To clarify this discussion, Straight Talk now has a definitive soft cap in place where up until just recently, there was just a nebulous explanation of what constituted their soft and hard caps.
The soft cap definition is now spelled out and defined precisely.
As everyone can now see, there is a soft cap of 2.5 GB per 30-day cycle in this product's description above.
The terminology of "Unlimited Data" has been replaced by "Unlimited Mobile Web Access" which might be interpreted to mean that one has unlimited access to use the internet as they please as long as it is understood that speeds will be throttled after 2.5 GB and also that service can still be suspended or terminated for abusing the use of data by using it as a dedicated connection, for sharing or tethering to other devices, etc.
Yes, I've read reports from those who claim that Straight Talk throttled their service to a point where streaming YouTube or using audio was almost impossible but what I'm gathering from talking to Straight Talk reps is that there are underlying usage issues that those who have their service throttled don't realize they are doing.
I've gone around and around with Straight Talk reps and all that I've talked to tell me as long as I am not going over those general thresholds on a continuous basis that I don't have to worry about getting throttled or having my service terminated. I wanted to try to pin them down a bit before buying an extended service refill as I didn't want to go out 6-months or a year and then get terminated with no refund for abuse of service.
They tell me that their plans are for "normal" users. Those that do some streaming, i.e. watch some YouTube or video clips on news sites and maybe do some audio streaming, etc., etc. Normal file transfers and a reasonable amount of streaming are permitted. They don't care how you use the data you are consuming as long as you're not "abusing" the usage.
Many who are continually playing games and streaming video and audio may find themselves getting close to the thresholds of abuse and for those who do, it may be better to use a contracted service. Especially guilty are those who may be blatantly using large amounts of bandwidth by clandestinely using the service for continuous video feeds or attempting to tether or use the phone as a mi-fi. They tell me that they expect most people will use a fair amount of wifi for large file transfers, etc. as wifi will usually give much better speeds than 3G mobile web.
Personally, that's what I do. When I'm at home or somewhere that has a wifi is available, I will use that instead and use mobile web only when I have to when I'm out and about and need to do something where there is no fast wifi connection.
So no, there's no restriction on how you use your data but just don't "abuse" it. The big controversy, however, is that Straight Talk does not have a definite cap on the actual amount of usage that they consider "abuse" and that is what I believe all the complaints and the law suit is about.
Thank you! I did not know any of that and it is good to know.
However, I noticed that people were unhappy when, after signing up, they could not play videos on YouTube, steam audio and get on Facebook (kind of things). This limitation is misrepsentational as Straight Talk mention it nowhere.
I'm not sure if you could call it "fixed" or not.
There still is controversy as to what constitutes "abuse" and there is not a definitive cap. I believe their TOS was slightly revised at the beginning of the year but not enough to satisfy some pertaining to unlimited use.
From what I gather, there still are flags placed on a user's account if it should exceed 100mb a day continually or 1.5-2.5 GB a month on a consistent basis. I think when your account is flagged, they scrutinize a little closer at how you are using data. If they can ascertain that you are continuously streaming without interruption or determine that you may be violating other guidelines outlined in the TOS that points to "abuse," then they may warn you of the fact and give you a chance to correct your usage habits before terminating your service without refunding any prepaid amounts you've already remitted.