Updated terms — fraud with unlimited messaging & calling

Hello all,

In not-so-fun news, we’ve recently been the target of fraud — SIM cards have been used to send bulk SMS on our unlimited messaging plan. It was a good test on several fronts (perhaps due a write-up?), but hasn’t been friendly to our Bitcoinz.

In our wholesale pricing there’s a clause that limits the unlimited calling and messaging to 99 distinct numbers per month. Until now that hasn’t been a problem — it’s rarely reached, and only by a few numbers if at all. We’re happy to absorb the additional cost in most cases, but into the 1000’s it becomes an issue…

Unfortunately we’ve had to make a few changes to help us manage this. Firstly, in our version 1.4 Ts&Cs there’s a new clause:

Calls and messages as part of an unlimited bundle are resticted to 99 distinct dialled numbers per month. Beyond this amount, we may disable voice and SMS on the SIM and charge their pay-as-you-go rates.

This is one of those “Eurgh, an unlimited-plan-but-not-really-until-you-read-the-fine-print” things which doesn’t feel good, but telling people “Don’t abuse Zevvle” didn’t seem to work. It’s intentionally vague whether or not there’ll be charges, as we really don’t want to become a corporate black box that hates its customers. We love you, and will always do our best to not annoy you. It doesn’t apply to PAYG. Here’s how it works:

If a SIM on an unlimited calling or messaging bundle calls or messages 100 numbers within a month, we’ll:

  1. Switch off voice and SMS.
  2. Lock the SIM to prevent further changes.
  3. Send an email explaining why.

iOS web beta coming soon.

We’ve also added a flag to bypass this for trusted customers — as mentioned it’s rarely reached, but a few legitimate people consistently call over 100 numbers each month. The above doesn’t apply to them.

Back soon with better news :blush:

- Nick


99 seems a drop low to be honest, not an issue for me as I’ve used less than 50 minutes since the beginning of the year, but when recommending it to someone else, most people have no clue if they’ll hit the limit.

How does does 99 compare to other MVNO enablers if you know?

Could we have the option of enabling automatically switching to PAYG rates when or if the limit is hit, instead of contacting support, and maybe a lockout limit considerably higher for when it manually needs to be reviewed.

Also is the free internal mins and texts also subject to a hard or soft fair use limit, if you can share?


Nobody using it as a personal account has reached it as far as I know — it’s calling or messaging 3 different people every day for a month.

I do not know.

Will look into that; raising it does make sense. We can certainly update it at any point, we just needed to get something out now. Looking back historically, this limit would only have been an issue for a couple of business cases.

It’s a hard limit. :slight_smile:


Ouch, sorry that you had to deal with them fraudsters! This sounds like a fair limitation to me, I don’t think I even know that many people… :smile:

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Oh no, there’s always got to be few who spoil it for the rest. I fairly infrequently make outgoing mobile calls now with all the other systems like wattsapp and zoom that are available.

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This turned out to be incredibly useful yesterday evening; we had another legit-looking order a few days ago, but last night the SMS started pouring out. I got an alert that the threshold had quickly passed, so I checked what was happening to be safe. Sure enough, like clockwork, the SIMs started to lock one by one.

They managed to go slightly over the 99 before the changes took effect (it takes a minute to provision) and sent ~1,400* SMS across the 5 SIMs, but at least this time we weren’t out of pocket.

I was so happy. :grin:

*There were multiple sent to the same number, so they didn’t reach 280 uniques (1400 / 5).


Sounds like a problem that some of the other payg providers have had and there seems to be a link with the sim cards being used in Italy for some reason.

I know that an mvno that uses o2 (not sure if I can say, in particular) has had to suspend quite a few accounts for massive and possibly automated sms abuse!


Any theories on what the messages could be for? Just spam or something more nefarious?

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