Sunday, April 28, 2013

SmartBro's FUP

It was supposed to be just a normal weekend, spending time at home, doing chores, watching movies while eating, the works. Until I have observed however that my connection speed has gone significantly slow and until I ran a test did I measure just how slow it is:

I work for a US Telco account, so my initial instinct would be to call customer care. It was then that while the CSR did ran his tests (I use the same stalling alibi believe me) was I told that I have exceeded the bandwidth for the month and that they recently implemented a "fair usage policy". Ok, well, thing is I have not been informed about this prior nor was I given any satisfactory answers. My subscription is at fixed speeds (max 1mbps) and UNLIMITED at 999 per month. Now, they have capped to only 15GB and beyond that, your speed would dwindle to a mere 20kbps as shown above, and it will persist for the rest of the month. Only consolation is, your connection would not be interrupted, only slowed down. Deliberately. In addition to adding more insult to injury, the CSR attempted to upsell to a higher plan which costs twice as much and had to be bundled with a landline.

About myBro’s Fair Usage Policy. myBro understands your need for fast and reliable connectivity, and is obligated to efficiently manage the network to guarantee that all subscribers have fair access to network resources. myBro has adopted a Fair Usage Policy to provide the best fixed wireless internet experience to all subscribers.
Conditions Covering Fair Usage Policy. Certain peer-to-peer and machine-to machine software/applications are used by customers to send and receive files containing very large amounts of data. These activities may cause network congestion and can negatively impact the quality of service that other subscribers will experience. myBro fulfils a service level that is based on equitable share of network resources among all of its customers. Thus, the service level and/or connectivity to users of peer-to-peer and machine-to-machine software/applications is modulated to ensure that all customers get the best fixed wireless Internet experience.
Upon reaching the optimum volume allocation for a single user, the subscriber will still be able to enjoy unlimited access to the Internet, but at a lower speed. This was implemented to manage overall internet usage and to ensure that all myBro subscribers can enjoy satisfactory internet service.
Ensuring Fair Usage For All. myBro intends to preserve the integrity of the network in order to provide all customers with high quality fixed wireless Internet services.   myBro reserves the right to suspend or terminate service to customers whose practices or use of the internet far exceeds that of a personal consumer and, as a result, impairs the quality of service that other customers experience. myBro also reserves the right to modify the Fair Usage Policy without immediate notice in order to maintain the integrity of its network services.
I tried to research further on this and found more people under the same predicament. While others were able to suggest different workarounds, which did prove effective for a time, a complaint is still being over social media sites.

If it were only clearly described as such, I believe people would be able to make a more informed decision in choosing their provider. To quote a fellow complainant:  "Yes, MyBro is a wireless connection. However, please do check that most U.S. carriers have both capped and unlimited packages. Basically, they have a DATA plan & an unlimited plan. What Smart/PLDT is marketing is unlimited, but they will cap your bandwidth. Although throttled down, this is still considered Deprivation of services paid for, which is against the Philippine Consumer Act."

How all of this would turn out, I do not know, but definitely I will not bow down to it.


  1. same thing happened to me. same excuse given. tho the CSR said it's not permanent. until when, he couldn't tell. now i'm thinking of transferring to another provider. good thing my 24 month contract with smartBro has ended. i can terminate it anytome.

    1. in as much as i would want to do that myself, smartbro has always been with me through good and bad times. i seldom had issues with my connection and barely call customer support within a year

      besides, i somehow benefited from the retention freebies

  2. The CSRs I spoke with are more tight-lipped on the matter. If it is indeed 15GB, then it might be half of the actual data cap. They only implemented it last April 18, so the data cap could really be 30GB. I’m seeing a burst of 30kB from time to time but I place my average download at 17kB. That number is familiar to me because a few months ago they are dropping my connection after I loaded 17kB worth of data. And I had that problem for more than two-months. Got twelve days’ worth of rebate-- thank you SMARTBRO! Bet that is always said sarcastically. If I recall it correctly, Jan 2010 contracts are entitled to a 2mbps aggregate speed but you will find yourself downgraded to 1mbps eventhough things like that shouldn’t happen in the first place. I know it’s farting in the wind but at least it gives me something to wail about when my righteous anger is running out of gas.

  3. hi! ganyan din po nangyari sakin and now i think magpapalit na lang kami. sa tingin niyo po anu po magandang brand? sabi ng iba pldt daw. aside dun anu pa pong maganda? yung malakas yung signal sa cubao. i'm from cubao din kasi :) thanks!

  4. to be honest, wlang magawa ang telco kasi minomonopoly lng nila. Wla sa contract ang change of subcription or any.. meron clause dun na "AS IS" meaning kung ano ung sinubscribe un makukuha. FUP di kasama sa terms and condition ng SMARTBRO... Iligal ang implimentation na ito.

  5. I'm in the same predicament. They didn't notify me. The CSR said they can do this without prior notice. But who is expected to deliver the "fair usage"? Is it SMART? CLEARLY it's the customer, and SMART is just there to penalize the customer. So, how can customers deliver fair usage they know nothing about? Secondly, how do customers know that they're nearing the limit or have exceeded it when there is no means to monitor usage. It's like selling someone a car without a fuel or oil-temp indicator! Third, unlimited it isn't. A throttled connection--though still connected--is still limited in speed (not as advertised). So it is false advertising. Fourth, if they will limit the speed when a customer has reached the cap, it would be fair to expect that they too abide by the advertised speed when a customer isn't capped. For the purpose of capping is so they can deliver as advertised. Who gets 2Mbps, really? Lastly, shouldn't infrastructure in the first place have met the projected customers under the advertised unlimited bandwidth? Government allowing SMART to throttle existing unlimited customers is like giving them fresh new bandwidth to sell at the expense of customers who signed up for unlimited Internet in the first place. Capping is only applicable for systems where the core network and access network are shared by users. A user can hog the entire core network at the expense of fellow users (e.g. cable Internet). When users already have 1 or 2 Mbps limit all the time, then the access network isn't shared so access to the core network is related already. That should be the basis of their infrastructure requirement already. There is fair usage already even without capping.

  6. I'm in the wait-and-see mode now and stopping all payments until we can get confirmation that FUP has been dropped. My internet hasn't slowed down yet, and I'm pretty sure I've reached the 15GB cap (which the CSR's fail to confirm). As of August 23 it's returned to its normal speed before they implemented FUP, that is, an average of 150kB/s during low-traffic hours, and about 20 to 30 kB/s during high-traffic hours (lunch and evening usually).

    I will not be paying my bill for at least 2 months just to confirm it really is gone. If it's still there, I'll allow my subscription to expire and switch to Globe. Won't even pay the termination fee if that happens. We've been subscribers for 6 years now. And FUP was not in the contract we signed last time. I don't have any obligations to them. If nothing else, they could get a class action suit for false advertising on their claims of being "unlimited".

  7. complain here: