10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2015 2:28 PM by ChitoReyes

    Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?

    d_MaQuintosh

      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.”

       

      - See more at: http://www.doj.gov.ph/news.html?title=DOJ%20to%20telcos:%20%27Unlimited%27%20means%20unlimited&newsid=331#sthash.TJyx0Zaz.dpuf

       

       

      http://www.doj.gov.ph/news.html?title=DOJ%20to%20telcos:%20%27Unlimited%27%20means%20unlimited&newsid=331

        • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
          Arnel S. Bansil

          Howdy d_MaQuintosh!

           

          I appreciate your concern about this matter. Please be advised that Globe reserves the right to amend or make changes to its existing promos and services. In accordance to DOJ's ruling in the link you provided, Supersurf is no longer referred to as "unlimited". Now we have a new and much better (in my opinion) data promo in GoSurf, which is consumable and is not covered by the Fair Use Policy.

           

          Hope this helps.

           

          Cheers.

            • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
              ChitoReyes

              Globe would always invoke its right to amend or make changes to its existing promos and services... a clause which everybody knows  is very absurd. If that is to be invoked all the time, then Globe could actually do anything short of selling our souls.

               

              This issue is still being questioned even during the NTC hearings (which is ongoing) and I suggest that those who have not migrated their Supersurf subscriptions NOT TO DO SO until there is finality in the discussions as to what to do with those holding on to the old subscriptions. (The competitor is already upholding their unlimited services to subscribers covered by their old unlimited plans and I do not know why Globe does not).

               

              It was funny that Globe was invoking the NTC for their Fair Use Policy when even the NTC berated Globe for their definition of the FUP

               

              The perception here is that Globe just became greedy ... Unthrottled, unlimited internet was first being offered at Php 999 then now being offered (without saying unlimited but just the same) at Ph 1,500 then setting restrictions (which were not there in the beginning contrary to what the Globe CEO is claiming) to the Php 999 subscriptions in order for them to migrate to Php 1,500.

               

              There is no congestion (as what was first claimed yet at the same time Globe gives free facebook and other surfing based apps, encourages everyone to go online and even requires new postpaid subscribers to avail of a surfing promo in order to avail of a device all at the expense of the Php 999 subscriber!) and the bottomline here is that Globe just wants to charge more.

                • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
                  RNav

                  I used to have UnliSurf Combo 1799 but because of the 1GB per day or 3GB per month whichever comes first limit, I moved to a plan with GoSurf. It does seem that the FUP/data throttling was a move to introduce a service that just charges more. Now new and recontracting Postpaid subscribers are charged a mandatory minimum of P499 (+ minimum P99 GoSurf if with a device).

                    • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
                      ChitoReyes

                      Realistically, even "UNLIMITED" surfing is already limited even WITHOUT FUP and the FUP was just an excuse to charge more.

                       

                      "Unlimited" surfing is LIMITED to a Maximum Possible Consumption in any month = the speed (in Mbps) x 60 seconds x 60 minutes x 24 hours x 30 days.

                       

                      Ergo, a subscriber even with "unlimited" surfing CANNOT POSSIBLY EXCEED that amount of data in any month so why impose a "Fair Use Policy" because of the limitation of a network such as Globe?

                  • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
                    agentdonn

                    GoSURF is also limited and it is like under in FUP.

                     

                    All plans and promos of Globe are now LIMITED.

                    • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
                      d_MaQuintosh

                      My plan for almost 4 years never changed and when I checked my account online, my plan description Supersurf 1799  still says "Unlimited" therefore I am not covered by your new promos and services.

                      Since my plan was advertised as "Unlimited" then I should get "Unlimited" data service without slowing down the speed of my internet.

                      Do you know how slow your connection is even while in 4G area? Try doing a speed test in the Greenfield District area in Mandaluyong where it shows thay I have 4G and you will know what I mean. Then imagine slowing it down even further! That was like getting "The page cannot be displayed" is equivalent to slower data speed.

                      By the way, I attempted to post this message several times while in H+ coveragr with 3-4 signal bars.

                       

                       

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                        • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
                          ChitoReyes

                          "UNLIMITED" surfing is already limited even WITHOUT FUP and the FUP was just an excuse to charge more.

                           

                          "Unlimited" surfing is LIMITED to a Maximum Possible Consumption in any month which could be computed as follows:

                          Data Limit per month = the speed (in Mbps) x 60 seconds x 60 minutes x 24 hours x 30 days.

                           

                          Ergo, a subscriber even with "unlimited" surfing CANNOT POSSIBLY EXCEED that amount of data in any month so why impose a "Fair Use Policy" because of the limitation of a network such as Globe?

                            • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
                              ChitoReyes

                              My Subscription is still indicates UNLISURF COMBO 999 (with 1 Freebie) and I continue to be subscribed to that (as shown in my Bills.

                               

                              1.Was the name ever changed?

                              2.Was my subscription changed without my knowledge contrary to Globe's Terms and Conditions that this would be automatically renewed UNLESS changed BY THE SUBSCRIBER?

                               

                              Even for the sake of argument that Globe "took out" the word "unlimited" from the "My Super Surf Unli (the original name) - the country’s first-ever range of fully-customizable unlimited data plans which provide subscribers with uninterrupted mobile surfing, consumable monthly fees, bonus call and text services and add-ons in a single subscription.", the subscription REMAINS to be UNLIMITED yet THROTTLED which goes against the DOJ position.

                               

                              The plan is not being offered anymore but there are still subscribers under that plan which is automatically renewed (me included).

                               

                              Obviously THROTTLING was imposed not because there was congestion (as an absurd excuse Globe was making) but a reason to MOVE those who are paying Php 999 for unlimited surfing to a much higher Php 1,500 (or Php 3,000 for those who want to pay more while getting the same benefits by paying only Php 1,500).

                               

                              This move is actually an utter DISRESPECT to long time subscribers (like me) and Globe knows that subscribers are powerless unless they spend a lot of money, time and effort to contest such move. (I have experienced this in the past (almost 15 years ago) and unfortunately that arrogant Globe lawyer who pretends to be blind to what is shown to him is still there).

                        • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
                          angelmicx

                          This is like what my previous landlord told me "If you don't like my policies/ new policies, then you are free to leave"...

                           

                          If only they can see with the eyes of the subscribers.. T_T

                            • Re: Is throttling for "UNLISURF" subscriber legal?
                              ChitoReyes

                              As we are free to leave, we are also free to stay and uphold our rights as a paying consumer with regard to the original intent of the contract.

                               

                              Such changes, according to law, should have the consent of both parties even with the presence of onerous clauses which goes against a higher law.

                               

                              It might take some time but the other network is already honoring their commitment to their remaining "unlimited" subscribers (but at the same time not offering the unlimited plans anymore).