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Standard User Jerryt
(newbie) Tue 08-Oct-13 12:10:43
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Is 4GEE a ripoff?


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I signed up with EE for a Mobile Wifi dongle (Alcatel Y800), about 7 weeks ago; stupidly entering into a 2 yr contract. I did the data calculator on their website and was recommended a 3Gb contract but took up the 5Gb offer to be sure. However, 3 weeks into the first month all the data was gone! (I live in Southampton where we get double superfast). I couldn't understand where the data had gone because we don't download much or watch catchup tv, just maybe a few Youtube vids on mobile devices. we tend to use our phones for browsing and only a couple of hours in the evenings.

The next month my 5gig was all done within 2 weeks! We even used up 2.3Gb in about 3 days!! I have spoken to the tech guys (eventually) and have had mixed insider tips about the 'correct way to use mifi'; Don't use PC - use apps instead; change browsers; block pop-ups; don't stream in HQ, etc.... but doesn't that somehow defeat the purpose of signing up in the first place?

My gripe is that there is no forewarning about this massively increased data usage on the mobile 4G. The EE website just says 'come on in and let us take your money'

Tech have said they cannot provide details on where the data is being used up and have pledged a 2Gb add-on freebie - but not until my next refresh! I think I have been mis-sold............. anybody else been caught out?
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 08-Oct-13 13:53:50
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: Jerryt] [link to this post]
 
You were sold a service with a monthly data transfer limit and EE appear to be providing that limit.

The difficulty of relatively low limits (you're paying for 5GB, not 5Gb - B=bytes, b=bits) and fast service is that you can chew through that limit very quickly. For example, watching YouTube videos on a mobile device with default settings may well open an HD connection at ~4Mbit/s if the bandwidth is available, which works out at around 1.8GBytes/hour. If watching at 1080p, the bandwidth usage might be double that.


There is no equivalent of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 section 4(3) requirement for fitness for any purpose implicitly or explicitly disclosed to the seller in the services provisions (Part II, which is sections 12 to 16) of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

Most of the misselling cases the public is aware of (card protection insurance and especially PPI) relate to regulated financial products such as insurance, but this financial services legislation would not apply to a mobile broadband contract as it is not a regulated product.

Any rights you have to bring the contract to an end based on misselling relate will therefore depend on terms of the contract itself, viewed against the background of underlying contract law. Misrepresentation is a concept known in contract law, but EE would undoubtedly claim the calculator is only a guide and that your Internet usage scenario is entirely your business (you could, for example, avoid streaming video on mobile connections). 5GBytes/month is a very low usage product for a primary broadband connection - even with little streaming video use, we can easily chew through 1GByte/day.

Standard User Ignitionnet
(knowledge is power) Tue 08-Oct-13 14:45:34
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: Jerryt] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Jerryt:
Is 4GEE a ripoff?


Yes. You paid more to get 4G as an early adopter before it had become more mainstream and there was real competition.


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Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Tue 08-Oct-13 14:57:55
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: Ignitionnet] [link to this post]
 
Agreed,

As with most things early adopters pay through the nose and then everyone hopes they don't notice the price drops for others as they are " So grateful to get it first"

As I recall when 50mbps came out... and when I was paying more than others who got it just a week later

"
Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Tue 08-Oct-13 14:59:26
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: Jerryt] [link to this post]
 
You should have got something with 3. their Ultrafast network is just a good in some places and better in others. The data allowances are more generous £15 for 10GB) and unlimited if you get a phone.

When I took out 4G I couldn't get more than 8mbps and I was told that was all I would get until I had 6 months of billing behind me. Total amount of billing I got behind me? 4 days when I sent it back and told them to shove it - and they did cancel the contract.

I recently got a 4G PAYG ipad sim, just as dire!

"
Standard User Jerryt
(newbie) Tue 08-Oct-13 15:06:32
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
David,
I 'hear' what you are saying... But even in what you have pointed out about streaming Youtube in HD I would not have chosen to do so had I been informed about the amount of data it shifts in this mode. I used 1/2 GB in ten minutes! I now no longer watch, download or stream videos (in fear of the amount it will use up).

My issue is with the transparency of the product. The EE L2 tech guys admitted to me that the allowances (at those prices) were pitiful, and the data calculator is clearly a gimmick to haul you in. There should be a warning up front and one should not have to find out later that it actually costs more than the company advertises.

EE's largest tariff is £26 for a mere 8GB - Roll on the competition and then maybe we will get a fair deal on prices, or at least unlimited!
Standard User Jerryt
(newbie) Tue 08-Oct-13 15:12:12
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: pcoventry76] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by pcoventry76:
You should have got something with 3. their Ultrafast network is just a good in some places and better in others. The data allowances are more generous £15 for 10GB) and unlimited if you get a phone.


Unfortunately, we haven't got Three down here yet, plus i don't want another phone...plus i don't rate them much at all - seriously bad reputation!

I have moved from a fibre-optic BB area onto a boat on the river and so hardlines aren't an option
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 08-Oct-13 15:28:00
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: Jerryt] [link to this post]
 
Unfortunately, like most things, it's a case of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).


As I said in a thread dealing with entirely different facts today, your legal position might be secondary to the moral and PR position if you approach the company with a clear request based on the facts. If you believe you were misled into buying the service based on the calculator and it is not suitable for your needs so you want out of the contract, you have little to lose by writing to the company briefly setting out the facts (your YouTube HD example is a good illustration), asking for release for the contract, agreeing that you will pay any subscription fees due to the point of cancellation and return the device (which is probably locked to EE anyway) if released from the contract.

You can always come back later with a more formal request based on a proper legal analysis of the position, including misrepresentation.


As has been said, 4GEE has a huge 'early adopter' premium. It isn't necessarily that much faster than the most advanced variants of 3G - and once you've got over the '4G' logo, it doesn't really matter whether your connection uses 3G, 4G or what a famous Internet document termed 'avian carriers' (i.e. carrier pigeons) if it does what you require.


Mobile networks are not well suited to heavy use, because the capacity is limited and expensive to bolster. The mobile networks have moved away for 'all you can eat' data, with Three policing their 'all you can eat' data tariffs in an attempt to restrict them to untethered phones only, and the other networks going to limited tariffs. When unlimited data was at its height a few years ago, saturation in popular areas was a major problem - the experience was as bad as when you land up in a 2G only area, where the very limited capacity (tens of kbits/s without EDGE) can mean the data service is unusable.

Even UK Broadband, who use 4G technology in the 3.5-3.7GHz range to provide fixed data links in a few locations, use various limiting techniques despite having much more bandwidth than the mobile operators and the advantage of knowing the location of the client devices.

Standard User ian72
(knowledge is power) Tue 08-Oct-13 16:28:55
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
The 4GEE data usage calculator doesn't really take account of modern HD streaming rates - it is rather conservative. It also states this in the small print:

Our data calculator relies on the information you've provided, so please make sure you've read and considered how the calculator uses this information by clicking on the question mark icon above. The actual amount of data used for the described activity can vary according to device, operating system and the nature of the activity. This is a general guide only and it doesn't take into account how your usage could evolve over time. You should carefully select the 4GEE plan that best suits your mobile phone needs


None of the data checkers are very accurate as to real world usage as it is very difficult to judge what might be used when someone gets a new connection.
Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Tue 08-Oct-13 20:57:17
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Re: Is 4GEE a ripoff?


[re: Jerryt] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by pcoventry76:
.plus i don't rate them much at all - seriously bad reputation!

I have moved from a fibre-optic BB area onto a boat on the river and so hardlines aren't an option


Fair point. I've been with them since the day after they laucnhed and I can't say I have a problem with them. I rarely need to call them. It's a shame as they are much better than the last time you probably tried them. And the unlimited data would have helped you. 3 do 15Gb for £25 a month on a contract.

In all the time I have had 3 they have never done in 10 years what EE did in 10 mins, I'd say if 3's rep is bad EE is disastrous.

"
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