unlimited is now limited

United States
August 14, 2011 9:31am CST
I just got a notice that we exceeded the broadband data usage plan for my DSL. Now where I'm a bit upset is that we have "unlimited" and supposidly as of May they started limits on the usage, we are at 150 Gigs and the limit is 150 gigs and they're going to charge me an extra 10 bucks a month! Ok for one, as far as I've always understood that it was unlimited... wich ment used your internet connection as much or as little as you want for the speed you opted to pay. Now I know part of this is usage issue is because we now subscribe to netflix. My hubby watches alot of movies and the kids love their tv shows that you usually only find on cable. I'm thinking if this is the case I'll have to find out what the cost of 250 gigs is or perhaps we'll just cancel netflix and then that'll be the end of it. The info page said that us using so much data slows down their lines ect so they have to charge us more. And of course the rumor that netflix is going to go up as well isn't helping things. The reason we've kept the internet of course is because we got addicted to the net nearly 15yrs ago and I figure for a lil less than 50 a month for DSL is cheaper entertainment than trying to take a family a 5 to the movies every weekend ect. Plus of course the obvious doing things we like to do online like mylot and facebook. I'm just urked.
2 people like this
20 responses
@ShepherdSpy (8563)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
16 Aug 11
I've heard of this thing of the Headlined "Unlimited" Internet service,and you only find out on reading the small print that it's only "Unlimited" as long as you stay within the provisions of their "Fair Use" Policy! Surely They can't have it both ways,selling you an unlimited package then defining a cutoff...I do have an unlimited package myself,but as I'm not watching lots of streamed TV or Movies,I haven't come upon any restrictions,though the top speeds of upload and download are seldom reached..Do you have options to upgrade or change provider where it won't hurt so much? or are you watching so many streamed movies or TV that netflix by post is no longer an option?
• United States
17 Aug 11
There are few options here. I could upgrade but they do not list the price to upgrade, only of the special rate for new customers. I also hate calling because they charge you more if you order over the phone than online. It's a horse a piece no matter what either way we'll end up paying more. But if the neighbor said our lines are not capable of the higher speeds why would I want to pay for it?
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
17 Aug 11
It's something I've never tried myself,but some Advisors on the subject would recommend you call them and say you're considering going elsewhere for your service,and they might then make you a better offer to keep you...I dunno,though... Would there be any user forums online you could check out that might share how much their upgrade costs would be?
• United States
26 Aug 11
They have a user forum. But guess what only questions about billing problems ect and no answers, no replies to any of them it's like a little ghost town of unanswered questions.
@mrfdg1972 (3238)
• Philippines
14 Aug 11
Can't you look for another internet provider with REAL Unlimited Usage.
• Canada
14 Aug 11
After a while, there is no such thing as unlimited. Most ISP's have done away with their unlimited services, and have set caps on their usages. The more bandwidth you need, the more you will have to pay, and it's just a cash grab with most companies. Unfair, but that's the way they play the game. Those that are still unlimited, they're following suit, and it's just a matter of time before there is no such thing as unlimited usage. It will be a thing of the past and no one will remember it.
• United States
25 Aug 11
Yeah will it might be a selling point in the wars of internet companies and cell phone companies in the future. You pinch one penny in one direction and you get kicked in the other.
@dorannmwin (36608)
• United States
17 Aug 11
That is absolutely terrible. The response that I would give if something like that was to happen to me, then I would get rid of that internet service provider. In our area, we have a choice of dial-up (which I would never have again), DSL and also cable internet. Well, we have cable right now and we've never had a problem with it. However, if they were to give me problems, then I would switch to DSL as a response to their changes in policy.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Aug 11
I would have to switch to cable and that could cost me even more. As they only want to bundle and my house is not cable ready... shoot it wasn't even laundry ready. So I could imagine how much the install would cost me as they don't do free installation and we were spending 50-70 a month 10yrs ago just for cable when we had it in the apt.
@katsmeow1213 (28707)
• United States
14 Aug 11
I'd be irked too.. and I'd drop them so fast their heads would spin! I have Time Warner, and thus far no problems. We do Netflix and all that other stuff and my internet has never gone up. I understand regular rate changes, but to start charging per usage.. that's nuts!
• United States
14 Aug 11
It's not per usage it's once you've exceeded your bandwidth. Not that I exactly know what that is. I'd drop them if I knew of a better choice... Time warner wants to just do bundles here. I hate it but frankly other than Time Warner & AT&T we have few choices sux... next to no competition here.
• United States
15 Aug 11
Yeah, that's why they do it to ya. Time Warner and Verizon are the biggest competitors out here, plus there are other options like dial up or whatever. I have one of the bundles through Time Warner, plus I'm on a few specials which will expire eventually. Right now I pay $120 a month for cable w/ DVR, phone, and internet. I think it will be going up soon though because the special I got on the phone started about a year ago so that will expire soon I think. If not the package will expire in the spring because that's when we ordered cable.
• United States
17 Aug 11
Yeah one doesn't want to go back up to dial-up let me tell you I spent the whole frig'n day online trying to get stuff as I spent soooo much time waiting for pages to load.. i'd walk away and do something else for a moment or two. Ours is like 68 for phone and DSL. That's another problem when you go online they only show the "specials" not the true cost of the service. As once the promotional period ends then who'd want to pay what they charge? And I hate to have to call to get the "REAL" pricing and get smoozed into something. I spent time last year trying to knock down our bill and all I knocked it down was by a few dollars but yet they charged me $5 to change it. So basically I'm saving less than $5 a month by getting rid of long distance , since we use the cell for that.
@zoey7879 (3104)
• United States
15 Aug 11
I'm really blessed when it comes to my Internet service in many ways. For $45 a month I have unlimited cable internet. The downside is that it goes down for several hours a month, at least, and the company does some slightly unethical things. Right now, they are trying to make me pay for my roommate's bill from a previous address as they've discovered he lives here. As internet is not defined as a public utility, they are under no obligation to provide me service if no contract agreement exists. They have told me that if I do not pay my roommates $300 owed bill that they will transfer his bill to my name, making me responsible for both owed amounts, due at the same time. That's actually more than I make in a month, and without net access, I don't have a job. So upsides and downsides..
• United States
17 Aug 11
It doesn't sound like what they are trying to do to you is very legal. If it's not your spouse, you are in no way responsible for his debts. I'd call someone about that!
@zoey7879 (3104)
• United States
17 Aug 11
It's legal for public utility companies to do, as I would still be reaping benefit of using the utilities, but cable and internet services are not classified as public utilities. While they cannot legally force him to pay my bill, they are under NO legal obligation to provide him with the service either, and that is how companies often get away with this. They can shut it off at any time if he does not meet their terms and they do not have to allow any other services such as actual cable or the VOIP service that they have, to be provided. It stinks to say the least :( I went from bringing home $800+/mo to bringing home less than the average social security recipient. That's why I have a roommate to begin with, but naturally, they don't care.
@kaylachan (4778)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
15 Aug 11
Understandably so. But, I can understand the point of view from your provider as well. You have to consider how large they are. How many families they serve, and since it's DSL it means you can use your phone too (if you have landline) which puts a huge strain on their systems trying to process all of that data. Movies, videos and a lot of flash-based websites eats up a lot of data too which isn't helping them any. Netflix has already gone up. That is if you receive dvds by mail and stream movies and t.v. shows through the website. Basically both services are seperate with seperate rates. If you only do one or the other you probably haven't seen a change. Netflix claims its to help cover the overhead cost for shipping their DvDs all over the country. Mind you they pay postage both ways as part of their services. With digital cable, there are other alternitivies depending on where you are for watching certain t.v. shows and movies. For example you could use pay-per-view. Sounds pricey, but when you rent a movie through this method, you usually get unlimited viewing for a full twenty-four hours. Might make your cable go up though. But, for a once and a while treat... if you budget for it there's no harm done.
@patgalca (13888)
• Orangeville, Ontario
17 Aug 11
I asked about speed too since I am supposed to have high speed. I was having trouble and they had to tweak the speed down a notch. At one point I was told it was the highest it could go "for my area". When I had a guy come out and check the lines (turned out the outside box was rotted as were all the neighbours since they were all put in at the same time), I asked him about that comment. He said the phone lines under the road are older ones. Today they use different product but they aren't about to tear up a road just to upgrade the phone lines under the road. What can you do? Move to a newer area just so you get updated phone lines?
@patgalca (13888)
• Orangeville, Ontario
14 Aug 11
I didn't realize we had a limit until we went over the limit and got charged for it. I inquired about it. We had always been limited but never went over it. Now with a computer and 3 laptops in the house, the kids watching movies and more YouTube and music videos, we were using it up. I told the kids about this and asked them to keep their streaming to a minimum. However, I did pay the extra five bucks a month to increase the band useage by more than double. We shouldn't have a problem now, especially with my eldest going off to college in the fall. That's one less user in the house, and one less computer.
• United States
17 Aug 11
Yeah that's just it we all have a reason to be online, and by that I mean everyone in the household weather it be to check on the bills, watch video's, facebook ect. Sometimes we are all online at the same time ect.
@patgalca (13888)
• Orangeville, Ontario
17 Aug 11
I was told by my provider that it's the movies, Skyping, downloading music, and watching YouTube that uses up the bandwidth. I don't think the other stuff affects it much.
@dragon54u (31291)
• United States
14 Aug 11
There are a lot of providers raising their fees, just because they see a justification for it now that so many people are subscribing to NetFlix. That's a smart business decision but not so good for those of us who are trying to save money. It seems that every time we find some way to save, someone figures out a way to make us pay more in some other area. Lots of people are giving up online entertainment because of this. There's a family in my town that the newspaper did a piece on...they could no longer pay the prices for internet and cable. You can't get anything on TV here without a cable connection, for some reason. So they dropped it all, went to a thrift store and bought a bunch of games and made sure they all had library cards. They borrow movies, books and music from the library. They play games together. They say it's the best thing that ever happened to their family. I know that's not for everyone, especially a household with so many people and schedules going on at once. But you might think about it, you'd save $50 a month and could use library computers for any online stuff you might want to do. And the kids could use the school computers if they needed to be online during the day.
• United States
14 Aug 11
I had thought about dropping DSL and using my then usable netbook at the library (doesn't work very well since hit with a virus abt 2mo's ago). The trouble is to get Hubby into this new habit. But he has a smart phone so other than watching movies at his liesure. We did borrow movies, books ect from the library. However, where we decided to do netflix is from the fact that the kids do not take responsibilty for the items they borrow. So if they scratch it or loose it they don't understand that I have to PAY for it! Had a heartattack the other week when DD1 sweet talked hubby into borrowing some video's I had to renew them for 2 weeks so I could locate them in the house!! They also charge between 20-30 for each video if you lose them even if wal-mart sells the same one out of it's $5-7.50 bin. (side note: waste of tax payers money if they have to pay that amount to replace it rather than buy from a regular store) The kids don't have internet access at school or if they do they can't just do what they want on it. The kids section in the library does not have the internet either, just the adult and a 30 minute limit.
• United States
14 Aug 11
I also forgot to mention that I have netflix because it's cheaper than replacing the DVD's we used to buy..... again due to their carlessness. I figure, movies and shows we like and no disks to loose or scratch up
@dawnald (84129)
• Shingle Springs, California
16 Aug 11
Price increases or service reductions everywhere - it sucks...
• United States
17 Aug 11
Maybe an eventual act of congress on this limiting of data? Afterall that's how they finally got the cell companies to put packages for unlimited texts as it costs the companies a fraction of a cent to send a text but yet charged per text. My neighbor's daughter was doing over 1000 text messages a month... let me tell you he bout fell over when he got his cell bill.
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
16 Aug 11
What do you mean? I just got Verizon Fios and don't know a thing about gigs and all...I was going to do NEtflix, but it it takes away from my computer time, I'll just have them mailed. I don't know all this new fangled stuff.
• United States
17 Aug 11
I have at&t. I don't understand much about it either, hubby is the pc guru in the house. You can do netflix and your pc at the same time as long as you have it stream to your tv.
• United States
15 Aug 11
That is the way of all these big companies and I hate it. I recently got a message from AT&T telling of how they were reformatting their service. I don't think it is fair either because when you sign up for an agreement it should stay the same. I really don't know how these companies can just do whatever they want and get away with it. I haven't been affected yet but when I am I won't be happy either. I was once told that big business was what really controlled this country and now I am wondering if there isn't some truth to that. These big businesses seem to be able to make the rules as they see fit and change them when it is convenient for them. There are no laws to protect us from this. I guess I don't like change either. I am also dependent on the internet and if DSL gets too expensive I will have to look at other options. I hope Netflix doesn't start charging more since I just joined and I don't want to pay more. I don't think it is worth too much. These companies are money hungry.
• United States
17 Aug 11
Yep well it's that vary same company you got notice from sent me a notice about the over usage of the bandwith. Sadly these big companies can get away with things because as consumers they leave us with few choices for services. Also it is true big business controls this country very much. More aspects than we realize, we are just used to it and hope they are reputable. If you are able to watch FOOD Inc you'll learn alot of our food system as well is a big business and not as wholesome as they make things to be on the packaging.
@JohnRok1 (2051)
15 Aug 11
It's definitely dishonest to charge you for "overuse" without having given you prior notice that such a thing could exist. Also unilaterally changing the terms of a contract while it's still extant is dishonest and would be illegal in the UK.
• United States
17 Aug 11
I may of missed the notice as they do send lil newsletter e-mails.... but honestly doesn't everything send newsletters of solicitations via your e-mail? so if anything it probably got deleted. It's not a contract so they can do what they want. However, I think since they send me several physical snail mail letters in any given week telling me how I could save money if I bundled up all their services they could of sent me a notice that way where I'd be more likely to see it.
• India
15 Aug 11
If you in India, BSNL offers unlimited access to broad band with 16dollars.
• United States
17 Aug 11
Nope I'm afraid I'm in USA. We tend to get price gouged on alot of things it seems other folks in the world pay a more modest / affordable price for. Dial up is the cheapest and that's 20-25 dollars a month on special.
• United States
15 Aug 11
Sad Snuggles as I too had to give up a lot of things as I am not employed. My cable or rather dishnetwork went and I miss my TV. I can see them online but not quite the same for me. Our TV only works on a scrambler and most time it is pure static so our TV is hardly ever on here. Life is just getting to tough with all providers changing and upping their fees. Here we pay a lot for our internet but in my building we do not have choices. It is either the $70 per month I so toughly pay or none at all. It is getting too hard these days and companies like your are making it even tougher. I see you are not a fan of movies but your family will miss them. Wow how sad we have to give up on so little to save a bit.
• United States
17 Aug 11
Well honestly with having the kids home and only one tv guess who get the tv the kids do. The only show I really get to watch is Dirty Jobs otherwise it's all kids shows. Hubby watched movies on his lap top til the kids broke it last week. Prices are going up everywhere but yet wages are not. And the new $3.50+ / gal of gas is the "norm" or probably will be at this rate doesn't help.
@smacksman (6076)
14 Aug 11
We have a lot of companies in the UK who have socalled 'unlimited' bandwidth. That is until you read the small print and then it says something like 'except for unusual activity' or 'at their discretion'. But no fixed definition so you really don't know where you stand exactly. The big trouble is that the net has moved on in the last few years and big downloads are not unusual now that most people are getting faster ADSL/DSL speeds. Streaming a 9Gb movie is not unusual now when a few years back the monthly bandwidth allowed was maybe 5Gb!
• United States
14 Aug 11
Exactly I think they are just too cheap to update to fiber optics so they are soaking everyone. Once a year we have to have them put us on a new line because the lines outside are ancient and need to be updated.
@ram_cv (16516)
• India
14 Aug 11
Most schemes in India right now are like this. For the first few GBs you get a higher speed and for the rest you get lower speed. For e.g. in Reliance and in Tata Indicom you get around 5 GB at 3.1 Mbps and then for the rest it is around 256 Kbps. So you can see that most of the vendors have similar schemes. I think if you are subscribing to NetFlix then you need to shell out a bit more as you need to have high speed for the total of the bandwidth and not just for the first few GBs. Cheers! Ram
• United States
14 Aug 11
Like most people we are trying to pinch our pennies where we can and internet is our "luxury" since we don't have cable.
• Canada
14 Aug 11
For what you're paying, you've got a good deal for bandwidth. Here, we pay almost $60/month for 60gigs of bandwidth and it's never enough. My roommate is the one who watches movies online, not me, so when we max out our usage, he's the one who has to pay for it. I had the free trial of Netflix at one point, didn't find anything I liked so I canceled it. I'm glad I did, we'd be over our limit in no time if I hadn't. If you want to go to movies, only go once or twice a month, or borrow them from the library. There's a lot at the library that you wont find in theaters.
• United States
14 Aug 11
Thanks for the comparison figure. Well hubby likes to fall asleep to the movies which is part of it. If he'd turn his laptop off when he felt sleepy and diconnected it instead of running the movie even if he's asleep would probably save us a bit.
@GardenGerty (88746)
• Marion, Kansas
14 Aug 11
I know that it seems that things change just when we manage to be able to pay them, etc. It is really frustrating. I do not do movies, etc. but that is just me. I hope you find what works for you.
• United States
14 Aug 11
I'm not a big fan of movies either but I do like several tv shows they have normally on cable but I can't afford another 75 or more a month just for cable.
@garson (886)
• United States
12 Sep 11
Hmm, are you in the US? I had DSL internet connection prior to moving to California late last year. Mine was up to 7 megs download and up to (forgot the upload) .. speed. Now I have Verizon FiOs with 15/5 plan (15MB download 5MB upload). Looking at how internet service has been offered in the US, I'm not sure if there is such thing as 'unlimited'. When you said 150 Gigs, what do you mean? Do you know your internet plan?
@lilybug (21182)
• United States
14 Aug 11
I had heard that they were starting to do a cap on the unlimited data plans on cell phones, but I did not know they were doing it with internet as well. I have Charter for my internet and cable. We watch movies online all the time and I have never gotten anything saying we went over. I think I would be looking for a new internet provider.