Straight Talk Cuts Off My Data, Will Only Explain Why In Confusing Doublespeak

Mike’s phone spent two weeks in the repair depot at Samsung. When it came back, shortly afterward his data stopped working. Oh, no! Would it have to go back for more repairs already? Well… no, that wasn’t the problem. The problem is that his mobile carrier, Straight Talk, has throttled his data access down to nothing.

He has used too much data, insisted a chat agent. Mike finds this confusing, since he wasn’t using the phone during most of March. At all. Even if he had been, the chat agent was only able to speak in awkwardly-worded text macros. A sample sentence: “If your data usage still excessive and adversely impacting our service levels then it will result for not having a data service at all.” The agent explained that the carrier monitors customers’ data usage and cuts them off at a certain point, but that she couldn’t tell him how much data he had used, or what that mysterious tipping point actually is.

We are posting the chat transcript in all of its repetitive, robotic glory. We haven’t retouched Mike’s spelling or punctuation…or the Straight Talk rep’s.

As a disclaimer before you read on, we’d like to point out that threatening to say bad things about a company on the Internet is pretty much a waste of everyone’s time when you’re dealing with with a low-level chat agent who mostly communicates by posting the same poorly pre-written answers over and over. It’s not a nice thing to do in general, but in this case it’s a bad idea as well as a pointless threat.

Mike: my data is not working on my phone??

[Straight Talk Rep]: Thank you for visiting Straight Talk Wireless. I would be happy
to assist you today.

Mike: [redacted] is my number

[Straight Talk Rep]: Thank you.

[Straight Talk Rep]: Please allow me a moment to check on your account.

Mike: just got it back from Samsung repair dept…

Mike: was working prior to repair…

[Straight Talk Rep]: It is okay, I understand.

[Straight Talk Rep]: Thank you for waiting. Please be informed that, your data throughput speed for your phone has been reduced because your current data usage levels violate sections six and seven of the terms and conditions of service. Your data throughput speed will be returned to normal levels upon your next service redemption.

Mike: thats not likely I have not used it in over a week

Mike: where do I find this BS

Mike: what are my levels?

[Straight Talk Rep]: I understand, but please be informed that, the magnitude of data transmitted from your phone is recorded by our system on a daily basis and the determination of its impact to the totality of our system’s capacity is solely done by itself. If our system detects that your phone is transmitting abnormally excessive amount of data and is negatively impacting its capacity to provide service.

Mike: what are my levels?

Mike: but still I have NO data at all???

[Straight Talk Rep]: One moment please…

[Straight Talk Rep]: Alright, regarding that, it will then send you a warning or a notification that you have already reached a certain level of data usage. We do not have the exact limitations for data usage especially if you are on the unlimited service.

Mike: never got it, the notice

[Straight Talk Rep]: One moment please…

[Straight Talk Rep]: I understand, please be informed that due to high data usage,your phone’s data will not work.

Mike: My data package says ” Data: Unlimited MB” this is direct from your website!!

[Straight Talk Rep]: Please wait upon your next redemption in order for your phone data speed will be returned to it’s normal levels.

Mike: not acceptable

Mike: what are my levels??

[Straight Talk Rep]: I hope you understand Mike.

Mike: I do not agree

Mike: what are my levels??

[Straight Talk Rep]: One moment please…

[Straight Talk Rep]: Regarding that, I could not provide you the exact information since the magnitude of data transmitted from your phone is recorded by our system on a daily basis and the determination of its impact to the totality of our system’s capacity is solely done by itself. If our system detects that your phone is transmitting abnormally excessive amount of data and is negatively impacting its capacity to provide service.

Mike: this is not acceptable

[Straight Talk Rep]: I hope you understand.

Mike: I do not! please elevate my case to be reviewed

Mike: I BELEIVE AN ERROR has been made, If you cannot help where do I turn to fix this

[Straight Talk Rep]: I understand your situation Mike, but the information that I have provided is the exact information regarding your phone’s data usage.

Mike: my phone has been in repair almost 2 weeks I could not have used that much data

Mike: you have not given me any EXACT info you are wrong…

[Straight Talk Rep]: I hope you understand Mike, but please be informed that I have
provided all the information regarding your concern.

Mike: when is my renewal date?

Mike: at what data level do you shut off my data?

[Straight Talk Rep]: Your next redemption date is 04/01/2013.

[Straight Talk Rep]: The data throughput speed for your phone has been reduced because your current data usage levels violate sections six and seven of the terms and conditions of service.

Mike: What level of data is my service turned off???

Mike: you mean turned off, not reduced, correct

[Straight Talk Rep]: One moment please…

[Straight Talk Rep]: No. If your data usage still excessive and adversely impacting
our service levels then it will result for not having a data service at all. Do not worry upon your next redemption, your phone data speed will be returned to normal levels.

[Straight Talk Rep]: *Do not worry upon your next redemption, your phone’s data speed will be returned to normal levels.

Mike: at what data usage do you turn off my data??

[Straight Talk Rep]: One moment please…

[Straight Talk Rep]: As what I have mentioned a while ago, that is due to excessive or high data usage.

Mike: I did not get a notice of high usage, when was this notice sent??

Mike: What IS excessive or high data usage???

Mike: Give me a number??

[Straight Talk Rep]: Alright, please be informed that even if you have not receive any notice for your data usage, still the magnitude of data transmitted from your phone is recorded by our system on a daily basis and the determination of its impact to the totality of our system’s capacity is solely done by itself.

Mike: all this is recorded BUT YOU cannot give any detail??

Mike: its just automatic??

Mike: YOu have no proof?

[Straight Talk Rep]: One moment please…

[Straight Talk Rep]: We regret to inform you that, we are unable to provide you with the estimated threshold or limitation set by the company for your internet service usage.

Mike: I cannot use your service if I do not have data!!!

Mike: I cannot wait until 4-1-2013

[Straight Talk Rep]: I understand, you may need to contact our customer care department at 1-888-251-8164. We are available from Monday to Sunday 8 AM to 11:45 PM EST for further assistance.

Mike: I will write the president of your company and will post this experience on the internet, VERY DISSAPOINTING!!

[Straight Talk Rep]: I hope you understand Mike.

Mike: Please send me a diary of this chat to my email [redacted]

[Straight Talk Rep]: One moment please…

[Straight Talk Rep]: Alright, not a problem.

[Straight Talk Rep]: Do you have any more questions?

Mike: no

[Straight Talk Rep]: Thank you for chatting with Straight Talk Wireless. If you have
any further questions or concerns, please contact one of our customer care representatives at 1-888-251-8164. For your convenience, our representatives are available Monday-Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM EST.

[Straight Talk Rep]: Mike, are you still there?

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact one of our customer care representatives at 1-888-251-8164. For your convenience, our representatives are available Monday-Sunday from 8:00 AM to 11:45 PM EST.

Thank you for being a Straight Talk Wireless customer. We appreciate your business.

We posted some contact information for Straight Talk here, but the company’s position of “we will cut you off if you use too much data, but we won’t tell you how much you used, and we can’t tell you when you’ll get cut off” is something that we’ve discussed here in the past. Can you monitor your own usage? Is streaming Netflix on mobile data important to you? Is this policy an acceptable compromise in order to save money and go contract-free? Only you can answer those questions for yourself.