Vodafone won't charge for going over mobile data limit
11th May 2010 | 10:30
Well, at least for a few months anyway
Vodafone has stated that it won't be charging any of its users who go over their data bundles for a 'few months'.
There has been some backlash after Vodafone moved to drop the 'unlimited data' from its contracts and begin charging for out of bundle use, as many forum posters complained that they would be stung with huge bills.
However, Vodafone has pointed out that not only will most never approach this limit, but those that do will continue to be 'advised' of their usage and encouraged onto other plans rather than forced to pay, although they will be charged should the excessive behaviour continue.
"In June we'll be introducing a free text service to tell our contract customers when they're approaching the upper limit of their data bundle," a Vodafone spokesperson told TechRadar.
"As the vast majority of our mobile internet subscribers (more than 97 per cent) never reach the limit they will not be receiving the text alerts at all.
"The minority of our customers (less than 3 per cent) who do come close will receive a text telling them they are approaching their data allowance and advising them to monitor their usage going forward. At this point customers will not be charged anything more."
"If after receiving several such alerts, over a period of few months, customers continue to use excessive amounts of data they will be contacted by Vodafone and advised to upgrade to another data plan to avoid incurring unnecessary additional charges.
"Customers will be able to make an informed decision on whether to continue, limit their use or change to a different price plan, giving them total control of their spend.
"500MB means you can read and reply to thousands of emails, download 24 Google maps and read 8,000 BBC News stories. Today, a tiny fraction of our customers use their full allowance."
This is clearly a way for Vodafone to root out the heavier users in a similar way to O2 when the iPhone became open for tethering to your computer as a modem.
It's good news for the 'average' heavy user – it seems that if you go over the 500MB limit regularly but not excessively, then you will probably avoid charges as the fair use policy looks set to remain for the foreseeable future.
However, 500MB is still an amount likely to be reached by more and more people in the future, as smartphones become more popular and ever more data-hungry, so Vodafone may be forced to re-think its limits.