Word of warning: Hollands Nieuwe and notifications

If you’ve been to my blog before, you may have noticed that every two years, around spring, I tend to get a little excited. Phone contact renewal time! And if played well, that usually means a “free” new phone. This time around however, with the recession and all, I’m looking to get a cheaper contract instead. This is also partly because I’m still very happy with my HTC Desire. One of the operators I’m looking at is “Hollands Nieuwe“, but I found that their plans have a nasty “catch”.

With Hollands Nieuwe, all data sessions are rounded of to 100kb. This means that every time your iPhone checks a single email address, 100kb of data is substracted from your monthly data allowance. In my case, the following is what would probably happen.

  • Let’s say I’m out for 12 hours.
  • My phone has Tweetdeck, Wordfued and Gmail active (the essentials).
  • Let’s assume the average interval between checks is 15 minutes.
  • That means: 3 apps x 4 times X 12 hours = 144 sessions.
  • That then amounts to 14.4 MB of data use.
  • That’s roughly 1 day worth of data based on their largest plan.
  • Even if I received zero emails, tweets and words in that time.

I emailed Hollands Nieuwe’s support desk, and they confirmed that this is indeed how it works. They suggested I use wifi.

What strikes me most about this is how really terribly unfair this is. If you’re going to offer a data connection, charge for data actually used. Notifications and syncing are just how the mobile internet works. It’s how everyone wants to use it. It seems like Hollands Nieuwe is consciously trying to screw you over by imposing this weird rule. It’ll make your go over your limit, which means more money for them.

If you’re using your smartphone to keep up to date with your email, facebook and such, I’d recommend staying away from Hollands Nieuwe.


  1. Hi Roy, I thought this was a standard procedure in mobile companys… Is that not the case?

    Comment by Alberto — March 9, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

    • Well, at least in Holland, most operators round off daily use, but certainly not per session.

      Comment by Roy — March 18, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  2. Roy, I do not believe it actually works the way you suggest. Their help desk probably doesn’t understand how their own product works. I have used HN for a couple of months now, and I never run of data, even though many of my applications synchronise and update all the time. Currently it says I have used 111 MB since December 21, and I have been pretty careless about data usage, watching some Youtube videos and flash websites and whatnot. I normally use much less. I think they only end the session after 30 minutes of inactivity, not every time any application finishes downloading something. This rounding is unfortunate and damaging to their reputation, but it’s really not that bad in every-day use.

    Comment by Cerberus — January 3, 2013 @ 5:32 am

    • Perhaps the way they treat sessions has changed since I wrote this. I remember there being a little commotion over this in the media too back then, so perhaps they changed the way sessions are determined and/or the ways traffic gets rounded.

      Comment by Roy — January 18, 2013 @ 3:08 pm