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Posted: June 20, 2012 - 12:27:27 AM

Posts: 1
Joined: June 19, 2012
I received a termination letter from Spintel because it considers my 'Unlimited' Plan broadband usage to be unreasonable, affecting other customers' access to the network. Spintel also 'suspect' the usage of my account to be of an unlawful nature.

To make matters worse, I have been advised that my bundled 'Unlimited' Home Phone plan will also cease. I will loose my land line phone number and can't begin to tell you how angered I am because of the unnecessary inconvenience this will cause me.

Spintel are being very unreasonable and unfair. Spintel have not provided me with specific details. There is no provision for negotiation and there is no means to make good.

My inclination is that Spintel wish to withdrawal from our contractual arrangement because my usage of 'unlimited' broadband is high and the pattern of my internet usage might have lead them to 'suspect' that our internet activity may be of an unlawful nature. Conveniently, this provides grounds upon which Spintel can escape its contractual obligation.

I explained in a letter to Spintel why my usage is high. In short, I am off work at home with a long term disability and consequently spend most of my time in front of my computer. I download a multitude of media files, including HD podcasts, university lectures, tutorials, streaming TV, etc. We have 7 computers in our house and over a dozen devices that use the broadband network (phones, iPads, hi-fi receivers, 2 smart televisions, internet radio receivers, and more). I do not deny that my family consumes a lot of bandwidth; this is precisely why I opted for an all-you-can-eat 'unlimited' plan.

Given my personal circumstances, I believe my usage is reasonable, but more to the point, it should have no significance to my defence whatsoever. Why? Because the word 'unlimited' by definition, means without end and ongoing. A plan cannot be unlimited and restricted at the same time.

Amongst other consumer legislation, I believe Spintel are in breach of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code C628:2007 in several ways. For example, Section 4 (more or less from memory) provides for any condition, qualification, restriction or limitation on offer to be reasonable and clearly communicated in an accurate and relevant manner.

There is a qualification to 'unlimited' usage in Spintel promotions. As it stands, I believe it is misleading. The qualification can be easily quantifiable and measurable so that an average user can work with the same rules as the provider. I suggest that Spintel refrain from publishing any clearly defined restriction on 'unlimited' plans that the average user can work with because a well defined cap of this kind would make use of the word 'unlimited' appear ridiculously inappropriate in a very obvious way. Think of a new word for 'unlimited' Spintel, your are deceiving us!

Prior to signing up with Spintel, I asked for qualification of the word 'unlimited'. The Spintel sales person told me that as long as I don't run a server, it's an unlimited plan, and you should be alright, no restriction.

Naturally, I don't run a server. My usage is strictly private. No other gain (just a family of heavy users).

I've asked Spintel to provide me with details of any unlawful activity so I can address this and report it to the respective authorities (it's highly unlikely my daughter has a child pornography server under her bed but quite possible my network is being tapped by the students living in any of the 14 flats next door).

I believe that terminating a contract based on 'suspicion' of unlawful activity is insufficient grounds for Spintel to terminate a contract â they would love to have you believe it but the truth is that it tilts the balance of empowerment in favour of the Telco and this goes against the grain of the Telecommunications Code. Courts love to attack these bullies. Here, natural justice enters the equation and in a test case, the Telco will be required to produce compelling evidence to support its decision to terminate a contract based solely on 'suspicion'.

A tip folks. Never confuse company Policies with law. Policies are invented. Policies are not law. Unreasonable, misguided policies are worth jack in the courtroom.

If you are experiencing a similar problem, I highly recommend you take a gander at the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code: ... 8_2007.pdf

You might also be interested in these:

Register your complaint with the Telecommunications Ombudsman and the ACCC.