Unlimited should mean unlimited…

I’ve been getting all excited lately because a work crew has been putting in Verizon fiber-to-the-house lines all around the neighborhood. As I was checking the mail last night, I saw spray painted grass –  a sure sign they’re almost to our end of the block.

Here’s the sad part: After reading Cringley’s latest article, I’m not sure that I’m ready to get in bed with Verizon.

How much Internet service is "unlimited" Internet service? If you are a user of Verizon Wireless’s Broadband Access wireless Internet service, "unlimited" means five gigabytes per month or less. The company is quite specific in its advertisements that the service is for unlimited e-mail, web surfing, and corporate intranet use, but not for downloading music or videos or running servers.

That sounds fair, I guess, but what happens if you go over your five gigs per month (a figure that is not published anywhere)? You get a letter saying that you’ve gone over your "unlimited" allotment and had better cut back or risk being booted from the system. Even then you aren’t told that you’ve gone over five gigs, just that you’ve been using too much.

If you continue to use too much bandwidth, your account will be cancelled and you will be charged the $175 early termination fee.

(Cringley goes on to mention that with normal usage, he quickly exceeded this limit)

Yes, I understand that the article is referring to wireless access, not fiber access. But do I really want to do business with a company that has an approach like this? When you tell me something is "unlimited", I’m going to think I can get all I want without risk of paying extra or other penalities. You know, unlimited. They don’t publish the limits, nor do they, apparently, make it easy to contest a cancelled account.

Bad, Verizon. Very bad.