T-Mobile Sued For Throttling Data Speeds, Having An “Unlimited” Plan

Hey, guess what, another lawsuit complaining that a wireless carrier doesn’t really offer an “unlimited plan.” Unfortunately, this time it’s levied against T-Mobile by lead plaintiff Trent Alvarez who states he entered into an agreement with T-Mobile by purchasing smartphones and then received a message regarding a reduction in data speeds due to exceeding the 10 GB limit. The suit brought in Yolo County, California claims that T-Mobile’s advertisements for “Unlimited Web & Email” are misleading/deceiving and that T-Mobile sales representatives falsely represented the data plan as unlimited.

Of course, this is reminiscent of a similar suit brought against Verizon that was settled in 2007 resulting in more than $1 million dollars paid out to customers who also claimed they were mislead by Verizon’s “unlimited” claims.

While it’s expressly stated in T-Mobile’s contractual agreement that T-Mobile reserves the right to throttle speeds based on network overload, excessive or improper usage, etc., most people will never read the fine print.

I’m a little unsure as to where to come down on this one as part of me would feel that exceeding 10 GB’s, while easy, takes a lot of work.  It’s likely you are either downloading large files on more than one occasion, playing a game online or something else that might not be “kosher” according to the wireless carrier standards resulting in a reduction of bandwidth.  Of course, it’s also possible you simply use a lot of data and bought into this agreement with the idea that you could use it at will with no concern about being throttled. So while it’s likely a suit like this will result in a settlement out of court, perhaps it will serve as a warning both to carrier and customer to take heed of the fine print and, for the carriers’ interests, make those warnings a little larger.

CED Magazine

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  • sorandkairi


    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      One complains about an article having too many posts, by posting a post. And now I did too. See what you caused with your irrelevant comment.


    • dontdoitagain

      @ Mike

      What’s wrong, wake up to that ugly b!@%t next to you again. If you would’ve bothered, which you clearly didnt, you could’ve seen that I have been posting about this issue from the beginning. S#!t as a matter of fact, I posted on a one of your replies a$$hole.

      But to reply to this….

      “One complains about an article having too many posts, by posting a post. And now I did too. See what you caused with your irrelevant comment.”

      Well duh, that was the point. You clearly understood that fact and still decided to be a d!%k for no reason. The comment as a whole was clearly a joke but… again you just had to be a d!$k, now didn’t you. It seems that you sir might need to take Bupropion and Abilify for your crazy a$$ mood swings. You go from a person which seems good sense and a relative good understanding and knowledge of specific information to…. just another d!%k on this site with a computer and an ego.

      I actually had respect for you dude…..

      (just in case my previous posted didn’t post…here it is again…. amended a little bit!)

      I’ve posted this about 4 times and “tmonews” still hasnt actually posted it yet……

      PS im sora

      • David

        I’m sorry, what exactly should I be posting??

      • sorandkairi


        I posted that same message, my reply to mike, about 4, if not more, times before it went through this time under a different name….. that is what i was referring to.

        “(just in case my previous posted didn’t post…here it is again…. amended a little bit!)
        I’ve posted this about 4 times and “tmonews” still hasnt actually posted it yet……
        PS im Sora”

        name… dontdoitagain

        get it? get it?

      • Fata_Morgana

        Wow, what a d-bag.

      • sorandkairi

        @ fate

        Let grown folks talk and go back to searching for child porn online…. ok… douche

      • Rifleman

        You always have to wonder about the intelligence of someone who can’t communicate without the use of miscellaneous symbols to portray swear words. They are an indication of a lack of education.

        Hopefully T-Mobile will boot the clown suing over throttling after 10GB.

    • sorandkairi

      @ Rifleman

      Great another smartass weighing in on things that doesnt concern him/her. You have to wonder how people online would react in the same in a real world situation.

    • Tim

      I have a Rocket Wireless Card. Today, 10/13/2010, it started acting wonky…just dropping the connection, etc. I took my laptop AND the card into a T-Mobile store…and was told the “THROTTLING” begins at 5gigs and I was already close to 6gigs
      Why in the HECK would I buy an internet plan that stopped me at 6gigs? Now I have to wait until my next billing cycle 10/20/2010 to rollover a fresh 5gigs. If you are selling internet as unlimited, it should be unlimited. The managaer of the store didn’t even KNOW about this practice it was one of the more tech-savvy youngsters who knew. This SUX, as I bought the card to stream video at work.

  • Craze

    Be thankful T-Mobile doesn’t charge overage. In my eyes, if there’s no overage, and they don’t turn it off completely, then its unlimited.

    This lawsuit is really like all of the fatasses of the nation attempting to unite because the “all you can eat” buffet kicked them out after eating too many portions. Everything has limits you indulgent asses. (To anyone who supports this ridiculous lawsuit)

    • bobeotm

      I agree with Craze, at least T-Mobile isn’t charging overages. Technically it’s still unlimited, because even if you got past 10gb, you still have access, you just have it a reduced speed. It’s still better than virtually any alternative offered by other carriers. Sprint comes close, but the actually cell network leaves a lot to be desired.

      So I’m fine with them throttling it after 10gb. I tether quite often when I am out and about, and I feel its pretty fair considering that they are offering it at only 30 bucks on top of a cell plan.

      • hineschr

        In my case when I was throttled the speeds were unusable. Less than half the speed of 56k if it worked at all. virtually useless

      • hineschr

        In my case when I was throttled the speeds were unusable. Less than half the speed of 56k if it worked at all. virtually useless. But i do agree it is the lesser of 2 evils

  • denise

    As an 11 year TMO customer who his happy as a clam, I support the law suit and hope that TMO is forced to change their advertising and contracts. Why should any company be allowed to perpetuate deceptive advertising or business practices. This is the way the lowly consumer can hold companies accountable.

    I hope those complaining about this do not try to latch on later on if the guy wins and there is a some kind of pay out or adjustment in terms.

    • Frigadroid

      I agree you know the haters will line up so fast if they have any chance to get a buck. I also have been loyal to T-mobile since the Powertell days. I have the family loyalty plan with unlimited minutes, text and data I don’t mind if I have to pay a little more to get truly unlimited data. As the phones evolve something is going to change I would gladly pay $10 more a month for truly unlimited hspa+.

    • silk1923

      if customers actually read their paperwork then there wouldnt be a need for the lawsuit, so what you get throttled you still have access to the web, so its not fast ok fine but 10gb is alot foranyone to pass that you have to be doing something you have no business doing, even on my home connection i dont pass 10 gigs of data in a month. so read your contract ask qustions but most of all read its fundamental lol

      • meanmcclean

        Well actually it is pretty easy to blow through 10GB of data, especially on my home PC, depending on what you do, but I agree with you. It really isn’t that serious people, 10GB on a phone is a whole lot of data usage, and if everyone used 10GB of data each month, none of us would be able to connect with speeds worth a sh*t. Wireless just can’t handle that kind of traffic. Look at whats going on with Verizon after the Droid X release. Would you rather the new AT&T data plan?? I’ll gladly take 10GB throttled rather than 5GB and have to cough up an extra $10 bucks if i go over. I know a lot of people frequent these blog sites, now I know not every consumer does but enough that word got out when T-Mobile actually initiated this cap back when the G1 released. It is kind-a-sorta common knowledge at this point. A change in verbiage maybe to spell it out for the frivolous Fu*ks in the world but be happy for now as the future is beginning to look bleak for wireless data usage/cost.

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        Read the “paperwork” I posted, aka the actual lawsuit.

        If you read it you will see that he did read his paperwork. The lawsuit is about notice, T-Mobile did not tell him about the cap.

        And it’s also about the other comment people are making in here, while T-Mobile says “Well.. you still have a data connection at EDGE, so we have not breached the contract” is a FALSE statement.

        This is because the uses that T-Mobile advertises one gets at 3G cannot be used at EDGE. So under California law it’s false and deceptive advertise 3G uses, say it’s unlimited 3G use, to then throttle to EDGE thereby rendering useless the advertised uses.

        The concept it fairly simple. While some may say (without experience) that EDGE is still OK, it’s not.

        Moreover, read the lawsuit where it says that at EDGE the plaintiff’s phone cannot be used for anything other than making phone calls (a true statement, see other posts).

        This is NOT about this person using more than 10GB of data. That’s imposing YOUR usage standard on this person. That’s not what a jury will decide, whether 10GB or 5GB data use is proper, reasonable or excessive. (I hope the day never comes where a jury will decide which of my computer habits are acceptable or reasonable to them.)

        What this is about is a consumer buying three high-end smartphones in reliance on T-Mobile (compared to other carriers) offering unlimited data plans. That’s about $5,000 in business he would be giving to T-Mobile.

        In deciding to go with T-Mobile the user noted all the fun and expansive uses for the three smartphones he bought, including downloading large files, uploading videos and photographs, texting, e-mailing, watching streamed TV, movies, downloading music, socializing on Facebook and Twitter, shopping on eBay, navigating, GPS uses, listening to streamed audio, etc., etc., etc.

        What T-Mobile did NOT tell him was that the unlimited plan was actually limited to 10GB (and later lowered on him to 5GB). (Notice how T-Mobile has the right to set whatever terms it wants on these limits.)

        This is also about a false and deceptive practice, that when throttled T-Mobile considers itself still fulfilling its end of the contract by providing a data connection (it’s not).

        While it may technically be a data connection, EDGE does NOT allow the Plaintiff to use the phone as was advertised and promised in its literature and by the salesman who sold the phones.

        Simply answer this. Where and when did T-Mobile tell him: “This is a limited data plan. If you exceed 5GB usage then we will shut off your data connection. You can still access internet pages, but your connection speed will not allow any of the multi-media functionality we advertised your phone is capable of. In other words, no watching movies, YouTube, Pandora, MobiTV.”

        And where does T-Mobile (or any carrier for that matter) disclose what certain functions use in terms of data? For example, “If you watch one hour of MobiTV you will use X amount of data. If you watch a two-hour Blockbuster movie you will use X MB. If you upload an MMS video ____ of data.

        Bottom line: T-Mobile should stop calling its data plans unlimited.

        They should be stopped from saying that an EDGE connection is a data connection, because EDGE does not provide the same functionality as 3G nor as advertised by T-Mobile.

        They should be required to announce to the user when his or her data connection is close to being shut down.

        There should be standards to all carriers similar to Truth in Lending. Call it “Truth In Wireless.” One provision will require providing cell phone data users a chart, in paper and on the handset being sold, that shows your current data usage and also the average data use per listed function.

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        In case you still don’t get it, in the Complaint, p. 19: paragraphs 60-61 it says:

        “T-Mobile’s sales rep printed out a contract with Plaintiff’s electronic signature. NOWHERE ON THIS CONTRACT DOES T-MOBILE DISCLOSE ITS INVISIBLE DATA CAP…



        Again… read the “paperwork” before making unfounded statements or criticizing the plaintiff.

      • Bill

        First of all, if you go to tmobile.com and review the data service it plainly states unlimited web, not unlimited 3g access. it also puts an asterisk directly after the title of the feature. in todays society customers have the “give it to me now” attitude, they don’t want to wait while you explain all the fine print, just complain about it when it affects them. when you go to a tmobile store you want to go in and come out as fast as possible, and will you seriously remember anything the guy told you to at the store other than the amount you had to pay?

        go to any tmobile store and look at a brochure about data plans, go to tmobile.com and review the information, it’s not “hidden” or “invisible”. people need to learn to have consumer responsibility instead of hiding behind lawsuits to protect them from anything that is commonly provided to them. the terms and conditions is not a book, it’s a short 2 pages that briefly states what you need to know about your service. if you don’t want to read it at the store, read it at home, or even on your 15min work break. it’s not that hard

    • kk


    • Shane

      Hmm… A payout would only seem to raise the costs for everyone, no? Then T-Mobile will have to generate more revenue to pay millions of dollars to whiney people who don’t read their Ts & Cs… I am very tired of people who do not read their Ts and Cs and then talk about how it wasn’t explained to them. Would you buy a car without reading the fine print first? A cell phone is a thousand (plus) dollar/year commitment. READ YOUR STUFF!!! If you don’t read the fine print, fine- but don’t be mad when you missed something. I sure hope there is no settlement, because I know they will pass the buck onto me, the consumer- and to you, too Denise!

  • Asparagus

    True…if he failed to meet terms and conditions (i.e. using phone that is 3G as modem)…techs will surely know because of IP to mac correlations…..since the knowledge is there, I hope T-Mobile doesn’t drop the ball and make the rest of the customers suffer

  • wtfci

    There is a data limit? Where is this published? How do I track my current usage?

    I doubt I come close to the threshold, but if there is one I have no idea what that threshold is and how I can track my place within it.

    Help me out readers.

    • David Thomas

      It’s not a data limit, they limited the SPEED he can download the data after he EXCEEDED 10GB. Meaning, once he downloaded 10GB of data, they made the rest of the downloads move slower. So he still has unlimited data, just not fast data.

      • Ryan

        When you hit the limit, services such as Pandora become unusable, and web browsing crawls. Your phone essentially becomes email only.

    • Adood

      Use T-Mobile.com

      • wtfci

        Where on T-Mobile.com? When I log into my account I can track voice minutes, text messages, and downloads, but there is no figure that display my data usage.

  • poconopixie

    This will go nowhere. If they didn’t charge this guy overages, and he still has data access (albeit slowed down) then he had unlimited access. It’s people like this who snarf down 10GB+ per month that cause network congestion and other users end up getting a sub-par experience because of it. Very selfish if you ask me.

  • David Thomas

    IMHO, this is fine from T-Mo’s side, because they didn’t charge him overages, and they didn’t remove unlimited data from his plan. If everyone just torrented or downloaded however much they wanted (through the FREE tethering, mind you), then we’d end up with a network like AT&T’s after the huge iPhone massacre.

    This guy wants attention, and unless he has some really legitimate legal reason to downloading so much over a wireless network, he’s just a douche scratching for some “free” money.

    • http://magicbluesmoke.org longcat

      The total bandwidth used by mobile phones on a tower can affect the speeds everyone else receives, but it’s the number of active mobile phones in an area that effects the general quality and coverage.

      WCDMA(UMTS) network capacity planning isn’t done by the amount of data people will use, it’s done by the expected number of users that will be on that sector. To make it simple, the more people on a tower, the less area of coverage it will have. To make things more complicated, too many towers in an area can cause worse coverage instead of better coverage. So then you need to aim antennas to deliberately reduce coverage area, and probably other stuff that’s complicated.

      What AT&T did since they apparently maximized the capability of adding new towers is to add new towers on another frequency in densely populated areas like NYC. This adds extra capacity, eliminates the problem of too many nearby towers, and with reduced load on the towers, the coverage increases. I was still an AT&T customer when they added the new towers in NYC and it helped dramatically.

  • WXman

    What a gold digging douche bag. The judge should sentence him to life with AT&T service and no possibility of parole. LOL. That would serve him right. Why are people always trying to get money out of others? Why is there no common respect or decency anymore? Why do people whine and waste our tax dollars by taking something like this into court? What a douche bag. I hope a cell phone tower falls on his car.

    • Doug

      Isn’t there a mandatory arbitration clause in the TOS as well? How is this in court? Aside from this guy being a whiner, TMO should just terminate his contract and ban him from ever seeking future service for breaking the mandatory arbitration clause.

      For those of you saying EDGE isnt a data connection, you guys sound just as stupid as the guy filing the lawsuit. EDGE is perfectly usable albeit slower. You can sure as hell tether, watch youtube on it, sure you might have to pause it and wait to buffer. I have also streamed audio over EDGE as well. Also unless you are in a major metro area, most of TMO’s rural network is EDGE but even more of it is even slower GPRS!

      I’ve done plenty of tethering on TMO back in the GRPS and EDGE days, yeah it’s not as fun but its better than being cut off entirely.

  • Exec4Future

    I guess this guy didnt read the paragraph in the t-mobile contract that says “mandatory arbitration”. Basically, the customer cannot sue T-mobile nor can T-mobile sue the customer. This guy is going to have a terrible time convincing a judge that he was unaware of this. It clearly states it in the contracts I have reread a million times in other lawsuits like this. usually, my clients end up settling or they never show up at all once they realize it is useless to sue someone when you have signed a contract for mandatory arbitration. good luck with this HAHA

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      When you say “clients” are you referring to yourself as a lawyer? If so, you must be in that group of lawyers I describe to students in the following way: “IMO about 85% of California lawyers do the equivalent of ‘C’ average work or below. In other words, they are incompetent, a smear on the profession and should be disbarred.”

      You should not be, in smart-ass tone, posting incorrect information on the Net.

      I say this because of your grade “F” analysis of T-Mobile’s arbitration provision. Why the “F” grade.

      Well YOU apparently did not READ Federal Judge Jeremy Fogel’s 2002 decision (Northern District California) against PayPal. That’s pretty lame, you being in the business and not knowing about a 2002 decision.

      In that case the Court reviewed PayPal’s mandatory arbitration provision imposed on California consumers.

      PayPal customers filed a class action against PayPal charging that it illegally froze their accounts.

      PayPal moved to force the plaintiffs to individually arbitrate their claims. In the August 30, 2002, ruling Judge Fogel DENIED PayPal’s motion to have the claims asserted in two lawsuits resolved by individual arbitration.

      Although PayPal’s user agreement (just like T-Mobile’s) calls for the arbitration of disputes Judge Fogel ruled that the arbitration clause in the agreement is unenforceable.

      The Court said:

      “The subject (mandatory) arbitration clause expressly prohibits PayPal customers from consolidating their claims (suing on a class basis). A recent California Court of Appeals case determined that a large credit card company could not enforce this prohibition because most claims would involve consumers seeking the return of small amounts of money. The court concluded that such circumstances raise ‘the potential for millions of customers to be overcharged small amounts without an effective method of redress…

      By allowing for mandatory arbitration of small money claims and imposition of prohibitive arbitration fees and precluding joinder of claims (via class action lawsuits) (which would make each individual customer’s participation in arbitration more economical), PayPal appears to be attempting to insulate itself contractually from any meaningful challenge to its alleged practices. Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that this aspect of the arbitration clause is so harsh as to be substantively unconscionable.

      Having considered the terms of the User Agreement generally and the arbitration clause in particular, as well as the totality of the circumstances, the Court concludes that the User Agreement and arbitration clause are substantively unconscionable under California law and that arbitration cannot be compelled herein. Good cause therefor appearing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motions to compel individual arbitration are DENIED.”

      I know, I know, to save face you will say that you are referring to the law in your state (assuming you are a practicing lawyer in a state other than California) but your comment was directed at “THIS guy,”
      a California resident and Plaintiff.

      All that argument (“excuse”) does is validate another of my statements: “one of the most common causes of attorney malpractice is attorneys thinking they know the law of states in which they are not admitted. It also is one of the most common reasons for attorneys being suspended or disbarred, practicing law without a license, which is what they are doing as soon as they deal with another state’s laws when advising clients.”

      Sidenote: The plaintiff lawyers are a San Francisco law firm that specializes in class actions. Do you really think such lawyers are unaware of mandatory arbitration clauses, they don’t know to look for them in contracts, and that they don’t know how to deal with them.

      • Anony Mouse

        Really now. Did you just get admitted to law school and now are trying to show off in some random internet forum where you cannot have someone actually test you and confront you thoroughly. You complain about how the majority of legal representatives are idiots yet you try to validate you argument against someone else’s by saying to have faith in the representing firm.

        You also fail to realize that the decision you refer to is not impacting on the mandatory arbitration of T-Mobile because T-Mobile is not a financial lender or institution. No actually money was lent to someone or charged to someone. Sure, the guy wants money, but this is not about money. Therefore the decision that the mandatory arbitration provision is not economical is invalid. Now if T-Mobile was to charge a consumer like ATT does for every little bit of data that gets used, then maybe it would be an impactful decision.

        Also, I can see how distrusting you are of your own opinions. You are trying to attack possible counter arguments before they are actually brought up. Why? Because you already see the failed logic in your argument and are trying therefore to play patch up work without actually going back and correct the mistakes in your logic from before because that would be admitting you are wrong.

      • j

        California is a bunch a cry baby idiots and should be pushed out to sea. Some sue happy idiot who cannot seem to read the terms of what he signed sues for an issue that is irrelevant. Much to the dismay of everyone these are the kinds of people who are going to cause carriers to do away with unlimited data plans and go to the expensive pay per MB option. How many would use alot of data at a pay per MB charge? NOT MANY!

  • Testament

    Just a side note. According to the T&C on T-Mobile website as of 11:34pm last night the cap is 5GB not 10GB.

    • Testament

      You can easly hit the 5GB cap without tehering. I adverage 4.93GBs with crappy internet service. (384~667kbits)

    • Adood

      Only for data sticks. For phones, as far as I know, it’s still 10 GB.

      • Testament

        This Is Half of 10 on T-Mobile website http://www.t-mobile.com/

        10. * Data Plans and Other Features. You will be charged for data usage on a pay per use basis unless you are required to maintain a data plan (“Data Plan”) as part of your Service, or as otherwise provided by your Rate Plan or prepaid data pass. Permissible and Prohibited Uses: Your Data Plan is intended for Web browsing, messaging, and similar activities on your Device and not on any other equipment. Unless explicitly permitted by your Data Plan, other uses, including for example, using your Device as a modem or tethering your Device to a personal computer or other hardware, are not permitted. Other examples of prohibited uses can be found in Section 17. Protective Measures: To provide a good experience for the majority of our customers and minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we may take measures including temporarily reducing data throughput for a subset of customers who use a disproportionate amount of bandwidth. If your total usage exceeds 5GB (amount is subject to change without notice; please check T-Mobile’s T&Cs on http://www.T-Mobile.com for updates) during a billing cycle, we may reduce your data speed for the remainder of that billing cycle. If you use your Data Plan in a manner that could interfere with other customers’ service, affect our ability to allocate network capacity among customers, or degrade service quality for other customers, we may suspend, terminate, or restrict your data session, or switch you to a more appropriate Data Plan.

      • http://magicbluesmoke.org longcat

        I tested it out by downloading a few dvd’s… 5GB – fine. Past 10GB – cap. With the mobile phone internet service.

  • TMoney

    I think this is pretty ridiculus…if your that much of an ass that you are going to sue a company for reasons like this, READ THE FINE PRINT! That’s the real kicker for me, in that people sign their name saying they agree to a piece of paper they obviously didn’t read and later want to be a prick about it.

    Hmmm what else can I think of…maybe someone could get a couple bucks back from any car manufacturer for them not explicitly telling you that you are gonna need an oil change every three months. Get a life!

    • Anony Mouse

      The sad thing is that car dealerships do have to try and stop people from suing them for that same reason. If you read some contracts they actually list what it is that may go wrong with a car and give details about maintenance that has to be signed.

  • dap

    I’ve been hit the last three months and I must ssy I usef the same amount of usage for the past 4 years. I cant put a finger on it. Maybe just maybe because I have a grandfathered plan. Who knows could be because theyre trying to get me to change plans hmmmm.

  • hineschr

    This actually happened to me once. I wirelessly tethered a couple netflix movies from my hd2 on a long train ride I had and the next morning I got the text that I went over the limit. So my speeds went from super fast to so slow that most pages/apps won’t even work. Called tmobile and I was anticipating a confrontation about the “unlimited” thing and none of the reps could figure out why my phone was not working. So they exchanged my handset and ultimately credited me $35 (????? lol) for the data not working.

  • hineschr

    You people are rediculous. Would it be ok if home isp’s started throttling your home internet speeds because they feel like you are using too much? Or what if t mobile decided that 3000 texts or minutes is higher usage than someone should be using?

    You ship a phones with 4+ inch screens, tethering capabilities built in, youtube, slacker, tv, blockbuster, not to mention all the apps that are data hungry and you expect people to not use these features? Features in which are all but unusable on an edge network? Simply do not advertise as unlimited.

    If you buy a car and the brakes stop working as good as they did at purchase is that ok because the car still stops eventually? It just takes 100 more feet, but hey it still stops. Go to the car company and they tell you that you just used it too much. Would you accept that explanation?

    Sure limited data does not sound as good but companies need to be honest with consumers.

    • Doug

      If the stipulation was in my home internet connection that it would be throttled after exceeding x GB a month and agreed and put my name on the dotted line then yeah i wouldnt have a problem with it.

      You likely will never see this in a home internet connection because the cable companies or fiber providers have oodles of bandwidth available. Cell providers on the other hand have to work with extremely limited blocks of bandwidth that cost alot of money to buy from the FCC at auction. Tmobile cant just start transmitting on a 500mhz wide swath of bandwidth, if they could we would probably all have internet connections on our phones as fast as the fastest land based connections. Instead cell companies are working with small chunks of bandwidth in some cases narrower than a single TV channel worth in bandwidth and this has to provide everyone with connectivity within range of that cell tower possibly hundreds of users depending on how dense the population is in the area.

      the sub 2ghz spectrum is extremely congested right now and anything higher than 2ghz has coverage issues with penetrating walls, foliage, rain, etc check this out if you want to see how bad the congestion is http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/allochrt.pdf

  • tenten

    I wonder……

  • http://magicbluesmoke.org longcat

    Okay, I took one for the team so I could find out for sure all the facts in the matter.

    I downloaded a few ISO images and accumulated 12GB of 3G download at native speed before the caphammer fell. After that, I was still on 3G but was limited to about 7KB/s. EDGE data rates do not appear to be limited.

    T-mobile must be pretty confident in their network to do something like this – each mobile that is actively receiving/transmitting on the network reduces the coverage for the whole area around them whether they’re downloading at 7 or 700KBps. That means a person who downloads a medium sized file will take up more resources over time capped than not capped. The less wrong thing to do would be to move people who download more than X GB to another QoS class which allows them to use any unutilized radio bandwidth while maintaining a minimum and preventing them from harming other users. I don’t think the impacts on the network were fully understood when the cap was put in place.

    However it’s better than other networks’ management of data, save for Sprint’s WiMax which they say is truly unlimited.

    Either the cost of data is expensive or the people who imposed this cap are dumb or I do not understand as much about cdma based systems as I appear to think I do. But if it was the cost of data, then EDGE would be limited too.

    Right now T-mobile has a decent deal and that’s why I’m with them, but just as I wasn’t afraid to leave another company after 6 years because something else worked better for me, I’ll use another carrier should that suit me.

  • dothack

    Clearly, people don’t bother to read the fine print. T-mobile isn’t the only company doing it, all the other major carries plus even the local DSL/cable ISPs clearly state under the TOS that if you exceed a certain limit during a giving cycle..the company has the right to stop, terminate and/or throttle your connection. I have knowledge on computer networking and this clause is a must for every ISP to provide reliable service. Otherwise, we all could be hosting data servers, sending spam, etc. that would slow down the connection for other uses that also pay. It isn’t misleading..its actually upsetting how many stupid people we have in this world and that would sign any legal document without actually reading it.

    • ItsMichaelNotMike

      Actually, people are not stupid for not reading what you call “legal documents.” Technically T-Mobile’s agreements are not “legal documents” since such refer to papers filed in court. ;)

      Anyway, it’s a fact of life that people are extremely busy and don’t have time to read every line on every agreement that is pushed in front of them. It’s also a fact of life that business relies on this when imposing limitations, escape clauses and contradictions when dealing with consumers. They slip things in knowing that people won’t catch the “bait and switch” nor understand what they are reading if they take the time to go through the agreements.

      This is because the law does agree with what you say, a deal is a deal and if people don’t read a contract, that’s their problem.

      But before you go calling people stupid, I wonder if YOU have read every contract and agreement put under your nose. If you do, then you don’t have much of a life because to read all contracts that apply to your life, you would not have time to do much of anything else.

      And before you say “Oh yes, I read everything” answer yes to the following:

      1. Did you read every document, front and back, put in front of you when buying a car?

      2. Have you read every line of every insurance policy you have (property, homeowners, health, auto).

      3. Did you read all the paperwork that came with your cell phone?

      And speaking of cell phones, have you read T-Mobile’s online TOS (terms of service) and do you know if the online TOS supersedes anything you have in writing or what the salesman told you?


      4. Have you read every line of all EULA (end user license agreement) that came with ALL your software, including the OS?

      5. Have you read every line of the user agreement on EVERY online service you use, such as banking, credit card, PayPal, utilities, Netflix, and stock brokerage services?

      6. Have you read every line of every warranty or guaranty that came with EVERY product, item or device you have bought over time?

      7. Have you read every line of every page of your agreement with the Bank or Banks?

      8. Have you read every line of text that came with your music CDs or movie DVDs.

      9. Have you read everything on your travel ticket, including planes and trains, BEFORE traveling?

      10. Have you read the little ticket they give when you park your car, BEFORE you park the car, so you can decide if you want to accept the lot’s terms and conditions?

      11. Have you read EVERY website’s Terms of Use that you have visited?


      12. Have you read EVERY website’s privacy policy, that is, websites you have visited?


      13. Did you read all the disclaimers and/or limitations on any of the above?

      14. On all of the above did you understand EVERYTHING you read?

      By your standards, if you answer “no” to any of the above, are you calling yourself stupid?

      By the way, you said that people are stupid for signing any legal document without actually reading it. Under the law, purchasing a product or visiting a website is considered the same as signing a legal document (contract).

      So on those items I listed above that don’t require a physical signature, under the law you are deemed to have “digitally signed” the agreements and/or agreed with the terms and conditions (contract) set forth on those pages.

      • dothack

        Its amazing and amusing at the same time how you mention that if I read every document before I signed that I wouldn’t have a “life” and yet, you probably spend more than 30 minutes to type that long post of yours to prove a point to an anonymous internet user that you won’t probably meet in your entire life to an audience that also you won’t meet in your entire life. Talking about a nerd calling another person a nerd lol anyways, as a matter of fact. yes, i do read everything i sign and yes, i happen to have an excellent life, thank you very much and unless you have some networking knowledge..my previous post is pretty much pointless to you explaining the logic behind throttling/limiting/terminating bandwidth. more to the point, yes, everybody should read the fine before singing a document and no, the excuse you make regarding people having busy life is bull because as a technology student i can tell you with facts that the average American has gained more free time than ever because of technology in our daily life so stop making excuses for you and other people and read before you sign. no body will look out for you, only yourself.

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    Is it any wonder carriers see dollar signs when dealing with data. Check this summary of a report just published:

    Global Mobile Data Traffic Nearly Triples In One Year

    •Latest measurements show mobile data grew 10 times faster than voice.

    •Mobile broadband adoption accelerating with introduction of high performance networks.

    •Operators to increase profitability and competitive differentiation with mobile broadband.

    •Mobile broadband currently accounts for only 10% of total mobile subscriptions but a rapidly increasing majority of the traffic.

    •Measurement of actual traffic in networks around the world show that global mobile data has nearly tripled in the last year, growing more than 10 times faster than voice.

    •Mobile data traffic continues to grow exponentially even after the historic cross over point in December 2009, when data first exceeded voice, as reported earlier this year.

    •Global measured mobile data traffic stands at nearly 225,000 terabytes per month as of the second quarter of 2010.

    •The business model for mobile broadband is becoming one of increasing profitability and competitive differentiation through superior quality of service.

    •Operator’s focus on end-to-end converged IP networks is key to addressing the dramatic traffic growth, while reducing costs and improving the user experience.

    •For consumers, mobile broadband is transforming the way we communicate and prosper as a society.

    •With Ericsson’s recent announcement of the delivery of its two millionth base station (out of an industry-wide installed base of five million), the company continues to extend its global leadership in mobile broadband.

    •Today there are over five billion mobile subscriptions worldwide and predictions are 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

    •As popular as some people in here think the iPhone is, out of those 5 billion subscribers the iPhone, after three years, is in only about 49 million user’s hands.

    (I took writer’s license to add in the last one. LOL).

  • mwl1119

    People should not attack this guy for this lawsuit. While he probably was tethering his computer to his phone it is not certain. If he were to have an HD2 and using the Blockbuster streaming app it is possible (very easy really) to hit that unadvertised 10GB cap and once they begin throttling the speeds it renders the phone usless. I currently am being throttled on my Mytouch Slide (mine is due to tethering I will admit and I hit the cap in 3 days of moderate usage) and I went from around 5MB/s to less than 80KB/s.

    I hope that at least they lighten up this throttling with this lawsuit. 300-400KB/s would be ok but 80KB/s is too much imo.

  • hey all

    it’s still unlimited data. they don’t shut you off.
    and honestly, i’m fine that tmobile’s throttling after 10gb.
    and i would testify FOR tmobile on a class action lawsuit because 10gb is pretty damn ridiculous. it’s like going to a buffet and getting some to-go.
    or if it’s a 24 hour buffet, just living there.
    you’re working the system and i’m sure this guy knows it, he can just get some cash out of the semantics of the word “unlimited”.

    tmobile will have the fastest network at the end of the year, it has the highest cap by far, and no overages or shut-offs for data. stop yer bitching and be friends with big magenta!

  • Happy699

    OK heres the deal, i have worked for the co. for about oh going on 9 years and i thinks these people are dumb…. i deal with enough people that never read the fine print and that will complain about it. thats why i love saying “OK miss ____ lets turn to page 2 paragraph 3 article 2 ……..there it is!!!!! ha ha ha ha ha. But really the data plan is unlimited just not unlimited 3g… READ THE FINE PRINT WE ARE NOT HIDING ANYTHING! thank you all

  • Happy TMO Customer

    I agree with the poster that stated everything has limited. When they advertise unlimited, what they mean is unlimited (within reason and common sense). I mostly use my phone for internet and email (moreso than calling) everyday and I rarely exceed 50MB in a given month. This douche that exceeded 10GB must have tethered or been downloading hellofalot of movies, etc. What did they expect for $34 a month??? They need to read their contract and they need to get the appropriate equipment such as a laptop and/or USB wireless dongle. Bet you a dolla fitty they were downloading p0rn (on their mobile so their spouse wouldn’t find out). Throttling slowed their addiction down so now they’re whining and causing probs for everyone else like the ginormous douche that they clearly are. Final thought… Does anyone here think when an All You Can Eat buffet charges you $6.95, it means you have the right to back a truck up to the door and start carrying out all the food??? Would common sense indicate All You Can Eat means the average person which is one to two plates (instead)??? Come on. Let’s get some free (unlimited) clues people. REALLY.

    • chantelle

      Don’t advertise UNLIMITED. Thats a free for all kinda word. For gods sake, its simple, use the right terminology. UNLIMITED up to 5gb. is that so hard.

  • Rifleman

    If this clown doesn’t like being throttled after 10GB let him go to AT&T. His lawsuit will end up making T-Mobile eliminate their unlimited data plan.

  • some internet dude

    $34 dollars a month is ISP money. Carriers need to realize that they are ISP’s not just cell providers. And when a rep tells a customer that its totally unlimited and he can surf all he wants at full 3G speeds, well then the customer take him at his word. After all he is a rep of the company. So T-mobile either stop saying its unlimited, or readjust your pricing to reflect an actual unlimited plan.

  • chantelle

    No matter what the person downloading is doing, the point is that these companies advertise UNLIMITED and not one of their sales associates have a clue as to what they are selling. The number of times that I have been given false information is ridiculous. Even tech support is misinformed. These companies need to have transparency about their products, their services, and take responsibility for educating their staff about their services. Pay up tmobile.

  • chantelle

    UNLIMITED to 5gb is plain and simple. no need for an asterix. when you hide things in small print thats when you get sued.

  • eddy

    i thought i was on the web alot, i just looked at my bill and i have a family plan with my sis and together we pooled like 500 something mb, and im on youtube most of the time, downloading music, facebook,twitter,e-mail (No blockbuster already paying for enough on my bill as it is thank u), etc….how could u exceed 10gb in one month, how do u spend that much time on the web and not let it interfere with ur life…im just sayin not tryin to hate.

  • gamma

    companies write things in fine print to “trick” the average customer because if they told you about these things right from the start, they predict you would not buy their product. they likecustomers that blindy sign on the dotted line. but, they also love customer who read the fine print, understand the “butt rape” and still sign. i think the point to all this is dont false advertise for the average customer, and dont let us that do read the fine print find out what sneaking pricks companies really are.

  • canturgan

    I live in the Uk and use t-mobile, I originally bought the G1 and now own the HTC Desire on the ‘unlimited’ tariff. I got a message today that I had almost reached the monthly limit (3gb) and would be restricted after that. When I signed the contract the salesman insisted that I would get 900 minutes of calls, unlimited texts and unlimited data, which is the reason I signed. The monthly tariff here is £30 which is higher than in the US and with a lower cap. As far as I know in the last 2 years since I have had the phones I have not used the data that much but I recently got Spotify for the phone which streams music, I also use YouTube quite a bit (it’s a standard app in the Android) but I am considering taking legal action to clarify the use/abuse of the definition of ‘unlimited’ as a selling/advertising ploy. I had an argument with the customer service department today about the term but they insist that unlimited means unlimited, unless you go over 3gb, then it isn’t, it’s just restricted. Maybe the unlimited texts have a limit, unless they really ARE unlimited.

  • T-Mobile customer (SUCKER)

    A quick fix to this problem for all you who like to tether. t-mobile in the month of November is giving out 30 days of their Crappy 5 gig internet wich you can add to any of your other lines on your account, that is if you have any other lines. Each line has it’s own 5 gig alotment before throttled down. I have been on t-mobile network for years and just recently had the ball dropped on me about being throttled. I guess they don’t want our money. Anyone with a sliver of brains will find a better solution than the so-called “UNLIMITED INTERNET” wich has sooo many limits. If we all callesd coorporate in Remond, Wa.,

    T-Mobile Corporate Office | Headquarters
    12920 SE 38th Street Bellevue, WA 98006

    and asked to speak with either the C.E.O. of marketing or the V.P., we would probably get somewhere.In Seattle they have a reporter that goes to buisinesses and gets the company to explain their bad practices(GET JESSE) on air! If all the news companies found out that T-Mobile does false advertizing, their stocks would be affected, more lawsuits would be filled, Big-Wiggs would be loosing hair, and the company bonuses would be dissapearing.

  • Primerisk

    The problem with throttling is that the company doesn’t tell the customer upfront that there is a usage limit. It’s hidden in the fine print somewhere. The advertisement doesn’t have a disclaimer that says it. I’m not sure why the author of the blog thinks you have to do something illegal or sorted to use more that 10 GB’s of data. Watching online TV uses data and I was throttled. Maybe the company should have a truly “unlimited” plan and charge accordingly. Lawsuits are messing but effective.

    • Rjizsophresh

      I just signed up for tmobile I am a heavy data user from streaming to app downloading and constantly video chatting on my new my touch 4g to then be throttled to dial up when I payed for unlimited 4g internet not 5gb of 4g then the rest in 56k this is rediculous I want in on that law suit because this is not what was advertised to me

      • Anonymous

        Me to let me know what you find out

        • Chantalgrosvenor

          I just purchased a sensational 4G the sales rep convinced me to switch to unlimited since I’ve been a customer for many years and I ” deserve it” today they trottled my data and customer care is closed for the holidays so I can’t call and threaten to swtigh. Scammed by tmobile. Wow. I want in on this lawsuit when any one finds out pls pls pls email me as well chantalgrosvenor@gmail.com

        • Brookseddie95

          Sweetholly I want in on the lawsuit as well tmobile is a bunch of liars with false advertising please contact me at brookseddie95@yahoo.com with future developments.

  • jjay28

    Heard T-Mobile changed it to 5 instead of 10 now….when would T-Mobile stop ripping stop ripping its customers.

  • Clr822

    i just got that message myself on thanksgiving with my new hd7 that has net flix i checked my original contract and it states unlimitted data usage. and when i called the reps told me it had changed since i signed up and will not honor the unlimitted internet. how do i go about getting in on this lawsuit i want what i pay for and have been paying for.

  • Samtheenglishman

    Same problem. They sell you a TV app, they plug streaming music and music downloads, I listen to audio books too, then slap the 5gb nonsense on me! I have multiple lines on my account with data… I wonder if each phone has the limit or if data is pooled like minutes? Not happy! Unlimited with a limit?! Not doing anything illegal or shady to exceed my limit. My as well ditch data if I can only do that stuff in wifi hot spots!

  • Samtheenglishman

    Same problem. They sell you a TV app, they plug streaming music and music downloads, I listen to audio books too, then slap the 5gb nonsense on me! I have multiple lines on my account with data… I wonder if each phone has the limit or if data is pooled like minutes? Not happy! Unlimited with a limit?! Not doing anything illegal or shady to exceed my limit. My as well ditch data if I can only do that stuff in wifi hot spots!

  • Samtheenglishman

    Same problem. They sell you a TV app, they plug streaming music and music downloads, I listen to audio books too, then slap the 5gb nonsense on me! I have multiple lines on my account with data… I wonder if each phone has the limit or if data is pooled like minutes? Not happy! Unlimited with a limit?! Not doing anything illegal or shady to exceed my limit. My as well ditch data if I can only do that stuff in wifi hot spots!

  • Aa

    It’s not about what’s “kosher”. The fact is that very is a very precise definition of the word unlimited – not limited; having no bounds; boundless [Webster]. Whereas T-Mobile in this case means, “unlimited, as long as you don’t go above 10G”, which is not unlimited. So, that’s what they should say in the contract. They should say 10G and not unlimited. So, yes, it’s misleading, because it’s not true.

  • Aa

    It’s not about what’s “kosher”. The fact is that very is a very precise definition of the word unlimited – not limited; having no bounds; boundless [Webster]. Whereas T-Mobile in this case means, “unlimited, as long as you don’t go above 10G”, which is not unlimited. So, that’s what they should say in the contract. They should say 10G and not unlimited. So, yes, it’s misleading, because it’s not true.

  • Dalecorb1

    I would love to get in on this lawsuit. Its dispicable to tell your customers they have unlimited 4g then drop them to 50k (dial up modem speed). If bandwidth is being consumed too quickly then they should update the system. Not screw over your customers. I admit that I use a lot of data that is why I got this g2 phone and an internet plan.

  • solo74

    I have been a customer of T-Mobile for 7 years with no problems. I got the My touch 3G phone about 6-7 months ago with no problems. As of this year 2011, I was throttled down in the middle of the cycle in Jan. and was throttled down 1 WEEK into this billing cycle!! This is an outrage!

    A couple reasons we are getting ripped off:
    1. We purchased an “UNLIMITED” plan.. and we pay for THAT every month.
    2. another very important fact.. I have never used more than 1 meg of data per cycle since I have been a T-Mobile customer, and according to T-Mobile records I used 500 k at 4 o’clock in the morning!! when I was fast asleep!
    It is obvious to see that T-Mobile thinks we are stupid and they are ripping us off.. I will be contacting a lawyer today and I will spread the news about T-Mobile’s scam..
    The internet, Twitter and Facebook helped coordinate an uprising in Egypt, lets see what we can do about T-Mobile..

  • Sumluzr

    I am leaving T-Mobile after years of being with them for this very reason. Throttle my usage?? That’s like limiting my oxygen. T-Mobiles network sucks. I would highly recommend anyone but them.

  • Furygoddess

    I just received a text message for the first time stating they will slow down my speed for the remainder of the cycle. I received this at the end of the cycle! I cannot open a webpage and I cannot even get into the TMobile website to write a complaint since over the phone they just give you excuses. I have complained about their slow speed many times, they have done nothing to fix the problem. But, how great they are in creating a problem o better yet in providing not service at all and expecting payment. Outraged at their treatment and will seek legal advice on the matter.

  • Dopehousex3

    I went from 3mb to 0.04mb with a message saying I was getting my speed slowed down for using a “unlimited data plan!” Thats just bs a side note verizon and sprint do the same thing not sure about at&t just incase you where thinking of switching carriers.

  • Toiletduck34

    is there a way to join the class action lawsuit still? please post if so!

    • Officergiovanni

      They did that to me to…they told me every thing unlimited …it’s a lie internet is not unlimited …hit me up…8185641985 lets all Sue ..

  • Divinesonz

    Yes please direct me to this class action law suit ASAP. I’m sick of tmobile LYING about Truely unlimted plan!!! They slow up my phone every month! What the F type of service am I paying for!!!????

  • Dds3303

    I WAS a Tmobile customer for 2 years and 7 months. On 04/28/2011 I went into my local Tmobile store to pay my phone bill which was $119.40. I usually pay my bill by phone but I was in the area so I decided to go in the store. I got to the register to pay my bill and to pay for a phone case which was $37.44 which equaled $156.84. The agent told me to swipe my card as a debit, I did. He stated that it didnt go through and to swipe it as a credit. Before I swiped my card a second time, I asked the agent if my card would be charged twice and he stated “Oh no! We dont do that here!” I then swiped my card as a credit. The next day I checked my account and saw that I had been charged TWICE for $156.84! I contacted Tmobile and spoke with a lot of agents. SEVERAL of the supervisors there got on the 3 way with my financial institution. My bank told the supervisors from Tmobile that I was charged twice by their company and no there wasnt an authorization hold on the money. TMOBILE THEN STATED THAT THEY WOULD LAUNCH AN INVESTIGATION AND SEE WHERE THE MISSING FUNDS WERE. On July 20,2011, I received a text from Tmobile stating that my payment was located and it would be applied to my account. I called Tmobile and asked them if they could pay my bill(121.00) with the credit that I had received and refund the balance to me. The agent told me sure we can do that. He also stated that he would have to send me a check for the balance because they couldnt apply it back to my original method of payment. I contacted Tmobile last night and told them that I keep receiving text messages stating that my bill was due and why. I spoke with 2 agents who both stated that there was no record of me calling regarding the refund BUT! they stated that the refund had been denied!? One of the supervisors even hung up on me. I called right back and spoke to another supervisor. She told me that the billing department removed my payment in April and the credit that I received would be applied to the April payment? How was I allowed to go 3 months without paying the April bill? And where was the FIRST payment? The supervisor stated that they did not charge me twice because it was not in their system. I faxed them ALL of the paperwork that they could possibly need! They told me that there was NOTHING that they could do. The supervisor stated that she didnt care what my bank said there was nothing else that she was going to do and my service was disconnected this morning! Please help!!

    • tim

      This is totally different from the possible class action suit.  You need to go to small claims court and/or hire an attorney. 
      You might want to try one more time calling customer service then asking for their legal department.  You may never get there, but let whomever you speak to know that if this issue cannot be resolved within 24 hours you will be forced to take legal action and you will file with the attorney general.  Tell them nicely, as a matter-of-fact, without raising your voice.  And then follow through.  Try to get the names of everyone you talk to.  Good luck.

  • Ajdiaz67

    I Just Cancelled my service with tmobile because of the throttling and payed $200.00 cancellation fee. This Sucks they gave me misleading info about the service. How can i get info about a class action lawsuit? Why would they do this to their customers? 

  • Shamara Boyd

    Anybody find out any info on the lawsuit? I want in! This is b.s email me at shamara.boyd@gmail.com

  • Mkrebs55

    When did t-mobile add the throttle down feature to the unlimited data plan? I believe it was sometime in 2009