O2 Fair Use Policy – The REAL Story

Over the last few months I’ve been looking at various ISPs to sign up to, since I use a lot of bandwidth since I am self-employed.

I called O2 (since they provide my mobile phone contract), and they advised me that they have a Fair Use Policy. I gave them full details of how much bandwidth I use – around 60GB during the day over a month, and around 100-200GB overnight.

I finally got a response from them by telephone telling me this limit was around 1 terabyte. I asked them to confirm this by email:

From: Safwaan Ismail <Ismail.Safwaan@O2.COM>
Date: 20/02/2010 21:33
This email will give them know what’s happening. It will also explain our how we’re applying our Fair Use policy. There’s still no “cap” on the network – but when we have customers downloading over 1,000Gb we need to take action. This activity really is having a detrimental impact to the majority of our customers

and confirmed this later on that it was indeed 1,000 gigabytes and not 1,000 gigabits:

From: Safwaan Ismail <Ismail.Safwaan@O2.COM>
Date: 20/02/2010 21:20
Just to confirm it’s 1,000 Gigabytes!

(I can provide the full text of the emails if required)

Fine I thought; and signed up on their Pro package on 21/02/2010, and was connected on the 01/03/2010.

On the 14/04/2010; I received the following email:

“We hope that you are enjoying your home broadband experience with us. Unfortunately, it looks like you’ve been using significant amounts of our network capacity and it’s affecting the service that our other customers get.”

I called them and was told I was over my limit for using 108GB! I called to complain and ask for an explaination. I was told (over many hours of calls) that Safwaan had made a mistake, and I shouldn’t have listened to him and instead gone by their Fair Usage Policy.

I have all these calls recorded if they would be any use (despite one of them advising me he doesn’t want the call used, not even in court; that’s a risk I’m possibly willing to take).

I was told they would not be able to provide me broadband. I explained that this was a violation of the agreement on the contract, and they disagreed and could only offer £40 on my mobile phone bill.

To change to another company that provides the bandwidth they promised has cost me £283.50 extra for the year. I’ve asked for this money but they would not accept and refuse to discuss it further.

I’ve recently received a bill from them for £1.75, and they’ve told me that this was an error and would be refunded to my credit card, but can provide no explaination of this charge since they have a 3-month free broadband promotion.

Can’t say I’m very impressed. Have contacted The Register and BBC Watchdog so far.

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