o2 thinband, unfair useage policy
June 9, 2011 11:14 AM Subscribe
My 'unlimited' broadband supplier (O2) has scolded me for exceeding its fair usage limit of 40GB. I see this as unfair. What would be the most effective way to complain?
posted by run"monty to computers & internet (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Apologies if this question comes across as a tad vexatious.
Today I received an email from my broadband supplier stating that I was using 'significant amounts' of their network capacity. This is my second warning; the first was in January. I do not consider myself to be an excessive user of the internet.
When I received the original email, I thought it fair that I unsync my home computer from DropBox thinking that those 100MB files might possibly be to blame.
However, it seems that last month's downloading of XCode 4, a couple of HD movies from iTunes, and some Doctor Who on iPlayer (which I reckon they've been throttling) has once again upset the beast and prompted them to send me the second warning.
The thing is, I've been an O2 'unlimited' broadband for a couple of years and it's only in recent months that I've had these emails. I called them this afternoon and was told that my usage was over their 40GB threshold. Whilst I am not naive enough to really believe 'unlimited' actually means 'unlimited', 40GB seems stingily low. 'Unlimited' really does seem inappropriate (some would say, misleading).
From their Fair Usage Policy:
4.1 Unless you are a customer signing up or moving to our Access package after 14th July
2010, there is no limit on the monthly network usage. However if we feel that your activities
are so excessive that other customers are detrimentally affected, we may give you a written
warning (by email or otherwise). In extreme circumstances, if the levels of activity do not
immediately decrease after the warning, we may terminate or suspend your Services.
No mention of what 'excessive' might mean.
I expect that I'll have to change ISP but after two years of paying £22 a month, I think I should at least try and see how far my consumer rights get me.
So, hivemind, I want to complain and I want to be heard. I assume I can't be the only mefite to have received such a warning from O2. I've written letters of complaint to companies before but this issue irks me more than any and so I want it to be effective (for my sake and the sake of the other subscribers). What should my tactic be? How do I win at this game?
(I guess I won't be downloading OS X Lion any time soon!)
For reference, here's the email I received:
We hope that you are enjoying your home broadband experience with us. Unfortunately, it looks like you’ve been using significant amounts of our network capacity and it’s affecting the service that our other customers get.
We need your help to make sure that all of our customers get the most from their broadband service. Here are some of the things you can do:
Be Aware - Make sure you know what’s using up a lot of bandwidth.
Peer-to-peer software - like Bittorrent. As these programs download and upload files, you might be using more than you realise.
File sharing - some programs might run continually in the background. If you turn off the ‘auto start’ setting you can stop this.
BBC iPlayer - If you’re using the old version, switch to the new version – it uses less capacity
Ask around - Someone else in your house might be using it more than you realise. Ask everyone to use a bit less
Lower your download speed - Most file sharing programs let you set a maximum download speed, please set yours to low.
Download an application that will monitor usage – There are lots available to download for free and it might help you keep an eye on how much you are downloading
And the simplest solution is to download and upload less.
Taking some or all of these steps will make sure all our customers get the most from their broadband. We’d like to help you sort this out as things unfortunately can’t carry on like this. Sadly, unless you cut down by next month, we’ll not be able to offer you a home broadband service. It’s not something we want to do, but it’s the only way to make sure all our customers get the same quality service.
And if you’ve got any questions or need some help to cut down, please call us.
Head of O2 Home Broadband
This email is sent from Telefónica O2 UK Limited.
260 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 4DX.
Registered number: 1743099.