Straight Talk Refuses to Talk Straight About Unlimited Data

In a statement meant to quell user’s fears of a data cap that would leave them without data on their device, prepaid carrier Straight Talk may have in fact not really quelled user’s fears at all.

The post on StraightTalk’s blog, declared that contrary to recent rumors, it was not cutting off data access for users who went over 1.5GB, and that only users of its sibling Net10 were being limited saying:

“In fact, most of our customers enjoy their unlimited data plans with no issues or complaints regarding their data speeds or service”

The clarification then went on to note that “most of our [Straight Talk’s] users had unlimited data plans and experienced no issues with the data speeds and data amount they are given and that users should see sections seven and eight of the carrier’s Terms and Conditions for further details.

The Straight Talk AT&T SIM card is highly sought after by iPhone users.

After consulting Straight Talk’s terms and conditions, that’s not entirely accurate. The set of guidelines that every one of the company’s users agrees to when signing up notes that the company can hard limit a user’s service if Straight Talk deems a user’s usage detrimental to the health of their network.

Read: 7 Facts to Know Before Switching to Straight Talk

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As the terms and conditions of most companies are written as a legal shielding, historically they are considered difficult for users to interpret. Straight Talk’s terms and conditions tell a more complete story than the carrier’s clarification. According to them,

“Straight Talk reserves the right to cancel or deactivate service, and/or reduce data throughput in order to protect the Carrier’s network from harm due to any cause including, without limitation, the excessive and/or unauthorized use of Straight Talk service. Straight Talk reserves the right to limit or reduce data throughput speeds or the amount of data transferred, and to deny or terminate Service, to anyone Straight Talk believes is using the Straight Talk Unlimited Talk, Text and Mobile Web Access Plan in an unauthorized manner or whose usage, in Straight Talk’s sole discretion, adversely impacts the Carrier’s network or customer service levels.”

Further along, users will find that the carrier actually bases these decisions on somewhat murky qualifications. For example, the company admits that it will attempt to curb the usage habits of a user with “an abnormally high number of calls, or repeatedly placing calls of unusually long duration, or if your [a user’s] talk, text or Mobile Web usage is harmful or disruptive to the Carrier’s network or service levels.” At no point does Straight Talk’s Terms and Conditions actually point to a number of what might constitute a user being considered “disruptive” to Straight Talk’s network.

It should be noted that fellow prepaid carriers Red Pocket, and T-Mobile are more transparent with any data limits that are imposed on users.

Read: Straight Talk Review

As we found out in our time using the iPhone 5 on the carrier, Straight Talk does use the towers and devices that power the major carriers like Verizon and Sprint, but suffers from lackluster customer service and little in the way of service add-ons. Straight Talk, along with other prepaid carriers offers wireless services at a cheaper price than major carriers, and allow users to bring their own phones.

  

Comments

  1. Beth Padgett says

    My data was cut off and I get the run around from their “support” people. I’ve been without for a week even after adding a new card. I’m ready to switch companies.

  2. Beccah Nadeau says

    They deactivated my phone in January, and refused to explain why. I was told I was calling chat lines, downloading music, and eventually exceeding data limits. I asked the customer service agent Jason, who could not speak English to say the least, how much data I had used. He said they didn’t have that information. I asked what the data limit was and he explained that there was no limit, its unlimited…I asked for supervisor after supervisor and finally heard a automated voice say ‘No one is available, please call back later’. They ignored my calls and would hang up on me every time I would call. I eventually filed a complaint with the BBB and was finally contacted about 6 weeks later. Shelly-Ann Starkey is the BBB contact for TracFone, aka Straight Talk. She explained that because they are a prepaid carrier, they don’t pay monthly for the service of their customers, they actually pay 2-3 months behind: When I bought and activated a brand new phone from Walmart with a new number, they weren’t up to date and hadn’t realized that the number was activated under a new phone. So in January when they deactivated the phone number due to term/condition violations, they were actually terminating my service. Shelly-Ann apologized and offered me a month of free service and to reactivate my phone, I declined and explained that due to their mistake I had to buy a new phone with a different provider. I told her I wanted 3 months of free service for the time without my phone, and to be able to wait until my current phone plan ran out so I wouldn’t have to waste more money. She agreed and told me to email her. Awesome, right? No. She didn’t respond to my 22 phone calls, or the 7 emails I had sent. I actually had to buy another card so I could have a phone. When she finally did return my email, she explained she was on vacation. I was floored and just wanted the hassle over with, so I settled with 4 months of free service. I will stay with Straight Talk until the free time is over…or once Straight Talk is out of business, whichever may come first.

    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: 305-715-3804

    Good Luck!

  3. Ali says

    I hate Straightalk! They are a SCAM! Stay clear away from them and their IPhone5 Data Throttling!!!Disgusting!

  4. Krystal says

    I was without data for over 2 weeks. When I would call to ask to speak to a supervisor they would say yes ma’am hold please and then I would be put through to the automated high data usage line. I always close out of active apps and when I am not using my internet I turn my data off. I don’t understand how I am “violating” the terms of service. Furthermore, they advertise UNLIMITED talk, text and DATA!!! If it’s not truly unlimited then how is that not false advertising?

  5. Ali Safdari says

    Expect a class action law suit in the future involving StraightTalk and their data throttling actions. I got a Walmart Assistant manager in Woodland Hills California give me a full refund on my Straightalk phone even after having it for 6 months. Complain to FCC, BBB, and Walmart Corporate about their False Advertising and Data Throttling.

  6. Wanda Wullschleger says

    Not too mention that in there terms and conditions right under where it says they have the right to cut you data it says that they will provide notice of why it is being cut and ample time to correct the issue. Section 6. Love when they cannot follow there own legal contract!!

    • Ali says

      Good point Wanda. I know you get what you pay for but I trusted a huge company like Walmart to only do business with legitimate companies. At least Walmart returned my locked iPhone 5 after 6 months. Apple could not also believe that a $700 IPhone was not unlocked. I had no idea my iPhone was locked until I tried to switch to another carrier. T-Mobile SIM cards worked for me but I still wanted my money back.

  7. Claudia says

    Google the words: “mobile virtual network operator”, for a list of networks that use the same signal as Straight Talk (i.e., AT&T/T-Mobile, or even Sprint/Verizon, for that matter).

    After doing some research on ST’s sneaky business practices re: data caps, I will be avoiding ST like the plague once I get my Jiayu G3, since there are (literally) hundreds of other MVNOs that offer more data for less.

  8. PepeGraves says

    ST is killing me. I’ve been complaining for over 2 mos about the “access forbidden” msg when I try to access my web browser. Just the other day they finally told me, “just use wifi”….. Really? Wifi?… I’m going back to AT&T

    • Beccah Nadeau says

      File a BBB complaint even though you plan on going back to AT&T. If we don’t take action, nothing will be done.

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