back to article T-Mobile imposes swingeing cuts on fair use data limits

T-Mobile UK is cutting "fair use" data limits on Feb 1 from up to 3GB to 500MB and has sparked furious complaints from customers, who were told by text today of the move. T-Mobile customers on "unlimited" Android monthly data contracts who contacted The Reg were particularly aggrieved. Most were aware that the fair use policy …

COMMENTS

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Ye asked for it, ye got it!

    Big boys at it again. Will get worse when Orange (part of the same setup) starts mirroring .

    Alas, tis all about money, just when mobile data usage is scheduled to explode! Sucker punch, guys.

    Time to move to 3 Network.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Unfair contract term ...

    be interested to see if a court struck out the clause as unfair ...

    1. Puck
      Thumb Up

      re: unfair contract term

      ah, the beauty of the UTCCR!

  3. pinkllama

    rubbish

    i have just sent this to t-mobile via a web form on their help and support page.

    feel free to copy and paste/change it for your own use.

    dear sir/madam, i have just received a text message from yourselves stating that my internet FUP is being reduced from 3gb to 500mb. i am deeply unhappy about this and feel that you are in breach of contract.

    i have phoned your customer services and contacted yourselves via twitter and the response has been that the internet is an additional service provided to myself that can be changed by yourselves with 30 days notice.

    could you please show me;

    1.where in my contract it states that the internet is an additional service?

    2. where in my contract it states that my call/sms allowance is not an additional service. 3. could you also tell me, if you need to give 30 days notice of any changes to my additional services, you can send a text on the 10th of jan and change the service on the 2nd of feb?

    i would wish that both my contracts with yourselves are cancelled with no further charges to my account and PAC's are supplied to myself.

  4. Alastair McFarlane
    Unhappy

    No one told me...

    As a T-mobile customer, no one has told me of this impending change which would certainly signal the end of my association with them.

    Where did this story break from? I'd like to see if I'm affected...

  5. Lottie
    WTF?

    Holy Shit!!

    I know that there's a "may vary" clause, but Damn! I'd be demanding a monthly refund or an early end to the contract.

    They MAY change the terms and conditions, but surely there's something stopping them from making such crazy cuts. It's rather unfair that the company can change what they offer for the money each month, but the consumer has no such freedom.

    And the response about using your home internet if you want to use your smartphone for, y'know the stuff it was advertised as doing!! THe Cheek!

    What next? reducing the number of minutes you get to 10 and saying that if you REALLY want to chat for a long time, use your landline?

  6. A. Lewis
    Thumb Down

    Hmmmm

    Well I was thinking of switching from vodafone to t-mobile when my contract runs out, but now I think I'll reconsider. Not a nice move there t-mobile.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Erm, hang on...

    So as 3 start offering apparently unlimited unlimited access, T-Mobile can't...

    And the share the same masts for 3G....

    1. Andy Barker
      Alert

      perhaps this is the reason?

      Maybe because 3 are making their caps unlimited is why T-Mobile are having to cut theirs?

  8. CaptainHook

    Massive change in contract

    means you can get out of your contract.

  9. nigel 15
    Megaphone

    telling your customers how they should live their lives.

    "If you want to download, stream and watch video clips, save that stuff for your home broadband."

    I love that. telling your customers how they should live their lives.

    as far as i can tell a company with good customers service should provide their customers with the product that meets their needs. not tell their customers how to modify their needs around their product.

    that having been said the FUP sounds pretty reasonable. But i really don't like it when the operators just change their T&C's in the middle of your contract. why they can't make it for new customers only.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Unfair Contracts Terms Act (1977)

    OK, so I'm in a barrack room here, but for "unlimited" customers, I reckon there's a good chance of being able to void the contract.

    The key legal point would be (I think) the definition of "reasonable" - I.E. is 500mb fair use reasonable for an unlimited product.

    To my mind, 3gb for a fair use policy is probably ok, given the nature of the device and the normal "reasonable" use, but unlimited in the context of a 500mb cap seems to push things that bit too far. And whichever clause in the small print they're using here might well be seen as an unfair contract term.

    Either way round, it's a despicable action to vary contracts one in a one sided way without any other options. Compare with O2 (and I'm no fan of them either!) who offered new contracts with a 500mb cap for smart phones, but stood behind existing unlimited tariffs until expiry. A much more sensible approach that provides a degree of fairness to customers that Everything Everywhere seem to think unnecessary...

    If this is to be a pointer to the actions that come from allowing two huge players to merge to claim 40 odd percent of the market it should never have been allowed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you are misreading T-mob intentions

    The intention is to test the water on per-app segregation and move apps like facebook, google, etc into a different pricing category. Then they will charge per app. Just as they originally intended to when the financial models and revenue projections from VAS in 3G and LTE were drawn.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Changes

    Surely the consumer can also play the terms of the contract, if its written right.

    Such a change would be a disadvantage to the user and as it is a substatial change to the original contract, the user should have the option to either accept it or withdraw from it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Its worse than that...

    ... my T-Mobile branded Desire comes with a specific app for viewing YouTube. So T-Mobile gave me the tools to watch YouTube on my phone and now want to spank me if I actually use the app they provided....

  14. nsld
    FAIL

    IANAL but..

    A cut from 3gb to 500mb is a large drop and has to be a significant enough change to make the contract unenforceable.

  15. The Cube
    Stop

    Irrespective of the contract weasel words

    Surely this is a change to the agreed contract which is detrimental to the customer and therefore affected customers should be entitled to simply terminate their service without any exit fee?

    Clearly Twee don't actually have the network capacity they sold (or indeed any useful coverage) and therefore will be glad to see the back of customers who actually use what they purchased...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    That's all folks!

    Now the Mobilcos have got us hooked on data, prepare for tiered pricing.

  17. David Wood
    WTF?

    Owch

    I took out a 24 month contract 1 month ago because they had a 3GB fair usage policy on Android phones (1GB on other phones)!

    That's an 83% reduction!

  18. Mike Ball
    Thumb Down

    You've GOT to save it for home broadband?

    .... or you have to pay more to do it? Not clear from the T-Mobile statement after the link..

  19. Gordon861

    Phone Support

    It appears that T-Mobile are being swamped by people complaining about this change. When you phone 150 to get their customer services you get, the T-Mobile jingle followed by "Sorry, we are unable to transfer your call, sending you back to the main menu" which then just repeats until you hang up as it is transferring to itself over and over.

    From the T-Mobile forums

    http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/discussions/index?page=forums&topic=8010380bff24f8012d6da8429f007d13

    http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/discussions/index?page=forums&topic=8010380bff24f8012d6da8429f007cec

  20. Imorital
    Unhappy

    Are you kidding me?!!!

    Is it April fools day already?

    I'm 2 months into a 2 year contract taken mainly for the 3GB data cap. Angry doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling at the moment. I feel like I've been ripped off.

    I was planning on moving my girlfriend over to T-Mobile, they can kiss that one goodbye.

  21. shade82000
    FAIL

    I was told nothing

    My contract has just come to and end and I called them only yesterday morning to move to a cheaper package, because I like to take a couple of months to check out new phones before I go back on contract.

    The guy on the phone said that my new plan was 300 mins, 300 texts & 1GB data. No mention at all that the fair use limit would be lowered. I know it's not his personal fault but I feel like they have been dishonest in not telling me. I may have signed up to a new contract yesterday but luckily I didn't.

    Luckily, it's the end of my contract and I will probably change to a different provider.

    Not a good move TM.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the parlance of the American youth, bump 'em - bump 'em right in the ear!

    As a current T-mobile customer I'm kind of glad that I was already planning on leaving their network in the next few weeks; why is it that UK telcos are so daft in their approach to dataplans for smartphones?

  23. MrT

    What text...?

    Are they just texting people who go over that limit? Or everyone who signed up for a 3GB/month limit? Either way, I haven't had mine yet...

    This will be to bring them down to be in line with Orange - so there's the answer to all those who wondered what 'benefits' the creation of Everything Everywhere** would bring... firstly this claw-back to the lowest common denominator, next will no doubt be stupid animal plan names and then T-Mobile's customer service will suddenly turn into a steaming heap. But hey, the future's bright...

    ** just not the big things. And not in all physical locations.

  24. Wang N Staines

    Evil parent

    I see the hand of the evil parent at work.

  25. Robert E A Harvey

    inevitable

    I never trusted this mobile internut idea. They hopelessly over-sold what wap could do, then a few years later tried to cash in on a bit of unused bandwidth. That sold, rather to the telcos surprise, so they exploited it as a new cash bonanza. Did they build a matching infrastructure? did they bollox.

    When people tried to achieve what they had been sold, the telcos - who already have the cash, just withdrew the service.

    Same sort of scam as adsl, but with even less chance to deliver.

  26. MarkOne
    Stop

    Bait and Switch

    You don't have to delve into any small print. This practice is illegal in the UK, it's called "Bait and Switch".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bait-and-switch

  27. Martyn Ranyard
    FAIL

    seriously?

    So, this is in response to 3 throwing fair use away? Makes me wonder if they're trying to kill T-mobile and stick only with the Orange brand.

  28. Steven Raith
    FAIL

    Negotiation time...

    My contract comes up for renewal soon. Guess what I'll be using as a bargaining chip to either seriously reduce my monthly bill, or get a much better voice/text package or handset 'in exchange' for this cut to 1/6th of my previous data allowance.

    Cheeky sods.

    Steven R

    NB: Cell coverage and quality in North Yorks seems to be much of a muchness - so changing network probably isn't worth the bother.

  29. copsewood
    Flame

    How not to build trust

    I looked carefully at the T-Mobile and 3 data contracts a few weeks ago when I needed a 3G data service for my new Droid. T-Mobile appeared to be offering more data but I'm glad I went for 3, reason being that 3 are not so stupid and arrogant as to tell you what you can't do with it (i.e. you are not allowed to tether).

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. Michael Jennings

    I blame the French

    Although the T-Mobile/Orange merger was supposedly "a merger of equals", like virtually all mergers it was really about one partner taking over the other, ie Orange taking over T-Mobile, ie the French buying out the Germans.

    Now we are seeing Orange/France Telecom's legendary customer service coming through.

    Yes, I have a T-Mobile contract. Yes, I chose them because of the generous data allowance. Yes, I am pissed off by this.

    1. Test Man
      FAIL

      So am I

      I recently told T-Mobile that I wanted to move to Vodafone. They proceeded to throw every deal and the kitchen sink to get me to stay. It's a bit annoying to see them 2 months later decide to reduce their cap drastically. :(

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Megaphone

      Tethering

      Does anyone actually take any notice of that clause? My mobile data allowance pretty much goes 100% on a tethered connection to my laptop. Can the network operator even tell the difference between using a laptop to browse and the phone's own browser?

      1. copsewood
        Linux

        take notice of tethering ?

        "Does anyone actually take any notice ..." Yes I did, and never with any intention of following it. But the anti-tethering clause did cause the loss of trust, now clearly justified by the data cap reduction, which had already resulted in my going elsewhere.

        "Can the network operator even tell the difference between using a laptop to browse and the phone's own browser?"

        In most cases yes, if they are willing to inspect and pattern match the HTTP (and other protocol) packet request headers sent by the client software, where laptop network client programs will identify themselves differently from mobile phone clients which do the same kind of job. Smart and knowledgeable users will be able to disguise this evidence of course e.g. by configuring browser options and using VPNs, but most users won't be bothered to do this.

        What seems likely to have happened is this: The marketing guys asked the technical guys, "can we tell the difference if we have to" and the technical guys said "yes". But push would have came to shove due to more rapid growth than predicted in oversold data use and evidence of this being down to widespread tethering. So it's likely the technical guys were then asked to quantify the costs of filtering and active traffic management, and the extent to which customers would be pissed off if tethered traffic were to be limited. The marketing guys would have then chickened out and decided (possibly wrongly) that reducing caps would be less painful than using technical measures against (most) tethering. The technical guys would probably have advised the marketing guys that if technical measures were to be implemented against tethering that these would be bypassed in relatively short order by users learning how to disguise and conceal tethered traffic.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      @TOK-0

      Your first post is very revealing, Shill much?

      I wish the paid PR shills would fuck right off.

    4. Ministry of Truth
      Thumb Down

      Fuckin' Shills

      I'm a long term T-Mobile user, and I'll be leaving them the second my contract expires.

      The network merger with Orange has been an abortion.

      Service and coverage is crap and not a patch on what it used to be.

      TBH I'd be staggered if anyone could even manage to get 3GB of download in a month from the constantly dropping and slow 3G service offered by t-mobile.

      "Why should I have to wait for my email because everyone else around me is streaming video from the 'net?" - when I've paid a premium for my data usage, why should I have to wait cause this service has been over subscribed?

    5. Da Weezil

      No astroturf please

      Possibly as T mobile has been happily flogging phones with stuff like apps for you tube etc. You cant seriously sell handsets with apps installed and then castigate your user base for actually using them! I'm not a customer of this network, and never will be if this is a sample of the way this stupidly named shower is going to be run - My options for the future just reduced by one - well 2 if you look at the merger.

      I would also be looking to exit without penalty given that smart phones are sold as web enabled units which require a data bundle for part of the basic operation as much of the reason for ownership (over a "dumb phone) and as such this will be a significant disadvantage to the customers affected. I guess they are counting on not many being aware of the ability/cant be bothered to challenge the contract in relation to this significant disadvantage. I dont think the "web is an added bonus" B/S will fly for a contract sold on a smart phone. Its part and parcel of what it does.

      Personally I hope shed loads of customers walk. In terms of allowing a significant market share to fall into the hands of one company via a merger it looks as if Ofcom have again presided over stitch up of the UK consumer and should be disbanded and replaced by a proper regulator rather than a friend of the industry

    6. copsewood
      Linux

      That's why I own my phone

      It stops them from selling me something and then changing the terms defining what was sold. Matter of principle. I'm on a rolling one month contract having bought my phone outright as PAYG.

  32. Bassey

    I'll be cutting up mine then

    When I visit the UK I've always used a T-Mobile SIM because their data rates are the best. Looks like I'll be cutting up my SIM card and getting either a GiffGaff or a "3" SIM instead.

  33. Avatar of They
    Thumb Down

    Haven't had the text but will be having an argument with them if they do.

    Hmmm.... Only reason they kept me as a customer was the unlimited data use they offered me. After constant annoyances with MMS messages. ( I get five copies for everyone sent to me) and rather dreadful reception where I live or visit.

    Not that I use my 'data' tariff as the reception is poor, can't usually get 3G and rarely get anything practical for web browsing and so rely on my wireless connection to do my app downloads and updates.

    Still to be expected as the infrastructure cross over with Orange and T-mobile will no doubt be in need of a shrink and that means a cut in capacity for customers?

  34. Whitter
    Thumb Down

    The real problem of long-term contracts appears

    No doubt it is within their T&Cs, but I'd also assume that such a big change is enough to allow cancellation of contract if you so desire - the question then is: who has ownership of the phone? I imagine them if their small-print writers are any good. But would the small print hold up if challenged would be the thing? Is it reasonable is always the thing lawyers love to argue over, at huge cost to everyone else.

  35. bob 46

    500MB not enough

    My home broadband is pants as I live out in the sticks, so I use my phone a lot for streaming / downloading. Unfortuantely I'm tied into another 18mths. Last time I'll do that. Hope lots of customers vote with their feet so t-mobile are forced to change this policy

  36. hugh
    FAIL

    I left Orange to get away from this BS

    ....

    Not got a text though.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not enough

    500MB is just not enough... I use around 250MB per month (According to my bills) but I use WIFI at home and work and rarely stream media elsewhere. So that is purely the amount used for syncing my email, FB, news, weather and that kinda stuff when I'm not at home or at work (which is most of the time!).

    So 500MB is hardly *fair* usage for those not covered by WIFI the majority of the time! Should be at least 1GB.

  38. nichomach
    FAIL

    And that ends any chance...

    ...that I might have moved to T any time soon.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Not the only thing they changed.

    Spent all of Saurday morning trying to determine why I couldn't send mail from my laptop from my T-Mobile Broadband.

    In the end determined that they had blocked the SMTP port 25 for "unauthenticated SMTP" and they were aborting the connection after the initial protocol handshake - perhaps some form of deep packet inspection a la. Phorm?

    http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/help-and-support/index?page=support&cat=MOBILE_BROADBAND_HELP&tab=0&id=FA1256

    T-Mobile: Fair use subject to them making it up as they go along.

  40. Gangsta
    Megaphone

    legal

    "subject to change" rights, outlined in the contract small-print, to reduce fair usage down to 500MB.

    Is that legal?

    To change a contract once signed?

    Orange did this a while back and customers invoked their right to cancel- does this mean I can cancel the contract for my Desire HD signed last week and keep the phone? hmmmmmmmmm? - probably not.

    I just signed a 1GB data contract last week - is this affected? (Web n Walk)

  41. Fogcat
    Unhappy

    Recommendations

    So as my Android contract with T-mobile expires in about 4 weeks who would the commentards recommend as a carrier? It seems that they are all as bad as each other?

  42. Gordon861

    Not heard yet

    I'm on T-Mobile, running a HTC Desire and not been sent the text yet.

    I believe that with such a major change to their T&Cs you can just use this opportunity to 'reject the new terms' and take your phone and number to a new provider with zero need to buyout the remainder of the contract.

    This is how people got out of the old Screaming.Net and WorldOnline ISP contracts a few years back.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Doesn't work the other way.....

    I'm sure they wouldn't be too impressed if I phoned up and told them from next month I'll only be paying 1/6th of my current monthly charge.

  44. GrumpyJoe
    Thumb Down

    I'm sure a number here will argue

    That this is a change to the TOS and a contract-breaker - but is that the case? Has this kinda 'we can change the contract at any time' stuff held up in court? ANy change would have to be agreed first by both parties surely?

  45. Karnka

    title etc

    There goes the last reason I was staying with T-Mobile. :/

  46. zaax
    FAIL

    Change - I did.

    'subject to change' in the contact voids the contract.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    One-Way contracts.

    Clearly T-Mobile are in breach of their contract terms, and anyone can thus use this as a reason for early contract termination.

    Someone want to tell them a contract works BOTH ways, as clearly they didn't read MY small print....

  48. Titus Aduxass
    Unhappy

    Changing "fair use" limits just *after* you've signed up to a 24 month contract...

    ...what's fair about that?

    1. Kevin Reader
      Alien

      Its getting hard to find good ones...

      As someone else said best deals are likely to be GiffGaff with a GoodyBag (their name for bundles), or Three.

      (( Although compared to this new t-mobile restriction even Virgin sim-only at £15pm or their £5 bolt on will give you 1GB. ))

    2. Bill 2
      Thumb Up

      Mr Smug from Smuggingham Terrace, Smugshire

      Just got an Orange San Francisco for xmas. Unlocking it to any network took about 30 seconds by searching google, debranding the Orange crap and putting Froyo on it took about an hour (I am slow).

      Its a fantastic phone - even though I didnt manage to get an AMOLED one (they have changed them to LCD screens now) and I have a giff gaff sim card in there where I pay £10 pm for unlimited internet, 250 minutes and (cant remember how many) texts.

      Happy and smug.

    3. Gangsta
      Thumb Down

      Fellow Commentards

      My Fellow El Reg Commentards,

      Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion - by reading these posts and T-Mobile's reactions,

      that I will not be eligible to a breach in terms of contract as my Internet Plan IS offered as an additional service through a flexible booster.

      I am very angry about the cutdown - especially as I have an Android Phone; 500MB is not enough - in the 1 week I had my Android phone I used over 120MB - very tight.

      500MB was OK when I had a Windows Mobile phone on Orange (used about 60MB per month).

      Unfortunately I am stuck in this contract for 23 more months without the right to cancel- please tell me I'm wrong.

    4. Gangsta
      Welcome

      IANA IP L but

      If I were you- I'd get some ownership of that phrase; I can see a Mobile Phone operator making brilliant use of that phrase.

    5. The Jase

      Owner

      They broke the contract. You are the owner of the phone. Its how I got to keep my HTC Kaiser. Three changed their T's and C's (again) and this the contract was void.

    6. Terry 13
      FAIL

      You can leave free of penalty and keep your phone

      Yes you can. The phone is yours to keep.

      T-mobile is in breach of contract law, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations, its own Terms and Conditions (30 days notice - not - epic fail), and Condition 9.3 of its General Licence from OFCOM under the Telecoms Act.

      You don't need its permission to leave - it is your right. Just tell T-mobile to stuff it.

      I did this last time T-mobile tried this, took them to court and won. I kept my phone and collected a cheque for £430.

      T-mobile's behaviour is as unreasonable as you deciding you will pay 1/6 the amount each month. And a judge will see it that way too.

    7. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      RE: who has ownership of the phone?

      Simple, if the phone was sold to you, then YOU own it. If they claim part or whole ownership then it becomes a rental or hire purchase agreement - which would have required certain legally specified things to have been done. AFAIK, none of the mobile contracts meet the requirements.

      The ONLY thing the company can "have you" for is breaking the contract that says you'll buy their services to 2 years (or whatever). But, as already stated several times, they are making a significant change to the contract which is detrimental to you - and therefore you are legally entitled to pull out of the contract.

      All you have to do is tell them that you consider their contract term change to be both "significant" and "detrimental to you", and that you are therefore cancelling the contract. YOU are in the right here, so let them squirm, waste their time trying to 'upgrade' you to stay etc. You are entitled to terminate the contract, and you are entitled to a PAC and take your number to another operator.

      They are NOT entitled to any compensation or early termination penalty for this as THEY have changed the terms. Now are they entitled to ask for the phone back.

      The "magic words" are the Sale of Goods and Services Act and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. Look them up, once they realise you know your rights, they will back down as they know they will lose.

      If they are a pain, they are members of CISAS (http://www.cisas.org.uk/) and it's free (to you, it costs the company) to take a complaint there. What's more, unlike when I had a complaint with Orange, the company can no longer block you making a complaint by refusing to issue a deadlock letter.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Oops, typo !

        That should say "Nor are they entitled to ask for the phone back."

  49. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Not really surprising.

    Most mast contention and inadequate backhaul always meant this was on the cards. Backhaul can be upgraded but it's expensive. Mast contention can only be addressed by building more masts and that's very expensive and subject to the vagaries and hassle of planning permission.

    I think the way T-Mobile has handled it is poor but that's telcos for you. I think the article title says it all.

    Unfortunately T-Mobile are right about one thing:Mobile broadband does not support heavy usage. Browse on the move, email on the move. Facebook on the move. Sure. But running a wireless connection flat out for lengthy periods of time is always going to be a problem.

  50. Bill Cumming
    Stop

    Check the fine print for the get out clause:

    If you go over the 500Mb limit will it cost you or have an adverse effect on your usage?

    Or

    Did you not get sufficient notice of "change of terms and conditions"

    If so then you might have a get out clause:

    http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/resources/sites/TMOBILE/content/live/DOCUMENTS/0/DO117/en_GB/36014777_Online_TCs_v1.pdf

    2.11.2. If You are a Consumer and the change is of material

    detriment to You, We will send You Written Notice 30 days

    before the terms and conditions are due to change. The

    new terms and conditions will apply to You once that

    notice has run out, unless You terminate Your Agreement

    with Us within that notice period. If You do this You won’t

    have to pay any Cancellation Charge that would otherwise

    apply, see point 7.2.3.2.

  51. Kevin Reader
    Flame

    They've been selling with this allowance as a key feature...

    It is impossible to see the Internet Provision as a mere addendum to the two year contract when the advertising of their internet enabled, and especially android, phone contracts makes a huge play on the included internet!

    I was looking at phone contracts and bargains/deal heavily over the past few weeks and a key selling point of the _direct_ t-mobile contracts was that they gave you 3GB on a android phone (or 1GB on some others) INCLUDED in the contract price. Plus the agreed minutes/texts, and Plus one other EXTRA (such as unlimited texts). This made their direct contracts about £5pm cheaper than those from resellers AND on the better phones gave you a 3GB FUP instead of a 1GB FUP. Indeed that FUP is still here: http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/services/uk/fairuse/?WT.mc_id=fup#fup2

    While they did not define the limits on the sales page the FUP was unusually clear about things, and you were encouraged to read it. That to my mind makes the FUP an important part of the contract, and one would not expect it to be reduced to 1/6th of its prior value during the contract on a mere 30 days notice. Especially if anyone bought their 2 year contract in the last month. Bait and switch indeed. That's like selling you an annual train ticket and then cancelling most of the trains.

    They are trying to rely on the Internet Plus bundle being an "Additional Service" as defined in their term: " an optional/extra Service which can be added to Your Account, the Charges and terms and conditions for which are set out in..." They may not get away with this since the Internet Plus booster is not 'buyable', and is really a fundamental part of those contracts. You can only remove it and they warn you of your terrible fate if you do.

    As another commentator said this may well be the fruity Orange, wagging the t-mobile dog. I had previously been shocked at _how low_ orange's FUP was with many contracts only receiving 250MB/month. An android or apple phone might eat that in days, or hours!

    And remember that any above contract usage is charged by almost all the phone companies at an outlandish rate often higher than their PAYG! Even phone minutes, let alone mobile internet. T-mobile's fup actually implies that they will block or throttle net use ("If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won't charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your plan, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much"). Most switch to charging 60p-102p per day (with another FUP) or even something high per MB.

    Just confirmed (8.47pm 10th January 2010) and they are still marketing the bundled "internet Plus" with 3GB FUP. I wonder if perhaps they are targeting those who are "out of contract" with this new term.... Or they are targeting business users relying on this:

    "2.11.1. If You are a Consumer and the change of terms and

    conditions is not of material detriment to You or You are

    not a Consumer, We will send You Written Notice 30 days

    before the terms and conditions are due to change. The

    new terms and conditions will automatically apply to You

    once that notice has run out.

    2.11.2. If You are a Consumer and the change is of material

    detriment to You, We will send You Written Notice 30 days

    before the terms and conditions are due to change. The

    new terms and conditions will apply to You once that

    notice has run out, unless You terminate Your Agreement

    with Us within that notice period. If You do this You won’t

    have to pay any Cancellation Charge that would otherwise

    apply, see point 7.2.3.2."

    (Sorry that's so long. So relieved we didn't take a new contract now!).

  52. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    The magic words are...

    Office of Fair Trading.

    If T-Mobile argue about you canceling your contract immediately, that will shut them up - I know I used it against Telewest some years back when they tried a similar stunt with land-line charges.

  53. David Wood

    Fingers crossed

    They haven't changed the website yet, it still says 3GB if you signed up with an andriod phone. I haven't had a text so perhaps i'll be ok. Fingers crossed!

    www.t-mobile.co.uk/services/uk/fairuse/?WT.mc_id=fup#fup2

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    For Android contracts, data is a Price Plan Service not an Additonal Service

    Your contract’s clause 1, “Definitions”, defines Price Plan Service as a Service included in your price plan, and an Additional Service as an optional extra Service that can be added to your account. Since data with Android is not optional and is always included, by definition in your Android contract data is a Price Plan Service and not an Additional Service – it is as core a service as telephony or SMS.

    You need to write to T-Mobile within 14 days and inform them that you are cancelling your contract without notice under clauses 2.11.2 and 7.2.3.2 of your contract due to this detrimental material change of the core data Price Plan Service. The law is on your side, so ignore any attempt on T-Mobile’s part to tell you otherwise. Remember to demand your PAC code so that you can take your number to another network.

    You should also express your absolute disgust to T-Mobile’s managing director Richard Moat at MDTMOB@t-mobile.co.uk – whilst this merely bounces a “we will investigate your complaint” email, you should nevertheless instigate this immediately.

    Remember that even if T-Mobile changes its mind before 1st February and restores our data allowances, as long as you have given notice to cancel your contract before they do so, you are still released from your contract. So you should act as soon as possible.

    More details at http://twitter.com/#!/LFT_Android/status/24583632232386561

  55. En_croute
    WTF?

    No text, no contract.

    1. I have not had "the text"

    2. I have a WinMo (6.5) HD2, out of contract as of 31st December

    3. According to SPB Wireless, my HD2 used a whopping 418.7mb for "System" last month.

    4. I'm sure Desire HD won't require so much data, but 3 seems the way to go.

    Sean

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Fair Today - Unfair tomorrow

    How can something be fair one day and not the next?

    ratbags - the lot of em!

  57. LeBeourfCurtaine
    Paris Hilton

    Avast!

    As a customer for 3 and a half years I was pleasantly surprised when I was offered a good package and a free upgrade to a shiny new smartphone, especially the 3GB limit which I was assured 'isn't billed for if you go over'. Signed up to it at then end of last year and am still waiting for the 'phone to be delivered!! This latest news from the provinces is not welcome >:o(

    Now might be time to jump ship me hearties...

    Paris - for the shame of it all.

  58. Pete 43
    Thumb Down

    Massive HARUMPH!! from me

    Like many others, the 3gb was a major factor in choosing TMob, my contract expires in April (assuming I can't get out early)

  59. i_am_anonymous
    FAIL

    Contract breaker

    As others have mentioned, a change in T&C effectively breaks the contract. Whilst they can have a clause saying we have the right to change conditions, which they can, if it isn't accepted by the customer then there is no contract anymore.

    Most people don't understand contract law and just go with it. If you don't like it, cancel and go elsewhere. There can be no cancellation fee as this would relate the old (now broken) contract. You can't keep the bits you want and impose new conditions without agreement otherwise I'll show you how to become a gazzillionaire with a simple legal contract...!

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Get out now

    Want out of T-Mobile, but found contract is bias in favour of T-Mobile? Your ticket out would be the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I think we are just stuffed

    The way T-Mobile have gone about this stinks but they will argue that they are just falling into line with the other major players - Vodafone and O2 both seem to have settled on a 500MB pcm data limit for smartphones.

    So the 3(4) big telecos are all offering the same the exact data limit which smacks of a cartel to me.

    I guess 3 is the best bet with its One or SIM600 plans or GiffGaff, but the latter means using O2's network and even their small print forbids tethering. And of course this assumes you don't need a handset.

    Perhaps T-M's 3GB FUP was too good to last and at least they aren't charging more if you go over. To be honest I hardly ever stream video or download files to my Desire so at the end of the day even though this has pissed me off massively as a T-M customer of 4 years standing (I left Orange when France Telecom screwed it up!) this change won't have any real impact of how I use my handset.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Hmmmmmmm

    I've been looking to upgrade my aging smartphone for a while and to find Tmobile's new fair use limit is LOWER than I currently have on web'n'walk, on a mandatory contract if you buy a smartphone through them pretty much guarantees they've lost my custom.

    The funny thing is when I rang to find out the contract FUP limits I was repeatedly assured by phone droids that there was no limit at all on the unlimited acounts and no FUP. What a pity I didn't record it....

  63. blcollier

    No cap for me...

    I have an HTC Desire on a 2 year contract with web'n'walk plus as part of my contract (with a 3Gb cap). I did not get 'the text'.

    I spoke to a rep this morning who advised that the 500Mb cap will only affect iPhone plans, and my plan will not be affected. I'll be calling again later in the day to verify this with someone else - just to be sure.

    Otherwise, follow the advice posted above: their own contract terms give you the right to cancel at no charge.

  64. Donald Matheson
    Thumb Down

    Been out of contract for quite some time

    I've been out of contract with them for quite some time but am on the older flext and web and walk style contracts where the mobile internet (3gb with tethering) was an optional extra that I pay for so I'm guessing I may dodge this one - certainly haven't received any text from them. This limit/facility is important to me as it acts as an emergency back up for when the ADSL occasionally goes tits up (I work from home so having a backup is important). The only reason I hadn't signed up for a new term yet was purely because of t-mobile's ineptitude regarding stocking of new handsets and their inability to call me when said stock was received. I wasn't falling for that "sign up now and we'll send out the phone when we get them" line. They were quite keen to get me off the contract I'm on when I was speaking to them about upgrading.

    I'm also fortunate enough to have a friends and family discount so am loathe to switch providers as I won't get a deal as good as this anywhere else. Although this behaviour (which I was afraid of since the merger/takeover) doesn't instill much confidence in me sticking with them. I moved from Orange precisely because of their crappy data limits and that influence appears to now be taking hold.

  65. Richard Lloyd
    FAIL

    7 minutes and 30 seconds per month

    If you could max out your 3G T-Mobile connection at 7.2Mbit/s (highly unlikely - who ever gets that?), then their monthly limit would be exhausted in 7 minutes and 30 seconds! So there's no chance of streaming a high-def movie to your phone via T-Mobile any more then...

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does not apply to me?

    Their contract states that changes will be communicated to the other party 30 days before those changes come into effect. That date was 2nd Jan. I haven't received notification yet, so they can't change my cap without breaching contract.

    Then again, they can't change my cap anyway as that is a breach of contract (see Anon == Little Fluffy Toys post 11/01/2011 00:30)

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Android 3Gb limit "should be ok"

    I have just had on online chat with customer services which went:

    You are about to be connected to a new connection sales advisor for T-Mobile UK. ..................

    You are now connected with Emma.

    Emma: Hi there, my name is Emma. I am part of the dedicated T-Mobile Online Sales Team. How can I help you with your new order?

    Emma: Hi Fred

    Emma: How are you?

    Fred: Is the 3Gb limit on internet use on android phones still valid?

    Emma: Yes it is

    Fred: until when? is it due to change?

    Emma: I am sorry yet we have no intimation received about it

    Emma: it is 3GB a month, you need not worry

    Fred: Thank you!

    The names have been changed, but that's all......so why not release a press statement saying the above or is the above all lies????

    But if the above is correct I am very glad, as it means I do not have to battle to get out of the contract.....as the 3gb limit was the MAJOR factor in the choice!

  68. poonab

    w'n'w+

    i can confirm t-mobile have also told me that if you pay for the web'n'walk plus add-on. then your FUP wont be affected

    1. Gordon861

      On Phone Now

      Talking to T-Mobile on phone right now and they say that the 'plus' contracts are affected.

      Trying to get code to leave now.

  69. Gordon861

    Last Time T-Mobile Changed T&Cs

    Just found this post from October 2009 when T-Mobile last played silly buggers with the T&Cs, should be good ammo for this time

    http://www.bitterwallet.com/ofcom-back-consumers-right-to-cancel-t-mobile-contract-but-did-t-mobile-contact-you/20352

    Get out there and spank T-Mobile!

  70. Steve 154

    If they invested in their infrastructure...

    All the networks are guilty of not upgrading their infrastructure to cope with all the new connections being sold (be it phones or USB dongles). Now the infrastructure cannot cope and their only option is to limit the services their customers are paying a lot of money for.

    Can you imagine energy companies doing the same? Actually, I had better not joke about that, in a few years time we won't have the means to produce all the electrical power we need. Dark times ahead, literally.

  71. Steve King
    Unhappy

    Clarity...

    Now I'm really confused.

    I got through to 'Leaving T-Mobile' about an hour after you posted the story and politely (but forcably) made my point that as I had chosen to renew last summer primarially because of the 3gb FUP, and I had not been told then that streaming video etc was not allowed, I was very unhappy.

    The woman at their end put me on hold to 'speak to her supervisor' and then said that ALL contracts were being capped at 500mb.

    This is different to the experience others have had above.

    I said that I felt this was unacceptable, and she offered a £5/month reduction on my contract cost. Not much compared to being able to break the contract and keep the phone, but it is something I suppose.

    Oh... and she didn't confirm it anyway, so who knows what will happen!

  72. Gordon861

    Latest?

    Ok just got off phone with T-Mobile after 50mins.

    Phillipines: ALL internet contracts are affected by the new changes from Feb 2011.

    Me: OK then I reject the changes to the T&Cs and therefore you leave me no choice but to leave T-Mobile, please give me the PAK code.

    Phillipines then put me on hold.

    Glasgow: I was told something about this yesturday, let me get the FAQ. Reads through FAQ to me, yes Android Web'n'Walk Plus customers are also included, and it states that customers cannot end their contract due to changes.

    Me: UK law says differently and in 2009 OFCOM also found against T-Mobile when they messed with the T&Cs. So I have to request my PAK code then.

    Glasgow: I cannot give you the code without generating a charge, I will talk to my manager.

    Few minutes later,

    Glasgow: My manager has spoken to Technical and they state that Android WnW+ aren't included in the change after all.

    Me: Could you (or her) send me an email stating that I can keep my 3gb limit?

    He goes back to manager again for a few minutes,

    Glasgow: My manager has been told that they cannot send out an email as legal are now looking into sending out some form of clarification about exactly what the changes are. He will call or email me today.

    It looks like this change has been rushed through and no one has bothered to spell out clearly who is/isn't affected by it. I cannot faullt the guy at the Glasgow call centre, he was polite and helpful as much as he could be. It's just that the main company seemed to just not bother making it clear what's happening.

  73. There's a bee in my bot net

    PAC Code in hand Giff Gaff sims in the post

    Just got off the phone after talking to a pot noodle miner who works for T-Mobile.

    He assured me that the changes wouldn't affect my connection "you won't see any changes to be honest". When quizzed about the effect the download & streaming restrictions after 500MB would have on Spotify (p2p & streaming) and also on RDP, VNC and SSH he still insisted it wouldn't have any affect and that I should do that from home as 'that's what most people do anyway" and "people don't really watch videos or telly on their mobiles"

    He also said that the plus bolt on would be restricted at 1GB and the standard internet bolt on @ 500MB though I'm not sure I believe him after some of the uninformed comments. As the notifications don't say anything like that.

    http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/help-and-support/index?page=home&cat=DATA_CHANGES

    http://support.t-mobile.co.uk/discussions/index?page=forums&topic=801038d04a790012d528dce9d0057cf

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Huh

      People DO watch videos on their mobiles, especially as the ads for the handsets are all about watching videos / Skypeing / other data-hungry apps.

      Telling people that they should use SSH from home is deserving of a slap

      Even with the plus bolt-on (at extra cost) you can burn through the cap in no time (and is a loss of 66% capacity instead of 83%, not worth it)

      Aside: any company putting crap onto your credit record can be sued for defamation of character and libel. Non-payment additions are there for when there is non-payment, not for when a customer tells you to get stuffed.

  74. Michael Wood

    The Law

    I am pretty sure the law is roughly as follows. Any change to your contract which would cause material/financial detriment means you have the right to cancel your contract.

    If you are barely using 100mb each month, this change is not going to have any affect on you. If on the other hand you frequently exceed 500mb a month then this is either going to cost you extra and hence cause you financial detriment.

    Be weary though, if you cancel your direct debit T-Mobile can file a non payment which can be a pain to get off your credit report. Not the worst thing in the world - but something to consider.

    1. The Jase

      blah, blah, blah, yackity schmackity

      "If you are barely using 100mb each month, this change is not going to have any affect on you."

      Not any immediate affect, but it could be a detriment in the future, while still under the duration of the contract. A breach is a breach. I had the same type of fight with 3 over their European roaming. I hadn't used it yet, but I may in the future and the change was to my detriment.

  75. Kevin Fairhurst

    A different experience depending on who you speak to?

    I have had a couple of calls with "Lena" in the Philippines, apparently they are getting a LOT of calls due to these changes!

    On my first call back (she needed clarification when I spelled out that I was affected to my detriment) I was told that I was affected and that as a goodwill gesture only they could add the mobile broadband upgrade to 3Gb (normally £12.77) for free until the end of the year.

    After I rejected this a couple of times - I stated that I would be out of pocket in 12 months compared to when I took the contract out - she said that she would call me back again.

    On my next callback she confirmed that as I am on an iPhone contract I would *not* be affected by the FUP change. I have asked for this in writing!

    I had earlier pointed out that the website currently tells you something different to the SMS that was sent out, so I wonder if that was incorrectly sent out to people with iPhone / Android phones....

  76. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Plus?

    The T&Cs on T-M's site still state that if you have an Android phone on monthly contract you have the "Plus" data package as a matter of course and that it has a FUP of 3GB. Mind you, the same page also says the FUP for non-Android phones is 1GB.

    T-M has really tied itself in a knot over this.

    No matter how this pans out T-M last week thought Android phones needed three times the data cap that other handsets did, but now thinks they only need the same.

    What's changed?

  77. blcollier

    Please ignore my previous post...

    I spoke to T-Mo again this evening and it has been confirmed that *all* Android data plans are affected - including mine.

  78. jedininja666
    Pirate

    The tale of T-mobile and the big nasty Oranges

    to richard.moat@t-mobile.co.uk

    date Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    subject The tale of T-mobile and the big nasty Oranges

    Hello Richard,

    You don't know me, but I am one of your customers, a new customer who signed up with you in April last year, woo-ed away from a 10 year tenure with O2 by promises of amazing new Android phones and 3GB monthly internet caps. Despite your garish pink and grey branding, I took the plunge, rendering myself unto you as a loyal faithful hound to its master, dutifully paying my £35+ a month in exchange for all the minutes and texts I could wish for, dancing along the mobile internet without a care in the world with all the gaiety of a high-speed HSDPA ballerina.

    I thought, 'I'm happy here, this is exactly the mobile provider I've always wanted to have, one that lets me stream YouTube videos without throttling my connection, and lets me watch 'Have I Got News For You' catch up clips on my Flash-enabled Android phone on the train on my way home from work". And you encouraged me Richard, you said, 'buy this phone and contract, it has an always-on internet connection and full multimedia capabilities and our 3GB cap gives you all the freedom you could wish for'. And for a while we were so happy Richard, for ten months we've danced merrily hand-in-hand. Any dull moment, any time I felt low, like I wanted to give up, I reach into my pocket, take out my phone and you'd just....be there....

    But then the Orange monster came along, scooped you up in its big Orange claw and DEMANDED that you end our relationship by making you slash all 3GB data caps for Android phones by a whopping 83%, just because it's a greedy Orange money-grabbing N*zi.

    If there was some kind of notice, some kind of advance warning that the jackbooted Oranges were on the horizon, we could have carried on our dance Richard, parting amicably once the pre-stipulated contractually-obligated 18 months were up. But it was not too be; the Orange army came RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of our relationship, demanding that from the start of February we had to keep our merriment under control, with any downloads or streaming strictly throttled once a paltry 500MB allowance was passed.

    But I pleaded with them Richard, nay, I demanded that they see legal reason. I said to them, "I signed up to a full 18 months with a 3GB data cap on my Android phone, if you want to change that for new customers then fine, but at least do what O2 did in January 2010, and HONOUR my damn EXISTING CONTRACT".

    But the mighty Orange decided he was above the law, had never heard of anti bait-and-switch legislation or the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999. He refused to acknowledge that my phone and indeed our whole relationship were marketed with a 3GB monthly cap, instead deciding to bring out a forth-coming PAID upgrade that would enable us to go beyond the 500MB (basically making me PAY more money for that which I am already contractually supposed to have for at least the next 8 months).

    Only you are in the position to do something about this Richard; Ofcom have been notified but unless their inboxes are at critical mass I doubt they will make the effort. I beseech you Richard, stand up to the Oranges, bring our relationship back on track so we may explore this crazy world together without prejudice once again....at least for the length of our contract....

    Yours in hope.....or until Ofcom kick your a*se,

    X X X

    1. Sergiu Panaite
      FAIL

      re: The tale of T-mobile and the big nasty Oranges

      Richard Moat was CEO of Orange Romania for a few years - when I saw he quit and came to T-Mobile UK, I did get a funny feeling that something was going to happen. I refused to believe that he would Orangeise the network though, stupid me..

  79. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Android *not* affected?

    I have an 18 month android contract for HTC Hero taken out back in march 2009 with the unlimited data

    Sent them a message via website yesterday but could not answer when they called back so gave them a call on 150 just now. In their email yesterday they had said that they tried to send SMS on 1 Jan but it failed, hence not giving the proper 30 day notice. Why didn't they delay the implementation...

    Anyway on my call just now to find out what is going on the guy gave me a load of bollocks (I was pushing the fact that I had never had notice of the change that is compliant with my contact, he had also been going on about it being a freebie and not part of the contract) but then he said 'actually you are not even affected'. He said something about how I have a a web and walk plus (or something like that) and this is not affected and will keep the current 3GB limit. I got him to repeat this a few times and he was very clear that it it is not changing for me

    Don't know if this is policy, or because I knew my rights and threatened to cancel?

    In a way it is a shame I was going to see if I could get a retention bonus of a HTC Desire, never mind guess I need to wait till the autumn for a nice dual core Android...

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