T-Mobile mobile broadband ‘Fair Use’ Policy: Fair or unfair?

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, but I hope that’s behind me as I look forward to the new week ahead.  More on that another time.


This is just an unplanned post about some ‘discussions’ I’m having with T-Mobile about their ‘fair use’ policy on their mobile broadband.  This isn’t the broadband USB dongle that I plug into my laptop, it’s the surfing I do on my mobile phone.


They’ve written to me to explain that in October (2008) I exceeded the amount of data that they think is a ‘fair use’ of their service.  The letter explained that if I continue to exceed that amount in November then they would cap the speed to 64kbps (just over dial-up speed).  The problem is that the letter arrived on the 24th of November, by which time I had probably already exceeded their fair use allowance again.  Basically, I feel like I’ve been stitched up.


I’ve got over a year to run on the contract too, so I’ll be paying the full amount for a ‘broadband speed’ service, but will have little more than dial-up speeds.  Surfing at those speeds nowadays is not practicable.


Okay, so I exceeded the fair use amount in the contract (there are other issues too, but I won’t complicate things at this stage).  The thing is, there’s no way to monitor how much data I’m actually using.  The first I know about it is the letter I receive, and by then it’s too late to do anything about it.

I’ve had a lengthy phone call with them tonight, and will be faxing them a letter tomorrow to try to resolve the situation.  This is T-Mobile’s opportunity to show whether they are ‘treating customers fairly’.

2 thoughts on “T-Mobile mobile broadband ‘Fair Use’ Policy: Fair or unfair?

  1. Hello,

    I have had exactly the same issue as yourself.
    Received a letter from T-Mobile a month after going over their fair use policy etc and I basically had 3 days to reduce it…. Pretty much impossible. Spent a while on the phone to them and they have said they can’t do anything!! Please let me know if you get some headway 🙂

  2. Hi Pat, thanks for the comment.

    Did you see my subsequent post and the comments here http://www.bowenracing.com/2008/12/t-mobile-fair-use-policy-my-verdict/

    I didn’t take the matter further because my data usage in the month in which I received the warning was within their limit (I still don’t understand how), so they didn’t reduce my speed. Did they reduce yours? If so, it’s next to useless for you now, and you’re probably going to have to pay for a service they’re not providing until the end of the contract. I don’t know what their definition of ‘fair’ is, but it’s not what any rational person would call ‘fair’.

    It might be worth finding out if T-Mobile has signed up to the voluntary code of conduct, and if so, make a written complaint.

    Please keep us informed of what happens, if anything.

    Has anyone else had similar problems but reached a good conclusion?

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