After months of speculation on the status of StraightTalk’s vague data management policy and the commonly held 2GB monthly/100MB daily use guideline being used as the unofficial benchmark for data usage for the past 24 months, a StraightTalk spokesperson has somewhat cleared up parts of the policy as it pertains to both the iPhone and data use in general.
Speaking on condition of anonymity to FierceWireless because of the company’s internal policy prohibiting spokespeople from being named, the spokesperson confirmed that the virtual operator does not use a set data cap and instead evaluates data use on a case-by-case basis, with those that use what the operator considers “excessive data” being warned via phone call to use less data before being throttled.
While this does lend credence to recent activity from users that have previously confirmed throttling instead of having their accounts terminated, as was done in 2011 and into the middle of 2012, the spokesperson would not elaborate further on the policy, nor clarify other parts of the Terms of Service for the operator.
This means that the spirit of unlimited service is being met while not necessarily living up to the letter of the phrase and the spokesperson did state that the majority of users will not hit the operator’s still vague definition of excessive data use, though it did specify that streaming media of any kind would cause users to consume too much data, confirming previous speculation that the operator immediately flags accounts that are suspected of using streaming services to throttle. StraightTalk’s TOS also specifies that streaming media is prohibited, further confirming the spokesperson’s statement.
Regarding the iPhone and as it pertains to StraightTalk, the iPhone lineup sold by StraightTalk and powered by Verizon Wireless does not officially support the Personal Hotspot functionality according to the spokesperson, again due to the fears that it would use excessive data and put a strain on the network lease.
While the confirmations do little to clarify things for long-time users and customers, they do serve as a guide for new customers going forward, though anyone expecting more specific policies from the guarded operator would be best served by using other providers with more clearly defined terms for data use and allowances.