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GUIDE: What does UNLIMITED really mean?

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GUIDE: What does UNLIMITED really mean?

edited 3 January 2015 at 6:12PM in Mobiles
81 replies 92.7K views
ZhugeEXZhugeEX Forumite
1.2K posts
edited 3 January 2015 at 6:12PM in Mobiles
I have made this thread for those people who are looking for a new contract and want to know exactly what the fair use policy is for those that claim unlimited minutes/texts/data. Obviously the fair use policies won't really matter as not many people will need an unlimited supply of mins/texts/data, but for those that do (esp data) then here is a list by network-

These fair use policies are for pay monthly customers unless otherwise stated.

Unlimited Text Messages-

3,000 - Orange, Virgin, Vectone, Talk Mobile, Talk Talk (O2/Voda/Three/T-Mobile/Orange PAYG)
5,000 - Tesco (as advertised)
12,000- O2 / Vodafone (excessive use policy)
Other - T-Mobile (Cannot text more than 200 DIFFERENT numbers in one month)
Other - EE (Cannot text more than 300 DIFFERENT numbers in one month)
AYCE- Three, truly unlimited with no fair use policy as of yet.

O2, Vodafone, EE, T-Mobile may contact you if you repeatedly use an excessive amount of text messages. I believe T-Mobile contact you if you continually use more than 5000 texts per month as well.

Unlimited Minutes

2,000 - Talk Talk
3,000 - Virgin, Vectone, Tesco, Talk Mobile
4,000 - Orange
Other - T-Mobile (Cannot call more than 200 DIFFERENT numbers in one month)
Other - EE (Cannot call more than 300 DIFFERENT numbers in one month)
UNL - O2, Vodafone (undisclosed excessive use policy)
AYCE- Three, truly unlimited with no fair use policy as of yet.

If you use excessive amounts of minutes on o2 & Vodafone you may be contacted and asked to lower your usage, this actually applies for a number of networks. O2 and Vodafone are rumoured to have a fair use policy of around 5,000 minutes and customers have been contacted for using over 5,000 minutes in the past. It is also worth noting that Vodafone have a fair use policy of 3000 minutes on their unlimited landline/vodafone calls.

Unlimited Internet

Lyca-
5GB fair use policy then capped to 2G speeds after
No Tethering
Includes 4G

Giff Gaff-
Unlimited use on phone however speed may be slowed down/you may be banned for using too much.
10GB seems to be the limit when Giff Gaff contact you / slow down speeds.
No Tethering
3G data Only

Virgin-
3.5GB Data Cap (speeds slowed to 384kbps once exceeded)
No tethering
3G Data only

T-Mobile-
No fair use policy however speeds are capped at 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up
No Tethering
Network traffic controls apply.
3G Data Only

Three (One Plan)
-No fair use policy
-Tethering on SIM Only capped at 4GB.
-Tethering on Contract Handset capped at 2GB
-Includes unlimited access to 4G on the phone
-Traffic management can apply at peak times for p2p etc...

Vectone-
Fair use of 3GB per month
No Tethering
Once 3GB is exceeded you will pay a standard rate of 10p per megabyte
AVOID!


Can i tether with my phone?

Three-
Contract handset tariffs with AYCE data are subject to 2GB cap.
Tethering on SIM Only capped at 4GB.
£5 add on for 1GB extra tethering

Vodafone
Tethering included in tariffs
£10 add-on = Extra 2gb of tethering data

EE
Tethering included in all tariffs, comes out of data allowance.

TMobile
No tethering on old discontinued full monty Plan
Tethering allowed on other plans with unlimited data.
Tethering not allowed on any unlimited SIM Only plans.


Orange

Tethering allowed on all recent tariffs, but...
- Panther tariff - comes out of your data allowance, once you've used that up, £1/d tethering charge and £1/d internet charge. It's unclear how much you are allowed to use
- Dolphin, Canary or Racoon (post Sept 2011) - not included but can be used at £1/d, and an extra £1/d if you go over your data allowance.
- Pre Sept 2011 tariffs - Not allowed.

O2
Tethering included in all tariffs, comes out of data allowance.

Virgin
Tethering not allowed on any plan, no add on.

Giffgaff
Only allowed on limited plans e.g 1GB.
No tethering on Unlimited plans

Talk Mobile
No tethering allowed

Tesco
Can tether on Android & iPhone


Please note that these fair use policies ONLY APPLY ON THE LATEST TARIFFS. If you are on an old legacy tariff you may have a lower or higher fair use policy.

This list is up to date as of 31/05/14
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Replies

  • jenniewbjenniewb Forumite
    12.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    It would be great if this could be a sticky...?
  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Useful thread :T
  • ZhugeEXZhugeEX Forumite
    1.2K posts
    Cheers. How can this be made a sticky? is it even that useful for that?

    Anyway, do you guys think there are any other topics out there that i can cover that confuse customers and could use a little clearing up?
  • robbies_galrobbies_gal Forumite
    7.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    i think one of the bg's has to do thanks for the guide
    What goes around-comes around
  • ZhugeEXZhugeEX Forumite
    1.2K posts
    What does bg stand for?
  • robbies_galrobbies_gal Forumite
    7.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    sorry board guide-theyre names are usually listed at the bottom
    What goes around-comes around
  • ZhugeEXZhugeEX Forumite
    1.2K posts
    sorry board guide-theyre names are usually listed at the bottom

    Ah cheers. Sorry, should have guessed that haha
  • robbies_galrobbies_gal Forumite
    7.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    no worries-maybe if u pm them they might make it a sticky
    What goes around-comes around
  • ZhugeEXZhugeEX Forumite
    1.2K posts
    Cheers. I'll see what they say.
  • MattLFCMattLFC Forumite
    397 posts
    Fantastic post, should certainly be made a sticky!! :T

    To be entirely fair to Three, they never list minutes or texts as "unlimited"; they're the only company out there who seems to regard "unlimited" allowances as just that, unlimited, aka limitless...

    So for instance, their highest plan, aka "The One Plan", is sold as 2000 xnet minutes, 5000 3-3 minutes, 5000 text messages, unlimited data and tethering. The two unlimited data (and tethering) feature is truly unlimited with no FUP as stated by the OP.

    I think this is the way all networks should go; if they want to call something unlimited, it should be limitless, with no FUP; if they have a FUP of 3000 minutes for instance, then simply do as Three do, and label it "3000 minutes" instead of unlimited lol. Any company prepared to lie to, or deceive their customer from day one, is, IMHO, not a company I'd want to do business with.

    Quite how the ASA and Ofcom allow this shady practice is beyond me; well we do know, money (bungs) speaks louder than words, but that just makes it doubly not right. Having said that though, it's good to see that the main networks have gradually stopped the "unlimited" but subject to FUP malarky with regards data. In the past 14 months I've been using Three, it's been really nice to not have to even think about data consumption! AYCE data is an absolute godsend.
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