Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Verizon "5GB Limit" is no longer an issue

The other day the news broke that Verizon was going to reimburse 13,000 subscribers they wrongfully terminated service to. The total Verizon will pay back is $1 Million dollars which means on average, each person will get just under $80 back to cover the cost of equipment that was no longer useful, and never refunded.

These customers all bought Verizon's wireless broadband product believing they were going to have "unlimited" service, when in fact the terms of service included this:
"Anyone using more than 5 GB per line in a given month is presumed to be using the service in a manner prohibited above, and we reserve the right to immediately terminate the service of any such person without notice."
When Verizon started terminating selected accounts for 'abuse' of their 'unlimited' service plans, there was an uproar. One very popular thread on EVDOforums attracted a lot of traffic, and soon the word was out: Verizon's unlimited plans had a 5GB limit.

After a lot of media coverage the pressure on Verizon finally got them to at least change their marketing materials, and last April Verizon agreed to stop referring to their plans as "unlimited". Here's a wayback machine link to the terms of service page from last February that still has "unlimited" in the writeup, and here is a link to the April version with all instances of "unlimited" removed.

For those still concerned that the terms of service is still cause for concern, the New York AG's office press release has this specific wording that we want to bring emphasis to:
"Verizon Wireless has voluntarily ceased cutting off customers based on their data usage and no longer prohibits common internet uses."
We can't imagine that Verizon's legal department is going to allow that to be said exactly that way, if they were still terminating accounts for 'abuse' that others would call 'common internet uses'.

3GStore.com has sold thousands of Verizon devices with BroadBandAccess accounts, and has not had any customer advise us that their service was terminated for abuse, since long before last spring. Many of these customers know they regularly exceed 5GB of data transfer per month, and have expressed concern that they can't stand the idea they may one day be terminated.

Its our opinion that the specific verbiage in that NYAG press release makes the '5GB Limit' a moot point, and that customers need not worry about being terminated for 'common internet uses'.