back to article Vodafone to introduce out-of-bundle data charges

Vodafone has indicated it will start charging pay monthly customers for extra data they transfer beyond the limit stated in their contract, though the company's own Ts&Cs may prevent it doing so on 1 June as planned. In a posting on telco's online forum yesterday, a company representative going by the handle 'Tom_Vodafone' and …


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  1. riCh chestMat


    Does this mean that Vodafrown will finally stop marketting their internet as unlimited? Or can we at least get someone fined for this? The only broadband tax I want to see is companies fined for mis-selling data connections.

    1. Andy ORourke

      You wish!

      The phone companies / ISP's have always misused / missold packages with the use of Unlimted.

      For example, my wife's new Orange contract phone came with Unlimited* text messages

      See that star, the clause next to the star said these exact words *"Subject to a MAXIMUM of 3000"

      I just changed from BT (Unlimted option 3) to Sky Unlimited up to 20 Meg. Now, I do not need unlimited downloads but each of those contracts was subject to a "Fair usage policy" in other words a limit. A BIG limit but a limit nonetheless. The WORST part of the move was finding that I could no longer connect to my office VPN, when I called Sky I was told that the service was for PERSONAL use only and the use of VPN's was not allowed!

      OK, 5 minutes on google, a copule of regedits and I was back up and running but the fact that Sky have this limitation on the Unlimited package is shocking (or not given th weasel wording of ISP contracts!)

      In short, ISP's / Phone companies will still continue to use the Unlimited* wording and OFCON will still let them

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Woo Hoo!!

    You guys should be celebrating! You can get out of your contract for free!

  3. Miek


    Does that mean they won't be able to call the mobile broadband element of their package "Unlimited" at all whatsoever ?

  4. djohn

    Already been warned about this

    Revcieved an SMS yesterday that I was close to 500MB limit and will be charged £5. Bill date is ~14 May. Annoying as you can't track total unbilled usage in MB using the Vodafone online billing system, though you can check mins and SMS sued...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mistaken messages

      My wife also got a warning and she even believed it. After downloading the usage history, I have noticed that actual usage was less than 230mb. She then rang vodafone and they have confirmed their mistake and apologised.

      You should also give them a call and check. Also the new mesaures should be coming into effect after June. In their sms they claimed they would charge this month.

      The only reason I preffered Vodafone was having 12 month contracts with new handsets. Given that I had a £10 pm deal from T-Mobile for Desire, I will be cancelling my Voda contract in 3 months when the contract is over. For £10 pm I have double data usage and better coverage.

    2. Barry O'Connell

      Surely reasonable grounds to challenge any charge in that case?

      I would certainly argue against the cost on the basis that the billing was not transparent.

  5. nordwars
    Thumb Down

    Lost my business

    I was about to sign up for Vodafone on a Desire contract, since Virgin Mobile have screwed up my order so royally (phone delivered to wrong address, order cancelled without telling me, order reprocessing system down for apparently 6 days now, having to go to the store to complete!!!!)

    When both of the 2 best options are crap, where does this leave me?

    1. Dominik Stansby

      With T-Mobile

      Same network as Virgin. Better value contracts than Vodafone, a more reliable network, same phone and 3GB of internet instead of 500mb. Simple decision really..

  6. dave 46

    Not surprised

    Vodafone's packages are shocking for data users, even their 3G dongle is priced for a decade ago.

    Their network must really suck if they need to do this, the competition don't.

    1. Barry O'Connell

      Not so sure about that

      O2 price reasonably but their data service really does suck. Pricing is often driven by the market, I think it is brave of Voda to go their own way in this regard.

    2. leexgx


      fix it please for Opera , Replay buttons do not show pictures and when i re-click on this post box it deletes all the info Very annoying

      Orange have the same 500mb data limit as well but they do enforce it, i thought vodafone did as well

      Tmobile on contract is very good as all they do if you abuse the 1-2gb download cap on mobile contracts the may send you an sms or call you (never happened to me) if you abuse it to much the just drop you to GPRS speeds (2g) even if you connected to 3g you get download speeds of 2g, if your on moble broadband crontracts once you go past the download cap they drop the speeds down to 2g speeds when you Blow right over it and if you keep on doing it they punish with an 2g speed limit for 1 month (unless they have changed that)

      the Three network is interesting in that you get Skype and MSN free right from the start and they use Orange as an backup network when there network is not in range whats quite cool (even skype still works) i have an basic 3 Z102 skype on it works for 2-3 days, msn running kills the phone in less then 1 day

  7. Christopher W
    Paris Hilton


    Anybody who can avoid Voda's data packages already do so anyway. I've been a happy TMUK Web & Walk Plus customer for more than three years now. Three gig a month? More like it... Even though I hardly ever use more than half a gig ;-)

    At least Voda are introducing a realtime monitoring facility to check up on bandwidth usage. It'd be ironic if a customer incurred a £5 charge from checking their remaining allowance and in doing so exceeded 500Mb...

    I don't mind about this change to ToS on the whole, as long as they stop using 'unlimited'! I somehow doubt they will so no doubt it will incur further wrath because it's disingenuous and frankly condescending, to say the least. Lusers need to understand once and for all that unlimited != unmetered - and start appreciating the monetary value in all kinds of broadband a little more.

    Paris, because even she avoids getting fucked by tariff changes

  8. Rob Davis

    So if my usage was 501Mb - i.e. 1Mb over do I pay just 1p?

    "Vodafone, he said, will charge £5 for every 500MB - one pence per megabyte, essentially - transferred beyond the 500MB of data bundled with most phones."

    What is not clear is if this is pro-rata, i.e. pay extra for just the extra, out-of-bundle data used. This fine level of granularity would suit me -as the example in my post title illustrates.

    As a media outlet reporting and explaining technology issues I would have thought TheReg could have done better to get the right information from Vodafone.

    I've always wanted to have more occasionally allowance legitimately. I don't find their data network coverage and performance worse than any of the other operators. If this is the aforementioned pro-rata approach then I'd be happy to pay just for what I use on top.

    Of course, I could put my cynical hat on and say that they levy a charge of 5 pound once the threshold is crossed but I have no info to prove that, TheReg?

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      "Not clear" - actually it is.

      "What is not clear is if this is pro-rata" - it isn't, I'm almost certain. 1p per megabyte was invented by The Register. Vodafone's charge is, as stated, £5 when you go over your monthly data allowance, by between 1 byte and (probably) 500,000,000.

      I have a very nice 15 GB for £15 dongle allowance from Three but you can't get that now. I rarely use anything near that much.

      In other details of the Vodafone thing, if Ts & Cs say they don't charge for over-use but can introduce a charge at any time - fine, they into!roduced the charge, but they aren't allowed to start it. And if they say they'll tell you when you're getting NEAR to the limit, and then they don't tell you - well, maybe there's legal language in the contract to say that they actually didn't have to do what they said. Or, as suggested, maybe you actually didn't.

      By all accounts, getting money refunded or de-billed from a mobile phone company is about as easy as un-boiling an egg. It's an irreversible operation. But sometimes it does happen. (With the phone company, not with the egg.)

  9. daniel 40

    ****ing disgusting

    ****ing disgusting.

    I'll be calling them shortly to see if I can get out of my contract...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    no free way out of contract

    Vodafone are claiming that this isn't a change of the terms and conditions and so there will be no way out of contracts. A pretty dirty move bearing in mind that they have just signed up a whole ton of Desire users based on giving information that it was a softcap and that charges wouldn't be made. No doubt someone will be along to very hastily delete that advice given by Vodafone employees from the forum and pretend that it never happened. Luckily, I am coming to the end of my contract and glad to be leaving.

  11. CoolKoon

    What a coincidence.....

    ......and I thought mobile operators are uhssholes only in Central Europe. Turns out they're the same all over Europe, especially when it comes to data plans. Shame on them, really.

    No icon/avatar because there isn't a suitable one to express my feelings towards mobile telcos in general.

  12. CanAmSteve

    So long Vodafone

    I left VF after seven years when they jacked the minimum US/Canada data roaming charge up to £15 A DAY. DURING the term of my contract. What kind of contract binds one party and not the other?

    It seems they are trying to claw back lost profits in the EU (from charging caps) by screwing their loyal customers wherever the law doesn't reach.

    See ya!

  13. Dominik Stansby

    Switch to T-Mobile..

    ..Free HTC Desire, 18 month contract instead of a stupid 24 month one, 900 minutes, unlimited texts, 3GB of internet unlike the 0.5GB given by Orange and Vodafone, all for £31 a month. And it's a pretty damn reliable network, been with them for years and internet is always fast and reliable.

  14. Ian Entwistle

    it was always sold as 500mb.. and lets talk tethering

    When I tool my first voda contract out 2 years or so ago it was because of two things, 500mb was plenty for most people and they were teh only people who let me use my phone with my laptop.

    TBH they are also teh only network that offer me a good connection everywhere I go, work is rubbish for all other networks and I'd rather havve a signal than an expensive paperweight...

  15. BlackBolt


    When you put in perspective is it really an issue? 500mb is a fair bit of data, and considering that almost all mobile Apps are optimised to hell the data transfer is amazingly small.

    Also there are half a dozen Android market place apps for monitoring your data use.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't support the change to the contract at all, I just wonder if it makes any difference if it is a 500mb, 1gig or 10gig cap, they are all distant thresholds to mobile use.

    I've never used anywhere near 500mb and I'm a software developer who uses a Desire heavily.

    Only problem I'll have is if they bill me before notifying me that I'm near my limit.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    What about speed drop?

    I'm a Movistar user and I have a 200Mb contract, but what they do after that 200Mb is dropping you to GSM speeds,even when they tarifs are bad, I think that is fair enough

  17. oslingsby


    Petition against this change,

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