem to be doing alright on their all-you-can-eat lunches. Some customers eat more than they pay and some don't.

    2. If you can't deliver on unlimited don't offer unlimited.

  18. steve
    Thumb Up

    @Duncan Lundie

    I'll add my "well spoken, sir!" to Matt's "Nail on the head mate!"

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