The USS Quad Damage

Mobilephone "Caps"

Apparently thanks to iPhones and similar devices people are receiving large bills for internet usage. The shocking cost of smartphones

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) said mobile user complaints for 2008 rose by 50 per cent over the previous year... Much of the confusion among consumers stemmed from misunderstandings over the term "cap"

Possibly because the term cap in practice would mean incremental charges up to a maximum value. Say your charged for the first 6 hours of calls a month then you don’t pay anymore. Ie; you pay up to a maximum of $50 a month on calls. You could pay less!

Cap: a maximum limit, as one set by law or agreement on prices, wages, spending, etc., during a certain period of time; ceiling.

Juxtapose that with a floor which is a minimum amount you pay irrespective how however many calls you make. Ie; you pay a minimum of $50 a month. You could also pay more!

Floor: the bottom, base, or minimum charged, demanded, or paid.

So why are they called caps?

Either because a cap sounds better and implies from it’s name that there is a maximum amount of money you’ll have to pay every month even though that isn’t the case. In fact mobile phone advertisers even promote that implied definition.

Or because it is a cap to the liabilities or amount of service that an operator has to supply to a customer for their monthly subscription. Which again from the consumers point of view is not a cap at all but a floor.