Let me share my own experience as a warning to others. I was looking for a broadband provider which could cope with the three lap-tops being used by members of this household, at least one of which might be live-streaming, or downloading, at any one time. I had been warned that some providers would put restrictions on the total amount that could be down-loaded, or might slow the computers down if their download exceeded a certain amount. I looked at a number of websites and discovered several that specified a restriction on the amount that could be downloaded to a fixed number of downloads a month. However I was glad to find that the package I had become interested in was described as having an “unlimited use” policy. There were no qualifications to this on the website (including its terms and conditions) and a conversation with the otherwise very helpful representative never gave me any indication of any restrictions on usage. However after our first month I received a heavy bill for exceeding the download limit in my “package”; this turned out to be a 100 gigabyte "fair usage" policy - which was not mentioned on the website.
It became apparent that this package was never going to be satisfactory and I’m glad to say that the company allowed me to transfer to another more suitable provider without a cancellation charge. The first month’s “excess use” charge was readily cancelled. But high charges for excess use in the remaining month and a half before I was able to transfer to another provider were only withdrawn after much correspondence and a threat of a complaint to the Ombudsman Services. In the event I was thankful to move on without losing any more time or emotional energy.
What is frustrating is that the whole business, which must have wasted a lot of the provider’s staff time as well as mine, was completely avoidable. It only required a mention on the website, and especially in the terms and conditions. Indeed its present omission seems to be against the judgement of the Advertising Standards Authority. According to the website http://www.broadband.co.uk/guides/t...broadband/
“Complaints and campaigns about the misuse of the term ‘unlimited’ increased and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) brought in new regulations to ensure that ‘unlimited’ was not used in a misleading way. As a result of these changes, which came to force on the first of April 2012, broadband suppliers can no longer charge customers or suspend their service for excessive usage. However they are allowed to apply ‘traffic management’ restrictions, but only if these restrictions are made clear to customers.”
I thought I knew a bit about internet charges but have clearly had a lot to learn. There must be many like me and they need some protection.
PS The Company referred to is Greenmobile. Their representative has subsequently told me that staff are now trained to be sure to explain the limitations of "unlimited use" to each customer. But I maintain it is still not clear on their website and this could lead the inexperienced, like myself, to make mistakes. Please see for yourself.