T-Mobile reduce data allowance to 500MB

This is straight from the  T-Mobile help and support section.

Changes to Mobile Internet fair use policies

T-Mobile is the only operator to give customers the Mobile Internet for a fixed-price. We never charge our customer’s more than they expect for their Mobile Internet in the UK.

Therefore you’ll never need to worry about how many emails you’ve sent, how long you’ve been on-line or the ‘data / GB’s’

Browsing means looking at websites and checking email, but not watching videos, downloading files or playing games. We’ve got a fair use policy but ours means that you’ll always be able to browse the internet, it’s only when you go over the fair use amount that you won’t be able to download, stream and watch video clips.

So Whats Changing? – From 1st February 2011 we will be aligning our fair use policies so our mobile internet service will have fair use of 500MB.

What Does This Mean? – We’ll always let you email and browse the internet and you’ll never pay more than you agree to. We do have a fair use policy but ours is there to make sure we deliver the best service possible to all our customers.  This means that you’ll always be able to browse the internet.

So remember our Mobile Broadband and internet on your phone service is best used for browsing which means looking at your favorite websites like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, BBC News and more, checking your email and looking for information, but not watching videos or downloading files.

If you want to download, stream and watch video clips, save that stuff for your home broadband.

What are your thoughts on this?

Update – “Debully” has forwarded a text he’s just received on his T-Mobile phone..

“We wanted to let you know that from 2nd Feb the fair use policy amount for internet on your phone will be 500MB a month. For details see t-mobile.co.uk/datachanges. If you do reach your limit don’t worry, you’ll still be able to browse and use email”

Links – T-Mobile

Calculate discounts with ContaSconto
Navigate the night sky with Deluxe Moon
  • This is ridiculous – I signed up with T-mobile in November – mainly due to the fair use policy of 1GB.

    Is this changing for existing customers too?

  • vidoardes

    I won’t be renewing any of my lines come April, very bad move

  • David B

    Funny – T-Mobile reduce their fair use limits, 3 (on their One Plan) completely remove their data limits! 500Mb Vs All You Can Eat. Mmmm, I wonder which one I’m going for…..

  • @Alex – I think you will find yes it is for existing users….. I wonder what it will do to the 1gb ‘quiet time’ off they have.

    Yes I may move to another provider but they are all the same so move to where ? On the good news I suspected this for a while ( although I cant see why unless there is a general over usage by people taking the P ) so I installed 3G watchdog ( actually just got pro ) and set it to 500mb. I’m a heavy user of data how ever I never made it any where near 500mb because I ensure I have a WIFI spot near me most of the time. OK this may be an issue for others but my point is for some it may not be as bad as it sounds…..


    • TheNewShaft

      Not so in my case Terran, I regularly hit my 1GB allowance. Its not video mostly just my Google Reader feeds, maybe 5-6 youtube videos a month

      • As I say there will be exceptions… luckily I’m not one or I’d be hitting the roof about now…. What it does mean though is that I dont have head room now to grow….

        Re the US….. I thought TMobile had a new 4G network now….. ?


        • TheNewShaft

          Terran mate you have no idea, I’m livid. I even did the whole cliché phonecall to T-Mobile wanting to cancel my contract.

          To be fair the staff were very understanding & have arranged me to cancel my upgrade.

          It does mean that I have to say goodbye to a Desire though.

  • Owz

    If this effects existing customers, will they be in breach of contract, as i signed up for 1gb monthly data allowance.

    • TheNewShaft

      Sorry dude but they can do that, check your T & C’s I’ve just upgraded & am now sending the the phone back & potentially shutting the account, It depends on how bad T-Mobile want my business.

  • Guest

    I think for “most” people 500MB is plenty. However, I do find that having a 500MB limit on my Orange account does shape the way I use my phone. I could make a whole lot more use of data if I wasn’t worried about going over the limit. So here’s an idea. Currently it costs £5 for a 500MB bundle. How about either being able to buy multiple bundle. E.g. 3 x bundle gives you 1.5GB for £15. Or just offering different size bundles. There is a need there for some people, so give them what they want/need.

  • Mattihench

    I’m a 1gb T-mobile customer, so if they are going to cut my allowance in half, are they going to cut my bill in half to?

  • I have been a T-Mobile customer for about 5 years…their customer service has always been stellar, they’ve even helped me in the past with unlocked phones that they don’t even sell. While I understand their reasoning behind this, I have to point out that other countries get true unlimited plans and have the infrastructure to support it…perhaps it’s time, T-moUS, with these multimedia-centric devices coming out to build up your network instead of trying to bridle your customer base…especially those who pay $30/mo for so called “unlimited” plans

  • seventy7

    Theoretically any changes to a pre-existing contract have to be agreed by both parties. If they’re not any party can choose to end the contract. Chances are you’d still have to pay an early termination fee on that though, so it’s going to suck either way :(.

    In my opinion though saying downloading things and streaming things is what you should do on your home broadband kind of defeats the object of having a smart phone in the first place. I certainly won’t have any plans to move to them in the near future now. So yeah, boooo t mobile for this move.

  • Matt

    Like Angela, I have been with t-mob for around 5 years now and have found their customer service absolutely amazing. Whether its a handset, plan, network or other issue I have never been left waiting on hold and always feel “special” with them.

    One of the reasons I have stayed though is because if the “unlimited” (1Gb/3GB limit) of their data plans for my phones.

    When I first got my Android phone a few months back I installed 3G watchdog just to see exactly how much I used (having had a Sony Ericsson, then Nokia phones I wasn’t really interested up until this point). Within the calendar month, my “normal” usage (surfing, market, 24/7 push email and *the biggie* internet radio) I hit ~1GB. This has been pretty steady since.
    Now, I wouldn’t say that’s alot of data to be honest – but if t-mobile are now saying this IS alot and I am an abnormal user than I really need to shop around.
    Changing this, just out of the blue, is out of order in my opinion. If it had been a step change, say for new customers first, and then introduced in 6 months time for existing customers than there would be less to complain about; but dropping this bombshell with 2 weeks to go is unacceptable.
    I’m now stuck for another year with a 24 month contract they got me to sign when I renewed. Someone pointed out on here that they are ALLOWED to do do as stipulated in their T&Cs; are they going to notify me of this change???

    • TheNewShaft

      The way how I understand it from talking to the call centre staff, text message alerts are being sent out to all customers but in batches.

      They are allowed to do it because the internet bundle isn’t actually part of the main deal, its an add on which can be cancelled by you at anytime & not built into your plan.

      But they don’t like to mention that when they are selling it to you obv.

      • Paul

        no it’s not it’s included in smartphone plans, how does this constitute 30 days notice

  • Matt

    If I sign for a brand new contract today then I get the 1Gb/3GB limit still depending on the phone. SO something is a miss….

    This is still the fair usage policy when selecting a brand new contract for an HTC Desire on their own webpage:

    Pay monthly plans which include internet on your phone

    If you choose a Pay Monthly plan which includes internet on your phone, you’ll need internet coverage, check it at t-mobile.co.uk/streetcheck. Remember that you can only use internet on your phone in the UK and you can’t use your phone as a modem or use internet on your phone for peer to peer file sharing, instant messaging or making internet phone calls. *Internet on your phone comes with a fair use policy of 1GB a month. We’ll monitor how much you send and receive each calendar month so that we can protect our network for all our customers. If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won’t charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your booster, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much. If you remove your booster and then use internet on your phone you’ll automatically be charged our daily rate, see t-mobile.co.uk.

    Pay monthly plans which include internet on your phone on an Android phone

    You’ll get internet on your phone Plus included if you join us on a pay monthly plan with an Android phone in a T-Mobile store, over the phone or via our website, t-mobile.co.uk. You’ll need internet coverage, check it at t-mobile.co.uk/streetcheck. Remember that you can only use your internet on your phone Plus Booster in the UK and you can’t use your phone as a modem or use Internet on your phone Plus for peer to peer file sharing, or making internet phone calls. *Internet on your phone Plus comes with a fair use policy of 3GB a month. We’ll monitor how much you send and receive each calendar month so that we can protect our network for all our internet on your customers. If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won’t charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your plan, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much. As your phone is always connected to the internet, if you remove your internet on your phone Plus Booster from your account you’ll automatically be charged up to £1 every day. That £1 a day rate has its own fair use policy and other legal stuff, which you can see here: t-mobile.co.uk/services/uk/fairuse/#fup5.

  • Rik

    mmmm, TMobile becomming Orange already…….

  • I just contacted T Mob customer services, & 500mb cap is for ALL- including current 3gb Android Web N Walk + customers.
    I’m furious – joined T-Mob in November, and just had my data cut by 83%!!!!
    I’ll give them a week to absorb the “feedback” from everyone, but then I shall demand they cancel my contract – I’m going back to 3, who seem to be the only network who understand what mobile customers want for data.

  • i have just sent this to t-mobile via a web form on their help and support page.

    feel free to copy and paste/change it for your own use.

    dear sir/madam, i have just received a text message from yourselves stating that my internet FUP is being reduced from 3gb to 500mb. i am deeply unhappy about this and feel that you are in breach of contract.

    i have phoned your customer services and contacted yourselves via twitter and the response has been that the internet is an additional service provided to myself that can be changed by yourselves with 30 days notice.

    could you please show me;
    1.where in my contract it states that the internet is an additional service?
    2. where in my contract it states that my call/sms allowance is not an additional service. 3. could you also tell me, if you need to give 30 days notice of any changes to my additional services, you can send a text on the 10th of jan and change the service on the 2nd of feb?

    i would wish that both my contracts with yourselves are cancelled with no further charges to my account and PAC’s are supplied to myself.

    • Pete

      If you are going to send a formal(ish) letter like this, I would suggest getting the units of the FUP correct. I doubt you are being reduced to 500 millibits!

  • Lee

    So is this going to affect Web-and-walk Plus users too? I pay extra for Plus so that I can use audio and video streaming and more importantly, use the phone as a data connection for my laptop. 500MB isn’t enough.

    It was only last November that I renewed for another 18 months on the condition that I could keep the old ‘WnW plus’ as the current offerings aren’t any good to me.

    I’ll be sending a complaint in like andrei if/when I get the text.

    • Matt

      From what Ive read, and alot of it is hear-say I must admit, w&w plus ISNT affected exactly for the reasons you give above because you pay extra to use as a modem etc.
      Im on this service and have yet to receive a text, which makes me think that maybe im not affected.

  • Debully

    I want out. I’ll be posting over at mse.com for legal advice. T-mob can shove it. The only reason I chose this tariff was because I wanted to stream radio to my phone whilst out walking the dog. I was advised by the sales staff that I could do this, so I took up the contract. Now I can only do that for half the amount of time. I’m a £70-£90/month customer and I’m sure voda/02/3 will be more accommodating to my needs and not treat me like dirt.

  • Ihatetmobile

    I am reporting to BBC Watchdog tonight – i suggest everyone else here also does this.


    Lets take the fight to them and see them squirm….

  • Below is a link to a draft letter of complaint about T-Mobile’s behaviour.

    You’ll need to edit it for your own circumstances.

    At the top of the linked page is Ofcom’s email address. They have stated that if enough people complain to them, they will investigate T-Mobile.


    • Pete

      So you have a contract with T-Mobile which I do not have to hand to read. If it reads as you say i.e. it states you are paying £4.25 for the data allowance of 3GB, then as I see it the following applies.
      T-Mobile have NOT broken their contract with you. To change the contract, as per the terms you stated, they need to give you 30 days notice (I would check carefully what they do need to do to give you notice of contract change in case there is another way for them to inform you). You have received nothing. Hence, the contract is still as it was.
      If they charge you for data in excess of 500MB, they have overcharged you and should refund it.
      If they do modify the contract (by giving you notice), then a different circumstance arises.


      • Michael

        The T’s and C’s state they will give you 30 days WRITTEN notice…

        Clearly they haven’t done this, as popping a small statement on their help and support section does not count as written notice. I have emailed them with this info and asked them to either:

        a: keep my plan as it is (3gb)
        b: cancel at no cost to me
        c: write to me with 30 days notice and then change it on that date

        we await the response…

  • Unknown-singh
  • mcwarre

    Ermm is it me or does the announcement state “On Monday 10 January 2011 we announced that, in line with the rest of the industry, T-Mobile would be reducing its Fair Use Policy for data usage to 500MB a month for all mobile phone customers. Following a further review of our policy, these changes will now be introduced from 1 February, to new and upgrading customers only – not existing customers.”

  • Markrobellis

    The ONLY reason I ruled out certain other companies is because of t-mobiles actual unlimited data! Now that that seems to have changed I view that as voiding the contract. So I am on my way to talk with a t-mobile rep. right now & will try and post what I come up with. And if they decide not to honor the contract, if anyone knows the best way to get out, without hurting my credit score, I would like to know.

  • Salamhira

    Hira, east london. there are other networks out there who is giving plenty of miniutes and truly unlimited data usage with a reseonble price!rather then t-mobile who only charges customer more and gives less miniutes and only 500mb p/m.

  • Stuart Demmery

    Good luck with getting out of your contract guys, I was one of the first to complain when Voda did the same, went from unlimited to 500mb! we set up a thread on MSE & that did no good either. A few people managed to get out of the contracts but it took a lot of effort & they had to wait for 3 months to prove they would be effected by the changes financially. Voda just kept saying 500mb is more than enough for 98% of there customer, which we all know is a joke!

  • Matt Peddlesden

    Well, T-Mobile have nailed their colours to their mast there.  Their internet service is, by their definition, only suitable for browsing and email.  So if you want to use your internet for more, then T-Mobile isn’t the choice for you.  I’ve got a contract with Orange at the moment (I presume the “alignment” they’re talking to is actually as a precursor to merging the plans as part of Everything Everywhere since Orange’s is also 500mb).  I found 500mb way too restricting on an Android smartphone, just regularly checking for personal and work email was draining a lot of bandwidth (yes I DO need it checked regularly, once an hour isn’t enough thanks).  They’re saying not downloading files?? So no apps for your smartphone then?  Pah.  I’ve been using a Three 1 month rolling One contract and it’s outstanding, I have completely stopped worrying about bandwidth, stopped having to keep toggling wireless on all the time unless I specifically want 50mb cable broadband speeds.

    One thing puzzles me. They say that it’s a 500mb fair use policy, and that after 500mb you’ll still be able to browse and check email.  I’m not clear what’s stopping then… Can’t download apps? Youtube is a web site, so would they start blocking specific web sites (in which case, you’re not strictly still good for browsing).  Or do they only let specific ports (e.g. port 80, port 110, 143 and 25 for browsing and email) go through and stop other apps?

    Sorry but for me my phone is a massively important tool and I don’t need to be spending time worrying about whether I can access a machine remotely while i’m on the bus, or have to wait until I get home so I can use Wifi and not take some of my precious bandwidth.

    May be i’m a power user and not a good example of the average user *shrug* but my wife sure isn’t a power user and she gets close to the 500mb often.

    Give Three a shot, i’ve been very impressed with their service and once my orange contract expires i’ll be going for a 2 year contract with them.


  • The_Prof

    This whole “Fair Use Policy” thing the networks have going on is a misnomer.  Why do they persist with using it?  It is totally misleading. 

    If they want to restrict people to 500MB, simply give them a 500MB cap, or ‘bundle’ like Vodafone do.  It’s a paltry amount these days, and I’d say your ‘average user’ is less likely to know what the hell’s going on than power users, and therefore are more likely to come unstuck halfway through the month. 

    I don’t particularly like the fact that Vodafone reduced their standard data bundle to 500MB (where you can buy another 500MB if you run out), but at least it’s not misleading.

    With the power of Smart Phones these days, we should be looking at a standard data bundle of at least 1GB, and maybe up to 3GB before any “fair use” kicks in.  The limits have been hovering around the same amount for years now, and the technology has changed significantly. 

    If the networks do not have the capacity, then I think that’s another issue entirely, and I think it’s all the more argument to expedite the roll-out of the 4G networks like they seem to manage in other countries. 

    Data is the future, and the more they invest in the new technologies and remove these silly caps, they better off we’ll all be.