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IPhone subscriptions, here are all the clauses to keep in mind

There have been, literally, dozens of e-mail messages that our site has collected in a few hours, after the publication of the article on some clauses 3, present in the contracts for the iPhone, potentially able to give some headache to those who decide to embrace the undoubtedly affordable H3G mobile operator rates. Thanks to the contributions received from readers, legal and communications experts, we are now able to make an overall point on the matter that affects all those who are thinking of buying a contracted iPhone very closely.

To seek clarity and completeness in the information, we have thus decided to explore all the not always obvious, from the point of view of the evidence of the contractual conditions, sites of the Italian mobile operators discovering that 3 is not the only one to apply the clauses that restrict use data and voice bundles. Even Vodafone and Tim (as well as Wind, which we are not directly interested in since it has no iPhone offer) apply similar conditions.

For example, Vodafone explicitly provides in its Vodafone Pi Facile (which are essentially also applied to iPhone contracts) that: "the total daily and / or monthly traffic (voice and / or SMS) to Other Operators does not exceed 80% total outgoing traffic "and that" the total daily and / or monthly traffic (voice and / or SMS) to a single Operator, not Vodafone, not exceeding 60% of the total outgoing traffic ". Clauses similar to those of 3 and in some ways even more restrictive since Vodafone imposes a minimum amount of daily or monthly traffic to its network. Not present for a minimum amount of incoming traffic in relation to outgoing traffic, which is foreseen by 3; the Hutchison Whampoa operator, on the other hand, requests that the amount of incoming traffic be at least 10% compared to outgoing traffic. Note that for Vodafone it limits calls to 3 to 200 minutes for the easier Medium and 500 to the easier Large. If these conditions are not respected, Vodafone "reserves the right to apply, upon communication to the customer, the economic conditions of the Anytime tariff plan"

Tim also has conditions that are very reminiscent of those of 3, only that in the case of the Telecom mobile operator, they must be looked for in the Consumer Info, where there are the general contractual conditions for prepaid and subscribed customers. Here we read that the customer required to use the network and appliances for "personal use" and that is considered personal use "a) daily outgoing traffic developed for LINE not exceeding 160 minutes and / or 200 SMS; b) outgoing monthly traffic developed for LINE not exceeding 1250 minutes and / or 2000 SMS; c) daily outgoing traffic to Telecom's TIM mobile network not exceeding 80% of total outgoing daily traffic; d) ratio between total outgoing daily voice and SMS traffic and total incoming daily voice and SMS traffic not exceeding 4 ". Conditions c and d are those which can somehow approach the well-known "clause 10" of 3 even if with some curious differences. The main one that Tim does not ask, for unknown reasons, to make a minimum number of minutes in his network, but a minimum number of minutes outside his network (20%). Like 3, it requires that there is a minimum ratio of incoming calls and SMS compared to outgoing ones: 25%. It should be noted that Tim, like Vodafone, imposes certain limits on calls to 3 All Inclusive 60 and, All Inclusive 90: 200 minutes, All Inclusive Unlimited 500 minutes. Unlike Vodafone and 3, Tim does not provide for forced transit to another tariff plan if the conditions are not respected, but the suspension of the commercial agreement.

In the face of this analysis, in reality a little tiring because it involved a very thorough research in search of clauses and codicils often buried in men not easily accessible to the point that without the contribution of expert readers they would not have been able to understand where to look for them , we can therefore deduce that the practice implemented by 3 in its contractual conditions for the non-unusual "ZeroTops"; on the contrary, common to all operators even if each one sets different limits and sanctions in different ways the exceeding of the imposed thresholds.

The reason why both 3 and Vodafone and Tim have set limits on net and offline calls and in the relationship between incoming and outgoing traffic, in the need to limit abuse. According to the information that our site has collected in the past few hours from experts in the sector, these are basically barriers that primarily aim to discourage some criminal cartels that exploiting the mechanisms of value-added numbers, top-ups and self-top-ups, using automated systems , are capable of inflicting heavy economic damage on network operators. In the viewfinder, there are also common users who, with a little time and sharpening their wits, could also improperly take advantage of the benefits of "all inclusive".

Finally, as regards 3, which had been the subject of our previous article, it remains exclusive, because 3 the only Italian operator that has a national roaming agreement, the limitation on roaming traffic that cannot exceed 79 , 9% of that generated overall. Here too we are, most likely, faced with an attempt (recent, because the clause has just been added) to stop the abuses; in the past, some 3 customers would have decided to block the network on Tim to have a more widespread voice coverage and this represents a significant cost for the H3G operator since every connection with Tim in roaming is paid (not a little) by 3. This clause, in any case, must be kept in mind because those who live in rural areas or often travel outside the major communication routes, run the risk of going beyond easy, given that incoming traffic is also counted.

But in practical terms, therefore, what are the problems for a common user who decides to subscribe to an iPhone 3 plan, or Vodafone or Tim in light of these clarifications? If he has no intention of "being smart" practically nobody. in fact, it is rather difficult to overcome the thresholds and even when it should happen, the operators have mechanisms useful to understand who is really carrying out an abuse or has simply gone beyond it for other reasons and in good faith. Watch out for: the penalties, contrary to what one might think, have been applied although rarely. This is the demonstration that these are not simple pro forma, but that if the cited and established conditions of abuse exist, the operators intervene.

In the face of all this, it remains a universally valid lesson, beyond contractual clauses written in small and at the bottom of commercial agreements: before approaching a plan or an operator, both for iPhone and other telephone contracts, it is good to take considering every aspect of the offer, carefully evaluating the intended use of the telephone, without limiting itself to the simple cost of the monthly contract. This is the only way to avoid nasty surprises and disappointments and recriminations that are of little use in retrospect.