Spintel unlimited is not unlimited

Discussion in 'Networking, Telephony & Internet' started by Chamelion, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    Is this one of those arguments the electricity companies use?

    "But Hells Bells Mary, we had to put up the price of dear 'ol electricity because they're just using too much of it"

    Meanwhile everyone knows that they're making billions in profits while putting very little back into supporting infrastructure because we have the shareholders to think of. :rolleyes:
     
  2. caspian

    caspian Member

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    they should, because when people abuse privileges, they get withdrawn.

    the industry is there to make a profit out of providing a service to its customers. when it becomes unprofitable, that's the end of it. clearly some people can't exercise sufficient self restraint to avoid this.

    I agree about the dictionary definition of "unlimited" but it's a matter of understanding in context. I have no doubt that if you polled a group of people from outside the industry what the term "best effort" means, you'd get a radically different explanation of what those inside the industry understand it to mean. dry dictionary definitions aside, "unlimited" was never intended to mean "as much as you can possibly use" - it was meant to provide users with a plan where they didn't have to monitor or plan their usage, because it would vary from month to month.

    the world isn't a binary concept. there are values in between the extremes of definition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  3. BAK

    BAK Member

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    Caspian, I have tremendous respect for you and the majority of your posts here. I too believe that in principle unlimited plans are best used for those like me, who don't necessarily download 100% 24/7 but just don't want to worry about it if I need to redownload a large game (BF3 is 20gb, so is WoW) every now and then.

    With that said - signing up and paying for a plan that advertises as "unlimited" by an ISP (without any REALLY obvious caveats in the signup process/contract) then downloading a truly large amount of data isn't a privilege... you've paid for it. Regardless of whether or not it's the intent of the provider to allow people to totally saturate their connection, isn't the ball ultimately in their court for not being more clear? After all, the user is essentially using the service provided within the constraints provided to them at the time of signup/purchase.

    From what I can find, the Telecommunications Consumer Protections guide says:
    If an ISP includes such caveats, where's the problem?
     
  4. caspian

    caspian Member

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    I've never seen electricity sold on anything other than a user-pays-by-measure-of-consumption basis.

    their arguments are more around the issue that their capacity to generate power comes in rather inconveniently sized multibillion dollar lumps, and you've got to pay for the whole thing even if all you need is the first 5% to fulfil demand that can't be met with existing infrastructure.

    it's the same concept as people complaining about DSL port shortages. if there are 100 ports per DSLAM and there are 105 people wanting a service, you have to to build another whole DSLAM to service those last 5 people. oops, that makes servicing the last 5 customers something like $20,000 each. the result is - it doesn't get done.

    businesses are in business to make money for their owners (which means shareholders), not to altruistically provide services for the common good. that means they do the absolute least they need to for the best possible profit, and arguing against that is arguing against the economic basis of the entire western world.

    if as population we want things done on a basis other than for commercial benefit, then that's what governments and public infrastructure are for.
     
  5. caspian

    caspian Member

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    I agree with you, and the problem is very much in terms of the lack of clear understanding on the part of both parties.

    the industry never intended "unlimited" to mean as much as can possibly be used. they did not communicate that clearly to their customers. it's a failing of many technical people that they assume that everyone else understands what they are talking about, especially in meanings of contextual understanding, or where a word or term has an industry specific meaning that differs from normal conversational use.

    "best-effort" is a good example of this. "best" would be reasonably understood by most people as the highest possible quality, excellence, degree possible. who would have thought that, to the industry, it means "you get what you get, zero guarantees"?

    the consumer protection groups like the ACMA have ruled in favour of the consumer in this regard, and I think they're probably right, in that consumers don't - and shouldn't be expected to - know that. that includes weaselese in contracts about "reasonable" limits, AUPs without a hard number of them, and other terms that aren't predefined. the average consumer lives in a very commoditised society. we are used to buying a packet of 24 biscuits and getting 24 biscuits, or a litre of petrol and getting a litre. "up to" or "reasonable" aren't terms Joe Average has much experience in contextualising.

    that said, I still hold that it's the very few marginal users who spoil it for the rest. some ISPs deal with this by simply firing their highest few users every month, and since there's no guaranteed right of supply for a broadband service, they get away with it on the same grounds that a shop owner has the right to refuse service for pretty much whatever the hell reason he likes (as long as they don't do something dumb and break a discrimination law in the process, anyway).
     
  6. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    Abuse privileges?!

    I pay for a service, not a privilege, a service. The amount of money I pay vs the amount of money you expect me to pay for such a service is completely irrelevant - I shop around, I find a price that works for me, if the service I pay for is termed 'unlimited' than based on the fact that unlimited means 'with no limits' that is what I expect from my service.

    The issue is that it's common knowledge that they're making billions in profits, billions that could be used to improve infrastructure while making a modest profit - The whole idea of selling a service is the hope that the consumer demands it, the only time the price should be raised for the service in question is if the utility company isn't making a high enough profit to cover overheads with a reasonable amount of excess profit in the back pocket, the whole idea of sharemarkets is basically what's screwing western economy.

    These private enterprises are making billions in profits based around infrastructure that was public infrastructure and then complaining when they have to put money back into the infrastructure to improve it in order to satisfy demand while making billions in profits!

    No ones claiming that the whole idea of business isn't to make profit, but it seems that blatant greed appears to be more of a driving factor these days.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  7. Apokalipse

    Apokalipse Member

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    This has got nothing to do with altruism. ISP's are offering a service which the user pays for.
    If the ISP says you can do one thing, and then kick you out for doing it, why is that the customer's fault?
    If the ISP cannot actually provide what they say they can and make a profit, why is that the customer's fault? If that's truly the case, they should either charge more for the service or not falsely advertise it.

    Heck, what some ISP's could even choose to do is make sure they price the plan to make money on average and still allow the heavy users on (they'd be subsidised by the light users). This is not a bad business model, and different from altruism - it's good business to want customers to be happy even if you make a loss from a few of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  8. caspian

    caspian Member

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    yes, abuse. the service in question was never designed to be used to the degree it was. argue about the semantics all you like, it doesn't change that.

    same again. it's that sort of all-or-nothing attitude that gets the privilege of these services withdrawn.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  9. lennyc

    lennyc Member

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    If "the service was never designed to be used to the degree it was", why is it sold as capable of being used to that degree?

    You are right here in that, it is your failing to communicate with, and understand your customers that is the problem.
     
  10. Apokalipse

    Apokalipse Member

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    This has nothing to do with privilege. You are contractually agreeing to pay them money in exchange for a service they advertise as being "unlimited".

    It's not semantics to argue that unlimited should actually mean unlimited any more than it is semantics to argue that me selling a metallica t-shirt on ebay should actually mean you get a metallica t-shirt, instead of a justin bieber t-shirt or something.
    The word unlimited literally says there are no limits. It's ("un" = "not") + "limited". Anybody that puts a limit on a service they call unlimited is falsely advertising.
     
  11. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    Abuse?!

    How interesting. I'm not really interested in how the networks designed or even what it's capable of, I'm only interested in how it's marketed.
     
  12. Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    I honestly don't understand how there is any argument here?

    Pay for an unlimited service - service should be unlimited.

    It's like selling someone a gun that can be used for hunting animals, they tell you you can hunt ANYTHING you want.

    But, you shoot a deer, and the owner of the gun shop says "nope - we don't like you shooting deer - give us that gun back"

    If they want to place restrictions on the service, then don't sell it as an "unlimited service".
     
  13. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    The issue is that there appears to be a consensus within the industry that it is somehow the customers responsibility to ensure the ISP remains profitable, it also appears that it is somehow the customers responsibility to ensure infrastructure can keep up with demand....

    That bill we pay for each month simply lines the pockets of the CEO's and the Shareholders.

    ....?!
     
  14. Carcin0Genic

    Carcin0Genic Member

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    Hit the nail on the head right there.
     
  15. OldnBold

    OldnBold Member

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    Can't wait for the ACCC to pull the bastards up.
     
  16. SupremeMoFo

    SupremeMoFo Member

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    Ah well. If you can't figure out where you might be going wrong with a $59.95/mth "unlimited" service, there isn't much hope for you. Bit like buying a Hyundai I20 and being surprised when a Fiesta ST is better at everything.
     
  17. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    I'm not paying $59.90 a month for internet, you can shove that up your dot hole.:thumbup:

    More like buying a Hyundai i20 for the price of a Fiesta ST and being told the reason the Hyundai is so expensive, considering the fact it's a Korean motor vehicle, is because you had to pay for improvements to the assembly line as well as pay for the CEO's sizable salary and look after the shareholders - None of which is covered by the actual sale price of the vehicle and is simply added on top of the sale price.

    And only after you take delivery of the vehicle do you find that it's top speed is nowhere as high as the top speed of the ST, even though it was advertised to be faster.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  18. OldnBold

    OldnBold Member

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    You can argue until you are blue in the face but "unlimited" means "unlimited" these rogue ISP's need pulling into line.
     
  19. Dutch Wink

    Dutch Wink Member

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    If the intention of the ISP was for customers to use their service flat-tack 24/7, they would be charging far more for their product.

    If, instead, the intention of the ISP was to disable usage counting so that customers also don't have to watch a meter, then you end up with the plans we currently have in the marketplace.

    It is the customer's right and expectation that if they buy a service with no usage counters, they can indeed run it flat out 24/7. But, if too many people do this, one of three things will happen - either the product will be withdrawn, or the price will go up, or the service quality will fall. (or, a recent trend - the ISP will get bought...)

    http://lists.ausnog.net/pipermail/ausnog/2011-February/009907.html - do the math. $25 per megabit 24/7, and your DSL service can do up to 24 of them. And that's still only a fraction of the ISP's total costs to service you.

    This is the reality.

    You can try to have your cake and eat it too, but if all you eat is cake, you're gonna get fat.
     
  20. iSTELTHYi

    iSTELTHYi Member

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    So, therein lies the problem, but that is not the end users fault in the slightest. Its up to the ISP to charge what the service needs to return.

    The larger (less reputable) companies like Telstra and Optus dont supply this service, because they cant (or they stopped because they too didn't know the meaning of the word unlimited and got their arse handed too them, not sure which).
    This is a good thing however, the increasingly smaller market share these companies have, is a good thing, we've been in the stone age for far too long at the hands of telstra.
     

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