Changes to RingPlus terms with immediate effect

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Summary of changes to R+ terms :

My interpretation:

No RingPlus member is permitted to use more data, minutes or text than the average amount used by all members. This maximum applies irrespective of what your allotment of data and minutes are. If the plan you paid for gives you 5,000 MB of data and 5,000 minutes of voice, but the average RingPlus user uses 1,700 MB of data and 400 minutes a month, then your maximum usage is limited to 1,700 MB of data and 400 minutes a month. 

Note: You will not be told what the average amount used by all members is. You can take a guess but you will only know you violated this rule after you are informed of your violation and penalty (i.e. expire, suspend, terminate or downgrade your service without notice.)

Take the lowest usage you had in any single month of the last six months and add 50%. That is your new maximum usage allowed per month irrespective of what you were advised that your allotment of data and minutes are in the plan you paid for. (It is your responsibility to manually make this calculation anew each month and keep track of it.)

 

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And make more phone calls. According to at least one poster, using lots of data but minimal voice calls is a sign of abu... (more)

ottawa (Sep. 13, 2016 @ 12:57a) |

they have updated the TOS, go there for latest, not meaning final. I just stumbled across it at Hofo including this from... (more)

Monkeybiz (Sep. 13, 2016 @ 2:57p) |

Glad they cleared it up. Their intention was just to cut down on abuse (which is good for all of us who use the service ... (more)

AlwaysWrite (Sep. 15, 2016 @ 10:30a) |

First, the OP's interpretations are wrong. Here are the rules as quoted:

20. If your talk, text or data usage exceeds 50% of your total voice, text or data usage for any prior billing cycle in the immediately prior 6 months, RingPlus may, in its sole discretion and without notice, expire, suspend, terminate or downgrade your Service. 
21. If more than 50% of your talk, text or data occurs while roaming, RingPlus may in its sole discretion and without notice, expire, suspend, terminate or downgrade your Service. 
22. If your talk, text or data usage exceeds the average use of talk, text or data by all RingPlus Members, RingPlus may, in its sole discretion and without notice, expire, suspend, terminate or downgrade your Service. 
23. You agree not to initiate any chargeback without first trying to resolve your issue with RingPlus support staff as chargebacks harm the community as a whole. 
24. You agree to resolve any dispute with us through binding arbitration administered by JAMS according to the JAMS Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures or small claims dispute procedures in Los Angeles, CA and California law will apply. You agree to waive your rights to a class action suit and jury trial.

Real life interpretation: RingPlus is trying to do something about the users that are abusing the system so they can still offer super cheap plans to people who aren't trying to find a way to stream HD netflix for hours without spending a dime. If you use RingPlus as a normal cell phone with normal amounts of talk, text and data usage, you probably have absolutely nothing to worry about even if you are violating these new rules.
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I don't think I'll sign up for any more RingPlus plans or recommend RingPlus to anyone.

Neither will I post a RingPlus deal as long as these changes are in effect.

Thanks for posting. Those rules are bizzaro is what I'll say about them...

Wow what a crock of crap. Way to go Ringplus. The beginning of the end

how do this affect the totally free plan (i have it for my son's emergency phone)

Note these changes are dated Jul 13/16 (and I had no idea).

Rule 22 would seem to be a continual downward spiral, since the average (whether it's mean, median. or whatever) would go down every month (assuming they cancel or even warn everyone who exceeded it).

Rule 20 is going to be a huge challenge for me, I've been keeping my account alive while I'm outside their coverage area by making a 1-minute FluidCall call every month (the minimum is 1 call every 2 months). Does that mean I won't be able to use the phone in FL, since I'm likely to use more than 1.5 minutes!?

I assume (with no evidence) that they're really hurting from the lack of cheap Sprint -compatible phones (because of Sprint 's enforcing their policy starting Apr 17). Maybe this is a last-ditch attempt to limit ongoing operating costs in a new reality where the flow of new customers dried up.

That said, if they want to cut all allotments in half, while I wouldn't like it I would accept it. To tell me I can't use my phone going forward because I didn't use it enough in the past is crazy. And it will kill the company faster than anything Sprint might do.

Guess I'll have to wade into their forum and try to find some discussion of this.

[Added: someone posted that these new terms appeared on Sep 6 or 7, though they're dated July].

=aw

ottawa said:   Note these changes are dated Jul 13/16 (and I had no idea).

Rule 22 would seem to be a continual downward spiral, since the average (whether it's mean, median. or whatever) would go down every month (assuming they cancel or even warn everyone who exceeded it).

Rule 20 is going to be a huge challenge for me, I've been keeping my account alive while I'm outside their coverage area by making a 1-minute FluidCall call every month (the minimum is 1 call every 2 months). Does that mean I won't be able to use the phone in FL, since I'm likely to use more than 1.5 minutes!?

I assume (with no evidence) that they're really hurting from the lack of cheap Sprint -compatible phones (because of Sprint 's enforcing their policy starting Apr 17). Maybe this is a last-ditch attempt to limit ongoing operating costs in a new reality where the flow of new customers dried up.

That said, if they want to cut all allotments in half, while I wouldn't like it I would accept it. To tell me I can't use my phone going forward because I didn't use it enough in the past is crazy. And it will kill the company faster than anything Sprint might do.

Guess I'll have to wade into their forum and try to find some discussion of this.

=aw
 

  The changes were made in the last 24 hours according to a post over there, they failed to change the date on their website.

First, the OP's interpretations are wrong. I'm only posting to keep this from spiraling out of control.

What R+ is saying is that if you use more than the average amount, they may at their discretion cancel your account. Do I think that's fair? No. But that rule is there because R+ gave away the farm too much, and some single-digit percent of customers are using 6+ GB per month consistently, without paying anything.

I think these rules are dumb. But it will not create a "death spiral" of lower and lower thresholds.

What Ring+ should do, is rip the band-aid and just cut free plans down to whatever cap they can afford to handle.

First, the OP's interpretations are wrong. I'm only posting to keep this from spiraling out of control.
Definitely wrong in that it's not 50% more than any of the previous 6 billing cycles, it 50% _of_ any of the previous 6 billing cycles. So my comment that my 1min/mo means a limit of 1.5min/mo was wrong, it's actually 0.5min/mo. And I don't even make that call in every cycle, I just have a reminder set for the 1st of each month and I do it when I have a chance (probably every 30-45 days) so maybe my new limit under Rule 20 (presumably not enforced) is 0min/mo.

And how would your hypothetical someone be using 6GB/mo for free? Was there once a free plan with a limit of 6GB/mo? Right now the highest I can see is 5GB/mo and that's $40/mo. Even if they previously offered a free plan with a limit of 6GB/mo, then how are they wrong to use 6GB/mo? And even on a free plan, they either paid a lot up front or they're paying for overages. Or they're on a paid plan to avoid the pre-call ads, and those paid users aren't explicitly excepted either.

If they want to cut my minimal allotments in half, fine, do it. No I don't think this means they'll throw me off for using 1000min in December when I'm in their coverage area. No I don't think this will create a death spiral. But it could, in both cases. Even if they don't enforce the rules as (oh so badly) written, they're creating huge FUD -- who in their right minds would sign up for a $40/mo plan with a 5GB limit if there's an unenforced rule that says use of that data is a form of abuse?

We have no choice but to assume they might enforce the rules they've written, if not now then in the future. Obviously I'm not cancelling or leaving, since I've made the investment in a handset compatible with the #4 carrier and they've got my activation fee. But I certainly wouldn't put any more money into it. Not just because I might doubt their ongoing health but now I have to worry they'll chase all the customers away.

=aw

>If your talk, text or data usage exceeds 50% of your total voice, text or data usage for any prior billing cycle in the immediately prior 6 months, RingPlus may, in its sole discretion and without notice, expire, suspend, terminate or downgrade your Service.

I do not understand this. If the following are my data usage (in MB) in the past 6 months: 120, 130, 110, 250, 90, 40 (total 740MB), then if I go on a vacation with no wifi this month and have to rely heavily on cellular data for half month, ending with 2000MB usage, which is way over 370MB limit, then my account will disappear without warning?

Even the notorious monthly cap from other vendors (e.g. Cox Internet) sounds more reasonable than this new rule. Only someone on the R+ management board who made incorrect estimation on the amount of people signing up in the first place could make up such silly and inconsiderate rule like this out of desperation. On the other hand, people who are afraid to go over will start planning to increase their data usage month after month, still within safe usage, but the overall usage will increase to ensure their account won't get removed. R+'s lack of thought can lead to the opposite result. In short this new rule sucks especially for users who do not normally use lots but do have usage spike once a while.

You all knew this was coming. Once they lured in enough one time topups they effectively cut bait and take off with all our $.

I feel scammed.

By the way, what's 50% more than zero, because that's how much I've used my plan recently. My account is now 0 minutes per month forever?

I thought they were weak in the head. Now it's clear they are

jd2010 said:   You all knew this was coming. Once they lured in enough one time topups they effectively cut bait and take off with all our $.

I feel scammed.

By the way, what's 50% more than zero, because that's how much I've used my plan recently. My account is now 0 minutes per month forever?

  Ugh, it's not 50% of your use, it's the average of all users on R+.

So if the average user on R+ uses 500 MB per month, and you use 1GB in a month - R+ has the option of cancelling your service. That doesn't mean they will. 

The big problem like this is that R+ isn't saying what the average monthly amounts are. This is just like Verizon UDP where VZW is threatening to cancel "abusive" users - but won't share what they define as abusive (other than it's "well above 100GB").

R+ needs to hire an attorney. It's not as bad as the OP wrote, but it's terribly written by someone that either is not an attorney, or shouldn't be an attorney in my opinion - or even, legally minded.
 

asuka said:   Ugh, it's not 50% of your use, it's 50% of the average of all users on R+.

#20 has nothing to do with other users.

Any company that has too good to be true offers that get promoted on FW or SD ends up pulling them due to the "overindulgence" that takes place.


So, if you travel once a year. Your roaming usage is going to spike and it also possible to use more data & voice then normal. In such situations, you are out-of-luck. Rule #20 & #21.

Here is the link where this is being discussed on R+ forum. https://social.ringplus.net/discussion/7817/additional-legal-ter...

Here's my guess:

It's new coke all over. This will make the news sites today, people will be up in arms, then R+ will modify things to be more sane.

Free advertising.

How can they make existing customers agree to new terms and conditions?

Thanks for posting.

MustSav3 said:   How can they make existing customers agree to new terms and conditions?
  Because they're on a month-to-month plan. AFAIK they've never offered anything longer than that. So all they have to say is "If you use the service after this date, you agree to these terms." I don't like it, but I've seen it many times before.

Sounds like a good time for a class action suit. Just cancel before you "renew" your contract and you'll still be eligible.

What an incredibly shady company. I knew they weren't to be trusted the very first time they took away free accounts. That was a failure. All they did since then was sucker people in with higher and higher allotments to get your non-refundable top ups, just to pull the rug out from under you.

in my opinion, we should do sth

asuka said:   
  Ugh, it's not 50% of your use, it's 50% of the average of all users on R+.


Well, I'm certainly bringing that average down, as I use it one minute each month.

as i see it, it’s not a simple question.

Ring plus has offered many good plans, including their mistake where they had the free 4g plan- i think it was called truly committed- they honored doubled to 8g even though they didn't plan on including, and included previous signups. They've been very generous and op didn't quote exact rules. Good bring to our attention changes. but it's not exactly same. Thier just trying bring everyone in. Thats why they have been doing all the experment plans the last few months. I have no intention on leaving ring and HOPE everyone looks around and ask them first before leaving .

I took screen shots of my billing history for all my lines. If they pull something funny, I'm getting my credit card involved. Just saying.

This seems really weird, like the other poster said. If they continually cut out everyone > 50% data usage every month...then the actual number that = 50% continues downward. So if this month average = 1000MB and people > 1000MB get cut, then the average will go down next month.


Also, that means every month 50% of their customers violate the terms....it's just whacky.

Here's what we do know:

-Before these new terms, they could cancel a plan at any time. These crazy new terms are basically giving them a solid reason for canceling any line besides saying "because we said so."

-They have ironed out a lot of the kinks that used to be common during upgrades.

-Top-ups and charges etc keep increasing.

-They are still trying to reach 300k subscribers.

Depending on how they count the number of subscribers, this might be a way to boost (double count) those numbers by expiring the plan, but leaving the top-up intact, so the expired member can sign up on another newer plan. It also enables them to get people out of some of the older plans with smaller top-ups.

It's possible that they are trying to get rid of people that are using unauthorized tethering, or a slew of other things that I won't mention here. The wording of this is so poor, that I think their intentions aren't clearly communicated just like any other Ring+ announcement.

I was really starting to come around with using Ring+ as a primary line with these new plans, but I wouldn't even consider that now. I don't think the Sky is falling, and now I can't justify referring anyone else to Ring+ if these are the new T&C.

I am looking at every Ring+ line now as having an expiration date of about 6 months out.

As they continue to improve the plans and service, they are going to continually reduce the lower margin customers and the plan prices will start approaching other MVNOs if they continue to get better.

alex767 said:   What an incredibly shady company. I knew they weren't to be trusted the very first time they took away free accounts. That was a failure. All they did since then was sucker people in with higher and higher allotments to get your non-refundable top ups, just to pull the rug out from under you.
  
But who actually thought that they could get cell phone service for no monthly charge forever? I for one never thought it could continue forever. I don't feel suckered. I always had the belief something like this would only be too good to be true for a short time and I was just glad I got in when I did. And it lasted even longer that I thought it would.

Plus...I feel like all this discussion and hate is premature before we actually start seeing people's plans get cancelled. So it might last even longer!

Thanks OP for the info.  Don't see why everyone thinks you are wrong in your interpretation.  You got a lot of people nervous I guess.  Especially Ring Plus.

The CTO of RingPlus posted on another forum that the rules are in effect to deter people who abuse the system (probably meaning using multiple lines, 1 outgoing call every 2 months but 6GB of data), and won't be applied to "normal" users. That said, the terms are very very poorly written and would put most "normal" users in violation.
startledmarmot said: Woah everyone. The level of vitriol in this thread is pretty intense.

There's no grand conspiracy here, the company is not going out of business, everything is literally exactly the same as it was last week. These new rules were put into place primarily so that RingPlus can, at its discretion, remove users that are fraudulently abusing the system.

As you can easily imagine, being a free telecom service, we're besieged with such activity. It takes quite a few resources in both engineering time and Support time to isolate them only to have our ToS thrown back in our face, claiming that what they were doing "isn't technically against the letter of the ToS."

Naturally, we can't exactly say "Stop doing X, Y, Z" because then they would know how to avoid our internal flags and triggers.

However, from the sound of it, these rules are having a more deleterious effect than anticipated. Keep in mind - we can always update them to better suit the community! Give us a bit to listen to your concerns and we'll happily find a common ground.

To be honest, I'm always somewhat surprised by the tone of "doom and gloom" some folks assume when discussing changes at RingPlus. Keep in mind that we're a true startup, which is exceptionally rare in the telco world. I do understand that this makes some people nervous - particularly those who want us to be & act exactly the same as other MVNO and MNOs. I can pretty confidently say that will never be the case: we're charting a different path, one paved with free service that is saving some families thousands of dollars a year. If being part of the ride is too uncomfortable (and I completely understand!), then there are many other options to consider. We hope you'll stick with us!

If anyone is interested in talking in person, both Karl, myself, and Jerry are frequently at different RingPlus Clubhouses. Come stop by and we'd be happy to talk about any aspect of the company.

http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1887184-Ring-Plus-s-N...

Average is not median. Average is taken by adding up all the values and dividing by the number of values. Median is the middle value. Therefore, it cannot be said that 50% of users will be in violation in fact, it should be much lower, because the outliers will throw the average away from the median.

Example - 10 users. 4 of them use 1,000 minutes. 2 of them use 300 minutes. 4 of them using zero. Average is 460. There are 4 users above the average. Median is 300.
If they eliminated everyone above the average, they would then have 6 users left, and would have rid themselves of the 4 Fatwallet / SD members that were using 1,000 minutes .

asuka said:   
jd2010 said:   You all knew this was coming. Once they lured in enough one time topups they effectively cut bait and take off with all our $.

I feel scammed.

By the way, what's 50% more than zero, because that's how much I've used my plan recently. My account is now 0 minutes per month forever?

  Ugh, it's not 50% of your use, it's 50% of the average of all users on R+.

 

  
Nope.

  1. If your talk, text or data usage exceeds 50% of your total voice, text or data usage for any prior billing cycle in the immediately prior 6 months, RingPlus may, in its sole discretion and without notice, expire, suspend, terminate or downgrade your Service.

If they eliminated everyone above the average, they would then have 6 users left, and would have rid themselves of the 4 Fatwallet / SD members that were using 1,000 minutes .
And the next month, the average would be lower (in fact the new average would be 100: ((300*2 + 0*4)/6) and if the usage pattern continued the same, the two non-zero users would be thrown off, leaving only four users at 0 each. Average in month 3: 0. That's what we mean by a downward spiral. And presumably those 4 FW/SD members paid up-front for a plan that allowed 1000 minutes (and that's R+'s business model, not ours).

And don't forget those four 0 users have established a pattern of using 0/mo, which exposes them to risk under the other Rule, since if they ever use their phones they will be exceeding more than 50% of their personal usage (or exceeding their personal usage by more than 50%, if we want to be generous about the terrible wording and think it's to stop spikes in usage)..

Of course I don't think that's their intention. But it's what the rules allow. And no one has explained how any of this supposed "abuse" is being allowed to happen when there are specific limits on most accounts. Mine is 1350 which I took to mean 0-1350/0-1350/0-1350. It seems that my current use of 1/0/0 (including the 1 call each 60 days) has put me at greater risk than if I'd maxed out my 1350 each month. There was no requirement that my minutes exceed my MB (for example) and if that's what they want (based on speculation by other posters) they should just say so.

=aw

So how about someone from Ringplus say
- Here's the rule in plain english
- Here's what we're looking for (the 1/0/6000 customer... the 6000/0/0 customer...)
- Here's what we're not looking for

I get that someone lawyered them up and made them add to their ToS, but the least they can do for their customers is say "we're looking for this kind of customer."

I'm very close to pulling the trigger on the Amazon Moto G, but I want it to still work. :-/

WOW, just wow. Thanks for waking me up. I've pretty much stopped reading the many pages of "new" plans one gets to vote (?) on because like the added TOS garbage has become TLDR (too long, didn't read). Already the TOS discussion is 13 pages long.

R+ has been great for the 3 kids I mentor but because of constant FakeBook surfing their data use is very high, and since the FED (?) ruling, phones are now way too expensive to replace, so I might just cut my losses and bail.

In fact, reading the first page of some silly sandwich plan that compared R+ to TMO I came very close to calling foul as the R+ plan was shown to be better than the current TMO plan but their cheaper family plans are still available and are cheaper than R+. I wouldn't say this on R+ forums but don't mind mentioning it to the friendly FW members.

Kinda sad and need to read more closely tomorrow.

Skipping 15 Messages...
Glad they cleared it up. Their intention was just to cut down on abuse (which is good for all of us who use the service as intended and love our free cell service), but they did a poor job of drafting the rules initially.



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