Does SFR really restrict the speed of its Fiber subscribers who download too much?


Does SFR really restrict the speed of its Fiber subscribers who download too much?
Written by madishthestylebar

A subscriber complains of having received an SMS telling him that his speed will be restricted because he has consumed too much data. Is there a limit to the unlimited at SFR? The answer is not clear…

“SFR Enjoy” logo // Source: SFR

New shitstorm concerning SFR. This time it’s not about a discreet price increase or an aggressive social plan, but about a subscriber having received a somewhat threatening SMS. “Internet is not really unlimited on the landline at SFR», exclaims @Hamster_I on Twittersharing a screenshot of the message received:

SFR INFO: Dear Customer, we have noticed abnormal use of your Internet at home that is likely to degrade our network and harm SFR subscribers in your area. According to the conditions of your offer, which stipulate that you must not misuse your services, if you do not modify your uses following this SMS, the fixed Internet speed of your SFR Box 8X offer will be reduced to 10 MBPS [sic] until the first day of the following month beyond 3 TO consumed.

We will not dwell on the fact that the “10MBPSis very vague here, since it can just as easily express 10 Mb/s (the most probable) as 10 MB/s (i.e. 10 MB/s), which represents a ratio of 1 to 8. Let us rather focus on the use of the subscriber as well as the conditions of the offer.

Hamster_I indicates that he left BitTorrent running every night for a total data transfer over the last 30 days of 10,416.1 GB, or 10.4 TB, only on his computer. To this must be added the consumption of streaming on 4K TVs. Suffice to say that this is a rather intense use far enough from the average user. Note however that we are used in France to unlimited packages, even though SFR never mentions the term on its website.

Unlimited, really?

The fact of being used to unlimited services does not mean that they really are, since each imposes its own restrictions in its general conditions of use (CGU). In those of SFR, one can for example read:

The Customer is prohibited from any fraudulent, abusive or excessive use of the Services (such as in particular: creating a voice server and/or rerouting and/or diverting communications; diverting the purpose or degrading the Service; disseminating any virus or computer file designed to limit, interrupt or destroy the network and/or any terminal or other telecommunications tool, transmit any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, etc., which may thus disrupt the availability of said servers or network.

It is also stated that “SFR reserves the right to restrict access to all or part of the Services subscribed […] in the event of actions likely to disrupt the SFR network or the Internet [ou] in the event of a substantial increase in the amount of the Customer’s consumption“. However, no numerical limit is specified, but the terms correspond with the SMS.

Remember also that the SFR Box 8X boasts its speed of 8 Gb / s in reception via its SFP port, or 1 Gb / s. At this rate, it only takes a little less than 52 minutes to download the 3 TB which seems to be the limit imposed according to the SMS. But let’s be more realistic and assume that the computer is connected to the traditional Ethernet port limited to 1 Gb/s: this monthly limit is reached in just under 7 hours of downloading at full speed. Suffice to say that it can quickly be exceeded…

“It’s not us”

SFR spoke on the subject, both through the Twitter account @SFR_SAV and the press service that we contacted. SFR therefore denies having sent this “Misleading SMS referred to on an isolated Twitter account“, specifying that”the official communications of our services are made from the number “1023”“. “I ask you to disregard this SMS [sic] and not to click on any possible link“, completes the CM of the Twitter account.

However, the number 38948 used to send this SMS is indeed used by SFR for official communications, as confirmed by several subscribers in response to the tweet, but also by a Top Contributor from the SFR community, whose message was “certified by SFR“.

A message from a contributor to the SFR community // Source: SFR Community — Screenshot Frandroid

In addition, spam messages usually aim to steal private information and therefore contain a link leading to a fraudulent page cloning the desired page in order to push the user to enter their identifiers. The author does not seem more isolated according to the Twitter testimonies.

He understood everything

Hamster_I announces, 24 hours after its original message, having terminated its SFR subscription, opposed the direct debits and subscribed to a Free offer. Remember, however, that all ISPs indicate the same thing in their T&Cs. Free, for example, has long conditioned its offers to “non-abusive use, as a good father“. In fact, calls to order are rare. Yet in 2019 already, a subscriber had already complained of a similar SMS from… SFR.

What is your problem ?
I’m paying for my plan… unlimited doesn’t mean limited. So keep your termination threats to yourself.
Already I pay the same price for an internet subscription as someone who has TV and a decent speed and I have none of that. @SFR_SAV

— Yohann ⭐⭐ (@yohaN_le_twitos) February 5, 2019

At the time, the SFR after-sales service had “gladly accepted the request“. In three years, communication has evolved considerably.

Does SFR restrict speeds in the event of downloading? Nobody seems to be able to testify and SFR ensures “that there is no consumption limit on fixed Internet usage“. It remains to be seen now if these SMS are really sent fraudulently or if it is a good way for SFR to threaten – without following up – its customers who would have a use well above the average. A sort of HADOPI letter, threatening, but with an effectiveness based more on fear than anything else.

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