Unlimited vs Fair Usage Limits

    I'm getting pretty fed up of seeing the word "UNLIMITED" when it comes to data charges / internet usage and then in tiny writing having to see on some page of T&C's the so called Fair usage limit.

    According to the Oxford Dictionary the meaning of the word Unlimited is


    adjective not limited or restricted; infinite.

    I've just comes to buy a PAYG Mobile phone on Tesco and one of the main reasons I chose Tesco was because they clearly stated that for £2 per week you get UNLIMITED Internet use on the phone. After buying the actual phone I now see the bookley inside states a fair usage limit of 100MB and online when registering your SIM Card online (which you can only do AFTER you have made the purchase) another stating just 50MB per week.

    Neither 50MB or even 100MB is even close to what most people would consider Unlimited.

    The Nokia 5230 Phone I bought has a built in GPS SatNav but does not come with any maps installed - to download the map for just the UK alone is well over 100MB.

    The OVI Store also only allow people to download new software over the air and since this phone has no WiFi that means you must download it through Tesco's own system - that again could quite easily put a person over the 50MB / 100MB Fair usage limit.

    The word Unlimited means no limits - how are companies allowed to use this word to sell their products?


    On your contract what does it say will happen when you excceed your fair usage amount?

    Have you only just noticed this now? It's been going on for years with BB


    They mean unlimited time, not data transferred, so can get away with it

    back in the day, aol sold internet by the hour, or package of a number of hours per month
    it is just a continuation of that. There has been a petition on the number10 site for years about this issue…DSL

    official response:…asp

    they also redefined unlimited for you

    "or example, if 80% of domestic customers fall well within the limit specified by a broadband provider and the remaining 20% fall outside of it, perhaps because they are using a domestic package for business use, then it may be considered a reasonable claim"

    In most cases unlimited is unlimited. But most have a fair usage policy which just means they'll throttle your speed once you go over the fair usage limit. So you can still download as much as you want, it'll just take longer because speeds are slower.
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