Unlimited phone plans will now truly be unlimited

August 12th, 2010

Have you ever been deceived by false advertising, that is probably not regarded as false, because of the “special conditions that may apply”. Well, good for you if it has never happened to you. However, for the rest of us who naively believe that unlimited talk time or texts really means unlimited, there is finally some good news.

According to the Gleaner/Power 106 news, “The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) has decreed that as of Monday July 12, 2010, mobile phone companies may no longer attach conditions to the use of the word ‘unlimited’ in the plans they advertise”. It seems that the numerous complaints from customers have not fallen on deaf ears this time around.

The Executive Director of the FTC, David Miller, stated that this decision was made because “in many instances, customers are misled by the advertisement, even though the providers have outlined the conditions in the contracts with customers”. I am the first to admit that I have gone down that road before.

Mobile companies will now be prosecuted as of Monday July 12, 2010, if they attach conditions to plans they advertise as being unlimited. Do you think that this decision is fair to the mobile phone companies? Do you believe that this is a good decision? Have your say…

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23 Responses to “Unlimited phone plans will now truly be unlimited”

  1. Tamika says:

    I too went down that road. I even wrote a letter to the FTC. These phone cos are something else; they think they can fool everyone. I did get back my money though and I just have not gone back on the plan…

  2. jo bent says:

    So true, lots of bait and switch plans, Jamaicans like others worldwide are taken up
    in the cell-phone addiction, blackberry, razor,
    chocolate whatever for the text text text and we got to have it, need to be in touch. For many.The phone does not improve or help them with any income but they make these mobile phone companies billionaires.

    These companies always make money off Jamaica even when you go to the USA calls to Jamaica cost much more from there to here than from the USA to Africa, the UK etc look how close we are to the USA?

    They will bait and switch as long as we pay
    on these plans, we complain but pay, why should they stop

  3. Raymond Gayle says:

    Nothing is wrong with advertising a plan as unlimited however the phone companies need to make it more pronounced as to what their fair user policy is under that phone plan. So if they determine that 300 minutes per day is their fair user policy guideline then that should be clearly spelled out to the consumer in the same advertisement in clearly legible text. I for one always call their customer service to get the nitty gritty details of these plans because like everything else in life there is always a finite amount to anything that is available for one set price to the consumer. Sometimes the details of these plans are listed in the advertisement but many consumers are just too either naive, gullible, illiterate or gluttonous to take the time out to read further or ask questions. Unlimited is a beautiful word so let it remain in the advertisements & try as consumers to enlighten our minds & empower ourselves.

  4. Alrick says:

    This is a trick that is being used by many phone companies, and it is quite prevalent here in the USA. It is quite often that you will see or hear ads. that say (“500 minutes or 1000 minutes unlimited calling” or “unlimited data package up to 20 megabites”) my question therefore is; if these plans are unlimited then what do the numbers attached to them represent? Also if the numbers attached represent LIMITS then it is contradiction to say that the plans were UNLIMITED.

  5. Gregory Morris says:

    Raymond, you seem to be a very intelligent guy,the kind we need to lead our beautiful country. Go to the head of the class my friend. Now, having said all that,unlimited means without limits. Simple, Unlimited. We don’t need to enlighten our minds & empower our selves as consumers when dealing with something as simple as a cell phone contract or a plan. I’m glad the people at the FTC are not as pompous & arrogant as you seem to be. Good move FTC.

  6. Trevel says:

    Greetings ! Does a certain Raymond Gayle work for a cellular company ! From reading his reply I am willing to say YES ! True those who take out a cellular should ask questions regarding what they are paying for but I agree that the term “Unlimited” should be just that ! Put it this way you can go into a buffet eat-in and they say all you can eat for x-amount of dollars so you pay the price and eat till you full ! then this cellular companies should either say your are limited to x-amount of minutes per-month/day rather than unlimited that is false advertising by any other name !

  7. Sean H. says:

    The FTC missed

    ALL companies that advertise MUST declare publicly what these special/other conditions are – not just telcos that speak of unlimited plans.

    The people missed

    When you enter into an agreement / contract you must not just take the sellers word for it – READ THE CONTRACT AND ASK QUESTIONS. There is no such thing as a standard contract.

  8. JOHN says:

    Unlimited with restrictions equals ‘limited’
    I agree with the FTC. Stop the dishonesty and trickery, say what you mean and mean what you say.

  9. Carol says:

    Raymond Gayle you are truly and ignorant man, to write such a post criticizing people for the number one bate and switch tactics that every consumer including yourself has made at one point or another.

    Simply said “get a life”

  10. ANN WILSON says:

    I THINK UNLIMITED IS UNLIMITED. THE CELL PHONE COMPANIES
    HAVE NOT ALWAYS BEEN FAIR TO ITS SUBSCRIBERS…THE COME
    BACK TOMORROW OR IT WILL BE ACTIVE IN 2 DAYS..IS NOT
    ACCEPTABLE. THEY HAVE YOUR MONEY AND CAN GET INTEREST ON
    IT BEFORE YOU BENEFIT. ALL I CAN SAY IS ….IF THIS IS
    A GOOD PROGRAM….ITS LONG OVERDUE. MAIL IS SLOW AND WE
    NEED TO COMMUNICATE WITH OUR RELATIVES IN THE STATES.

    RESPECT

  11. Leon Gordon says:

    Finally the FTC has caught up with these phone providers. I was on the Digicel “unlimited” plan and during the process of gathering information about it I realized that it is not really unlimited because I was given a certain amount of call time each month, the text messages were unlimited.

  12. moneysmarts says:

    Sean H,

    YOU MISSED.

    The word unlimited cannot be changed to suit a contract meaning. It already has a dictionary meaning. What a thing if every word could be changed to mean what the speaker of the moment “meant”. That might be poetic license, but the language of contract, must be specific!

    Unlimited in a contract must mean that…any circumcision of the terms means LIMITED>

    So the FTC is correct in insisting that within a contract words keep their original INTENDED meaning.

    I could call you and Raymond Pompous but excuse myself by saying “I really meant that they are Perfectly nice big headed men, your Honor!”

  13. Raymond G. says:

    That is so right Sean, there is no such thing as a standard contract, read the contract and ask questions. The sellers are out there to get ahead of the compettition to win your business for profit so don’t just take their word for it, ask them questions about what they are offering. There is nothing arrogant or pompous about asking questions, this is not the time to be shy when you are spending your hard earned money & loyal business as a consumer. Unlimited in advertising is often times conditional, sometimes how love can be.

  14. Unbiased Eye says:

    Unlimited can mean one thing and one thing only – UNLIMITED! If figures are attached, that is clearly misleading and dishonest!

  15. Gregory Morris says:

    Raymond, arrogant & pompous were not directed at your opinion, we are all entitled to one. It’s your use of the words illiterate,gullible & gluttonous to describe the people who have a problem with the use of the word unlimited.I don’t know where you live but I know that the consumer watchdogs in Canada & the U.S.A. have made the very same moves as the FTC aimed at car dealers, cell phone companies, furniture & electronic stores. The people of Jamaica range from Degree holders to,yes, illiterate but thats no reason for you to launch an attack on people based on their education level.If some are not as educated as others but are able to recognize the word unlimited, lets do all we can to simplify the contract process for them. There is nothing wrong in making life easier for those that can’t read & understand the fine print or who plain just don’t have the time to wonder if what’s advertised is entirely true or if there’s a catch somewhere.I really don’t care what goes on in another mans house or how smart his family is. What I do know is if I can do something to simplify the everyday lives of the people in my house i’m going to do it.Regardless of how illiterate,gluttonous,gullible or simple minded other people think we are. Just think about the housing situation in Jamaica. How many people could actually get a land line installed?..A lot of people use the cell phone as their main means of communication. Everybody has one,even kids.It’s no different from North America.
    Regardless of the people’s education level or gullibility, help them if you can..
    Look, murderers have rights groups jumping to their defense when killed by the police, why not the simple cell phone user?….

  16. Gregory Morris says:

    As far as asking questions. When you ask them “does unlimited mean unlimited”?..what do you think they say?..No..Of course not. They say yes!!
    Mega phone came in with the unlimited overseas calls for $1000.00. After asking numerous questions & going through everything with a fine toothed comb, the phone cuts off one night in the middle of a conversation. Then & only then you are told that there was a cap on minutes. They never thought the alloted mins. could be used up in 1 month..When you have kids & most of your family living in North America,that doesn’t go very far,when you ask questions,then told,YES,its unlimited..Digicel & Cable & Wireless have done a great job lately of letting consumers know what they’re paying for.Mi Phone is pretty good too. You have to remember people will do anything to sell (NPI),even if it means going against company policy. They do whatever it takes to get you through that door with their product.Times are hard,the more they sell the safer their jobs. Sales people will always prey on the consumer. The FTC is just trying to curb the “by any means necessary” sale. Lets do all we can to protect the consumer, illiterate,gullible,gluttonous or not.

  17. eagle says:

    The word UNLIMITED has no other meaning than UNLIMITED. Also when you are awake, Please ask for a dictionary so that Even you can look up the meaning of the word-UNLIMITED.

    Eagle

  18. InformedCustomer says:

    The FTC ruling cannot nullify the Law of Contracts, no matter what they say. The Law of Contracts states that an individual/company (offerer) makes an offer inviting another party (offeree) to accept. The offerer must make their terms, conditions, warranties and guarantees available to the offeree. The offeree can either accept or reject the offer. If the offeree accepts the contract without reading the terms or conditions, the offerer is not to be blamed and yet the contract is still valid.
    After making their offers primarily through advertisements, the companies make their terms and conditions available to customers via media or through their call centres so that customers can make an informed decision before accepting the offer. In the case of telecoms, by activating the plans and using it implies that as a customer, you are aware of the required terms and conditions. If the customer neglected to get these terms and conditions,this is no excuse.
    As customers, we need to protect ourselves. Getting these terms and conditions is the only sure way to do so. And no, I do not work for a cellular or telecoms company. I am simply a customer who try to ensure that I am aware of all terms before I accept any offer that any company may throw my way, whether telecoms, banking, cable, etc.
    Money is hard to come by so I have to know every detail of a service or promotion before I am willing to part with it.

  19. Paul H. says:

    I think that the cell phone providers in Jamaica get away with murder and need to be further regulated, especially as it relates to the cost of calls and interconnection fees.

  20. Lorei says:

    I could not have said it better my self Gregory and like Trevel, I want to think that RG is employed to one of these Cos. it is unfortunate that you see the need to describe persons you have never met as being “naive, gullible, illiterate or gluttonous” that surely makes me think of you as an arrogant, pompous person. Trust me Mr. RG, Unlimited is simply what it says and as to love,If it is love it is unconditional. No two ways about it.

  21. RENZO says:

    NAIVE & GULLIBLE IS HOW MOST OF THESE FOREIGN COMPANIES SEE US IN THE ISLANDS, WE BUSY HATING CONNING, AND PUTTING DOWN EACH OTHER NOT TRYING TO CREATE. WE HAVE ABILITIES, HOWEVER MOST OF US PREFER THE FOREIGN THINGS EVEN IF ITS GARBAGE. SO WE PAY THE PRICES

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  23. Sarah Panullo says:

    I think that it’s unfair that local landline phone companies can still do it. If it’s made illegal, then it should be illegal for all companies, not just cell phone companies. It’s deceiving and companies should not be allowed to deceive customers like this.

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