Ad Alert


Daily, monthly, and yearly data usage limits undercut claims to offer "unlimited messages."

Remember when unlimited used to mean something? Those were good times, as far as we knew. But then it came to light that every wireless carrier was slowing down or “throttling” data usage on plans marketed as unlimited. And now that imitation unlimited is in fashion (and largely unchecked), everyone is hawking it.

This includes ChatSim, a SIM card that is said to allow smartphone users to communicate with instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger “anywhere in the world,” without incurring roaming charges, for $40 a year. Indeed, despite claims on ChatSim’s website to offer “[u]nlimited text messages and emoji,” the site’s terms and conditions state in part:

It is understood that in the event that the daily threshold of 10MB or the monthly threshold of 25MB is exceeded, the use of the services, data traffic and messaging may be slowed down up and/or limited to midnight of that given day or to midnight of the last day of that given month. Moreover, data traffic and messaging may be slowed down up to the expiration date of the annual plan … when an overall threshold of 75MB is exceeded.

In other words, ChatSim imposes daily, monthly, and yearly data usage limits of 10MB, 25MB and 75MB, respectively.

Also, as a reader pointed out, that same section in the terms and conditions (“Personal, lawful and conforming use”) notes that ChatSim requires “overall monthly or annual traffic” to occur in at least two different geographic zones, meaning that if you stick around one place for more than a month, ChatSim may push throttle.

Find more of our coverage on “unlimited” data plans here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

You Might Be Interested In