Virgin Killing Off Unlimited Mobile Broadband Plan

Say “sayonara” to another unlimited mobile plan, Virgin is adding a 5GB cap and throttle to its $40 “Unlimited Broadband2Go” MiFi plan. After you surpass the threshold in a month, your transfer speeds will get reduced to 256 kbps or lower for the rest of the month. The changes go into effect Feb 15. Happy Valentines Day.

They are also making it so that if you switch to one of the lower and cheaper broadband plans, you will not be able to switch back to the $40 plan.

If you were thinking about getting one of these devices because of the unlimited plan, you should be aware of the changes in store.

At least the plan is contract-free, so if you’re pissed off and/or the deal no longer works for your needs, you can just walk away.

Terms of Service – Virgin Mobile Service Plans [Virgin Mobile] (Thanks to J!)

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Comments

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  1. Mike says:

    I getting too old for this shit.

  2. vastrightwing says:

    Yep. I got the letter. So they baited me with “unlimited” and then, like Lucy, pulled the football away at the last moment. 5 GB sounds like a lot, but when I use the corporate VPN, it sucks up at least 1GB during the day. So in 5 days, I’ll bust the cap. Who knows what the throttling will do to my remote session. Is it too late to return the MiFi now? What a rip off!

    • SolidSquid says:

      IANAL, but I’m pretty sure this counts as a detrimental change to your contract, and as such you can cancel it without penalties (assuming you want to switch to someone else). Don’t know what’ll happen with the actual box though

    • ohhhh says:

      Try these guys http://millenicom.com/ depending on what is available to you there plans are slightly higher priced but are much larger caps or no cap at all. I have a few friends that can’t get DSL or cable that are using them.

  3. Alvis says:

    Don’t worry, Google will save us all with unlicensed white space super-WiFi

  4. framitz says:

    Currently I see two plans:
    10 days with 100MB for $10
    1 Month with no limit for $40
    Both are offered on both offered devices.

    I don’t see anything on their site about a change….
    I think this is a problem for customers that might purchase a device and services now, then to be screwed in February.

    • Ben Popken says:

      Read the notice they put in their TOS, as linked at the bottom of the post.

      • framitz says:

        Thanks, found it. Missed it on first read.
        It sure isn’t easy to find it on the site, small print at page bottom followed by choosing the right link.
        With the change imminent it would seem to better serve the customer if they were a bit more up front on the change.

        I use the Beyond Talk plan and at least don’t see any change with that.

    • inpixels says:

      I received an e-mail with Subject “A change to your Broadband2Go service” on January 13th.

      Check your spam box —

      this is old news.

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Luckily, this constitutes a material change of contract and you can get out without paying an ETF!

    Oh, wait….

  6. Dr.Wang says:

    Perhaps not a huge loss. The modem and the service were not very reliable anyway. Think I’ll sell mine.

  7. inpixels says:

    Believe it or not…. this is a blessing. The service is slow and unreliable (but better than not having it). I do like that I will not get charged if I go “over” the cap——

  8. 6T9 says:

    Why is it that you can’t walk into a store, buy a quality product with a quality service at a quality price and walk out a happy customer. Why the constant bullshit, contractual obligations, shitty coverage etc.. Fucking greed.

  9. GMurnane says:

    It sounds like (from reading the linked TOS) that the people who have purchased unlimited plans will be able to continue doing so, but they will be throttled after going over 5gb. While I never go over ~2gb on my (AT&T) data plan, its not an “unlimited” plan nor do I run anything data intensive. I bet the type of people who buy a plan marketed as “unlimited” are very likely to go over 5gb. Virgin should raise the “limit” to at least 10gb in my opinion; I know bandwidth isn’t “unlimited” but Virgin doesn’t have to impose drastic artificial limits.

  10. B says:

    So much for using this to turn my iPod into a phone. Although, at 5 gb a month, I doubt I would run over the cap very often.

  11. nutbastard says:

    well… 256kbps is still 32Kbps, not stellar but still completely usable. At least they don’t chop you off completely.

    • pythonspam says:

      Complete chopping off is not the problem – its the companies that charge “regular data rates” once you pass your “cap”.
      $.10/kb seems cheap until you get your bill and for some reason, it has a couple extra zeroes added to the end of the total. No notification that you pass the cap and the best you could hope for is the company offering you half off that bill for one time only.
      Unlimited is the wireless equivalent of “we’re taking it seriously.”

  12. common_sense84 says:

    And with that, it is official. Everyone has raised prices by 100 times despite the fact that data is cheaper today than it was yesterday. And it will be cheaper tomorrow than it is today.

    It is time for congress to act.

    • homehome says:

      U hav facts to back up that statement or are u just guessin? Because from I’ve seen its more expensive.

    • homehome says:

      U hav facts to back up that statement or are u just guessin? Because from I’ve seen its more expensive.

      • SecretAgentWoman says:

        Is it really that hard to type two extra letters to spell out “you”?

      • dolemite says:

        Er, there have been numerous reports showing it costs these companies less each year to provide data, and the fact is, data costs pennies to transmit. The only thing that is changing is the demand, and basically all of these companies are in collusion, because there is no reason for these data plans to all go up every year while having services cut. They have all basically agreed on $30-40 a month data plans for 5 GB service.

  13. danbartlett says:

    This is straight-up bait-and-switch. I bought mine in September and have been using it with my iPod. Not always great, but mostly decent. Now I’m out $150 for the unit and a 5GB cap. I would have never bought it with the 5GB cap. Why are all of these devices coming out — with their “watch video on your phone” BS — yet, all of these plans have tiny caps? I really want to start a class action lawsuit and get my money back for the device.

  14. Peter Nincompoop says:

    Luckily my service through Verizon lets me make calls almost anywhere in the US and their 4G speed is blazing fast.

    /Just sarcastically jabbing at all the comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the lede stories.

  15. kittenfoo says:

    Wow, this makes me glad I’m always too broke to buy stuff. I seriously considered getting this last year, but Christmas expenses came up and I didn’t.

  16. anduin says:

    God damn internet, I’m getting tired of this shit. Quality of video/streams, bigger demands on ISPs is just making the internet so damn expensive nowadays. These plans coming out barely cover what I think an average user would need from a service like this.

  17. puka pai says:

    This isn’t the first time they pulled this kind of thing. I bought my MiFi last summer, and a month after I bought it they changed the plans they offered to just the two they have now. They dropped the plan I used, $20 for 300MB, with almost no notice. I found out when I tried to re-up the following month. Calling customer service was useless and I couldn’t return the damn thing because it had been exactly 31 days.

  18. madmallard says:

    uh, as long as they dont try to claim this is 4g, there’s nothing wrong here, guys….

    3G class wireless must deliver 200kps minimum by spec. capping you to 256kps is still well within that…

    • coren says:

      And what about people who bought it anticipating using the “unlimited” plan only to find said plan crippled?

      • madmallard says:

        you did read the article, right? They aren’t cutting you off, but they aren’t letting you run the maximum potential of their network.

        but 256kps is well within 3G spec…

  19. Supernautus says:

    Sounds like they’ve started doing what they already do in the UK. Throttling download speeds and being less than honest in their business practices. Then again, it is a broadband provider, and they’re hardly well known for their good customer care

  20. BurtReynolds says:

    I’m interested to see if they scuttle the unlimited plan for the phones now too. Rumor has it a new Android phone is on its way, and I was thinking of taking a chance with their super low rates.

  21. balderdashed says:

    “At least the plan is contract-free, so if you’re pissed off and/or the deal no longer works for your needs, you can just walk away.”

    Yes — walk away — having been just ripped off for $150 if you bought the MIFI card because Virgin Mobile marketed it as an unlimited plan. If you bought it from WalMart, for example, their return policy on this product is 14 days — which means on day 15, you’re out out luck. Virgin Mobile obviously knew they weren’t planning to deliver what was promised when they were selling these cards in December. There should be a class action on this blatant bait and switch.

    • jesirose says:

      I have to agree here. Usually I’m on the side of business, but this is just wrong. They need to accept returns up to a month after the new plan comes out, maybe prorated a little for really old ones (because you did get to use it in December), but if you bought it a month ago expecting service to go with the product, and they don’t deliver, it’s not right.

  22. DragonThermo says:

    I can understand the 5 GB cap on the $40 plan, but what really grinds my gears is that if the last plan you used was not the $40 plan, you won’t even have the option to choose the $40 plan. WTHeck? It’s not like you’re on a contract. You’re month to month. You choose when and if to buy that particular month.

    I don’t use it frequently, but I may have to buy a $40 plan just so I have the option available after 15 February.

    Darn weasels!

  23. dolemite says:

    These guys (mobile companies) are bound and determined to prevent me from ever getting a smart phone. I was already on the fence due to high priced plans, but now they are cutting the plans while keeping the high prices.

    Guess I’ll just be one of those old fogeys that waits until he gets home to get on the internet.

    • lawnmowerdeth says:

      This isn’t a smart phone plan, it’s their mobile broadband access point.

      VM’s phone plans still have unlimited data.

  24. Kevin says:

    I was looking at VM for a while. Instead I bought a Droid X, rooted it and installed Wireless Tether.

  25. lawnmowerdeth says:

    I remember when 256k was fast.

  26. Lendon85 says:

    I’ve had a Virgin Mobile pre-paid phone for years and was happy with their service until recently. I did my 90 day top-up and they charged my debit card twice while only giving me credit for one top-up. I’ve made three calls to them so far and they still refuse to acknowledge the mistake. They keep insisting that one charge is pending and will “fall off”. However, I can clearly see from my bank statement that both charges have cleared. I have given up on talking to them, so I’m going today to my credit union to get a dispute form and let them handle it. I was considering upgrading to a smart phone with them and getting this unlimited broadband plan but have changed my mind due to this incident.

  27. comedian says:

    I bought one of their Ovation 760 cards last month just because of the availability of this plan.

    Three weeks into my first unlimited month and there goes the neighborhood.

    Bummer.

    Maybe I should pull them out of my lens on Building a better Cellular Wi-Fi Hotspot

  28. Peter Valencia says:

    Clear[wire]’s doing the same… 7GB, 4 Day Cap which i was told was “Tower Issues” Later Demanded a answer if I’m being capped. They said yes. At least the caps were bearable for 360p YouTube which really doesn’t look that bad for most of the stuff. Still false advertising hmm….