Yes, because “unlimited Bandwidth” almost never means unlimited.
Ugh, and it's not just web hosting doing these kinds of shenanigans. ISPs are getting in on it too. What's worse is you go in thinking it's unlimited and then get a big fat bill detailing how you went over the limit. It'd been cheaper if they'd just told you what the limit was to begin with. :(
I really think this is lying. It's one thing to stretch the meaning of a word in your favor or to ignore facts that don't favor your product, but saying you're selling a product as unlimited and then having a limit is just a lie.
they put it in the fine print of those contracts no one ever reads
Exactly as David said.
Generally when a service offers 'Unlimited Bandwidth', you will want to read up on the fail usage policy they've drafted up BEFORE you sign up to them. It really isn't lying as all the information is right there for you to read, and if by some chance a company does not permit you to see the fully extent of their policy before signing up contact them before signing up to them.
If they still refuse to give you the information and are claiming to provide unlimited bandwidth or similar, there are more than a few groups out there that are happy to slap companies who misrepresent their services. ;)
What it is doing however is taking advantage of the general visitors ignorance and/or laziness, as it's generally the case that people would much rather storm ahead and have something sorted 3 minutes quicker and then whine when it turns out they didn't fully understand and their assumptions were founded on nothing but what they wanted.
And doesn't really matter if you whine after giving them the money and binding yourself to a 6,8,12, 18 or even 24 month contract…. they've done nothing wrong and got the money, the customer was just ignorant and self focused and that's hardly a strong basis for invalidating the contract. :p
Most ISPs in Canada used to offer “unlimited” bandwidth services… but they had an “abuse clause” that didn’t state any numbers, just that everything was governed by “reasonable” amounts. Now they’re upfront about how much they’re raping you, though a lot of people still have old contracts that are still unlimited. Plus, all associates at the major ISPs are allowed to haggle “discounts” with you if you threaten to cancel or ask to sign up for a years contract.