Opinion

Anger grows over alleged T-Mobile contract breach

Anger at T-Mobile continues to mount as thousands of smartphone users face the prospect of having their data caps reduced by as much as 83% to just 500MB.

Speaking to our sister site ComputerWeekly.com, T-Mobile claimed that: "The average mobile internet customer uses only 200MB of data each month, this will only affect a small minority of users, whom we have begun notifying."

T-Mobile says that customers going over its new 500MB 'fair use' policy will not be charged extra, but will find they have downloads such as video and large files restricted.

However, T-Mobile sold data-hungry Android phones specifically on the promise of a 3GB download limit, and with the smartphone builders marketing their kit as a full multimedia experience people are beginning to question whether or not they were mis-sold their handsets.

Since our first report on Tuesday, a protest has emerged that centres on section 9 of Ofcom's General Conditions, which T-Mobile is legally obliged to abide by and which states the following:

Where the Communications Provider intends to modify a condition in a contract with a Consumer which is likely to be of material detriment to the Consumer, the Communications Provider shall:

(a) provide the Consumer with at least one month's notice of its intention detailing the proposed modification; and
(b) inform the Consumer of the ability to terminate the contract without penalty if the proposed modification is not acceptable to the Consumer.

T-Mobile gave its customers notice on 10 January, a significantly shorter period than that mandated by Ofcom. Furthermore, according to unconfirmed reports, consumers are being told by T-Mobile's customer service advisors that they will not be permitted to terminate their contracts.

Consumer advocacy group Which? is also on the case and has claimed that T-Mobile may in fact be in breach of its own Ts&Cs.

The scale of the damage to T-Mobile's reputation is in danger of getting out of control...

This was first published in January 2011

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