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November 5, 2012

T-Mobile’s “Unlimited?” 4G Service

Filed under: Internet,Telephone — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:42 am

Few services advertised as “unlimited” are truly unlimited. And T-Mobile continues to be a case in point.

When T-Mobile began advertising “unlimited” data on its cellphones in April 2011, the fine print indicated that only the first two gigabytes were truly unlimited. Any use beyond that would be slowed down or “throttled.” And of course, that fact was not as prominently disclosed as their unlimited claims.

Fast forward to September 2012. T-Mobile published full page ads with a new unlimited claim:

T-Mobile unlimited

However, at the bottom page in almost unreadable type was this:


T-Mobile unlimited fine print

Not obvious on its face, the new unlimited plan is not considered “Ultra” or “Premium” where customers’ data transmission speeds will be given priority when traffic is heavy. That could put those on the new unlimited plan in coach and thus they may not experience the same fast speeds.

Beyond that, on T-Mobile’s “test drive” website, the company seems to proclaim a list of benefits to those who select the new 4G unlimited service (note: graphic has been compressed to fit this page):


The top-listed benefit is the ability to create a wi-fi hotspot so that data can be shared with other devices nearby such as a tablet. However, when clicking on that benefit, one discovers that this is NOT a benefit of the new unlimited 4G plan.



NOTE: MrConsumer is a member of Verizon’s Consumer Advisory Board, and often criticizes that company for its advertising missteps.

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  1. These guys ought to have a TV table on the street, playing the old shell game.

    Comment by Marty — November 5, 2012 @ 7:28 am
  2. These kinds of deals always seem like a game of find the small print. Any time a company promises something unlimited consumers better be sure they know exactly how that company defines unlimited.

    Comment by Wayne R — November 5, 2012 @ 8:29 am
  3. If you think “unlimited” is a loaded word, try “lifetime,” one of my favorites. Then examine in “lifetime” offers the mouse print defining THAT word!

    Comment by Dan Kap, Whittier, CA — November 5, 2012 @ 10:42 am
  4. I would give them unlimited amounts of my income for this plan (*)

    (*) subject to restrictions, such as monthly payments tied to the amount of data I use, amount of income I have, and other factors such as the amount I actually choose to pay at any given time for any given reason, including, not not restricted to, offering nothing and applying a negative amount if other plans are deemed to be better.

    Comment by RobS — November 5, 2012 @ 11:51 am
  5. Dan:

    A few years ago in San Juan my wife was shopping at a Coach store and a salesman tried to sell me a wallet. I usually get one for about $10 and it’ll last for years but this baby was going for $100 and he said “It has a lifetime guarantee!” I told him “I’m 66 and lifetime is no longer much of a selling point for me.”

    Comment by Rick — November 5, 2012 @ 4:34 pm
  6. It’s like Hollywood and their lies. I saw the “Neverending Story” and it did have an end. False advertising!!

    Comment by Jim — November 6, 2012 @ 2:22 pm
  7. Interesting, for me the wifi thing is at the bottom:
    Wirelessly share to TV
    Automatic photo sharing
    Watch TV on-the-go
    Stream music
    Create a Wi-Fi hotspot

    Comment by Boris — November 9, 2012 @ 11:08 am
  8. Rick:

    Funny, but I happen to be 66 as well. I guess great minds think alike…good point about the $100 Coach wallet!

    Heck, at my age, I’m afraid to buy green bananas…

    Comment by Dan Kap, Whittier, CA — November 15, 2012 @ 8:16 am

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