I continuously get those notification about my usage having exceeded 3.5GB and had been shifted to slower browsing speed.
Is this legal considering that I have UNLIMITED data?
Below is part of the DOJ's advisory to Telcos in December 2014:
By way of illustration, consider Globe Communications, Inc.'s FUP. Said service provider sets a data cap of 1GB daily or accumulated usage of 3GB per month, whichever comes first. Upon reaching the cap, the subscriber's internet connection is slowed down to a 2G speed-about 90 percent reduction from the promised speed. Such policy would be logical if the subscriber limits his data consumption to only 99MB per day. Since the usage is within the daily and monthly data limit, said subscriber will be enjoying good connection for the entire subscription period.
However, problem arises if the subscriber’s daily data consumption is, say, 500MB. Although the daily usage does not exceed the 1GB data cap per day, good internet connection speed is expected to last for only six (6) days since by then the accumulated data consumption will be 3000MB or 3GB. Consequently, the subscriber will have to deal with a throttled data connection for 24 remaining days. Explicitly, customer expectations are not met.
This case is an effective break of promise, a form of misrepresentation; the internet promo is packaged as unlimited in the first place. It is only logical for subscribers to assume that telecommunication companies deliver a connection that is consistent with the promoted speed and reliability for the entire duration of the subscription period. Likewise, it is understood that the consumers subscribed to an unlimited internet service and not for a certain volume of data usage only. If it will only be constrained to a certain limit or cap, the service should have been promoted as a consumable package and not as an unlimited plan. This way, subscribers are not led to think they will enjoy an unrestricted limitless service.
It is also important to point out that customers subscribe to an unlimited internet service presumably because their need for internet access is larger than just 99MB per day. Unlimited internet package prompts unlimited use, hence, customers are encouraged to access the net more. This naturally leads to higher bandwidth consumption.
Intuitively, FUP creates a misnomer out of unlimited internet service, thereby a misleading or deceptive conduct. This kind of deceptive business practice is punishable with a fine amounting to at least five hundred pesos (P500.00) but not more than ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) or imprisonment of at least five (5) months to at most one (1) year or both.
Non-compliance with the requisites of fair packaging is likewise subject to criminal penalties which may be a fine of not less than five hundred pesos (P500.00) but not more than twenty thousand pesos (P20,ooo.oo) or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months but not more than two (2) years or both.
“The imposition of data throttling on unlimited internet could also be regarded as a violation of the provisions prohibiting false, misleading or deceptive advertisements, hence, deemed punishable in accordance with law.”