Unlimited – without limits, endless, infinite …. or is it?

I believe it was a Wednesday when I got the letter; I’d secretly been praying that it wouldn’t come.

Well…it’s possible I suppose… There could have been a technical fault of some sorts; all knowledge of my account could have been wiped from the system? It may sound unlikely yes but it must have happened before. Come to think of it… I once made a payment that strangely disappeared, and I fully believe it would not have reappeared unless I had kept the receipt.

Then it came, the dreaded sound of footsteps in the stairwell, shortly followed by the clang of the letterbox, then the soft thud of letter meeting lino. Ok, I only had myself to blame, I shall not try and defend my non-existent innocence. My broadband package came with a 20 GB download limit pcm, which I had exceeded by umm, 60 GB. Upon speaking to the call centre, I was kindly informed that I had not been charged for the first month, apparently you can go up to 10 GB over without incurring any additional charges, and I had used 8. Although should you use more than this there is a charge of £1 per gigabyte, which only applies if you do the same the following month. Already slightly confused and £52 in debt, I heard the word 'unlimited' and said yes.

Then just over a month into the following quarter I received a letter to say I had exceeded my download limit? Oh yes, the so called unlimited package was subject to a ‘fair usage policy’! Should I download over 40 GB of software or media from the net pcm, the speed of my broadband will be restricted by half! Be very careful, this also includes streaming (watching videos or listening to music while online) and what’s worse is the fact that, the company do not provide a service that allows you to keep a check on your usage.

This particular phone company also advertises a broadband connection speed of 20megabytes… subject to the available speed in your area of course! So I was left with (wait for it) the grand sum of 1megabyte.

I checked this on their website and after 10 minutes of navigation though various unrelated pages, there it was bold as brass (in size 8 times new roman!). And be warned it is not just broadband that holds these secret restrictions! Oh no, the so called ‘unlimited evening and weekend’ call package follows in the footsteps of its cyber friend. Under the fair usage policy, the calls are free providing they are less than 60mins in duration. You are also limited to 1000mins pcm or a set amount of calls whichever comes first.

This is not only within the world of telecommunication either. So make sure before you sign on the dotted line, ALWAYS READ THE SMALL PRINT!

Janina also has a website: writeinbexley


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