back to article No more lies, T-Mobile US: Download speed caps magically vanished on speed test websites

T-Mobile USA has agreed to stop twiddling with subscribers' mobile broadband speeds to hide the fact they were being capped. The telco was caught switching off download and upload bandwidth limits when people visited internet speed test websites. In other words, if you visited a website that tested your mobile connection's …

  1. frank ly
    Happy

    The best way to test broadband speed ....

    .... is to download a large and popular torrent, but not for a long time of course, just to test it you understand.

  2. Donkey Molestor X

    so that's fraud, right? like actual fucking indictable fraud. eh, who am i kidding? they'll keep lying, we'll keep buying.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      In a way,I can see their point. I don't know the US market, but the fact that T-Mob don't cut you off or charge per MB after reaching your contracted data limit is probably a good thing. The user should be aware of their contracted data limits and doing a speed test while past their limit and capped would almost certainly result in may customers whinging that they've been capped rather than accepting they still have a service despite reaching their contracted limit.

      I doubt it's fraud. More likely Sales and Marketing trying to skirt the edge of reality and as usual, ending up on the wrong side.

      1. Bill Michaelson

        Good point

        When I had T-Mobile (whom I despised otherwise), I liked that part of the deal. My monthly cost was capped, yet I didn't have to worry about service being absolutely cut off either. Throttling might be an inconvenience, but I rarely experienced it, if ever. I don't rely on mobile for serious data transfer. For me, it's for ubiquitous connectivity.

        One could argue that the speedtest scheme is reasonable because it enables one to measure capability independent of current throttling state. But then, who is to say what the consumer is trying to measure: potential or actual speed? I know what is more likely, so no, the speedtest site scheme was a slimy fraud.

  3. Hud Dunlap
    Unhappy

    What about ATT?

    When I run speed test I get great speeds. I have four bars and LTE. I try to download a web page and I have to wait a couple of minutes. Couple of minutes is not an exaggeration and I am not a heavy downloader on my phone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about Rogers (in Canada) ?

      They have 3G cell sites in rural Nova Scotia that appear to be linked to the Internet over dial-up.

      Five bars with some tiny fraction of dial-up speeds for data. Or zero data at all. I've seen it in multiple locations during our long Sunday drives.

  4. Alan Denman

    These will be the same NET neutrality liars

    2+ 2 = consumer sting

  5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Sirius Cybernetics redux.

    That's just stupid on T-Mobiles part but doesn't that exactly illustrate the way that the corporate mind set works these days?

  6. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Their DNS is crap too

    Hm. My T-Mobile contract says I have 5GB cap, and when I exceed that, I'll be switched from LTE/3G to EDGE. As I've never even gotten close, I don't know for sure.

    I do know however, their DNS IS SHIT. It takes about 2-3 seconds to resolve anything and about 4-5 seconds if it's a bare IP address. I thought the Android resolve library was smart enough to not try to resolve bare IP addresses, but that's not true according to my packet captures with KitKat.

    So if you have a web page that hits a bunch of servers (e.g. for ads) it'll be slow as hell. AdAway for the win, but still...

    Also, isn't this true with several landline ISPs that they treat speedtest sites specially? I know Comcast does it.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Their DNS is crap too

      "Also, isn't this true with several landline ISPs that they treat speedtest sites specially? I know Comcast does it."

      It could be useful if the ISPs (fixed and mobile) were up front and list speedtest sites, some of which they optimise routing etc and/or lift any speed caps, others which are "just another website". This would allow the customers to check actual and ideal conditions, speed capped and uncapped.

      That might be too much honesty for the sales and marketing people to bear.

  7. Gene Cash Silver badge

    On the other hand

    Kudos to the FCC for actually putting the bite on them.

    Of course this is the day and age where you have to clap and say "hey! you actually did the job you were paid for! that's amazing! that's just wonderful! keep it up!"

  8. Misky
    Thumb Down

    Shocked? Not really

    I was shocked by the fact I wasn't shocked by this news. It's a sad indication of corporate culture today that treating customers so badly is expected. It's just incredible to think there must have been high level management meetings where the aim was specifically to deceive their customers. The very people that hand over hard earned cash to make their corporate fat profits. It’s sad that you can bet that most people will just accept it and won’t move to another provider.

    It’s one of the reasons that I make a point of walking away from companies that provide shoddy services. And why I’m pleased to work for a company that truly believes in being the best for customer services and looking after the customer. It’s a rare thing in this day and age.

  9. Bucky 2

    I guess I'm an apologist

    I have a T-Mobile app that shows me a graphical representation of how much bandwidth I've used, and where my cap is. It came with my phone. If I said I didn't know I had reached my cap, I would be revealed as a fool.

    Maybe it's just that not all phones come with this app?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The games people play

    While some speed internet throttling may have been eliminated... how many U.S. Comcast customers know that international e-mail sent to U.S. subscribers is frequently illegally blocked by Comcast? Want to make international travel arrangements via e-mail, forget it. Want to converse with friends, family or business associates, forget it if these people are using a ISP that in Comcast's unilateral and arbitrary view is sending out too much SPAM, as Comcast will block ALL e-mail from these servers even when they send out less SPAM that Comcast's system generates.

    If you want this illegal international e-mail blockage by Comcast to stop you need to file an official complaint with the U.S. Federal trade Comm. (FTC) and the U.S. Federal Communications Comm. (FCC) who wants to hear from ALL who are impacted by Comcast's illegal international e-mail blockage to U.S. customers. SPEAK UP of forever suffer the abuse and illegal activities of unscrupulous companies.

    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

    http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/cgb_offices.html#CICD

    Based on both Comcast's and Time Werner's history those in the U.S. may also want to vote AGAINST any merger of these two companies as one large monopoly is likely to abuse consumers even more than the two have done individually in the past.

    http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db1001/DA-14-1431A1.pdf

  11. Zangetsu

    sounds like FRAUD to me pure and simple.

    someone at T Mobile needs to go to prison.

    none of this give them a small fine and a warning bullshit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The corporate arselicking is tragic really. A few years ago they might have got a fine, now its a polite 'thank you', when all along it should have been jail time, incrementing with each offence till they stop taking the piss. Thats what the FCCs revolving door for the trough feeders at the top gets you.

  12. earl grey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    give them a kick in the knobs

    and then again and again. maybe they'll get the point.

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